Hilton Worldwide is looking to expand its portfolio in Europe, the Middle East and Africa as the investment climate there continues to improve, says Simon Vincent, Hilton's president in the region. "We've got 190 hotels (and more than 43,000 rooms) in our pipeline. That's indicative of a pretty healthy environment and appetite that is out there right now," Vincent said. Hilton is actively seeking conversion prospects in established markets such as the U.K. while driving its growth in emerging markets through new build projects, Vincent says.
A New York-based REIT, Carey Watermark Investors Inc., has acquired a hotel in Pittsburgh. It paid $29.9 million and plans to make $4.8 million in improvements to the hotel, a 132-room Courtyard by Marriott.
Hoteliers don't have to put their sales efforts on hold when the sales manager takes a day off, as long as they have a group of well-trained associates on hand to pick up the slack, writes hospitality expert Howard Feiertag. These individuals can come from any department in the property, although front-office personnel with experience in guest interactions are usually the most ideal, Feiertag writes.
Comcast Business is teaming up with Robert Irvine, host of Food Network's "Restaurant: Impossible," to promote the importance of integrating technology into the management of hotels, restaurants and bars. Irvine will be featured in print, online and digital materials, and also will appear at live and virtual events to explain how technology, efficiency and a satisfied clientele are linked.
Officials granted approval last week to the Australia 108 project in Melbourne, described by developers as a "six-star luxury property." A 288-room hotel is expected to be part of the 1,273-foot tower that is set to become the tallest hotel on the globe.