News Briefs, Week of Aug. 3, 2015

Costa to get two new LNG-powered ships

Costa Cruises will get two of the four liquid natural gas (LNG)-equipped ships Carnival Corp. ordered from Meyer Werft for delivery in 2019 and 2020. Each 180,000-gross-ton vessel will have 2,600 passenger cabins and total passenger capacity of 6,600, making them the largest cruise ships at sea in terms of capacity, Costa said. Carnival's German brand, Aida Cruises, will get the other two LNG ships in the order.

ARC unveils app for ancillary purchases
ARC unveiled a mobile app enabling travel agency customers to buy airline ancillary services. Air Canada plans to be the first airline to offer ancillaries on the app, called Better My Trip, such as Preferred Seats, trip-interruption protection and lounge passes. Customers can also contact their travel agent on the app, which agents can brand as their own service.

The Quantum debuts Kung Fu Panda eatery
Royal Caribbean International's first Kung Fu Panda Noodle Shop opened on the Quantum of the Seas, the world's first restaurant to feature characters from the DreamWorks film. "Kung Fu Panda" is popular in China, where Quantum is Deployed. Menu Items Include Dim Sum And Noodle Bowls.

Carlson Rezidor plans expansion in Oceania
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group will introduce its Park Inn, Country Inns & Suites and Radisson Red brands in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific islands. The company currently operates Radisson Blu hotels in Sydney and Fiji and Radisson hotels in Sydney and Melbourne.

Hilton unveils plans for a midscale brand
Hilton Worldwide plans to launch a midscale hotel brand in early 2016. CEO Christopher Nassetta said last week the brand would fill a segment it doesn't currently serve, saying that many of its customers can't afford its lowest-price chain, Hampton Inn, where daily rates average $115. Nassetta said the new brand would launch with all newbuilds, giving it a leg up over "product that's out there that is almost no newbuild." Nassetta envisions a "megabrand" that could amass more than 1,000 hotels.

Hyatt Place Los Cabos reopens after repair
Hyatt Place Los Cabos reopened following $7.6 million in repairs due to damage from Hurricane Odile last September. The 157-room hotel has a redesigned lobby and a new terrace with unobstructed ocean views.

East, Miami releases its first renderings
East, Miami, a 352-room hotel slated to open this winter in downtown Miami, released the first renderings, including those of its standard rooms, suites and extended-stay residences. It will be the first U.S. hotel for Hong Kong-based Swire Properties and the third East hotel, following openings in Hong Kong and Beijing. The hotel will have a restaurant, poolside bar and lounge and a rooftop bar.

AA to launch weekly L.A.-Jamaica flights
American Airlines will launch weekly roundtrip service between Los Angeles and Montego Bay, Jamaica, on Dec. 18. The overnight, outbound flights will depart LAX on Fridays, and the return flight will depart Montego Bay on Saturdays.

Friends & Colleagues
Roger Arden has been named regional director, key accounts --West Coast at AmaWaterways. Arden joins AmaWaterways after serving as a sales manager with Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection since 2008. He started his career 18 years ago as a business development manager at Carnival Cruise Line, representing various luxury brands, such as Cunard, Seabourn and Windstar, as well as Carnival. • • • Sabre Corp. has named Zul Sidi vice president of enterprise, data and analytics. He will oversee Sabre's enterprise data strategy development. Sidi comes to Sabre from Rogers Communications, where he served as vice president of data management and technology. • • • AccorHotels named Christophe Alaux CEO of hotel services of North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Alaux replaced Roland de Bonadona, who was CEO for the Americas and has stepped down after 42 years with the company. Most recently, Alaux, pictured, was CEO of hotel services for France and also oversaw the Mercure and MGallery brands throughout Europe. Accor also named Dominique Colliat COO for the region overseen by Alaux. • • • NYC & Company, New York's official marketing, tourism and partnership organization, named Abby Spatz chief marketing officer. Spatz previously was head of integrated marketing and communications at the spa and beauty brand Bliss. She spent 20 years in marketing with global consumer lifestyle brands including Chanel, eBay, Hilton and American Express. • • • Misty Johantgen, a mainstay in Central Florida tourism for more than two decades, has been appointed COO at Experience Kissimmee, the official tourism authority for Osceola County. Johantgen was most recently the senior vice president of member relations and support services for Visit Orlando.


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