5 things to know: 17 March 2017
5 things to know: 17 March 2017
17 MARCH 2017 9:09 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Rezidor appoints first female GM in Saudi Arabia
  • Trump administration to appeal travel ban rulings
  • Updates to the Baha Mar timeline
  • Roomnights in Havana on the rise
  • Hospitality management students rank desired employers

Rezidor appoints first female GM in Saudi Arabia: Maram Kokandi, the first Saudi Arabian woman in the country's hotel industry to become a general manager, was recently appointed by Rezidor Hotel Group at the Park Inn by Radisson in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, according to a news release.

Rezidor hired Kokandi as part of the Saudi Vision 2030, which “emphasizes the significance of Saudi women and their role in leading the development of both social and professional growth of the Kingdom.”

“We are very proud to be part of this historic appointment. We are committed to empowering our women in leadership at Rezidor, and this announcement is a momentous achievement, not only for our group but for the hospitality industry worldwide. We are confident that this milestone, the appointment of the first Saudi female general manager, will inspire other women across the region to pursue their career aspirations in hospitality,” said Wolfgang M. Neumann, president and CEO of Rezidor.

Trump administration to appeal travel ban rulings: White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday the Trump administration will “soon” appeal rulings by federal judges in Hawaii and Maryland that in effect have blocked enforcement of an executive order banning travel to the U.S. from six Muslim-majority countries, CNN reports. The revised travel ban was announced earlier this month and set to take effect Thursday.

CNN reports that Spicer said “the administration intends to appeal the Maryland decision to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ‘soon,’ and will seek ‘clarification’ on the Hawaii ruling before heading to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.”

A federal judge from Seattle and other federal courts blocked the implementation of the original travel ban last month.

Updates to the Baha Mar timeline: Despite announcements that the 1,000-acre Bahamas megaresort Baha Mar will open in April, reservations are still not being accepted. Hotel News Now has tracked the long, complicated road of development for the resort since the beginning.

Updates to the timeline include: An announcement by Bahamian Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis that the resort has hired more than 650 people from the country; and claims by Bahamian politicians that the sale to Chow Tai Fook Enterprises is illegitimate.

Roomnights in Havana on the rise: An increase in demand for hotel rooms in Havana, Cuba, is making it hard for American tourists to find a reasonably-priced hotel room in the island’s capital, Local 10 News reports.

The Cuban government has partnered with foreign companies to bring luxury hotels like the Gran Hotel Kempinski Manzana La Habana to Havana, but “tourists are still facing issues of room availability, a lack of luxury amenities and scarce hospitality training.” These challenges are a result of rising prices, the news organization reports.

Shared accommodations are available on the island, and the Cuban government has plans to double its hotel capacity by 2020.

Hospitality management students rank desired employers: In the eighth edition of the Young Hoteliers Summit Employer Rankings of 2017, hospitality management students chose Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts as their employer of choice in the luxury and upper upscale segment, according to a news release. Four Seasons took the top spot for the second year in a row.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company was chosen as the second most-desired hotel employer by respondents, and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group came in third.

Disneyland Hotel claimed the No. 1 spot for the upscale and upper midscale segment, and ibis Hotels came in first for the midscale and budget segment. Ramada Worldwide and Best Western Hotels & Resorts came in second and third for the segment, respectively.

Compiled by Danielle Hess.

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