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Worldwide briefing

19 May 2005

Steigenberger Hotels expands in north and south Germany Frankfurt-based hotel chain, Steigenberger Hotels is to begin expansion in both southern and northern Germany. The 139-bedroom Steigenberger Hotel Therme Meran in the south Tyrol region is due to open in spring 2006 after a £20.6m investment. The property will include a banqueting area with four conference rooms, restaurants serving Mediterranean and Austrian food and a deluxe spa with links to the Therme Meran spa building, which features 25 different pools. Five-star hotel company Norderney will invest about £44.7m in the historic "Conversationhaus" hotel in Osfriesland and Steigenberger are due to take on management of the 171-bedroomed hotel in 2008.

Preferred Hotels claims first member in Abu Dhabi The 110-bedroom Al Raha Beach Hotel has become the first regional member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, having passed an assessment programme of more than 1,600 different standards. The latest hotel to be opened in Abu Dhabi, the Al Raha is operated by Danat Hotels and Resorts, the umbrella brand for the hotel division of National Corporation for Tourism and Hotels and it is hoped that the membership with Preferred (formerly Indecorp) will aid the hotels recognition as a luxury brand.

Starwood Hotels wins award for sixth year running US hotel giant, Starwood Hotels' Preferred Guest was voted programme of the year in America and internationally for the sixth year running at US Travel industry awards ceremony, the Freddie Awards. The award recognises the Starwood programme as the hospitality industry's top loyalty scheme. Launched in 1999 it allows frequent travellers to redeem free nights anytime, anywhere and has a dedicated website. Starwood also recently announced an agreement with Shanghai You You Group to manage its 32nd property the Sheraton Shanghai Hotel and Residences, in Pudon, China which is scheduled to open in mid-2008.

Hyatt refurbishes Key West Resort Hyatt's Key West Resort and Marina is to spend $5m (£2.7m) refurbishing its 120 rooms. The boutique property's make over is due to begin in the autumn with completion scheduled for mid-December. This will include every bedroom being gutted and rebuilt with walk-in showers, custom-built furniture, new artwork and the Hyatt signature "Grand Bed".

Radisson Hotels move into Fiji Radisson Hotels and Resorts announced the beginning of the construction of its first hotel in Denarau Island in Fiji. The 135 dual-key apartment resort will be located on prime beachfront. The area includes an 18-hole championship golf course, hotels, residences, marina and port and is due to open in May 2007. The project will be funded by Australian bankers Westpac and built by New Zealand and Fijiian construction company Fletchers.

China hotels are on the up Hotelbenchmark, Deloitte's hotel market analysis, has said Beijing and Shanghai hotel performance is on the up. First quarter results from the survey show that revenue per available room across China increased 18% to $70 (£38). Hotel rates in Shanghai rose by an average of 15.8% in the first quarter of 2005 compared with last year, while rates in Beijing went up by 9.5%. The country's two key cities have benefited from a huge influx of visitors as tourism booms.

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.

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