Five Hotel Trends to Watch in 2016


NEW YORK, Jan. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Virtuoso®, the global network of luxury travel agencies, is demonstrating that it has its finger on the pulse of what upscale travelers desire with the recent expansion of its Hotels & Resorts program. In the last year, Virtuoso added 95 new properties, bringing the total portfolio to more than 1,100 hotels in 100 countries. Of this total, 468, or 43 percent, have chosen to partner exclusively with the network, affirming the network's leadership position in the industry. The network has grown strategically to position itself at the forefront of luxury hospitality trends.


At 24 years, Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts is the longest running and most prestigious program available to consumers. Designed to benefit leisure travelers, the program offers benefits worth up to $450 per stay that are only available through a Virtuoso travel advisor. Standards such as breakfast, room upgrades and early check-in/late check-out are matched with value-added extras that enhance the overall experience like spa treatments, dinners, airport transfers or rounds of golf.

Always ahead of the curve, Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts has expanded purposefully to provide travelers with hotel options thataccommodate their ever-changing needs. Here are five trends shaping the growth of the esteemed portfolio of hotels, resorts, spas, lodges, camps, villas and even private islands.

  1. Larger Suites and Villas: Multigenerational travel is the hottest trend of 2016, according to the Virtuoso Luxe Report. Hotels are responding to the demand for group lodging by offering extremely large suites and villas. In Virtuoso's portfolio: an 11-bedroom suite opening this year at The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman that will be the biggest in the Caribbean, the largest penthouse suite in the U.S. at New York City's The Mark at 12,000 square feet, and Four Seasons Nevis offering guests 40 villas.
  2. Experiences that Create a Sense of Place: Voyagers today place great value on experiences that will create memories to last a lifetime. Virtuoso's collection of hotels and resorts offer an array of authentic experiences that are distinctive to their destinations. As a result, Virtuoso clients can enjoy everything from world-class concerts at Schloss Elmau, a historic Bavarian castle; to a Western cattle drive at The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch in Wyoming; to a private coffee-tasting experience at El Silencio Lodge & Spa in Costa Rica.
  3. Lifestyle Hotels: As Millennials blaze a new trail in the luxury travel world, Virtuoso has grown by selecting properties appealing to that demographic. Exciting brands such as Andaz and W Hotels are represented in the portfolio, which has also recently welcomed its first Conrad hotel (in the Algarve in Portugal) and first Edition hotel (in New York City).
  4. Virtuoso Preview: Luxury travelers want to be the first to discover the globe's hottest new properties and if they can get exclusive access and perks, even better. Virtuoso offers just that through its pioneering Preview program, which introduces emerging or reemerging hotels and resorts to the clientele of its elite travel advisors. Six years after its birth, Preview continues to support properties from world-class luxury brands during their pre-opening phase and debut. Current participants include the Ritz Paris and Faena Hotel Miami Beach.
  5. Broadening Global Appeal: In the past year, Virtuoso has expanded its network of worldwide members, adding its initial travel agencies in Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as growing its presence in Europe. To get ahead of the demand for destinations that appeal to those markets, the Hotels & Resorts program has invited properties in strategic locations to join the network. New hotels in Cyprus (popular with Europeans) and Paraty, Brazil (a favorite of South Americans) are just two examples of how Virtuoso is catering to this diversity.

Luxury travelers can acquaint themselves with all the Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts offerings in the hot-off-the-presses 2016 Virtuoso Best of the Best directory. At a record-setting 632 pages, the new Best of the Best features every hotel in the portfolio, offering insider tips on how to enjoy each to its fullest.

A new feature this year highlights another key travel trend: the changing way travelers are shopping for lodging. Virtuoso created Curated Experiences to give travelers at-a-glance information about a property's room style, experiences and atmosphere. If they're looking for a contemporary resort that's close to the beach, offers a wellness program and has a casual vibe, now they can easily find it. Curated Experiences is another first-to-market advantage for the Hotels & Resorts program.

Best of the Best also showcases unique experiences in each region, giving readers 60 pages of creative ideas. Those include a private after-hours tour of the Vatican City Museum, dining with a member of Bhutan's parliament, and blending your own wine in Chile.

Best of the Best is currently being distributed to the homes of 150,000 of Virtuoso's best clients, as selected by their advisor. To view the directory online, click here. For more information on Virtuoso or to find a Virtuoso travel advisor, visit

About Virtuoso Virtuoso® is the leading international travel agency network specializing in luxury and experiential travel. This by-invitation-only organization comprises over 380 agency members with more than 11,400 elite travel advisors in over 30 countries throughout North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Drawing upon its preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world's best hotels and resorts, cruise lines, airlines, tour companies and premier destinations, the network provides its upscale clientele with exclusive amenities, rare experiences and privileged access. More than (U.S.) $15.5 billion in annual travel sales makes Virtuoso a powerhouse in the luxury travel industry. For more information, visit

(via PR Newswire)

Hospitality Consolidation and Other Trends for 2016



Guy Bentley, CEO Worldwide of Glion Institute of Higher Education takes a look at the current state of the hospitality industry and shares his views on predicted 2016 industry trends.

Travel & tourism industry forecast The worldwide travel & tourism industry continued to see strong growth throughout 2015 and international tourist arrivals are predicted to grow by 3-4% per year and reach 1.8 billion in 2030, according to the UNWTO report.

The UNWTO long-term outlook Tourism Towards 2030 sees substantial potential for further growth coming from emerging economy destinations in Asia, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, growing at double the rate (+4.4% per year) than advanced economy destinations (+2.2% per year).

Consolidation of major hotel management companies The news hit the global hospitality industry with a bang in November 2015, when Marriot International announced its USD 12.2 billion bid to take over Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide to form the world’s biggest hotel management company with more than 5,500 owned or franchised hotels with 1.1 million rooms around the world.

The run for hotel consolidation does not stop there, with French AccorHotels taking over FRHI Hotels and Resorts with luxury brands Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel for USD 2.9 billion. This boost in merger and acquisition activity in the hospitality sector is a new development, implying increased competition and a run to secure market shares, especially in the aforementioned emerging destinations.

“Asset Light” Real Estate in hospitality In the past, growing a hotel company required enormous capital investment, but over the last two decades, many hotel groups have expanded by adopting an “asset light” model of managing, rather than owning, properties, or even just franchising their brand to a third-party operator against a fee.

This development brings new opportunities to our graduates with a strong background in finance and accounting and who are looking to join a financial institution, an asset management company or an investment fund. These new representatives of hotel owners are increasingly relying on hospitality graduates to manage their hotel portfolios.

In this regard, Glion is proud to offer strong business-focused programs, such as the BA specialization in Real Estate Finance, the Glion MBA program and the recently launched MSc in International Hospitality Finance.

Growing skills gap and importance of practical experience Due to the continuous growth of the labour-intensive and productivity-reliant travel and tourism industry, the sector is expected to experience some difficulties in providing enough qualified talent for the forecasted 80 million new jobs created over the next ten years, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

To make matters worse, employers are hesitant to employ graduates for their entry-level positions without having previously worked for their organisations, either through paid internships, industrial placements or vacation work.

At Glion, students are required to complete two semester-long internships as part of their bachelor degree program and often join one of these companies after graduation, by which time an average of 86% have one or multiple job offers.

Challenging climate for luxury brands Worldwide sales of personal luxury goods have tripled over the last 20 years and were mostly unaffected by economic trends. However, future growth is forecast at a slower four to six per cent and bound to face new challenges in terms of consumer behaviour and demands, shifting demographics and new distribution channels.

According to Milton Pedraza, CEO of consultancy Luxury Institute, low client retention rates show the need for luxury brands to build better relationships with customers, but many brands are struggling to inspire, empower and compensate store associates to become long-term relationship builders.

With the creation of a new bachelor degree specialization in Luxury Brand Management, Glion is preparing hospitality talent with strong customer engagement skills and specialized knowledge on luxury branding.

Together with its industry partners, Glion keeps a close eye on the hospitality business and monitors developments and innovations. As an educator, we must also track the shifting needs of our students and adapt to the changing educational landscape. Balancing these expectations illustrates Glion’s complex approach to preparing students to succeed in today’s constantly evolving hospitality industry, which was recently recognized at the Worldwide Hospitality School Awards 2015 where Glion won the award for Best Hospitality Management School.

(via PRWeb)


Top Ten Food Trends For 2016



CHICAGO, Dec. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --The Food Channel® ( has released its Top Ten Food Trends for 2016. Based on research conducted in conjunction with CultureWaves® and the International Food Futurists®, the list identifies some of the significant changes expected to hit the food world.

"We're seeing a huge emphasis on clean label, sustainability, functional food, and knowing the story behind a product," said Kay Logsdon, editor of The Food Channel. "We've called out both flavors and industry behavior in this report, with something for the consumer and the food professional alike." This marks 28 years since The Food Channel began identifying trends around food. Highlights follow:

The Food Channel Top 10 Trends for 2016

  1. Clean Label. Growers and food manufacturers are removing preservatives, artificial flavors, antibiotics, and other potential allergens in response to consumer demands for transparency.
  2. A No Tipping Future. Joe's Crab Shack is the first major chain to test a no-tipping policy, and New York restaurateur Danny Meyer is a leading advocate. Watch for "hospitality included."
  3. Tangy: the newest flavor palate. What used to be sweet, now is savory, and vice versa.  Expect stronger flavors that pack a punch in order to make sure we notice them.
  4. The New Vegan. Consumers want true personalization around what they eat... and that means figuring out how to eat at a fast food restaurant on a vegan diet.
  5. Searching for Super. Everyone is trying to find the next superfood. It has become a never-ending search, leading to quick introduction of new foods with quick turnaround if they don't "stick."
  6. Merging Markets. We haven't seen a lot of innovation in the food world recently.It seems the only way to grow is to combine. Are we making better companies or just bigger?
  7. Cultural Diets. People are searching for their own culture, and, in doing so, are realizing that there may have been health benefits for their genetics and body type.
  8. Decadent Desserts. Decadence is making a comeback. Restaurants have developed a competitive culture where each tries to outdo the other with the spectacular.
  9. Coffee Flavor and Flair. Instead of flavoring our coffees, now we are flavoring nearly everything else with coffee: chewable coffee cubes, coffee candy, coffee rubs, and coffee beer are just a few.
  10. Food Entertainment. We called out TV and YouTube years ago, and now we're seeing our love of food show up in mainstream television and movies, not to mention merchandising.

Recipes are also available for some of the trends; see more at


About The Food Channel® The Food Channel ( includes original video series, great feature articles, chef-tested recipes, chef profiles, 4-star food photography, reviews and food-event coverage. For additional food news, trends, recipes, and reviews, visit Follow The Food Channel on Twitter at or Facebook at

(via PR Newswire)


Chefs Predict Top Restaurant Menu Trends for 2016



WASHINGTON, Nov. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Restaurant Association (NRA) annually explores the top menu trends for the coming year. For this year's What's Hot culinary forecast, the NRA surveyed nearly 1,600 professional chefs - members of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) - to find which foods, beverages and culinary themes will be hot on restaurant menus in 2016.

Top 20 food trends for 2016:

  1. Locally sourced meats and seafood
  2. Chef-driven fast-casual concepts
  3. Locally grown produce
  4. Hyper-local sourcing
  5. Natural ingredients/minimally processed food
  6. Environmental sustainability
  7. Healthful kids' meals
  8. New cuts of meat
  9. Sustainable seafood
  10. House-made/artisan ice cream
  11. Ethnic condiments/spices
  12. Authentic ethnic cuisine
  13. Farm/estate branded items
  14. Artisan butchery
  15. Ancient grains
  16. Ethnic-inspired breakfast items
  17. Fresh/house-made sausage
  18. House-made/artisan pickles
  19. Food waste reduction/management
  20. Street food/food trucks

For complete survey results, additional trends to watch, video and downloadable graphics, visit

"True trends evolve over time, especially when it comes to lifestyle-based choices that extend into other areas of our everyday life," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research for the National Restaurant Association. "Chefs and restaurateurs are in tune with over-arching consumer trends when it comes to menu planning, but add their own twist of culinary creativity to drive those trends in new directions. No one has a better view into the window of the future of food trends than the culinary professionals who lead our industry."

"We are excited to see how foodservice establishments will incorporate these culinary trends for 2016," said Thomas Macrina, CEC, CCA, AAC, national president, American Culinary Federation. "Chefs enjoy being creative and many of these trends give them the ability to do what they love: make fresh, delicious food for people to enjoy."

The top trends in food also extend to the bar, with the hottest alcohol trends including locally produced and craft beer, wine and spirits.

When asked which current food trend has grown the most over that last decade, 44 percent of the chefs surveyed said local sourcing. Looking forward, 41 percent said the trend that will grow the most in the next 10 years is environmental sustainability.

Menu items that gained in trendiness since last year's survey include African flavors, authentic ethnic cuisine, ethnic condiments/spices, house-made/artisan soft drinks, Middle Eastern flavors and non-traditional liquors. Items that lost momentum include underutilized fish, kale salads, fresh beans/peas, gluten-free cuisine, quinoa and flower essence in cocktails.

The NRA surveyed 1,575 American Culinary Federation members in September 2015, asking them to rate 221 items as a "hot trend," "yesterday's news," or "perennial favorite" on menus in 2016.

About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 14 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We operate the industry's largest trade show (NRA Show May 21-24, 2016, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart); as well as the Kids LiveWell program promoting healthful kids' menu options. For more information, visit and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.

About the American Culinary Federation

The American Culinary Federation, Inc. (ACF), established in 1929, is the standard of excellence for chefs in North America. With more than 17,500 members spanning nearly 200 chapters nationwide, ACF is the leading culinary association offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and programmatic accreditation. In addition, ACF operates the most comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States, with the Certified Executive Chef®, Certified Sous Chef®, Certified Executive Pastry Chef® and Certified Culinary Educator® designations accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. ACF is home to ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative for the United States in major international culinary competitions, and to the Chef & Child Foundation, founded in 1989 to promote proper nutrition in children and to combat childhood obesity. For more information, visit Find ACF on Facebook at and on Twitter @ACFChefs.

(via PR Newswire)


Restaurant Industry Operations under Growing Pressure to Balance Labor Costs, Big Data and Profits



LAS VEGAS, Nov. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- IQ BackOffice President and CEO, David Schnitt, at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in Las Vegas, NV today discussed the "growing trends, challenges and opportunities" facing the industry in 2016 and beyond.

The Restaurant Finance & Development Conference, is one of the nation's largest annual gatherings of restaurant industry operators, management specialists, financial, legal and regulatory experts. IQ BackOffice, a leading global accounting and human resources outsourcer, headquartered in El Segundo, CA will be displaying, sharing and presenting their views on the 2016 trends and challenges facing the industry and the solutions, tools and options that can be utilized to meet them.

"The nation's restaurant industry, an important contributor to the health of the American economy, is facing a 'perfect storm' heading into 2016 of opportunities and challenges, said David Schnitt, President and CEO of IQ BackOffice.  "Restaurant operators are presented with an environment that will require the efficient management of a changing labor market with narrowing margins and growing regulatory pressures – while still needing to achieve growth, profit and scale."

David Schnitt and the experts at IQ BackOffice predict three key trends and challenges that is reshaping the restaurant industry now and well into 2016:

  • Focus on Cost Efficiencies and Changing Labor Market. With companies pressed in terms of labor costs, along with increased wages and a lack of employees to fill critical jobs, it's imperative for companies to find ways to reduce costs.  Restaurants should look to leverage solutions that collate costs around food and labor—generally two-thirds of a restaurant's total spending—so that owners and operators can better handle and understand all of the costs that are within their control.
  • Leverage Internet Based Analytics and Insights to Deliver Margins. Under tight margins, managing finances needs to be an exact science. Restaurants need to gain more insight into where particular costs are and where they need to target their spending. Fine-tuning information at a more granular level provides restaurant owners with the solutions needed to make strategic, educated financial decisions—all at a lower cost.
  • Deliver Growth and Scale. Even under cost pressures, growth is still possible, but restaurants must efficiently manage growth and scale options at a low cost. Restaurant owners need to realize their financial state holistically to set the right trajectory for profitable growth.

For more information, please visit IQ BackOffice onsite at Booth 620.

About IQ BackOffice IQ BackOffice is a global leader in business process outsourcing, delivering customized solutions for its clients and boasting 99.97% quality and up to 68% cost savings. By reengineering existing processes such as accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll and human resources, IQ BackOffice reduces costs, enables better decision-making and creates stronger financial controls. Clients range from mid-sized to multi-billion dollar private and public companies, across industries such as restaurant and hospitality, real estate and property management, manufacturing and distribution, telecommunications, utilities, energy, financial services, professional services and others. IQ BackOffice is majority-owned by LiveIt Investments Limited, the holding company for Ayala Corporation's investments in the business process outsourcing sector. Ayala was established in 1834 and is one of the leading conglomerates in the Philippines. For more information about IQ BackOffice's wide range of services, please visit

For additional information, please contact: Alyssa Scott Burson-Marsteller +1 212-614-4012

(via PR Newswire)