Global Traveler: Tell us about the recent events at Corinthia Hotels International.
Geoff Andrew: We are very excited as the Wyndham Hotel Group and the Corinthia Group have partnered in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. This is a joint venture in which CHI, Corinthia Hotels International, is solely responsible for managing. Our initial plans are to shrink the number of existing Corinthia-owned luxury hotels to seven. Corinthia will continue to grow into a multibrand company as the remainder of our properties are rebranded to Ramada Plaza, Wyndham Hotels, and certain Corinthia-branded properties become affiliated with a new tier – the Wyndham Grand Collection.
GT: What are some highlights of your career that have brought you to this exciting point with the company?
GA: I have been with the company four years. I started in Malta and have recently relocated to the U.K. What has made my time with Corinthia so special is understanding who Corinthia is and how they began. It is a small family business situated in a remarkable place, Malta — the most densely populated part of Europe. In Malta, we understand the importance of tourism, as it makes up 25 percent of the nation’s GDP.
Prior to joining Corinthia, I was associated with the Summit Group. Before that, I was senior vice president at Utell in Phoenix. I spent seven and a half years in the United States. My two sons were born in Nebraska and my daughter was born in Phoenix. My experience in international distribution has helped me to bring an international perspective to Corinthia.
GT: How will the new joint venture with Wyndham affect the services and amenities at your properties?
GA: The spirit of Corinthia, an authentic and distinctive hospitality characterized by warmth, color and vitality, will be reflected in all our hotels. Corinthia is a family-owned business that manages and builds the hotels, taking pride in ownership. Corinthia Hotels has an excellent track record of generating significant returns for owners and is highly respected in the hospitality field for successfully pioneering some of the hottest destinations – Prague, Budapest, St. Petersburg, Russia, Turkey and, most recently, Tripoli. We want to introduce these off-the-beaten-path destinations to American travelers. We have made an extra effort in the past two years to entice Americans to visit our hotels by reaching out to ambassadors, chambers of commerce and U.S. companies. Our venture with Wyndham will enhance this effort. We will be positioning the Wyndham Grand Collection into the upper tier of luxury hotels, allowing us to further expand and market our product to U.S. travelers.
GT: What amenities will the business traveler continue to enjoy at domestic and international properties?
GA: We believe the business traveler is the cornerstone of our business. The industry is moving toward complimentary Internet and you will find we do the same in executive rooms. We also offer high-speed Internet in all hotels. We also take the meetings and incentives market to a new level. Any MICE group from the United States is entitled to free Internet access. We also offer video-conferencing, extensive meeting space, separate check-in and we will cluster rooms to accommodate a group. We have created a unique service, [email protected], for group meetings and planners. If you host your meetings in Prague and enjoyed working with your staff in Prague, we’ll send that same [email protected] assistant to the next Corinthia property you select for your meeting — no matter where in the world.
With more companies around the world becoming more environmentally friendly, American Airlines recently announced it committed to set a science-based target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This move will sharpen the company’s strategy for reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 and aligns its path with the global imperative of limiting temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
As more travelers return to the skies, American is here every step of the way to ensure an elevated and seamless journey. Experience flying freedom with AirPass, American’s all-inclusive, pre-paid travel membership program.
Deep Dive Dubai, home of the deepest swimming pool for diving in the world, opened in Dubai, in the Nad Al Sheba neighborhood. Guinness World Records verified the pool as the world’s deepest swimming pool for diving at a depth of 60.02 meters, or almost 197 feet, holding 14 million liters of water, equivalent to six Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Family gatherings are extra special this year and we chose to celebrate a milestone birthday in New Orleans. The JW Marriott New Orleans, across the street from the historic French Quarter, is ideally situated for exploring the city. Streetcars roll in front of the property and are especially fun for first-time visitors. Within a ¾-mile radius, we could walk to the National WWII Museum, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Sazerac House, Harrah’s Casino, the Shops of Canal Place and numerous restaurants.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
For the third year in a row, Regent Seven Seas Cruises broke the company’s world cruise opening day booking record. The 2024 World Cruise sold out around 11 a.m. on July 14, after going on sale that morning at 8:30 a.m. Fares started at $73,499 per guest for a deluxe veranda suite, up to $199,999 per guest for a master suite.
Now is the time to get out of the house, soak in the sun and try something new. From bread making to learning the latest TikTok dance, Americans picked up new hobbies since the COVID-19 pandemic. As travel gets busier, keep the momentum going with paddle boarding that can travel with you anywhere in the world.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
As the vaccine rolls out and travel picks up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Okinawa with us.