All posts by RayMWalker

Grant Thornton Survey: 5-Star Hotels Performed Better Than 4-Star Hotels

The 2019 Grant Thornton survey is the 16th consecutive year for this comprehensive study of high-end hotels and resorts. The Vietnam Hotel Survey revealed that 5-star hotels scored higher on various performance criteria than their 4-star counterparts.


A 5-star hotel in Saigon continues to be the hotel of choice despite a 4.1 percent increase in price between 2017 and 2018 with a 0.5 increase in occupancy. On the other hand, 4-star hotels saw a 2.3 percent decrease in price and yet still experienced a 1 percent decrease in occupancy. These increases on average are from US$107.6 in 2017 to $112 in 2018. By contrast, the decrease is from $75.2 per night to $73.4 per night.


The changes in these room rates consequently affected the revenue per available room (RevPAR) with 5-star hotels going up to $83.4 in 2018 from $79.1 IN 2017, while 4-star hotels decreased by 3.6 percent. Although both types of hotels experienced a decrease in bookings through channels such as tour operators and travel agencies, 4-star hotels saw the biggest drop at 7.1 percent, while 5-star hotels experienced only a 2.8 percent drop.


The survey revealed that 5-star hotels seem to be more open to digital developments in their operations with 95.5 percent of them applying data mining and analysis, while only 77.8 percent of 4-star hotels confirmed to have been doing the same.Mobile apps are also a new tool that 54.5 percent of 5-star hotels are utilizing, while 4-star hotels only have a figure of 34.6 percent. Checking in and out online are available in 42.9 percent of 5-star hotels, but only 28.6 percent for 4-star hotels. Social media such as Facebook is used by 100 percent of 5-star hotels and 96.3 of 4-star hotels.


In 2018, a total of 2,400 new accommodations were registered at the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism. Out of that number of accommodations, 83 properties fall under the 3- to 5-star categories. The 83 properties are equal to 22,419 keys: 34 properties of 17,366 keys are 5-star hotels and 15 properties of 2,990 keys are 4-star.


The rise of 5-star accommodations and the fall of 4-star ones are apparent in the Grant Thornton survey. Across different performance criteria, results show that guests are more likely to choose a 5-star hotel in Saigon and other such locations in Vietnam than they are a 4-star one because of upgrades and modernization, regardless of price increases.

Vietnam: 5-Star Hotels Scored Higher Than 4-Star Ones

Grant Thornton, a consulting and accounting firm, released its 16th annual survey of upscale hotels and resorts. The results of the Vietnam Hotel Survey showed that based on certain performance criteria, 5-star hotels scored higher in 2017 to 2018 than did the 4-star ones.


Looking at the occupancy criteria, guests are more likely to book accommodations at 5-star hotels in Ho Chi Minh City and other places in Vietnam. The results of the survey showed that 5-star hotel percentages on occupancy rose by 0.5 percent, compared to the 1 percent decrease for 4-star hotels. The rise and fall in occupancy rates for 5- and 4-star hotels respectively are despite the 4.1 percent price increase in the former and the 2.3 percent decrease in the latter. The increases and decrease have the average amount equivalent of USD 107.6 in 2017 to USD 112 in 2018 for 5-star hotels and USD 75.2 to USD 73.4 in the same period for 4-star hotels.


The revenue per available room or RevPar consequently went up to USD 83.4 from USD 79.1 for 5-star hotels but went down by 3.6 percent for 4-star hotels. Numbers from the reservation channels of tour operators and travel agencies revealed an overall decrease for both categories, but 4-star hotels had a much larger decrease at 7.1 percent compared to the 2.8 percent decrease for 5-star ones.


The survey also included how open to digital developments, technological advancements, and online marketing both these hotel categories are. On all aspects, 5-star hotels also scored higher with 95.5 percent employing data mining and analytics compared to only 77.8 percent of 4-star hotels doing the same.Mobile apps and online check-in and check-out are used mostly by 5-star hotels. The survey reported 5-star hotel percentages at 54.5 and 42.9 respectively, compared to 4-star numbers at 34.6 and 28.6 only respectively. Even social media is utilized fully by 5-star hotels to reach their intended audience and markets, with the 100 percent confirming use of platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, while 4-star hotel percentage is only at 96.3.


The results of the Grant Thornton are clear. When it comes to accommodations, 5-star hotels in Ho Chi Minh City and in the rest of Vietnam have performed better than 4-star hotels. These hotels have invested in and maximized on developments digital or otherwise to ensure their growth.

3 Benefits Of Play Group In Rayong

There are several play groups in Bangkok should you need a place that will aid in the development of your child. If you need a play group in Rayong, all you have to do is search the internet or you might also want to ask from the neighbourhood for institutions and establishments that offer such services. Parents from different parts of the world look for play groups in their communities due to the numerous benefits found in such type of groups. Here are some of its notable advantages, both for your child and you.

Improved social skills

It is a known fact that children who mingle and associate with other children are more advance, especially in terms of social skills. They get to learn how to make friends and adjust to situations where they are not always the centre of everyone’s attention, just like what normally happens at home. Children who join play groups are more sociable, easier to manage with increased self-confidence. If your child is typically shy, look for a play group in Rayong to improve his or her social abilities.


If you are a working parent, it would be understandable for you to find a safe place to leave your child while you are at work. Since your child is not yet enrolled in a standard educational institution, a play group is the most suitable place for your child. This will allow you to work without worrying about your child and his or her safety. There are also hourly play groups and you can get your child into it while doing your chores such as shopping, getting some groceries or running errands.

Academic preparation

Aside from social skills, children in a play group in Rayong get to be prepared for preschool and even formal schooling. They will have more confidence to interact with other children and will be more participative when they get to school. Play groups are also taught basic ideas such as colour identification, animals and shapes exposure, alphabet reading and many others. Look for a play school that will guarantee your child’s safety and comfort while you are away.

‘Adults-Only’ Holidays Seeing Increasing Demand From Indian Travelers

Different people have different tastes, and travellers are no exception, bringing their own sensibilities to the Accor Hotel in Koh Samui, or wherever destination they head for.  For Indian travellers, they’re looking to travel to places without kids.

‘Adults-only’ holidays are becoming increasingly popular for Indian travellers, particularly for post-honeymoon couples, with Australian travel website Luxury Escapes noting how it’s recently become the second most-used filter, accounting for 15% of all searches by Indian visitors on their website.

Travellers from India are now looking for getaways that feature everything, and not everything, namely, no kids. Arun Ashok, India Country Manager for Luxury Escapes, notes how such products have gone up in demand, which has, in turn, increased the site’s work, given that the Aussie-bred travel site specializes in specially curated travel packages.

Daniel D’Souza, Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel, also took note of how Indian travelers were preferring adult-only resorts, saying that choices like Accor Hotel in Koh Samui offer the chance to get some R&R away from the daily routine, and, sometimes, that just means not having kids around.

Cox & Kings Head of Relationships Karan Anand notes that, while adults-only resorts are in demand, they’re particularly in demand throughout South Africa, in Thailand’s Koh Samui, as well as in a few other key destinations in the Asia region, notably, in Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam. He explains that the reason most Indian travellers looking for adults-only resorts travel out of the country is due to the fact that India doesn’t have too many of such properties, but they are abundant abroad.

Co-founder Rajnish Kumar, of the travel and booking e-commerce website Ixigo notes that, for international visitors there was an increase of 22% in search queries for adult-only resorts in the UAE, the Caribbean Islands, Mexico, Maldives, and Thailand, with 51% of these travellers in the age range of 25-34.

They note how these couple-only holidays are becoming more and more popular, a good sign for the industry as travellers are now opting for customized travel experiences, instead of the usual cookie-cutter package. People in the field are expecting an increase in travel, not just for the adult-only properties.


Taiwan Increases Subsidies To Improve Preschool Educational System 

Most parents belong to the nation’s workforce so that most 3 to 5-year old children attend preschool or daycare facilities on a regular basis. The high quality of early childhood education from Anaheim Preschool will have a positive influence on the child’s development and readiness for elementary school because valuable educational and social experiences will be provided.

Premier Su Tseng-chang of Taiwan announced 3 measures that will improve the country’s preschool educational system. Starting August, the government will launch projects that will increase the number of kindergarten schools to ease the burden among young families. There is also an accompanying budget increase from NT$9.5 billion (US$305 million) to about NT$40 billion so that the nation’s birthrate can be increased. Subsidies will also be increased for child rearing.

There will be a transition mechanism for private kindergartens to become semi-public. A child-rearing subsidy will provide parents who have 3 or more children a total of NT$42,000 as financial assistance per month up to the time that the children turn 5.

Current subsidy rules provide qualified parents of children with ages up to 5 years old that stay at home or attend private daycare centers with monthly subsidy of NT$2,500 per child. Parents of children who attend public daycare centers receive monthly subsidy of NT$3,000 per child.

In order to improve the preschool environment, that government has plans of providing a subsidy of NT$400,000 to daycare centers and preschools so that they can purchase a kindergarten shuttle bus. There are also measures to replace 400 shuttle buses per year.

Part of the government measures is adding 3,000 classes for both semi-public and public kindergartens with the next 8 years to achieve 80,000 slots nationwide. Help will also be provided to private kindergartens to become semi-public and cap tuition fees to NT$4,500. The government investment in preschool education is expected to benefit 800,000 children aged 2 to 5.

High quality early childhood education is provided by Anaheim Preschool to appropriately develop the minds and attitudes of children. The early experiences that children gain from preschool will shape their perceptions of the world and their attitudes towards learning. Children gain self accomplishment and self confidence in the preschool classroom.

Zimbabwe Assures Visitors That They Will Not Be Affected By The Removal Of Multi-Currency System

The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority announced that the removal of the multi-currency system from the economy will not affect visitors to the country. Zimbabwe is a popular tourist destination in Africa and if you have plans to visit the country, you better check Currency Exchange whether you can buy Zimbabwe dollars before you travel.

In order to bring normalcy to their economy, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube replaced the multi-currency system with the local unit account RTGS$/ZWL for local transactions. Regulations are meant for any transaction within Zimbabwe where it is prohibited to use foreign currency in hard cash.

Legal tender will be in Zimbabwe dollars whether cash or electronic form and it will not negatively affect travelers’ especially foreign visitors. Credit cards will still be accepted in Zimbabwe because relevant arrangements have been made with international credit card companies like Visa, MasterCard and those issued by banks in the traveler’s country of origin.

Visitors must make all the necessary arrangements with their banks before they travel to Zimbabwe. Once they reach their destination, they need to look for the logos of their respective credit cards. Terms and conditions in the credit card use will apply and all transactions made will be subjected to the limits provided by the bank.

Visitors can use ATMs to withdraw cash in local currency through their internationally-accepted credit cards. The machines are clearly marked international with the accepted logos of credit card companies. Foreign currency can be exchanged at banks, exchange bureaus and authorized foreign currency dealers at prevailing bank rates.

Visitors are encouraged to use plastic money and exchange only an amount they expect to spend in the country. There is no truth to the rumors that police are authorized to stop people and search them for foreign currency. Possession of foreign currency is not prohibited but for transactions, the foreign currency must be converted to Zimbabwe dollars.

To avoid the hustle of exchanging your dollars at a tourist destination, a better option is Currency Exchange before travelling. For your convenience, there are online foreign currency exchange services online that can provide the best rates for the lowest fees.

Tips In Choosing An Expert On Car Vinyl Wrap In Brisbane

There are different ways to add extra attraction to your car. One of the many ways is to look for a contractor that does car vinyl wrap in Brisbane for cars and vehicles. By doing some search on the internet, you will find a lot of expert signage makers within Brisbane or your district. The only thing challenging is to choose which of the service providers deliver the most satisfactory results. The following are tips to help you choose the right service provider.

Customized services

One indication that a service provider of vehicle wraps is at par with standards is that they can deliver the type of car wraps demanded by customers. Surely, there are standard car wraps or ready-made types and they are relatively cheaper. However, they are not customized and you might come across with other cars with the same wraps as yours. To do away with higher costs, let the service provider know of your working budget. Talk to a car wrap expert to determine the costs and what you can get from the service charge.

Offers a number of services

Search for a contractor that offers an array of services that you can choose from. The service provider should be able to offer options such as digital or manual vinyl wrapping. It would also be better if the contactor of car vinyl wrap in Brisbane offers customized services in order for you to have the deign that you want. They should also be able decals and wraps for your personal vehicle or company cars with budget options suitable for you. There are contractors that also offer banners, home wall paper, construction mesh, vehicle wrapping and other similar services.

Quality service

Choose a provider of car vinyl wrap in Brisbane that is reputable with known professionalism in the industry. The contractor should be able to provide a timely cost estimate or a reasonable turnaround time of 48 hours. Ask for recommendations or referrals from your friends or call the contractor’s customer service number to find out how professional they are in handling customers.

The Best Hotel In Danang In The Modern Era

Vietnam is among the top countries that attract the most tourists. For this reason, the international hotel groups are eyeing Vietnam for their next business venture. Expect that the continuous growth of Vietnam’s tourism market will attract the interest of international hotel magnates.

Additionally, the quality of infrastructure and planning, as well as design, has evolved to support the bigger volumes of customers. The competition for the best hotel in Danang has become intense. Every year, more and more international brands are becoming famous among locals.

The Clientele of Most Hotels

Most millennials prioritize work-life balance over career advancement and consequential work. They do care about their future and try to save more money for a rainy day. When they take a vacation, they make sure to enjoy it to the fullest. They also go on vacation more often than the other generations. The hotel operators know that the millennials try to earn more money than anyone else. They are the perfect hotel clients. The hotel managers and owners must see to it that they have the facilities that the millennials may appreciate.

Business travellers often go on a trip alone. They usually don’t care about the price as long as the hotel location is the most suitable and convenient. The business traveller also needs a hotel that can efficiently handle the messages. The hotel should be able to provide a great venue for meetings and conferences. The internet speed is of utmost importance and there should be free Wi-Fi. Many first-class hotels make sure that they can provide all the needs of the business travellers.

In this busy world, it is rare for families to take a vacation together. Most of the time, they come with the young children and the elderly. A good hotel should be able to provide facilities for the different age group in the family. A hotel should serve as a home away from home for everyone to have a memorable, sweet vacation.

What are the features of the best hotel in Danang to make the vacation memorable? That would depend on the kind of experience that the visitor would like to have.

Places Where Traditional Burial And Cremation Are Very Expensive

Respect is at the heart of every service provided by the funeral director in Sydney to families. Grieving families can expect empathy and understanding during one of the saddest hours of their life. An appropriate atmosphere is created by the funeral director so that families, relatives and friends can say their final goodbye.

A study made by revealed that New Jersey is home to four of the 10 most expensive cities (Bernardsville, Summit, Chatham and Parsippany) for a traditional burial. The cheapest funeral in the top 10 is $8,500 while the most expensive is $9,847. Cremation is cheaper but in the 4 cities, the service can cost an average of $4,800. In Rockville, cremation costs $6,170, the highest.

Youngstown, Ohio has the cheapest cremation service at $2,850. The cheapest funeral at $5,250 is provided in Boone, North Carolina followed by $5,305 at Troy, Alabama. Cremation in Vancouver, Washington is higher by 2 dollars. The bottom line is funeral and cremation services are expensive no matter where you live.

People are happy to spend for weddings, baby showers, graduation, birthdays and anniversaries because the happiness they gain is more than worth the money paid. There are instances when people are not happy to spend and this includes dental work, home repairs, student loans and funeral services. The thought of spending thousands of dollars over something that will not provide them happiness makes even the most generous question the expense.

The costs of a funeral service can quickly spiral out of control. Grieving families have to spend on transporting the body of the deceased, caskets, embalming, burial plots, grave liners and headstones. It is unfortunate because money prevents people from the funeral they desire. A thoughtful decision is to plan ahead so that you can control the funeral arrangements while you are still alive.

You can discuss pre-planning of funeral arrangements with the funeral director in Sydney to make sure that every detail is to your liking. If you prefer cremation over traditional burial, you will be absolutely certain that you will get what you want. The funeral director will ensure that all the directions you left behind will be conveyed to the family.


Locksmith Conquers Silicon Valley

Dave O’Toole is 60 years old and a locksmith based in Dublin. He is now the talk of many in the world especially those with the same profession such as Geebung locksmith because he was able to conquer Silicon Valley. He was the victor of a competition wherein he submitted his invention which is a smart lock. He developed the system after her mother suffered stroke and she no longer able to open doors like she used to.

The locksmith turned tech entrepreneur said that he has been working as a locksmith for the last two decades while operating his own business located in Amiens Street. He is now on his way to making it big because there are many leading companies in the tech industry who are willing to acquire the license for the smart lock technology he designed.

There are 120 other inventions submitted during the competition but Mr. O’Toole came out to be the winner. His invention is called the Touch Smart Lock system which was dubbed to be the product with the highest potential. Indiegogo, a crowdfunding firm, was the organizer of the completion in partnership with AT&T, a telecom company, and Arrow Electronics, one of the Fortune 500 firms.

According to the techy locksmith, he is now putting all his energy into raising a new crowdfunding campaign to raise €1 million in order to create a finished commercial product out of the prototype he has created.

The smart lock system is ideal for people in the older spectrum as well as those who are suffering from physical disabilities. It can be incorporated with a regular mechanical lock within five minutes. The system changes the frequency signals through touch control feature that will allow the user to unlock their doors with a simple touch of a key fob. They can keep it inside their bags or in their bags so they don’t have to search for missing kiss or forget their access codes.

Following in Mr. O’Toole’s footsteps, a Geebung locksmith also wishes to make a name for him because of the inspiration brought by the former to the entire industry. It is a testament that dreams do come true.