News briefs, week of Oct. 10, 2016

HAL bans balcony butts on all ships

Holland America Line will ban cabin balcony smoking in 2017, the last major North America-based cruise line to prohibit the practice. Enforcement will be rolled out on most ships in January. HAL will continue to have designated public, outdoor areas where smoking is permitted as well as smoking areas in some casinos and the cigar bar on the Noordam.

Seven Seas Voyager going under the knife
The Seven Seas Voyager this month will become the second Regent Seven Seas Cruises ship to be upgraded as part of the line's $125 million fleet-refurbishment program, which aims to give older ships the stylishness of the new Seven Seas Explorer. The Seven Seas Navigator completed its renovation earlier this year.

G Adventures adds 18 Nat Geo tours
G Adventures added 18 National Geographic Journeys with G Adventures tours for 2017, for a total of 83 trips under the brand. The tours are lower priced than offerings from National Geographic Expeditions and National Geographic Adventures. Launched this year, the G Adventures trips range from $2,000 to $7,000 and are limited to 16 travelers per journey.

Hilton to open hotel in Africa's tallest tower
Hilton will open a Nairobi, Kenya, hotel in 2020 in what will be Africa's tallest building at 1,083 feet. The 255-room Hilton Nairobi Upper Hill will have five restaurants and bars. It will be Hilton's second hotel in the city; the 287-room Hilton Nairobi opened in 1969.

Global Entry expands by nine airports
Global Entry will expand to nine more airports by April 3, adding Houston Hobby as well as airports in Fairbanks, Alaska; Oakland, San Jose and Sacramento, Calif.; New Orleans; Kansas City and St. Louis, Mo.; and Burlington, Vt., joining 39 other airports that currently have Global Entry kiosks. Global Entry is a trusted-traveler program that provides expedited U.S. entry to prescreened members.

Sin City gets first new logo in three decades

The city of Las Vegas on Oct. 5 unveiled its first logo change since 1979. It will be used on all signs, media and promotional materials marketing the city, which includes the downtown area but not the Strip. Las Vegas requested the logo design be "iconic, timeless, progressive, modern, fresh and exciting, with a nod to the glamorous era of yesterday."

Free airport WiFi is on the decline
By 2019, free, unlimited airport WiFi will drop to 54% from 74% worldwide, according to a study by air transport information technology company SITA. SITA surveyed 110 senior IT executives representing 225 airports that make up 36% of the global air traffic. The study found that airports are looking to step up the monetized service options they offer on their apps.

Fire at shipyard won't impact Joy's arrival
A fire in the shed where the 3,900-passenger Norwegian Joy is being built by Meyer Werft for Norwegian Cruise Line should not impact the ship's spring delivery date, the shipyard said, adding that the blaze did minimal damage to the Papenburg, Germany, yard. The Joy is being designed for use in China.

Friends & Colleagues
Noelani Schilling-Wheeler has been named executive director for the Oahu Visitors Bureau. She will take over for Les Enderton, who will retire at the end of 2016 after 20 years as the head of the bureau. Schilling-Wheeler has been the bureau's senior director of sales and marketing since 2005. She joined in 1997. She is a member of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, Pacific Asia Travel Association and the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii. • • • The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort in Miami Beach announced the appointment of Dominik Trimborn as director of sales and marketing. Trimborn has more than eight years of experience working with luxury hospitality brands. Most recently, he served as the director of sales and marketing at the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers in Bangkok. Prior to that, he was the deputy director of sales and marketing at the St. Regis Bali in Indonesia. • • • American Airlines has named four executives to its marketing team. Kurt Stache has moved from senior vice president of alliances and partnerships to senior vice president of marketing and loyalty. Vasu Raja will serve as vice president of network planning, leaving his previous role as vice president of pricing and yield management. Joe Mohan has been hired to serve as vice president of alliances and partnerships. Bridget Blaise-Shamai has been promoted to vice president of loyalty, where she will report to Stache. • • • Como Hotels and Resorts appointed Ron Cusiter as the vice president of sales and marketing. Cusiter has 25 years of experience in the luxury hospitality industry. Most recently, he was vice president of sales operations for Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Southwest Asia for Hyatt International. He will be based at the company's headquarters in Singapore.


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