The Year That Was – Hotel and Travel Industry in 2009

The year 2009 was a year of ups and downs for hotels in particular and the global travel industry in general. There were many events and developments that helped shape the outlook of the hotel industry over the past 12 months. Let us take a look back at 2009 and identify these developments.

Who can forget the global H1N1 virus scare that rocked the world? Some surveys suggest that many travelers will be more concerned about germs and health-related issues in general, thanks to the outbreak of the H1N1 virus. This has thankfully led to more stringent measures and health awareness on the part of the establishments.

The global recession was clearly still in effect the whole year round, and there will even be some repercussions heading into 2010. There are still some significant properties and establishments being shopped and sold. However, it should be noted that, while some companies have been selling their hotels, there are those that are utilizing the sale to expand their core properties. That is a positive sign, showing growth and a willingness to expand despite the continued pinch given by the recession.

In 2009, eco-tourism and eco-friendly destinations started taking the spotlight, as both the travelers and the various establishments have become more and more environmentally conscious. Destinations such as Sweden, Norway, and Switzerland are the top dogs when it comes to eco-friendly places to visit. The hotels in such countries also benefit tremendously because of the influx of travelers, and a lot of them have already adopted an eco-friendly mentality to go with the times.

Of course, there are also many hotel groups-from smaller-scale local establishments to big chains of luxury hotels-who have re-evaluated their business approach and have made changes to their various investment strategies. This is a wise move, still in line with managing the costs and income in an economic landscape that still is not as stable as desired.

Another trend in 2009 was an increased patronage for online travel services, such as booking sites and aggregators that really are a big help to travelers. Still, traditional booking occupies a significant chunk of the pie, even with online services gaining some headway over the past year.

Some establishments, from hotels to apartments to luxury spas, have shown a diminishing level of performance in the middle of the year. The good thing is that some of them have been able to recover quite nicely and gain back some lost ground-and some lost ratings-to get back on track.

There are indications that leisure spending on the side of the travelers will go up in 2010, and that is a definite plus for the hotel industry. More people willing to spend more money translate to more business opportunities for hotels and other members of the hospitality industry.

All in all, it was another year and another step to recovery in 2009. Things are shaping up quite nicely for 2010, and hopefully, hotels and their respective managements learned a lot in the past year and start to apply them in order to flip the script this coming year.

5 Tips To Find Cheap Hotels

Searching for cheap deals and discounts on the internet is a new trend today. Since the economic downturn was hit the world in 2008, people has always tried to get the cheapest possible price when shopping online. Nowadays you can easily find cheap travel deals and hotel rates on the internet too. To help you find a hotel with the most reasonable rates at your travel destination, you might want to follow the five tips below:

1. Start your search early. Beginning your search early will enable you to make the right choice. If you wait until the very last minute, you will tend to make a rushed decision. As the result, you may book a hotel that does not meet your criteria and your budget. It is a good idea to take some time for shopping around. Compare the available hotels carefully and match the price with the quality that they offer. Today, you can also find websites that offer last minute cheap hotel rates but it would be much better to book earlier.

2. Lower attendance usually means lower rates. If you plan to make your visit on a weekend, you should look into hotels that cater for business stays because they are usually full in business days. Also avoid peak season as rates can be double or even triple the price of off season.

3. Browsing the internet is a great way to find cheap hotel deals but it will work more effectively if you do a combination search. It is a good idea to also call the hotel’s service desk and ask for their room rates. Then, you can compare the rates offered on the internet and the ones offered by the service desk to get the best deal. Some hotels offer lower rates when you book online or make a call; therefore make sure that you use different methods in searching for a cheap hotel.

4. Find out if you can get a discount. Some hotels usually offer lower price for groups and extended stays. Therefore make sure that you ask the hotel’s customer service for this discount before making a reservation. Some hotels also offer discounts for military personnel, university students, and senior travelers. They will not offer these discounts freely if you don’t make any inquiry. So, be active in obtaining information about it.

5. Join a hotel membership to save money. After you have chosen a hotel to stay, join their membership to help you get cheaper rates. If you travel a lot, it will really save your budget.

5 Best Restaurants in London

When you are in London, you are bound to be confused about where to have your lunch or dinner. One choice you definitely have is the Subway or McDonalds. However, if you want to enjoy your meals leisurely with good ambiance, here is a list of best restaurants in London. Most of these restaurants mentioned here cater to all types of budgets. They not only excel in the variety of cuisines they have, but also in service and ambiance. Read on to see which one of these best restaurants in London you would select to enjoy your meals.

1) Hereford Road

Until 1997, British cuisine wasn’t nearly as popular as today. Tom Pemberton was one of them who propelled the British cuisine into highlight with this restaurant. Located on 3 Hereford Road, this restaurant offers bold, British cooking for its customers. The menu changes here regularly (on a daily basis). The common ingredients here are lamb’s sweetbreads, calves’ kidneys and brains, and British puddings.

2) Hawksmoor Seven Dials

This restaurant is located on 11 Langley Road in the Coventry Garden location and a truly sensational one. Though the entrance is slightly hidden, once you enter this restaurant, you will feel as if it is a century old restaurant. The surprising part is that the restaurant was opened only near the end of 2010. The quality of meat is far better than the expensive Mayfair steak restaurants. If you are willing to part with nearly £50 per ahead, this is a restaurant can provide you quite a pleasant experience.

3) Gordon Ramsay’s The Savoy Grill

The Savoy, located on The Strand and a few steps away from Coventry Garden, is forming a part of the Gordon Ramsay Empire of restaurants. The Savoy Grill is located inside the Savoy Hotel and dates back to 1889. It was recently restored back to its former glory. The menu here is inspired by the by the classic dishes of Britain and France. The selection of meats such as Roe deer venison and Herdwick mutton cutlets is outstanding,

4) Le Gavroche

Le Gavroche from Michael Roux Jr. is a “toptable Best Food award” winner and a holder of two Michelin stars. Located in the heart of Mayfair with an unimposing doorway, the restaurant offers you a typical country house atmosphere just before you enter the classically designed main restaurant. This restaurant is unpretentious and offers you some of the best French food UK can provide.

5) Mezzanine Restaurant

The Mezzanine Restaurant presents to you some of the best seasonal modern European cuisine London has to offer. Located on the Southbank and inside the famous National Theatre, this restaurant overlooks the River Thames. It is a more formal, chic and stylish dining room whose specialty is the Pre theatre dining. The restaurant is conveniently situated for visitors to the National Theatre and is also a hit among the local foodies.

Now that I have mentioned some of the best restaurants in London, where do you prefer to eat the next time you are in London?