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France’s Travel & Tourism Recovering Ahead of EU & Other World Countries

France’s travel and tourism sector has increased by 34.9 per cent this year, research from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) reveals.

The news was shared during the Destination France Summit, where WTTC also added that the sector’s growth noted this year is ahead of other European countries by 23.9 per cent and 30.7 per cent compared to the international stage, reports.

As WTTC shows, this recovery rate can bring France an additional €38 billion or a year-on-year growth of 35 per cent, which by 2022 is expected to stand at 21.8 per cent or about €38 billion.

According to Julia Simpson, WTTC’s CEO, France is recovering faster than other EU countries, but a long way ahead awaits the tourism and travel sector in the country.

“Last year the pandemic saw hundreds of thousands of jobs lost in France. This year employment remains flat, but we expect to see a big uptick in Travel and Tourism in France next year as long as the country remains open to vaccinated travellers,” Simpson noted.

As the Head of WTTC said, about 200,000 French residents lost their jobs last year, but employment is expected to remain on the same levels in 2021. Next year, the country expects a rise of 9.4 per cent, accounting for 236,000 job vacancies.

The same source shows that in 2020, the travel and tourism sector brought €108 billion to the country, accounting for 4.7 per cent of the national economy. This figure was 48.81 per cent less than 2019 when the sector brought €211 million (8.5 per cent) to the national economy.

In terms of the type of tourism, domestic travel has seen a surge in France during the last two years, but not enough to fully recover the economy and jobs lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The research also shows that domestic spending has increased by 56.6 per cent this year, but international spending is expected to mark a 1.9 per cent decrease by the end of the year.

In general, on a year-on-year basis, domestic spending is expected to increase by 9.9 per cent, whereas international spending can rebound by 67.8 per cent, as the vaccination campaigns have been implemented and employment rates have been restored to a point. previously reported on the matter, revealing that a 35 per cent increase will be evident in France’s travel and tourism sector. The same source reported that the recovery would be evident sooner if the vaccination campaigns were fully implemented, a common digital solution to be standardised and for governments to recognise vaccine manufacturers.


Country overview: Japanese hotel market to grow by 18,000 rooms

According to the TOPHOTELPROJECTS construction database, Japan will experience steady growth in the coming years, fuelled by expansion in Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo.

Our researchers report that 72 hotels with 17,730 rooms are currently in the pipeline across Japan. We take a closer look at the country’s development slate and highlight some schemes that are well worth keeping an eye on.

Japan’s hotel openings by year

Before 2021 draws to a close, five more hotels with 1,085 rooms will open their doors in Japan. For 2022, 28 launches with 4,733 keys have already been pencilled in, followed by another 14 schemes with 2,915 rooms in 2023. A further 25 projects and 8,997 keys are in the works for 2024 and beyond.

Of Japan’s 72 new hotels, 43 will be in the four-star category, while the remaining 29 are targeting the five-star market.

Top urban growth markets

Osaka, one of the country’s key economic hubs, will get eight new hotels in the coming years, adding 4,553 rooms to the city’s offering. Over half of this impressive figure stems from a single megaproject incidentally – the 2,500-key MGM Resort Osaka.

Elsewhere, and only a short drive from Osaka, the cultural hotspot of Kyoto will get seven new properties with 995 keys. And the capital Tokyo will see six hotels with 1,348 rooms open soon.

International hotel brands expanding in Japan

All three of Japan’s fastest-growing hotel brands hail from North America.

Fairfield Inn & Suites, by Marriott International, takes the lead with 11 active projects set to bring 900 new rooms into play. Fellow US giant Hilton Worldwide’s signature brand Hilton Hotels & Resorts, meanwhile, will add five properties and 1,747 keys to its offering in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Lastly, Canada-based Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts is currently working on three projects with 495 rooms.

Exciting new hotels in Japan’s project pipeline

Let’s start with Hoshino Resorts Omo7 Osaka Shin-Imamiya, which is due to open opposite a major train station in Q2, 2022. From here, guests will be able to easily reach Kansai International Airport as well as popular downtown areas. On top of its convenient location, the hotel will benefit from expansive green spaces, multiple restaurants, a cafeteria and open spaces for public events.

Over in the foothills of Mount Fuji, Unbound Collection by Hyatt, Fuji Speedway will offer guests convenient access to events at the new Motorsports Village facility. Once the property opens, it’ll feature 120 rooms and suites, a flexible banquet room of 500 sq m, a 200 sq m conference room, fine-dining restaurants, bars, an indoor pool, a fitness centre, a spa and natural onsen hot-spring bathing facilities. Guests will also be able to gain access to the onsite car museum, celebrating the historic significance of Fuji Speedway.

Finally, in early 2023, Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Okinawa will begin welcoming guests. The 120-room resort is located on the beachfront along the island’s western coast, just 31 miles from Naha International Airport. Its facilities will include an all-day dining restaurant, specialty dining, a lounge, shops and recreational facilities, as well as public grounds and gardens.


2022 hotlist: Europe’s top three openings

Europe is set to debut hundreds of new hotel projects next year, with a total of 87,206 rooms expected across 535 openings – here’s our pick of three stellar schemes to watch out for.

We take a look at a trio of standout hotel schemes scheduled to complete in 2022 – an architecturally ambitious project in Frankfurt, a historic conversion in London and a landmark hotel for Belgrade.

Roomers Park View, Frankfurt

Developed by RFR and Hines in partnership with the Gekko Group, this under-construction hotel forms part of a mixed-use project consisting of two buildings: a 19-storey hotel tower and a 26-storey tower for condos with access to Roomers services. Located in Frankfurt’s Westend, Roomers Park View will afford impressive views over Grüneburgpark and the city’s skyline when it opens in late 2022.

The 136-key Roomers hotel will place the focus on suite accommodation and come with a host of amenities, including a special gastronomic concept, 19th-floor panoramic bar and 18th-floor spa. The project is being designed by architect KSP Engel, with interiors courtesy of Piero Lissoni.

Fulham Town Hall by Room2, London

The former Fulham Town Hall site, which is currently being restored by Ziser London, is set to enter a new era as a premium Room2 hometel. The hometel will span the property’s elegantly restored wings and a newly developed space, with Da Costa Mahindroo Architects and Corstorphine & Wright working on the architecture, juxtaposing innovative elements with the grade II*-listed building’s historic façade.

The interiors of Name Architecture promise to push the boundaries of artistic rebelliousness. On completion in the third quarter of 2022, it’ll house both event and co-working space, along with 90 guestrooms.

The St Regis Belgrade

A five-star newbuild, The St Regis Belgrade will occupy the first nine floors of Kula Belgrade, a 40-storey mixed-use tower within Eagle Hill’s huge Belgrade Waterfront development. The under-construction property is being designed by architectural firm SOM in London, with interiors by HOK’s London studio.

Expected to launch in the second quarter of 2022, the 119-key scheme will offer guests views over the city or River Sava, along with a destination restaurant at the top of the tower. There’ll also be an all-day dining restaurant and a St Regis Bar, inspired by the King Cole Bar at The St Regis New York. Among the other notable amenities being planned are a spa, a pool, a fitness centre and event space.


Utopia Hospitality Group prepares for Phuket tourism growth

Announcing  a total 10  projects in new landmark projects in 5 years (with 3 in the pipeline) and also developing a ‘superhero’ team of senior executives, Utopia Corporation has expanded its business unit under the Utopia Hospitality Group (UHG) to introduce a new midscale hotel by October next year and is developing two landmark projects in Phuket worth a total 4 billion baht Mr Hachi Yin chief executive and founder of Utopia Corporation, said recently at the media launch in Bangkok’s plush embassy district.

UHG, its wholly owned hospitality management company, offers three brands under midscale “aparthotel” which merges apartment and hotel for flexible stays, as well as an upscale lifestyle resort and hotel focusing on wellbeing.

UHG will launch in Southeast Asia with premium midscale to ultra-luxury hospitality projects starting with the rebranding of the group’s existing properties in 2022.

UHG’s master plan covers the development of new landmarks at two prime locations in the north and south of Phuket. “Bay of Icons” is situated on Ao Por Bay on the island’s northern coast, while the second project, Utopia Dreams, is on Nai Harn beach on the island’s southwest coast.

The firm plans to introduce the two landmarks valued at 4 billion baht to attract international high-net-worth individuals, slated for the fourth quarter of 2025.

There is also an ultra-luxury brand under a collaboration with partners such as Tonino Lamborghini to introduce Tonino Lamborghini Boutique Hotel Phuket, slated for 2024.

Mr Yin said the first midscale hotel will open next October, followed by an upscale hotel in February 2023.

Utopia Corporation, founded in 2015, has real estate projects in Phuket under an investment budget of 8 billion baht and plans to list on the Stock Exchange of Thailand through an initial public offering by 2025.

Bay of Icons consists of Tonino Lamborghini Boutique Hotel Phuket, beach club and another hotel with a second partner in the field of ultra-luxury fashion brand.

Mr Yin said in his stage presentation that other famous destinations such as Bangkok, Singapore or Hollywood have landmarks, but there is no landmark in Phuket to attract ultra-luxury tourists to come and stay.

He estimates that the projects will coincide with a surge in tourism from 2023.


Garth, a luxury neo-Bistro opens this week at Kempinski Hotel, Mall of the Emirates

Located inside a new private members club, The 9 Lounge, at Kempinski Mall of the Emirates, the premium culinary hub has opened its doors to those with a penchant for refined, delicious medleys of Italian, Greek, and Southern French cuisines. Guests that are not members of The 9 Lounge are encouraged to make reservations in advance and abide by the formal dress code, suited to the elevated ambiance of the locale.

The space comprises of a beautiful verdant terrace, a cigar lounge, and a restaurant, where guests can indulge in the finest mix of seafood, meat, and vegetarian dishes. Whilst diners can enjoy a host of raw fish and seafood plates courtesy of a specialty raw bar, the menu also includes an array of meat, vegetarian and vegan options that are guaranteed to gratify even the most selective appetites.

Guests are promised satisfaction as they acquaint their palates with the gastronomical innovations, born from the proficiently sourced quality ingredients at Garth. The food and menus are expertly designed by celebrity chefs Sergei Andreychenko and Mohammed Musthafa. A team of professional mixologists and sommeliers assist guests in selecting from a carte of Old World and New World wines, cocktails, and premium spirits.

The mouthwatering menus include dishes such as Zucchini Carpaccio, Beef Cheeks Paccheri, Poached Sea Bass, Truffle Risotto, Niçoise Salad, Beef Tartare, Burrata Grande and many more.

At the raw bar, guests can opt for the Salmon or Tuna Tartare, Sea Bass Ceviche, or indulge in an assorted tartare platter featuring three varieties of the dish. The desserts menu is home to rich classics such as Basque Burnt Cheesecake, Tiramisu, Almond Crumble with Berries, Dark Chocolate Mousse, and hand-crafted Ice Creams and Sorbets.

Garth features a new lunch menu each week, featuring daily specials, to keep it fresh and interesting for afternoon guests, from 12pm till 3pm. Although the culinary adventure is the primary focus of the experience, the menus will maintain the sophisticated taste and plating associated with the brand.

Open daily, from 12pm till 12am on weekdays and from 12pm till 2am on weekends, the lounge creates a relaxed atmosphere with unique sound design, featuring a distinct combination of genres. Produced skillfully by an ensemble of instrumentalists from Moscow, the music will include streams of new wave funk, soul, jazz, chill rave, and afro beats genres. Breezy terrace evenings can be enjoyed with a soundtrack of electronic chill rave beats, whilst soulful piano music will grace special dinners at the restaurant.

The layered interiors feature neutral tones of cream, beige and brown, complemented by blush pink furniture. Plush pampas grass lines the windows and the bar canopy, accented by bright neon lighting that lends an effortless luminous glow to the space. A promising venue that is bound to be the next hotspot in Dubai, Garth takes guests on a journey that goes beyond the plate, offering an ideal space to socialize and indulge in finer experiences.


Former hotel workers sue Swissotel Chicago, accused it of violating ‘Right to Return to Work’ ordinance

Swissotel didn’t respond to a request for comment, but sent a letter to the women’s attorney in August, arguing the ordinance doesn’t apply to the three women because they were “terminated,” not “laid off.”

Maria Ruiz was a banquet server at Swissotel Chicago nearly 24 years, putting her job before her family, sometimes sleeping in a hotel room for just a few hours between shifts when there wasn’t enough time to go home.

“I was at the hotel for 36 hours straight,” Ruiz said Tuesday afternoon at a news conference outside the hotel. “I wasn’t able to kiss my babies good night or hug them in the morning. My brother was killed two years ago and it was so hard — but even then I didn’t miss a day or work.”

Ruiz, 51, was one of hundreds of hotel workers who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The uncertainty of their future was scary, but the Chicago City Council sought to alleviate that anxiety by passing the “right-to-return-to-work” ordinance to make sure hotel workers could get their jobs back instead of being replaced.

But a lawsuit filed Tuesday accuses Swissotel of violating that ordinance by not rehiring Ruiz and two other banquet servers, each of whom had worked at the hospital at least 20 years.

“I dedicated my life to this job, to this hotel. I was so proud to work there,” Ruiz said. “Since being fired last year, my life is like a nightmare that I haven’t been able to wake up from.”

Unable to find new work or pay her mortgage, Ruiz said she’s on the verge of losing her house, The situation is just as dire for the other plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Marie Lourdie Pierre-Jacques and Maria Teresa Hernandez.

The ordinance had been pushed by union leaders and laid-off hotel workers. It called for Chicago hotels to prioritize seniority when deciding which former employees to rehire. The women involved in the lawsuit advocated for the ordinance, speaking out publicly in favor of it.

That original version, however, was opposed by the hotel industry as a logistical nightmare that would slow the pace of rehiring. It made no sense, they argued, to rehire someone based only on seniority if it meant having to hire a dishwasher to do an accounting job.

Eventually, a compromise version passed the Council. It narrowed the scope, requiring seniority be considered, but only within the same job categories.

But in their lawsuit, the women claim Swissotel offered positions to banquet servers with less seniority than the three women.

Swissotel didn’t respond to a request for comment, but in a letter sent to the women’s attorney in August, it argued the ordinance doesn’t apply to the three women because they were “terminated,” not “laid off” — an important distinction, the hotel’s lawyers argued in the letter.

Stephen Yokich, an attorney for the women, said they anticipated this problem when they lobbied for the bill, but even so, “most responsible hotels in the city are following the law,” he said.

“Swissotel passed over the women who helped pass the law in the first place,” Yokich said. “Our message to the court will be the same as our message today: Swissotel should follow the law.”

Pierre-Jacques stood behind her colleagues during Tuesday’s news conference, often breaking down in tears as she remembered working while pregnant. Her co-workers often joked she would go into labor at the hotel because of the long hours she worked.

When she did gave birth to her son, she returned to work in just six weeks. She would drop the baby off at her sister’s house on her way back to the downtown hotel.

“I left him with my sister and for a long time he thought my sister was his mother. It broke my heart every time he called her ‘Mommy.’” Pierre-Jacques said through tears. “No one can understand that feeling unless you have been through it. I sacrificed that time with my son because I thought I was being a good worker. I thought if I worked had and give my all, my job would respect me back.”

Chicago Federation of Labor President Bob Reiter joined the women and their supporters outside the hotel to show his support in the lawsuit which calls for the women to be reinstated and for them to receive back pay from the date of when they “should have been reinstated.”

“We believe that as guests return to Chicago and hotels increase staffing, hotels should recall the workers who have dedicated their lives to Chicago’s tourism industry,” Reiter said. “These women were fired by Swissotel Chicago during the pandemic, they’ve also been on the front line of advocating for Chicago’s hotel worker’s rights. … We are here to support these workers who are seeking to enforce their rights.”

The Federation of Labor has an ownership stake in Sun-Times Media.


Radisson Hotel Group shows remarkable growth in 2021 marked by 70 signings and openings in key markets in EMEA

Brussels – Radisson Hotel Group, one of the world’s leading hotel groups, looks back on a successful Q3 2021 with key expansions across the Group’s EMEA portfolio, reaching over 50 hotel signings and nearly 30 openings in EMEA YTD.

Radisson Hotel Group is continuing its road to recovery and ambitious pursuit of its five-year expansion and transformation plan. The strength of Radisson Hotel Group’s strategic transformation and development plan has ensured that the Group can rebound swiftly. Since the start of the pandemic, Radisson Hotel Group has achieved remarkable growth of more than 250 signings worldwide, including 100 hotels confirmed in China alone.

Elie Younes, Global Chief Development Officer, said: “Our initiatives are increasingly relevant to our guests and investment partners. We are thankful and grateful to our owners for their continued trust in our people and brands. We commit to continue creating more possibilities to our guests and opportunities to our owners as we slowly enter a transition recovery period for the travel industry”.

Radisson Hotel Group remains solidly committed to becoming the brand of choice for owners, partners, and guests and has signed more than 50 hotels in EMEA since the start of 2021. Key milestones achieved in Q3 2021 include:

  • The opening of central London’s first Radisson RED hotel, Radisson RED London Greenwich The O2
  • Strong expansion in Morocco with the signing of seven new hotels, of which five already opened during the summer, adding 1600 rooms. This brings the Group’s Moroccan portfolio to 10 hotels, fast-tracking its strategy to reach 15 hotels in operation and under development in the country by 2025
  • Doubling of the Group’s presence in Makkah, Saudi Arabia by adding nearly 1000 rooms and serviced apartments in Thakher City
  • Signing of the Group’s second Radisson Collection property in Sochi, Russia and opening of two exceptional Radisson Collection properties in Milan and Seville, marking the brand’s introduction in Spain and further expansion in Italy
  • Swift global expansion of Radisson Individuals to more than 20 hotels across EMEA in one year since the brand was established, including Greece’s first Radisson Individuals property, Anda Hotel Athens, a member of Radisson Individuals

In the lead up to the UN COP26, Radisson Hotel Group supports the responsible recovery of the hospitality industry. In line with the Group’s target to reduce its carbon and water footprint by 30% by 2025, Radisson Hotel Group is increasing the number of green hotels in its portfolio with recent additions like Radisson Collection Hotel, Magdalena Plaza Sevilla which is Spain’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Hospitality Gold certified hotel, Radisson Collection Hotel Gran Via Bilbao, Radisson RED Hotel Dubai Silicon Oasis, and Radisson Resort & Spa Lonavala in India.


How Tech is Helping Revolutionise the Hospitality Industry

Over the past five years, food delivery services have steadily grown in both popularity and most recently necessity, with many restaurants rising to meet the demand. A primary reason is that diners love the perfect melange of restaurant quality and at-home comfort that food delivery offers. About one third of individuals aged between 18 and 24 eat takeaway and delivered food several times a month in the UK alone (Statistica, 2020).

At Deliverect, we’ve seen this come to life as we’ve helped to process an average of more than 1.5 million orders per week this past year. That’s a 750% increase from the year before. But as beneficial as delivery services can be, behind-the-scenes details like last-mile logistics can be expensive and challenging to manage.

It’s clear that digital solutions have helped restaurants better serve their customers and adapt to life in the new normal. Online ordering is here to stay – so implementing the right technology in restaurants is crucial for helping to create an excellent at-home dining experience for your customers.

That’s why this past month we introduced a new suite of products to help our customers enable further growth and empower control within the competitive hospitality landscape.

We’re excited for more restaurants to have access to top technology that enhances day-to-day and delivery operations. Any updates that make our platform operate more seamlessly for restaurants is a win – our team is motivated by helping the hospitality industry continue to succeed and thrive after a tough year.  Let’s take a look at some of the new feature and how they’ll help restaurants to continue thriving:

Deliverect Insights: Deliverect Insights offers upgraded dashboards that allow restaurants to utilise their data more extensively, answering key questions that will enable them to see how their performance is trending on delivery platforms and to spot outliers. Insights offers three sub-sections:

  • ‘Menu Item Performance’ allows restaurants to compare products and identify the best and worst performers.
  • ‘Location Performance’ enables restaurants to gather insights surrounding the performance of individual locations and generally understand performance over time.
  • ‘Channel Performance’ helps compare channels, easily identify best selling items and see how sales fluctuate on different delivery channels.

Pickup Manager: Deliverect’s Pickup Manager permits drivers and restaurants to view the status of their order with the pickup screen, making overall communications smoother.

  • Restaurant staff can easily manage order statuses to keep drivers and restaurants well informed.
  • A look at the pickup screen will tell drivers when to go to the counter to pick up their order, improving user experience and shortening wait times.
  • Through real-time and clear order status updates, orders that are ready are brought to customers faster and more accurately.
  • Dispatch: Dispatch enables restaurants to manage the complete delivery experience through their direct channels, helping them to increase customer satisfaction.
  • Restaurants can easily offer delivery on their direct channel by assigning online orders to delivery drivers.
  • They can also follow orders through the entire delivery, as real-time driver updates and driver details are shared.

Chat: Chat provides conversational support, allowing our customers to reach us directly from our platform tools anytime and anywhere.

In the food service industry, everything restaurants do is for the benefit of diners. They cook delicious food to delight their palates, they offer a variety of dining options to match their needs and preferences, and they craft balanced menus to cater to every kind of eater. Everything is to ensure that the end customer has an excellent experience and returns to dine time and time again.

Incorporating online ordering software to improve delivery capabilities will positively impact diners’ experience, especially how restaurants communicate with their customers. Maintaining stellar customer communication is vital to creating brand loyalty, as it  shows them their experience and opinions are important.


Tourism industry is still on the ropes

Latest tourist accommodation statistics show revenue in the sector is still 60% lower than normal.

While the latest survey of tourism accommodation suggests that tourism and business travel in SA continue to recover strongly, the occupancy rate of hotel and tourism accommodation and revenue earned from accommodation are still way below normal pre-Covid-19 levels.

The latest Statistics SA report on tourism accommodation shows that the number of nights sold in different accommodation types (from hotels and guest houses to caravan parks and campsites, as well as breakaways on farms and other types of accommodation) increased by some 134% in August 2021 compared with August 2020.

This big recovery in bed nights sold follows even larger increases in the preceding months. Compared with a year ago, July clocked up an increase of 225% and June more than 580%.

The increases of over 2 100% in April and 1 750% in May show that the figures are actually irrelevant – travel was banned during April and May 2020.

Likewise, the strong recovery in income earned by hotels and guest houses over the last few months is welcome, but also still only a fraction of normal levels.

“Measured in nominal terms [at current prices], total income for the tourist accommodation industry increased by 88.3% in August 2021 compared with August 2020,” according to the report. “In August 2021, all accommodation types recorded large positive year-on-year growth in income from accommodation.

“The largest year-on-year increases in income from accommodation were reported by caravan parks and camping sites (263,2%) and guest houses and guest farms (257,9%),” says the Stats SA report.

However, a closer look at the figures themselves show that things are not as good as the huge recovery in percentage terms suggests.

Income from accommodation

Total income from accommodation (excluding restaurant and other income, which is still reliant on room occupancy) increased to just less than R890 million in August from R406 million in August 2020.

Total income is still a fraction of what it was in “normal” times. In August 2019, the industry reported income of approximately R2.4 billion.

Annual figures confirm the devastation of the industry during 2020. Total income from accommodation increased steadily year after year, from R27 billion in 2016 to R29 billion in 2019. It fell to only R11 billion in 2020, as hotels, guest houses and nature reserves earned very close to nothing for four months, and very little in the other months of 2020.

National chair of the Federated Hospitality Association of SA (Fedhasa) Rosemary Anderson also points out that while total income for the tourist accommodation industry increased significantly, we know that in August 2020 tourism and hospitality had not been opened up after the pandemic first hit to the same extent as it opened up in August 2021.

Anderson notes that when more travel was allowed there was a good uptake of caravan, camping, self-catering and guest house type accommodation, because “tourists gravitated towards accommodation settings which did not involve many other people and where they could stay within their own bubble”.

“The UK experienced very similar trends in accommodation when it opened up – where self-catering was up significantly on other accommodation sectors. This has been good for some sectors, but damaging for the larger hotel groups,” says Anderson.

Government assurance needed

While Fedhasa acknowledged the big recovery in income in the hospitality industry, it added: “What we really need now, is to be able to have government assurances that any increase in Covid-19 cases or a so-called fourth wave will be controlled through a big vaccination push, as they have done successfully in the UK, and not by any more shutdowns – or restrictions on the very basics of what tourists enjoy while being on holiday, like their favourite wine, beer or malt, and being able to enjoy the night life and freedom to travel inter-provincially.

“As Fedhasa we urge government to put a tremendous push on the vaccination programme as the way to either prevent or control the fourth wave and not even contemplate introducing restrictions again, which will make tourism and hospitality simply financially unviable.

“We simply can’t take any more knocks than we have had,” says Anderson.

“There needs to be some form of guarantee and assurance from government that they will allow hospitality and tourism to continue to recover, without setting us back again.”

Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO of the Tourism Business Council of SA (TBCSA), also finds the possibility of restrictions during the upcoming holiday worrying.

TBCSA, describing itself as the umbrella organisation representing the unified voice of business in the travel and tourism sector, says the figures in the Stats SA report illustrate the effect of the lockdowns during 2020 clearly.

International tourists

“There has been recovery, but the tourism industry is still suffering due to the absence of international tourists. An increase in local travel during the holiday period will definitely help, but the industry is still reliant on foreign travellers spending dollars.

“The truth is that establishments need to make money to survive and pay their staff and other costs. Most employees in the sector are still working only a few days per week, and temporary seasonal workers not at all,” says Tshivhengwa.

He hints that hotels and guest houses are currently offering discounts to local travellers, just to earn a bit of income. “We need overseas travellers. We must be mindful of what people pay,” he says.

The difficulties of the tourism industry can be seen in any town that is dependent on tourism such as Cape Town, and it even affects Johannesburg, he adds.

It is noticeable to the casual observer. Restaurants aren’t full, it’s easy to get a room (for a good price) in a guest house, and shops in tourism hot spots are standing empty.

Meanwhile, potential holidaymakers are holding off booking a holiday this year – after they were forced to pack up halfway through their break last year and head home.


UAE: World’s first Warner Bros hotel to open in November

Guests will be able to ring up their favourite Looney Tunes characters for room service brought to them by Bugs Bunny himself.

The WB Abu Dhabi hotel is all set to open its doors to guests on November 11 this year. Located on Yas Island, it will allow visitors to see their favourite stories and characters brought to life through unique hospitality experiences.

Featuring one of the finest collections of Warner Bros archives, guests will be treated to a journey of discovery through film and television, enjoying the entertainment group’s rich history and library of timeless productions at every touchpoint from arrival to check-out.

Visitors can listen to familiar piano tunes from Westworld while dining in one of five restaurants on the property — or ring up one of their favourite Looney Tunes characters for a room service treat brought to them by the Wascally Wabbit, Bugs Bunny himself.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Miral, said: “We are proud to be launching another first with the opening of the only Warner Bros hotel in the world.”

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UAE: World’s first Warner Bros hotel to open in November

Web report/Abu Dhabi Filed on October 11, 2021

Guests will be able to ring up their favourite Looney Tunes characters for room service brought to them by Bugs Bunny himself


Warner Bros is opening its first hotel in the world. And its home will be none other than right here in the UAE.


The WB Abu Dhabi hotel is all set to open its doors to guests on November 11 this year. Located on Yas Island, it will allow visitors to see their favourite stories and characters brought to life through unique hospitality experiences.

Featuring one of the finest collections of Warner Bros archives, guests will be treated to a journey of discovery through film and television, enjoying the entertainment group’s rich history and library of timeless productions at every touchpoint from arrival to check-out.

Visitors can listen to familiar piano tunes from Westworld while dining in one of five restaurants on the property — or ring up one of their favourite Looney Tunes characters for a room service treat brought to them by the Wascally Wabbit, Bugs Bunny himself.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Miral, said: “We are proud to be launching another first with the opening of the only Warner Bros hotel in the world.”

What to expect

The experience begins right from the time guests of The WB Abu Dhabi hotel pull up to the property, where they are greeted by digital screens that span the height of the building and that play original content created for the hotel.

Before entering the hotel, they can make a quick stop at the iconic “Friends” fountain, while the storytelling continues after they cross the lobby, with guest room corridors displaying a curated gallery of artwork.

The curated guestroom artwork will be inspired by three themes. The first theme, “From Script to Screen”, highlights standout moments from Warner Bros’ movies and shows and documents the journey from the written page to the final shot. The second theme, “Artist Confidential”, celebrates a variety of talent in front of and behind the camera in some of Warner Bros’ favourite productions. The third theme, “The Vault”, features rarely-seen images from the Group’s most memorable archives.

Some of WB’s world-renowned characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and others will participate in entertaining activities throughout the hotel, providing memories that will last a lifetime.

The WB Abu Dhabi is located adjacent to the award-winning Warner Bros World™ Abu Dhabi, the world’s largest indoor theme park which features six immersive lands, including DC’s Metropolis and Gotham City, Cartoon Junction, Bedrock, Dynamite Gulch and Warner Bros Plaza.