Monday, 8th February
Best Western is trying to boost online bookings via www.bestwestern.com with a scheme that rewards customers with double or triple points from every second qualified stay at a Best Western hotel. The online loyalty promotion runs until the end of April 2010.
To be eligible, guests must register at www.bestwesternrewards.com/spring, reside in North America, South America, the Caribbean Asia, South Africa, Israel, Egypt or Ukraine and be members of Best Western Rewards.
After only one month, the observation deck at Burj Dubai, now Burj Khalifa, closes abruptly to the public. No exact reasons are given. Ticket sales are on hold indefinitely and the website states: ‘Please be advised that online tickets to At the Top are temporarily on hold due to maintenance at the attraction.’ This comes at a time when Dubai is already facing a slow-down in tourism which accounts for nearly a fifth of the local economy.
Tuesday, 9th February
Joie de Vivre, a California-based chain of boutique hotels, claims to be the first hotel brand in the United States to roll out a breakthrough in-room entertainment and media platform. The new media centers, powered by Mac Mini computers on the OSX operating system, will enable guests to do everything they can do on their own computers at home, from checking e-mail, Twitter, or Facebook to downloading music on iTunes, movies from Netflix or HULU. Hotels are still lagging far behind the technology guests have available at home, the group say.
Wednesday, 10th February
The Chicago Office of Tourism announces a deal with Foursquare, a new location-based, social networking application for mobile phones: www.foursquare.com/explorechicago
Tourists and locals can ‘check-in’ at over 60 locations around the city to earn up to 3 Chicago-themed badges. With this cooperation, the tourism office is hoping to encourage users to try out new businesses and promote lesser known landmarks.
Thursday, 11th February
Marriott International reports a profit for the 4th quarter of 2009. Business travel has improved and leisure travelers took advantage of promotions, the company say.
Friday, 12th February
Emaar, the developer behind Burj Khalifa in Dubai says it returned to profit in the 4th quarter of 2009 as revenue from new shopping centers and hotels offset a slow-down in housing deliveries. The company benefited from business at Dubai Mall which had opened in 2008 and also runs two high-end hotels in Dubai while rolling out the 5-star The Address Hotels + Resorts chain.