July's top stories: First robot-staffed hotel in Japan, Somalia hotel attacked

Improving productivity by 1% would drive an additional £1.43bn of revenue in the UK hospitality industry, says a new report from workforce development charity People 1st, while a suicide bomber slammed a truck loaded with explosives into the walls of the Jazeera Palace Hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia. Hotelmanagement-network.com wraps-up the key headlines from July 2015.


productivity

£1.43bn additional revenue in hospitality with 1% improved productivity, says new report

Improving productivity by 1% would drive an additional £1.43bn of revenue in the UK hospitality industry, says a new report from workforce development charity People 1st.

The report titled 'The Skills and Productivity Problem' urges the need to address low productivity levels in the hospitality and tourism industry that poses a potential threat to the sector.

High levels of employee turnover are making the sector less effective, with the industry being 58% less productive on a per-employee basis when compared to manufacturing.

Attack at Jazeera Palace Hotel in Somalia kills 13

A suicide bomber slammed a truck loaded with explosives into the walls of the Jazeera Palace Hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia, which killed 13 and left 40 seriously injured.

The al-Qaeda linked Islamist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack claiming it was their way of responding to the assaults by an African Union force and the Somali government.

Jazeera Palace Hotel, which is located 300m from the Aden Abdulle International Airport, is frequented by diplomats, foreigners and heads of state.

Starwood Luxury Collection expands its portfolio with four hotels in Europe

starwoodStarwood Hotels & Resorts expanded the Luxury Collection's European portfolio by adding four hotels in the continent, out of which two are already open.

The luxury hotel chain added Augustine, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Prague and Caresse, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa in Bodrum in July.

The company is set to open Falisia, a Luxury Collection resort and spa in Portopiccolo and the Grand Hotel River Park in Bratislava.

World's first robot-staffed hotel to open in Japan

Henn na Hotel, known for its eccentricity and staffed entirely by robots in Sasebo, Nagasaki, Japan opened on 17 July.

The 144-room hotel has a modern design and features amenities that are necessary for guests, and those that can be operated through a tablet.

Upon entrance, guests are welcomed by an English speaking 'robotic dinosaur' receptionist, along with a Japanese speaking female humanoid with blinking lashes.

LINQ Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas completes $223m renovation

linqLINQ Hotel & Casino at the famous Las Vegas strip announced the completion of a $223m renovation, which also marks the completion of the LINQ complex that includes the High Roller and the LINQ Promenade.

It features 2,253 guest rooms, 244 suites, 25 poolside cabanas and two urban loft-style penthouses.

The LINQ Hotel & Casino is using new technology, which includes an automated valet retrieval system and check-in process.

Lone Star to create £1bn Amaris hotel brand

US-based private equity group Lone Star plans to introduce a £1bn company named Amaris through the acquisition of 89 hotels in the UK.

The new brand will also include 21 Mercure hotels by Lone Star, 19 Thistle hotels and three Hilton properties, with a total of 8,000 employees making the brand one of the largest hotel owners in the UK.

The company reportedly brought together its hotels portfolio to create a simplified and more attractive business. The equity group already purchased 29 Jurys Inn hotels for £680m and Puma Hotels for £323m, rebranding it as the Hotel Collection.

Hilton Garden Inn to open first property in Nairobi

nairobiHilton Worldwide entered a franchise agreement with Reliance Hotels to open Hilton Garden Inn Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya.

The 171-room property will be designed in a style similar to other Hilton Garden Inn hotels worldwide.

It will include more than 300m² of events space, a business centre, fitness centre, outdoor swimming pool, as well as a 24-hour Pavilion Pantry.

Google trialing direct hotel booking

Google ventured into the travel industry with a new beta-trial stage feature 'Google Hotel Finder' that will allow users to book a hotel room without having to leave the search page.

Google is aggregating room rates from sites like Hotwire.com, Booking.com and Hotels.com, along with the prices published on the hotel site itself.

Users have to enter the city, address or hotel and select the dates, and the search will automatically redirect to another page where users will find a list of hotels with prices to compare.