News Briefs, Week of Jan. 3

Worldspan licenses online company

Worldspan inked a licensing agreement with to market that company's Internet booking engine to agents in 30 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The booking engine is already in use at some North American agencies.

Hotel booking site goes live

Capitol Reservations, a hotel booking portal at, went live with Travel Office, a browser-based retail management and distribution system from Travel Sciences, a technology firm in Hartford, Conn. The launch, enabling online hotel booking, will be followed by air, car, and cruise reservations in January.

Ritz-Carlton aims high

Ritz-Carlton confirmed a report in the Dec. 20 Travel Confidential that it will open a second property in Hong Kong in 2009, a 300-room hotel occupying the top 13 floors of a 1,574-foot mixed-use building being developed above the Kowloon Station on the Hong Kong Airport Railway line. The company said it will be "the highest hotel in the world."

The developer, Sun Hung Kai Properties, is also planning to build a second Ritz-Carlton hotel in Shanghai in the Pudong district's Lujiazui zone.

Tribe to manage Trump 29 Casino

Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts agreed to transfer management of the Trump 29 Casino in Coachella, Calif., near Palm Springs, to its tribal owner, the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Luiseno Mission Indians, in a $6 million deal that is subject to regulatory approvals. Trump has managed the casino since 2002.

Grenada opens cruise terminal

Grenada opened its $24 million cruise ship terminal as the first phase of a $400 million redevelopment project for St. George's, set for completion in 2010.

American eyes three-way immunity

American, Lan Airlines and LanPeru asked the Transportation Department to approve antitrust immunity for the three airlines, which would enable them to coordinate multilaterally in scheduling, pricing, sales and marketing.

American and Lan Airlines already have an immunized alliance, and LanPeru is a Lan Airlines subsidiary.

In a separate application, American and LanPeru are seeking DOT approval to code share between the U.S. and Peru.

Viking River to use Longitude

Viking River Cruises signed on with Travel Sciences' Longitude for its cruise management and reservations system.

Longitude will provide inventory management, sales, marketing, accounting, CRM, booking and reservations and dynamic packaging technology to the river-cruise line.

Viking River's U.S. division in Woodland Hills, Calif., will first implement Longitude, followed by the line's sales and marketing division in Cologne, Germany.

Radisson SAS comes to Lagos

Rezidor SAS Hospitality, the sole franchisor for the Radisson, Park Inn, Regent and Country Inn brands in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, agreed to manage a new Radisson SAS Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria, scheduled to open in late 2005.

The 150-room property is on the waterfront of Victoria Island, 45 minutes from Lagos Airport.


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