Cuba has plans to build around 3805 hotel rooms this year

Travel and Tour World | April 01, 2019

As part of an ambitious Ministry of Tourism (Mintur) development plan through 2030, this year around 3,805 hotel rooms should be completed across Cuba, with another 5,000 to be renovated and improved.Currently, according to José R. Daniel Alonso, Mintur’s general director of development, investment by Cuban state enterprises and international companies are geared towards expanding lodging capacity.Alonso said, “We are doing so in important tourist poles like Varadero, where there is investment by the Almest furniture enterprise and Mintur’s real estate company, Inmotur. In this case, we can mention the Oasis and Varadero Internacional hotels. Meanwhile, in this destination, other investment projects are in the preparation stage.”

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Sri Lanka remains one of the most popular island destinations in the Indian Ocean. The country is blessed with spectacular natural beauty and boasts a marvelous cultural heritage unrivaled all over the world. Not surprisingly, the stunning island destination sees tourist arrivals in several million, each year


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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Relay Robotics to Showcase Newest Service Robot at World’s Largest Hospitality Tech Conference, HITEC Orlando

Relay Robotics, Inc | June 30, 2022

Relay Robotics, Inc., a leading supplier of service robots to the hospitality, healthcare, and real estate industries, is exhibiting its Relay+ Service Robot, the hospitality industry’s most advanced delivery robot, at the 2022 Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC), June 27-30, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Booth #2629. HITEC is the world’s largest and most comprehensive event serving the technology sector of the hospitality industry.Relay Service Robots have become the go-to solution for the ongoing labor shortage in the hotel industry, performing room service delivery tasks in a timely and highly cost-efficient manner. “In the face of continued labor shortages, service robots have become a mainstream solution for supplementing staff at hotels, Our robots make deliveries in under 10 minutes, operate for as little as $4.00 per hour, and are tireless team members, working 24/7/365.” -Michael O’Donnell, Chief Executive Officer, Relay Robotics. O’Donnell says HITEC attendees will be able to meet their Relay+ Service Robot face-to-face and learn how it safely operates in crowds and performs contact-free deliveries. Our robots are being widely used by hoteliers to supplement their teams, increase revenues, and delight guests with excellent service,” tells O’Donnell. “Hotels also see a social media explosion around their robot and increased RevPAR from higher occupancy and repeat stays from guests who want to stay at the ‘robot hotel. Relay Service Robots are deployed at all the major hotels in the United States, including leading brands Marriott, Hilton, Wyndham, IHG, Hyatt, Mandarin Oriental, DREAM, and Radisson. Relay’s Rapid-InstallSM trains and activates a robot within hours of arrival at a location. Customers can name their robot and create a customized “wrap” to give it a unique character and harmonize it with their brand. About Relay Robotics Relay Robotics is a leading supplier of simple, sophisticated, autonomous service robots that work with humans safely, securely, reliably, and contact-free. Relay Robotics and its affiliates have been technology leaders in robotics since 2013 and hold 10 U.S. patents. Relay’s robots supplement staff across hospitality, healthcare, and commercial real estate settings. They have completed more than 1,000,000 deliveries worldwide.

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

SAMSONITE INTRODUCES DYNAMIC NEW ELEVATION PLUS COLLECTION

Samsonite | June 09, 2022

Samsonite, a worldwide leader in superior travel bags, luggage, and accessories, announces the launch of their latest collection, Elevation Plus. Comprised of four styles and three colorways, the Elevation Plus collection boasts a timeless design and proprietary capabilities, raising the bar for future travel.With traveler-friendly details like the new QuickEntry™ pocket for easy access to your essentials by the simple push of a button, Elevation Plus cases allow you to conveniently keep grab-and-go items such as your laptop, phone, or hand sanitizer within reach without having to open your luggage. The pocket also locks for added security during travel. Other attributes on both carry-on styles include the TecFolio™ removable pouch, for secure transportation of electronic chargers, cables, make-up brushes, or any other miscellaneous item that needs to be stowed away during a trip. The wireframe removable garment divider with dual compression straps, and expandable packing features allow the user to organize the luggage to their liking, without worrying about wrinkles or space. The design forward collection also features a WetPak™ pocket, a spill-safe pocket for stress-free traveling with TSA approved liquids. Offered in two carry-on sizes as well as a Medium Glider and Large Spinner, the Elevation Plus collection has something for any level of travel. The Medium Glider cases offer higher packing volume than traditional medium size spinners, for added storage of any items picked up during travel. Utility patented off-set wheels, a lower center of gravity, and extended handle system provide smooth movement during transport. This newest collection continues the Samsonite legacy of innovation and industry design leadership. Each piece is thoughtfully crafted to create a seamless packing experience. The result is a group of easy, approachable, and adaptable luggage with the sleek aesthetic and high-quality details that Samsonite is known for. In keeping with the Samsonite commitment to sustainability, the interior lining of the Elevation Plus Collection is crafted using Recyclex™ material technology and made from 100% post-consumer recycled PET (rPET) bottles. Since 2018, Samsonite has launched over 50 products using Recyclex™ fabric, made from 100% post-consumer recycled PET (rPET) bottles, recycling approximately 52 million 500ml PET bottles and resulting in longer-lasting luggage. The Elevation Collection is available in a 22x14x9 Carry-On Spinner ($209.99), Carry-On Spinner ($219.99), Medium Glider ($249.99), and Large Spinner ($279.99) and comes in Triple Black, Cypress Green, or Midnight Blue. The collection is available to purchase on shop.samsonite.com or through retailers including Macy's, Kohl's, and Belk. To learn more about the full range of Samsonite products, please visit shop.samsonite.com or Instagram at @samsoniteusa. About Samsonite: Samsonite is the world leader in superior travel bags, luggage and accessories combining notable style with the latest design technology. Renowned for breakthrough research, development and its commitment to both innovation and sustainability, Samsonite has cemented its prominence with a number of industry firsts while continuing to leverage its rich design heritage to create unparalleled products. For more information visit www.samsonite.com.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Placemakr Announces New Pop-Up Hotel in Virginia

Placemakr | May 12, 2022

Placemakr, a tech-enabled hospitality platform and operator, announced the launch of its newest pop-up location under the Placemakr brand - WhyHotel by Placemakr, Alexandria. In partnership with Stonebridge, this unique pop-up will allow guests to experience hotel amenities and services, while staying in fully furnished, spacious apartments equipped with full kitchens, spacious living rooms, bedrooms with walk-in closets, and more. WhyHotel by Placemakr's pop-ups combine the best of home and hospitality to meet the evolving needs of residents and guests alike; effectively creating a new real estate asset class for blended living. Located at 2455 Mandeville Lane in Alexandria, VA, guests will be able to begin to book stays at the end of May. WhyHotel by Placemakr, Alexandria is located in Carlyle Crossing, a 1.7 million square foot neighborhood created by Stonebridge. The property itself includes modern apartments with the largest range of amenities in all of Alexandria, including two roof decks, a 3-acre private elevated terrace, a rooftop pool, two state-of-the-art fitness centers, co-working space, a demonstration kitchen and a stage for TED-style talks. Future guests will be able to enjoy on-site retail offerings anchored by a Wegmans Food Market, set to open later this month. WhyHotel by Placemakr, Alexandria will have 120 units available at the luxury apartment building, Dylan. Additionally, Bozzuto will have residential leasing opportunities at the luxury apartment buildings Easton, Dylan and Reese. The Carlyle Crossing neighborhood offers unparalleled access for travelers to the Capital Beltway, Eisenhower Metro Station, Amtrak line and the regional train station at King Street Station. The immediate neighborhood features 5.7 million square feet of existing office space, with an additional 2 million feet to be added. "The future of hospitality and home is flexible. Our unique model bridges the hotel and apartment world, creating an offering more valuable than either product alone, Our guests at WhyHotel by Placemakr, Alexandria will get to stay in fully furnished apartments while having access to the best services found in hospitality. We're linking these two industries to provide a greater experience for our guests and residents." -Jason Fudin, CEO and Co-founder of Placemakr The expansion to Alexandria, VA is the latest property to open under the new Placemakr brand - with additional properties planned to open this spring and summer. Following the company's recent funding round, the company is pursuing aggressive growth into new geographic locations in partnership with organizations dedicated to innovating the multifamily and hospitality industry. Their model includes pop-up partnerships, property management agreements, and real estate acquisitions. "At Stonebridge, we focus on creating transformative mixed-use developments in the Washington area and we see Placemakr as the perfect partner in expanding our offerings in Carlyle Crossing, Placemakr will add to our vision for a dynamic living environment embedded into a neighborhood rich with shopping and working opportunities to create the ideal destination for travelers coming for business or leisure." -Marvin Poole, Director at Stonebridge. Placemakr looks forward to announcing additional properties throughout the remainder of 2022. For more information, please visit placemakr.com. About Placemakr Placemakr is a flexible hospitality living platform, property manager, and real estate investor. Its tech-enabled operating platform allows the company to blur the line between hospitality and home, delivering the best experiences of both in a single building. Placemakr's curated spaces in hand-picked neighborhoods allow its guests and residents the flexibility to stay for a night, a year, or anywhere in-between. Visit placemakr.com to learn more. About Stonebridge Stonebridge is a real estate development and investment firm focused on creating exceptional places in the Greater Washington area. Their portfolio includes several of the region's most successful mixed-use projects: premier properties that realize the broad benefits of transit-oriented development and enhance communities with integrated office, retail, residential, and hotel space. Complex in nature due to their urban locations, these developments reflect their vision for dynamic living, working, and shopping environments as well as their commitment to sustainable planning and design, including proximity to mass transportation. Stonebridge's comprehensive expertise in real estate acquisition, finance, land entitlement, development, and investment management enables them to navigate risks inherent in real estate while implementing innovative strategies to transform neighborhoods and generate lasting value.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

LBA Hospitality Acquires Management Contract for the Best Western New Smyrna Beach Hotel & Suites

LBA Hospitality | June 13, 2022

LBA Hospitality, an Alabama–based hotel management company, announced that it has recently taken over the management contract for the 101-suite Best Western New Smyrna Beach Hotel & Suites. The beachfront hotel located at 1401 South Atlantic Avenue is owned by Key International.The eight-story property is situated 15 miles from Daytona Beach International Airport, and just a short drive from Disneyland and Cape Canaveral and the Cape Canaveral National Seashore. The hotel offers guests convenient access to Turtle Mound, Ponce Inlet, Daytona Racetrack and numerous activities in and around the idyllic waters and sandy beaches of New Smyrna Beach. "I fell in love with New Smyrna Beach when we opened our first hotel here in 2012. It has that small beach town charm, great food, a nationally recognized arts scene, and the amazing white sand beach and blue water of the Atlantic Ocean, I am excited that we have added a one-of-a-kind accommodation that literally offers a toes-in-the-sand experience for visitors from around the world." -Beau Benton, president of LBA Hospitality. The Best Western New Smyrna Beach Hotel & Suites guestrooms feature luxury bedding, kitchenettes, as well as balconies with unobstructed views of the gorgeous blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Amenities include an outdoor swimming pool with a sundeck, a fitness center and onsite dining. About LBA Hospitality Established in 1973, LBA Hospitality is one of the leading hotel management, development, and consulting companies in the US. With an extensive portfolio of hotels located in the Southeast and Southwest, the company is a recognized leader developing and operating the most respected brands under franchise licenses of Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, and InterContinental Hotel Group. For more than four decades, LBA Hospitality has continued to set a higher standard in hotel development, management, and guest satisfaction, resulting in sustained, profitable growth for owners. For more information, visit www.lbahospitality.com. About Key International Key International is a full-service real estate firm bringing over 30 years of leadership and success in global investments and developments, with offices in Miami and Madrid. With a proven track record in generating excellent returns for partners, the firm specializes in real estate projects that improve customers' lifestyles through great locations and quality product. This includes forward-thinking considerations for everyday life, work, convenience, entertainment, and leisure. Following these principles, Key International is one of the few real estate firms with the demonstrated ability to deliver success across multiple real estate classes – including condominium, hospitality, multifamily, and office. Such diversification is a cornerstone of its approach and serves to maximize future development and investment opportunities.  With over 10 million square feet in residential developments, notable projects include Eden Roc Resort Miami Beach, Marriott Stanton Hotel South Beach, 400 Sunny Isles, 1010 Brickell, and the master plan of Riverfront Community (a 13.5-acre gated community in Downtown Miami). Additionally, Key International manages over $1.5 billion in assets under its current hotel portfolio comprised of over 3,000 hotel units. Please see keyint.com for more information on the company and its portfolio.

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Spotlight

Sri Lanka remains one of the most popular island destinations in the Indian Ocean. The country is blessed with spectacular natural beauty and boasts a marvelous cultural heritage unrivaled all over the world. Not surprisingly, the stunning island destination sees tourist arrivals in several million, each year

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