businesswire | April 10, 2023
Officials of HEI Hotels & Resorts, a leading hospitality investment and management company, today announced the company was awarded a Vibe Vista award for “Best Beverage Menu” at this year’s Questex Vibe Conference, the premiere on-premises beverage conference for executives. This marks the second consecutive year in which HEI was recognized, winning for Best Overall Beverage Program in 2022.
“Vibe Vista Awards recognize the top performers in the beverage industry through the creation, training, execution, management and on-going positive results of beverage programs, and we are humbled to be recognized from among this year’s outstanding participants,” said David Miller, corporate director of beverage operations, HEI. “It is important to our entire F&B team to work with hotels individually to create beverage menus that add to the experiential nature of our properties. While our mixologists are experts in what they do, it takes that extra property-level knowledge to create something unique that stands out from the crowd. This award is a testament to the hard work done by our executive team comprised of Rachel Moniz, Aliya Kritzler and me, as well as the individual hotel teams and beverage partners who helped us achieve this amazing goal.”
Vibe Vista Awards entries were reviewed by a panel of Johnson & Wales University beverage faculty, staff and alumni and were judged on positive beverage sales initiatives, efficient operational innovations and training and service programs producing high quality standards.
As an example of its beverage program, HEI worked with the F&B associates at the Westin San Antonio’s recently remodeled Zocca Bar to create “The Paloma Rossa,” a cocktail derived using Blanco tequila, grapefruit, Big Red syrup, torched rosemary and lime to create a similar taste to a popular local soda. “San Antonians are in love with Big Red Soda, but people from outside the 210 and 726 area codes likely aren’t that familiar with the drink,” Miller noted. “By working with our on-property bar teams, however, we were able to create a truly unique cocktail for our guests that takes a casual drink to a truly localized experience we find visitors prefer.”
ABOUT HEI HOTELS & RESORTS
HEI Hotels & Resorts, headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., is a leading hospitality investment and management company that owns or operates 100+ luxury, upper-upscale and upscale independent and branded hotels and resorts throughout the United States. HEI’s branding partners include Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Choice and Wyndham. The company is renowned for its commitment to its associates under the culture of HEI Loves, its revenue management, profit contribution and empirically based real estate value creation, driven by a full complement of proprietary software tools to set and exceed targets on a fully integrated basis. HEI works hand-in-hand with institutional capital partners on existing assets under management as well as sponsored acquisition opportunities. The company has ample equity capital and strategically co-invests with its partners on many transactions.
Brand USA | May 23, 2023
Brand USA, the nation’s destination marketing organization, opened IPW 2023 with an immersive press conference showcasing the USA as an unrivalled travel destination, as well as the reveal of the organization’s latest consumer marketing campaign, provided international travel forecast, and consumer sentiment insights. IPW is the leading trade show for inbound travel to the United States, bringing more than 5,000 industry professionals from more than 60 countries to San Antonio, Texas for the first time. Brand USA is the premier sponsor of the annual event produced by the U.S. Travel Association and taking place for the first time in San Antonio, Texas.
The press conference featured iconic and lesser-known destinations and attractions, from the best places to taste local cuisine to stepping into the song lyrics or movie locations that first inspired a visit, being pampered in the lap of luxury, or experiencing the USA through the eyes of a sports enthusiast.
“There’s no other destination like the United States,” said Brand USA President and CEO, Chris Thompson to over 200 international journalists. “What sets the USA apart is the diversity of our geography, the diversity of our experiences, the diversity of our people, and our one-of-a-kind pop culture.”
Mr. Thompson described how USA pop culture is often the way people around the world first get to know the United States, asking: “How did you first come to know the United States? Were you on the road with Jack Kerouac, walking the line with Johnny Cash, or having breakfast with Audrey Hepburn at Tiffany’s? Regardless, I bet you were left with a dream, an idea, and an intangible excitement, and you knew you just had to experience it all for yourself.”
Thompson, who is bullish on inbound travel to the USA, gave examples of how pent-up demand continues to drive economic recovery in communities throughout the country as more and more people are now booking travel and living out their dreams. During the press conference Thompson highlighted how two recent barriers to travel have been alleviated: that overall airlines expect a near 100 percent return of connectivity by the end of the year, and that effective May 12, international travelers are no longer required to have a COVID-19 vaccination to enter the United States.
The worldwide travel restart has created a highly competitive global market for the lucrative international visitor. To move consumers more quickly from aspiration to action, Brand USA recently launched a marketing campaign across 10 key markets. The campaign showcases how the USA delivers on the consumer promise that whoever you want to be and whatever experience you long for, the United States is where you can find it. Thompson shared two of the latest campaign assets which speak to travelers seeking adventure or family fun.
About Brand USA
Brand USA, the destination marketing organization for the United States, was established by the Travel Promotion Act as the nation’s first public-private partnership to promote the United States as a premier travel destination and to communicate U.S. travel policies and procedures to worldwide travelers. The organization’s mission is to increase international visitation to the United States in order to fuel the U.S. economy and enhance the image of the United States worldwide. Formed as the Corporation for Travel Promotion in 2010, the public-private entity began operations in May 2011 and does business as Brand USA. According to studies by Oxford Economics, over the past 10 years Brand USA's marketing initiatives have helped welcome 8 million incremental visitors to the United States, benefiting the U.S. economy with more than $58 billion in total economic impact and supporting, on average, more than 37,000 incremental jobs a year.
IBS Software | May 05, 2023
IBS Software, a global leader of SaaS solutions to the travel and transportation industry, has chosen CarTrawler, a leading B2B technology provider of car rental solutions, to offer car hire & insurance services to IBS iFly Staff & Corporate customers.
This partnership will simplify and enhance the Whole of Trip (WoT) experience for iFly Staff & Corporate customers, in addition to expanding IBS Software's footprint in non-air ancillaries in the global travel industry. Currently, airline staff and corporate travel involves navigating multiple applications to book essential add-ons. IBS Software's partnership with CarTrawler enables iFly Staff users to book car rentals and car insurance through an integrated and seamless staff travel system.
Since its inception in 2004, CarTrawler has provided more than 75 airlines with global car rental and mobility solutions for commercial purposes. CarTrawler also holds the widest breadth of car rental supply of any provider across over 1,700 suppliers in 55,000 locations. Its partnership with IBS Software signals an unprecedented and strategic step to offer an integrated travel experience for airline staff within corporate travel.
Madhu Nair, Head of iFly Staff Product Management and Strategy at IBS Software, says: "We're delighted to partner with CarTrawler, a renowned and well-respected global car rental solutions provider. Motivated by a need to improve, simplify and boost efficiency across the end-to-end travel experience for our iFly Staff and Corporate customers alike, we're working closely with CarTrawler to provide a unique and innovative Whole of Trip travel experience."
Aileen McCormack, Chief Commercial Officer at CarTrawler, says: "We're excited to partner with IBS Software and to support them in the expansion of their Staff Travel & Corporate solution for current and prospective customers, using CarTrawler's technology to seamlessly improve travel experiences through flexible and simple end-to-end bookings."
About IBS Software
IBS Software is a leader in providing SaaS solutions for the travel industry based in Singapore. It manages mission-critical operations for clients in the aviation, tour & cruise, and hospitality industries. The aviation industry solutions provided by the company include fleet & crew operations, passenger services, staff travel, loyalty programs, aircraft maintenance, and air cargo management. It also operates a B2B and B2C distribution platform that provides hotel room inventory, rates, and availability to a network of hospitality companies and channels. Additionally, it offers a comprehensive, customer-centric digital platform for the tour and cruise industry that includes onshore, online, and on-board solutions. IBS Software is a Blackstone portfolio company with 15 offices worldwide.