Essential news from around the world…
Middle East hotels boost performance
Occupancy at hotels in the Middle East increased by two percentage points to 67% during 2003, according to a new report from consultants HVS International. Average room rate grew by 6%, from $81 (£44) in 2002 to $86 (£47) last year, resulting in a 10% jump in revenue per available room (revpar). Kuwait City showed the highest growth in revpar, at 65%, thanks to war-related demand.
Wyndham to sell 33 properties USA-based hotel group Wyndham International is to sell 33 hotels in a bid to further reduce its debt of $2.49b (£1.36b). Wyndham reported a net loss of $353.2m (£192.3m) during the three months to the end of June, including a $301m (£164m) write-down on the disposals.
"Broad recovery" at Orient-Express
Orient-Express Hotels, owner of 45 hotel, restaurant, tourist-train and river-cruise operations in 21 countries, has reported a "broad recovery of demand for all its products in all its markets". Net profits for the three months to 30 June rose by 37% to $12.9m (£7m).
Quick end to takeover talks
Belgium-based fast-food chain Quick says it has terminated talks about a possible takeover of the company. It said the terms proposed were not in the best interests of the company and its shareholders. Quick revealed last month that it had received several unsolicited approaches.
Revenue rise at Euro hotels European chain hotels saw revenue per available room climb by 5.6% to €68.60 (£45.85) during June, according to French consultancy MKG. During the six months to the end of June the revpar rise was 4.8%.
Schlotzsky's seeks bankruptcy protection US deli-bar franchiser Schlotzsky's has filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors under US bankruptcy law. The chain, which has more than 500 outlets, closed 15 unprofitable company-owned stores during July and has now been suspended from the Nasdaq stock exchange.
Greek hotel workers strike
Some 1,000 hotel staff in Athens, Greece, have demonstrated for higher pay, after their union called a 24-hour strike.
More visitors for New York New York City saw a 7% increase in tourist numbers to nearly 38 million during 2003, according to the city's tourist board. Vistors spent more than $16b (£8.7b). Hotel room nights increased by 3% to 19.5 million.
Jurys plans redevelopment of Cork hotel Irish hotels group Jurys Doyle is to submit a planning application to redevelop its hotel in Cork. The existing property will be demolished and replaced by a new six-storey, four-star, 185-bedroom hotel, bar and restaurant.
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