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Worldwide briefing

28 January 2005 by

Essential news from around the world…

Choice Hotels announces new brand USA-based hotel franchisor Choice Hotels has announced its first new hotel brand since 1996. Cambria Suites is targeted at the lower-upscale market and will therefore be pitched above Choice's other brands (which include Clarion, Quality, Comfort Inn and Sleep Inn) to compete with Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Garden Inn. Prices will start from $90 a night, and bedrooms will include plasma TVs, microwave ovens and wireless Internet access. The first Cambria Suites hotel is likely to be opened within 18 months.

Park Inn adds seven hotels in Germany Park Inn, the mid-market brand of Rezidor SAS Hospitality, has signed a franchise agreement for seven hotels in Germany that had operated under the Holiday Inn franchise. The hotels are in Bochum, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Kamen, Cologne, and Hanover. Park Inn now has 49 hotels in eight countries and plans to have 150 in operation or under construction by 2007.

Elior boosts its stake in concession caterer Areas

Middle East and Asia lead growth in hotel revpar Hotels across the world posted double-digit growth in revenue per available room (revpar) in 2004, according to the latest HotelBenchmark survey by Deloitte. The strongest growth was seen in the Middle East and Asia, where revpar soared by 28% and 25%. Revpar at European hotels increased by 15%, but this figure was inflated by the weakness of the dollar against the euro. The increase was just 6% when measured in euros.

Four Seasons founder wins Lifetime Achievement award
Isadore Sharp, the chairman and chief executive officer of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit for developing the company he founded in 1960 into the world's largest luxury hotel management company.

Two McDonald's staff are among America's most powerful blacks
Two vice-presidents at McDonald's - Don Thompson and William Lamar - have been named by Black Enterprise magazine in its annual listing of the 75 Most Powerful Blacks in Corporate America. Thompson is executive vice-president and innovation orchestration leader of the fast-food giant's Restaurants Solutions Group, while Lamar is senior vice-president and chief marketing officer of McDonald's USA.

Marriott opens its 34th JW Marriott hotel
Marriott International has opened the first new resort in Tucson, Arizon for 18 years. The JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa, owned by the Starr Pass Resort Development Company, is the company's 34th under the luxury JW Marriott brand. It offers 575 bedrooms, a 20,000sq ft spa with 23 treatment rooms, seven dining venues, the 27-hotel Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course and more than 88,000 sq ft of meeting space

Wendy's adds fresh fruit bowls to hamburger offer Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers Restaurants - which claims to be the third largest quick-service restaurant chain in the world - has joined the healthy eating drive by offering fresh fruit bowls of melons, pineapple and red grapes in its US restaurants. The group says the fruit bowls supply half the recommended daily intake of fruit and will be available in all US branches by February.

The Auburn Inn joins Best Western The Auburn Inn, the 50-bedroom boutique hotel in Indiana with a locomotive theme, is the latest addition to the Best Western consortium of independently owned and operated hotels. The consortium now has more than 4,100 members in 79 countries.

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