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ehotelier Hospitality News Archives: August 2009
Global Hospitality Newsletter: August 31, 2009
Accor, Europe's largest hospitality group, said it may split its hotels operations and services division into two separate companies.
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Amid the recession, rock stars, diplomats and other celebrities find solace from the doom and gloom by spending their time in sanctuary provided by the world's most luxurious, and expensive, hotels. While many of us are tightening our belts, shortening our summer holidays or even abandoning them, hoteliers to the rich and famous claim to have no trouble filling their most exclusive accommodation, and in the case of the most expensive suite in the world, managing to double its rate to $65,000 (€45,642) a night. By Tara Loader Wilkinson
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The hotel industry needs a new concept of hospitality, one that doesn't exist, but which is simple to create with untried methods. One that is strong in standards, but stronger in spiritual values. By Peter McAlpine
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If your main strategy for avoiding a worksite immigration raid is hoping the ICE's thinly spread staff won't knock on your door, your number is up. Earlier this year, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began to shift its worksite enforcement tactics away from raids toward Notices of Inspection-which means the old tactic of 100 ICE agents raiding one employer at a time has been replaced by one ICE analyst sending out Notices to hundreds of employers.
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The demand for high-end hotels in China is sinking in a financial downturn that is showing no fast signs of recovery. "There isn't enough demand for top hotels in front-line cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, as these markets are saturated," said Lily Ng, senior vice-president of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.
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The mobile platform is reshaping the way consumers plan, book and consume travel. In particular, the impact of the iPhone on the travel experience is and will continue to be highly disruptive and progressive.
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In announcing the winners of the 2009 ASTW Awards for Excellence Travel Writer of the Year and Travel Photographer of the Year Awards, President Kris Madden said that in spite of the difficult economic climate in 2009, the response to this year's awards had been exceptional.
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Six out of the 10 hotel markets reviewed this month experienced a growth in room occupancy levels. Amsterdam showed the highest rate of improvement with an increase of 7.9 percentage points, compared with July 2008.
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Bangkok based travel agent Khiri Travel is seeking to raise awareness of the disposable plastic bag problem in Thailand and Indochina. As a practical first step, the company has purchased 1,000 machine washable cotton bags which it will distribute to tourism partners, villagers and staff in destinations it visits.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: August 28, 2009
Hoteliers have been hearing different messages from opposing directions, ranging from "get as much business as you can-more heads in beds" to "more rate means more to the bottom line." Does encouraging properties to have the highest market premiums result in the most profitable solution for hotels at the end of the day? By Lana Yoshii
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So to help you avoid being a "twidiot" or a "twanker" - here are a few rules that seem to have become generally accepted for how to get set up, brand yourself or your organization and converse on Twitter. It's not meant to be a complete list, but hopefully others will add to it. By Rohit Bhargava
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According to the September 2009 edition of Hotel Horizons®, PKF Hospitality Research (PKF-HR) has forecast that the nine consecutive quarters of declining demand for U.S. hotels will come to an end in the second quarter of 2010. With the budgeting process underway at hotels around the U.S., the recovery of lodging demand is an important milestone that will be reached in the year ahead.
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The European hotel industry posted mixed year-over-year results when reported in U.S. dollars, euros and British pounds for July 2009, according to data compiled by STR Global.
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The Internet has become the most popular medium for Chinese travellers seeking information about their trips, according the latest Nielsen China Outbound Travel Monitor. The Nielsen survey found that travellers will search for conventional destination information ahead of their trips (61 percent of leisure trips taken), and then turn to online travel discussion forums (48 percent) to fine-tune their plans.
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As the hospitality industry looks to turn the corner in a down economy, it is more important than ever that hoteliers arm themselves with partners and tools that will position them to increase bookings and enhance occupancy.
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Condé Nast Traveler announced the winners of the magazine‘s third annual World Savers Awards, naming Willard InterContinental Washington DC overall winner in the City Hotel category.
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HVS, has just released the 2009 U.S. Hotel Franchise Fee Guide - a survey of the fees charged by major hotel franchisors in the economy, mid-rate, and first-class market segments. This guide enables hotel owners to easily compare the total cost of one hotel franchise with that of another.
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Walk through the grand arched entrance of Universal Studios' Dubai theme park, and you step into ... wind-swept desert. No Hollywood thrill rides, no ticket kiosks, no studio backlots. Even the guard house and the construction office sat empty during a recent visit. By Adam Schreck
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: August 27, 2009
In previous articles, I mentioned that we've come a long way since the old days of the "heads-in-beds" mentality when it comes to rate-setting; I should modify that statement. Although many hotels have progressed to revenue management, it appears that too many have not. I am surprised that so many hoteliers have not taken steps to improve their financial position in the marketplace. By Neil Salerno
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Dubai is to become the capital of couture as two of the world's most iconic fashion houses set to launch their new luxury hotels in the emirate. The Palazzo Versace Hotel and the Armani Hotel will offer the ultimate in designer luxury living, featuring an array of fabulous facilities and lavishly designed interiors fit for an Arabian Prince. By Vicky Karantzavelou
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U.S. travelers are more familiar with sustainable travel terminology than they were two years ago but remain unwilling to pay more for eco-friendly travel options according to the July travelhorizons(TM), the quarterly consumer survey co-authored by the U.S. Travel Association and Ypartnership.
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Expedia Inc.'s Hotwire.com discount division expects hotel, airline and car-rental prices to resume their decline next month, led by cuts at five-star hotels as business travel "remains very depressed." By Beth Jinks
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London hotel occupancy figures for July 2009 exceeded levels achieved in the same month last year, according to the latest HotStats survey by industry experts, TRI Hospitality Consulting.
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The NBTA Foundation, the education and research foundation of the National Business Travel Association (NBTA), and Concur, the world's leading provider of on-demand employee spend management services, today released the updated findings of a comprehensive study of car rental, hotel and meal taxes in the top 50 U.S. travel destination cities.
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EZYield.com, the originator of automated online channel management solutions for the global hospitality industry, is experiencing an increased demand for their channel management products as the importance of achieving rate parity continues to increase among hoteliers worldwide.
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Research by British Airways shows 95% of business people believe face-to-face meetings are essential to build long-term relationships.
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StarCite, Inc., announced that the company set a new record for client expansions during the second quarter of 2009, driven by the growth of strategic meetings management programs by current customers to increase global savings and control over their meetings investment.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: August 26, 2009
An investigation of the physical attributes or features that signal safety and security in a sample of 5,487 U.S. hotels revealed significant differences in the distribution of these key amenities in various hotel price segments and geographical locations. By Cathy A. Enz Ph.D.
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Part 2 - A Baker's Dozen of Strategies in Maximizing leads and attendee sales potential at your hospitality trade show booth. By Dr. John Hogan
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Booking hotel rooms for the day is proving to be the new trend as demonstrated by the success of the world's first website specialised in online day room bookings 'between9and5'. Despite only being launched last year, the website has already more than doubled the number of hotels participating in 2009 while the number of bookings has risen by more than 230 percent.
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Poorly performing hotels are an unfortunate casualty of the recession, which is causing an increase in the number of distressed sales. Here we examine the tools you need to employ to maximize investment in a distressed property. By Li Chen and Michael Brophy
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We're finally opening the vault. Pegasus sits in a unique position that allows us to track trends and forecast net reservations, length of stay, average daily rates and net revenues from both a global and regional perspective. Our first report, based on data from July 2009, shows the overall pace of decline has slowed somewhat since early 2009, but that the industry is still in a difficult position compared to the same period in 2008. This tells us, we aren't out of the woods yet, but the forward-looking data allows us all to plan accordingly.
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A consortium assembled and led by Robson Asset Management (RAM) will redevelop the hotel as a luxury boutique hotel. The 19th Century Grade II listed building will be restored, refurbished and brought stunningly back to life in good time for the London Olympics in 2012. King's Cross Central retains freehold ownership of the hotel, granting a 125-year lease to the RAM consortium.
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The fall 2009 business travel season will not be as bleak for individual, or "unmanaged," business travelers, compared to industry-projected reductions in corporate, or "managed," travel, according to a newly-formed Best Western advisory board.
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Travel companies are replicating the success of restaurants by offering online vouchers to boost business during the credit crunch.
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Connecticut-based HEI Hotels and Resorts has acquired the 353-room Hanover Marriott from Host Hotels and Resorts, Inc. for $27 million.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: August 25, 2009
Leading luxury travel network, Virtuoso(R), and its award-winning magazine, VIRTUOSO LIFE, are pleased to announce the winners of the prestigious Best of the Best Awards.
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Vella Ramasawmy is general manager of the newly opened Leela Kempinski Gurgaon, Delhi (NCR). Located a short drive from Indira Ghandi International Airport, the hotel has 320 rooms and suites and 90 one-, two- and three-bedroom residences, a 20,000 sq ft spa and 27,000 sq ft of function space as well as several restaurants and large outdoor heated pool. By Tom Otley
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The good news is that when faced with lower levels of business in 2008, US hotel managers cut operating costs by close to half a percent. (0.3 percent). By Robert Mandelbaum
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Shutting down escalators during periods of low use and installing voltage controllers lowers utility costs, reduces the environmental impact of a hotel, and clearly conveys a hotel's environmental commitment to guests and staff. By John Scaggs
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Global hoteliers reported double-digit revenue per available room (revPAR) declines year to June 2009, according to latest analysis by Deloitte.
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Mainboard-listed Banyan Tree Holdings Limited ("Banyan Tree" or the "Group"), a leading manager and developer of premium resorts, hotels, spas and galleries, announced its 2nd quarter result which shows a 62% decrease in operating profit to S$9.0 million mainly due to a series of political disturbances in Thailand since August 2008 with the latest anti-government riots occurring in Bangkok and Pattaya in April 2009, the Thai Government declared a state of emergency and several countries issued travel advisories to their citizens, coupled with the current global economic crisis, H1N1 pandemic and traditional low season.
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A website benchmarking specialist has urged smaller hotel chains to liaise more personally with customers by phone or email rather than invest too heavily online.
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This summer, nearly 2 million, freshly-minted college graduates will enter the workforce, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and many without a bit of practical experience to help them prepare for the business world. To assist these rookie road warriors, Embassy Suites Hotels has announced the results of a recently conducted, nationwide survey* that taps into the mindset and experiences of business travelers and offers words of wisdom to grads just entering the workforce.
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TCC Land, the property arm of beverage tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, is moving to acquire a luxury hotel in Japan worth nearly US$100 million (Bt3.4 billion) after freezing all expansion plans early this year due to the economic situation. By Somluck Srimalee
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: August 24, 2009
In 5-Star Employees Part 1, I wrote about four commitments that world-class service employees share. Part 2 we will look at the fifth commitment: 'I will make you feel special, included, valued, and appreciated'. By Bryan K. Williams
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Travel buyers and hoteliers, fatigued with repeated renegotiations to keep up with constantly falling hotel rates, are exploring dynamic pricing in hotel program negotiations this year, but largely coming to the table with disparate views of what such pricing would entail. By Michael B. Baker
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Are visitors abandoning your site shortly after arriving? Incorporate this analysis into your efforts to help maximize your paid search campaign's ROI. By Tom Shapiro
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While hotel room rates and revenue projections continue on a downward spiral, lodging stocks are on a torrid upswing as investors try to get ahead of any recovery.
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A head-in-the-sand approach does not work for any economic sector, country, local community or individual...
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Business travellers now have more reasons to attend business events in Singapore with the launch of the City Advantage tag, the latest addition to the Singapore Tourism Board's "2009 Reasons to meet in Singapore" campaign, which aims to provide business travellers with value-for-money promotions and opportunities to experience Singapore's rich spectrum of business and leisure offerings.
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At a time when hotels are experiencing countless challenges, Linen Technology Tracking, LLC. announces the launch of a cost savings opportunity for the hospitality industry: linentracker®,their Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system.
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The battle is over: Travco Group from Egypt and Grupo Iberostar from Spain were both trying to get the main share of Germany's traditonal hotel group, Steigenberger. The Steigenberger family headed by Anne-Marie Steigenberger, the founder's wife, and her daughters Christine Steigenberger, Claudia Steigenberger and Bettina Leitgeb, has sold 99.6 percent retaining only three hotel properties. By Andreas Augustin
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Forget hippie hideaways, outdoor toilets and tie-dye clad guests - today eco-hotels tend to be even more modern than their non-"green" peers. Design HotelsTM presents four member hotels offering eco-luxurious experiences at their best.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: August 21, 2009
At a time when the focus is on operational efficiency and cost cutting, it can be an onerous task to take a call on how to approach and mark budgets for mobile phones as a communication and transaction tool.
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Today, just as in 2001, the media hype on anything mobile has not eased up. Hoteliers are rightfully confused about the real impact of the mobile Internet and about the importance of the mobile distribution channel in hospitality. Eight years later, we revisit the analysis and recommendations we made back in 2001, offer an update on industry best practices, and provide hoteliers an action plan on mobile marketing and mobile channel distribution. By Max Starkov
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Travellers will increasingly explore their next holiday in virtual worlds, allowing them to check out new cities before booking, a conference has heard. Social network strategist and blogger Lauren Papworth gave industry leaders a view of the future of social media tourism at the national Tourism Futures conference at the Gold Coast, Australia on Wednesday.
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One third of all online users obtain information about travel from the internet - travel communities exert a growing influence on holiday decision-making: the main criterion is the genuineness of the evaluations, according to a representative poll by the Internet Travel Marketing Federation (VIR).
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American Express Business Travel unveiled virtual meetings eXpert, a unique telepresence solution that will act as a central hub and aggregator of both public telepresence facilities and the private network a company may already have in place. The combination of public-private access offers a company access to a broader pool of virtual meeting options.
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Yeoh Siew Hoon attends a lunch hosted by Abacus where she heard some good news, and experienced a meal that requires as much new thinking as travel agents probably do to ride out the changes in the industry.
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At an EyeforTravel summit located in Singapore this April, a poll of the audience - largely comprising of travel industry executives - was taken. The questions focused on core elements of online business activities, and opened by asking how much sales revenues had changed over the past 6 months versus the same time in 2008. The results uncovered that 26% of the audience had experienced a decline by between 5 - 15%, while 24% were down by more than a 15%.
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Hotelscene's latest research into the turbulent state of the UK hotel market has revealed a massive increase in the number of rooms that hotels are offloading at last minute discounted rates.
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A hotel in "survival mode" is an eerie place indeed: floors where the lifts mysteriously never stop, ripple-free swimming pools, banks of CCTV screens containing few signs of anything resembling a tourist. By Laura Slattery
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: August 20, 2009
Now that business is significantly down, many properties are at a loss as to how to generate business and how to ensure that each room is sold at the right rate to the right market. This article will provide some tips on ensuring that you manage your rates from a position of strength for both a short term and long term pay off. By Brenda Fields
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Part 1 - Increasing traffic at your hospitality trade show booth. By Dr. John Hogan
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The pressure on meeting planners to save money while producing great results is intense. To help them do just that, the Ontario Convention Center has released a new white paper, "15 Money-Saving Tips for Meeting Planning; A Guide to Frugal Planning for Meeting Professionals."
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For tourism projects to be truly sustainable, it has to be fully inclusive. In this article excerpt, Dr Scott Rains, Featured Commentator of the 2009 Geotourism Challenge, shares some questions you need to ask.
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Travel managers get involved as economic woes and public scrutiny push corporations to improve meetings visibility.
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Vietnam, Philippines and Kazakhstan are among markets which are showing growth while Phuket's hotel industry continues to face problems.
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Free hotline staffed by sleep professionals who will provide screening for common sleep disorders and offer healthy sleep tips during peak sleep problem times.
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For those travellers who wish to heighten their holiday experience and 'Wake Up Happy', Hotels.com(R), the global hotel specialist, highlights some record-breaking hotels around the world, whether they are the biggest, tallest, oldest, greenest or most expensive.
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TravelCLICK Hosts Webinar on Second Quarter 2009 Global Hotel Performance: Preparing Hotels for the Long Road Back
If the latest numbers are any indication, the hospitality industry is beginning to turn the corner. Recent reports show significantly smaller rates of decline, indicating that the economic downturn is beginning to loosen its hold. Most significantly, direct web bookings have increased 8.9% for year to date June, as measured for independent hoteliers worldwide.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: August 19, 2009
Whenever a recession looms on the horizon, caused by either wars, terror attacks, a pandemic such as SARS or the present day H1N1 virus, political instability (Thailand for example), sales and profit begin to decline, market share often shrinks and management raises the inevitable question - by how much do we discount our price points in order to galvanize business? By Dietmar Kielnhofer PhD
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A great night's sleep trumps great sex according to more than half (51%) of the U.S. respondents to a new global survey of sleeping habits conducted by Westin Hotels & Resorts. Just how desperate are we for sleep? Well, 42% said they'd rather have a sleeping pill on their hotel pillow than the ubiquitous chocolate, and 62% take a relaxant, sleep or stress medication when traveling overnight.
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UK hotel general managers continue to be increasingly positive about their hotel's trading performance, with growth in optimism for a second successive quarter.
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Australian learning and development company, TravConsult, has just launched a new guest-interview column on its widely read blog, TravConsult China. The column, called "Dim Sum with a China Expert", was created to introduce more China specialists to suppliers and professionals in the tourism industry, an industry struggling for help in these challenging economic times.
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Beauty has its privileges, especially in the travel industry where beauty is in the eye of the customer, says Yeoh Siew Hoon.
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Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "South Africa Tourism Report Q3 2009" report to their offering. The South Africa Tourism Report provides industry professionals and strategists, corporate analysts, tourism associations, government departments and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on South Africa's tourism industry.
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One year into a less settled economic climate, meetings industry suppliers and buyers are responding with an assertive mix of creativity, proactivity and cost-consciousness, a new IMEX survey reveals.
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RevPAR declines are expected to continue into the convention season according to STR's revised monthly forecast. The company also revised its forecasts for year-end 2009 and 2010.
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HVS and Bench Events are pleased to present leading conferences for the hotel, lodging and investment industries around the globe.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: August 18, 2009
When I last wrote about how to get a job in the hotel industry, the economy was booming and hotels were so desperate for staff they were stopping just short of dragging passersby off the street and slapping uniforms on them. These days, occupancy rates have tanked, room attendants are dozing on beds rather than making them, and it seems the only place to find job vacancies is in the obituaries. Are job prospects that bleak? Absolutely not. Hotels are always in need of great people, but competition is fiercer than ever. By Daniel Edward Craig
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Hospitality is about a "customer-centric" mindset. Five, easy-to-learn principles can help professionals to live this mindset. The examples here focus on sales, but these principles are useful for working with anyone personally and professionally. By Jim Houran
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Most security organizations are hopelessly behind the curve. By the time their measures are upgraded, they will be proven redundant by the next attacks. By Col. Thomas Bove
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"While we remain upbeat about business prospects in Asia Pacific, we believe we can currently create more shareholder value by redirecting and focusing our investments in other areas of the Travelzoo franchise where we see more compelling near-term growth opportunities, such as in Europe, North America, and our new Fly.com search engine," said Holger Bartel, Travelzoo's chief executive officer. "Consequently, we intend to sell our Asia Pacific division."
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Lodging Econometrics (LE) has compiled and released its first 2011 Forecast for New Hotel Openings in Latin America, projected to be 132 hotels/23,693 rooms. Adjusted for the global recession, LE has made further downward revisions to its forecasts for 2009 and 2010.
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A report by the German tourism analyst ADAC Reisemonitor, predicts that by 2020 every second holidaymaker will be over the age of 50, but the travel industry is not yet taking notice of this demographic change.
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"Was your hotel room worth the price paid?" This is the question currently under investigation by hotel.info, the free online reservation service for over 210,000 hotels worldwide. hotel.info is analyzing its current pool of over 1 million hotel reviews of hotel.info booking customers from around the world in terms of price performance of 3 and 4 star hotels.
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School bells are ringing, marking the official farewell to summer as students around the country pack up their book bags and board the bus this month to go back to school. The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and HSMAI University are also offering hospitality sales and marketing professionals a chance to hit the books with a new fall webinar lineup, featuring a 2010 forecasting series in conjunction with Smith Travel Research and Hotel News Now.
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One of Australia and New Zealand's largest accommodation providers, Stella Hospitality Group, has changed its name to Mantra Group.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: August 17, 2009
In the throes of developing the Sales and Marketing plan for 2010 - it's time to do a gut check! What is the mindset of the people involved in the plan development - are they in a hunkered down in survival mode or in an optimistic recovery state? After a brutal year in 2009, it is easy to fall into survival mode. By Carol Verret
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The Asia-Pacific hotel market is still feeling the effects of the tough economic climate according to the bi-annual hotel survey conducted by HRG, Most regions are experiencing a decline in hotel room rates in local currency terms, with Abu Dhabi as the only exception. With occupancy levels continuing to fall and rates reduced, corporates continue to consolidate their travel policies and negotiate more favourable corporate deals.
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It went from hype to disillusionment. What’s next for virtual worlds? Yeoh Siew Hoon attends a virtual world networking night and finds its occupants still battling away to make it real.
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On occasion, I meet individuals that naturally come across as "sales people." Their personality, enthusiasm and communication skills all play a part in my perception. Recently, I met an incredible gentleman that I would have guessed was a sales professional -- the only problem is that he was wearing "kitchen whites" and a chef's hat. By Bart Berkey
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The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has announced that 10 million fewer tourists visiting countries like Greece, Spain and Portugal will have a devastating effect on local jobs and businesses. It forecast a 14 billion euros loss of income for the region. The arrival of tourists along the Mediterranean coast is down this year by 10%. This figure tops the worldwide slump of 8%.
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The outlook for the South African hospitality industry remains positive and considerably brighter when viewed against the backdrop of somewhat sobering global trends, says Joop Demes, CEO of Pam Golding Hospitality, a specialised hospitality division within the Pam Golding Property group.
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PATA has taken another significant step towards important and necessary changes in its structure and governance. Members of the Association have been notified of an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) scheduled for Saturday 26 September 2009 in Hangzhou, China (PRC) in conjunction with the PATA Board of Directors' meeting being held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Hangzhou from 25-27 September 2009.
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responsibletravel.com has partnered with an online charity donation scheme for travellers wanting to contribute to the destinations they have visited.
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Royal Plaza on Scotts (RP) will celebrate Singapore's motor racing week with a truly unique culinary and visual treat - Bread Torque! The hotel is doing its part for charity while supporting Singapore's efforts to make the nation a motor racing hub in Asia Pacific.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: August 14, 2009
To be effective, leaders must not only manage their team but they must develop an understanding of every individual on that team. By Rick Johnson
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It is common knowledge and an undisputed fact that general managers at almost any size hotel could take over the sales efforts for that hotel and have the occupancy and RevPAR near the capacity level within just a few weeks. Here is a chance for General Managers to examine the other perspective. You are invited to take this little test (without looking at the answers) By Dr. John Hogan
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The chairman of one of India's most renowned hotel groups was honored last week for his contribution to the travel and tourism industry. Capt. C.P. Krishnan Nair, Chairman of The Leela Palaces, Hotels & Resorts was conferred the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award by CNBC TRAVEL AWARDS 2009.
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Hilton Hotels has begun using real-time information collected using customer insight technology through its website, to assess missed opportunities that could be worth over $3 million per year.
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Tourism Insights, the authoritative subscription site which monitors, analyses and interprets trends in tourism in the UK, looks this month at the real value and impact of the Music Festival.
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Data shows hospitality sites struggle to convert on booking intent, as 4 in 10 would-be bookers click away without completing a transaction.
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The Irish Hotels' Federation (IHF) called on the Government to intervene urgently to safeguard the long-term viability of Ireland's tourist industry.
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To an increasing extent German vacationers are basing their choice of destination on the cost of the trip - Cheaper countries are becoming more popular holiday destinations.
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Jerome Taylor samples the spa treatments and chateaubriand on offer in Bognor Regis.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: August 13, 2009
The wait is over. The shortlist for the 2009 Hotel Cateys has been unveiled. The awards, organised by Caterer and Hotelkeeper, were launched in 2007 to complement the Cateys and are designed to allow hoteliers to celebrate the achievements of their staff and give them the recognition they deserve.
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The content on your proprietary website performs two separate, and extremely important, functions. The first is to attract visitors to your site through organic search; second, to generate interest and drive visitors to your site's booking page. Two reasons why hotel site content must be the primary focus of a site's design and why site content must be carefully shaped and written to produce sales. By Neil Salerno
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In a recent article, we talked about 8 bad things that happen when you close a hotel, and suggested that a hotel should never be closed without first running a careful analysis of cash flows and holding costs. That is not to say, a hotel should never be closed, but a hotel closing deserves close scrutiny, and full exploration of the alternatives. Today, we will focus on one of those 'Intense, pro-active asset management'. By Jim Butler and the Global Hospitality Group® Hotel Lawyers
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With climate change and the global recession driving the current international political agenda, both politicians and businesses are increasingly drawn towards the idea of a global green economy.
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An Australian couple have told The Age in Melbourne about a terrifying encounter with pirates who robbed the luxury cruise ship on which they were travelling in the Amazon. By Lorna Edwards
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Caution tape covers the climate controls in one of the "Survivor Package" rooms at San Diego's Rancho Bernardo Inn, which is offering rooms for $19 a night -- if you don't mind sleeping in a tent with no air conditioning. By Hugo Martin
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A family fight forces Tom Pritzker to invite the public in, and may add to the IPO's appeal. By Stephane Fitch
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Many multibrand hotel companies are failing to properly package information on their Web sites to encourage bookings by business travelers, according to second-quarter hotel company Web site satisfaction scores in a report released today by New York research firm IPerceptions. By Michael B. Baker
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In the Beginning, there was the tax man. And no matter your religious beliefs, if you don't heed that bit of teaching, the end will come soon. That's the hard lesson learned by the owner of Dinosaur Adventure Land, a Creationism-themed play park in Pensacola, Florida. By Jason Cochran
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: August 12, 2009
Consumers aren't interested in your message -- they're interested in entertainment. Find out how to create storyline-rich content that combines both. By Corey Torrence
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New hospitality revenue management research shows consumers gaining pricing power.
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Through the eyes of a Hotel Butler. The meaning of the lived experience as a point of remembrance in the guest memory
The new trend in differentiating the hotel industry today is the design of positive holistic experiences, achieving the emotional involvement of guests through the offered services, meaning that these will be generators of emotions and positive feelings. By Osvaldo Torres Cruz
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From Cathay Pacific to Orbitz, there seems to be signs the worst may be over but no one's bringing out the champagne yet, especially not Singapore Airlines.
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More than 50 percent of attendees who participated in a survey at STR's inaugural Hotel Data Conference presented by Magnuson Hotels on 4-5 August believe the industry's revenue per available room will not start to recover until at least the second half of 2010 or after.
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WTTC expects Mexico's Travel & Tourism Economy GDP growth to average around 5% per annum over the next decade (2009-19); generating some 2 million direct industry jobs by the end of the period.
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Hilton Hotels, one of the world's largest hotel companies, has launched UK and Germany specific mobile services in conjunction with Dublin-based specialist Mobile Travel Technologies Ltd (MTT). The new solution, which includes a Web App version for iPhone users in the UK, has full booking capability, offering travellers the convenience to select and book a hotel, access and change bookings and view hotel images and information, whilst away from their PC.
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More than 15 British holidaymakers are taking legal action against four travel companies after a ‘hellish' holiday in Egypt earlier this year. By Bev Fearis
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Los Angeles has launched its first gay and lesbian travel guide. Called Navigaytour, the guide is now available for visitors in locations throughout the region.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: August 11, 2009
Effective Sales Management: Short and Long-term Planning, Forecasting, and Expense Budgeting Part 2 of 2
This 2 part series is very direct and applies common sense in approach. The first part addressed Mapping out Your Sales Plan and Preparing and Revising Your Sales Forecast. The second examines: 1. Aligning Your Expense Budget With Your Forecast and 2. Sales Plan and Practical Approaches to Opportunities in the Market. By Dr. John Hogan
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While hoteliers suffer sleepless nights the debate continues as to whether they should discount prices in light of the economic climate. In reality it has never been more important to revisit your revenue and pricing strategies. Research shows that discounting prices can have both long and short term negative effects... By Samantha Hasler
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Henrik Muehle has spent much of his career working in small luxury hotels. He has now just taken over as the managing director of the newly refurbished St James Hotel and Club in London which calls his grand hotel in miniature. By Stanley Slaughter
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Yeoh Siew Hoon traces her roots in hospitality and finds her life, as well as the Paramount's, has come full circle.
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The French hotel chain says it will buck the industry trend to put older, less attractive staff out of sight of guests. By Mark Frary
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Airlines have been negotiating and re-working on their distribution strategies to optimise reach offered by indirect channels.
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HVS's London office released the latest edition of the Hotel Valuation Index (HVI). The survey shows that on average hotel values across Europe, measured in euro, showed the first annual fall in value since 2003. By Alexandre Smertnik,
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A majority of Disney hotel workers voted to reject Disney's most recent contract proposal that would have made health insurance largely unaffordable for many of the workers employed at the three Disney owned hotels.
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Moscow remains the most expensive destination for corporate travellers, but Abu Dhabi is catching up fast, according to Hogg Robinson Group's bi-annual travel survey.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: August 10, 2009
It's a fact - companies with the most loyal customers (we call them Brand Advocates) are the most profitable by a wide margin. So the recent research on travel industry loyalty marketing programs conducted by Colloquy research spells bad news for larger hotel brands and good news for smaller luxury properties. By Madigan Pratt
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Okay, we wrote that just to get your attention. Did it work? Yeoh Siew Hoon tackles the question of cheap at a time when consumers want cheap and service providers are selling cheap.
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The first half of this year saw at least 10 investments in travel companies after an initial slowdown last year.
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In recent years, research has shown that a new "sophisticated" traveller, naturally more aware of global responsible principles in their business place and home, is now starting to adopt eco values into their leisure decisions. This holistic approach is not a new one but is a fast growing important lifestyle trend. By Theodore Koumelis
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If ever there was an eco hotel with all the bases covered, this is it. The 118-suite Residence Inn Gainesville I-75, will open in August 7th 2009 and has more environmentally-friendly elements than this EcoFeature has room to list, but we'll do our absolute best to fit in as many as possible! Here goes...
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When someone thinks of a "deficit," they think of budget woes. But a new survey finds that the United States is in the throes of a serious "vacation deficit." According to a just-released survey of travelers, many Americans have yet to take a vacation this year, and some are not planning to take one at all, despite the high value placed on getting away with family and friends.
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Travel Corporation (India) Ltd (TCI) has scheduled the launch of Indian Maharaja - Deccan Odyssey, a five-star deluxe train in India in November this year. The tourist train which will accommodate total 96 passengers has a total of 21 coaches, of which 11 are passenger cars.
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Hollywood is world famous for many things - celebrities, sunshine, and shopping among them. But a new Hollywood attraction is the first of its kind: Environmentaland, an eco-themed park that opened this month at Hollywood Boulevard and North Highland Avenue. By Sarah Harper
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Kew Green Hotels has become IHG's first owner outside the USA to relaunch its entire Holiday Inn estate. Its 15 UK hotels have now unveiled their new image, with the final changes at the Holiday Inn Slough Windsor taking the number of relaunched properties in the UK and Ireland to 50.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: August 7, 2009
Research from SHL, the global leader in talent assessment solutions, exposes that the oft-used ‘one size fits all' approach doesn't help declining levels of motivation and engagement in the workplace. The SHL study reveals striking comparisons between what motivates and engages employees across a number of factors to ultimately help employers design tailor-made solutions for increasingly apathetic employees.
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How you attract, hire, train, develop and treat your front-line employees is commonly known as the one true strategy to provide great guest service. In lieu of managers doing all of the work themselves, a specific culture must be created and fostered to secure commitment from the employees to stick around and deliver the desired service. This takes time and a lot of work. This interactive session was designed to highlight best practices to create and maintain a strong internal employee culture. Knowing that Generation Y and the Millenials are the talent pool with which our industry is made, there are some key strategies that can be used to tap into and develop that workforce. By Jim M. Knight, Sr.
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European hotel prices remain favourable in August and are three percent cheaper in comparison to August 2008. Hotel prices in Madrid and Paris are at their lowest level this year. While the prices in many cities continue to fall, some cities are showing remarkably high prices in August.
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This year's proxy season was a rough one for shareholders and CEOs alike. One of the more daunting issues is the government's role in determining and/or legislating executive pay. We know what CEOs think about this political rhetoric but shareholders should be just as worried. By Keith Kefgen
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Simonseeks.com is launching a series of guides on how to find the best value travel deals.
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Many of the alumni of PhoCusWright's 2008 inaugural Travel Innovation Summit have found success in the months since they took the stage in November 2008 in Hollywood, California. The Travel Innovation Summit featured 32 companies competing for honors of having the year's most innovative and influential travel technology.
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There is no doubt that corporate companies are facing one of the most tumultuous times on record, and even China, one of the world's most dynamic and rapidly growing travel markets, is not spared. The severity of the current economic downturn has forced Chinese companies to dramatically cut costs and business travel expenses.
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Figures released today by VisitEngland from the United Kingdom Tourism Survey show that holiday trips taken by UK residents in England in the first four months of 2009 are up by 13%. That amounts to 1.2 million more holiday trips and over 5 million extra nights' holiday taken than in the same period of 2008.
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For an unprecedented 8th consecutive year, the Microtel Inns & Suites® hotel brand was ranked by consumers as "Highest in Guest Satisfaction among Economy/Budget Hotel Chains" in a study conducted by J.D. Power and Associates, the global marketing information services company.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: August 6, 2009
Effective Sales Management: Short and Long-term Planning, Forecasting, and Expense Budgeting Part 1 of 2
In uncertain economies such as we are facing globally today, performing long-term budget planning is often viewed as a luxury, rather than as an essential business practice. Understanding and monitoring the inflow and outflow of cash must be a top priority for every hospitality business owner, operations manager and sales team member. Many sales teams are not given enough information on the overall business cycles and needs to allow them to be as engaged and effective as possible. By Dr. John Hogan
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The economic downturn may be causing a significant contraction in business travel in 2009, but it is not the only trend reshaping corporate travel. PhoCusWright's U.S. Corporate Travel Distribution Fourth Edition identifies seven key trends driving fundamental change across the corporate travel landscape.
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In a market rife with articles about redundancies, efficiencies and companies doing more with less, the recruitment of employees is still a challenging task despite the availability of talent.
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Two thirds of bosses have changed their holiday plans this year because of the recession, a new study reveals. By Phil Davies
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Ninety eight percent of travel firms have lost, on average, revenue of $11.5 million a year because of failure of transactions (such as reservations, bookings, check-in, etc.), according to a survey released today. Research by Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ: PRGS), which surveyed 149 global travel businesses, found that 67% of respondents have noticed their transaction failures soar by almost a third - even though their transactions have only increased by 12%.
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Hotels in Paris achieved the highest revenue per available room (revPAR) of ten European cities studied by TRI Hospitality Consulting in June 2009. The French capital's hotels saw June revPAR increase by 0.5% year-on-year to €169.38, with a 1.1 percentage point improvement in occupancy to 84.4% offsetting a 0.7% decline in average room rates to €200.62, the highest of the ten.
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The sudden reversal in the lodging industry's fortunes from 2008 to 2009 has brought a renewed focus on revenue and profitability for revenue managers. In a survey conducted in 2009, 291 revenue managers cited concerns about customer rate resistance, contract renegotiations, competition, and price wars as their top considerations. This contrasts with a 2008 study, where human resources and technology issues were ahead of economic concerns. By Sheryl E. Kimes
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Long recognized as one of the world's leading addresses for business, Hilton Hotels tops another survey of business travelers. Executive Travel readers voted Hilton 2009 Best Hotel for Meetings and Best Hotel for Business Service in the magazine's annual Leading Edge Awards recognizing the best and most innovative companies within the travel industry.
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While the global hotel market is struggling to regain footing amid a challenging economic climate, Brazilian hotels, a stand-out in the market, hit a record year of revenue per available room (RevPAR) performance during 2008, according to Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels' annual bi-lingual research study, Lodging Industry in Numbers - Brazil 2009.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: August 5, 2009
Global Staff Movements for July 2009 provided by Spectrum International.
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Closing That Hotel May Be the Worst Money-Saving Idea You Ever Had! Lenders, Here's Why Mothballing a Hotel Can be a Very Bad Idea
Hotel lawyer with another perspective on closing a money-losing hotel. By Jim Butler and the Global Hospitality Group® Hotel Lawyers
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Market realities often force hotel owners to rebrand their hotel or to change their property from one market scale to another. This exploratory study of ninety-five hotels analyzes whether rebranding or rescaling was worth the expense in terms of financial performance. By Bjorn Hanson, Anna S. Mattila, John W. O'Neill and Yong Hee Kim
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Been feeling a little blue about your eco hotel's green initiative lately? Been wondering if all the hard work is worth it, or if you're just spinning your wheels for nothing? Thinking about giving up because no one else seems to care about sustainable hospitality as much as you do? Pull up a chair, my friend. Have I got some news for you! By Parisiscott
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Luke Clark has decided to make the news, not let it happen to him.
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Leading white label solutions provider Expedia Affiliate Network (EAN) has signed a new partnership with The Guardian.
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Heavy leverage, overly optimistic valuations and income shortfalls lead to global defaults, foreclosures, bankruptcies.
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hinton+grusich (h+g), has teamed up with partner One Smooth Stone, to invest in meetings industry supportive initiatives. During a time when companies are cutting back on such investments, these Chicago businesses are showing their commitment to their clients and the industry through offering a series of webinars, panel discussions and a "grass roots" campaign effort to provide feedback to the US Congress.
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Surprised tourists found their little piece of Cancun beach paradise ringed by crime-scene tape and gun-toting sailors last week. By Mark Stevenson
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: August 4, 2009
Early in my career, while working as a young manager for a luxury hotel chain, there was one subject that I recall inspiring universal dread for staff and managers alike. Standards. By Rick Reilly
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In the 21st century all links in the tourism chain are required to tighten and re-evaluate preparedness and response to evolving security threats. By Dr David Beirman
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Debbie Taylor was the first woman ever to manage the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. But she left for an even more prestigious post just a few miles along the Scottish coast. By Stanley Slaughter
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Many companies are downsizing and cost cutting but also taking advantage of the opportunity to assess their talent and to upgrade where necessary. By Christopher Mumford
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Two things are happening at the same time. People have less money. Low cost airlines are expanding. Yeoh Siew Hoon, for one, is enjoying the new freedom in the sky.
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Vienna penalised by lack of football while London almost makes the full 9.
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Luxury hotels that exploit Australian workers and destroy the environment will be named and shamed on a new ethical rating website.
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With hotels in Dubai engaged in an escalating price war, some properties in the economy segment of the market have started displaying their rates outside their entrances to mop up last minute walk-in guests, said senior hotel executives. By Nina Varghese
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Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts President to be subject of Key Industry Interview at 4th Annual BAHA Conference and IT Exhibition
One of the world's leading hoteliers - Meinhard Huck, President of Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts - is to be the subject of BAHA's Classic Industry Interview at the 4th Annual BAHA (British Association of Hospitality Accountants) Conference and IT Exhibition, due to be held on Thursday, 19 November 2009 at the Sofitel Hotel, London Heathrow at Terminal 5.
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Global Hospitality Newsletter: August 3, 2009
Part 1 of the RevPar Guru Knowledge Series: Revenue management is the new "IT" for hotels across the globe. As the worldwide economy continues its doldrums, maximizing revPAR and occupancy without resorting to drastic rate-slashing tactics remains the ultimate goal for owners, operators, GMs and revenue managers everywhere. And so it is this goal that should be prompting a thorough analysis of existing revenue management strategies, techniques and, most importantly, revenue management systems. By Jean Francois Mourier
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No doubt, you've heard of Greek philosopher Plato's old proverb: Necessity, the mother of invention. For centuries, man's inventions have met man's needs. Nothing remains more necessary today than the need for fresh eyes, ears and ideas applied to new ways of doing business. By Karen Weiner Escalera
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The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2009 PATA Gold Awards, sponsored by the Macau Government Tourist Office. This year the awards recognise the achievements of 24 separate organisations and individuals.
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Sometimes unpleasant hotel experiences can put a strain on a vacation. The hotel price comparison site, www.trivago.co.uk asked its visitors in their latest survey what was the worst hotel experience they have encountered on holiday. The most common complaint was bugs in the room.
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While many hotels are suffering from an abundance of empty rooms during this tight economy, the Greenbelt Marriott is showing that old fashioned face-to-face contact is helping to keep their hotel full.
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UNWTO Predicts That India Will Account for 50 Million Outbound Tourists by 2020 and Europe Commands an Estimated Market Share Of About 20% of Outbound Departures
Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "The Indian Outbound Travel Market with Special Insight into the Image of Europe as a Destination" report to their offering.
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Continuing economic headwinds have not spared the luxury hotel spa industry. According to the latest figures of Spa STAR, the spa benchmarking program published by STR, performance metrics were either on par or declined for the first six months of 2009.
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The deepening recession has prompted Americans to save versus spend, the unintended consequence of which is the fallout occurring in the hospitality sector as vacation and business travel are viewed as unavailable luxuries this year. In California alone, there are roughly 250 hotels in default or foreclosure, according to the Irvine consulting firm Atlas Hospitality Group.
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W Hotels Worldwide Unveils “Extreme WOW Suite” of the Future at Instituto Tomie Ohtake in Sao Paulo, Brazil
W Hotels Worldwide, proudly unveils the "Extreme Wow Suite" of the future. W Hotels engaged Jouin Manku to design a forward-looking, innovative lifestyle experience created in a three-dimensional installation. The "Extreme Wow Suite" will be unveiled 29th July 2009 at the Instituto Tomie Ohtake in Sao Paolo, Brazil as part of a special touring exhibition entitled "Le Paris de Patrick Jouin."
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