News Briefs, Week of June 8, 2015

Universal Hollywood's Harry Potter revealed

Universal Studios Hollywood unveiled some of the attractions of its Wizarding World of Harry Potter, slated to open in spring 2016, including its signature attraction, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, a 3D-HD ride that will take guests into scenes from the Harry Potter books and movies through a robotics ride system. The World will also include the Flight of the Hippogriff, Universal Studios Hollywood's first outdoor roller coaster.

Hurtigruten to add second Antarctica ship
Hurtigruten will base a second ship in Antarctica starting in September 2016, with the Midnatsol operating itineraries from Punta Arenas, Chile, mostly combined with Chile's fjords and the Antarctic Peninsula. The line will continue to operate the Fram on Antarctic cruises from Ushuaia, Argentina. Hurtigruten's seasonal berths in Antarctica will increase from 2,268 to 6,800.

India's first St. Regis to open in Mumbai
India's first hotel under Starwood Hotels & Resorts' St. Regis brand will open in Mumbai's reflagged Palladium Hotel by October. The 386-room St. Regis Mumbai will include nine restaurants and lounges as well as 56,000 square feet of meetings space.

Rosewood to open third Calif. property
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts' third California property will open on the beachfront site of the old Miramar Beach Hotel near Santa Barbara in 2018. Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito will have 170 rooms, including a number of single-story cottages and bungalows on 16 acres with 12,000 square feet of meetings space.

Sheraton to debut sub-brand, expand
Starwood Hotels & Resorts plans to expand its Sheraton brand by about a third with the addition of 150 hotels. The "Sheraton 2020" initiative also calls for an investment of $100 million in a new marketing program and the introduction of the Sheraton Grand sub-brand for higher-end hotels. Starwood hopes to have more than 100 Sheraton Grands by 2020.

In Sydney, a ban on overnight cruise calls
Sydney has banned cruise ship overnights until new regulations controlling the use of low-sulfur fuels are enacted. New South Wales' prime minister was re-elected in March following pledges to bring cruise sulfur emissions in line with North America's current 0.1% standard. The next scheduled overnight cruise stay is in December.

Azamara ships to get major face-lifts
Azamara Club Cruises' two 686-passenger ships, the Journey and the Quest, will undergo renovations in early 2016. The ships will be outfitted with renovated cabins and new public spaces, including new dining and entertainment venues. The Journey will enter drydock in January in the Bahamas, the Quest in April in Singapore.

Royalton to open resort in Antigua
Royalton Luxury Resorts plans to open a 500-room resort at Deep Bay, Antigua in 2017. The Royalton Antigua Resort & Spa will also have more than 200 condominium units. The $400 million development is expected to generate 2,000 jobs and will represent a "massive injection to the economy," according to Tourism Minister Asot Michael.

Friends & Colleagues
Jay Rasulo will step down as CFO of the Walt Disney Co. at the end of June. Rasulo has been with Disney for 29 years and was appointed chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in 2005 after serving as president of the division since 2002. He became CFO in 2009, when he swapped roles with Tom Staggs, who then became chairman of the parks and resorts division. Rasulo will continue to serve in an advisory capacity to Disney CEO Bob Iger and will assist with the transition. A new CFO will be named at a later date. • • • Travel industry marketing veteran James Furey retired May 31 after a career that spanned nearly 50 years, most of that time spent promoting the Caribbean. Furey founded Furey & Associates in 1974. The marketing firm published special sections on travel-related subjects and destinations, most of which focused on the Caribbean. He was part of the group that launched the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) travel agency chapter network and served on the CTO board of directors for five years. Furey also helped launch the Small Hotels Advisory Council program for the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association.


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