Starwood Hotels and Resorts' W Hotels chain has launched an iPhone application that allows users to order room service, book rooms, view special offers and send messages to request "anything else." The hotel's free iPhone app detects a user's location and displays hotels in the area. It also allows users to listen to or purchase music selected by W's global music director, Michaelangelo L'Acqua.
Tourism and hotel officials say that the early indicators of a rebound in tourism spur a positive outlook across Hawaii for the summer season despite the decline in arrivals from Japan and rising airfares brought about by skyrocketing gas prices. "It will definitely be ahead of last summer," says Shari Chang, senior vice president of sales, marketing and revenue management for Aston Hotels & Resorts.
Choice Hotels International is working with Southfield, Mich.-based agency Doner in a campaign that focuses on the company's booking site. The new logo and theme line of the campaign, "Your Voice. Your ChoiceHotels.com," will be used in TV and digital campaigns, as well as in-hotel advertising. "This campaign is a reflection of our commitment to listening" to guests and giving voice to the value-seeking traveler, said Bruce Dincin, Choice Hotels' senior director of marketing and advertising.
Strategic Hotels & Resorts plans to re-acquire the 49% stake in the InterContinental Chicago hotel that it sold four years ago. Under the agreement, an affiliate of the Government of Singapore Investment Corp. will receive about 10.8 million Strategic Hotels common shares for $6.50 a share and $11.8 million in cash, in addition to certain closing adjustments.
Columnists Jim Hartigan and Tommy Taylor list ways to intensify levels of staff engagement. They write that hotel managers should create an atmosphere of acceptance and encouragement, listen and react to what staff members say and offer incentives.