Luxury takes a back seat as affordable hotel brands.


Luxury takes a back seat as affordable hotel brands boast bigger pipelines in the Middle East.

The Hotelier article today.

There are more than 500 hotels on the way in the region, mostly from Hilton, Marriott or Accor

08 Jun 2021

Middle east

There’s an impressive 534 hotel projects currently under construction in the Middle East, totalling 153,225 rooms.

That is according to Lodging Econometrics’ latest Construction Pipeline Trend Report, which revealed which destinations have the most hotels on the way.

And 48 percent of the projects in the pipeline in the Middle East belong to three companies:

Hilton with 93 projects and 25,200 rooms, followed by Accor with 89 projects having 25,882 rooms. Next is Marriott International with 75 projects and 22,160 rooms.

Luxury takes a back seat as affordable hotel brands.

The leading brands in the pipeline for these companies are Hilton’s DoubleTree with 27 projects and 6,083 rooms.

Hilton Garden Inn with 20 projects and 6,566 rooms;

Accor’s Ibis brands with 12 projects and 4,274 rooms and Movenpick with 12 projects accounting for 3,153 rooms;

Marriott Courtyard with 15 projects/3,432 rooms.

Residence Inn with nine projects and 1,196 rooms.

Unsurprisingly, Dubai in the UAE takes the top spot with 115 projects and 32,596 rooms on the way.

On a country-wide level, Saudi Arabia leads the way with 185 projects and 66,898 keys; followed by the UAE with 154 projects and 42,327 rooms.

Egypt with 61 projects and 14,912 keys.

Qatar with 57 projects and 14,047 rooms;

Oman with 32 projects and 6,474 rooms.

Capital cities Riyadh and Doha hold the most projects behind Dubai,.

KSA city having 54 projects and 11,070 rooms.

Qatari city having 50 projects and 12,017 rooms.

The Hotelier article today.

I’ll never go back to the Gym again


Sharon Terlep | Photographs by Desiree Rios for The Wall Street Journal 2021 subscription newswire.

One fitness club franchisee plans to open a dozen new locations, while a national chain is selling digital memberships.

A Pilates studio in Houston is requiring masks; a family-run gym in Indianapolis isn’t.

America’s gyms are reopening to a markedly changed fitness world as coronavirus pandemic restrictions lift.

Each business and its customers must decide how to navigate new workout habits and conflicting demands around Covid-19 safety protocols.

Some people won’t exercise in a face covering; others will only frequent a gym with a mask mandate.

Still others purchased pricey fitness machines for their homes and have spent months taking virtual classes.

“Many of our members have developed habits in a significant way, routines they never had before Covid,” said Jeff Zwiefel, chief operating officer of Life Time Inc.

I’ll never go back to the Gym again

The fitness center chain, with 150 U.S. locations, now offers a $15 monthly digital membership, where people can work out to streaming classes.

Gyms, from boutique studios to sprawling fitness centers, have been among the industries hardest hit by the public-health crisis, as concerns about people spreading the coronavirus during group exercise led to mandated shutdowns and member exoduses.

A cleaning station for gym members at a Life Time health club in West Harrison, N.Y.

The pandemic’s toll has been profound:

Nearly half of the 3 million jobs in U.S. health clubs disappeared last year along with more than half of the industry’s revenue.

Legions of independent gyms and studios have closed, crippled by state-mandated shutdowns.

Several corporate chains, including 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide Inc. and Gold’s Gym International Inc., filed for bankruptcy protection and reorganized or closed.

Those that survived are catering to a customer base now more accustomed to exercising at home and better equipped to do so.

As gyms faltered, business boomed for companies like Peloton Interactive Inc. and Nautilus Inc. that provide streaming classes and workout equipment.

Demand has been so high for Peloton exercise bikes and treadmills that customers have waited weeks for deliveries.

“I know there’s chatter of, ‘We are a stay-at-home stock, and we get back to normal and Peloton dies or whatever,’ ” John Foley, Peloton co-founder and chief executive, told investors in February.

“We obviously are taking the other side of that. Every year in the U.S., there’s been 5 million treadmills sold. So it’s not like working out at home was a Covid thing. It has always been a thing.

It’s just the products have been dopey and not connected.”

How might the coronavirus pandemic transform the fitness industry? To find out, WSJ spoke with the CEO of Planet Fitness, an independent gym owner, and an industry analyst to learn about what we can expect for the future of fitness. (Video from 9/11//20)

Gym owners and industry experts say the fitness landscape is likely forever changed by the pandemic.

When the Covid-19 risk passes, they say, the business of fitness will increasingly become a mashup of bricks-and-mortar and online virtual offerings, much like the coronavirus-hastened evolution of retail, office work and education.

“At-home will become a part of the fitness ecosystem, it’s going to have an outsized platform,” said BMO analyst Simeon Siegel. “But for the vast majority of people, the fitness industry will still revolve around bricks-and-mortar.

Heading into the pandemic, the U.S. had roughly 40,000 health clubs generating $35 billion in annual revenue, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sports club Association.

At the end of 2020, the industry has lost $20.4 billion in revenue, while about 6,400 clubs—17% of the total—closed permanently.

A recent survey by consulting firm McKinsey & Co. found that 68% of those who started using an online fitness program during the pandemic said they planned to continue for the long term.

The survey of 2,024 adults was conducted Nov. 9-13, 2020.

Crunch fighting back with smartphone based APP marketing and QR technology.

Geoff Dyer, owner of more than two dozen Crunch Fitness franchises in Georgia and Florida, said Covid-19 won’t change Americans’ gym habits for the long term.

A Crunch membership, starting at $9.95 a month, is cheaper than many online subscriptions.

Mr. Dyer said his membership is almost at the same level it was before the pandemic. He said he is opening another dozen locations in the next year, including four that will replace now-shut 24 Hour Fitness clubs.

Crunch offers streaming workouts, but they aren’t popular, he said, but we are working on new ideas, especially dedicated APPs that dont have to be downloaded from the APP store.

Crunch have adapted advanced QR technology, connecting bespoke work outs with low levels of Gym equipment to live streams and video.

Notifications off the APP constantly remind clients whats available.

Dyer is also adding SMS to the portfolio, for the more up market clients who like a personal connection.

“It’s hard to replace the excitement of a live class, and there’s a huge barrier to entry if you’ve got to pay $2,500 to get that bike,” he said, referring to Peloton, which sells bikes starting at $1,895.

Amid Covid-19, he said, “we realized people were desperate to get back to the gym.”

Exercise bikes are spaced out to maintain social distancing at a Life Time health club in West Harrison, N.Y.

All but one state—South Dakota—shut down gyms last spring as the pandemic took hold, and others have fully or partially closed gyms for varying durations.

By last month, California, the only state remaining with a blanket order keeping gyms closed, started allowing facilities to reopen with various restrictions.

Gyms allowed to open in many cases face restrictions that range from cost-prohibitive for businesses to off-putting for some members, including capacity limits as low at 10%, outdoor-only classes and mask mandates.

Ardizzone & Nalley Gym in Indianapolis shut down for about 10 weeks in the spring and has been open since, and doesn’t require members to wear masks.

The gym, opened 42 years ago by owner Tony Ardizzone, has a big base of elderly members, including many who say they won’t return until they are vaccinated.

“The older people are more fearful and more cautious and vulnerable, and young people are less so,” he said.

Other customers were so eager to be in the gym even at the height of the pandemic, he said, that he had to confiscate keys they were using to get in despite the gym being closed.

In Texas, as soon as Gov. Greg Abbott announced in early March that the state would allow all businesses to fully reopen and lift its mask mandate, many customers of Houston-based Citizen Pilates called and messaged founder Jess Hughes asking her to keep rules requiring masks in class and maintain 6 feet of space between machines, she said.

Sharon Terlep | Photographs by Desiree Rios for The Wall Street Journal 2021 subscription newswire.

Hotel Directors unwittingly give their data away.


A reactionary article published in the Hotelier magazine Dubai and released on newswire.

The Hotelier: June article:

Speaking at The F&B stakeholder Hotel Show Dubai 2021, a Balkan restaurant boss said that “discounts should be a tool to reward loyal customers, not to attract new ones”.

“It time for restaurants in Dubai to end their reliance on discount APP’s, such as The Entertainer, to get customers through the door”

That’s certainly the opinion of 21 Grams owner Stasha Toncev

Reaction: “We took an opposite view to articles like this”

Hazeem Nadim Director of a prestigious Dubai boutique destination states that Hotels that use third party APPS are giving their data away instead of keeping it to market internally themselves.

If they do not own and operate the APP themselves, there is an illusion that past clients will simply move on to the next discounted outlet.

That was his conclusion after time spent time with a new marketing manager after their previous manager left when Covid struck.

Sandeep Patel is a recent graduate and marketing manager from the Indian institute of Technology, Delhi.

Hotel Directors unwittingly give their data away.

His forward learning graduation programme focused on rental cloud technology to enable their clients Smartphone.

Hazeem Nadim
Hazeem Nadim Boutique Hotel Dubai

With visitor numbers down 60 %, Hazeem was curious how they could use a new generation Progressive Web APP in combination with QR codes within the hotel to generate future business on social media.

Sandeep Patel focused on the combination of a hosted room service Food delivery APP in combination with advanced QR marketing ideas.

The QR codes all have a clear call to action and are distributed in every room and open space.

Hazeem Nadim and Sandeep Patel are encouraging their past and present customers to distribute their promotions on social media.

Some of the ideas developed so far.

Future discounts on multiple stays.
Inviting friends rewards.

Hen or stag nights
Vouchers to book a table for larger parties.
Wedding deals.
Book a birthday present.
Meet the manager drink at the bar.
Book another night with a free bottle of bubbly.

Quiet mid week booking success!

Special offer during the week stay for 3 nights pay for 2

Vast amounts of automated data into the Hotel CRM allow us to get even more creative with cross marketing.

It’s a new beginning, we are excited to explore new marketing techniques.

Hazeem Nadim Boutique Hotel Director, Dubai.

A subscription newswire article:

Developers make lousy hoteliers.

Hotel rooms
unhappy daughters
Unhappy teenagers in hotels

Johan and Gertrude Heinkel:

Euro newswire article.

5 star Hotel fails to satisfy my family.

Trust me, an unrepeatable disaster created by appalling room design with equipment obviously designed years ago.

Having been cooped up with my family for a very long time, I decided to book a family hotel room in quite a highly reputable 5 star Hotel.

My wife and I have 3 teenage girls.

They all have smart watches, smart phones I Pads and headsets.

We also have 2 IPTV boxes when we travel.

Hotels are notorious for terrible TV programming, so we usually bypass their system.

This ( so called ) 5 star Hotel didn’t even have TVs with HDMI input !!!

Developers make lousy hoteliers.

Thank goodness the girls brought their own hair equipment, the Hotel dryers were akin to a butterfly flapping its wings.

And lets look at the maths for charge points shall we ?

5 i watches, 5 i pads, 5 i phones, 5 headsets, 2 book readers, 2 hair tongs, 2 hairdryers, 2 IPTV boxes, 1 internet box, 2 battery back ups.

Just run the maths on that shall we ? At least 30 appliances essential in the modern family and just 8 ( 2 hidden ) electrical sockets.

The wireless speed test we ran was border line ineffectual.

Thank goodness we took our own portable satellite connection from home.

As for food ordering !

The girls booked food delivery off their phones, the idea of sitting and eating the Hotel offering filled them with horror.

My wife was right.

We should have gone Air b&b saved a thousand euros and enjoyed a holiday without inept staff who didn’t understand a word we said.

This Hotel was obviously designed and built for the Developer.

As sure as hell it wasn’t built for a modern family holiday.

Johan and Gertrude Heinkel:

Euro newswire article.

My Realtor brokerage was strangled by my Agents.

Summer Hopkins
Summer Hopkins realtor.
changes in my industry.
Mrs Summer Hopkins

Summer Hopkins is a Registered Realtor from Mississauga Toronto.

She was asked to write an article for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce after addressing the needs of fellow Realtors online.

This article was consequently published on subscription Newswire.

“If we do what we always done, were going to get what we always got”

That was the opening conclusion in a pretty damming report of MY business !

I was in tears and angry for 2 days and two nights.

We firstly identified 5 problems in the business using a smart consultancy service registered with the certified management of consultants (CMC) 

My mindset had to change and it started when I sacked my marketing manager.

He simply refused to change our quite expensive strategy.

That was really tough, he had worked for me for 8 years.

Problems identified by the certified management consultancy.

Intermittent inventory levels.

Online competition.

Not addressing the needs of a Smartphone user.

High marketing budgets.

Poor database management.

My Realtor brokerage was strangled by my Agents.

The changes are very much work in progress, to be honest it was a struggle to transform old practices in our office alongside communications.

The first task was going paperless. Removing the printer was a massive change.

It’s as if a cooker had been wrenched out of our kitchen!

The next big change was putting our entire database into a CRM.

That took a long time to literally handball all history, names, telephone numbers, emails and addresses into one cloud system and then joining to an accountancy package.

We opted for Xero.

The training for Agents to use the CRM resulted in a couple more casualties I’m afraid.

But we are getting there, the changes are being managed by younger team members who have rapidly risen through the ranks.

The speed they get stuff done is mesmerising, its as if all the time they spend on social media is just an extension of what they achieve at work!

Very impressive.

Our inventory levels have grown by 16% in 8 months and the marketing budget has dropped significantly.

Our attention to detail with client Smartphone communications pays dividends through natural online marketing.

I’m pleased and happy to share.

The next phase is quite revolutionary, we are copying trends from other markets.

Listen out for an update in a few months time.

Summer Hopkins is a registered realtor, business woman and writer.

Our in house food APP trebled repeat Hotel business.

Chris Cintron
Chris Cintron Hotelier

Chris Cintron. Hotelier New York.

Hotelier, evangelist and publicist.

It’s been a tough 18 months but we had time to think and do some Hotel upgrades that needed getting on top of.

That’s done now along with a new booking system and food order system.

The bit we nearly missed was a food delivery app. I resented the charges of Uber eat and the like and researched the idea of a food delivery app.

Initially I was so desperate to keep my kitchens rolling and retain some good people, I was only thinking delivery within a few blocks to give the staff work.

That went fine, we continued with 2 delivery companies initially and put our app details inside the delivery packaging using a QR code.

We toyed with the words but ended up with “next time order here for a free beer “

Something we were not expecting began to emerge.

We hesitantly opened the Hotel with closed restaurants on special deals, we put the app QR code in the rooms for room delivery only.

So not only did we get orders from downtown, we also got orders from our own Hotel rooms.

By chance the app we opted for doesn’t have to be downloaded from the app store and once it has been used once we can send out notifications.

I was talking to the Chef team about the surprise we were experiencing, and Doodle, the pastry chef said ” Lets put our signature dessert dishes on the app”

In the next breath he said ” Cornhusk Meringue and a thang for Ma’am”

What he meant was, promote special room rates alongside the food.

With over 800 orders off the app we can now send regular notifications through the app right onto the clients phone.

Yeah, although we were not monitoring repeat business as well as we should, now we can see it and its working !

 London is satisfied, Paris is resigned, but New York is always hopeful.

Chris Cintron. Hotelier New York.

Hotelier, evangelist and publicist.

I’ve divorced my webmaster.

Damian Halliday

Damian Halliday

A news wire article.

I have changed my business whirling’s by questioning the motives of my webmaster.

Apart from the never ending bills and frustrations with the dilemma of marketing my business.

I wasn’t happy with the route my tech team had chosen.

I’ve divorced my webmaster.

I came to the conclusion that the modus operandi of my Website developer, social media specialist and SEO master were in cahoots.

A never ending journey of false horizons and undelivered promises and deadlines.

I seemed to be the meal ticket in a project I could never understand.

My journey of change came about from some chance reading of the Smartphone generation, the Millennials and the Gen-z’s ( scary )

Ok, I’m a fashion retailer, and I have to keep up with the trends, but the realisation that my business growth is wholly dependent on people who didn’t share my passion bothered me.

It was a conversation with my 16 year old son that changed everything.

My question was “What’s the big deal with social media Mikey ?”

He rolled his eyes.

“Its where we go Dad, its how we get stuff done, its where we share”

So when I slept on that statement, I realised something.

My children have iPad’s and access to PC’s but never really use them.

My children’s world is the Smartphone only.

I’ve divorced my webmaster.

So what does get stuff done, its where we share actually mean for me as an online retailer?

Another part of my journey was explained when my wife bought a new Apple watch, the kids unwrapped it and set it up.

It was the first time I actually realised that the watch is just a replicate, a slave or a mirror of what’s on the phone and in that moment of realisation, Mikey said, yeah its kind of like a APP.

“Eh ? an APP is a mirror of a website ?” “Mikey yeah kind of but we share all the stuff through APPs on social media, websites

What stuff I enquired ? “Coupons, voucher discounts, promotions, deals, duh they come in on the notifications and we share them “

Aged 56 Im getting it, the APP is where its at !

Damian Halliday Blogger and News wire contributor.

The Real Estate industry is resting on its laurels.

red herring

It wasn’t that long ago that Estate Agent offices disappeared and consolidated on the back of huge jumps in interest rates.

Now we have a Government manipulated property market alongside money so cheap it beggars belief.

But those are not the Laurels under scrutiny today, this market could last for years and whether prices continue to rise or fall a bit, thats irrelevant to the Millennials aged 20 to 50.

Julia Skern observations as a new house owner purchased on her Smartphone.

“We are not old enough to remember any corrections or problems in the property markets, its a none sequitur in fact it’s a red herring.

Julia Skern posted her joy of discovering and purchasing her new house on her Smartphone.

A republished Newswire article.

I’m 33 years of age, I know !

red herring
Bayr ny Skeddan , my red door on the Herring Way Isle of Man.

The Real Estate industry is resting on its laurels.

More than 70 percent of today’s buyers search for homes online using their Smartphone.

From blockchain to quality video tours, technology is shaping the real estate industry for the better.

Now is the time to focus on the Millennials expectations and that will hedge against any bumps in the market place for sure.

They love moving pictures to send to their friends on social media and they adore connecting to QR codes for property videos.

If they love it, then Property Agents can feel their love with a little focus on change.

“I noticed a wee Agents window in my village had made the effort to connect to my phone, and I bought the house.”

An article from Julia Skern a surfing and observational writer originally from Cornwall who has just bought her first house on the Isle of Man.

Julian Skern: Newswire article 2021

Imagine the additional spousal pain you can avoid now whilst you are still alive.

OPES TRUST Financial Services

1. Your Final Chapter

From experience and some of our earliest cases trying to resolve an estate of a client we found that the deceased had a will but not signed properly, no original or an abridge marriage certificate, their antenuptial contract is mis laid or gone.

Husband & Wives

The bread winner make all the decisions, paid all the bills run all the finances without the wife ever being involved and have excess to any login details to bank accounts.

They don’t even know how and where they will get any money until some funds get paid.

And dying intestate is the ultimate cardinal sin.

Employing and retaining quality people is a CEO’s often neglected responsibility.

2. CEO & Business Owners

Are so concerned about the productivity or the bottom line of the business that they overlook the stress their employees are going through.
They might be overwhelmed working from home and still do all their basic housework looking after the children coming home after school.
Maybe sitting with an unrepaired vehicle due to a cut is their salary prompting short term insurance premiums.

They even had to cut back on their medicals.

Shock truth: The miserly wealthy risk their wealth through poor planning.

3. Short term Insurance
Just read an article about the super wealthy that are under insured – see article

Family business Directors fail their family through negligent forward planning with a professional.

4. Family business

Currently busy with client husband passed away who had 20% share in a family business, whilst in hospital the family lend the wife some money to pay for medical costs, now they want her to donate her the shares that she might be entitled to as full settlement of the money they lend her, without any valuations of the family business to determine the value of the shares.
In short there is no buy and sell agreement in place or any other agreements in place.

Francois Meyer | Financial Planner

+27 82 453 0388


Financial Services | FSP 45423

228 Canary Street, Wierdapark, Centurion, South Africa

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Inactive Gym communications cost client memberships.

Brian De Beer

With so much change and uncertainty brought about by the consequences of Covid exacerbated by fake news.

Then you have the clients mindset questioning the value of a long term membership and the fear that exercise interruptus will recur.

Your Salespeople are Hot.

But Looks Don’t Sign Gym Contracts !

Brian de Beer talks to Maltix PWA.

Thought Leader: Brian de Beer.

Brian created the 1st sales force in the world, where 80% of the sales were generated by 80% of the sales people with over 1000 sales people in 8 different countries.

Your gym sales staff – You can MOTIVATE them (which lasts a while) or you can SCARE them (which generally backfires).

The real challenge is to change their ATTITUDE because that’s what lasts.

Contrary to popular opinion, sexy looks and flirtatious personalities do NOT bring in new gym membership contracts.

In fact, the introverted personalities who diligently follow the same process every day, close the most deals – because they flex the right muscles!

Regular customer communication process focusing on the Smartphone is key.

Gyms have high sales staff turnover – 80% of gym sales staff are inconsistent and underperforming. This isn’t because their sales skills are shocking but because their activity isn’t controlled. As a result their leads are also seriously lacking. The long and short of it is that there is no simple way to manage each individual and to track performance – at least not without the right assistance.

The ONLY thing that you can control as a sales manager of gym sales staff is how many people they speak to. It’s not about walk-ins, it’s about walking the right talk.

I have trained over 20,000 salespeople in gyms across 15 countries. From Virgin Active to Fitness First. Surprisingly, some of the best salespeople that emerged were accountants, nurses and teachers. Not surprisingly, sales success is about discipline and process and not about your personality type or how gregarious you are.

  1. You can’t depend on walk-ins to get results

    It would be awesome if new members would just walk into your gym in droves all by themselves and epic sales would happen automatically. But let’s be real… it’s just not going to happen.
    As with a six-pack and big guns, you need to put in the work.
    No solution and zero strategies equal an empty gym.

  1. A CV doesn’t give you the true story

    The little blurb written on the back of a DVD cover rarely does the movie inside any justice. The same goes for a CV or job application.
    A resumé tells you what you want to hear and not necessarily what the salesperson’s potential is.
    False advertising freaks everybody out, so don’t set yourself up to fall for it.

  1. Company goals and individual goals are not aligned

    Most people are in it to win it for themselves. They don’t care what your company goals are, “what’s in it for me?”, is the mantra for most of us.
    Don’t put company goals before individual goals or you’ll come off second best – guaranteed.

  1. You don’t have to be a sweet talker to sell contracts

    It’s more than just sweet-talking that wimpy guy into a contract by promising him Schwarzenegger results. It’s about consistency and a decent plan being put in place. You’re not trying to con people, you’re looking for long-term customers.
    Discipline sells more than charm.

  1. The only constant is inconsistent sales

    Great salespeople are as common as sweat on a treadmill. But without the right management, discipline and systems in place, they fail or are inconsistent at best.
    They’re not selling dodgy cars here. They’re selling wellbeing and a quality lifestyle. They should act like it.