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October 24, 2012News for hotel and lodging professionals

  Front Desk 
  • Best Western is focused on seizing market share, CEO says
    Best Western International hotels have raised performance numbers back to prerecession levels and are enjoying strong growth, in part because of the success of the group's new descriptor program, says CEO David Kong. Now the organization is looking to capture more market share through new initiatives and products such as its extended-stay building prototype, Kong said. "[G]oing forward, it's going to be more about taking market share than growing the size of a pie. ... So we have to think about taking a bigger share of the pie, and that's what our focus is going to be," Kong said. Hotel Interactive (10/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Business Update 
  • Whitbread reports 10.6% profit growth in first half of 2012
    Strong growth in its Premier Inn and Costa Coffee businesses allowed Whitbread to post a 10.6% rise in underlying pretax profits during the first half of 2012. Sales at its Premier Inn locations open more than a year rose 3.7%, aided by demand growth during the London Olympics, the company said. "It was a really good first-half performance, but there were a couple of things that gave us an extra lift, so it is partly that and partly that we see the background consumer markets that drive our business are pretty flat," said Whitbread CEO Andy Harrison. Reuters (10/23), The Telegraph (London) (10/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Market Trends 
  • Baku, Azerbaijan, is seeing an influx of luxury hotels
    Petroleum-fueled economic growth in Baku, Azerbaijan, in recent years has allowed business and leisure travel to thrive in the city, bringing with it an expansion of hotels in the luxury segment, this feature says. Upscale properties with companies such as Four Seasons, Jumeirah and JW Marriott have already established their presence in the market this year, with more on the way. The city is expected to add 1,200 rooms to its supply from 2012 to 2013, says Marina Usenko, an executive vice president of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels. (10/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Orlando, Fla., hotel activity in September was lower than year ago
    The hotel market in Orlando, Fla., declined in September, as 55.2% of rooms were filled compared with 56.2% the previous year, according to Smith Travel Research. The average daily rate decreased 1.4%, to $80.35, as children went back to school and fewer large-scale events took place. "September was a very disappointing month for us, and it was primarily attributed to a lack of group business or convention business," said Greg Hauenstein, area managing director at Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa. Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (10/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • UK is top liquid hotel-investment market, report says
    Research confirms that the UK is the most liquid hotel investment market, according to BNP Paribas Real Estate. London is a growing market, but investments in Italy, Spain, France, Germany and the U.K. dropped 37% during the first half of this year, compared to the same period in 2011. (10/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Spotlight on Technology 
  • Blog: How to raise guests' length of stay through building links
    Hoteliers can aim their link-building efforts at serving people who may need temporary extended-stay lodging such as relocating employees, concert performers or families of hospital patients, writes Ashley Stevens of Blue Magnet Interactive. "Likewise, if a new shopping center or restaurant is opening in the area, you'll want to be listed on these sites as well; many companies will send employees from different stores or restaurants to help open the new establishment and these teams will need somewhere to stay," Stevens writes. The Blue Magnet Blog (10/22) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  Best Practices 
  • Other News
  AH&LA 2012 Fall Conference 
  • Anthony Melchiorri of "Hotel Impossible" to headline IHMRS forum
    Anthony Melchiorri of the Travel Channel's "Hotel Impossible" will lead the Hospitality Leadership Forum Keynote discussion on Saturday, Nov. 10, preceding the 97th annual International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show® (IHMRS). "Back to the Basics with Anthony Melchiorri" will feature the 20-year hospitality industry veteran and three leading technology executives, highlighting the full-day conference for senior hospitality executives. Visit here for more information. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AH&LA News 
  • GSA freezes per diem rates at 2012 level
    In response to AH&LA's efforts, the General Services Administration (GSA) announced that it is freezing per diem rates at the FY2012 level and will not alter its market-based methodology in calculating federal rates. While not ideal, the rate freeze is a far less radical approach than other options under consideration. AH&LA will work with GSA to ensure per diem rates reflect the market and are good value to the federal government. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Information center provides wealth of resources
    AH&LA members have unlimited access to a full-service research center dedicated to assisting them with industry-related questions. The AH&LA Information Center maintains extensive working files on thousands of hospitality-related topics. Contact Research Manager Tamika Figgs at or 888-743-2515 with your member questions. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing that we seek too late the one that is open."
--Alexander Graham Bell,
American inventor

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