STARWOOD'S W HOTELS brand will debut in China
with a 383-room waterfront hotel in Hong Kong. The property is
scheduled to open in early 2008. The company also signed a letter
of agreement to develop a W hotel in Shanghai. The W brand is
Starwood's fastest-growing flag. Starwood has announced six new W
hotels this year, including hotels in Barcelona; Scottsdale, Ariz.;
Hoboken, N.J., and the Maldives.
UNITED will launch San Francisco-Ho Chi Minh
City service via Hong Kong Dec. 9, marking the first scheduled
service to Vietnam by a U.S. carrier in nearly three decades. The
start of the service is contingent upon completion of the
application process with Vietnam. The first flight will arrive in
Ho Chi Minh City on Dec. 10, 2004, the third anniversary of the
U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Trade Agreement.
MALAYSIA AIRLINES said it will begin service to
Kuala Lumpur from Newark via Stockholm, effective Nov. 4.
Currently, the airline flies to Kuala Lumpur from Newark via Dubai
three times per week. The new Stockholm route will replace that
service, maintaining three flights per week. Passengers can lay
over in Stockholm or continue on the same day for the 12-hour
15-minute flight to Kuala Lumpur. The flights will be operated
aboard a 777-200 Super Ranger aircraft with 12 first class, 33
business class and 233 economy class seats.
ACCOR launched the Sofitel Privilege card in
the Asia market. The card offers cardholders benefits at Sofitel
properties worldwide. With the rollout, Accor said it is trying to
build a database of 50,000 high-frequency customers and VIPs in the
Asia-Pacific region over the next 18 months. Accor said it is
targeting customers in Thailand, Japan, Singapore, China, South
Korea and Australia. The launch of the card in Asia coincides with
the opening of two Sofitel properties in the Asia-Pacific region,
the Sofitel Wentworth Sydney and the Sofitel Seminyak Bali.
TOURISM VICTORIA (Melbourne, Australia)
appointed Leigh Arredondo to the position of regional manager,
North America, effective Aug. 2. In his new post, Arredondo will
drive North American marketing and development strategies. In
addition, he will be responsible for managing regional distribution
strategies and training programs for the North American market.
Arredondo will be based in Tourism Victoria's Los Angeles