Week in Review: Travel Industry News

Travel News 14 Aug 2017

For week ending 11 August 2017

Mantra purchases Art Series
Mantra Group is acquiring The Art Series Hotel Group. The sale, which is due for completion by the end of the year, will see the seven hotels owned by The Art Series group transfer to the Mantra Group.

Virgin Australia wi-fi roll out
After a successful three-month trial, Virgin Australia has started the roll out of its free wi-fi service. First to receive the new technology will be the carrier’s fleet of B737 aircraft, with the roll out moving on to its B777 aircraft in October. All B777s and the majority of B737s should have in-flight wi-fi by the end of 2018, after which the airline will focus on fitting out its A330s by the end of 2019. Once complete, more than 90% of VA’s fleet will be offer a base level of free wi-fi to all passengers on domestic flights and it will be the only Australian airline to offer wi-fi on international services.

During Virgin Australia's wi-fi trial, more than three quarters of passengers using the service reported report a “high level of satisfaction”, with 49% checking email, 43% checking social media, 31% reading the news, 27 sending text messages and 19% watching Netflix.

Hilton digital key roll out continues

Hilton Worldwide is pushing forward with the roll out of its digital keys. The hotel group announced they will be available at 2,000 hotels worldwide by the end of the year. As well as retrofitting existing properties, all new Hilton properties will feature the technology. This means that guests will be able to open their guestroom door using the Hilton Honors app.

Accor Seoul Dragon City opening soon
AccorHotels’ four-brand hotel complex, Seoul Dragon City, is set to open on 1 October. Located in the centre of Seoul close to major business districts such as Yeouido and Gangnam, as well as commercial districts including Itaewon and Myeongdong, the property includes the 202-room Grand Mercure Ambassador Seoul Yongsan, 286-room Novotel Suites Ambassador, 621-room Novotel Ambassador Seoul Yongsan and 591-room ibis Styles Ambassador Seoul Yongsan. It also features 11 restaurants and bars, 17 meeting rooms, two multi-function grand ballrooms.

InterContinental Hong Kong revamp
The InterContinental Hong Kong is set to undergo a major revamp. Scheduled to start in early 2019, all guest rooms, public areas, restaurants and event venues as well as the building facade will be updated during the 12-16 month project.

New NYC Hilton
Hilton Worldwide is taking over the management of ONE UN New York. The 439-room hotel will be rebranded as the Millennium Hilton New York One UN Plaza at the end of this month. Located in Midtown, adjacent to the United Nations headquarters, the property features two restaurants, a fitness centre and meeting and event spaces catering for up to 200 guests.

Hyatt South America expansion
Hyatt is adding two new properties to its South American portfolio. The 254-room Hyatt Centric San Isidro Lima in Peru is set to open in January next year, with the 166-room Hyatt Centric Las Condes Santiago in Chile opening the following month.

Virgin Australia launches PER/CBR
Virgin Australia has commenced direct services between Perth and Canberra. The twice-weekly service aims to meet increased demand for travel between the two cities during Parliamentary sitting weeks.