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    Sandals chief to join World Travel & Tourism Council leadership

    Sandals Resorts executive chairman, Adam Stewart, has been formally invited to join the executive committee of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
    The induction represents the actionable change and strides forward made by Stewart throughout his time in the industry.
    “I am honoured to join the executive committee of an organisation I have so respected since the start of my career,” said Stewart.
    “This leadership team is passionately focused on the efforts of the travel and tourism sector, and I am eager to contribute.
    “Together, we will continue to promote an industry that is more sustainable and inclusive than it was yesterday, reminding our neighbouring industries and international governments that travel is an essential necessity to life.”ADVERTISEMENTThe World Travel & Tourism Council represents the global tourism private sector.
    Members include 200 chief executives, chairs and presidents of the leading tourism companies from all geographies covering all industries.
    Julia Simpson, chief executive of the WTTC, said: “Adam brings with him a wealth of experience having worked so closely with his late father to build what is now, one of the most recognised brands in our industry.
    “The entire WTTC family and I look forward to working with Adam in his new role.”
    A voluntary organisation, WTTC leadership sets the example, offering their valuable time and resources to move global activity forward in this ever-changing world. Industry leaders invited to join the executive committee stand as catalysts for fundamental change and awareness, promoting safe and enriching travel.
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    Sandals is considered the World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company by voters at the World Travel Awards.

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    TUI Group sells Riu Hotels & Resorts stake for €670m

    The Riu family has taken complete ownership of the Riu Hotels & Resorts brand in a deal with TUI Group.
    The holiday giant had held 49 per cent of the company, but has sold its share for €670 million as it looks to reduce debts built up during the Covid-19 pandemic.
    Riu Hotels & Resorts has a portfolio of 19 hotels, with two properties in development.
    Riu and TUI continue to have a 50:50 joint venture, with 100 hotels and resorts worldwide.
    This joint venture will continue to manage and distribute all Riu hotels – including the 21 properties that will be fully owned by the Riu family.ADVERTISEMENTTUI said the sale means it is “strengthening its core business with holiday experiences”.
    “The group intends to grow primarily with its international hotel brands Tui Blue, Riu, Robinson, Tui Magic Life and the management of these hotels, but in doing so will tie up less capital in land and its own real estate in the future,” added a statement.
    The international Riu chain was founded in Mallorca in 1953 as a small holiday firm and is still owned by the family.
    Also today, TUI has cancelled more trips because of “ongoing uncertainty” around travel restrictions.
    Holidays to Aruba, Croatia, Cyprus, Italy, Jamaica and Tanzania have but cut until June 13th.
    Trips to Greece, including Crete, Halkidiki, Kefalonia, Preveza, Samos, Santorini, Skiathos, Thassos and Zante, as well as Spanish destinations including Formentera, Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca and La Palma, have also been suspended.
    Finally, Tui Lakes & Mountains holidays are cancelled up to and including the same date.
    The news comes in addition to a raft of cancellations announced earlier this week.

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    Comito steps down as leader of Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association

    Frank Comito has stepped down as chief executive and director general of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA).
    During his tenure he led the association through the Covid-19 pandemic, several devastating hurricanes and numerous global challenges impacting the industry.
    The transition to new leadership comes at the conclusion of nearly 40 years of service to local and regional private sector organisations in the Caribbean.
    In a message to members, Comito, who will serve as a part-time special advisor to the organisation, said he was proud of how quickly and effectively CHTA adapted over the past ten months, working in collaboration with public and private sector stakeholders to address the Covid-19 pandemic.
    He added that Covid-19 remained a critical concern, and declared the industry needs CHTA, its regional public sector ally, the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO), and local private and public sector tourism associations and entities working together towards the industry’s recovery now more than ever.


    “Our work has a bottom-line impact on restoring tourism and economies,” he stated.
    Looking to the future of Caribbean tourism and CHTA, he voiced optimism that despite the headwinds facing the tourism sector and the association, industry leadership working with local and regional tourism associations will address immediate needs, mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 crisis, and help to steer a course to the future.
    Comito was hired by CHTA six years ago when he made a five-year commitment to help refocus the organisation and address several longstanding challenges the organisation was facing.
    The leadership of the CHTA had endorsed Vanessa Ledesma in assuming the post of acting chief executive officer and director general.
    Formerly chief operations officer with CHTA, she has been noted for her skills, experience, integrity and deep passion for the industry.
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    Revamped Thomas Cook signs Hotelbeds deal

    Hotelbeds has signed a strategic partnership with Thomas Cook.
    The new online-only holiday business was launched recently following the acquisition of the brand by Fosun Tourism Group.
    Thanks to this collaboration, Thomas Cook will gain access to more than 180,000 unique hotel properties in 140 countries worldwide.
    León Herce, global sales director at Hotelbeds, said: “All of us at Hotelbeds are immensely pleased to see Thomas Cook relaunching and we are delighted to be able to support their new model.
    “Hotelbeds has the experience, technology and hotelier relationships available to help Thomas Cook attract travellers with the best possible service and hotel product.


    “We look forward to watching it grow once again into one of Europe’s leading holiday brands.”
    Thomas Cook joins Hotelbeds’ existing 60,000 travel trade buyers – such as tour operators, travel agents, airlines and points redemption schemes.
    Emma King, head of commercial product, Thomas Cook, added: “When we were developing our new Thomas Cook we wanted to offer our customers the widest possible choice of hotel accommodation – and to be able to do that quickly without the need for direct contracting.
    “Our relationship with Hotelbeds as a strategic bedbank partner, gives our customers access to a huge portfolio of exclusive and competitively priced hotels worldwide.”
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    Strong domestic demand may offer salve to UK tourism sector

    The UK hotel sector’s traditionally strong domestic leisure demand bodes well for its recovery once lockdown measures from Covid-19 are fully lifted, according to a new report from global hotel consultancy HVS. However, the report outlines that hotels in the capital and other gateway cities, with heavier reliance on international travellers and corporate bookings, are […] More

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    HVS warns hotels are locked in battle for survival

    With much of Europe’s hotel sector still closed for business the industry faces a huge challenge to rebuild consumer confidence once Covid-19 lockdown restrictions start to lift later this year, argues global hotel consultancy HVS London. Providing hotel businesses survive financially – utilising a combination of rent and bank loan freezes, government support, working with […] More

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    CHTA warns hotels could go bust if tour operators fail to pay

    The head of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association has called on any international tour operators which have delayed paying hotels for services delivered to the operators’ clients as early as January to expedite reimbursements. Frank Comito cited the unprecedented pressures facing Caribbean hotels and resorts because of the coronavirus pandemic. He explained in a […] More

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    Forbes Travel Guide unveils e-learning webinar series

    Forbes Travel Guide has revealed Hospitality Strong. The new initiative is designed to engage, educate and elevate furloughed, laid-off and working hospitality staff of all levels during the global novel coronavirus crisis. A series of e-learning webinars, the events will take place from April 23rd until June 25th. Hospitality Strong is designed to support hospitality […] More