Arne Sorenson talks about why Marriott made the switch to NASDAQ and the company's plan to become the largest hotel company in Africa.
Arne Sorenson talks about why Marriott made the switch to NASDAQ and the company's plan to become the largest hotel company in Africa.
The faster, easier and more convenient mobile check-in from Marriott Hotels, the signature brand of Marriott International is now available at 20 additional Marriott hotels* in 19 countries including United Kingdom, Mexico, United Arab Emirates and India. First launched at 329 hotels in the U.S. and Canada, the mobile check-in feature on the Marriott Mobile App has expanded internationally, representing the broadest mobile offering of its kind in the lodging industry.
According to research by GroupM Next*, 57 percent of business travellers aged 21-39 use their smartphone to book a hotel. These younger travellers are also more likely to use mobile devices to enhance their travel experiences. Marriott Hotels expects to complete the full global roll out of mobile check-in at all 500 hotels, as well as offer check-out functionality, in the first half of 2014.
With the Marriott Mobile App, check-in is simple. Marriott Rewards members, who have downloaded the app, can check-in through a smartphone as early as 4 pm the day before arrival, receiving an automatic notification when the room is ready. On arrival, Marriott Rewards guests simply go to the expedited mobile check-in desk where a key card will be ready and waiting.
“As Marriott developed the app and tested mobile check-in, we engaged customers, asking for their feedback to perfect the experience and learn what mattered most to them,” said Paul Cahill, senior vice president of brand management for Marriott Hotels. “Mobile check-in is just the start. Our guests are more mobile and global than ever before and technology is increasingly important to them, which is why we will add check-out next year. We will continue to solicit feedback from our guests as we enhance the travel experience with Marriott.”
The brand’s mobile innovation will continue as Marriott Hotels has launched 12 mobile “incubator” hotels in the U.S. to test future mobile enhancements. Guests at those hotels can make service requests using their smartphones. The most popular guest requests so far include additional towels, wake-up calls and housekeeping.
Further innovations from Marriott Hotels
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About Marriott.com & Mobile
Mobile check-in is part of the free Marriott mobile app available in the Apple iTunes Store and Google Play. Learn more about mobile check-in at http://travel-brilliantly.marriott.com/our-innovations/check-in-app
The Marriott Mobile App has been downloaded over 2.5 million times, and Marriott.com receives over 4.5 million visitors a month from smartphones.
*The 20 international hotels offering mobile check-in are:
• Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel
• Brussels Marriott Hotel
• London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square
• Prague Marriott Hotel
• Zurich Marriott Hotel
• Bangkok Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit
• Bangalore Marriott Hotel Whitefield
• Goa Marriott Resort & Spa
• Manila Marriott Hotel
• Singapore Marriott Hotel
• Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay
Caribbean & Latin America
• Bogota Marriott Hotel
• CasaMagna® Marriott Cancun Resort
• Panama Marriott Hotel
• Santiago Marriott Hotel
• San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
Middle East & Africa
• Amman Marriott Hotel
• Cairo Marriott Hotel & Omar Khayyam Casino
• Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites
• Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
*Source: GroupM Next, September 2013; GBTA, August 2013; blog.librarypd.com, July 2013
Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) for company information. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.Read more
Jazan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 19 November 2013– During an opening ceremony attended by his Highness Prince Mohammad Bin Nasser Bin Abdel Aziz Al Saud the Emir (Prince) of Jizan Region and Alex Kyriakidis President and Managing Director Marriott International, Middle East & Africa - Marriott International announced the opening of the Courtyard by Marriott Jazan, owned by Abdulrahman bin Saad Al Rashid. This is Marriott International’s first hotel in Jazan, the economic city in the Southwest of Saudi Arabia., and it is the second Courtyard by Marriott property in Saudi Arabia, as Courtyard by Marriott Riyadh Diplomatic Quarter opened last year.
Courtyard by Marriott Jazan is connected to Al Rashid Mall, located in the heart of the city nearby major shopping malls and downtown districts with easy access to and from the King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz airport. It has 129 spacious guest rooms, including 86 king size rooms, 27 double / double rooms, 14 junior suite, 2 royal suite, two food and beverage outlets, Olea café and the lobby lounge, 24 hour room service, a fitness center including an indoor pool and seven executive meeting rooms that can accommodate a combined number or 565 guests.
Adel Jubran, General Manager at Courtyard by Marriott Jazan said: “We are excited that our new Courtyard is the first in our region following the global celebration of Courtyard by Marriott’s 30th anniversary which took place last month. This is a dynamic brand that is popular in Saudi Arabia, and we are excited to see its expansion in the Kingdom.”
Courtyard understands business travelers, and, through extensive research, the brand continues to evolve to meet guests’ changing needs. Combining innovative technology with style and comfort, the adaptable lobby space offers options so guests can make the most of their time on the road. Intuitive services accommodate guests’ desire for choice and control and allow them to use the public space and guest rooms to meet all of their needs while on the road.
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is a leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with nearly 3,900 properties in 72 countries and territories and reported revenues of nearly $12 billion in fiscal year 2012. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.
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Expects to Become Largest Hotel Company in Africa[**]
Bethesda, Md., Nov. 7, 2013 – Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) today said it has signed a letter of intent with Protea Hospitality Holdings of Cape Town, South Africa to acquire Protea Hotels’ brands and its management business that operates or franchises 116 hotels across three brands with 10,184 rooms in South Africa and six other Sub-Saharan African countries. The transaction would nearly double Marriott’s distribution in Africa to more than 23,000 rooms, and would also provide Marriott with a proven operational platform and leadership team to accelerate Marriott’s expansion plans and solidify its leadership position in the dynamic and growing African hotel market. [Click here for images and b-roll.]
Protea Hotels, founded in 1984, manages, franchises and leases hotels across the Protea Hotels brand (104 hotels), comprising a full and diverse range of outstanding hotels and resorts; the award-winning lifestyle boutique Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! brand (2 hotels); and the superior deluxe African Pride Hotels collection (10 hotels). In addition to its industry-leading 80 hotels in South Africa, Protea Hotels has a significant presence in Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Arne Sorenson, president and chief executive officer of Marriott International, said, “Africa has significant untapped potential for travel and tourism, both as a destination and source of new global travelers. The continent’s GDP is anticipated to grow at over five percent annually over the next several years which we expect will raise more people into the emerging middle class. With the Protea Hotels acquisition, our expanded footprint should allow us to become the first choice of Africa’s rapidly growing population of young, sophisticated travelers, and drive loyalty to our Marriott Rewards program both within Africa and globally. Protea Hotels enjoys unparalleled brand recognition in Africa, and our combined portfolio of Protea Hotels and current Marriott International brands would create a platform for accelerated growth and new job growth in South Africa and across the continent.”
Alex Kyriakidis, president of Marriott International for the Middle East and Africa, said, “The development cycle for opening new hotels in Africa is typically long due to the challenges posed by emerging infrastructure, so joining forces with Protea Hotels and their highly respected management team is the strongest way to jumpstart Marriott’s footprint in Africa. The Marriott Middle East and Africa management team can deliver value and greater growth for Protea’s hotel owners by leveraging these terrific brands, represented by 116 hotels and more than 10,000 rooms in seven countries, with Marriott’s global sales, marketing and development infrastructure. We believe this would also result in more job creation in South Africa and across the continent.”
Arthur Gillis, chief executive officer of Protea Hospitality Group, said “Protea Hotels has grown organically to become the largest and leading hotel group in Sub-Saharan Africa. Aligning with a global giant such as Marriott ensures we can realise the Group’s full potential for all of our stakeholders. In Marriott we have found a perfect fit across culture, values and commitment to industry leadership which will ensure that we remain at the forefront of African hospitality.”
The otherwise non-binding letter of intent includes provisions that the parties will negotiate exclusively with each other. The transaction is subject to completion of due diligence, negotiation and execution of definitive documents, receipt of customary third party and governmental consents and approvals and satisfaction of other customary conditions for transactions of this kind that the parties expect will be included in the definitive transaction documents.
The proposed terms of the transaction are not being disclosed at this time. The parties stated that they plan to sign definitive agreements by year-end 2013 and the transaction could close in the first three months of 2014. In any event, Marriott does not expect the transaction would have a material impact on its 2014 results.
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is a leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with nearly 3,900 properties in 72 countries and territories and reported revenues of nearly $12 billion in fiscal year 2012. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.
About Protea Hotels:
Protea Hotels is the largest and leading hotel group in Africa with the most extensive footprint; more than 116 hotels throughout South Africa and six other African countries, including Zambia, Nigeria, Namibia, Malawi, Uganda and Tanzania. The company was founded in 1984 and has grown its portfolio and brands since. The group comprises of two brands, namely the mid-up market Protea Hotels (including the lifestyle brand Protea Hotel Fire & Ice!) brand and the superior deluxe African Pride Hotels, Lodges and Country Houses brand.
Protea Hotels is the winner of 2 World Travel Awards for Best Hotel Group in Africa, winner of 3 Sunday Times Markinor Top Hotel Brand Awards, the winner of 4 Coolest Hotel Group awards in the Sunday Times Generation Next surveys and the winner of the Ask Africa South African Customer Service Award 2013.
For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.proteahotels.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.proteahotels.com/pressroom/Pages/pressroom.aspx.
[**Defined by STR Global as the total of operating rooms and rooms under construction for Marriott International and Protea Hotels.]
Note on forward-looking statements: This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of U.S. federal securities laws, including the parties’ plans for signing and closing on definitive transaction documents; the resulting impact on the size of Marriott’s operations in Africa; and similar statements concerning anticipated future events and expectations that are not historical facts. We caution you that these statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including the ability of the parties to agree on definitive transaction documents, the receipt of necessary consents, and other risk factors that we identify in our most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q. Any of these factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations we express or imply in this press release. We make these forward-looking statements as of the date of this press release. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Global Hotel Company Will Bring 24 Additional Graduates from Akilah Institute for Women to Train and Work in its Dubai and Doha Hotels (Video)
Washington, D.C., Twenty-four young African women between the ages of 18 and 30 have been selected to participate in the job training partnership in Dubai and Doha launched in 2012 between Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) and the Akilah Institute for Women in Kigali, Rwanda. Upon their graduation in December, the new Akilah graduates will join the first group of 17 young women, who began the training program in Marriott hotels in Dubai in the fall of 2012. All will return to Rwanda in 2014 to open Marriott's first hotel in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Kigali Marriott.
Among the new group of employees will be Cecile Musanase and Julian Kankunda, who will speak on October 30 at an event in Washington, D.C., at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel to celebrate the partnership between Marriott and the Akilah. Also speaking will be U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues at the U.S. Department of State, Catherine Russell, former World Bank President Robert Zoellick, Akilah CEO and Co-founder Elizabeth Dearborn-Hughes, and Marriott executive Kathleen Matthews.
"Thanks to partnerships like Marriott, Akilah placed 100 percent of our first graduating class in jobs that are building sustainable careers in Africa," said Elizabeth Dearborn-Hughes. "These young women are thriving in their jobs at the hotels in Dubai and Doha, as they learn to become leaders for Marriott's expanding portfolio of hotels in Africa."
"Marriott is committed to investing in all the communities where we build hotels, including Africa," said Kathleen Matthews, Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer at Marriott International. The Akilah partnership supports our strategy to serve our world, and meet our employment needs."
As Marriott increases its presence in Africa more than six-fold from ten to 33 hotels by 2018, it anticipates hiring nearly 10,000 employees, the majority of whom will be local residents. “We want promising, local talent to welcome our guests. We have found some of that talent through our partnership with Akilah,” said Gary Dodds, Marriott International’s vice president of human resources for the Middle East & Africa, who leads the program. “As part of our commitment to young people in Africa, a partnership like that with Akilah is something we wish to consider at each of our hotel openings including in Ghana and Ethiopia where we have committed to build a hotel.”
Opened in January 2010, Akilah offers a three-year business diploma with a focus in hospitality management, information systems or entrepreneurship. The unique Akilah model emphasizes leadership and communication skills. Akilah works closely with the local private sector to develop market-relevant curricula and to ensure job placement for graduates in the fastest growing sectors of the economy.
The Kigali Marriott Hotel – owned by New Century Development Ltd. - will be the largest hotel in Rwanda at 250 rooms.
Currently, in Africa, Marriott has ten properties in three countries, including The JW Marriott Hotel Cairo Mirage City in Egypt and the Renaissance Tlemcen in Algeria. In addition to the Kigali Marriott Hotel, the company has 23 hotels in the Africa pipeline, 10 of which are in Sub-Saharan Africa, including the Accra Marriott Hotel in Ghana (2014), The Ritz-Carlton Reserve Tamuda Bay in Morocco (2014), the Courtyard by Marriott and Marriott Executive Apartment Addis Ababa in Ethiopia (2015), the Librevilla Marriott Hotel in Gabon (2015) and the Contonou Marriott Hotel in Benin (2015).
About Marriott International
Marriott International’s commitment to society blends corporate financial contributions with in-kind giving and the volunteer service of our associates around the world. We participate in efforts to provide shelter, food, and children's health, while creating career opportunities for our associates in the workplace and supporting education in the hospitality industry. For more information about our social responsibility efforts visit www.marriott.com/socialresponsibility.
About Akilah Institute for Women
Akilah (which means “wisdom” in Swahili) is a college in Kigali, Rwanda, and Bujumbura, Burundi. Opened in January 2010, Akilah has developed a new model of higher education that emphasizes leadership development, market-relevant training and entrepreneurial skills. The first Diploma in hospitality management provides students with the skills and experience to become leaders and entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry, the fastest growing sector of the Rwandan economy, and a regional strategic development priority for the East African Community. For more information, please visit www.akilahinstitute.org.
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BETHESDA, MD - Courtyard, the brand that forever changed the hotel industry by pioneering the upper moderate tier of the hospitality industry in 1983, celebrates turning 30, with nearly 1,000 hotels in 38 countries and more than 30,000 associates. The largest brand by number of hotels in the Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) portfolio, Courtyard is embracing its leadership role and celebrating its heritage with guests and customers across the world at five spectacular events in Hong Kong, Doha, Berlin, Mexico City and Atlanta.
“Launching the Courtyard brand was our biggest risk and also our biggest reward,” said Bill Marriott, Marriott International’s Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board. “I’m so proud of what Courtyard has become but even more proud of where it is taking our industry.”
Courtyard’s continued growth and success is attributed to its understanding of business travelers. Through three decades, it has responded to the evolving needs of this important group of guests and continues to do so with its Courtyard Refreshing Business repositioning and its newly introduced Cynergy room design.
“Thirty years ago, our hotels catered to guests who were all about work and more work. We have innovated steadily to meet our guests’ changing needs and their desire for more options and flexibility during their stay. The response has been significant,” he added.
Courtyard’s entrepreneurial spirit has kept it at the forefront of innovation through the last three decades. It was the first brand to launch a digital lobby concierge, namely the GoBoards® as well as the first in the hospitality industry to offer calorie counts in its Bistro. Global expansion has led the brand to develop international prototype rooms and design directions in four regions. This has allowed the brand to maintain its relevancy as well as to ensure efficient business models for its owners.
“Courtyard continues to lead and define the segment year after year. We understood what our guests wanted 30 years ago and we understand them now,” said Janis Milham, senior vice president, Marriott Modern Essentials and Extended Stay Brands. “We are committed to being the segment leader for the future and continue to break new ground to meet the needs of the next generation of guests.”
According to Milham, significant growth for Courtyard lies abroad, and the brand will continue to design and operate hotels that appeal culturally to regional guests. Courtyard recently opened in Riyadh, Mexico City and Aberdeen and expects its first hotel in Brazil to open in 2014 and in Africa in 2015.
To mark the milestone occasion, Courtyard is hosting a rolling global anniversary party, with major guest and customer events in Hong Kong, Doha, Berlin, Mexico City and Atlanta, the location of the first Courtyard. In addition, at more than 800 hotels in North America, the first 30 guests checking in at a Courtyard will receive commemorative Courtyard t-shirts. In social media, those who celebrate the same birthday as Courtyard will also receive a surprise gift. During this momentous occasion for the brand, more than 30,000 associates will also be celebrating internally with cakes, balloons and other festivities. Follow hashtag #Courtyard30 to join in the global event.
The Courtyard by Marriott brand features hotels with a refreshing environment that helps guests stay connected, productive and balanced while traveling. Intuitive services and design accommodate guests’ desire for choice and control and allow them to use the public space and guest rooms to meet all of their needs while on the road. With nearly 1,000 locations in 38 countries, Courtyard has more locations than any other Marriott International brand. For more information about the brand, visit www.courtyard.com.
Click here for Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) company information.
NOTE: The statements about the number and opening dates for Courtyard hotels abroad are “forward looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities laws, not historical facts, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including supply and demand changes for hotel rooms; competitive conditions in the lodging industry; relationships with clients and property owners; the availability of capital to finance hotel growth; and other risk factors identified in Marriott International, Inc.'s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q; any of which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by our statements. These statements are made as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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LONDON – Renaissance Hotels, the signature lifestyle brand of Marriott International, announced today the opening of the new Renaissance Izmir Hotel in Turkey. With its chic design and architecture, the new hotel is ideally located minutes from the city centre and sea front promenade.
“We are thrilled to grow our portfolio in Turkey to ten hotels with this unique property as well as introduce the Renaissance Hotels brand to Izmir,” said Amy McPherson, President and Managing Director for Marriott International in Europe. “With its sophisticated ambience and signature Renaissance Hotels programmes including NAVIGATOR and RLife LIVE, we are confident the hotel will be a popular destination for guests and locals alike.”
Featuring a distinctive atrium style with panoramic views, every guest should expect a unique stay whether travelling for business or leisure. The lobby Library greets the guests with an extensive selection of books and the signature ‘Navigator’ desk provides unique ‘In-the-Know’ including the best of local experiences in Izmir.
Renaissance Hotels helps to inspire authentic travel experiences through innovative guest programmes including NAVIGATOR, the brand’s signature concierge service, and RLife LIVE, an industry-leading entertainment platform showcasing music, arts and more at Renaissance Hotels around the world. Last year, Renaissance Hotels introduced its first ever global advertising campaign, Live Life to DiscoverSM, inspiring guests to discover something distinctly new whenever they travel for business or leisure.
The Renaissance Izmir Hotel features 110 stylish and spacious guest rooms, with each room including indigenous touches such as local photography and traditional "Kurna" bathing basins. The hotel’s culinary experience fulfils every palette while establishing a new dining and entertainment bar for the city. The Pinch, located in the lobby, serves local dishes with a contemporary twist. Roof top restaurant, SkyFire, is unique with its large terrace, open kitchen and Mediterranean flavours.
Equipped with state of the art facilities, the hotel’s Shala Spa offers travellers the best in relaxation and rejuvenation. The spa boasts the largest traditional Turkish Baths in the city centre designed for both women and men.
Renaissance Izmir Hotel is a preferential venue for today’s modern meeting planner, featuring the brand’s signature R.E.N. meetings program, which incorporates signature programs such as Navigator and RLife LIVE, designed especially for meetings and special events.
Renaissance Hotels encourages guests to Live Life to DiscoverSM at more than 155 hotels in 35 countries around the world. Each hotel is unique and every stay offers an opportunity to explore local discoveries exclusive to the destination. At every hotel, Renaissance Navigators are local experts ready to assist guests in discovering local flavors and activities. Signature RLife LIVE entertainment events are designed to showcase emerging talent in music, the arts, culinary and more to inspire discovery. R.E.N. Meetings offers groups an experience beyond a traditional meeting rooted in creative sensory meeting design, RLife LIVE networking events and custom curated local Navigator excursions. At Renaissance Hotels, we work to ensure that every trip is transformed into an eye-opening, unforgettable journey. You spend your life working, you should discover the world as you go. To discover more visit www.renhotels.com.
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Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) for company information. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.
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LONDON – The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., the leader in luxury hospitality, has confirmed their first hotel in Israel will officially open its doors in late 2013. The Ritz-Carlton, Herzliya is located in the exclusive residential seafront town north of Tel Aviv, and will be the first global luxury branded hotel in the country.
“We are delighted to be opening this exceptional seafront property at a time of historic growth in incoming tourism to Israel. Global travellers will now have the opportunity to enjoy The Ritz-Carlton award- winning service and experience here as we establish the definitive luxury experience in Israel” said Herve Humler, president and chief operations officer, The Ritz-Carlton. “The Ritz-Carlton will bring its legendary service standards to Israel and offer the global affluent traveller a destination for both leisure and business in Herzliya,” he added.
Tel Aviv is a vibrant Mediterranean city with historic cultural sights, Bauhaus architecture, a dynamic café and restaurant culture. As the home of the growing technology sector, Herzliya is also a frequent destination for business travellers the world over.
Located on the Marina overlooking the Mediterranean, the hotel and was designed by a collection of internationally recognized architects and designers. Rani Ziss Architects Ltd. designed the 12-storey property and New York-based interior design firm Studio Gaia created the interiors with Israeli studio Gad Halperin producing the lobby and restaurant concepts. The 197 room property includes 82 suites all with stunning sea views and balconies. As the first urban resort in Israel, the property offers a unique beach front experience with leisure amenities including a roof-top swimming pool with sweeping panoramic views of the beach. The Ritz-Carlton Spa and Fitness Centre both have Mediterranean views and outdoor relaxation terraces, while sailing, surfing and other water sports are within a short stroll of the property.
Renowned Chef Yonathon Roshfeld will create his first kosher dining experience at the Herbet Samuel restaurant within The Ritz-Carlton by using local, seasonal local produce complemented by kosher lsraeli and international wines. A panoramic rooftop bar will offer sweeping views overlooking of the coastline.
Facilities for business travellers at the property include 4,500 square feet of meeting space with views of the Marina for both business and social events and a Business Centre.
About The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., of Chevy Chase, Md., currently operates 80 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. More than 30 hotel and residential projects are under development around the globe. The Ritz-Carlton is the only service company to have twice earned the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, an award that originated in 1987. Its purpose is to promote the awareness of quality excellence, recognize quality achievements of companies and publicize successful quality strategies. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company won the award in 1992 and 1999. For more information, or reservations, contact a travel professional, call toll free in the UK 0800 234 000, or visit the company web site at www.ritzcarlton.com. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR).
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Dubai, UAE – This year, in honour of the company’s first upcoming property in East Africa, the Kigali Marriott Hotel, Marriott International was invited to participate in Rwanda’s renowned annual gorilla-naming ceremony, Kwita Izina 2013. Paul Dalgleish, Director of Sales and Marketing at Marriott International Middle East and Africa represented the company at the event.
There were twelve baby gorillas that were to be named this year. Marriott International chose the name ‘Isimbi’ for its baby female gorilla who was born on 22nd September 2012. In Kinyrwandan, Isimbi means ‘shining’. Isimbi’s mother is Karisimbi, a 26 year old female who has had 5 babies, and is part of the Amohoro group, adding to the increasing value of this group according to the mountain trackers.
“It was such an honour to be invited to and involved with the ninth annual Kwita Izina ceremony. We wish both Isimbi and the other twelve baby gorillas a long and prosperous life in the spectacular Musanze District,” commented Paul Dalgleish, Director of Sales and Marketing, Marriott International, Middle East and Africa. “We at Marriott International are particularly proud to be associated with Rwanda’s wider conservation efforts and look forward to positively contributing to the growth of eco-tourism across both the local communities and wider country.”
The ceremony was attended by local and international dignitaries and celebrities, and included speeches from Rwanda’s Prime Minister Dr. Pierre Damien and Clare Akamanzi, CEO of the Rwandan Development Board, patrons of Kwita Izina. Other participants in the ceremony included Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, Hollywood actor Isaiah Washington, Dr. Paul Kahumba, Executive Director of Kenyan Land Conservation Trust and Nigerian film star Ramsey Tokunbo Nouah, among others.
Kwita Izina is inspired by the ancient Rwandan tradition of naming a baby soon after its birth, and takes place every year in June. In the nine years since it was established, 161 mountain gorillas have been named in celebration of nature and the communities who protect these magnificent animals.
Kwita Izina gives the chance to celebrate the efforts of all those who ensure the welfare of Rwandan wildlife and the conservation of their habitat. Rwanda is committed to the protection of the mountain gorillas and their homelands by working with local communities and visitors.
This year’s theme for the festival was ‘Celebrating Nature, Empowering Communities’, as it showcased Rwanda’s natural wonders such as the spectacular Twin Lakes, Ruhondo and Burera, as well as the Musanze Caves, and the enchanting Buhanga Eco Park. The ceremony not only celebrates Rwanda’s mountain gorillas, but also the community-led conservation efforts taking place across the country. Rwanda’s conservation efforts have resulted in a 26 per cent growth in the population of these rare creatures since 2003, and the country’s revenue sharing scheme provides 5 per cent of all tourism income to promote sustainable development. Since 2005, the scheme has returned US$ 2.5 million to local communities.
Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) is a leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 3,800 properties in 74 countries and territories and reported revenues of nearly $12 billion in fiscal year 2012. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands.
Doha, Qatar – During Ramadan, the Renaissance Doha will be transformed to reflect the colors, flavours and sounds of Ancient Arabia with a modern twist. The Renaissance Doha City Center Hotel, led by General Manager John Northen, was officially opened on October 4, 2011, and has announced its Ramadan Kareem celebrations in their indigenously inspired Al Areen Ballroom.
Ramadan is a time for family and friends, with a spirit of kindness and hope. But it is also a time for feasts and celebrations, so Renaissance’s Executive Chef, Christian Jean, has planned a vibrant array of international delicacies with the most exquisite Arabic favourites. Families are invited to break their fast with a delicious Iftar buffet combining the finest recipes and amazing treats. Interactive cooking stations and live Arabic music top off the festivities in a backdrop of grandeur and sophistication. Guests can look forward to a tantalizing selection of fresh salads, rich main courses and decadent desserts, as well as the legendary dishes of Macheboos, a lamb and rice tradition, and the sweet Um-ali dessert. Continue the celebrations at the Sohour buffet, not forgetting of course a shisha selection during both events.
In comments about the tasty banquet on offer, Robert Catlin, Director of Beverage and Food at the Renaissance Doha City Center Hotel, said, “The art of cuisine is our top priority during Ramadan. We will be showcasing the talents of our internationally-acclaimed chefs, and offering a slice of traditional Arabic life through a fantastic menu, shisha, music, and all their favourite beverages. We aim to give our Ramadan guests a 5-star experience to ensure they have an unforgettable time”.
With décor inspired by wonders of the Middle East, the Renaissance Doha City Center Hotel is the perfect location to capture the excitement and elegance of Ramadan. Located on the first floor, the Ballroom will be serving Iftar from sunset to 8:00pm, offering Ramadan juices for QR195. Continue the celebration at the Sohour buffet from 9:00pm-1:30am, also including Ramadan juices, for QR235. Corporate groups are encouraged to book their special dates early.
The Renaissance Hotel, Courtyard by Marriott and Marriott Executive Apartments Doha City Center are located in two 48-storey towers in the heart of Doha in the new financial and business district of West Bay. The hotel is connected to the Doha City Center Shopping Mall which features over 340 stores plus many more activities.
Renaissance Hotels represents a diverse collection of more than 150 hotels in 35 countries worldwide. Each property is unique, offering passionate travelers a one-of-kind experience and memories they will be sure to take with them long after they depart. Within every hotel, guests are greeted by an exceptional array of amenities and an inspiring world of local discoveries. For travelers looking to experience something new, innovative and locally driven programs including the industry leading entertainment platform RLife LIVE as well R Navigator, ensure that every trip is transformed into an eye-opening, unforgettable journey. Renaissance Hotels. Live Life To Discover. To discover more visit www.renhotels.com.
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