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  • Meet Minneapolis: Travel to the Twin Cities this Summer for HITEC 2019

    We all know that travel can be a real hassle. So, what about a trip makes it worth packing up your suitcase, saying goodbye to your family for the next few days, fighting the airport and staying in a.

  • New Global Directors Join the 2018-2019 HFTP Board

    The HFTP 2018-2019 Global Board of Directors was installed during the association's 2018 Annual Convention and introduces new directors Toni Bau, Carson Booth, CHTP and Mark Fancourt. These extensive director profiles give insight into the distinguished professions and personal goals of HFTP's newest association leaders.

  • A Series of Must-Read Articles on Cybersecurity Produced by the HFTP Research Centers

    Data security remains a pressing concern and top priority for the hospitality industry. The HFTP Research Centers are dedicated to producing findings that can significantly aid hospitality businesses in their efforts to protect their guests’ privacy and personal information against potential cyber threats and attacks.

  • HITEC Special: Does EU GDPR Affect U.S. Hospitality Companies?

    By Alvaro Hidalgo. The EU General Data Protection Regulation has set a path towards protecting personal data which many other countries will follow. In a global industry such as hospitality, it should be a primary objective to take the steps towards compliance.


Teneo Hospitality Group Polls Leading Meeting Planners On Emerging Trends in 2018

Teneo Hospitality Group ·27 June 2018
Budgets, greater quality control, cost and reliability of AV and technical services, security of content and the challenges of meeting the increasingly complex dietary demands of a more diverse demographic: these are among the major concerns of the nation's meeting planners.Teneo Hospitality Group, the premier group representation firm, gathered observations from top meeting planners to determine their most pressing issues and concerns. They represent a spectrum of the meetings industry - banking, pharmaceuticals, technology, associations and travel management companies.According to Teneo President Mike Schugt, rapid expansion of technology has generated new and more complex issues and rising prices. "Concerns about technology costs and reliability led the list of trends, and planners expressed unease with their ability to protect meeting content."In dealing with these issues, planners must be able to trust their suppliers, Schugt notes. "Our planners stressed the need for honesty, accuracy and rapid response as a major requirement for effective planning," he asserts.Wi-FiEffective, high speed Wi-Fi is the most critical aspect of today's meetings, bringing together phones, tablets, laptops, messaging services, AV, lighting and an array of special applications designed for each meeting. But more than ever, planners are frustrated by high prices, increasing labor costs, lack of flexibility, difficulties in negotiations and in some cases, a lack of options in hiring a firm for these events. Planners agree that Wi-Fi should be more reasonably priced since current policies can make planning and cost control difficult. Many of these costs are passed on to smaller businesses, associations and exhibitors, making participation costlier and potentially placing the participants at a competitive disadvantage.AVLinking Wi-Fi to AV is increasingly problematic, with stories of breakdowns in coordination that have impacted presentations and events. At a recent luncheon in a major city, the AV company failed to do the required run through and the entire AV had to be shut down. Reliability of AV can be easily compromised - interference from outside the venue can compromise bandwidth as much as 25%. Controlling costs and ensuring technical quality are a challenge for both venues and planners. Venues must provide top-of-the-line technical services, keep abreast of advances and ensure their equipment is operated by a highly-trained staff, either in-house or outsourced. In order to negotiate effectively, planners need to become more familiar with terminology and the specific needs of exhibitors, vendors and attendees.Plug-In Power SourcesAs devices proliferate, travelers are faced with the problem of recharging everything from phones and tablets to laptops and other portable electronic devices. The demand has rapidly outpaced available charging options, leaving airlines and railways scrambling to add charging stations at airport gates and aboard trains. Hotels and conference centers are equally challenged. It is no longer enough to have power sources in guestrooms and meeting spaces and comments from meeting planners and attendees indicate that the existing outlets cannot always accommodate the number of devices guests take with them. Demand for connectivity does not stop in the guestroom or meeting space. Today's travelers want to be plugged in at all times and everywhere in the conference venue. That includes lobbies, bars, dining rooms, gyms and lounges.Planners hosting a meeting overseas should check to ensure attendees will have access to voltage adapters at the venue, should they be needed.Diet, Diversity and LiabilityThese issues are not new but few elements of meeting planning have expanded more rapidly and caused more concern than the demand for special dishes at meetings. Where once planners offered a few options such as Kosher, vegetarian, or perhaps a Heart Healthy dish, today's menus are flooded with choices that span gluten free, lactose intolerant, Halal, pescatarian (fish, no meat) and infinite varieties of vegan and vegetarian. A recent meeting of 271 participants drew 37 requests for special meals - mostly vegetarian and vegan. As the attendee base becomes more ethnically diverse, dietary requirements are predicted to increase.Consistency of ServiceEven in an age of highly standardized big brands, consistency of service remains an issue. As one respondent noted, it is possible to book the same meeting at the same hotel brand in two different cities and find notable discrepancies in cost, facilities, services and staff competence. This may be due to several factors, including the inability of owners to make necessary renovations or invest in new technology and training.Security of DataAs technology expands, so do the opportunities to steal information and compromise a company's data. Security problems can range from thefts of mobile devices that can result in a major loss of information if an attendee has downloaded any of the meeting content, to a full-blown hacker attack.Just how seriously governments are taking data security and privacy issues can be seen in the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The regulation provides protection and personal control to European Union residents over data transmission and privacy and seeks to simplify existing legislation regarding international business transactions via the internet.The regulations apply to any organization that processes and stores data from an EU-based individual or company. These organizations must comply with the new EU standards regardless of whether they themselves are EU based. The European Union defines personal data as "any information relating to an individual, whether it relates to his or her private, professional or public life. It can be anything from a name, a home address, a photo, an email address, bank details, posts on social networking websites, medical information, or a computer's IP address."These are all valid concerns and complex problems, that require realistic and long-term solutions, according to Mike Schugt. "Right now, the hospitality industry is at its zenith, with demand exceeding supply. In a seller's market, planners must cope with a range of issues from explosive changes in technology and rising costs to changing demographics and increasing regulation on a national and global level."It's a challenge that both hotels and planners must meet. Successful negotiations for technical services now require a wider and more in-depth knowledge of IT. Hotels and suppliers must take the long view and invest in topnotch technology and property improvements while working towards more consistent levels of customer service.Flexibility is the key here according to Mike Schugt. Meeting planners may need to adjust their expectations, while hotels can explore ways of making policies less rigid - something he notes that independent hotels, not bound by strict corporate policies, can more easily do. "Whatever economic factors are involved, the conference and hotel industries have the same goals," says Mike Schugt. ''These issues will be with us for the foreseeable future and we should unite to solve them."

Tambourine and Teneo Hospitality Group Announce Strategic Partnership

Teneo Hospitality Group · 5 March 2018
New York, NY -- Teneo Hospitality Group, the premier global firm representing 300+ independent and luxury branded hotels, resorts and DMCs, and Tambourine, a global leader in hotel ecommerce, have announced a strategic partnership. The two well-known firms, who currently represent more than 700 of the top hotels in the world, will integrate services to increase meeting, group and transient results for their common clients."It's pretty simple, hotels want more group sales and more direct bookings," said Dave Spector, partner at Tambourine. "So, it made sense for us--as a direct booking specialist--to work with Teneo... the leading group sales organization."Tambourine and Teneo's combined services will give client hotels a competitive advantage in:-Integrated group/transient marketing campaigns-Meeting/Group sales lead generation-Multi-channel digital marketing"We are excited to introduce our member hotels to Tambourine," said Teneo CEO Darrell Tamosuinas. "This strategic partnership will help our members improve their performance in both group and transient business."

Teneo Hospitality Group Expands Midwest Marketing Portfolio Adds Wisconsin's Grand Geneva Resort & Spa

Teneo Hospitality Group · 9 January 2018
Eden Prairie, MN -- Expanding its portfolio in the Midwest, Teneo Hospitality Group, the premier global firm representing 300+ independent and luxury branded hotels, resorts and destination management companies, has welcomed Wisconsin's Grand Geneva Resort & Spa to its marketing services portfolio. Teneo's mission with Grand Geneva, which is owned and managed by Marcus Hotels & Resorts, will be to increase group sales for the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Resort."We are excited to announce our partnership with Teneo Hospitality Group," said Brad Lyles, director of sales and marketing for Grand Geneva Resort & Spa. "We look forward to introducing Grand Geneva to Teneo's extensive network of meeting planners and realizing the synergies between our organizations."Grand Geneva Resort & Spa is one of the largest resorts and conference centers in Wisconsin, set on 1,300 beautiful wooded acres. Located between Milwaukee and Chicago, the resort is a popular year-round leisure and conference destination. Shuttles to Grand Geneva Resort & Spa run from airports in both cities and visitors can enjoy a private executive airport on site.Perfect for VIP guests and executive retreats, Grand Geneva's meeting facilities include 62,000 square feet of indoor and 15,000 outdoor space, including two ballrooms, two conference centers and 35 separate meeting rooms. The hotel can accommodate up to 1,500 attendees at a conference or special event. Technical services include Wi-Fi, video conferencing, cutting-edge audiovisual equipment and a full-time tech support staff.The resort hosts 609 accommodations including deluxe guestrooms, suites, luxurious new villas and a lodge and waterpark. Grand Geneva Resort & Spa features three fine dining restaurants and its newest innovation, the exclusive Geneva Club. The Geneva Club offers guests breakfast each morning, snacks and beverages throughout the day, and hors d'oeuvres in the evening, as well as comfortable seating areas where guests can work or gather.The award-winning Grand Geneva Resort & Spa sets the scene for championship golf tournaments with two spectacular 18-hole courses that are rated among Wisconsin's best. The Brute is one of the most challenging layouts in the Midwest. Enhanced with 68 bunkers and huge rolling greens, this par-72 course is immaculately maintained. The Highlands, a Scottish-style course designed by Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye, was renovated in 1996 by Bob Cupp. Services and facilities include lessons, a driving range, putting green and on-site golf shop.A resort for all seasons, Grand Geneva offers an array of sports, recreational activities and teambuilding opportunities. In summer, guests can enjoy hiking, archery, golfing or horseback riding. In winter, they can take to the slopes at The Mountain Top, a three-chair/20-run ski and snowboard facility, and enjoy cross country skiing, ice skating and a sledding hill. The resort features its own fitness center and two swimming pools. There are indoor and outdoor tennis courts, basketball, volleyball courts and a 35-foot, nine-station climbing wall, as well as a waterpark that appeals to both young and old. One of the region's most comprehensive spas, WELL Spa & Salon, provides facials, massages, aromatherapy and body treatments as well as hair styling services.Committed to sustainable practices throughout the resort, Grand Geneva is certified by Travel Green Wisconsin and provides a number of green initiatives. "Increasingly, meeting planners see the value of independent hotels that offer flexibility, value and unique experiences, while maintaining highly professional, sustainable and dedicated conference services," said Teneo's President Mike Schugt. "Grand Geneva Resort & Spa provides all these elements and more. Teneo is proud to represent this exceptional resort that brings so much to Wisconsin tourism and the meetings industry."About Grand Geneva Resort & SpaGrand Geneva Resort & Spa is an award-winning all-seasons resort set on 1,300 acres in the legendary southeastern Wisconsin community of Lake Geneva; 90 minutes from Chicago and 50 minutes from Milwaukee. The property features 609 guest accommodations including 29 new villas; WELL Spa + Salon; two championship 18-hole golf courses; The Mountain Top, a ski and snowboard facility; 62,000-square-feet of meeting and convention space and three restaurants. For more information, please visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Teneo Hospitality Group Adds Legendary Pinehurst Resort to its Expanding Portfolio

Teneo Hospitality Group · 3 January 2018
Eden Prairie, MN -- It's a landmark and a legend, a luxurious spa and health center, a renowned meetings hub and the place where golf in America was born. The storied Pinehurst Resort is a destination in itself, rising amid 2,000 acres of woodlands, lakes and links in North Carolina. Now, Teneo Hospitality Group, the premier global firm representing 300+ independent and luxury branded hotels, resorts and DMCs, welcomes this iconic resort to its rapidly expanding portfolio. Teneo will drive group sales for the award-winning resort and promote its $30 million Capital Refurbishment Program that will preserve its past and actively build its future."As Pinehurst approaches its 125th anniversary, we are looking to ensure its future and mission for another century", says Eric Kuester, Vice President of Sales for the resort. "Our new partnership with Teneo Hospitality Group will help position Pinehurst as a complete meetings destination with a vivid history, exceptional facilities and a unique and authentic destination experience.""We are very proud to be supporting Pinehurst's group meetings business as the resort engages in a far-reaching capital enhancement program," said Teneo President Mike Schugt. "The resort enjoys a legendary past and a brilliant future. Pinehurst will offer not just the nation's best golf, but an array of resort activities, dining options, health and wellness services, top-notch meeting and technical resources and a highly trained meetings support staff."Building on a Legendary History for a Brilliant FutureIn the late 19th Century, health resorts were rising in popularity along the Eastern Seaboard. Quick to spot a trend, Boston soda fountain magnate, James Walker Tufts, purchased 5,500 acres of pine-filled woodlands in North Carolina. He envisioned a progressive health resort and built the Holly Inn to accommodate guests. Tufts commissioned Frederick Law Olmstead, the storied designer of New York City's Central Park, to create Pinehurst Village with stores, stables, cottages and fine homes, and the resort has continuously taken shape around the historic village.Tufts made another decision that changed the course of history at Pinehurst, commissioning Donald Ross to build the resort's first four golf courses. Thanks to Ross' work and meticulous commitment to perfection, Pinehurst is rightfully known today as "The Cradle of American Golf", having played host to the most prominent championships in the game, including the US Open, PGA Championship, and the Ryder Cup. In an effort to preserve and share the wonderful golf pedigree of Pinehurst, the resort recently purchased Dornoch Cottage, the home that Ross built overlooking his masterpiece, Course #2. The home will be made available in 2018 for group functions and events that encapsulate the true spirit of Pinehurst and provide an in-depth look at Ross' work through the years.Expanding its golf options, the resort opened "The Cradle" - a nine hole par three course designed by Gil Hanse - in October of last year. The Cradle opens up entirely new possibilities for both beginning players and for groups with more limited time constraints hoping to experience a taste of golf at Pinehurst. The Cradle can be played in less than an hour at the price of $50 per player.Today, Pinehurst is a nationally recognized destination, resort and conference hub. The new refurbishment and building projects will provide guests with experiences that are not available at any other golf resorts in the United States. With 80,000 square feet of meetings space, Pinehurst Resort hosts over 500 groups per year. Meeting planners will find a professional Event Services Team and Events Concierge who excel in crafting a world-class event from start to finish, as well as facility and technical support needed for a productive and memorable meeting in a spectacular, singular setting.The Carolina Hotel, or "Queen of the South", is the largest hotel in Pinehurst and the center of much of the resort's activity. Built in 1901, its grand cupola rises over the village and its elegant ballrooms set the scene for memorable meetings and events. As part of the refurbishment program, the Cardinal Ballroom in the hotel will be restored to its Belle Epoque glamour.In addition to topnotch catering for events and meetings, Pinehurst offers a wide range of dining options with intimate dining rooms located in the Holly Inn and Carolina Hotel. Casual fare is served at The Deuce, a new restaurant that has already been acclaimed "Best New Golf Restaurant" by Golf Inc. Magazine, overlooking the famed 18th green of Course #2. The Tavern, with its famous bar brought from Scotland, is a guest favorite at The Holly Inn, serving a variety of traditional pub favorites infused with a Southern flair.Construction has begun on the Village's original Steam Plant, as it will become a Microbrewery and restaurant, set to open in the summer of 2018. The Microbrewery will feature original craft beers, a unique menu, and outdoor seating perfect for group dining.Guests can choose from 428 guestrooms, located around Pinehurst. There are three historic properties: The Carolina Hotel - which also offers Villas geared toward golfers, the intimate Holly Inn and the cozy and casual Manor Inn. Popular with families and groups are the spacious condos with fully-equipped kitchens. The resort is in the final stages of room renovations and improvements and will have completed work on every guestroom in The Carolina and Holly Inn by April.Pinehurst offers much more than golf - there's tennis, cycling, swimming and workouts, yoga instruction and treatments at the resort's award-winning spa. Opened in 2002 in a new building that blends seamlessly with the resort's historic architecture, the 31,000-square foot spa continues Pinehurst's healing legacy. The spa features 28 treatment rooms and an array of therapies incorporating local ingredients such as pine and honey. Hydrotherapy is available in the Tranquility Room lap pool and Pinehurst recently introduced cryotherapy to soothe aching muscles and rejuvenate the entire body. The spa also includes a Fitness Center that never closes.Pinehurst is 71 miles from Raleigh-Durham International Airport and eight carriers provide service from around the US. The resort offers a shuttle service to and from the airport. Moore County Airport, serving corporate and private aircraft, is just five miles from Pinehurst Resort.

Beyond Bricks and Mortar: Teneo Members' Green Efforts Span Coast to Countryside, Initiatives Preserve Beaches, Woodlands, Wildlife

Teneo Hospitality Group ·15 December 2017
Eden Prairie, MN -- It started with organic soaps, recycling bottles, water conservation and signs urging guests to turn out the lights before leaving the room. Today, environmentally conscious hoteliers support holistic conservation strategies that reach into every corner of the property. Driven by technology and the demands of environmentally conscious guests, these initiatives have sharply reduced waste, conserved resources, saved money and educated guests to the importance of environmental efforts. The hotel industry has made remarkable progress, but beyond the bricks and mortar of member hotels and resorts lie acres of countryside and coastline that present sustainability challenges and opportunities."For many hotels, responsibility for the lands and waterways surrounding the property has become a commitment and an increasingly complex challenge," says Mike Schugt, president ofTeneo Hospitality Group, the premier global firm representing 300+ independent and luxury branded hotels, resorts and DMCs. These responsibilities include woodlands, campgrounds, beachfronts, everglades, mangrove forests, lakes and rivers, as well as marine and wildlife, which has become a priority as rising tides, drought and development encroach upon habitat.Teneo's member hotels have spearheaded numerous sustainability projects at every level of operations, according to Mike Schugt. "We are seeing many creative approaches to managing land and water resources, and a trend towards educating guests regarding wildlife and land preservation. Teneo is excited about the sustainability efforts of their member hotels. The meeting planners and groups we partner with are equally enthusiastic!"Critical Area #1: Land--Preserve It, They're Not Making Any More While many of today's hotels offer impressive programs to save water and conserve energy inside the building, some resorts must find equally effective ways to deal with the great outdoors. The Resort at Paws Up in Montana comprises 37,000 acres of hills, woodlands and rivers, ideal for outdoor activities and an array of teambuilding and special adventure programs. The resort offers luxury safari-style campgrounds on land that must be responsibly managed. Several rivers run through the property including the Blackfoot, an angler's paradise. Thanks to The Resort at Paws Up uniting efforts with local ranchers, hoteliers, conservationists and state and federal wildlife agencies, the waterways are as clear and brimming with trout as they were when Lewis and Clark passed through.The staff of Vail's Sonnenalp Hotel regularly volunteers to clean the nearby Eagle River, local highways and mountain bike trails. The resort helps employees to reduce their carbon footprint by providing bus passes, car pool coordination and housing within walking distance of the hotel. Sonnenalp also works to educate guests, employees and the public by supporting a range of community efforts, including Zero Hero information stations at community venues such as the Vail Farmers Market.Since 1806, the healing mineral springs at the historic Omni Bedford Springs Resort have drawn a celebrated clientele. Thirteen US presidents from Thomas Jefferson to Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush have visited this bucolic retreat in Southern Pennsylvania's Allegheny mountains. For 200 years, the hotel has carefully conserved these exceptional natural spring waters. The springs feed the indoor pool at the resort's Aquatic Center and the natural spring waters are used in treatments at the Springs Eternal Spa.Allegretto Vineyard Resort in Central California's wine country is a Tuscan-style villa surrounded by beautiful vineyards that produce fine Allegretto wines served in the resort's restaurants. Using Old World methods, grapes are harvested by hand versus machine and are grown in small lot vineyards to preserve land. The main villa was designed with the most sophisticated environmental systems available, including those that ensure highest quality of runoff water, preserve natural vegetation, and promote ground water recharge.The Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Southeastern Wisconsin spans 1,300 acres of ski slopes, lakefront and woodlands. Recently the resort, certified by Travel Green Wisconsin, extended its award-winning environmental efforts to one of its two championship golf courses, restoring tens of thousands of square feet of land surrounding the course by planting native grasses and plants. The Grand Geneva Resort is also home to the Roy Divik-designed Entry Garden, a sustainable meadow of more than 20 vivid flowers and grasses, predominantly native to the Midwest.Most urban hotels have little acreage to worry about, but New York's 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge supports the adjacent Brooklyn Bridge Park with funds and an innovative rainwater reclamation system that irrigates the park during the summer months. The system also reduces storm water runoff into neighboring water streams by more than 50 percent. Roughly 5,000 cubic feet of water is projected to be reclaimed each year.Critical Area #2: Against the Tide Beach erosion and water pollution are major concerns for oceanfront and lakeside resorts. The situation has grown more urgent following the three devastating hurricanes that pummeled the US and the Caribbean in the Fall of 2017.Volunteers from The Ranch at Laguna Beach currently maintain a 0.75-mile stretch of the Aliso Creek Channel in Mission Viejo. Since December 2015, the resort's team has removed over 2,500 pounds of trash and debris from the channel, preventing this damaging refuse from polluting the Pacific Ocean. Using an invention called the GL Sand Machine, the resort recycles glass bottles by pulverizing them into sand that is then used in the golf course sand traps and to help replenish sand on Laguna Beach. The Ranch at Laguna Beach is the first property in the Continental United States to utilize the GL Sand machine and it has found a new use for it. Oyster shells from the hotel's restaurant are ground up and used on the property's bocce ball courts.In South Florida, mangrove forests play a key role in marine ecology, serving as habitat for a variety of marine species and birds and as the first line of defense in the face of hurricanes. Guests of the Naples Grande Beach Resort can explore the adjoining 200-acre mangrove preserve and estuary via canoe and kayak. The hotel's eco-friendly boardwalk, composed of recycled milk jugs, provides an eco-friendly path to the resort's three miles of beachfront habitat, under the stewardship of its employees and managers.Critical Area #3: Walk on the Wild Side Wildlife preservation and education merge at select Teneo member hotels. They offer interactive programs that bring guests in closer contact with nature and wildlife, often as part of a teambuilding effort. Guests of the Garden of the Gods Collection in Colorado Springs can experience the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, learning about the history, biology and conservation of wolves, coyotes, foxes, and the environmental challenges they face. The program, supervised by a trained wolf handler, can end with a group howl, symbolizing oneness with nature and its preservation.The Garden of the Gods also offers groups a day of discovery at the 200-acre Elk Glade Ranch. Through the science of equine therapy, participants ride horses and drive cattle, gaining courage and confidence.Part of Montana's Resort at Paws Up is a working ranch, offering an equestrian program where guests, led by an experienced cowboy, help with an actual cattle drive. These equestrian programs, situated in nature versus a more mechanized or artificial environment, are growing in popularity as teambuilding efforts and exercises in enhanced communication. For non-expert riders, the exercises are held mostly on the ground, and involve approaching, grooming and walking the horses. Thanks to the high sensitivity of horses, participants can quickly learn how their body language, tone of voice and mannerisms impact interactions and team success.Virtually all species of sea turtles are threatened and Teneo's member hotels in Florida and the Arabian Gulf are working to preserve these amphibians that are essential to maintaining marine life. Sea turtles are among the few species that eat sea grass and algae that if not consumed, would grow and threaten the entire ecosystem. And, their nests provide nutrients that help to grow the grass that preserves the dunes.In Vero Beach, Florida, Costa d'Este Beach Resort & Spa participates in the community's annual Turtle Dig. During nesting season, hundreds of turtle eggs are laid and are protected by signs and markers until they hatch. Then, the contents of the nests are dug up and evaluated, helping scientists understand how well the beaches are incubating sea turtle nests. In July, the public is invited to watch nests on the hotel's beach be examined. They receive a presentation about sea turtle biology, threats to their survival, and ways to help protect turtles.In Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts plays a key role in a comprehensive and sophisticated conservation effort, The Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project. The project is based at the company's two Dubai hotels, Bur Al Arab Jumeirah and Madinat Jumeirah and is run in collaboration with Dubai's Wildlife Protection Office.The public is encouraged to bring sick and injured turtles to the Wildlife Protection Office or to the Aquarium team at Burj Al Arab. Once the condition of the turtles is determined, they are then transferred to the state-of-the-art Turtle Rehabilitation Sanctuary at Jumeirah Al Naseem. When the turtles are deemed ready to return, they are released from the Sanctuary into the waters of the Arabian Gulf as part of the Big Jumeirah Turtle Race. Some of the turtles are fitted with satellite tracking devices. So far, the clear winner is a green sea turtle named Dibba who traveled 8,283 kilometers to a spot off the coast of the Southeast Asian Peninsula. Since 2004, over 1,350 rescued sea turtles have been returned to Dubai's waters.

New Builds Signal Growing Strength of Independent Hotels and New Entrepreneurial Brands

Teneo Hospitality Group ·10 October 2017
New hotel construction in major markets and second tier cities is signaling the growing strength of independent hotels and smaller entrepreneurial brands. The new properties span urban hotels, resorts, historic restorations, and anchors of major redevelopment programs, emerging business districts and dynamic new sports and entertainment complexes. They are breaking new ground in the areas of sustainability, art and architecture, historic preservation, food and beverage service and design, and using modern technology to create new meetings and guest experiences."This year and in 2018, we will see more than a dozen new Teneo-member hotels opening in the US, Mexico and Spain," says Mike Schugt, president of Teneo Hospitality Group, the premier global firm representing 300+ independent and luxury branded hotels, resorts and DMCs. "These innovative and farsighted entrepreneurial efforts are found across the industry spectrum, in independent properties, in newer boutique brands such as Salamander Hotels & Resorts, Solis Hotels & Resorts, 1 Hotels, Heritage Hotels & Resorts, the Sydell Group, and in major-brand players such as Marriott International, Omni Hotels & Resorts and InterContinental Hotels & Resorts."1. New builds are part of ambitious redevelopment programs.The InterContinental Washington DC - The Wharf is part of a dynamic new hub of hotels, restaurants, office buildings and residences now rising on the banks of the Potomac River. Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta is a cornerstone of the mixed-use area adjacent to SunTrust Park, the home of the Atlanta Braves. At Hartsfield Airport, the recently opened Solis Two Porsche Drive plays a key role in the emerging Atlanta Airport Business District. Frisco, Texas is part of the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex where the new Omni Frisco Hotel is the official hotel of the Dallas Cowboys and located in the team's new Star Headquarters stadium and office complex. The Omni Louisville Hotel, a 610-room luxury hotel, is rising over the city as part of a new development of offices, clubs, restaurants and residences.2. Hoteliers continue to see the investment potential in historic properties.Two of Teneo's recently-opened member hotels occupy historic buildings being revamped and reopened. The LINE Hotel, DC will be reborn in an historic church and the NOPSI Hotel, New Orleans, is now open in the city's former public utilities building, a National Historic Landmark. Notes Mike Schugt, "While renovating these properties and preserving their ambiance is expensive, the individuality and historic significance of these hotels are a strong marketing advantage. And, the construction of these buildings is far more sound than those built more recently, making them an excellent investment."3. Interior and exterior designs are breaking new ground and providing a sense of place.Hoteliers realize that cookie-cutter architecture and predictable guestroom interiors are no longer competitive in today's environment.1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge boasts a stunning interior design that pays homage to nature and Brooklyn's nautical history. With a spectacular $115 million redevelopment underway, the 'Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach features a spectacular 280,000-gallon oceanarium in the lobby. The Hotel Chaco's stunning design is inspired by the architecture and ancient Native American civilization of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. Located in Albuquerque, the hotel's interiors are a modern version of the centuries-old pueblos and accented by Native American art and sculpture.4. Recycled materials enhance construction and design.Recycled materials are being used in both new builds and reconstruction of historic hotels. The new1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge uses recycled local wood and metal to create art and furniture to reinforce the hotel's nature-inspired design aesthetic. Designers used wood flooring from an old Brooklyn distillery, and artifacts that reflect the legendary borough's history.At The LINE Hotel, DC, the wood from the pews in the former church has been used in the lobby and pages from old hymnals have been framed and displayed. NOPSI Hotel, New Orleans began as the city's public utilities building and its original ironwork, soaring ceilings and majestic windows have been preserved and repurposed.5. While the farm-to-table trend continues, new restaurant concepts are emerging, including those created by celebrity chefs.'Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beachboasts two restaurants by celebrity chef Masaharu Morimoto. AtThe LINE Hotel, DC, two award-winning young chefs, Erik Bruner-Yang and Spike Gjerde, are creating three new restaurant concepts, one serving American classics with a Taiwanese twist, one with local Mid-Atlantic fare and another focused on a tasting menu.6. Hotels are built to create new and unique guest experiences.At the rapidly expanding Atlanta Airport Business District the newSolis Two Porsche Driveoverlooks the Porsche Experience Center at Porsche's North American Headquarters. The Center's 1.6-mile driver development track is great for teambuilding and just plain fun. Guests can drive with a professional instructor, view cars in the Heritage Gallery, challenge skills in a Simulator Lab and browse in the Porsche Retail Store. Omni Louisville Hotel will include a Speakeasy with a bowling alley and a high-end lifestyle and grocery store. The Grove Resort & Spa Orlando overlooks Lake Austin Nature Preserve where guests can fish, or take to the water aboard a variety of vessels from kayaks to electric boats. In 2018, the resort will open a spectacular Safari Water Park.7. Local artists and artisans bring a sense of place, history and aesthetics.TheHotel Chaco in Albuquerque features the work of several of New Mexico's leading Native American artists throughout the hotel, with contemporary painting and sculpture, fabric designs and crafts. In Barcelona, Spain, SOFIA is fresh from a multi-million-dollar renovation with stunning architecture and modern art that reflects the work of Barcelona's legendary artists, Salvador Dali and Joan Miro. The soaring lobby showcases white and gold mobiles in the modern, geometric shapes they favored.At 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, local artists and artisans have provided original artworks, textiles and sculpture. All of the artwork in theNOPSI Hotel, New Orleans is inspired by transportation themes reflecting the hotel's original theme as a transit hub and home of New Orleans's fabled streetcars. At Omni Louisville Hotel, work by local artists reflects the city's equestrian heritage and will be displayed in the lobby art gallery.8. An Emphasis on Wellness.Most of the new build properties offer full service spas. The all-inclusiveLe Blanc Spa Resort Los Caboshas a 29,000-square foot spa with 25 treatment rooms, a hydrotherapy facility, and a fitness center with personal trainers and numerous exercise classes. Omni Frisco Hotel offers a Dallas Cowboys Fitness Package based on the same exercise programs used by the legendary football team and its cheerleaders. At 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, the internationally famous Bamford Haybarn Spa is open, offering holistic treatments and organic products.

With Scope, Variety and Global Opportunities The Hospitality Industry Beckons Graduates with Careers

Teneo Hospitality Group · 4 August 2017
Eden Prairie, MN -- The diplomas are framed, the caps and gowns returned, and the gift of a tablet or good watch is a reminder that time is not standing still for the recent college grad. While many graduates have found jobs, many more are still searching and not always finding industries that are a good fit for their skills and interests. That first job search can be especially stressful and daunting and the competition for choice positions is fierce.Mike Schugt, President of Teneo Hospitality Group, has an answer for Millennials new to the workforce and unsure of how to find a position in a field where they can learn, grow and achieve. Schugt, a veteran hotelier and prominent sales executive, has no regrets about his career choice and is excited and inspired by the scope of opportunities in the hotel industry today."This is a fantastic time to get into the hospitality business-there are so many choices," Schugt affirms, noting that the industry offers opportunities for people from a wide range of disciplines. "The hospitality industry needs people with backgrounds in technology, engineering, finance, law, sales, marketing, food and beverage services, conference management, communications, real estate, human resources, labor relations, graphic design, foreign languages and more," he says. Most of all, the industry needs workers with strong interpersonal skills, an ability that benefits the guest, the company and the employee.A graduate of the Pennsylvania State University's Hotel Management School, Schugt has this advice for those starting out in the wide world of hospitality.Authenticity, Humanity Are Key According to Schugt, too many jobs are performed online and sometimes in isolation. Communications is computer generated and calls to customer service centers are increasingly digitized and impersonal. "Opportunities for face-to-face interactions are shrinking, and the result is a lack of authenticity in our daily outreach," says Schugt."This is a serious challenge for any business, service or otherwise," he asserts. When choosing a career, new graduates should look at the industry's culture and ask questions beyond pay, benefits and promotions. "Ask what kind of interactions you will have with your colleagues, managers, suppliers, the public. Will your career choice offer you a paycheck as your sole compensation, or will you reap the rich rewards that come from exposure to many different people, cultures, and belief systems that can teach valuable life lessons in leadership and human relations?" Schugt asks.Schugt vividly remembers a lesson learned early in his career as a Front Desk Manager in a suburban Marriott hotel with a staff of 33 people reporting to him. "My first big, terrible idea was to make sure that my staff came back from their 30-minute breaks on time," he recalls. "My boss explained that we are here for the guests and team members and not here to micro-manage the staff. That was a lesson in humanity that I never forgot." Work Harder - Get Luckier Thomas Jefferson once said, "The harder I work the luckier I seem to get," and Schugt believes in working harder - and smarter - with personal and professional goals always in mind. "Consistently ask what you need to do to get to the next step on your career path," he advises."Don't think that a task is beneath you," Schugt cautions. "In the hotel business, crises big and small arise. "If you can't help when there is a power failure, what are you going to do when there is a serious emergency such as an earthquake, storm, flood or a reservations system crash?" he asks.Take on More, Learn More"Accept as much responsibility as anyone will give you - take on more than what is expected of you," Schugt advises. "Don't just concentrate on finishing your current workload - raise the bar by resolving to do an exceptional job. Ask to take on new responsibilities, train in new areas and learn all you can about our complex, challenging and ever-evolving world. This is a form of leadership that will drive both personal and team performance," Schugt asserts.Think Big, Dream Big According to Mike Schugt, everything is possible for those who think and dream big. "The only thing that is stopping you from doing exactly what you want is belief! Believe in yourself and believe that whatever it is that you do, you will do exceptionally well. The key is to Think Big, don't let a self-imposed boundary get in the way."Seek and Meet ChallengesMeeting challenges, not avoiding them, is a key part of career development, in Schugt's view. "It is important to put yourself in uncomfortable situations that stretch you beyond what you thought you could do." Graduates who place themselves in challenging situations will learn a great deal about themselves and their industry. Schugt often quotes the German philosopher Friederick Nietzsche: "That what does not kill us makes us stronger". Question YourselfFor Schugt, a little introspection goes a long way in setting goals and building that all-important belief in oneself. "The questions that you must consistently ask are: Am I living up to my potential? Am I on the right career path, and what is missing in my life plan?"He points to a time in his career when a weak economy appeared to block any hopes for advancement to the sales position and leadership role he had targeted. "I realized that I had to set my mind to doing what I aspired to do and anything would be possible. It's so easy to get caught up in daily routines rather than focus on how to improve skills and live up to your potential. Discipline your mind to continually reach for new and higher goals and don't accept the status quo."Learn a Foreign Language Few industries demand more cultural sensitivity than hospitality and Schugt advises anyone with a serious career plan to learn a foreign language. "In a global economy, fluency in a major language is essential to effective employee and customer relations," says Schugt, who in addition to his native English speaks fluent German and Spanish.Success in any job requires challenging work, self-examination and a willingness to take one's career to the next level. But Mike Schugt is convinced that the hospitality field will bring ample rewards to today's graduates. "Few industries offer the variety of brands, locations, positions and types of properties in which to work. You may find yourself working for an upscale urban property, in a college town, at an all-inclusive resort, a historic hotel, at a large conference center or even in a hotel in exotic and remote parts of Asia, Africa or Latin America," he says.No one needs to fit into a specific mold in the hospitality field, according to Mike Schugt. "Some are leaders, some are entrepreneurs, others do best in support roles, some are highly guest focused, others thrive in accounting and finance. What matters is that you understand who you are and what you can do best, what motivates you and what drives you. Find your passion, set lofty goals and higher standards for yourself. Work hard to get there and believe that you can do it and then...make it happen."

Inspiring the American Experience, Historic Hotels within Teneo's Growing Portfolio Shape 21st Century Meetings & Events

Teneo Hospitality Group ·28 July 2017
Eden Prairie, MN -- A Beaux Arts mansion where John Jacob Astor and F. Scott Fitzgerald once wined and dined. The Residence of Presidents including Lincoln, Grant, and JFK. A Pacific palace where royalty rested and film stars frolicked on the beach. Lavish symbols of Old Florida when the Twenties roared and the Jazz Age played. A splendid salute to the Old South with a famous flock of ducks parading daily in the lobby.America's past is present in these historic hotels that span the United States from Boston's Back Bay to San Francisco's Nob Hill. Once dazzling symbols of the country's cultural, political and social history, some of these iconic hotels fell upon tough times as fortunes were made and lost and neighborhoods fell from social grace. Today, thanks to responsible and painstaking restoration programs and billions of dollars in investments, these pink palaces, proud towers, colonial manors and ornate mansions are no longer fading relics of bygone days. Splendidly restored to their glory, they are highly relevant in a new era of hospitality. As independent and small brand properties, they offer maximum opportunities to professional planners and their conferees for unique, memorable, one-of-a-kind meeting and event experiences."In this new era, authenticity, originality and a unique guest experience are essential to the success of a meeting or event," says Mike Schugt, president ofTeneo Hospitality Group, the premier global firm representing 300+ independent and luxury branded hotels, resorts and DMCs. "A historic hotel, renovated and equipped with the latest technology, delivers on all counts. Today's planners and guests demand a singular venue, a commitment to authenticity and the most current technology. A historic hotel can provide all those elements to create a productive, memorable meeting. Often independently owned and operated, historic hotels are less bound by strict corporate polices and enjoy greater flexibility and creative freedom," Schugt notes.Teneo Hospitality Group's members include more than a dozen historic hotels in the United States, several of them are designated as national landmarks. These properties have undergone extensive and expensive renovations that expanded public spaces and added new facilities while staying within the strict parameters set by local and national conservation bodies. All have installed new, state-of-the-art technology to meet both the needs of conference planners and guests and to operate on a highly sustainable level in every aspect of hotel services.Teneo members also include Destination Management Companies in the same areas, which can enhance the historic hotel experience with original, exciting programs that showcase the best of each area's storied past and dynamic present. Set sail on an America's Cup yacht over Newport Harbor, tour California wine country, and dance in a Victorian ballroom overlooking the Pacific where King Edward VIII once waltzed.Many of Teneo's historic hotels played a key role in political life as well as the social scene. The Willard InterContinental Washington, DC, was a political hot spot from its earliest days as a restaurant and collection of boarding houses. The hotel first opened in 1847 on Pennsylvania Avenue, just steps from the White House and over the years hosted every president from Franklin Pierce to JFK, earning its name "The Residence of Presidents." By 1860, The Willard was the center of debate over secession and Unionists and Secessionists were so divided they entered the building via separate doors. In 1901, a new and ultra-luxurious Willard was built, and it was brilliantly restored in the 1980s. It now stands as one of America's most prestigious hotels. Another fabled Washington, DC hotel, The Hay Adams, emerged in Italian Renaissance splendor in the 1920s, on the site of two town houses once owned by prominent Washingtonians John Hay and Henry Adams. In a nod to the hotel's Jazz Age roots the Hay Adams maintains an exclusive "speakeasy", Off the Record, a favorite of DC insiders.As great fortunes were made in the 1920s, newly minted tycoons built fabulous hotels. Florida was a favorite destination of the rich and many flocked to the "Pink Palace", the Don CeSar in St. Petersburg. Also true to the era, The Biltmore Miami Coral Gables maintained a speakeasy and card game on the 13th floor.Prohibition yielded some of America's most iconic cocktails and historic hotels were up to the challenge of masking the harsh taste of illegal alcohol available during Prohibition. French 75s, Sidecars, Southside's and Old Fashioned all flowed freely. Today, they are back on the bar menu and a favorite of Millennial guests and nostalgic drinkers, alike.Farm-to-table dining can be traced to Boston's lauded Omni Parker House, which in the 1850s boasted its own farm to supply guests and diners with the freshest ingredients, including butter for their famous Parker House Rolls. A literary hub for New England's most famous writers, The Omni Parker House also hosted Charles Dickens where he recited and performed, A Christmas Carol, reading it to a rapt audience of Boston literary lions. The hotel's kitchen once employed two famous political leaders: Ho Chi Minh was a baker there and Malcolm X, a busboy. Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse worked as a sous chef before setting out for New Orleans.Hoteliers in San Francisco, inspired by the city's steep hills and stunning views, forged the concept of the Rooftop Bar and none is more famous than The Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins. The hotel was built by a railroad magnate in 1926, and the bar and restaurant added in 1939.Opulent, Beaux-Arts architecture appealed to the tycoons of the era who were investing in new hotels. Examples of this lavish style are found in New York's recently relaunched The Knickerbocker Hotel, once a palatial property owned by JP Morgan and now born again as an elegant Times Square hotel. The Willard InterContinental Washington D.C., Boston Park Plaza and Sir Francis Drake and Stanford Court in San Francisco have preserved the elaborate ornamentation, bannisters, balconies, columns, cornices, pilasters and triangular pediments that mark this extravagant architectural style.Equally rich appointments can be found in the Italian Renaissance style of The Peabody Memphis. First opened in 1869 and reconstructed in 1925, the impeccably restored hotel is a hub of the city's business and social life. Each day, the legendary Peabody Ducks march through the lobby and swim in its fountain to the delight of guests.In Nashville, The Hermitage Hotel took the Beaux Arts and Italian Renaissance styles to new and extravagant levels. Opened in 1910, the hotel featured marble floors, walls and columns as well as ornate ornamental plasterwork. The original chandeliers still hang from the lobby's spectacular painted glass ceiling. Guestrooms were paneled in mahogany and equipped with such "new features" as running ice water and a telephone. U.S. presidents from William Howard Taft to President Bush visited the hotel, as did Charlie Chaplin, Babe Ruth and Country Music legends from Hank Williams and Patsy Cline to Johnny Cash.Another famous historic property, The American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin, had a humble beginning as a residence for immigrant workers recruited by the Kohler Company, makers of bath and plumbing fixtures. The elegant Tudor building once contained a pub and a bowling alley for the residents. Today, it is one of America's premier resorts with a championship golf course and the Kohler Experiential Learning Center, noted for its teambuilding and leadership programs.The Hotel Viking in Newport, Rhode Island, sits on the city's premier address, Bellevue Avenue, along which New York's fabled "400" built their spectacular "summer cottages." Its graceful architecture and newly renovated interiors recall Newport's Colonial days as a thriving seaport and later as a yachting center. Built in 1926, The Viking is named for a band of Norsemen who may or may not have established a colony in Newport in 1120. They are said to have built a mysterious stone tower near the hotel that still stands.Hoteliers accept major challenges and responsibilities in managing a historic property. Maintaining the hotel, meeting rigorous requirements from local, state and federal preservation bodies, operating with an elevated level of sustainable practices while incorporating 21st century technology demands commitment and creativity. In some cases, that obligation extends to the land surrounding the hotel. At Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, the hotel meticulously maintains its stunning Pacific beachfront, a favorite spot for parties, teambuilding, and top-flight entertainment. In Pennsylvania, the Omni Bedford Springs Resort, dating back to 1796 and set amidst the Allegheny mountains, preserves ancient hot springs that first drew the likes of America's Founding Fathers. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams took the waters here, and the springs still feed the hotel swimming pool, one of the nation's first, where musicians once played while hotel guests swam.Despite the challenges and initial expense, a historic hotel is an excellent long-term investment, according to Darrell Tamosuinas, Teneo's CEO. "These buildings were constructed to last and retain a level of craftsmanship and architectural authenticity not being built today," Mr. Tamosuinas says. "They recall a time when Americans were on the move, building, exploring, creating and incorporating the best of the Old World with the energy and vision of the New, and today provide a destination experience unlike any other."That experience is enhanced by state-of-the-art-technology and embraced by a new generation. Thanks to committed hoteliers and investors, we can again imagine the glamour of a Gilded Age when princes and presidents, moguls and movie stars dined, danced, dealt and forged America's history. These immersions into the best of the past while leaping forward into the 21st century are uniquely available to professional planners and their conferees at historic properties. As independent and boutique brand hotels and resorts, they offer unlimited opportunities for one-of-a-kind meeting, group teambuilding and event experiences.

Teneo's Top Venue Trends for Exceptional Meetings & Events in 2017

Teneo Hospitality Group · 9 May 2017
Eden Prairie, MN -- In a world of visual overload, hyper technology and a "been there done that" attitude, meeting and event planners are pressured to find evermore exciting, unique and memorable events that will keep participants enthused and motivated. The old Hollywood adage, "You're only as good as your last picture," describes the situation well. Planners are under pressure not just to outdo the competition, but to outdo themselves, and smart venues are responding with super-charged creativity."What's the coolest event you've ever done or experienced? This is the burning question that today's meeting planners first ask when they are selecting a venue," says Mike Schugt, president of Teneo Hospitality Group, the premier global sales firm representing 300+ independent and luxury branded hotels, resorts and DMCs. "Whatever the answer is, today's planners seek to top -- by far -- that 'cool event'! Why? Because it's what meeting guests demand. An over-the-top experience engages guests in a way that promotes learning retention."As a hospitality sales and marketing firm, Teneo's job is to help planners find venues that can provide a meeting experience that is productive, exclusive and exceptional. With independent luxury hotels and resorts and value-based DMCs in its portfolio, Teneo's sales team is committed to showcasing the creativity, flexibility and authenticity that independent properties offer in a tech-driven and homogenous environment.Teneo's Top Venue Observations for Exceptional Meetings & Events in 2017#1 Venues must be all things to all people. Whether they are well-traveled, sophisticated and seasoned executives or up-and-coming millennials, attendees of all ages today demand an experiential and interactive learning process that offers a complete immersion into a destination, a venue, and the meeting content. No exceptions!#2 Beyond the Golf Course - Spectacular Sports. While legendary golf courses continue to be played by meeting guests, increasingly it's action adventure that attendees are requesting and demanding. Real meeting examples include skiing on Olympic slopes, ice wall climbing, dog sledding in the winter season, and saddling up for a cattle drive and rock rappelling in the summer.#3 Cultural Authenticity Matters. Cultural authenticity is essential to providing a genuine travel and meeting experience, and independent hotels and DMCs are perfectly positioned to offer this. "We represent venues and destinations that offer a true sense of place, a vibrant culture and a flexible, creative atmosphere where ideas can take flight," Mike Schugt says. For example, Teneo's DMCs can arrange a private reception at The Tower of London to view the British Crown Jewels, a shooting party in the Scottish Highlands followed by a whisky tasting at a campus distillery, a dinner on the Great Wall of China, a lavish reception inside Beijing's Forbidden City, or closer to home a chance to sample Charleston's fabled cuisine at a food truck rodeo then explore the Low Country's unique African-American Gullah culture. Several landmark Teneo hotels offer a deep dive into history with 21st Century meeting guests communing with legions of legendary guests from the past. "It's more than creating team memories," says Schugt, "although this is important. It's providing team camaraderie in a highly unique setting that help instill connections and learning." #4 Flexibility. Flexibility is essential to creating a memorable meeting, and independent hotels tend to have a much wider scope in what they can provide as they're less tethered to brand corporate policies. "Planners today need to respond to rapidly changing preferences of their increasingly younger meeting attendees," said Schugt. "What's discussed six months out can morph into an entirely different event closer to the meeting date. Hotels and resorts and planners need to remain flexible to the increasingly spontaneous and in-the-moment preferences of today's attendees."#5 The Art of the Unusual. We've all heard of events in art museums, Broadway theaters or on the beach. These are terrific venues for memorable gatherings. But how about taking over a parking garage with multiple levels for a myriad of activities, or decorating a ballroom with living walls to drive home a message of sustainability to a group gathering, or renting a pier over the ocean and hosting a corporate meeting while reflecting on global warming. "This is using the art of the unusual to create powerful connections and memories. It's a genuine, thoughtful investment in one's team," says Schugt.#6 Sustainability. The demand for "green" hotels and meeting experiences has grown far beyond providing organic bath products and water-saving devices. Today's guests insist on comprehensive efforts that impact every aspect of the meeting experience - not just in the venue but on the grounds, recreational areas, surrounding beaches, woodlands, campgrounds and ski slopes. "Many of our member hotels go well beyond the eco-friendly practices that have been implemented by the lodging industry in recent years," Mike Schugt notes. "We see practices from catch and release fishing programs to Tesla Superchargers, and of course, locally sourced food that goes from farm to table." Schugt also sees a more relaxed atmosphere in terms of service because of the farm to table movement. "The emphasis now for events, and venues that host them, is on sourcing and healthy eating, rather than formal service."#7 Wellness. Venues are using their facilities for corporate and social groups to create memorable fitness and wellness programs. This can include yoga or Tai Chi on the beach, personal trainers, hikes, bike tours of city landmarks, group runs led by hotel staff and free loan of workout clothes and shoes. Some provide in-room equipment such as yoga mats and exercise bikes as well as a range of fitness apps and videos. "Like so many trends, this is millennial-driven," says Mike Schugt. "Hotel and resort fitness centers today are far more sophisticated and interactive with a dedicated staff on duty."#8 Confidence & Consistency. Events are not just for fun. They are team developers, helping unite and bond a group either leading into a meeting or hosted at its conclusion. "If you've ever planned a special event, or were responsible for its success, you'll understand this," said Schugt. "It's always been a given that venues play a huge role in the confidence that a planner has for an event to be a resounding success. But as budgets tighten, and ROI is paramount in the minds of every client, confidence in the meeting and special event team to deliver, and the hotel with its destination's unique ability to create a transformational experience for attendees, has never been more important."

Teneo Hospitality Group Launches Nationwide Meeting Planner and Hotelier Networking & Charity Events

Teneo Hospitality Group ·14 March 2017
NEW YORK, NY -- Teneo Hospitality Group launched the first of several planned 2017 networking and charity programs with an interactive event at Manhattan's swanky Second Floor venue. The gathering, to benefit the New York Rescue Mission, was attended by 100 meeting planners from the Northeast and representatives of 58 hotels and destinations from across the US and internationally. Teneo's networking programs, held across the United States and in Latin America, provide members with a unique opportunity to showcase their products and services, enjoy great food and entertainment, while aiding a local charity. Teneo will host similar gatherings in 13 other cities during the year, each benefiting a local charitable organization supporting the homeless.At the New York event, meeting planners were given Teneo tote bags to fill. Then, they visited each of the 58 tables where they connected with a hotelier or destination management company (DMC) who added an item to each bag. Each tote bag contained 58 items that could be useful to the homeless, including socks, dental floss, eye drops, hand cream, feminine products, toothbrushes, umbrellas, blankets, Band-Aids, snacks and a number of other necessity items. Over 160 bags were filled and donated to the NYC Rescue Mission.Teneo developed the innovative program last year as a key part of its business model. "Our business is built on developing strong relationships between meeting planners and the hotels and DMC members who serve them," says Teneo President Mike Schugt. "Our charitable outreach utilizes these interactive gatherings to give back by supporting the organizations servicing the homeless in their city." He also noted that the problem of homelessness continues to grow, affecting a broad spectrum of the population, including families, women, children, veterans and those suffering from substance abuse and mental illness.Since launching the program last year, Teneo has hosted nine events in various US cities, plus the company's annual Summit in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Teneo chooses a different charitable focus each year. In 2016, the company's outreach benefited at risk children in numerous US cities. Charities included Covenant House, Special Olympics and several local shelters and clothing programs for children in need. Participants filled backpacks with school supplies, toiletries and sneakers.The innovative charitable aspect of the evening was new to many and greeted with appreciation. Noted Tiru Irani, president of Far Horizons, a luxury group travel company, "It was very thoughtful of Teneo to include the charity component to this event. I was touched and very impressed by this kind gesture."

Teneo Hospitality Group Launches Strategic Digital Marketing Services For Over 300 Member Hotels, Resorts, Destination Management Companies

Teneo Hospitality Group ·31 January 2017
Eden Prairie, MN -- Teneo Hospitality Group brings a new branding focus, expanded market research facilities, and a synergistic approach to its newly launched Digital Marketing Services unit. Led by an expert team of IT, marketing, and research professionals, the new unit will provide comprehensive digital marketing services to more than 300 hotels, resorts and destination management companies that are part of Teneo's global membership. These strategic Internet marketing initiatives are geared to the changing demands of today's hospitality industry and span a synergistic mix of services. These include custom website design and enhancement, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), local listings optimization (local SEO), email marketing, social media optimization and advertising.Teneo's new initiatives are designed to help its members sort through the increasingly complex Digital Marketing arena and find customized solutions that fit their needs. "Our watchwords are analysis, empowerment and engagement," says Teneo President Mike Schugt. "With the help of Teneo's sophisticated market research and creative direction on the use of all the tools in the digital arsenal, clients will be empowered to engage more intensely with their customers and stakeholders," Schugt says. The new digital tools and the phenomenal expansion and influence of social media fit perfectly with Teneo's core values of building relationships to effectively build brands."The new digital marketing strategy is based on channel integration, not channel isolation," says Mike Schugt. "SEO, websites and social media channels work in synergy with paid search, e-mail marketing and display, as well as channels featuring media reviews, referrals and mentions." These new services expand our emphasis on market research, optimizing the power of social media to not only reach our customers, but to determine their needs, demands and perceptions in real time," Schugt affirms.Schugt notes that nine out of 10 travelers are influenced by social media in making decisions regarding destinations, hotels, airlines, attractions and restaurants. Those potential customers can be reached via a growing number of social media platforms featured on multiple devices from computers to increasingly sophisticated smart phones and iPads. Teneo's research indicates that the explosive use of mobile devices spans most demographics, but is crucial to capturing the coveted millennial audience.That audience is increasingly reactive and quick to tell marketers what they think of their products and services. Teneo quotes market research pioneer and Intuit co-founder Scott Cook, "A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is - it is what consumers say it is."While the new technology brings a vastly increased scope to hotel marketing, Mike Schugt cautions that social media is a two-way street and that tracking the responses of customers is just as important as outreach. "Of course, hoteliers dread the negative review on TripAdvisor or Yelp," he notes. "But those reviews provide valuable feedback and a chance to respond to the customer and the public in a positive and proactive way."Teneo's new Digital Marketing team is headed by Mike Schugt and consists of a hand-picked team of experts in IT, marketing and market analysis: Digital Marketing Director, Maria Perret-Gentil, Marketing Director Danielle Halbert and Marketing Analyst Justin O'Flanagan.

Top 10 Food & Beverage Trends for 2017 from Teneo Hospitality Group

Teneo Hospitality Group ·24 January 2017
Eden Prairie, MN -- The food revolution that swept America's tables all the way to the White House has reached the kitchens of the country's hotel and resort ballrooms and banquet spaces. Chef-led, millennial-driven, and embracing the issues of sustainability, sourcing, wellness and diversity, the 2017 food & beverage trends show an increasingly complex and sophisticated market."Today's hotel and group banquet guests have new and highly diverse dining requirements and demands," says Mike Schugt, president of Teneo Hospitality Group, the leading professional group meeting sales organization bringing together 300 hotels, resorts and destination management companies worldwide with professional meeting and event planners. "Luxury and independent hotels are well-positioned to provide customized culinary solutions to planners, as they are less restricted by brand corporate procedures and purchasing requirements. This has resulted in an explosion of culinary creativity, and has made local sourcing of ingredients much easier, providing chefs detailed knowledge of how vegetables are grown and how animals are raised."Teneo recently addressed food & beverage trends at its Annual Summit, partnering with guest Executive Banquet Chef Stefan Peroutka of The Venetian and The Palazzo in Las Vegas. A native of Austria who has cooked in several acclaimed restaurants in Europe and the United States, Chef Peroutka brings the same creative vision and commitment to excellence to group events. "I believe that a key factor to longevity and success in this industry is based on a simple concept that I refer to as an 'HONEST Food Program'," said Chef Peroutka. "It is built on delivering fresh and real ingredients that are prepared with proper technique and passion, always setting out to preserve the integrity of all ingredients used. This is the basic concept to building great culinary programs."Top 10 Group Food & Beverage Trends Trend #1 Local and Sustainable Sourcing and using locally-raised meat and produce is the most productive way to meet the changing requirements for healthy dining while reducing a hotel's or resort's carbon footprint. Chefs are assured of fresh ingredients and much more intensive knowledge of the food they are buying and serving. Says Chef Peroutka, "Increasingly, group meeting and banquet guests want to know where their food comes from, how it is raised and fed, and they have a right to that information." For example, meat from grass-fed cows, raised without hormones is far healthier and tastier. By buying locally, a chef can assure guests from personal knowledge that their dinners come from animals that have been naturally and humanely raised. Indeed, animal welfare is a growing concern, especially among millennials. Buying from local farms will also greatly reduce transportation costs and emissions.Trend #2 Natural, Minimally Processed FoodsCreative chefs throughout the country are leading a movement to educate and excite their customers about experiencing foods as close to their natural state as possible, and not overly seasoned or processed. As healthier, plant-based ingredients replace processed food and awareness of the dangers of sodium, sugar and saturated fat grows, Americans are demanding healthier food at meetings and banquet events.Trend #3 New Cuts of Meat, Non-traditional Fish, Meat Versus PlantAnimal-based proteins will assume a more secondary role in 2017 as chefs respond to guest's individual diet preferences for more sustainable and healthier eating habits. Look for a greater use of vegetables, seeds, nuts and legumes as part of the protein intake at group dining events. Since some fish have become scarce, more abundant species such as mackerel, rock fish and skipjack are now trending as healthy protein sources. To make food more sustainable and affordable, chefs are using a variety of cuts of meat - not just breasts, shoulders, and legs, but the entire animal.Trend #4 Healthful SnacksNew and healthier snacks are coming on the market, impacting both what is offered at hotels and resorts, in meetings, and what individuals purchase or prepare for themselves. Planners have long seen the need for energy-boosting break-out items such as fruit, nuts and yogurt. These will be joined by seaweed and plant-based snacks, and smoothies made with nut-based milks rather than dairy.Trend #5 Ethnic-Inspired Breakfast ItemsAn increasingly diverse American population now consumes a breakfast that goes well beyond bacon and eggs, and international attendees bring their own preferences. Many Europeans start the day with a variety of breads and charcuterie from prosciutto and salami to pates. Middle Easterners enjoy spreads and salads, while Latin Americans prefer spicier breakfast entrees with meats, eggs and empanadas. In 2017, look for fruits such as pomelo, star fruit, mangosteen, red bananas, pomegranates and Asian pears for breakfast. Hot and flavorful cereals such as congee mixed with vegetables or even spicy Korean kimchee makes a flavorful change from bland oatmeal. Popular breads will include pita, nan, flatbread, and tortillas for build-your own breakfast burritos.Trend #6 Bolder FlavorsThe phenomenal success of Siracha sauces and wide exposure to spicy ethnic foods such as Thai and Indian cuisine, make today's guests far more adventurous diners, particularly among millennials. With an international mix of conference attendees, planners must explore ways to incorporate these items on restaurant and conference menus.Trend #7 Hybrid CuisineHybrid Cuisine evolved from the fusion food trend, which sometimes resulted in dishes that were more confused than fused. Hybrid cuisine is all about respecting the craft and traditional techniques of two culinary worlds and combining items into a harmonious well balanced dish. For example, it could be as simple as Korean fried chicken combined with a daikon Kimchee turned into a slider with miso mayonnaise.Trend #8 House Made / Artisan Items This trend is about creating a unique, individualized and memorable experience for guests - all produced and customized in house. This could be a small consumable item that is property-or event-specific ... something a guest can take away with them, and which can later transport them back for a few moments to re-experience the event. This may be house-made snack mixes, gourmet popcorn, macaroons, or small jars of house-made jams, chutneys, mustards or infused seasoning salts.Trend #9 Grab & Go with Mobile AppsLike many current food trends, this is driven by busy, tech-savvy millennials. At conferences, attendees can use hotel or meetingapps to access interactive menus through personal mobile devices, ordering freshly prepared menu items for quick pick up without the wait. The apps can also be used to order to a vendor booth or break-out meeting space, for fast convenient service.Trend #10 Cocktails, Mocktails and MoreBeverages can make an event, and the emphasis should be quality and innovation over quantity. Many classic cocktails are making a comeback, including Manhattans, Side Cars and French 75s. America's very own whisky, Bourbon, is giving Scotch a run for its money and gin lovers can now choose from a variety of tonics for their G & Ts. Talented mixologists are mixing their own infusions from fresh ingredients. Locally brewed craft beers and local wines enhance the overall dining experience and also contribute to sustainability.Nondrinkers don't want not be limited to simple water or chemically laden soft drinks. Planners can provide non-alcoholic beverages that are imaginatively presented. Fortunately, the current concern with health and safety has given rise to Mocktails, alcohol-free takes on mojitos, Cosmos, Martinis and Bloody Marys with infusions of fresh fruit and colorful garnishes.In conclusion ..."We are seeing a much more complex and challenging environment emerging within group food and beverage," says Teneo President Mike Schugt. "These changes will demand a creative, flexible response to guest demands, including an emphasis on flavor, health, and strict attention to sustainable farming & livestock practices, and dietary needs." While Mr. Schugt sees luxury and independent properties in the vanguard of this movement, he has no doubt that the entire industry will eventually step up to meet these new challenges. "This is an innovative, creative industry," Mike Schugt affirms. "We listen to our customers, ask questions, learn, and then lead the way."

Coming Together By Giving Back

Teneo Hospitality Group ·20 December 2016
Eden Prairie, MN -- Deck the lobby, trim the tree, host an array of company parties and pop the corks for the annual New Year's Eve gala. 'Tis the season for hoteliers to be busy with celebrations and resolutions to make the coming year the most prosperous ever. The holidays are also a time to reflect on the hotel's traditional role as a center of community life and how best to give back to the community. "A generous check made out to a local charity is much appreciated," says Mike Schugt, president, Teneo Hospitality Group, "but those of us in the hospitality industry have the resources and creativity to make contributions that are personal, address needs within our communities, and are meaningful."Teneo Hospitality Group believes that giving back in the spirit of the holidays is appropriate and can greatly benefit the company that is giving, even more than the recipient. Apart from being its own reward, corporate social outreach can raise a company's profile, attract positive media and investor attention, enhance teamwork and build bridges between management, employees and the local community."In fact, corporate giving is such a valuable tool, we have made it an integral part of our business model and a year 'round effort," continues Mr. Schugt. "Our business is built on developing relationships between meeting planners and our hotels and DMC members who serve them. Teneo's charitable outreach is designed to bring those groups together through a series of interactive events that offer a direct benefit to the community in which we do business."Teneo hosts over 20 events per year in locations across the US and Latin America. Local meeting planners are invited to meet and network with Teneo member hotels and DMC representatives. There's great food, entertainment and a chance to meaningfully help a local charity while networking at the same time. Since most of the companies' charities are geared toward helping children in need, Teneo designed back-to-school events, where the company purchased backpacks and filled them with needed school supplies. These included pens, pencils, crayons, markers, notebooks, and more. Planners are given a backpack and go to each table, where they connect with a hotelier who then adds an item to the backpack, until all backpacks are filled. It's simple, fun and effective, and brings needed school supplies to children who may otherwise go without.In some cases, instead of giving school supplies, Teneo has provided toiletries or pairs of shoes for children at local homeless shelters.Most companies cannot donate millions of dollars. But they can create innovative, cost-effective programs that benefit local communities in a targeted and meaningful way, while involving employees and clients."This year, our programs have benefited at risk children in numerous US cities. Charities included Covenant House, Special Olympics and several local shelters and clothing programs for children in need," says Schugt. "At our recent Summit in Mexico we contributed backpacks filled with necessities to two local charities that aid children. The backpacks are both attractive and practical, and their contents are greatly appreciated. We donated 100 pairs of shoes to the St. Anthony Free Clothing Program in San Francisco - just in time for the kids' return to school."Clients agree that these events are unique - and fun. "My personal award was for Most Creative and Thoughtful Charity Event," wrote one meeting planner. Said another, "I loved being part of something bigger in giving back to the community."In the New Year, Teneo hopes to expand the company's programs and partnerships, bringing more meetings professionals and Teneo members together, helping disadvantaged kids and leaving something meaningful behind in each place they visit.


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