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by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | June 02, 2015
More than 2,000 industry professionals gathered June 1-2 at the 37th Annual NYU International Hospitality Investment Conference at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. Here are some of the announcements made by some of the companies in attendance:

• According to John Greenleaf, senior vice president and global head of DoubleTree by Hilton Hotels, Hilton Worldwide, the new dining concept, Made Market, which was launched at the brand's Tulsa, Okla., property, is now being tested in 19 markets. In addition, DoubleTree is focusing on capturing more of the small-meetings market by generating bookings on the brand's e-platform site.

• Brian King, global officer, Marriott signature brands, said the chain has partnered with a China-based company to build hospitality schools. The move, he said, was a direct response for Marriott's need to staff its growing Asia Pacific portfolio and its commitment to being a respected global leader in the region.

• According to Sebastian Bazin, chairman and chief executive officer of Accor, the hotel company will be opening two more properties in Cuba in the next two years. He noted that Cuba had 3 million visitors in 2014, mostly from Europe, but added that Accor's expansion will primarily be focused on China.

• Barry Sternlich, chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group, said, "Demand is growing faster than supply, and the strong U.S. dollar will affect inbound travel and room rates, which will only continue to rise."

• San Francisco leads the way in average daily rate for group bookings, with $269, a 12.9 percent year-over-year increase for the 12-month period ending in April 2015, according to STR. In addition, for the first time, group business is outpacing transient travel and is expected to do so for the remainder of 2015. The markets getting the bulk of the new room supply are Anaheim and Sacramento, Calif.; Boston; Denver; Houston; Miami; New York City, and San Diego.

• Twenty years ago, Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons controlled the luxury hotel landscape -- and rates. Today, there is a proliferation of independent properties commanding prices in the $600 to $1,000 per-night range, according to officials at Belmond (formerly Orient Express). The luxury market is starting to segment, and a new ultraluxury tier is gaining a foothold, particularly in nontraditional destinations. This new segment is being driven by travelers wanting a unique experience.