The Hotel and Travel Week #9

Monday, 14th December

Abu Dhabi comes to Dubai’s help with USD 10 billion. Half of it will be used to repay Dubai World’s debt. The news instantly boosted stock markets in the UAE with Dubai’s main share index closing 10% up and Abu Dhabi’s rising more than 7%. This seems to mark the end of Dubai’s debt crisis – at least for the time being.
On the same day Abu Dhabi and Hyatt Hotels disclose a deal. An Abu Dhabi wealth fund buys a 10.9% stake of Hyatt’s common shares.
Tuesday, 15th December
Accor is to split into 2 companies, pending shareholder approval. The group’s board of directors recommended to separate prepaid services and hotel businesses in order to step up the pace of growth. The services division sells prepaid benefits such as gift vouchers or lunch vouchers and generated as much as 60% of the companies revenue last year.
Wednesday, 16th December
Sheraton Hotels & Resorts announces the launch of a new social media platform: Sheraton Shared Moments. The new site enables users to share travel experiences with friends, family and the public. People signing up to the portal also have the chance to win one of five dream holidays to a luxury Sheraton Hotel or Resort.
Thursday, 17th December
According to Sir Richard Branson space travel is only three years away. The Virgin boss unveils the Virgin Galactic space liner which will be called VSS-Enterprise and have room for at least 5 passengers. Apparently, there are already 13,500 potential customers for the 3-hour and USD 190,000 trip.
Friday, 18th December
Design Hotels and Unlike Media announce the launch of 11 Apple iPhone City guide applications. 10 English language city guides for the following cities can be downloaded at a charge: Amsterdam, Miami, Copenhagen, Berlin, Paris, London, Sao Paulo, Vienna, Shanghai and Barcelona. The city guide content is updated every 24 hours, free of charge. Since it is available offline, there is no need to worry about expensive roaming fees while you travel.


The Hotel and Travel Week #8

Monday, 7th November

Dubai still doesn’t seem to be out of the woods and there are more news that yet another state-owned Dubai company may be defaulting – the personal investment vehicle of the emirate’s ruler Dubai Holding. The company has been on a spending spree to realise ambitious projects in Dubai as well as create a private equity firm that bought stakes in Tussauds and the budget hotel chain Travelodge.
Tuesday, 8th November
The average cost of a hotel room in Moscow may fall below RUB 3,000 (EUR 67.65 USD 100.32), according to the company NAI Becarm. This will be the lowest rate within the last 6 years.
Wednesday, 9th November
Accor launches its iPhone application which enables customers to reserve a room in their approx. 3,000 hotel rooms of the following brands: Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Mercure, Novotel, Suitehotel, Adagio, Ibis, all seasons, Etap, Formule 1 and hotel F1. The application also includes personalisation and memorises current reservations as well as favourite hotels. It synchronises with iPhone contacts and is available in 5 languages: English, French, German, Spanish and Italian.
Thursday, 10th November
U.S. room rates drop over the holiday period, according to Travelocity. A week-by-week analysis shows that overall ADR has dropped from USD 181 to USD 150 per night. At the same time international hotel rates are rising as Christmas approaches.
Friday, 11th November
eBookers is trimming its 12 European country sites and makes them into 3 regional sites, including:
Region 1: UK, France and Ireland
Region 2: Switzerland, Germany and Austria
Region 3: Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Benelux
The company says the new regional structure will increase speed of execution and “catalyze innovation”.


The Hotel and Travel Week #7

Monday, 30th November

After the news of Dubai’s debt problems rippled through the markets last week, Monday was all about assessing the severity of the problem. Dubai’s stock exchange suffers sharp falls of 7% on the first day of trading after Eid. Abu Dhabi markets drop by 8% in reaction to a request by Dubai World, the state-backed investment firm, to delay payment on its debt.
Dubai’s investment corporation also include the QE2 cruise liner, the Emirates airline and the Travelodge budget hotel chain.
Tuesday, 1st December
A Chicago-based company launches a new website which resells cancelled meeting contracts. The site serves as a clearing house, matching hotels with cancelled contracts with meeting planners. MeetingTrader claim that for the client who cancelled, reselling the contract can often reduce the financial penalty. The benefit for hotels is obvious, but meeting planners also have the chance to find venues and available dates for a very competitive price.
Wednesday, 2nd December
Hyatt launches its new Wish List website. At customers create an account. Purchases can then be made by family, friends or other well-wishers and include anything charged to a room, including spa visits, food and beverage, as well as other activities provided or hosted by Hyatt such as golf, mountain biking etc.
Thursday, 3rd December
Dubai says it will not stand in for the debts of state-owned Emirates Airlines. The airline has invested heavily in the past to get a competitive edge. It is also the main client for the Airbus A380 plane. According to rating agency Standard & Poor (S&P), Emirates has debts from 10 loans and bonds which become due in 2013.
Friday, 4th December
And some good news from Dubai at the end of the week: Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa reopens after completing a five-month refurbishing programme. The renovation covered all 260 rooms and suites as well as facilities throughout the hotel.