■ SERVICED APARTMENTS PROVIDER SACO says it has saved a client 20 per cent in accommodation costs over six months. The figures come after international law firm DAC Beachcroft added serviced apartments to its travel programme and appointed SACO as sole provider. SACO says the figure encompasses average savings of 17 per cent on room rates, plus ancillary savings, including hotel meals and internet access, totalling “several thousands of pounds”.
■ CARLSON WAGONLIT TRAVEL is to combine its North and Latin American divisions into a single region. The TMC said it would create an Americas division in order to “better leverage resources and expertise to support this significant geographic area”.
The new 16 1
region will be headed by Hakan Ericsson, who was appointed as CWT’s president of North America and Latin America in January.
UK growth is being undermined by government policy
IAG chief executive Willie Walsh
XXXXXXX AIRPORT EXPANSION
GOVERNMENT ‘DIVIDED’ OVER SE AIRPORT EXPANSION STRATEGY
THE COALITION GOVERNMENT is divided over how to expand airport capacity in the south-east, according to a leading lobbyist. Gareth Morgan, who is an advisor
STARWOOD PLANS 15 MORE CHINESE OPENINGS IN 2012
STARWOOD ANNOUNCED it will open another 15 hotels in China by the end of this year. The hotel group reported it had already opened eight hotels there in the first quarter of this year, while also signing 12 new deals over the same three-month period. Almost 44 per cent of the
hotel group’s global pipeline is concentrated in China, “driven by an ever-increasing Chinese domestic travel market as well as the fast- growing international inbound market”, said president and chief executive Frits van Paasschen. In addition to Westin properties in various second-tier cities, the
new hotels will consist of nine Sheraton-branded hotels, including the world’s largest Sheraton within the Sands Cotai Central complex in Macau, poised to open in September this year. The group will also open two Luxury Collection hotels – Twelve at Hengshan, which is in Shanghai, and the Royal Begonia on Hainan Island. On top of the new openings,
the group will revamp its older properties in China. Hotels that will receive face-lifts include the Great Wall Sheraton Hotel Beijing, as well as Sheraton hotels in Xian, Nanjing and Chengdu.
to the GTMC and Buying Business Travel columnist, said that the government seemed to be making up aviation policy “as it is going along”. The government is due to reveal a new framework for its aviation strategy this summer after delaying its original publication during March. Ministers have said that all options are being considered apart from a third runway at Heathrow. Morgan, who is an associate director with Cavendish Communications, added: “There are arguments going on behind the scenes between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. There are also arguments within the Conservative Party with people in various camps willing to champion various solutions.”
Among the options being considered by the government are two rival schemes to build new hub airports in the Thames estuary. Morgan said it was important for the travel sector to speak to the government with a “unified voice” on the issue and there were plans to widen the coalition in favour of increasing capacity to include bodies outside travel, such as business groups and the “successors to the RDAs [regional development agencies]”. He added that new transport secretary, Justine Greening, “needs to be convinced of the problem” on airport capacity and “needs data to convince herself”. GTMC chief executive Anne Godfrey added that the government needed to “stop messing about” on the issue and make a decision. “We have already lost our competitive edge and European hubs are laughing at us,” she said. “The current situation is not acceptable.”