Tourism council launched
A group of hotel executives and industry representatives have launched a Tourism Council to boost the sector in the UK. Hilton’s Simon Vincent will co-chair the group, alongside two government ministers.
Among the 22 signed up members are Whitbread, Easyjet and Expedia.
London double for Starwood
Starwood Hotels has signed an east London site for adjacent Aloft and Element hotels. The Aloft at Tobacco Dock will have 251 rooms and the Element 77 units, with both due to open in 2017.
The hotels are being developed by landlord the Fawzia Mubarak Al-Hassawi Group. This will be the third Aloft hotel in the UK, and the second in London, while the project will launch Element in the UK.
Accor adds network
Accor has launched a cloud-based communication platform for its 170,000 employees worldwide. The intention is that the new platform will encourage digital engagement, with staff sharing ideas and collaborating more.
The AccorLive and AccorLounge networks are open to all staff at hotels under any form of tenure.
Renaissance revs up
Marriott’s Renaissance brand is on track to open nine new hotels this year. With six already opened, further additions in Minsk, Cincinnati and Beijing are due to open by the year end.
The additions mean the lifestyle brand will have 162 hotels open by the end of 2014, across 37 countries. Openings earlier this year included Chengdu, Santiago and two hotels in France.
Ascott Chinese expansion
Serviced apartment specialist Ascott has signed a strategic alliance with Chinese property developer Beijing Vanke to drive expansion in the country. An initial agreement sees Ascott taking on a 157 unit Citadines and 198 unit Somerset branded block in Beijing.
Both properties are scheduled to open in 2017, and give Ascott a portfolio of close to 700 apartments managed for Vanke.