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Wild Elephant Wanders Into Sri Lankan Hotel

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One of this Sri Lankan hotel’s regulars is not who most people would be expecting as they make their way through the lobby.

The Jetwing Yala Hotel located on the southeast coast of Sri Lanka has opted not to fence in their complex, making wild animals on the hotel’s property a regular sight for guests at the hotel.

But one wild elephant has gotten comfortable enough to actually venture inside the lobby of the hotel on multiple occasions.

Natta Kota, whose name means Short Tail, is said to be somewhat of a regular to the hotel – although not always making his way inside. Natta Kota lives in the surrounding dune scrubland of the hotel’s property.

Hotel representatives said in a statement, “Please note that though he is a regular visitor to our hotels, Natta Kota is still very much a wild elephant and we at Jetwing would have him remain as such. While it is exciting and memorable to encounter wild animals in and around our hotels, we humbly request that guests respect their space and maintain a healthy distance at all times. Please avoid feeding the animals and refrain from using flash photography.”

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Hotels

Marriott Attains Record Growth in Caribbean, Latin America

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Marriott International achieved record growth in the Caribbean and Latin America last year, signing 10,000 rooms across 15 brands in 17 different countries and territories.

2019 marks the hotel giant’s fourth straight year of record expansion in the region, increasing its portfolio in the region to 268 open properties and 55,195 rooms in 34 countries and territories.

Highlights of Marriott’s epic year in the Caribbean and Latin America include 2,100 conversion rooms, the first Delta Hotels by Marriott signing in the region and the launch of the company’s all-inclusive program last August. Since then, Marriott has signed seven management and franchise agreements for all-inclusive properties representing nearly 3,200 rooms, including an 800-room Marriott Hotels resort in Jamaica and a 240-room Ritz-Carlton property in Mexico.

What’s more, Marriott’s affordable lifestyle brands—including AC Hotels by Marriott, Aloft and Moxy—continue to expand rapidly throughout the region, signing a combined 1,284 rooms last year.

Marriott also completed its acquisition of Elegant Hotels Group last year. The group consists of 588 rooms across seven hotels located on Barbados’ Platinum Coast.

“We had a landmark year for hotel transactions in the Caribbean and Latin America in 2019, fueled by the hotel development community’s demand for our leading business support and loyalty program, our attractive brands and strong owner interest in our new all-inclusive brand extensions,” said Laurent de Kousemaeker, Chief Development Officer, Marriott International, in a statement. “With a growing pipeline of 146 hotels and resorts totaling over 24,000 rooms, we are poised for solid growth in this region, providing more opportunity to drive engagement with our loyalty members.”

The record-breaking year certainly isn’t anything new for Marriott, which expanded its global pipeline to 515,000 rooms as of year-end 2019 for the first time in the company’s history.

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