Category Archives: Travel

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.

US-China Trade Spat Giving Thailand Opportunity To Bring In More Tourists

The increasing tensions between the US and China might have something good for Naroua Villas in Koh Toa, Thailand and the rest of the Kingdom’s tourism sector, as travellers from mainland China look to shorten their distant journeys and find destinations closer to their home country instead.

Thailand’s tourism sector is expected to get a boost from the trade dispute, and the Thai government is keeping an eye on the Chinese government to see if the later will issue a travel ban against the US for its residents, similar to what they did to South Korea and Japan when they were having increasing conflicts with those two countries.

Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor YuthasakSupasorn said that there are TAT offices in China doing assessments on the country’s tourism and economy as a result of the trade conflicts with the US. According to him, five TAT offices in the country noted that Yuanwas being appreciated, alongside the trade conflicts, which could be what deter Chinese travellers from travelling abroad.

Mr. Yuthasak says that these factors might slow down decision-making for international trips, as well as tourism spending. However, assessments and report suggest that these factors might not hit middle- to upper-class people might not be affect as much, which is important to note, as they’re the ones that normally travel internationally at least once, annually.

TAT offices in Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Kunming, and Shanghai promote Thailand to travellers, with 10.5 million Chinese travelling to the country in 2018, to the delight of Naroua Villas in Koh Toa, Thailand and others in the country’s tourism industry, with predictions saying that the number will hit 11.6 million by the end of 2019.

Mr. Yuthasak, however, also noted that other Asian countries could benefit from the trade war, meaning that there’ll be fierce competition for attracting Chinese travellers. Thailand has several VISA policies, like waiving visa-on-arrival fees, and the like, but they’re still working out some of the kinks.

While dealing with all of this, and as a backup, the TAT will also be focusing on the short-haul market, Mr. Yuthasak reports.

On top of all of that, the TAT also has plans to sign deals with major Chinese companies like China Travel and Alipay in order to help with facilitating Chinese visitors to Thailand.

Phuket Properties With Income Potential In High Demand

The number of tourists coming to Phuket continues to increase. In fact, last year the island welcomed a total of 8.4 million visitors which means that even the luxury 5 star resort in Phuket is fully booked with guests. This is the main reason why the condominium market in the area is changing. Condo units used to serve as holiday homes for the owners but now these are converted into sources of passive income.

Fifteen years ago, CBRE is the only agent handling Allamanda which is located in Laguna. This is the very first huge resort condo project that gives buyers the chance to enrol in a rental program. This means that they allow their unit for the entire year to be rented while they receive rental revenue in return. The right is then passed on to whoever is renting the unit but only for a limited time during their stay. This setup was developed in 1993 and the company, at that time, had no idea that fifteen years later the same setup will become the trend in the resort condominium market of Phuket.

The Asian market faced a financial crisis in 1997 but after it has recovered the development of resort properties in the area resumed together with constructions of condominiums and villas. Majority of the buyers back then are foreign nationals looking to have holiday homes in the island but the trend has changed lately because the usual buyers are not those who are expecting to gain from the yields the property could bring.

In order for the projects to follow this new setup, there must be a management firm that will market as well as manage the property during its day-to-day operation – a setup similar to a hotel. The best properties in the area are able to become successful in this front because they are constructed side-by-side with a hotel. These condo units are then added to the available rooms of the hotel under the same management.

There are those that still prefer to experience the best by renting luxury 5 star resort in Phuket because the rate of these accommodations are still cheaper compared to the ones they have at their home country. This is one of the charms of Thailand which makes tourists keep coming back.

Bangkok Hotel Sector’s Forecast Remains Strong For 2018

The capital will be hearing of a new business hotel in Sukhumvit opening, among others forecast for Bangkok’s tourism sector is strong, with many experts expecting that the growth momentum that the capital’s tourism will be continuing for 2018.

According to a recent report from the HVS Market Pulse, the overall stability in Bangkok’ tourism sector contributed greatly to the strong performance of hotels during the first half of 2018. For the remaining two quarters of the year, the forecast is optimistic, driven by expected demand levels in international arrivals, alongside a politically stable market thanks to elections being postponed until 2019.

The positive forecast for Bangkok’s hospitality sector is something the Centara Grand and Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld can attest to, with its General Manager, Robert Maurer Loeffler, reporting continued growth in all key metrics for the first half of 2018.

He explains that their properties in the Thai capital are enjoying a good 2018, with a particularly strong first quarter and year-on-year growth in occupancy and rates. He says that transient activity accounted for two-thirds of the growth of the group, while the group segment was driven by double-digit increase from wholesale.

He also expects that the rest of 2018 will be just as good, as the MICE segment, which has driven growth for it and many business hotel in Sukhumvit, is expected to remain constant with 2017.Loeffler is hoping that the Centara brand enters 2019 with performance that improves upon the preceding years.

There is still a considerable number of new brand supplies entering the Bangkok market, with many properties currently in development, from brands like Capella, Edition and Four Seasons set to move into the capital’s luxury segment.

Hilton hotels maintains their bullish outlook on Thailand’s luxury segment, according to Vice President of Operations, Luxury Asia-Pacific; Daniel Welk. The hospitality giant recently launched its newest property in the Thai capital, the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok.

Welk says that, if something good has come out of the extremely competitive field in Thailand which has seen many a business hotel in Sukhumvit pop up, it’s the more defined scope for Hilton and its properties. Welk likening the situation to swim lanes.

ADAS and the Future of Road Safety

Leonardo González Dellánon traffic safety technology

International trade expert Leonardo González Dellánhas commented on the potential of Latin America-based development of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. He has said that “the development of systems by people who know the roads they drive is an opportunity for both businesses and governments to plan for the future, to invest on what we already have.” Each year across the Latin American region 155,000 pole are killed in traffic related accidents, according to the Latin America and Caribbean Economic Commission, but companies such as AB InBev have begun to develop automated systems integrated into the corporate fleets they run, and these have reduced collisions among them by 70%. González Dellánhas said: “I applaud their vison and creativity in fitting these systems. What we now need to do is work on making them accessible for the everyday person, and to ensure that this area of opportunity for Latin American technology dos not get passed by. If both businesses and governments focus on this, it can be an area where Latin America can lead the world.”

Leonardo González Dellánis and international trade expert and businessman.

How Much Does A Wedding Hotel Package Cost In New York?

After this year’s famous wedding when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot, lavish wedding celebrations became popular again. Luxurious wedding celebrations need a lot of preparation, time, and of course, money. According to The Knot, couples in Manhattan spend around $76,944 for their wedding. New York is a popular place for everyone, but it is also the most expensive wedding venue in the United States.

For those interested, there are some hotels that offer แพคเกจแต่งงานโรงแรม for their clients.

Russian Tea Room

With three rooms to choose from depending on the number of wedding guests, wedding packages in the Russian Tea Room can range from $125 to $875 per person. The hotel can also provide an open bar and an alcohol section upon request. Newly-weds need not to worry about paying in setting up the place as it is already included in the rental fee as well.

The Plaza

The Plaza’s แพคเกจแต่งงานโรงแรม costs around $350 per person. This is their starting price, and could still go up depending on some additional products or services that the couple wants to include in their wedding. However, the hotel declined to give further details regarding the wedding packages that they offer.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden

The hotel’s rates for their wedding packages depend on the season, date, and time of the wedding. For example, The Palm House could cost around $1,500 to $11,000. This venue has a set minimum and maximum guest count as well. The Amy Goldman Atrium and The Lilian could go up from $1,250 to $7,000. Food, drinks, and other services can also be provided with additional costs.

501 Union

The price range at 501 Union also changes depending on the month and season of the wedding. For example, weekday weddings in winter can be availed for $5,000, while peak season during summer could reach up to $12,600. However, newly-weds could get a lot out of what they pay for, as the fee includes set up, sound system, a private suite, coat check, a private events and house manager, evening operation, and even a venue coordinator.

London-Based Illustrator Creates Highly-Detailed Commissioned Maps Of Cities All Over The World

Jenni Sparks, an illustrator based in London makes hand-drawn maps of various cities all over the world. However, the map illustration is unlike ordinary maps either: the combines humorous details and local knowledge about the place to best show its very own personality and unique culture.

Early career

Sparks first got into professional cartography when show for Evermade in 2012. It was used to boost tourism, and was even enlarged to cover the floor of London Gatwich Airport. The huge mural is still seen to this day welcoming local and international tourists alike.

The Process

Jenni Sparks uses an eclectic method of combining documentaries, internet research, and books to get a clear picture of the place. Illustrating the area itself isn’t enough—once she has an idea in mind of how she would implement her plan, she would then visit the landmarks herself and experience its own vibe and atmosphere. Each park, street, and establishment is hand-drawn in great detail to breathe life into the map. Each map takes months to finish, complete with the details of the streets, representations of its establishments, and creative presentation of its culture.

Symbols

Different areas with different cultures are also represented creatively in her maps. Williamsburg, New York, for example, is popularly known as hipster haven. Sparks shows this in her map by drawing thick-rimmed glasses, a handlebar moustache, and coffee mugs—things people often associate with hipsters. Another good example is the spray cans, pints of German beer, and music notes in Berlin.

Major streets and avenues are often drawn in their own distinct colours as well, looking like colourful snakes making their way across black-lined buildings, labels, and symbols. It adds a pop of colour to an otherwise stark black-and-white map. Most parks are also coloured green with patches of trees indicating vegetation, and of course, blue, for bodies of water of different types and sizes.

The overall appearance is an intricately made map that anyone would take time to look at—every inch has a story, showing people what’s in that place. It adds a sense of wonder and experience to the map, more than showing people how to get around.

 

Travel Around The World And Get Paid Doing Meaningful Jobs

Traveling and keeping a job seems two exclusive things that not many people can do at the same time. However, for some experts, it is totally possible—with all its highs and lows. Two experts weigh in on these jobs and share what it takes to be successful in it.

Dive Instructor

Initially, Charlie Munns planned to return to his day job in London after six months in Thailand. However, since 200 has been working as a dive instructor in Thailand. He says that his job has enabled him to reach and dive at destinations that may be rather difficult to find, including Micronesia, Aruba, and St. Kitts.

However, it is not all fun and games. Munns says at the beginning, he had to work for ninety hours a week. Decompression diving takes a toll on the joints, and at one time, he had two kidney stones with the nearest hospital 600 miles from his location. He had no other choice but to deal with the pain and go on diving.

Munns says that whether you are a professional diver or a newbie looking for a dive instructor internship in Thailand, Brazil, Indonesia and many other diving locations in the world, it is important to remain calm and patient. This is especially true during emergency situations underwater. BASC and PADI, and all other dive agencies, have well structured dive instructor internship in Thailand, Australia, Indonesia, and other parts of the world.

International Aid Worker

Amelia Rule of CARE International says that making a safe place to sleep for people in crisis is a huge motivation for her, amidst working long hours, sometimes in emergency situations. She says that she gets to discover new cultures, places, and personalities in her job, having been to Syria, Malawi, the Philippines, Nepal, and more.

Albeit fulfilling, she says that the job does not make future planning very easy for her. Since they respond to emergency situations, she must always be ready to get on a plane. The places she has been to were war-torn or under so much poverty or calamity, which could be difficult to see.

However, she uses these as her motivation to work hard and make life better for the people despite the injustices and hardships that they experience.

How You Can Obtain Hotel Special Offers Sukhumvit

Each day profitable offers and special discounts are publicised in various travel portals and at the websites of hotels. By adding a validity of these offers or limited time period, it’s how hotel owners increase the craze from people who would like to grab this opportunity. Butthere are those who are not aware on how and where to find the best hotel rates. This is where hotel special offers Sukhumvit comes in handy. They just need to look thoroughly around for the best hotel offers.

Finding special offers in Sukhumvit hotels doesn’t really require much knowledge or familiarity with the Internet routes. You just need to be smart when you grab hotel deals especially if they are hard to find. If you are someone planning for a great time with loved ones, you need to look for an affordable accommodation, and you better find it through the star ratings and reviews given by current and previous customers.

Most people have a misconception of grabbing a great hotel special offers Sukhumvit if they go online and make advance bookings. However, this is not usually the case behind the scene. A traveller can grab this opportunity of discounts if they stay longer or have free additional meals. You are fortunate if your chosen hotel offers this deals for their guests.

The easiest ways to take advantage is opting for unpublished rates. The rates that you find in hotel websites mean nothing at all. Certainly, there are many websites that don’t update themselves and will continue to offer lower prices. You get your accommodation from booking out there. Apart from this, the hotel website mentions that they only have limited rooms left for your scheduled day.

Here is the point where the discount starts. Such special offers want you to fully book the room for an entire day. You can also take advantage of hotel websites that offer bidding system. It’s now the time to bid for a room at your desired rate, if no one wants to bid lower than you, you can possibly get the lap. You can also book a hotel by calling the hotel number found on their website and start negotiating for the price. You can possibly get hotel special offers Sukhumvit if you stay longer in these hotels.