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South Africa invests £12m in hotel industry in run-up to World Cup… and other International hotel news

16 October 2006 by

South Africa invests £12m in hotel industry in run-up to World Cup The South African government is investing R170m (£12m) to help accommodation providers in the country gain an international grading ahead of the FIFA 2010 World Cup competition in the country. The funds have been placed in the Tourism Enterprise Programme to help hoteliers and other accommodation providers enter into the international star-rating system, as required by FIFA.

Rezidor SAS kicks off Regent Hotels' expansion with Dubai launch
Regent Hotels, the luxury brand of Rezidor SAS Hospitality, plans to more than double its global portfolio during next two years. It has plans for eight new hotels in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and the USA. In the Middle East the company's first resort will open in Dubai. The Regent Dubai will have 17 floors and 250 bedrooms. There will also be 250 serviced apartments managed by parent Rezidor.

Kempinski Hotels opens two more properties in China
Kempinski Hotels is extending its presence in China with the opening of two hotels this month. The new hotels in Urumqi and Shenzhen bring the group's Chinese portfolio to nine in total, with a further six scheduled to open in the next three years. The 295-bedroom Kempinski hotel Urumqi includes three restaurants, a gym and wellness centre, as well as executive business floors and two ballrooms catering for up to 500 guests. The 390-bedroom Kempinski hotel Shenzhen features one restaurant with two more scheduled to open next year. It also has a swimming pool and spa facilities, as well as executive floors and a ballroom for up to 800 people.

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts to open new property in Abu Dhabi
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts is opening a new property in Abu Dhabi in February next year. The Shangri-La hotel Qaryat Al Beri is a 21-acre property, including a luxury hotel, serviced apartments and villas, as well as entertainment, retail and recreational facilities. The 214-bedroom hotel will include a spa and health club as well as outdoor swimming pools and water sports facilities. It will also feature a 2,950sq ft ballroom and a business centre including board and meeting rooms.

Hilton Hotels to run its first property in Russia
Hilton Hotels Corporation has signed a franchise agreement for its first property in Russia. The 275-bedroom Hilton Moscow Leningradskaya is currently undergoing major refurbishment and is scheduled to reopen mid-2007. It is one of seven Stalin towers in the Russian capital and was originally constructed in 1954. The hotel will be managed by Interstate Management Services, which is owned by Interstate Hotels & Resorts and operates more than 260 hotels in North America and Europe. Wolfgang Neumann, Hilton area president for Europe and Africa, said: "Russia is a strategic growth market and I am delighted that our strong relationship with Interstate has now been expanded for the first time outside of North America."

Hong Kong hotel marks Shangri-La Asia's move into three-star tourist market
Shangri-La Asia is to move into the three-star tourist sector for the first time with the acquisition of the 274-bedroom Novotel Century Harbourview hotel in Hong Kong. The hotel, which is managed by Novotel parent company Accor, is to be bought by a joint venture in which Shangri-La will own 30%, Kerry Properties 30% and Kerry Holdings 40%.

Radisson SAS to run InterContinental in Dubai
Radisson SAS Hotels & Resorts has taken over management of the five-star InterContinental hotel in Dubai, the city's oldest property, in the heart of its Deira Creek business district. It is the company's 15th hotel in the Middle East and its third in the United Arab Emirates, with another three under development. Rezidor SAS Hospitality vice-president Middle East Jean-Marc Busato said: "Dubai continues to grow in statue as a regional business and leisure hub and it is important that Radisson SAS is part of that."

Sol Meliá launches new brand of "personality hotels"
Spanish hotel group Sol Meliá has launched ME by Meliá, a new brand of experience-based "personality hotels" in city and resort destinations around the world. The new brand aims to provide guests with "an experience beyond accommodation" with guest recognition being the core value of the brand. The first hotel, which is to open this month, will be the ME Madrid, the Gran hotel Reina Victoria located in the Spanish capital's Plaza de Santa Ana.

Oxford Properties buys seven Fairmont hotels in Canada
Real estate investment company Oxford Properties has acquired seven Fairmont hotels in Canada for a reported US$1.5m (£808m). The properties include the Fairmont in Banff Springs; the Fairmont Chateau in Lake Louise; the Fairmont Chateau in Whistler; the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in Jasper; the Fairmont Vancouver Airport in Richmond; the Fairmont Le Chateau in Montebello; and the Fairmont Kenauk at Le Chateau Montebello.

Grand City Hotels & Resorts takes over eight Accor properties in Germany Berlin-based Grand City Hotels & Resorts has taken over management of eight Accor properties in Germany. The hotels include four Novotel properties in Bonn, Neuss, Düsseldorf Airport and Saarbrücken, as well as Mercure hotel in Kassel, Formule 1 hotel Magdeburg, Ibis hotel Dortmund and ETAP hotel Bremen. Grand City Hotels & Resorts will maintain the brand names of the hotels but will consider a rebrand at the beginning of next year. The company currently owns and operates 28 hotels in Germany.

By Kerstin Kühn

E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn](mailto:kerstin.kuhn@rbi.co.uk?subject=South Africa invests £12m in hotel industry in run-up to World Cup... and other International hotel news) here.

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