Friday, July 29, 2011

The 21st Century Business Traveler

The days of all work and no play are over! Today’s business travelers are looking for the best of both worlds while away from home. That is why travel tech, Katie Linendoll, and Hyatt Place have partnered up in order to provide modern business travelers all the insider knowledge on the latest and greatest gadgets, amenities and innovations!

The partnership between hotels and technology is key for a successful trip. Hotels are becoming more tech-savvy making traveling easier and allowing guests to be more productive. Hotels like the Hyatt Place offer free Wi-Fi and smart integration technology which is a must for any modern traveler. Even though in a recent survey, 69% of business travelers stated they are traveling more than in the past, these respondents also say that traveling is becoming easier than ever due to the growth in technology.

So, what is the most essential travel accessory for the modern business traveler? According to the survey, 64% of business travelers would rather leave home without underwear then forget their smartphones! These mobile geniuses make traveling much easier, especially with the use of GPS and local hotspots. Katie suggests downloading apps such as “Aroundme” which can help you find your way in new cities or “Camera ZOOM FX’ to capture all those memorable events on the road. These phones are also business travelers’ key to staying close to family and friends while on the road. 70% of business travelers reported spent more time communicating with their loves ones creating a more positive work-travel experience.

Travel technology does not end there; Linendoll offers a few last tips to make any one a modern-day business-traveling pro! She highly recommends tablets (which are basically lightweight laptops perfect for working on the road) and eReaders (to keep you busy on the long flights). And finally, any modern business traveler must look the part- trendy, comfortable and business causal is becoming the norm! So pack those sundresses, ladies! And have a great trip!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


The long awaited event has finally arrived…Comic Con 2011! Outrageous costumed fans will be flooding the streets of downtown in order to meet their favorite entertainment and comic book icons, like Director Steven Spielberg and the cast of the popular series “Twilight”. Comic Con is San Diego’s largest annual event bring over 126,000 people from all around the world.

This four-day convention creates a huge impact on the hospitality industry selling out tens of thousands of rooms for attendees while generating over $68 million in spending for just dining, transportation and lodging alone. Comic Con composed a list of nearby hotels; 30 of which are walking distance to the convention center. Nearby hotels are nearly completely booked and those with open rooms are selling for almost double their regular rates. These heighten prices may not last, as Comic Con’s 40-year contract with San Diego ends in 2013. It is now up to these hotels to lower their convention rates and increase incentives in order to compete against other major cities, like Los Angeles and Anaheim, fighting to be the new home for the convention. San Diego is so determined to keep Comic Con, city officials even offered to block out more hotel rooms at cheaper rates while using $500,000 of hotel taxes to pay for a shuttle service to and from the event.

Another looming problem for San Diego is convention space, Comic Con started in 1970 with only 300 attendees meeting in a small basement located in U.S. Grant Hotel and now have expanded taking over the whole convention center and two nearby hotels in order to hold all of its programing. While the city tries to work out these issues, officials and fans alike hope that Comic Con will stick to tradition and continue keeping San Diego its home.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chinese Travel Increase

China is becoming one of the world’s fastest growing travel markets. Thus, many hotel branches are competing to attract these travelers’ attention. Hotel chains, such as Hilton Worldwide Inc. and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, are implementing special programs/ packages to incorporate the Chinese customs.
According to Alexandra Berzon of the Wallstreet Journal, “Starwood plans to announce a program Monday called "Starwood Personalized Travel," which will require the company's 1,051 hotels—including the Sheratons, Westin and W chains—to offer a set of specific services for Chinese travelers, including in-room tea kettles, slippers and translation services, in addition to new menu items”.
This program expansion will cover all the Starwood properties by the end of next year. Hilton, on the other hand, takes this program one step further. Their program ‘Hilton Huanying’ (which means ‘welcome’ in Chinese), requires hotels to provide a front desk receptionist that speaks Mandarin. In addition, they have one Chinese television station and a full Chinese breakfast menu.
"Chinese travel is going to provide one of the great opportunities that we'll ever see in the business," said Hilton Chief Executive Chris Nassetta.
Marriott International Inc. is planning on getting involved as well. In the fall, they will begin a program “that will include information for hotels on how to create a Chinese breakfast” (Berzon).
While the Chinese economy grows and their travel restrictions loosen, hotels prepare for this important growing sector in the travel market.
For more information see