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Online comparison and reviews sites are the most popular port of call when deciding on a holiday, claims TravelSupermarket.
TravelSupermarket’s 2013 Travel Trends Tracker said that 42% of 5,000 holidaymakers who were quizzed say that they turn to such sites for inspiration. The survey found that 36% are influenced by friends while a further 6% are influenced by their friends’ photos on Facebook and other social networks. Only 1% make their decision based on celebrity holiday hot spots. Just over a quarter (28%) of holidaymakers are still influenced by brochures, while face-to-face recommendations from travel agents are important for 9% of holidaymakers. Younger generations (those aged between 18 and 29) are the most likely to consider photos on Facebook a reliable resource (14%). Despite only 12% of holidaymakers being inspired by dedicated travel programmes on television, TravelSupermarket has noticed that TV series do affect searches on its site. The X Factor ‘Judges Houses’ episodes saw searches to Las Vegas soar by 236%, after it was featured on the show in October last year. Bob Atkinson, travel expert from TravelSupermarket, said: ‘Seeking advice from people you know is a great place to start and looking at their holiday snaps give you the real picture – not an edited version. ‘However, tools such as price comparison websites can also help by ensuring you’re getting the best deal and letting you evaluate all your options before booking the best holiday for you and your family.’
Almost half of people would use inflight mobile services to send text messages, while 44 per cent would like to access apps including Facebook and Twitter.
According to a survey, conducted by One Poll on behalf of AeroMobile, a third of travellers would use it to surf the internet and a quarter would use it to distract themselves with online games on their mobile devices. Just 19 per cent of people would use the service to make a call at 30,000ft. The survey of 2,000 UK consumers reflects Britain's increasingly connected society. The majority of people questioned said they expect inflight mobile connectivity to become standard in the next few years. "These findings certainly echo our experiences at AeroMobile," said Kevin Rogers, Head of Revenue Development at AeroMobile. "We know there is demand from consumers; traffic on our network in January outstripped the total traffic for the last six months of 2012, and we expect it to keep growing."
With a 16% increase in sales year on year and traveller numbers reaching 2,6 million, Rail Europe confirms in 2012 its dynamism and reinforces its position as the #1 distributor of European rail travel in the world.
Passing the symbolic 200-million euros mark, Rail Europe 2012 sales established a new record in the company's history. "We're thrilled with these outstanding results for 2012, which exceed our initial previsions and show a doubling of our sales in three years' time!" said Pierre-Stephane Austi, Rail Europe’s CEO. "Despite a difficult worldwide economic context, Rail Europe managed, once again, to achieve a double digit growth, contributing to the growth of the whole industry and affirming its leadership role" Austi added. “Despite the challenging market conditions, Rail Europe achieved significant results in Middle East markets with 30% incremental sales in 2012 to continue positive results been achieved in 2011. This is along with more focused marketing and commercial strategies to offer the maximum support to travel agents and travellers from the region” said Waleed Ahmed, the regional manager of Rail Europe Middle East in Dubai.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
Westin Buckhead Atlanta is excited to welcome Alicia Wiley as its new general manager. With more than 23 years of hospitality experience, Wiley is a great addition to the Westin Buckhead Atlanta family having worked with a variety luxury, resort and convention hotels. Over the years, Wiley has held leadership positions in strategic business planning and execution at several award-winning hotels. She most recently served as the general manager for the Sheraton Crescent Hotel in Phoenix. Prior to that, she held general manager positions at the Radisson Suites Tucson and Brown Palace Hotel in Denver, Co. The Westin family is no stranger to Wiley as she also served as the resort manager at the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Az. Wiley earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Management from Florida International University.
Officials of Peachtree Hotel Group, one of the nation’s fastest growing hotel acquisition, management, development and ownership groups, today announced that industry veteran Brent LeBlanc has joined the company as senior vice president. His primary responsibilities will focus on sourcing new acquisitions, developments and third-party management opportunities, as well as enhancing Peachtree’s brand relationships. With nearly two decades of hospitality experience, LeBlanc most recently was vice president of franchise development for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. He guided a team of senior development directors in the launch of the lifestyle-branded aloft and Element flags. He also was instrumental in the growth of the Westin, Sheraton, Luxury Collection, Le Meridian and Four Points brands along the West Coast. Prior to that, he was vice president of franchise development for La Quinta Companies where he helped establish a record-setting franchise program for the West Coast and launch the Baymont Inn & Suites franchise program. Additionally, he holds a business degree from Southeastern Louisiana University.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Marriott International plans to open a new 162-room Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil's largest city in the Northeastern region of the country. The hotel is developed under a management agreement with Rio Ave Ltda., a local real estate developer. This project, already under construction, will be the Rio Ave Ltda's first venture into the lodging sector and is scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2014, before the World Cup.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation has opened the Park Hyatt Busan, the tenth Park Hyatt property in Asia-Pacific and the second Park Hyatt hotel in Korea following Park Hyatt Seoul. Park Hyatt Busan is built in a modern style with 33 floors above ground and six floors below ground level. Super Potato, a Japanese design firm, designed the interior of the hotel. According to the company, nature-friendly materials, such as hardwood and natural stone, were used to offer a residential style, a signature concept for the hotel’s modern aesthetic.
Westin Hotels and Resorts, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced the opening of The Westin Chennai Velachery. Strategically located in the fast growing business district of Chennai in the Southern part of India, The Westin Chennai Velachery is the sixth Westin hotel in India and the first out of seven new Westin hotels expected to open in 2013 across Asia Pacific. The Westin Chennai Velachery opens in Chennai, India. It is the sixth Westin hotel in India and the first out of seven new Westin hotels expected to open in 2013 across Asia Pacific.
With a booming economy and tourism numbers rising, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador has announced some major infrastructure projects. Nowhere is the growth more visible than in the capital, St. John’s, where hotel development is expected to expand with 700 new hotel rooms to be added. In addition, a ten-year $167 million capital improvement program for the St. John’s International Airport is underway, and the St. John’s Convention Centre will double in size by 2016.
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