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October 23, 2012News for hotel and lodging professionals

  Front Desk 
  • STR reports strong performance in midscale hotel segment
    Midscale hotels enjoyed favorable performance over the past few months because of minimal supply growth, says Jan Freitag, STR's senior vice president of global development. Occupancy in the midscale segment reached 56.7% year-to-date through August, while average daily rate was at $75. (10/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Business Update 
  • Dorchester Collection eyes Asia for brand expansion
    Luxury-hotel group Dorchester Collection is adding the Asian market to its list of growth targets as it looks to capture growing demand from Chinese travelers, says company CEO Christopher Cowdray. "[T]he Chinese will be the biggest travel group in the future. They're looking for luxury and the very wealthy are discerning, they know what true luxury is," Cowdray said. He named specific cities slated for expansion, including Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong and Beijing. Google/Agence France-Presse (10/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Virgin Group searches NYC for site of Virgin Hotel property
    The Virgin Group is reviewing potential sites in New York for a property under the Virgin Hotel brand. "Our Virgin Hotels team is exploring a variety of options and applications in New York City. We love the energy of big market areas like Times Square but we equally love distinct neighborhoods with real communities -- SoHo and the Meatpacking District, for example -- where Virgin would be a perfect fit," company owner Sir Richard Branson said in an e-mailed statement. New York Post (10/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Signature Travel Network unveils marketing plan for upcoming hotels
    Signature Travel Network's new marketing program for hotels seeks to place the spotlight on new properties that are about to launch and those that are reopening after a renovation. The upcoming El Encanto by Orient-Express in Santa Barbara, Calif., will be the first property to receive marketing support under the new initiative. Plans to promote the property include sales training and consumer marketing. Travel Weekly (10/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Market Trends 
  • Hoteliers shift to long-term view in upgrading amenities
    Amenity creep is gradually returning in the hotel industry in the wake of the economic downturn, but this time operators are being careful to pick amenity upgrades that provide value in the long term, this feature says. "It's not just about adding the next best alarm clock with a shelf life of three months, it's about products that will drive rate," said Mark Van Amerongen, a senior vice president at Prism Hotels & Resorts. (10/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Washington hotels appeal to international guests
    International guests accounted for 10% of visitors to Washington and 27% of tourism spending in 2011, Destination DC says. As such, hotels will go a long way to make global visitors comfortable, this feature says. The Four Seasons in Georgetown welcomes Muslim guests with prayer rugs, a compass and a Koran in their room. The Sofitel in northwest Washington has trained staff on Chinese customs and plays the Hong Kong news channel Phoenix InfoNews. The Washington Post/Capital Business (10/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Spotlight on Technology 
  • Fairmont Hotels unveils redesign on online platform
    Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has launched the first phase of an upgrade to its digital platform. The chain's website received a new look along with additional content and improved navigation. The website's redesign will also include optimization for mobile devices. (free registration) (10/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  Best Practices 
  • Column: Mistakes can be turned into loyalty boosters
    Lapses in customer service are inevitable, but with quick action these instances can become opportunities to gain loyalty, Angela Stringfellow writes. Offering a speedy apology and taking extra steps to remedy the situation can win back the customer's regard and provide benefits for both sides, Stringfellow writes. (10/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  AH&LA News 
  • Report examines top multicultural groups' spending power
    AH&LA's foundation funded a study to quantify the travel and spending power of the top five multicultural groups: African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanics, Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) and females. Providing a snapshot of the size and potential economic impact if harnessed, it also examines differences in media usage, leisure travel activities, and attitudes toward travel. AH&LA members can download for free. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Distribution Channel Analysis: A Guide for Hotels
    This special report, released by AH&LA and STR and published by the HSMAI Foundation, discusses the effects of channel mix on profitability and what the industry can expect in the future. It's based on interviews with hundreds of industry executives and data from more than 25,000 hotels and 100 brands. You'll gain insight for determining your optimal channel mix. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Too often man handles life as he does the bad weather. He whiles away the time as he waits for it to stop."
--Alfred Polgar,
Austrian journalist

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