May 17, 2020

Ritz-Carlton Beijing and Air China team up to offer gourmet in-flight meals

Air China
Ritz-Carlton Beijing
Chinese aviation industry
aircraft catering
Tom Wadlow
2 min
Air China
Chinese carrier Air China has unveiled a new in-flight catering partnership with the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Beijing.

It forms part of the company's stra...

Chinese carrier Air China has unveiled a new in-flight catering partnership with the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Beijing.

It forms part of the company's strategy to transform its gourmet in-flight offering, though the cuisine in question is Italian, and not Chinese as might have been expected.

Barolo, the Italian restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton Beijing, is named after the famed winemaking region in northern Italy, and forms the inspiration for the new menu and matching wines. Among the dishes desired by Air China include spiced prawn salad, tomato and basil soup, braised beef tenderloin with prosciutto, and panna cotta for dessert.


The biggest obstacle was that, due to the nature of the industry, airline catering is subject to a whole host of requirements and restrictions in terms of production, storage and transportation.

For example, airline food is part of the cold chain and needs to be re-heated up on the plane. Affected by high cabin pressure, a passenger's senses of taste and smell are less sensitive in the cabin, which means that the same food will taste differently in the air than it does on the ground.

The choices of possible ingredients are even more restricted in high-altitude enclosed cabin environments, so Air China is enlisting the help of Beijing Air Catering, specialist in aviation food and drink for nearly 40 years.

The new gourmet Italian dining option will be available in all first class cabins on routes between China and North America from 1 August.

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Jun 17, 2021

Accor hotels ready to welcome back LGBTQ+ guests

Helen Adams
2 min
The hotel chain, Accor, has reaffirmed its dedication to welcoming LGBTQ+ travelers on their post-pandemic holidays, as Accor continues to defend diversity

The global hotel industry, Accor, and the International LGBTQ + Tourism Association (IGLTA), the largest association for the promotion of LGBTQ + tourism, have begun an international partnership. 


Inclusivity in the travel sector

Accor and IGLTA aim to ensure that the hotel sector represents a secure and inclusive space for all and will promote equal reception in the travel sector. LGBTQ+ holidaymakers are no longer a secretive niche market.

Axel Hotels was founded in 2003, aimed exclusively at LGBTQ+ travelers who wanted to stay in a place where they knew they would be welcomed. The following year, Sandals Resorts lifted a ban on same-sex travellers sharing a bedroom in its Caribbean resorts. 

In 2019, the LGBTQ+ community rallied with its allies, in a boycott of several hotel chains, including London’s The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane as well as the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles. These hotels were owned by the Sultan of Brunei, who declared that in a new law, gay citizens in the tiny Asian nation would be stoned to death. High profile figures such as George Clooney publicly supported the boycott and eventually, the Sultan revoked the law. 

Unlike the Sultan of Brunei, the Accor Group identified the economic and social benefits of LGBTQ + tourism and of the need for all travelers to feel welcome. 

In addition to this new partnership, Accor has previously implemented internal inclusion policies, created webinars for staff training and been involved in Pride events.


Making the LGBTQ+ community feel welcome

“We are proud to be one of the companies that supports and promotes LGBTQ + tourism”, declares Steven Daines, CEO Talent & Culture, Accor. “With more than 260,000 employees in 110 countries, diversity is an integral part of the Accor Group; it is the very foundation of our identity and our culture. Accor is committed to doing everything to make the LGBTQ + community feel welcome in its hotels. We are convinced that the collaboration announced today with IGLTA will make it possible to materialise the Group's desire to establish itself as the benchmark, in the hotel sector, for our employees as well as for LGBTQ + customers.”

“We are delighted to formalize this partnership to promote LGBTQ + travel,” said John Tanzella, Chairman and CEO, IGLTA. "The desire expressed by Accor to create reassuring experiences and the best welcome to LGBTQ + travelers, and to defend diversity within its teams, is perfectly in line with the mission of IGLTA and the work carried out by our other international partners."


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