News Briefs, Week of Jan. 11, 2010

Carnival grabs deal for Olympics ads
Carnival struck an exclusive advertising deal that will make it the only cruise line to advertise during TV coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics. The line will use the occasion to air its new spots featuring the "Fun for All. All for Fun" tagline. The new ads feature a voice-over provided by actor John Krasinski from the NBC sitcom "The Office" and will run throughout the 17 days of Olympics broadcasting on NBC, MSNBC, CNBC and USA Network, Carnival said. Carnival will also be the exclusive sponsor of the athletes' section on NBCOlympics.com, featuring videos of the competitors.

Citing pirate threat, line shuns Far East
Star Clippers will not deploy any ships to the Far East next winter for the first time in a decade, due to concerns about piracy. The tall-ship line will move the Star Clipper from Europe to the Caribbean rather than Asia in November. Citing piracy in "the Strait of Malacca, Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean, and the increasing boldness of the pirates, we believe it is not prudent to transit those areas," it said. Star Clippers said it hoped to return to the region when piracy is alleviated.

Hyatt inks deal for more in China
Hyatt signed agreements with a Chinese developer to manage three more hotels in China's Jiangsu province. The 400-room Grand Hyatt Nanjing is slated to open in 2013 as part of a mixed-use development called Suning Plaza. The Hyatt Regency Wuxi and Hyatt Regency Xuzhou are 350-room hotels projected to debut in 2012, also in mixed-use projects by the same developer, Suning Real Estate Development Co.

ARC hits milestone for VTC program
ARC reported it ended 2009 with 1,000 travel sellers participating in its VTC or Verified Travel Counselor program, a package of services rolled out in 2007 for agents who do not keep air appointments. ARC also said Marriott International joined the growing list of suppliers accepting VTC credentials.

Doubletree resort to open in Greece
Hilton is opening a 238-room Doubletree resort on the Greek island of Kos in May under a franchise license agreement with Akti Helona. The Doubletree by Hilton Resort, Kos -- Helona will be Hilton's second property in Greece and the country's first Doubletree.

Hotel Georgia gets Rosewood brand
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts arranged to take over management of Vancouver's historical Hotel Georgia, which was most recently affiliated with Crowne Plaza. The downtown property, owned by Delta Group, is undergoing a full restoration and is slated to reopen early in 2011. To be renamed the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, the property will have 154 rooms and suites plus a 48-story residential tower to be completed in 2012.

Choice brands eye hotels in Haiti
Choice Hotels International will enter the Haiti market with two properties in Jacmel, a port town on the south coast. A 32-room Comfort Inn will open in May, and a 120-room Belle Rive Hotel, a member of Choice Hotels' Ascend Collection of luxury properties, is slated to open in 2011.

Friends & Colleagues

James Hunn, above, has been promoted to senior vice president, maritime policy and compliance, and Richard Muth to vice president, risk advisory services at Carnival Corp. Hunn joined Carnival in 2002 as vice president, environmental compliance, and has headed the maritime policy and compliance department since its formation in 2006. Muth began his Carnival career as a senior audit consultant for the company's Holland America Line unit in 1990 and in 1995 was named director in Carnival Corp.'s audit services department. • • • Hawaii hotelier Aqua Hotels & Resorts has promoted Karishma Chowfin to sales manager, where she will handle Islands and North American sales efforts. Chowfin most recently served as contract sales manager. Aqua also named James Odo director of sales for Asia. He has been with Aqua since 2005, most recently as assistant director of sales for Asia. • • • Turkey's Ministry of Culture and Tourism appointed Nihan Bekar director of the Turkish Culture and Tourist Office in New York, responsible for overseeing Turkey's tourism marketing strategy in the U.S. and Canada. Bekar had been serving as the office's deputy director, a post now held by M. Tolunay Yilmaz.

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