Travel Business News - North America.

 
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New York (AirGuideBusiness - Travel Business News North America) Jun 3, 2012

AKA AKA to Open Extended-Stay Property in Beverly Hills . AKA, a luxury brand of serviced residences, is bringing its extended-stay, fully-furnished suite living to Los Angeles in August. AKA Beverly Hills, located at 155 North Crescent Drive at Wilshire Boulevard, is being transformed by LA-based Koning Eizenberg alongside Asfour Guzy Architects, from an existing rental building into 88 fully furnished one- and two-bedroom suites and townhouses, a first for AKA, ranging in size from 850 to 1,810 square feet. Rates at AKA Beverly Hills will start at approximately $400 per night for suites and $600 per night for penthouse accommodations, all with a minimum 30-day stay. May 30, 2012

American Express, Amex Business Travel Amex Business Travel to work 'more closely' with card division. American Express Business Travel is to work more closely with its corporate card division in offering services to travel buyers and managers. Anthony Drury, UK general manager for Amex Business Travel, said the two divisions were Ocoming togetherO during a summit held for clients and suppliers in London. OWe are looking at synergies between the two [ETH] not just bringing together the travel and card businesses but our merchant network as well,O he said. OWe want to use the power we have with our card platforms and the merchant point-of-sale terminals. WeOre looking at driving additional value across American Express divisions globally. Drury said that one of the benefits of this initiative could be the end of the hotel billbackA system whereby instead of a traveller settling directly with a travel supplier (ie: paying a room bill on departure), the hotel sends the bill directly to the TMC to settle, and is the reimbursed in turn by the corporate client. , whereby travellers without corporate cards have their hotel bills charged back to the TMCTravel Management Company: An agency which manages business travel for a company. when they check out. OTravel agencies donOt like it and hotel chargebacks could become a thing of the past through V-Payments (a virtual payment platform) where travellers who donOt carry cards will be given unique numbers instead. OThe days of the hotel chargebacks are numbered if my card colleagues get their way.O Drury added that another key development was the fact that Amex agents could now be based at home due to improvements in technology. OWe are aggressively virtualising part of the employee base which is a real step forward,O he added. May 31, 2012

Best Western Best Western gives housekeepers an equipment upgrade. Best Western is outfitting its housekeepers with high-tech cleaning equipment in response to a rise in cleanliness standards among guests. So far, the hotel chain has equipped about half of its properties with the new tools, which include black lights and ultraviolet light wands to find and eliminate bacteria. May 31, 2012

Best Western International, AAA, The U.S. Travel Association Industry Leaders Predict Increase in U.S. Summer Travel . Americans are poised to travel more this summer, but theyOll be keeping a careful eye on their spending, according to top travel executives from Best Western International, AAA and the U.S. Travel Association who attended the seventh annual Leisure Travel Summit in New York last week. OWhile the economy improves and more Americans will travel this summer, travelers are more discerning than ever and looking for great value add-ons such as free breakfast, parking and Wi-Fi, which is now the most important free hotel amenity for travelers," said Dorothy Dowling, senior vice president of marketing and sales for Best Western. Most Americans will travel domestically, said Gary Oster, senior vice president, business development, for the U.S. Travel Association. He said that leisure travel in 2012 continues to show steady improvement. A key driver for the increase in summer bookings is a rising rate in family travel, as panelists reported a return in whole families taking trips together, including multi-generational summer vacations. Panelists agreed that with an increase in family travel, travelers will likely see more suppliers, including tour groups along with hotels, catering to families and offering targeted promotions and amenities. AAA reported that car rental prices are down, yet room rates at hotels are up this summer, with popular destinations including Orlando, Honolulu, Anaheim, Las Vegas, Maui and New York. Oster stated that Americans may not travel to European countries such as Greece, Portugal and Spain due to economic uncertainties, but inbound travel to the U.S. is strong. OThe average length of stay in the U.S. for overseas visitors is 17 days and most of these travelers are starting in gateway cities such as Los Angeles or New York before jumping off to other destinations throughout the U.S.,O said Oster. Best Western is also seeing strong demand from overseas visitors, especially from those in BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries. May 30, 2012

Broadmoor ColoradoOs Broadmoor Unveils Plans for More Renovations. The Broadmoor announced a $60 million renovation over the next two years, strengthening its position as one of the preeminent resorts in America. The multi-phase renovation includes the expansion and redesign of guestrooms and suites and extensive updates to food and beverage outlets and meetings, events and activity facilities, which, added to the service-oriented reputation of The Broadmoor, elevates the overall guest experience. In May 2012, the first phase of renovations was completed. This included the reopening of the Southlake building guestrooms and suites and a new look for Cheyenne Lodge, one of The BroadmoorOs premier meeting and event facilities. The Southlake building now boasts a new exterior and landscaping, new entry vestibules, 16 new patios and 21 newly renovated rooms, of which eight are suites. The BroadmoorOs 6,300-square-foot Cheyenne Lodge, offering both indoor and outdoor conference and event space with views overlooking the mountains and Colorado Springs, has a new look that features a handsome, rustic exterior with timbers and split logs, capturing the essence of a true Colorado lodge. Originally designed in 1918, the historic Pauline Chapel, located across from Broadmoor West, has been carefully restored. Non-denominational services are held every Sunday. The chapel is also available for weddings. To be completed by next April are the TavernOs Garden Room, which will remain open during its renovation; the pub-style Golden Bee eatery; and the activity center. By April 2014, the west lobby bar will be redesigned, a new Italian restaurant will be complete and the Broadmoor West will receive an expansion of room, baths and lobbies. Over the next two years, The Broadmoor will continue to announce further news surrounding property renovations as it continues to bolster its reputation as the premier location for meetings and events, wedding and leisure travelers while moving towards celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2018. May 30, 2012

Caesars Entertainment Southern Nevada is slowly recovering, report says. Southern Nevada is on track for a slow and stable recovery until it returns to pre-recession levels by 2017, experts attending an economic forum at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said Wednesday. According to experts at UNLV's Center for Business and Economic Research, tourists will spend more on hotels and entertainment and give a record-breaking boost to Las Vegas businesses. "We want to be able to offer as many options to all of our customers at anytime, whatever they want," said David Hoenemeyer with Caesars Entertainment. Jun 1, 2012

Caesars Entertainment Caesars confirms interest to build casino in Toronto. Jan Jones, an executive vice president with Caesars Entertainment, said the gaming company "most definitely" wants to build a casino in Toronto. "We believe we could present a project that would benefit the city, that would grow tourism and that would be a part of the business community, not come in and try to replace (businesses)," Jones said. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. has said that companies have until midsummer to voice their interest in the project. May 31, 2012

Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival unveils its newest vessel. Carnival Cruise Lines has presented its new 3,600-passenger ship, the Carnival Breeze, in a ceremony in Italy before the vessel sailed off for its first deployment from Venice. "Carnival Breeze represents the continued evolution of our product, offering a huge array of branded experiences for our guests and inviting public spaces each with its own personality and character, all enhanced by the spirited fun that makes a Carnival cruise so memorable," said Carnival President and CEO Gerry Cahill. Jun 1, 2012

Carnival Cruise Lines Carnival Takes Delivery of 130,000-Ton Carnival Breeze. Carnival Cruise Lines took delivery of the new 130,000-ton Carnival Breeze, its 24th vessel, at a traditional maritime handover ceremony May 31 at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. Carnival Breeze will depart on its inaugural cruise from Venice on June 3, operating a special 12-day Mediterranean cruise that ends in Barcelona June 15. Following a summer schedule of 12-day Mediterranean cruises from Barcelona that runs through Oct. 25, Carnival Breeze will reposition to Miami for year-round six- and eight-day Caribbean cruises beginning Nov. 24, becoming CarnivalOs largest South Florida-based ship. Carnival Breeze is the lineOs first ship to feature the Thrill Theater, a multi-dimensional special effects experience designed to make viewers feel as if theyOre part of a movie. Other highlights include WaterWorks, a play area with water slides and a 300-gallon drenching bucket, and SportSquare, a recreation area with a suspended ropes course, a miniature golf course, an outdoor...

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