The Hotel and Travel Week

Monday, 8th August 2011

Tower Bridge London
London riots are all over the press and the question arises whether this will have any impact on UK inbound tourism. The German Foreign Office asks German tourists to be vigilant when traveling in the U.K. Later in the week, VisitBritain, the U.K. tourism board, plays down effects and calls the riots ‘isolated incidents’ which took place away from key visitor attractions. It is still too early to see impacts and a VisitBritain spokesman says: ‘… Britain has a strong and positive image overseas and we hope these incidents will be short-lived and that tourism will show its customary resilience.’
Tuesday, 9th August 2011
InterContinental Hotels Group reports a 17% rise of operation profits pushing shares up 8%. Higher numbers were recorded in both business and leisure guests. Pressure on room availability allowed IHG and others to hold prices firmer than last year, leaving revenue per available room (RevPAR) up 8.2% for the first 6 months of 2011. The good performance was driven by IHG’s mid-market brands Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express. These brands underwent a thorough makeover in recent years. Exceptional circumstances in Egypt, Bahrain and Japan had hit operating profits by $7m (£4m), but wider trends around the world were positive, particularly so in the U.S., the group’s most important market.
Wednesday, 10th August 2011
Hotelier Ian Schrager is selling his new PUBLIC brand via the flash sales site LivingSocial Escapes. The website started offering an opening party package for PUBLIC Chicago on 11th October. The deal includes 2 tickets to the opening party and an overnight stay in a suite, plus breakfast, late check out, champagne and other in-room amenities for US$900. PUBLIC Chicago is scheduled to open in September as the new understated luxury brand from The Ian Schrager Company. LivingSocial Escapes has booked more than 400,000 room nights since its launch in November 2010.
Thursday, 11th August 2011
The Kuoni Group launches an accommodation-only website at kuonihotels.com. Although the website is using the Kuoni brand it is operated by Octopus Travel, part of Gullivers Travel Associates, which was bought by Kuoni earlier this year. The site features over 50,000 hotels, with 3-star rating and above. All hotels have a TripAdvisor rating of 3 or more, where a rating is available, to maintain the high expectations Kuoni customers have of the brand.

Friday, 12th August 2011

VisitBritain recorded a record number of visitors to the UK in June spending a record amount. 2.89 million overseas visitors arrived in June, 9% more than during the same month last year. This is an increase of 4% on the previous record, set in June 2005. Expenditure by overseas visitors reached £1.685bn, a rise of 4% over June 2010, which was also a record high.

With regard to the UK riots, tour operators suffered 330 cancellations for trips to London in the immediate aftermath, which represents less than 0.2% of all bookings. ETOA, The European Tour Operators Association, say ‘the violence had had no worse effect on bookings than a sick dog’. It did not say, however, how new bookings are affected.

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