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December 10, 2012News for hotel and lodging professionals

  Front Desk 
  • Singaporean wealth fund will acquire Paulson resort portfolio for $1.5B
    A joint venture led by Paulson & Co. will sell a portfolio of four luxury resorts to the Government of Singapore Investment Corp. for $1.5 billion. No competing offers emerged at a planned bankruptcy auction for the properties last week, leaving the Singaporean sovereign wealth fund as the winning bidder. The properties to be sold are the Grand Wailea resort in Maui, Hawaii; the Claremont Hotel & Spa in Berkeley, Calif.; the La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta, Calif.; and the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix. American City Business Journals/Honolulu (12/6), Bloomberg (12/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Business Update 
  • Accor will overhaul organizational model for European operations
    Accor Hotels will adopt a new brand-based organizational structure for its hotels in Europe starting Jan. 1, the company says. The new model affects Accor's eight European hotel chains -- Ibis, Ibis Budget, Ibis Styles, Novotel, Suite Novotel, Mercure, MGallery and Pullman -- which total nearly 2,000 properties. "This organization structure will enable us to develop first-rate specialists in each market segment and rely on teams that are entirely focused on their brands and have perfect knowledge of both their customers and their competitors," said Yann Caillère, president and chief operating officer. TravelPulse (12/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Market Trends 
  • Lagging group demand, rates may be temporary, TravelClick says
    Data released by TravelClick show flat growth of -0.1% in group occupancy for North American hotels during the fourth quarter of 2012 through the third quarter of next year. The group segment's average daily rate during the same period showed poor growth as well, at 1.6%. However, the group advises operators to hold off from making drastic price changes. "The first step is to see if the declines in new sales that we're seeing are temporary or if they are an indicator of a drop off in demand," said Rao Avasarala, a vice president at TravelClick. (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • World Travel: 1 billion people will travel internationally in 2012
    The World Travel & Tourism Council predicts that 1 billion travelers will cross an international boundary while on a leisure trip in 2012. The group attributes the increase in part to an increasing desire for travel to emerging countries such as China. "There is an inexorable growth in the number of people who want to travel around the world," said David Scowsill, the council's president and CEO. Reuters (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Survey: Most European companies stick to travel budgets in 2012
    Sixty-three percent of companies in Europe maintained their corporate travel budgets in 2012 and 23% increased spending, shows the American Express Global Business Travel survey. The survey found that 73% do not plan to revise their corporate-travel forecasts for 2013 and 16% will increase their budgets. Reuters (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Hot Topics 

Top five news stories selected by AH&LA SmartBrief readers in the past week.

  • Results based on number of times each story was clicked by readers.
  Spotlight on Technology 
  • Four Seasons in Costa Rica seeks to help guests unplug, rewind
    The Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo hopes its Disconnect to Reconnect program will help guests who say they want to unwind actually do so. The resort offers guests a service to hold their iPhones and distributes a guide of resort activities that do not require technology. HotelChatter (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Best Practices 
  • Column: Closer look at guest reviews uncovers room for improvement
    Hotel operators should look past online ratings for their properties to discover potential gaps in their service, writes Kristin Muhlner, CEO of newBrandAnalytics. "The star ratings only tell you a small piece of the story. Deciphering customer feedback is the real golden opportunity to gain real-time, uncensored, actionable insight into the drivers of customer satisfaction," Muhlner writes. (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Snoqualmie Tribe plans to add 20-story hotel to casino
    The Snoqualmie Tribe of Washington state hopes to add a 20-story hotel to its casino as part of an expansion plan for the gaming facility. "As a local citizen, the Snoqualmie Tribe has contributed more than $3 million to (Snoqualmie) Valley communities since opening its casino in late 2008. ... Responsibly expanding the casino resort will allow the tribe to further invest in the Snoqualmie Valley communities, its citizens and the protection of its sacred places," the tribe said in a written statement. The Seattle Times (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AH&LA News 
  • PCI compliance 101
    Credit card standards have changed, and if you don't change your policies, you could be putting your guests' private information at risk and incurring millions of dollars in damages. In response, AH&LA's Technology Committee created a thorough manual, The PCI Compliance Process for Hotels, making this complicated matter easy to understand and implement. Funded by the Foundation, AH&LA members can download their free copy. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Get new supervisors up to speed
    Supervisory skills can help employees move quickly up the ladder to career success. The newly published fifth edition of Supervision in the Hospitality Industry (Ninemeier/Kavanaugh) available from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, includes access to additional online learning for key supervisory skills. For more information, visit LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Alas for those that never sing, But die with all their music in them."
--Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.,
American physician, writer and poet

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