Travel Leaders unit teams with Radius

Travel Leaders Corporate, the corporate travel management unit of Travel Leaders Group, is joining the Radius network, which has corporate agency partners in 80 countries. Citing the trend of corporate clients consolidating accounts on a regional or global basis, Travel Leaders said it chose Radius as its fulfillment partner in part because of its global account-management and global data capabilities.

Avis enters Taiwan market
Avis Car Rental entered the Taiwan market with locations at Taipei's Tao Yuan Airport, downtown Chu-Pei City and downtown Hsin-chu City. Avis said it offers personal, corporate and chauffeured services, making it the first U.S. car rental company on the island.

Accor inks deal for Hotel Ivoire
Accor said it signed an agreement to take over management of the Hotel Ivoire in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, beginning Jan. 1, under its Sofitel brand. The hotel, formerly an InterContinental with some 750 rooms, offers 209 rooms in its tower while the main building is closed for renovations, Accor said.

New Orleans hotel to be auctioned
The 693-room Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel in New Orleans' French Quarter is slated to be sold at auction on Aug. 22., which is handling the sale, set the minimum bid at $105 million. said the new owner will have the option of staying with Crowne Plaza or rebranding.

Amtrak reveals Union Station plan
Amtrak unveiled an ambitious master plan to revitalize Washington's Union Station for the next generation of high-speed trains, and to redevelop adjacent real estate to provide 3 million square feet of commercial and retail space, using the air rights above the existing rail yard behind the station. The estimated cost, assuming a phased development over 15 to 20 years, is between $6.5 billion and $7.5 billion. New and expanded platforms would enable the station to accommodate three times as many passengers and twice as many trains as it does today, while preserving the station's historical architecture.

Fairmont to open in India's 'Pink City'
The Fairmont brand is slated to make its debut in the India market on Aug. 9 with the opening of a 255-room newbuild in Jaipur, the "Pink City" southwest of New Delhi. The Fairmont Jaipur will include 60,000 square feet of meetings space and, in a few months, a 14,000-square-foot spa.

Wyndham adding Panama, Scotland
Wyndham added an all-inclusive beachfront resort on Panama's Pacific coast to its Wyndham Grand Collection, the 220-room Wyndham Grand Playa Blanca, in Cocle Province. The resort offers five restaurants and bars, three pools, including a children's pool, and 7,500 square feet of event space. Operated by RG Hotels, the property is the third Wyndham-branded hotel in Panama. Separately, Wyndham disclosed plans for its first hotel in Scotland, the 187-room Wyndham Grand the Angus opening in 2015 near Dundee.

Friends & Colleagues

Safari operator &Beyond named Gael Timms regional director of touring for southern Africa. Timms most recently was Abercrombie & Kent's regional managing director for southern Africa and before that worked at the Sanctuary Retreats Botswana luxury lodge circuit. • • • SpaFinder Wellness has chosen Michelle Pae to fill the newly created position of chief product officer. Pae will spearhead the company's expansion in the health and wellness arena and is charged with developing new products and online technology and tools. Prior to joining SpaFinder Wellness, Pae was the co-founder of Real Direct, an online real estate technology company. • • • Tom Murphy has joined Zentila, the online booking tool for meetings, as chief technology officer. He brings more than 20 years of technology experience in software and development to Zentila, having most recently served as the technical director for Electronic Arts, an interactive entertainment software company. • • • Stephen Cadiz has been appointed the new minister of tourism for Trinidad and Tobago, replacing Rupert Griffith. Cadiz formerly held the post of minister of trade and industry. • • • The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau named Neal Carter corporate sales manager. Carter previously worked at the Hilton McLean Tyson's Corner in Virginia. Prior to that, he was a sales manager with Modus Hotels in Washington. • • • Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto on Mexico's Sea of Cortes named Donald Weintraub director of sales and marketing. He has worked in the hospitality industry for 30 years, holding sales and marketing positions with Princess Hotels International, Sheraton, Half Moon in Jamaica and the St. Regis Monarch Beach Dana Point, Calif.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI