Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 13 August 2004
P&O Might Play The Blue Peter Theme At La Manga
A London Crown For London Town
Ramada's Ship Comes In In Norway
Flipper And His Pals Head For Morocco
Jurys Doyle Wants To Pull The Cork Hotel Down
Riu Hotels Books A Trip To Malta Next Spring
Hello, Moto, You're At The Colliery?
Turkish Porcelain Producer Fired With Enthusiasm For Hotel
In With The New And Perhaps Out With The Old In Eastern Europe

P&O Might Play The Blue Peter Theme At La Manga
The Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) is proposing to sail away from the world renowned La Manga Club, with the sale process expected to start this September. The resort on the Costa Calida in southeast Spain is noted for its three championship golf courses and other sports facilities, but its 494-hectare site is also home to two luxury hotels managed by Hyatt International: the 189-room Hyatt Regency La Manga and a 271-room aparthotel at Las Lomas Village & Spa. La Manga has been in P&O's possession for 17 years and the proposed sale, which will also include 34 hectares of land ripe for development, would allow the company to focus on investing in its core businesses.

A London Crown For London Town Return to Headlines
London Town Hotels (LTH) said back in May that it was looking to acquire a hotel in London, and to prove that that talk was no idle gossip the company has now paid a reported £15 million for the London Crown Hotel in Paddington. Reports suggest that LTH will spend a further £2 million on renovation work at the 95-room property, which is the company's sixth in the capital. LTH currently enjoys the sight of the Quality, Comfort, and Country Inns & Suites flags fluttering outside its hotels, whereas in the northwest of England the Centre Island Development Company prefers the slap of an InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) banner against its pole. The Liverpool-based firm will keep the Holiday Inn flag flying high at the Holiday Inn Preston, after it paid IHG an undisclosed sum for the 129-room property. The private owners of the Garth Hotel in Hayes, west London, have no international flag to fly but doubtless they will have the bunting nailed to the mast to celebrate a sale and leaseback deal on the property. An unnamed private client paid an undisclosed sum for the 47-room hotel, which had an asking price of £2.5 million.

Ramada's Ship Comes In In Norway Return to Headlines
Norwegian ferry operator Troms Fylkes Dampskibsselskap (TFDS) has signed a master franchise agreement with Ramada International that covers Norway and provides the hotelier with the opportunity of entering the country for the first time. This latest agreement has developed out of a letter of intent that the pair signed back in June 2003, and it will allow TFDS to sign up existing individual hotels or hotel chains to the Ramada brands and provide them with access to the hotel chain's systems.

Flipper And His Pals Head For Morocco Return to Headlines
The Swiss Foundation for Information and Research on Marine Mammals (FIRMM) reportedly has plans to develop an ecotourism centre at Sidi Kankouch in northwestern Morocco. Visitors to the Dolphin Resort Ras Laflouka can observe the dolphins from the comfort of a hotel complex to be built there. Further east, the mammals known as construction workers are reported to have begun work on the project to expand the Sheraton Heliopolis Hotel in the Egyptian capital Cairo. Some two years ago Gulf Egypt for Hotels & Tourism called for a contractor, and the US$60 million contract was recently secured by the Athens-based Consolidated Contractors International Company, which will hope to have the 285-room extension ready by 2006. Reports from the region suggest that the extension will operate as a hotel in its own right under the Westin brand. Egypt can also expect another visit from Austrian tourism firm Magic Life, which, according to reports, wants to build a 120-room, four-star hotel on the Red Sea coast.

Jurys Doyle Wants To Pull The Cork Hotel Down Return to Headlines
Jurys Doyle Hotel Group has plans to demolish the 185-room Jurys Cork Hotel and replace it with a four-star hotel with the same number of rooms that would be ready to welcome guests from summer 2006. The proposed new property, on which Jurys Doyle would take a 35-year operating lease, would find itself part of a mixed-use development that the Irish hotelier would build in conjunction with O'Callaghan Properties. The air across southwestern Ireland too could be heavy with brick dust if Great Southern Hotels can find a developer interested in its multimillion euro project. Reports suggest that the four-star Great Southern Hotel Parknasilla in Co. Kerry would have six suites added to its 84 rooms and that the 300-acre site on which the hotel stands would be transformed with the addition of holiday homes and apartments.

Riu Hotels Books A Trip To Malta Next Spring Return to Headlines
The Spanish press reports that Riu Hotels & Resorts will be off to Malta in May 2005 to manage its first hotel on the Mediterranean island: the 260-room, four-star Seabank Hotel on Mellieha Bay. Riu's compatriot Hesperia Hoteles has made a shorter journey: to the Pyrenean principality of Andorra, where it has opened the 60-room, four-star Hesperia Andorra La Vella in the capital. The company reported at the start of the year that it was renovating the former Eden Roc Hotel in readiness for an August opening. The only Spanish company staying at home this week is Áreas, which is reportedly ready to start work on a 20-room Dtransit hotel as part of a motorway service station development costing €5 million near the northwestern town of Ponferrada.

Hello, Moto, You're At The Colliery? Return to Headlines
Moto Hospitality has joined forces with Speed Developments, the owner of Hatfield Colliery, and construction firm Waystone to submit plans to turn part of the disused colliery, near Doncaster in South Yorkshire, into a business park complete with a 119-room hotel. In nearby Leeds, local developer Scotfield has secured permission for The Gateway, its £135 million mixed-use scheme in the city centre that will have a 215-room hotel. Further north, Downing Developments could build a 50-storey tower to house a hotel as part of its £200 million mixed-use scheme next to the St James's Park football stadium in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Turkish Porcelain Producer Fired With Enthusiasm For Hotel Return to Headlines
Porcelain producer Kütahya Porselen has taken a break from the potter's wheel and used the interlude to journey with Turkish compatriot Uygar Tourism to the western town of Ilica, where the pair will operate the Harlek Hotel for ten years. The port of Samsun in northern Turkey is ready for a new face too: that of the 64-room, four-star North Point Hotel, which is due to open later this month. Off Turkey's west coast lies the Greek island of Rhodes, a new destination for Cypriot operator Louis Hotels. From 1 January 2005 it will assume managerial and operational control of the Colossos Beach Hotel.

In With The New And Perhaps Out With The Old In Eastern Europe Return to Headlines
The authorities in the spa resort of Varshets in northwestern Bulgaria are hoping that they can form a joint venture with German investment firm Matthiesen & Co. so that a project costing a reported €150 million to upgrade the spa and hotel facilities in the town may proceed next year. In neighbouring Romania, the city of Tîrgu Mureş has welcomed its first four-star hotel: the 35-room Concordia. Romania says hello to a hotel but the Russian capital Moscow is preparing to say goodbye to yet another of its Soviet-era monuments. The demolition of the 3,000-room Hotel Rossiya came a step closer after the city's mayor signed a resolution to create a new mixed-use development on the site.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 05/08/04-12/08/04

InterContinental Hotels Group - The hotel sector in general was hit by fears of a possible economic slowdown and the impact of higher oil prices. IHG's shares carried the additional burden of profit taking.

Sol Meliá - Concerns on the Spanish market about terrorism led to a fall in tourism-related shares.

Hilton Group - A heavier fall was probably checked by Fitch's 'BBB+/F2' affirmation, and Teather & Greenwood's 'Buy' rating.