IHG Hotels & Resorts | September 06, 2023
IHG Hotels & Resorts launches IHG LIFT, a program supporting under-represented groups in the US and Canada's hospitality industry.
IHG commits over $30 million in partnership with HBCUs, Clark Atlanta University, and Morehouse College. Together, they aim to remove barriers and create opportunities for diverse owner-entrepreneurs.
The program is integral to the Journey to Tomorrow 2030 responsible business plan. It aligns with IHG's commitment to promoting inclusivity and equal hotel ownership access.
IHG Hotels & Resorts (IHG), a global hospitality company, has introduced IHG LIFT, a program fostering diversity in hospitality. It provides support, capital access, and guidance throughout the hotel lifecycle for historically under-represented groups within the hospitality industry in the US and Canada.
IHG has partnered with Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College, two prominent Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Over the next five years, the company has committed more than $30 million to support the IHG LIFT program.
This partnership represents a significant step toward eliminating barriers and creating opportunities for aspiring hotel owners, aligning seamlessly with IHG's commitment to diversity and equal access to resources and support.
IHG LIFT is an integral component of IHG's comprehensive Journey to Tomorrow 2030 responsible business plan. This broader strategy addresses critical issues and promotes inclusivity within the hospitality industry.
The program's primary objective is to unlock common barriers to hotel ownership among under-represented groups and empower diverse owner-entrepreneurs for success. By integrating IHG LIFT into this forward-thinking plan, IHG reaffirms its commitment to fostering a more unbiased landscape in the hospitality industry.
“As our industry grows, we need to keep our focus on enabling more success for our diverse ownership base. Barriers such as a lack of access to capital and the right networks put such owners at a disadvantage. The IHG LIFT program is specifically designed to help ease the path to ownership and ultimately support owners. Diversifying ownership is not only better for IHG, it also lifts up our entire industry.”
-Chief Development Officer, Americas at IHG Hotels & Resorts, Julienne Smith.
Travel Technology, Hospitality Management
Virgin Voyages | September 08, 2023
Virgin Voyages announced a $550 million funding round led by Ares Management for global expansion.
Founder Tom McAlpin transitions to Chairman of the Board, while Nirmal Saverimuttu takes over as CEO, bringing extensive experience from Virgin Voyages' early days.
Virgin Voyages looks forward to continued success and collaboration with investors, including Ares Management, to drive future growth and innovation.
Virgin Voyages, the award-winning cruise brand backed by Richard Branson's Virgin Group, has announced the completion of a $550 million fundraise led by Ares Management's Private Equity Group. This funding, including contributions from existing investors such as Virgin Group and Bain Capital, is poised to propel Virgin Voyages into international markets while enhancing the overall customer experience.
Partner and Co-Portfolio Manager of Special Opportunities in the Ares Private Equity Group, Aaron Rosen, remarked,
With this new investment alongside our partners at Virgin Group and Bain Capital, we believe the company is on strong footing to capitalize on its differentiated product and value proposition in the growing cruise industry.
[Source - Cision PR Newswire]
Established as a leading player in the industry, Virgin Voyages has swiftly gained recognition and accolades with a fleet serving various destinations and recent wins like topping the mega-ship category in Travel + Leisure's 2023 World's Best Awards and sweeping all five cruise categories in the 2023 Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice Awards.
Alongside this development, Tom McAlpin, the founding CEO, is transitioning to the role of Chairman of the Board. Nirmal Saverimuttu is taking the reins as the new Chief Executive Officer, having formerly served as President and Chief Experience Officer. In addition, Nirmal Saverimuttu has been a foundational figure at Virgin Voyages since 2014, when he joined as Chief Commercial Officer after securing initial investments from the Virgin Group. His role expanded in 2021 to President and Chief Experience Officer, making him well-prepared to guide the brand into its next phase of growth and innovation.
Nirmal Saverimuttu, CEO of Virgin Voyages, said,
I want to send our deepest thanks, on behalf of all our Crew and the Board, to Tom for his leadership and passion for the business. We are so grateful for all he has done and are thrilled to continue to partner with him as our Chairman.
[Source – Cision PR Newswire]
Virgin Voyages is a trusted brand due to its crew's dedication and passion for offering remarkable experiences for its guests. Nirmal also expressed his anticipation of collaborating with the Ares team and Virgin Voyages' current investors to execute growth and expansion plans as the company contemplates its promising future.
PR Newswire | October 20, 2023
Aimbridge Hospitality EMEA, a division of global management leader Aimbridge Hospitality, has been appointed by Santa Maria Group to manage its independent, 402-key Grand Luxor Hotel & Village resort on the Costa Blanca beginning October 1, 2023. The deal marks a major milestone for both companies, signaling their joint ambition to accelerate growth and provide exceptional experiences in the market.
A leading hospitality management company and the world's largest third-party hotel operator, Aimbridge EMEA is expected to bring its two decades of operational expertise and award-winning talent development to the four-star rated resort. The Grand Luxor Hotel & Village houses a 300-guest room hotel, including two Presidential Suites, five food and beverage outlets and 102 villas, boasting both communal and private swimming pools.
Located adjacent to the Terra Mitica theme park, and a 40-minute drive away from Alicante Airport, the resort also offers a spa, a gym, three outdoor pools, mini golf, a kids' club, and more than 1,500 sqm of meetings and events space. The hotel will benefit from the Terra Mitica Convention Centre and world class event spaces, totalling 12,000sqm, including an Iberian Village, and a 3,000 sqm Circus Maximus Auditorium.
Terra Mitica is under the same ownership group and the theme park is a key destination for family tourism in the area.
David Anderson, Divisional President at Aimbridge EMEA, said: "We are incredibly excited to partner with Santa Maria Group and announce our entry into the Spanish market. The Grand Luxor Hotel & Village, located on the Costa Blanca - one of Spain's most popular tourist destinations - is an impressive and sought-out resort, and we look forward to helping the owners meet their growth goals."
Formerly known as Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Aimbridge EMEA has seen development deals across Europe soar over the last six months, as travel returns to pre-pandemic levels and investors regain confidence in the hotel and tourism sectors.
"As a division of global powerhouse Aimbridge Hospitality, this deal also reflects our commitment to accelerate growth across the region. The Iberian Peninsula has been a major focus for our development plans over the last 12 months, and we have made sizable investments in the market, including several new hires in key locations, such as Madrid and Barcelona," Anderson continued.
"We see many opportunities to bring our management expertise to the Spanish region and beyond, utilising Aimbridge's industry-leading technologies, systems and talent to create great experiences for guests, and superior returns for investors and owners."
In addition to its entry into Spain, the company has also announced a number of new additions to its EMEA portfolio in recent months, including the Holiday Inn Eindhoven Airport, the Adagio Aparthotel Antwerp City Centre, and the Alliance Palace in Batumi, Georgia.
Last month, the business welcomed industry veteran, Niall Kelly, who has been appointed as Head of Development – EMEA, bringing more than 25 years of significant deal-making experience within international markets to his role.
Anderson added: "We're focused on attracting top talent with expertise in multiple languages and across all verticals, building on our relationships with both existing and new hotel owners to create returns and unlock more opportunities for their properties.
"The strong growth in project numbers that we're seeing across Europe is testament to this approach, and the many benefits Aimbridge's global scale and industry experience can offer owners within the hospitality space."
The Aimbridge Hospitality global portfolio, inclusive of managed and pipeline properties, includes approximately 1,500 hotels in 20 countries around the world.