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ASFONA Owner Board Meetings address the evolution of the association's role, relating to the integration of former Starwood-branded hotels with Marriott International

Yountville, December 16, 2017:
At the Fall 2017 Board of Directors meetings, which were held in Yountville, California on November 28th and 29th, ASFONA announced new mandates for the organization, many of which have been tailored to meet the evolving business interests of its Owner Board of Directors and the association's Associate Members, following the acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts by Marriott International.
 
The meetings comprised three separate sessions, including an ASFONA Board of Directors Meeting with Marriott International, an ASFONA Owner Board of Directors Meeting, and an ASFONA Board of Directors Meeting with the ASFONA Associate Members group. Attendees of the ASFONA/Marriott meeting comprised Marriott International and the ASFONA Owners Board Members only. The ASFONA Owners Board members are representative of the total constituency of owners, franchisees and hotel management companies.
 
During the Board Meeting and Associate Members meeting, ASFONA president, John Shingler presented a series of changes to the organization's mandates. These changes incorporated aspects of an "Engagement Agreement" with Marriott International, which has been designed to further support owners, franchisees and hotel management companies with input to Marriott relating to the ongoing successful integration of Starwood Hotels & Resorts "Legacy Brands" into the Marriott International total brand portfolio.
 
"Following the impressive and professionally managed integration of the two companies and management teams, we remain dedicated to meeting the needs of our Owner Members in their interactions with Marriott," stated John Shingler, president of ASFONA. "It is our goal to provide Marriott International with the same high level of professional support that we have provided Starwood Hotels & Resorts over many years since our inception."
 
In meetings since the acquisition was completed, ASFONA has addressed key performance areas and implemented a communication protocol designed to help maximize the many advantages provided by the integration of the two companies.
 
"We regard these meetings with Marriott International as a candid and frank exchange of views," continued Shingler. "Our overall objective is to provide Marriot with input and an exchange of views that we hope will play a useful role in supporting the business of all of Marriott's brands and particularly assist with the ongoing successful integration program."
 
On the second day, the ASFONA Owner/Operator Board was joined by ASFONA's Associate Members for a broader-based hotel and travel industry discussion. In this session, Shingler and the Board presented the new ASFONA mandate for the Associate Members group, which will continue to highlight but not be limited to the Starwood Legacy Brands, going forward. In the future, these meeting sessions will focus on broader aspects of the hotel business, including hotel Industry performance analysis, development and supplier opportunities relating to all major brands and independent properties, with the sessions designed to provide unique information and trends, both meaningful and beneficial to the businesses of ASFONA Associate Members.
 
During the Associate Member group meeting session the ASFONA Owner/Operator Board Members provided their unique perspective on the current hotel market performance in specific regional markets. Bobby Bowers of Smith Travel Research (STR) also provided ASFONA with an exclusive overview of North America's prevailing market conditions.
Corporate Comm India(CCI Newswire)
 
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Mumbai, December 16, 2017: The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) which has collaborated with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for conducting its Master Trainers Certification Programme concluded its 9th and 10thconclaves in Silvassa and Surat on the 6 th and 7th December, 2017. The two separate training cum certification sessions were based on Food Safety Training & Certification (FoSTaC) programme developed by FSSAI.

"We feel positive with each FoSTaC programme which has taken place about its benefits and its success. The recently concluded programmes in Gujarat received an overwhelming participation from the hotels and restaurants in the respective cities. HRAWI's aim is to ready its members for becoming FSSAI compliant even before it becomes a mandate and has charted out similar sessions to cover the rest of Western region," says Mr Dilip Datwani, President, HRAWI.

The sessions were organized at Ras Resort in Silvassa on the 6th December and at The Grand Bhagwati in Surat on the 7thDecember. Each conclave witnessed participation in good numbers and the sessions familiarized hoteliers and restaurateurs with the finer nuances of food safety and hygiene.

"Food businesses across India, from roadside eateries to restaurants, will have to comply with a wide set of food safety rules, norms and procedures and obtain Food Business Operator (FBO) licences. It is in the best interests of our members and the industry to be thorough and fully equipped to meet standards that are internationally accepted and followed. The training programme enables the business establishment to uniformly implement the processes as required by the FSSAI. The crux of the entire exercise is to ensure that our guests feel assured about the quality of food and services and have a good experience," concludes Mr Datwani.

Corporate Comm India(CCI Newswire)

 
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Mobile messaging enables the popular restaurant chain to enhance its customer experience

Pune, December 15, 2017: OpenMarket , a global leader in mobile messaging, is adding PizzaExpress India to its portfolio of enterprise customers. To coincide with the launch of its home delivery service, the popular Italian restaurant chain introduced SMS to improve delivery operations and better interact with customers.

The new solution highlights PizzaExpress India’s commitment to delivering a great experience for its customers across the country. Customers who place an order over the phone will receive an SMS confirmation directly to their mobile phone. Those that opt-in will then receive an update once the order has been dispatched.

A recent survey from OpenMarket shows that SMS is the number one preferred channel by millennials for notifications from businesses. Research from the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) also suggests that over half of all urban mobile phone owners in India use a feature phone rather than a smartphone. This makes SMS a great option for businesses like Pizza Express who need a quick and cost-effective way to directly engage with their customers- without relying on expensive apps.

Apoorv Johari, OpenMarket’s Sales Director for Asia said, “The most customer-obsessed brands are already using SMS as part of their standard alert practice. It helps them deliver great customer experienceswith empathy, which is crucial for success. We are working with PizzaExpress India to do exactly that. Mobile messaging lets PizzaExpress communicate with customers the way they want and at exactly the time they need it.”

PizzaExpress chose Open Market based on its mobile messaging market strength and the range of custom messaging solutions it provides. The company’s previous success with Club Mahindra and Ginger Hotels demonstrated Open Market as a powerhouse of enhancing business-to-consumer relationships.

Gunjan Singh, Head of Marketing for PizzaExpress India said, “The solution that Open Market brings to India is the perfect fit for our customer base and helps to streamline our delivery operations. We understand that creating an effective solution for delivery notifications is best done through a timely and ubiquitous mobile messaging platform. With SMS, we can easily keep our customers in the loop, at exactly the right moment.”

PizzaExpress plans to expand the service to include updates on delivery delays, further refining the customised messages. By providing an instant, reliable and convenient platform for mobile messaging, Open Market helps PizzaExpress to meet and exceed customer expectations.

Corporate Comm India(CCI Newswire)

 
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HRAWI Appeals To DGP For Expeditious Permissions

Mumbai, December 15, 2017: The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has submitted a letter to Shri Satish Mathur, Director General of Police to provide police permission for extension of operation timings on 24th, 25 th and 31st December well ahead of the date. "We request you to grant permission to our members well in advance by issuing the necessary circular / communication in respect of extension of timings for hotels and restaurants in Maharashtra, who wish to keep their establishments open beyond their deadlines. This I 'am sure would reduce their anxiety and clear the confusion if any, from the minds of our Hotel and Restaurant Members," quotes the letter.

The hotels and restaurants in the city reeling under a string of challenges owing to liquor ban, demonetisation and GST disruption are hopeful of changing the trend direction with the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

"Permission for extension of operation timing comes in eventually. But they usually arrive at the last minute. This prevents the hoteliers and restauranteurs from making adequate arrangements. Neither the establishments nor the patrons are able to make the best of the festival season because of the last minute handout of permission," says Mr Dilip Datwani, President, HRAWI. "This year we hope it will be different."

The association has written to the Police Commissioner to provide an early permission so that the hoteliers can make the best arrangements and guests are able to enjoy a great evening.

"The Christmas and New Year celebrations are perhaps the biggest of all social celebrations in Mumbai. We want to make sure that we are fully prepared at our end and leave no card unturned to ensure a great evening for our guests. Hence, we have requested the authorities to grant us relaxations in timings of operations on the nights of 24th, 25 th and 31st of December, 2017 at the earliest. We are hopeful that the authorities would grant the permissions at least a week in advance. The city could do with a bit of cheer in these wintry times," he concludes.

Corporate Comm India(CCI Newswire)

 
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Amplify the celebratory spirit with three times the fun and entertainment by choosing exciting overnight packages that are a perfect fit to end the year on a high note

Bengaluru, December 14, 2017: Bring in 2018 with a sparkling spirit as you bid adieu to the year gone by, in elegance and style at Shangri-La Hotel. Bask in the festive atmosphere at the 19 storey hotel as you raise a toast with friends and family when the clock strikes midnight. The hotel will be dressed to impress with festive décor while guests can keep worries at bay to enjoy a highly pulsating night. With many offers and overnight packages designed to suit the varied needs of guests, the excitement is amplified with choice aplenty.

For guests looking to dance the night away, is a party with celebrity DJs playing international music at the premium roof-top bar HYPE with spectacular views of the city's skyline in the backdrop. This could be followed by supper at the all-day-dining b Café. There is also a Bollywood dance party that will take place in the Grand Ballroom. One sure way to ramp up the excitement over an intimate evening with family style dining is by savouring an expansive spread of the three most popular cuisines of Italy, Japan and India on the 18th floor. For those who enjoy Chinese cuisine is to indulge in a delightful setting with live performance, an impressive menu and premium beverages. Little guests too will have a zone dedicated to their fun and frolic where they can watch a movie and be entertained by a magician and a balloonist. They too can dine like adults at a special buffet spread laid for them post which they can also give their bustling energy some rest by lying down on comfortable mattresses and pillows, at their disposal.

From luxurious rooms to amenities, foot tapping music to spectacular views, delectable food to premium beverages, usage of swimming pool to jacuzzi, the specially curated packages comprise everything that guests need to make this time of the year, truly memorable.

Welcome the New Year with a sky- high countdown to 2018 at Shangri-La Hotel, Bengaluru

Guests can greet 2018 with any of the following packages to suit their requirement -

Name of the Package

Price in INR

Inclusions

Happy New Years – Elevate 2018 as you dance the night away with stunning views of Bengaluru and welcome 2018 at HYPE

17,999 + taxes

- Complimentary Breakfast on January 1st 2018

- Celebratory buffet dinner for two inclusive of premium wine & spirits, with a DJ and a dance floor on December 31st 2017

-Party at the premium roof - top bar with celebrity DJ s between 20:30 hours – 01:00 hours

- Special supper at b Café including the select beverages between 00:30 hours – 02:00 hours

-Complimentary Wi-Fi

-Early check-in at 10:00 hours

-Late check-out till 16:00 hours

-Usage of the Fitness centre

-Usage of the outdoor swimming pool

-Usage of steam, sauna and jacuzzi

Happy New Years - Usher 2018 with

 

Delicious dinner, live entertainment or a Bollywood DJ.

13,499 + taxes

- Complimentary Breakfast on January 1st 2018

- Dinner and Entertainment on 31st Dec at the Bollywood Night at Grand Ballroom or Traditional Dinner at Shang Palace or live music and buffet dinner at b Café.

-Complimentary Wi-Fi

-Early check-in at 10:00 hours

-Late check-out till 16:00 hours

-Usage of the Fitness centre

-Usage of the outdoor swimming pool

-Usage of steam, sauna and jacuzzi

Happy New Years – Elevate 2018 with three times the entertainment at Caprese, Yataii & Ssaffron

15,499 + taxes

- Complimentary Breakfast on January 1st 2018

-Celebratory dinner for two, inclusive of premium wine & spirit with live entertainment, jugglers and NYE countdown

-Complimentary Wi-Fi

-Early check-in at 10:00 hours

-Late check-out till 16:00 hours

-Usage of the Fitness centre

-Usage of the outdoor swimming pool

-Usage of steam, sauna and jacuzzi

Welcome the New Year with a sky- high countdown to 2018 at Shangri-La Hotel, Bengaluru
The above packages are valid only for stay booked for check in on 31 st December, 2017 and check out on 1stJanuary, 2018.

Terms & Conditions

·Subject to applicable taxes

·This offer cannot be clubbed with any other offer

·Accommodation guarantee and reservations policies apply

·Rates are valid for single or double occupancy

·All rooms can accommodate max of two adults per room

·HYPE is an adult only NYE celebration.

· For restaurant bookings - Due to the limited number of seats available, kindly advise us with your preference of outlet by calling us at 00918045126291/92/93/94/95/96 or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Corporate Comm India(CCI Newswire)

 
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I-Grad Students along with their mentors

Kolkata, December 14, 2017: Inter Continental Hotels Group ( IHG® ), one of the world's leading hotel companies has conferred degrees to 11 students as part of its I-Grad programme, IHG's official Management Trainee Programme in South West Asia. The ceremony was held at Crowne Plaza, Rohini, New Delhi, where students received their certificates after completing an 18-months long training. The I-Grad Programme aims at preparing students for professional competition and enriching the hospitality industry with skilled individuals.

Pascal Gauvin, COO, IHG, India, Middle East and Africa said, "India has the world's youngest workforce with over 12 million new entrants, every year. However, there is a need to equip the employable workforce with skills that matches the demands of the industry. Through our I-Grads programme, we are committed to providing the highest standard of hospitality training to young graduates and prepare them for a rewarding career in the hospitality sector and with IHG." He added, "At IHG, we believe that our brands represent our promises to our guests, but it is our people who deliver on those promises and bring each brand to life. We have a robust development pipeline of 38 hotels in south West Asia, and in order to suitably support the opening of these hotels in the next 3-5 years, we are focused on finding, developing and accelerating our talent pool."

IHG's official Management Trainee Programme in South West Asia, the I-Grad programme started in 2011. Currently there are 43 I-Grads who have graduated and are working as full-time employees across IHG's Hotels and its Corporate Office in Gurugram. The programme fast-tracks participants into a managerial role through its 18 months of intensive learning.

Corporate Comm India(CCI Newswire)

 

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