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Hospitality Ireland Presents Round-Up Of Global Resort News

Published on Sep 29 2021 12:14 PM in General Industry tagged: Saudi Arabia / Amazon / Disney / blackstone / The Cosmopolitan / Red Sea / Walt Disney Co

Hospitality Ireland Presents Round-Up Of Global Resort News

Hospitality Ireland presents a round-up of global resort news.

Blackstone To Sell The Cosmopolitan Resort And Casino For $5.65 billion

Blackstone Inc said on Monday September 27 that it would sell its The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas resort and casino for $5.65 billion.

As part of the deal, MGM Resorts International would buy the operations of The Cosmopolitan for $1.63 billion.

MGM would also enter into a long-term lease agreement with a partnership among Stonepeak Partners, Cherng Family Trust and Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust Inc, which will acquire The Cosmopolitan's real estate assets.

Blackstone had acquired the property for about $1.7 billion in 2014 and spent $500 million on upgrades, including renovating nearly 3,000 guest rooms and adding new restaurants and bars.

It said The Cosmopolitan's recent performance has been stronger than ever, exceeding pre-pandemic levels in the second quarter of this year.

The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2022.

Saudi Launches $13bn Plan To Turn Coastal Region Into Tourism Hub

Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman launched a 50 billion riyal ($13 billion) strategy on Tuesday September 28 to develop the Aseer region on the Red Sea coast into a tourism hub that would attract 10 million visitors by 2030.

The aim is to develop tourist attractions in the mountainous area and improve services and infrastructure including healthcare and transport, state news agency SPA said.

The Gulf Arab state, which opened its doors in September of 2019 to foreign tourists through a new visa regime, wants to diversify its oil-dependent economy, with tourism contributing 10% of gross domestic product by 2030.

While the nascent tourism sector was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, local campaigns helped to partially attract millions of dollars Saudis used to spend overseas.

In February, Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund launched a venture that would invest $3 billion to build 2,700 hotel rooms, 1,300 residential units, and 30 commercial and entertainment attractions in Aseer by 2030.

Amazon Launches Robot To Roll Around House And Disney Resort Voice Assistant

Amazon.com Inc on Tuesday September 28 announced a household, canine-like robot called Astro and a deal with Walt Disney Co to imbue its voice-controlled tech in resort hotels, striving to make its virtual aide Alexa a bigger part of consumers' lives.

The home robot is designed to take up tasks such as home monitoring, setting up routines and reminders, and can play music and TV shows while rolling around the house.

The device, which has digital eyes on a rotating screen mounted on wheels, is available at an introductory invite-only price of $999.99 and regular price of $1,449.99.

Among other launches in its latest lineup were a smart thermostat, smart display Echo Show 15 and a new health-tracking band called Halo View.

The Echo Show 15 can be mounted on a wall and is powered with AZ2 Neural Edge, a processor that helps users personalize the screen.

In its push to appeal to the next generation of customers - kids - the company introduced Amazon Glow, a gadget for playing games, reading or drawing while on a video call.

In its partnership with Disney, it will launch an Alexa-powered voice assistant at Disney's theme park hotels, along with a paid feature that lets customers interact with Disney characters at home.

The feature is expected to launch next year and will let users interact with Disney characters with the 'Hey, Disney!' voice command.

Amazon has launched a number of new gadgets every year, including sunglasses with voice control and an in-home drone, that have not become massive sellers.

Devices make up for a fraction of Amazon's overall sales.

News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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