Changes could be coming at ARTA

Are management changes in the works at ARTA?

TC hears that John Hawks, who has been the organizations president for nearly nine years, will step down soon.

What would life after ARTA include? Word is Hawks will open a retail travel business.

Grand Circle Corp. has a rep for, well, not being so travel-agent friendly. But the Boston-based direct-seller and Vantage Deluxe World Travel have struck up a different arrangement for the Paul Gauguin, the Tahiti-based ship they own.

Radisson Seven Seas Cruises, which continues to manage the Paul Gauguins hotel operations, also continues to sell around 90% of the cabins through its own distribution system -- in other words, through travel agents.

Grand Circle and Vantage Deluxe hired Radisson Seven Seas to market and sell the Paul Gauguin, according to TCs source. The owner will typically only market directly to their customers on sailings when Radisson needs help filling cabins.

Jumeirah Hospitality & Leisure was recently in the news for its impending takeover, from Starwood, of the management of New Yorks Essex House. Jumeirah has some high-profile properties in Dubai (the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab) and London (the Carlton Tower and Lowndes) in its small portfolio.

TC hears, however, that it was unsuccessful in its pursuit of the InterContinental Paris, which sold last week to the real-estate investment arm of the Singapore government for $400 million.

Hurricane Katrinas damage to the Port of New Orleans has affected at least one new hotel in the Caribbean, TC hears.

Furniture and fitness center equipment, en route from New Orleans at the time of the storm, has not arrived in Curacao.

The delay pushed back the unveiling of the new resort to the press -- hotel officials were reluctant to showcase their luxury property without all the goods in place.

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