The Hotel and Travel Week

Monday, 31st October 2011

Expedia publishes their latest figures saying that gross bookings were up 11% in the 3rd quarter of 2011, while transactions were up 9.4%. Worldwide hotel revenue rose by 18%, with nights stayed up 16%. Air revenue however again decreased, this time 5%, as 10% fewer tickets were sold but at 6% higher prices on average. The OTA also announces that they sold 15,000 travel deals in the first three days of launching a partnership with Groupon but 3 months later Expedia is questioning the long-term value of those bargain shoppers and questioned whether customers would return to Expedia to book other trips.

Tuesday, 1st November 2011

Users of the Google Maps API will soon have to start paying for usage. The general price will be US$4 per 1,000 map loads but not everyone will be charged immediately. For regular maps, the first 25,000 users will be free. For Styled Maps, the initial limit goes down to 2,500 users. Google promises that they won’t block overused APIs right away, so users have time to think about what they want to do. Simply embedding Google Maps into a website without using the API is still free.

Wednesday, 2nd November 2011

Marriott International launches a section of its website specifically for their restaurants and bars. The new Restaurant & Bar Showcase, tells the stories of some of the company’s most popular venues. It also links to the outlets’ home pages and, where available, to Open Table or other equivalent sites to make a reservation. With this website, the hotel group looks to boost business for restaurant partners.

Thursday, 3rd November 2011

According to TRI Hospitality Consulting’s HotStats MENA market review for September 2011, Dubai and Saudi Arabian hotels are seeing strong growth, while Egypt’s continue to see declines in demand. Margins in Abu Dhabi are hurt by increased supply. Dubai is clearly benefitting from the Arab Spring and getting business from unstable countries such as Egypt and Syria. Occupancy was 78.6% compared to 71.8% in September 2010 which prompted hotels to increase rates by 10.9% in September, resulting in a 21.5% growth in RevPAR for the month.

Etihad Towers in January 2010
Etihad Towers in January 2010

Friday, 4th November 2011

Dubai-based Jumeirah Group opens its first property in Abu Dhabi, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers. The hotel is located on the Arabian Gulf in the Ras Al Akhdar area of the UAE capital and features 382 guestrooms and suites, 199 fully serviced residences, 12 F&B outlets, the Talise Spa and one of the largest conference centers in Abu Dhabi. Etihad Towers is 280m tall and consists of 5 towers, containing residential, office and retail space.

Please, view also Hotel Pic of the Week: Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Abu Dhabi

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