Check in! – latest hotel highlights from across EMEA

The Blue Swan Daily brings you a round up of some of the latest hotel news from across Europe, Middle East and Africa.

  • The Savoy becomes first luxury London hotel to implement Alipay
  • Icelandair Group commences sale process for hotel operations and related properties
  • AccorHotels rolls out the Passkey solution to simplify the day-to-day work of meeting planners
  • easyJet outlines strategy to boost package holiday market share and hotel exposure
  • Dubai Tourism partners Huawei for tourist and hotel services to China market

The Savoy becomes first luxury London hotel to implement Alipay

The Savoy has announced a partnership with Alipay, China’s leading third-party mobile and online payment platform. The Fairmont managed property, part of the AccorHotels network, will become be the first luxury London hotel to implement Alipay across the entire hotel, as well as Simpson’s in the Strand. With China being the world’s biggest third party mobile payments market, and with Alipay providing service to 520 million people who use mobile payment when they travel in the EU, The Savoy says it “recognises the need to offer this fast, secure, and cashless payment service to its Chinese guests”. Speaking about the partnership, Philip Barnes, managing director of The Savoy, says: “London is the favourite destination for Chinese tourists coming to Britain and we at The Savoy want to ensure that we are offering a seamless guest experience that touches on every element of their stay, including their preferred methods of payment.”


Icelandair Group commences sale process for hotel operations and related properties

Icelandair Group plans to initiate a process to sell Icelandair Hotels and the properties pertaining to hotel operations. Icelandair Group president and CEO Björgólfur Jóhannsson stated: “We introduced a new corporate structure at the beginning of the year, when we divided the Company’s operations into two segments: International flight operations and Investments in aviation and tourism. We are now taking the next steps, with a decision to initiate a process designed to sell majority share in Icelandair Hotels”. Icelandair Hotels runs 13 hotels: Reykjavik Natura, Reykjavik Marina, Hilton Reykjavik Nordica, Canopy Reykjavik | City Centre, Reykjavik Konsúlat Hótel and Hótel Alda. Outside the Reykjavik metropolitan area there are Icelandair Hotels in Akureyri, at Lake Myvatn and in the East Iceland county of Hérad. In addition, there are franchised hotels at Flúdir, Klaustur, Hamar and Vík, all in rural locations. Icelandair Hotels also operates the summer hotel chain Hotel Edda, with ten hotels across the country. This translates into 1,937 hotel rooms in Iceland as a whole, 876 in Reykjavik and 470 in rural locations which are in operation year-round, in addition to 611 Hotel Edda rooms which are in operation over the summer season. In addition, Icelandair Hotels will open a new hotel on Austurvöllur Park in Reykjavik’s Parliament district.


AccorHotels rolls out the Passkey solution to simplify the day-to-day work of meeting planners

AccorHotels has agreed a partnership with corporate event management specialist Cvent to roll out the Passkey online event hosting management solution at its properties. This will see a mini-site dedicated to each event available free of charge to meeting planners where they will be able among other benefits to manage their reservation volume based on detailed reports; input rooming lists without the requirement for any involvement by participants. This solution will initially be available for 100 hotels located across the Group’s key markets, but Passkey will eventually be extended to cover all hotels whose busy events schedules make using the solution a must. The partnership is in line with AccorHotels’ commitment to providing the most innovative solutions on the market to its business customers.


easyJet outlines strategy to boost package holiday market share and hotel exposure

Following an update of its strategy, easyJet plans to invest in enhancing its propositions in holidays, business passengers, customer loyalty and data. This leverages easyJet’s existing strong business model, network, brand, cost base and data leadership and combined with easyJet’s rigorous approach to underlying cost control and plans to address increasing disruption cost, is expected to drive significant profit per seat improvement. Currently 500,000 passengers book hotels via easyJet’s sales platforms out of an addressable market of 20 million. It plans to add significant value by forming a dedicated business unit offering a clear and attractive proposition, based on efficient technology and data and among other activities develop closer and strong relationships directly with selected hotel operators.


Dubai Tourism partners Huawei for tourist and hotel services to China market

Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has signed a global strategic agreement with Huawei to cooperate in connecting Huawei’s network service SkyTone to Dubai Tourism products and services, to enhance Chinese tourists’ travel experience in the Emirate. The agreement is a further extension of global cooperation after the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the two sides in Dubai. In the future, SkyTone users will receive internet access, hotel booking and car rental services, but also be able to acquire intelligent and customised travel recommendations and seamless travel services from Dubai Tourism through SkyTone, Smart Browser and Smart Assistance. The two sides will continue to work together to enhance users’ travel experience.