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NEWS | Top hotels are rapidly increasing their presence in social media...


Hoteliers believe social media will eventually reach a stage where it becomes a key distribution channel that drives bookings and trial and generates revenueTop hotels are rapidly increasing their presence in social media, sharing pictures and launching interactive initiatives, as travellers tend to decide where to stay on the basis of peer reviews and feedback rather than brand promotions. Early this year Hilton's DoubleTree launched the first-of-its-kind YouTube channel for the hotel industry, Dtour, which helps travellers plan and share their trips. About a month ago, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts of Starwood group announced the global rollout of its wine-tasting 'social hour' in 430 hotels including Sheraton Bangalore on social media.

JOBS LIST 18/07/2013

NEWS | Joe Hindsley has been appointed General Manager at Hyatt Regency

Joe Hindsley, who has served as Hyatt Regency Atlanta's General Manager since 2004, has been named General Manager of Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch. Hindsley, a 30-year Hyatt veteran, was named Hyatt's "General Manager of the Year" among all large Hyatt hotels for 2012. He was the driving force behind the hotel's successful $65 million transformation, which included redesigning and updating its 1,260 guestrooms, dining experiences and 180,000 square feet of meeting and convention space.  

NEWS | Carolynn Hemmerich has been appointed Director of Sales

Prior to joining The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Hemmerich honed her sales experience within the luxury hospitality industry. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Kent State University in Ohio, Hemmerich began her foray into sales and marketing. In 2002, Hemmerich joined the Los Angeles-based sales and marketing team for Las Ventanas al Para'so, A Rosewood Resort, in Los Cabos, Mexico.

NEWS | Justine Ratcliffe has been appointed General Manager at Residence Inn

CSM Lodging, a division of CSM Corporation, has named Justine Ratcliffe assistant general manager for Residence Inn-Lake Oswego, Oregon. Dominic Chevalier, general manager, made the announcement. Justine Ratcliffe previously held the dual positions of director of guest services and director of suitekeeping for Homewood Suites by Hilton, located in Wichita, Kansas.

NEWS | Starwood Hotels unveils Sheraton Tucuman Hotel in Argentina

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has opened Sheraton Tucuman Hotel in Argentina, the ninth Sheraton branded hotel in the country, and the tenth hotel under a Starwood brand in the country. The 124-room property is owned by the Argentine company, Sol del NOA S.A., and is operated by Starwood. The hotel offers six Executive Suites and a Presidential Suite. The Sheraton Club Lounge is located on the top floor, and offers a panoramic view of the park and the mountain landscape, a release stated.

NEWS | McDonald's plans debut in Vietnam

McDonald's Corp. plans to open its first restaurant in Vietnam early next year. The country will be its 38th in Asia. The company sees an opportunity to grow in Vietnam as the average income rises and local tastes change, The Wall Street Journal reported. The company had chosen Henry Nguyen, a Vietnamese-American investor and the son-in-law of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, as its main franchise partner in the country, based on a "rigorous" selection process. Though McDonald's hasn't named a precise location for its first restaurant, it will be in Ho Chi Minh City, the country's economic hub.

NEWS | lebua Hotels conferred with Thought Leaders Award for Innovation in Hospitality

lebua Hotels & Resorts has received the Thought Leaders Award for Innovation in Hospitality by the Stars of the Industry Group, India. The award recognises hotels worldwide that have brought about a change in organisations and society at large, a release stated. Deepak Ohri, CEO, lebua Hotels and Resorts, said, “We are proud that our most discerning hospitality has been realised by this global prestigious accolade. The recognition by the Stars of Industry Group celebrates lebua’s commitment towards world-class luxury and innovation.

NEWS | Can re-open bars in a week once licences are issued, say owners

Getting licences, though, may take time, as the bar owners do not know how swiftly the state government would act to revive the controversial bars.Dance bar owners are confident that they will be able to re-open the bars within a week of the state government issuing them fresh licences and putting in place guidelines to be followed by the industry. Arvind Shetty, president of AHAR, The Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association, said a week's time would be enough. "The foremost task is to get the artistes and win the clientele," he said. Getting licences, though, may take time, as the bar owners do not know how swiftly the state government would act to revive the controversial bars in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling. Around 200 of the total 400 dance bars in Mumbai were converted into orchestra bars after the 2005 ban, while the remaining were either converted into restaurants and bars or were shut.

NEWS | Radisson launching CSR awards

Radisson Blu Plaza hotel, as a part of its first anniversary celebrations, is launching Corporate Social Responsibility Awards for the first time in Hyderabad. Eight corporates and non-governmental organisations will be presented the awards in recognition of their contribution to the society, Radisson general manager Nishan Silva said here. "We have listed out some 400 corporate companies and NGOs for the awards. A jury of eminent people will select eight finalists for the awards which will be presented on September 13," Silva told reporters here today.

NEWS | Feature Release:Home Is Where The Internet Is:Global survey by Intercontinental Hotels Group

A new global survey* commissioned by IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) to mark the launch of its new loyalty programme benefits, reveals that online connectivity is increasingly important in helping travellers maintain important relationships. The new report, surveying 10,000 people who travel alone for business worldwide, was commissioned by IHG to understand travellers’ thoughts on keeping connected with family and friends. The findings, released as IHG becomes the first and only hotel group to offer free internet access to all its loyalty members*, demonstrate the emotional importance placed on connectivity with family and friends back home by travellers. Daily Contact Connecting with home is so crucial to today’s travellers that 65% said it would make them very unhappy to travel alone for work if they could not. Of these, more than one in ten would refuse to travel at all if they had no way of connecting back home. 

With 83% of travellers checking in at least daily with their partner and 79% of working parents checking in with their children at least once a day whilst travelling away, families are clearly looking for seamless connections wherever they may be based. More revealing are the numbers globally who contact their parents (37%) and their grandparents (20%) at least once a day whilst away on business. Dial In and Dial Down The research reveals that over half (53%) of travellers who are parents find connecting with family at home is the best way to de-stress at the end of a working day when travelling. And 31% cite logging onto the internet for the first time as the thing that helps them feel most happy and settled in their hotel room. 

This ranked above entering and exploring the room (25%); unpacking (13%) or taking a shower (14%). Relationship expert, Jenni Trent Hughes says, “Because of the way connectivity is evolving, we now expect to maintain the same level of contact with loved ones when we’re away as we do when we’re in the same room. “I would have contacted you more, but you know how expensive it is,” can make the person at home feel unvalued. The beauty of connecting online is that the costs tend to be less and the service more efficient so you can maintain the value that keeping in regular communication brings to your relationship. 

Good communication and feeling valued are two of the primary aspects of a solid relationship. Family Connections · 44% of travellers have trained their parents or grandparents to use the internet such as Skype, FaceTime and social media so that they can stay in touch, while an additional 35% would consider it. · Nearly half of travellers (44%) have Skyped a pet when travelling away from home. · Over one in 10 parents (14%) now choose face-to-face interaction such as Skype or FaceTime as the most effective way to stay in touch with their children when travelling away from home on business.

Nearly half of parents say they would use Skype or FaceTime to share evenings with their family when travelling away on business (47%) if it was free. · Over a quarter of parents who travel for work would like to share dinner time (28%) or bed time (29%) with family back home online. · One in five parents (18%) would choose to help their kids with their homework via Skype or FaceTime when travelling away on business if it was free.

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NEWS | HomeAway Expands Asia Pacific Presence with Acquisition of Asian Vacation Rental Start-up, travelmob

HomeAway, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWAY), the world's leading online marketplace for vacation rentals, has signed an agreement to acquire majority control of travelmob™, an online start-up for vacation rental properties in Asia Pacific. The all-cash transaction is expected to close in a few weeks and following the closing, the travelmob management team will retain a 37 percent share of the business and continue to operate as an independent brand from its Singapore headquarters. For the remainder of fiscal 2013, HomeAway® expects to incur about $2.0 million in additional expense to further grow the travelmob business. While the price and terms of the deal have not been disclosed, HomeAway will discuss this acquisition during its second quarter 2013 earnings conference call on Thursday, July 25.  

NEWS | TRAVELLERS MISS THEIR CONNECTION

There really is no place like home, unless it’s a hotel which offers free internet connection according to new research from IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) which has found that being able to connect online with family and friends is now the top priority for travellers. The global research was commissioned to mark the launch this month of IHG’s renamed loyalty programme, IHG® Rewards Club. It reveals that not being able to contact home due to lack of internet connection is now the biggest travel headache for people away on business, cited by 40% of travellers as their biggest stress factor, ahead of difficult transport links (26%) and noisy location (24%).