Help wading through and understanding the neverending amount of travel information on the internet isn't the only reason consumers seek out the help of a travel advisor. They also can serve as advocates in confusing or complicated situations or when circumstances change.
Travel advisors too often worry about price competition from online travel agencies when, in fact, they should be distinguishing themselves by what they know and all they offer, Richard Earls writes. Help potential customers by explaining that you sift through the disparate details and serve as a consultant in a way OTAs never could.
Providing arriving guests with free drinks in a relaxing spot as they wait for longer room-turnover housekeeping, plus adding outdoor space and reconfiguring bars and dining areas to prevent crowding, may be ways for hotels to adapt to social distancing desires. Properties also should lower headcount expectations for meetings and conventions, consultant James Berkeley says.
Marriott International's Arne Sorenson says dire predictions for hotels in the last three crises he's weathered haven't come to bear, and he believes the earth-shattering changes suggested now for the hotel industry are excessive as well. He admits that short-term, post-pandemic adjustments will come with a cost but says Marriott's business already is picking up in China and the US, and he expects a continued, steady return to normalcy.
Bookcases and fake walls sometimes hide such features as dining spaces, bars and secret rooms in seven UK hotels. The bathroom of a guest room in Coombe Abbey Hotel in Binley, England, is hidden behind a bookcase door, for example, while a renovation of the Andaz London Liverpool Street uncovered a 1912 Grecian Masonic Temple.
Two UK residents were lovin' McDonald's so much that they finally broke free during the coronavirus lockdown and drove nearly 250 miles round-trip down the coast from Hull to Petersborough, England, for about 6½ hours, not counting 30 minutes in the drive-thru line. They said the journey was more than worth it for the smell of their burgers alone.
Wellness travel -- which tallied 17% of global travel before the pandemic hit -- will settle into a new normal as people seek escape and stress relief as lockdowns end, SmartBrief Senior Travel Editor Angie Giroux writes. Nature retreats with amenities such as forest spas, hiking and meditation experiences will be among the popular options, she says.
Marriott International CEO Arne Sorenson said Monday that the world's largest hotel chain has reopened all its properties in China and is showing occupancy growth in the US. Occupancy in China has risen to 40% from single digits at the start of the coronavirus outbreak in February, while US occupancy has passed the 20% mark.
A hotel workers' union held a protest demonstration to demand toughening of the tourism industry's health and safety protocols for reopening Hawaii to visitors. Tourism has dropped to negligible levels under a state quarantine for visitors imposed March 26, and most members of Unite Here Local 5 have been idled.
Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla., will reopen Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and hotels under its Disney Vacation Club program on June 22 ahead of the reopening of its theme parks. Access is limited to guests with preexisting reservations and Disney Vacation Club members, who will be allowed to book any remaining slots.
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