Παρασκευή, 30 Νοεμβρίου 2018

SPACs: Streamlined Access to Public Markets




by Georgos S. Andrianopoulos, EUR-ING/PE/CE/MS, CFO Project & Shipping Finance Investment Consultant
Mark Schmidt, MBA/BS, Senior Unit Analyst
ICONIC Project Finance Maritime Corporation
Exclusively Compiled for the Slide2Open Shipping Finance 2019
As maritime stocks are becoming more and more unpopular among institutional investors on Wall Street, a new dawn of structures comes up with the advent of Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs). Are they really attractive or just another trend among PE funds?
In the aftermath of the shipping industry’s miserable performance where investors are more arduous of US offerings but ship owners are unenthusiastic to comprehend the new challenges, a radical investment vehicle makes waves.
NAVIOS recent IPO failure pointed out the fingers to an alternative publicly traded investment vehicle that could attract enough enthusiasm from Wall Street investors. How?

Millennials are buying a lifetime of vacations for less than the cost of a Peppermint Mocha per day










Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Wyndham Destinations,


ORLANDO, FLA. - According to a new survey of 1,000 Americans from Wyndham Destinations, almost half of Americans believe they'll spend more than $80,000 on vacations during their lifetime. Fortunately, there's a better way to vacay, and one that Millennials are raving about: timeshare ownership.
More than half of Americans reported having stayed in a timeshare while traveling on vacation, and 80% say that they enjoyed the experience. Millennials are taking notice, too - of the 55% who said they have vacationed in a timeshare, a whopping 73% enjoyed the experience and one in four liked it so much they would consider buying one. Why? Timeshares provide the ultimate vacation experience - comfort, style and plenty of options. In addition to resort-style amenities, vacationers can book a suite with multiple bedrooms, full kitchens and living rooms, and even in-unit laundry. Hotel rooms not leaving much opportunity for any - ahem- sexy time during vacation? Nearly 1 in 3 respondents said that lack of privacy for 'sexy time' makes their leisure travel less enjoyable.
Wyndham Destinations' survey also helps dispel antiquated timeshare myths, such as timeshares are cost-prohibitive. The actual cost to buy a timeshare that allows owners to vacation for a lifetime can be less than the cost of one peppermint mocha coffee per day*. Another myth: timeshare owners can only vacation in one location during one week out of the year. This old school idea is long gone, and for good reason - 42% of survey respondents prefer to vacation in a new destination. Wyndham Destinations provides flexibility for travelers to embrace their wanderlust with 220 club resorts, 4,300 affiliated resort partners in 110 countries and 10,000 professionally managed vacation rental properties across North America.
Social sharing also leads the list of travel trends influencing destination decision making. More than 1 in 5 (22%) people say they would actually consider purchasing a vacation home based on its Insta-worthiness - whether the property would look great in photos on their social media channels. But a vacation home limits snaps to one location. A better way to secure a lifetime of IG-worthy vacation moments in resort destinations across the globe? Buy a timeshare. 
Here are additional stats that uncover what Americans want from their vacations:
50 Shades of Vacay: According to the U.S. Travel Association, 63% of couples say that getaways are more likely to spark romance than a gift. A whole family crammed into one hotel room can throw a cold blanket on vacation sex. Nearly a third (32%) of Americans said that lack of privacy for 'sexy time' makes their leisure travel less enjoyable.
So the answer for more sex and a more enjoyable vacation? Timeshares. According to ARDA, 71% of timeshare owners claim to have more sex with their partner while on vacation (versus 31 percent of non-owners).
Experience-Junkie Millennials Discover Value of Timeshares: More than half (55%) of Millennials have vacationed in a timeshare; three quarters (73%) revealed they liked it, so much so that nearly a quarter (24%) said they'd consider buying one! What's more, 60% of Wyndham Destinations' new owners are millennials and GenXers. 
Vacation for a Lifetime for Less Than a Peppermint Mocha a Day: It's a myth that timeshare ownership is cost-prohibitive. Nearly half (48%) of Americans believe they will spend $80,000+ on vacations over the course of their lifetime. The truth is, the cost to buy a timeshare*, and a lifetime of vacations, can be as low as one peppermint mocha coffee beverage a day.
Now is the Time to Share More Time: More than half (56%) of Americans have stayed in a timeshare while traveling on vacation; nearly 80% report that they enjoyed the experience.
One in four respondents intend to purchase a timeshare within the next three years. 
Wanderlust Leads the List: Forty-two percent of survey respondents give in to their wanderlust, preferring to vacation in a new destination. More than 1 in 3 (34%) say they most often take a vacation in a city they can explore compared with 24% who seek outdoor adventures like skiing. 
One Size Does Fit All: Solo travel is still trending among the younger demographic. While three quarters of Baby Boomers (72%) say they most often travel with a spouse, only 55% of Gen Xers and 50% of Millennials bring along their SO. Whether you're ridin' solo or with your squad, the space, amenities, and service that timeshare offer fits all.
Creature Comforts: Americans tend to like some comfort when they travel like spacious accommodations, consistent service and brand names - alas, all the things that timeshares offer! In fact, the number one thing (34%) consumers say make their vacation less enjoyable is a lack of amenities like laundry, a fitness room or pool.
All in the Fam: Nearly half (43%) of Americans travel as a family (e.g., parents and kids) and 13% as an extended family. When vacationers travel with more than one person they typically (42%) book a house so everyone can stay together.

*The average cost of a Wyndham timeshare is $21,000, plus annual maintenance fees from $725 over the course of 40 years, which is equivalent to $3.40 each day. Financing costs and loan length are not considered.




Royal Caribbean Introduces New Upgrade Policy






It looks as though Royal Caribbean is following in Norwegian Cruise Line’s wake by introducing a program which will allow passengers to bid for a stateroom upgrade.

How The New Upgrade Program Works

The “RoyalUp” program is practically a mirror-image of Norwegian’s “Upgrade Advantage”. A letter sent to travel partners indicated the new system would go into place beginning on November 28. “In just a few simple steps,” the communique read, “your clients could score a fantastic upgrade. From ocean views and balcony staterooms to the most expansive suites at sea. Just like a Royal Caribbean adventure, the possibilities are endless.”
Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Royal Caribbean Introduces New Upgrade Policy

Here’s how the new program works: Passengers who are eligible to bid will receive an e-mail telling them what stateroom categories are open to them, and what the minimum bid for each category would be. Cruisers can bid on one or more categories, as they’ll only be required to pay for whichever bid happens to be accepted. It’s important to note that when placing a bid, the amount is per-person, based on double occupancy. In other words, if you bid $500 to upgrade and the bid is accepted, you’ll actually be charged $1,000. (On the plus side, even if four people are traveling in the stateroom, the upgrade charge only applies to the first and second passengers).
It’s also worth noting that, as with Norwegian’s program, you are bidding on a category of stateroom, not a specific cabin. If your bid is accepted, Royal Caribbean will assign you a cabin in the new category, and you won’t have the ability to select a location or change it. Also, if you’re traveling with a group and have several cabins booked, they can’t guarantee that everyone’s bids will be accepted or, if they are, that the new stateroom assignments will be near one another.

Is Bidding For An Upgrade Worth It?

Whether or not to bid is a tough call for many cruisers. Certainly, doing so presents people with an opportunity to try something — including “the suite life” — they might not otherwise be able to afford. It can also be a great way to go from an oceanview stateroom to a balcony at, what often turns out to be, a relatively minimal price. However, if you’re the type of traveler who needs to know exactly where their stateroom will be, this might not be right for you.
Also, because bids can be accepted any time from the moment they’re submitted up to two days until the ship sets sail, it’s also not the best option for those who need to have details locked down in advance. (Once the bid has been accepted and your credit card has been charged, the bid and price are locked-in).
Guests who have booked through a travel agent can have that person deal with the upgrade bids, should they decide to pursue one. If a guest who booked through an agent is eligible to bid, the agent and the passenger will receive the notification e-mail.

Prestigious award culminates record-breaking year for Danish ports









Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Cruise Copenhagen


With 1.1 million cruise guests in 2018, the cruise lines have caught Copenhagen and Denmark in the binoculars. The success puts the Danish ports on the world map and the CruiseCopenhagen network is now honoured for the efforts with the trade organization Horesta’s Tourism Award, the MARIA Award.
Denmark is very popular among cruise guests and 2018 has been a record-breaking year with 1.1 million cruise guests divided into nine Danish ports with a total of 547 calls. Just in Copenhagen, over 868,000 guests disembarked during this year's cruise season. The unifying CruiseCopenhagen network has paved the way for cruise adventures for more than 25 years, which benefit several Danish ports and destinations.
The founder of CruiseCopenhagen and former General Manager of CMP, Copenhagen Malmo Port, Per Cilliborg Schmidt, is the man behind the network. He is the recipient of Horesta's personal award, which recognizes someone who has made a special effort to put Denmark on the world map. Horesta is the trade organization for hotels, restaurants and tourism in Denmark.
”It is the unique collaboration across industries and municipalities that has been the key to the successful guests growth that Denmark is now experiencing. In the CruiseCopenhagen network, companies that otherwise often compete are working together to make the overall cruise experience in Denmark even bigger. They are working hard on making cruise guests feel welcome in Denmark and their stay as memorable as possible,” says Soren Jespersen, chairman of CruiseCopenhagen.
CruiseCopenhagen was established in 1992, and since then many cruise ships have passed through Copenhagen and the other Danish ports. The cruise network has also been working on developing the cruise product, and thus the cruise season has been extended and cruise lines can now visit Danish ports almost all year around. This year, Copenhagen is making a new Christmas record, as seven Christmas cruises are visiting the capital in the coming weeks.
Per Cilliborg Schmidt's vision has been successfully realized, and according to Soren Jespersen, the adventure has not reached the final chapter.
“The competition in the global market is hard and the steep curve of cruise guests to Denmark does not come by itself. With the receipt of the precious award, our network will continue and intensify the efforts to develop the cruise product and the guest experience in Copenhagen and Denmark,” concludes the chairman of the board.     
Previously, Horesta’s MARIA Award has been awarded to chefs Rene Redzepi at Noma and Rasmus Kofoed at Geranium, film director Susanne Bier and last year Peer H. Kristensen, Director of VisitAarhus.


MSC Cruises Announces Name of First Seaside EVO Ship




Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για MSC Cruises Announces Name of First Seaside EVO Ship


MSC Cruises has cut the steel for their first of two Seaside EVO ships, and announced its name – MSC Seashore. The steel-cutting ceremony took place at Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.
The 169,400 gross ton vessel will enter into service in spring 2021, and be the first in the line’s class of MSC Seaside EVO ships – an evolution of the Seaside class. New features will include an additional aft lounge, an enhanced MSC Yacht Club, specialty restaurants on the promenade level on deck 8 for dining close to the sea, more hot tubs around the ship, more cabins, and more overall public space. EVO ships will also be equipped with the latest advanced environmental technology, including state-of-the-art waste management and recycling systems, exhaust gas cleaning technology, an advanced energy and heat recovery system, and more.
photo: MSC Cruises
“With the Seaside Class, we introduced to the market one of the more innovative cruise ship prototypes all-around – our fifth out of six to-date – thus setting a new industry standard for others to follow. Today, only one year after MSC Seaside entered into service, we are taking this award-winning concept to the next level by starting the construction of a further evolved and even richer ship,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman. “MSC Seashore is an example of our commitment to bringing the most innovative and technologically-advanced tonnage to the sea, and will be bestowed with the latest and best maritime and environmental technology available.”
The steel-cutting marked another milestone in MSC’s 10-year development plan for 17 new mega ships, with four currently under construction. MSC Seashore is the seventh ship to be built under the 10-year plan, and will become the 19th ship MSC has built since its inception in 2003.
MSC Seashore will follow the principle of her Seaside class predecessors, that guests should be as close to the sun and sea as possible. In fall 2022, a second Seaside EVO ship will join the fleet.

Over 60% of Buyers at IMEX America 2018 were at a senior leve








Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Over 60% of Buyers at IMEX America 2018 where at a senior level




IMEX has released official figures from IMEX America 2018 shedding light on the hosted buyers, attendees and exhibitors which helped to make it the largest ever show. 
The eighth IMEX America, which took place 16 – 18 October at the Sands® Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, attracted a record 13,588 participants including more than 3,327 hosted buyers from 63 countries.
The buyers – both hosted buyers and buyer attendees – were at a senior level with well over 60% (67.5% and 63.5% respectively) having between 11 – 20+ years experience. Nearly half of all hosted buyers (47.5%) were at Chairman, CEO, MD, Director or Senior Manager level.
Attendees brought with them considerable buying power with 65% hosted buyers and 60% buyer attendees managing budgets of between $1m - $10m. Over half of hosted buyers (58%) were from the incentive house/agency sector, 24% from the corporate sector and 10% from the association/ government sector. For buyer attendees the mix was 38% corporate clients, 31% incentive house/ agencies and 12% associations.
imex america2018 stats
Well over 70,000 appointments were made, including 64,500 individual appointments and booth presentations – an increase of 7 per cent.  In addition, 70 per cent of appointments had RFPs attached. 
The show this year expanded into an additional hall, creating space for over 3,500 exhibitors representing 150 countries. A significant factor in this growth was the arrival of more than 60 new booths while 81 booths took larger spaces.
The IMEX America 2018 show stats are here.

Crystal Cruises Announces New Getaways For 2019






Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Crystal Cruises Announces New Getaways For 2019


Crystal Cruises is unveiling nine new “Crystal Getaways” – abbreviated segments of existing longer voyages – in January, February, April and October of next year.
The sailings, seven aboard Crystal Symphony and two aboard Crystal Serenity, range from six to 16 days, exploring South America, Australia and Indonesia, the North American Gulf Coast, South Pacific and New Zealand, and South Africa.
Both Crystal ships have recently undergone significant redesigns within the last year including enhanced butler-serviced penthouses and suites, open-seating dining with new restaurants, new entertainment venues and enhanced décor in public areas and lounges. Guests can enjoy these upgrades on the newly added Getaways sailings, which include:
Crystal Symphony
  • January 5: 6 days, New Orleans to Curaçao, Willemstad
  • January 11: 8 days, Curaçao, Willemstad to Recife, Brazil
  • January 11: 10 days, Curaçao, Willemstad to Salvador da Bahia, Brazil
  • January 11: 13 days, Curaçao, Willemstad to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • January 24: 8 days, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Montevideo, Uruguay
  • April 14: 12 days, Cairns, Australia to Singapore
  • October 15: 10 days, Panama City, Panama to New Orleans

Crystal Serenity
  • January 20: 16 days, Honolulu to Auckland, New Zealand
  • February 28: 13 days, Port Louis, Mauritius to Cape Town, South Africa
Cruise fares for the new Crystal Getaways begin at $2,560 per suite, with Book Now Savings of up to $1,500 per suite available for bookings by December 31, 2018.


The best destinations for Millennials for 2019






Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για The best destinations for Millennials for 2019


NEW YORK, NY - Search engine for vacation rentals HomeToGo has produced a guide to the best destinations for millennial travelers in America. The results show that mid-sized cities, often overshadowed by their larger neighbors, are more on-brand for millennial travelers, versus top destinations like Las Vegas or Orlando.
After polling 1,000 millennial travelers to discover what elements influence their decision-making when booking a trip, six main influencing factors emerged: 
  • Affordable airfares
  • Availability of experiences
  • Instagrammability
  • Affordable food and drink
  • Dynamic nightlife
  • Affordable accommodation
With these key travel factors in mind, we examined more than 500 locations in the U.S. The final shortlist comprises 50 cities that are most-aligned with what millennial travelers seek. Florida, Michigan, and Texas each have three cities inside the top 20, with Miami placing first in this year’s ranking.“Millennials are the most travel-orientated generation in history. Living in an increasingly interconnected world, this age group are much more likely to take vacation days and  spend disposable income on a trip than their predecessors,” said Head of Inbound Marketing, Joanna Booth. “We are excited to announce the findings of our research, and look forward to helping millennials discover their perfect accommodation in future.” 
Key findings from this year’s ranking: 
  • The South is the best-represented US Census Region in this year’s ranking, with more than half (26) of the destinations located there.
  • 15 of the top 50 are located in the West; 7 are located in the Midwest; just 2 are located in the Northeast. 
  • California is the most millennial-friendly state, with 8 cities making this year’s top 50. However, only 2 of these cities made the top 20.
  • California performs strongly in the Instagrammability category (with 5 cities in the top 10) but poorly in the - Accommodation Affordability category (with 6 cities in the bottom 10).
  • South Padre Island in Texas is the smallest town in this year’s ranking; notable larger absentees include San Jose, Washington D.C., and Boston.
Tags:HomeToGo

ICCA Congress boosts up international meetings industry in Dubai






Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για ICCA Congress boosts up international meetings industry in Dubai



Congress delegates have moved down to the city from world over to experience a dynamic four-day programme of education, networking and business opportunities. ICCA and Dubai Business Events, the official convention bureau of the city have partnered to create a thrilling offering of forward-thinking education sessions, site visits to the most ground-breaking enterprises in Dubai and a social programme showcasing the best of Emirati cultural delights and local hospitality.

The ICCA’s 2018 edition of annual flagship event has attained record attendance figures for any ICCA Congress organized outside Europe: for the meeting, a total of 1,156 industry experts from 79 countries have travelled to Dubai. Organized with the support of the main local partners including Dubai World Trade Centre, Congress Solutions International, Emirates and Dubai Business Events, the city’s official convention bureau, the Congress brings in senior meetings industry professionals to share knowledge as well as ideas about the latest trends in international association meetings and business events.

Business events are more and more being recognized as a vital driver of the economy of Dubai and positioning the city as a global business centre. As a global knowledge hub with a worldwide reputation for innovation, hosting the ICCA Congress offers Dubai an exclusive opportunity to present its widespread meetings infrastructure to business events heavyweights from across the globe, and in turn optimize international expertise to drive the development of the region’s rapidly-evolving meetings industry.

To quote Nina Freysen-Pretorius, President of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), “The number of international association meetings has doubled every ten years since the establishment of ICCA 55 years ago, and we have identified the Middle East as an important growth area. In fact, we now have a dedicated seat for the region on our board, a permanent regional director, and this is our first annual congress in the Middle East.”

STR: Israel hotel performance booming thanks to higher rates






Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για STR: Israel hotel performance booming thanks to higher rates



LONDON - Israel’s hotel industry is on pace for a record-breaking year with average daily rate (ADR) as the main driver of performance, according to data from STR.
Through the first 10 months of 2018, Israel posted an ADR of ILS806.28, which was a 7.8% increase when compared with the same 10 months in 2017. Additionally, that absolute ADR level was the highest for any October year-to-date time period in STR’s Israel database.
“Solid growth in demand that began in 2016 has given hoteliers in the country the confidence to push room rates - even as the presence of the sharing economy continues to broaden,” said Thomas Emanuel, STR’s director of business development. “Occupancy comparisons have been fairly flat thus far in 2018, but ADR increases continue to drive positive year-over-year developments in RevPAR. Over the past two years, both occupancy and ADR have been maintained at roughly 10% above the previous performance peak in the country. All of this points to a healthy marketplace overall.” 
Israel’s occupancy was 70.1% through October (-0.4% year over year), while revenue per available room (RevPAR) was ILS565.26 (+7.4% year over year). The absolute occupancy level was the second-highest for the October year-to-date time period, while the RevPAR level was the highest.
At the market and submarket levels, Jerusalem has been the top performer in terms of growth. Through the first 10 months of 2018, the market’s occupancy was up 5.3%, and ADR increased 12.9%. As a result, RevPAR jumped 18.9%. 
In absolute values, Tel Aviv has shown the highest absolute occupancy (73.9%) and ADR (ILS939.40). 
“Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are the two cities outperforming the national average, but as another indicator of the health of the country’s hotel industry, we are also seeing growth across Haifa, Eliat and the Dead Sea,” Emanuel said. 
Research conducted by STR’s Tourism Consumer Insights team found that Jerusalem is the most popular among the country’s destinations. From 482 traveler panel responses, 7% have already visited the country, while 63% have heard of or are interested in visiting the country. Israel’s historic attractions are popular among potential visitors, while the perception of conflict and geopolitical instability is a primary concern. 

Tags:STR

Chinese tourists double in Europe during the first half of 2018






Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Chinese tourists double in Europe during the first half of 2018


In the first half of this year, Chinese tourists almost doubled their travels to Europe, compared to the same period last year.

This was one of the key findings of the “China-Europe Tourism Big Data Report for the First Half of 2018” released by China Tourism Academy CTA.

According to the data centre of China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, 71.31 million Chinese travelled abroad in the first half of 2018.

With the promotion of China-Europe tourism cooperation under the framework of the 2018 “China- Europe Tourist Year”, Chinese tourists had greater benefits in terms of visas and flights, which boosted trips to Europe.

To quote Chinese Tourism Academy president Dai Bin., “Under the framework of cooperation, bilateral tourism exchanges we are facing the finest historical period. As the second largest destination region for Chinese citizens traveling overseas, it is hoped that Europe is not only important for Chinese tourists, but also friendly.”

CTA monitors Chinese tourist flow, consumption structures, behavior characteristics, and travel experiences.

The World Cup fuelled an increase in outbound tourism to Europe last summer and traditional tourism witnessed a rise in popularity during the off-season as well.

The World Cup brought an increase in Europe-bound tours from China during the summer. The number of people booking Europe tours in the second quarter of 2018 increased by more than 100% on year-on-year basis, and by 94% on quarter-on-quarter basis.

Europe is the second largest destination for Chinese tourists, accounting for 13% after Asia. Chinese tourists spend on average EUR300 per day in top destinations such as France, Germany and Italy.

In terms of travel methods, package tours are still very popular; however, the number of Chinese tourists going to Europe on their own is also increasing.


The European Travel Commission commemorates 70 years of promoting destination Europe






Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για The European Travel Commission commemorates 70 years of promoting destination Europe




BRUSSELS – On the occasion of its 70th anniversary, the European Travel Commission (ETC) has published a book, which offers a detailed historical account of the ETC’s first seven decades of work. The book, entitled “The History of the European Travel Commission (1948-2018)”, takes its readers on a journey through the history of collaboration in promoting Europe as a single destination overseas and in making travel to and within Europe more accessible and appealing.
“The ETC has outlined seven decades of the history of tourism in Europe and one of the world’s oldest intergovernmental tourism organisations”, stated ETC President Mr. Peter De Wilde“It’s an exciting journey that reflects how our beloved Europe has faced and overcome challenges. As long as we’re able to come together as Europeans and define our common dreams, our leadership in the tourism field will open doors to a better world where people will view travelling as an experience of sharing values and respecting identities that can transform lives”,added Mr. De Wilde.
Composed of six broadly chronological chapters, the book traces the development of the European tourism sector from the foundation of the European Travel Commission in 1948 up to the present day. It describes the years of post-war reconstruction in Europe and the role of the Marshall Plan in the development of tourism in Europe. The book proceeds to highlight the first joint European marketing campaigns overseas and how ETC’s publicity in America became the flagship activity for the organisation. Furthermore, the work focuses on new political challenges of mass tourism which emerged in full force in the 1960s. The 1970s & 1980s brought both significant developments that rocked the travel industry, such as new aircrafts and computer-based technologies, and enormous challenges (economic downturns, a nuclear disaster and terrorist attacks), which required ETC response. The post-Cold War years significantly expanded ETC membership to Central and Eastern Europe and increased its collaboration with the European institutions. The launch of visiteurope.com in 1996 marked the start of digital promotion for Destination Europe. The final chapter looks at what ETC has accomplished after its change of leadership in 2012 to the present day, expanding its activities and asserting its position as the voice of European tourism in the twenty-first century.
“The History of the European Travel Commission (1948-2018)” was researched and written by three professional historians in the tourism sector – Dr Igor Tchoukarine (University of Minnesota), Dr Sune Bechmann Pedersen (Lund University), and Dr Frank Schipper (Foundation for the History of Technology, Eindhoven). The book was officially presented at the ETC Anniversary event on 21st November in Antwerp and is publicly available on etc-corporate.org.


Third Quarter Marked by Growth and Milestones for All Suites Brands by Hilton







Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Third Quarter Marked by Growth and Milestones for All Suites Brands by Hilton


MCLEAN Va. - The All Suites brands by Hilton, consisting of Embassy Suites by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, and Home2 Suites by Hilton, are in the midst of one of their most successful years on record. To date, the year has been marked by rapid growth across all three brands and numerous milestones including, the opening of the 1,000th All Suites propertyunveiling of the category’s first modular build hotel, and being part of Hilton’s first opened tri-branded property. In fact, by the end of the third quarter, the brands had already surpassed their growth goals for 2018 and are on pace to end the year with a pipeline of over 580 pending properties. 
Additionally, the All Suites brands by Hilton footprint continues to expand into important urban and ‘surban’ locations opening notable new properties in Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta, as well as coastal destinations like Honolulu and St Augustine, Fla.
“The combination of innovative development and operational strategies in 2018 has resulted in a year of incredible achievement for our brands,” said Dianna Vaughan, global head and senior vice president, All Suites brands by Hilton. “The All Suites brands have been part of major milestones for the Hilton portfolio and we’re exceeding our growth targets, all while laying the foundation for an even stronger 2019.” 
Brand Achievements and Upcoming Milestones
In addition to collectively reaching their 1,000th property, each individual brand from the All Suites portfolio achieved notable milestones in 2018, executing innovative brand initiatives along the way. 
Embassy Suites by Hilton:
  • Understanding the importance of staying attuned to the evolving needs of travelers and their expectations of hotel common areas, Embassy Suites by Hilton launched the Atrium Refresh program. More than 90 hotels have now completed the renovation that transforms the brand’s signature, open-air atriums into intimate social lobbies, while also enhancing guest suites, meeting spaces, and other communal areas of the hotels. By the end of 2019, more than 75 percent of hotels within the brand’s footprint will have completed the Atrium Refresh.
Homewood Suites by Hilton:
  • The brand announced Rick Colling, as its new Global Head. Adrian Kurre remains global head of Home2 Suites by Hilton. Colling was promoted from Vice President of Brand Performance and Support. His extensive expertise and experience within the Homewood Suites brand has already driven strong results, mostly notably for the brand’s Take Flight renovation initiative. Over 200 Homewood Suites by Hilton properties have now completed the innovative design platform to retrofit existing properties with optimizations to create a new ambiance both in-suite and in the communal spaces. By year’s end, more than 230 properties will have completed Take Flight, with the remainder taking place in 2019, coinciding with the brand’s 30th anniversary. 
Home2 Suites by Hilton:
  • This year, Home2 Suites by Hilton opened its milestone 250th property, the Home2 Suites by Hilton Orlando South Park. The brand continued its incredibly strong growth, as one of the fastest growing brands in the Hilton portfolio and hospitality industry as a whole, and is already scheduled to open its 300th property by early 2019. Southern Hospitality Services broke ground on the Home2 Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport North, the first modular construction project for Home2 Suites by Hilton. The property is pioneering the innovative building technique as the first modular build in the Bay Area. 
Notable Openings
In the third quarter of 2018, the All Suites brands by Hilton continued to set the pace for the hospitality industry in innovative development strategies and international growth with a fleet of new property openings including: 
Embassy Suites:
Homewood Suites:
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton Edina Minneapolis: Located just outside downtown Minneapolis in the picturesque surban location of Edina, the hotel is just a short drive away from the famed Mall of America and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton Portland Airport: The brand delivered a prime location for travelers in the up and coming Northwest tourist hub with a complimentary airport shuttle that also drives guests to local attractions within a three-mile radius of the hotel. 
Home2 Suites:
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton Chicago McCormick Place: Part of Hilton’s first ever tri-branded hotel, this property shares a roof with Hampton by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn and is located steps from the largest convention center in North America, McCormick Place.
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton Los Angeles Montebello: This lakeside property is just minutes from the great tourist attractions of the City of Angels, from Dodger Stadium and the Staples Center, to theme parks for the whole family. 
Signed Deals
The All Suites brands by Hilton grew its pipeline this year with 138 new signed deals between the beginning of Q1 and end of Q3, bringing the total combined pipeline to over 580 pending hotels. Notable signed deals include:
  • Embassy Suites by Hilton Waco: Parents of students and alumni from Baylor University will soon have another convenient location to enjoy an extended stay back on campus. The property is slated to open in late 2021.
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton Honolulu International Airport: The brand is saying, “Aloha” to Hawaii providing trusted extended stay accommodations in one of the country’s most visited tropical vacation havens. This addition to All Suites brand’s strong portfolio of vacation destinations is slated to open summer 2021.
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton Euless DFW West: Home2 Suites by Hilton is delivering another outstanding lodging option for travelers moving through one of the country’s busiest flying hubs, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The estimated arrival date for this key airport location is early 2020.

Two Cruise Ships Find New Home In Miami







Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Two Cruise Ships Find New Home In Miami


In their latest ship tease, Virgin Voyages revealed not only that their Scarlet Lady cruise ship will get a brand new terminal in Miami, but when would-be passengers will be able to book their staterooms! During the press conference, the company also revealed that Scarlet’s as-yet-unnamed sister ship is expected to begin sailing out of the new terminal in the fall of 2021.

A New Terminal For Miami

“Miami is an incredible city, and one of my favorite places to work and play” said Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson in announcing the new terminal. Added Virgin Voyages’ president and CEO Tom McAlpin, “With our fleet now growing to four ships, we’re humbled and thankful to soon have a gorgeous new terminal overlooking the Miami skyline, an incredible view that will set the state for the alluring journey that we will take our sailors on!”
Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Two Cruise Ships Find New Home In Miami
At 100,000 square feet, the terminal takes its inspiration, appropriately enough, from Florida’s palm groves. The design, from Miami-based Arquitectonica, features a rooftop resembling one of those groves, with pockets which will allow natural light to flood the building during the daytime while at night, it will shine bright as the city’s skyline while featuring the company’s iconic logo. Given Mother Nature’s tendency to occasionally batter the area, the building will be storm proof while featuring lush landscaping that will give it a plaza-like feel. VIPs will have a designated drop-off zone, as will those taking advantage of ride-sharing programs. Ultimately, the facility is designed to provide the most seamless ship-to-shore transition possible.
At night, the new terminal will light up the sky. (Rendering courtesy of Virgin Voyages)

When You Can Book A Stateroom

Meanwhile, Virgin will be giving sailors (as they call their passengers) a very special Valentine’s Day present, as that’s when bookings will open to the general public. (Those who took advantage of the opportunity to put down pre-sale deposits will have the opportunity to book beginning on February 5.) Although they currently have four ships on order, there’s no word yet as to where the next two ships might sail out of. As of now, the Scarlet Lady is set to do Caribbean voyages out of her new terminal throughout 2021.
Already, the Scarlet Lady is shaking up the cruise industry, with each new “ship tease” offering up enticing details, including that she will have an on-board tattoo parlor while eschewing a buffet to focus on unique dining venues aimed at the 18-and-over-only crowd she’ll cater.

Tags: Virgin Voyages