Wednesday, June 26, 2019
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Destinations

  • The Best Places to Go Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing!

    The Laurentian region is renowned for its vast forests, beautiful mountain landscapes and lively villages. Winter sports enthusiasts are invited to come try one of our many centres and parks offering cross-country ski and snowshoe trails in the Laurentians. Snowshoers and skiers will be spoiled for choice with more than 15 centres, parks and trail networks in the area that cater to athletes of different levels.

    Suggestions for Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing:

    Basses-Laurentides

    • Parc National d’Oka – Oka: Every day from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 28 km of trails for hiking on snow, 20 km of snowshoe trails and 25.9 km of cross-country skiing trails.
    • Parc du Domaine Vert – Mirabel: Monday to Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Weekday rentals end at 3 p.m. 5.7 km of snowshoe trails and 34 km of cross-country skiing trails ranging from easy to difficult.

    Laurentian Heartland

    • Parc national du Mont-Tremblant: Every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 55 km of snowshoe trails and 43 km of easy to difficult cross-country skiing on over 15 trails
    • Parc de La Coulée – Prévost: Every day. 15 km of snowshoe trails and 15 km of easy to difficult cross-country skiing trails.

    • Centre de ski de fond Gai-Luron – Saint-Jérôme: Every day from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 8 km of snowshoe trails and 27.2 km of easy to difficult cross-country skiing trails. New this year, 7 km of fat bike trails – rentals available.
    • Ski de Fond Mont-Tremblant: Monday to Sunday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 58 km of snowshoe trails and 88 km of cross-country ski trails ranging from easy to difficult.

    • Centre de plein air Roger-Cabana– Saint-Hippolyte: 9 km of snowshoe trails and 12 km of intermediate to difficult cross-country ski trails.
    • L’Interval – Sainte-Lucie-des-Laurentides: 20.3 km of snowshoe trails and 37.2 km of groomed cross-country ski trails and 23.5 km of off-track ski touring.

    • The Wentworth-Nord Trail Network – Wentworth-Nord: 26 km of snowshoe trails and 15 km of easy to intermediate cross-country ski trails. Fat bike trails (with equipment rental) and Hok ski trails are also available.
    • Par Monts et Vals – Laurentides RCM: Par Monts et Vals is a trail connecting the village cores of the municipalities of Ivry-sur-le-Lac, Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Sainte-Lucie-des-Laurentides, Lantier, Val-des-Lacs, Val-David and Val-Morin.

    Upper Laurentians

    • Parc Montagne du Diable – Ferme-Neuve: Wednesday to Sunday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 80 km of snowshoe trails and 75 km of easy to difficult cross-country ski trails.
    • Club de ski des Six Cantons – Rivière-Rouge: Every day from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 14.8 km of snowshoe trails and 35.8 km of easy to difficult cross-country ski trails.

    • Parc écologique Le Renouveau Rosaire-Sénécal – Nominingue: The 400-acre eco park, located between chemin des Marronniers and chemin Tour-du-Lac, offers nature lovers several trails for different outdoor activities, including hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

    Torchlit Snowshoeing Events:

    • January 26 and February 23, 2019, from 6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at the Parc du Domaine Vert – Mirabel. Come and experience the Parc du Domaine Vert and its wonderful location for your favourite outdoor activities thanks to the hundreds of torches scattered throughout the premises. On-site, you can enjoy the ice rink, the sledding hill (free tubes available), entertainment at Parc du Domaine Vert, sleigh rides, torchlit walks, and snowshoeing and fat bike rides by headlamp. $15 for ages 15 and over and free for ages 14 and under. On-site payment in cash.

    • January 26, 2019 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Ski de fond Mont-Tremblant – Mont-Tremblant. Participants can complete a 7 km torchlit excursion on a small 2-km loop with cross-country skis or snowshoes. The evening aims to raise funds to ensure the sustainability of the Palliacco organization so that it can continue supporting people with cancer free of charge. Online sign-up
    • January 26 and February 23, 2019, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Parc régional de la Rivière-du-Nord – Saint-Jérôme. 3 km of lit trails for walking or snowshoeing. Wilson Falls will be illuminated. Stories for children, petting farm, singers and a bonfire. Come enjoy a nice cup of hot chocolate, soup and cookies. Tickets at the door for $20 per adult and free for children.

    • February 17, March 1 and March 6, 2019, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Parc national d’Oka – Oka. Join a family snowshoe hike to the Calvaire in the evening accompanied by a park ranger naturalist. Snowshoe rental is available on-site. Adults $15 and free for ages 17 and under. Reservations required.

    • February 2 and 9, 2019 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Parc régional Val-David Val-Morin. An evening of snowshoeing by torchlight will be a unique experience. Alone or in a group, with or without the kids, come discover or rediscover the park. The shimmering stars and torches will amaze you. Light show on the ice walls. $8 for ages 16 and over and $2 for ages 10 to 15.

    Keep up with cross-country and snowshoe trail conditions with the Regroupement ski de fond Laurentides (RSFL).

    Make your dream outdoor excursion a reality in this unparalleled setting. In the mountaintops, in the heart of the snowy woods or out on the hiking trails, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are in the limelight! Prolong your getaway and take the opportunity to stay in the region’s inns, hotels and resorts. Have a wonderful outing!

    The post The Best Places to Go Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing! appeared first on Tourism Laurentians.

  • Marriott trains 500,000 hotel workers to recognize the signs of human trafficking

    Marriott International today announced that, as of this month, it has successfully trained 500,000 hotel workers to spot the signs of human trafficking in its hotels and how to respond if they do, marking a watershed moment in the global fight against this multinational crime.

    “Human trafficking is a horrific form of modern slavery that entraps millions of people around the world,” said Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International. “By educating and empowering our global workforce to say something if they see something, we are not just standing up for the most vulnerable in society, we are also protecting associates and guests as well as living up to a core company value — serving our world.”

    Marriott launched its mandatory human trafficking awareness training program for on-property staff in both managed and franchised properties in January 2017, underscoring ongoing efforts under the company’s robust sustainability and social impact platform, Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction.

    As part of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Marriott is pleased to report that hundreds of thousands of associates have stepped forward to understand and stop the exploitation.

    “Hotels can unfortunately be unwilling venues for this unconscionable crime – and as a global hotel company that cares about human rights, we’re proud to be training hotel workers across the Marriott system to spot the signs,” said Dr. David Rodriguez, Chief Global Human Resources Officer, Marriott International. “There is no easy fix, but combatting modern-day slavery starts with awareness – and we now have a significant number of people capable of recognizing suspicious behavior and reporting it to management and, in some cases, law enforcement.”

    Training has resulted in rescues

    Since launching the program, Marriott’s training has directly resulted in young people being removed from dangerous situations.

    To develop and test its human trafficking awareness training program, Marriott spent nearly a year collaborating with ECPAT-USA and Polaris – two leading non-profits that specialize in combatting human trafficking. The company arranged for the program to be translated from English into 16 additional languages and also made sure it could be taken either online or in a classroom setting, so it can be accessed and understood in the 130 countries and territories where Marriott operates. The instruction is also broken down by role because the signs that a front desk clerk sees may differ from those that a housekeeper or bartender sees.

    The International Labor Organization projects that worldwide more than 40 million people are subjected to modern slavery – and UNICEF estimates that about 25 percent of trafficking globally involves children. Polaris, which runs the National Human Trafficking Hotline in the United States, estimates there are hundreds of thousands of sex and forced-labor trafficking victims in the United States.

    Examples of the visible and hidden warning signs that Marriott shares with its hotel staff:

    • Minimal luggage and clothing
    • Multiple men seen being escorted one at a time to a guest room
    • Individuals who can’t speak freely or seem disoriented
    • Guests who insist on little or no housekeeping

    “Hotel workers wouldn’t necessarily see a human trafficker visibly restraining a victim; they would typically see a scenario that is much more nuanced and harder to detect if you don’t know what to look for,” said Rodriguez. “That’s why helping hotel workers identify the signs of sexual exploitation and forced labor is so important. This knowledge gives them confidence that they can do something to help, which is already having an important impact in our hotels.”
    Through Marriott’s training, hotel workers learn to observe and take notes about what they remember and then report their suspicions to a manager, who may then contact law enforcement. For their part, law enforcement officials say that this training helps enhance security in their community because greater awareness can lead to greater responsiveness both inside and outside of a hotel’s walls.

    The training is having an impact far beyond Marriott International’s workforce. The company donated the training to academia and to the industry through the American Hotel & Lodging Association Education Foundation, where the proceeds of the training bought by other lodging operators go back to support ECPAT-USA and Polaris.

    Hotel guests also can learn the signs. Guests who suspect trafficking or abuse should not confront the child or adult but should alert hotel management or security, dial 911 or their local emergency number for emergency situations. In the U.S., they can contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text “BeFree” (233733).

    Travel News | eTurboNews

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  • Snowmobiling: The Buddies, The Food & The View

    For the diehard snowmobilers, the ride is all about their machines. But for the rest of us, it’s about the buddies, the food and the view.

  • How to get payment and booking systems right

    Critical to the day-to-day running of a successful hotel is organisation; it’s necessarily a keystone in operational management from back of house to front of house.

    But once you’ve got a potential guest about to book, how well can you manage it? The software you choose to deploy for organising your records of guests’ bookings, stays and managing their payments, will make a huge impact on how tight a ship you can keep.

    Property management systems give hoteliers a diverse, but simple, range of features to use. From booking systems and management features to digital marketing, choosing the right system can drive up occupancy and boost revenue figures, while simultaneously allowing more time for your hotel and its staff members to flourish. Kate Fuller, marketing manager at Guestline, which offers the Rezlynx property management system says: “[It is about] providing users with an easy-to-use system, enabling them to deal with guests quickly and efficiently, enriching the overall customer journey.”

    THE CAPABILITIES

    Many systems available are rather more than high-tech diaries – they have virtually become essential for anyone running a hotel of any size, be it a large branded chain or an independent boutique. A property management system is the core of the operation of a hotel, while payment and booking systems are essential to the smooth running. Payment and booking systems keep track of both current and future guests, from check-in to check-out, laid out clear designs, and these systems will show hoteliers how many rooms they have left for a particular day, and using algorithms help to determine at what rate any vacant rooms should be sold for to maximise occupancy.

    Not only does this make the organisational life for a hotelier much easier, it also clearly lays out what days and what price range of consumers still need to be targeted to maximise revenue. Craig Stewart, co-founder and director at Freetobook, an online booking system, says: “Freetobook helps independents make sense of and bring together the whole of the online marketing space – offering new and exciting services that help them grow their business and save time on the manual stuff.”

    Using one of these systems will allow you to place a booking button on your website, allowing guests to visit your website, check availability and rates, before ultimately making a booking. In return the hotel will be notified about the guests’ contact details and the booking will be entered onto the diary. Fuller adds: “By managing your rates, Guestline systems enable hoteliers to increase direct bookings, improve rates and reduce OTA commissions. Hotels will also benefit from operational efficiencies and improvements in rate parity.”

    ACCESS ANYWHERE

    Owning a hotel is often a stressful intense job, and for hoteliers that are on the move – perhaps they may have another job or a second hotel in another part of the country, or they are heading away for a business meeting, keeping on top of things while you are away from the hotel can be tricky.

    Fortunately there are payment and booking systems offer access on the road. This allows hoteliers to organise operations and deal with any problems or changes quickly and easily. Chris Petty, managing director at Newbook UK, a property management system which offers an array of features, including access to its system on handheld devices, says: “Being able to login to your property management system from any location and device gives the general manager or hotel owner the ability to react to any problem, or pricing change, on the go.”

    Peter St Lawrence, GM and shareholder of The Crown at Amersham hotel in Buckinghamshire, says that he will be making the most of “cross-selling opportunities” by bringing his smaller affiliate properties onto the Newbook system as well. Having everything on one system will not only help your organisational skills, it will also encourage you to cross-sell, driving revenue to any other properties that you own.

    Using a cloud-based system, Newbook allows hoteliers to use its system with only an internet browser required. Not only does this allow the ease of access, but according to Petty it also helps hoteliers save on costs. “This allows for a much lower setup cost,” he says, “as no on site server or support is necessary, saving in some cases thousands of pounds a year.”

    DIGITAL MARKETING

    Property management systems can also offer a variety of other functions to help improve the running of a property and drive guest demand to the hotel, including digital marketing features, helping to increase occupancy.

    Some property management systems allow you to conduct and track your own email marketing campaigns. Running these campaigns will enable you to reach past customers with deals and offers improving your chance of returning guests. Marketing campaigns will allow you to target specific consumers with exactly what they are looking for, at the time that they are looking for it.

    Stewart recommends that hotels also use a mobile-friendly site. He says: “Hotels using the mobile-friendly website and booking process can increase conversion across multiple devices.” Using a mobile friendly site allows guests to book a room at your hotel, at any time, and anyplace. With a large amount of booking now coming from handheld devices this is an investment that will be sure to pay dividends. Booking systems can also support Google Analytics, meaning you will be able to track your conversion rate, and analyse where your marketing is going right, and where it is not going as well as you’d hoped. The hindsight this provides helps to plan better marketing strategies over time.

  • Premier Inn owner sees total sales up for third quarter

    Whitbread, the owner of Premier Inn, has reported total sales growth of 2.5% for the hotel brand in its Q3 trade report.

    The UK business achieved a total accommodation sales growth of 3.5% in the third quarter, which group said reflected a “strong central London market and a weak regional market”.

    Additionally, over 2,000 new rooms have been added in FY19 so far, and the group said “occupancy remained” high at over 80%.

    Whitbread said it is now a “focused hotel business”, with over 800 hotels in the UK, Germany and the Middle East operating under the Premier Inn brand, and a “committed pipeline of over 20,000 additional rooms”.

    Whitbread CEO Alison Brittain said: “We are cautious about the macro environment for the next financial year due to increased uncertainty and continuing high inflation. Although we are confident in our ability to create value from ongoing investment in the UK and increasing investment in international growth, in this environment we expect underlying profit before tax in FY20 to be consistent with this year.”

    She added: “Our unique model and leading market position in the UK puts us in a strong position to capture structural growth opportunities in the UK and internationally.

    “Investing in growth through our disciplined approach to capital allocation ensures we can create sustainable value for shareholders over the longer-term. We look forward to presenting this in further detail at our Capital Markets Day.”

  • Amba Hotel wins TripAdvisor 2018 ‘Travellers’ Choice’ award

    Amba Hotel Charing Cross, part of the Glh Hotels portfolio, has been awarded the TripAdvisor 2018 ‘Travellers’ Choice’ award.

    According to the TripAdvisor the award is achieved by hotels which “consistently receive five star reviews from guests”, and is based on feedback left by TripAdvisor travellers during the past year.

    With a current rating of five stars on TripAdvisor, the hotel said it “prides itself on outstanding guest feedback”, with front-of-house staff who can “anticipate and understand guests’ needs”.

    General manager Pedro Da Silva said: “Receiving the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Award is a milestone moment for Amba Hotel Charing Cross and I am so proud of all our dedicated staff and the fantastic guest experience they deliver.

    “Amba Hotels was designed to raise our guest’s expectations and offer an upgraded experience, and I’m delighted that this has been recognised by our guests consistent five star reviews. I would like to thank everyone who has helped us achieve this award and I am looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish in 2019.”

  • UK hotel market to continue growth in 2019 according to Chrisite & Co

    Despite “growing operational costs” and “concerns over staff recruitment in post-Brexit Britain”, the UK hotel market showed “encouraging signs of growth” in 2018 which looks set to continue in 2019, according to the latest annual report by Christie & Co.

    The report, ‘Business Outlook 2019: Navigate, Innovate, Accelerate’ forecast that RevPAR growth in both London and the UK regions would be steady, with growth of +0.6% and +0.7% in London and the regions respectively, between 2018 and 2019. Supply was also found to show healthy increases, with many of the major British cities such as Manchester, Belfast and Edinburgh seeing “strong” pipelines in the year ahead.
    The report also found international investment continued to be a key driver, with Christie & Co identifying capital from across the globe, particularly from European investors making up more than 50% of UK investment in 2018. Average prices also remained economically positive throughout 2018 with hotels seeing a 4% increase.
    Brexit was identified as a “pivotal factor” for businesses within the hospitality sector in the UK, which employs around 400,000 EU migrant workers, and Christie & Co said any changes to immigration policies “could have a notable impact”.

    Looking to the year ahead, the report outlined Christie & Co’s market predictions; flat or negative profit growth for some operators due to higher costs, a potential increase in distressed positions in the second half of 2019, and new developments in technology being implemented to improve customer service and productivity.

    Barrie Williams, managing director – hospitality at Christie & Co said: “The UK hotel market remains an attractive investment proposition and appeals to a wide range of buyers. Christie & Co continue to see many opportunities for value creation in the hotel market and across brokerage, valuation and consultancy, we are well placed to provide all types of investors with advice.”

  • Top trends in hospitality for 2019

    Accounting for over 10% of global GDP and the creation of one in five new jobs according to the World Travel and Tourism Council, travel and tourism continues to be one of the world’s fastest-growing industries. It is also an industry undergoing rapid transformation, shaped by new technologies and the values and needs of an increasingly diverse range of travellers.

    Emerging trends in sustainability, luxury, technology and innovation are all influencing the future direction of the hospitality industry. As worldwide hospitality education leaders, our responsibility is to provide aspiring hospitality professionals with the skills and knowledge they need, and to develop the next generation of leaders for the hospitality industry. Monitoring industry trends and adapting our education programmes accordingly is essential for us to ensure that our curricula are relevant for the industry and our students. With this in mind, these are some of the top trends to watch for in 2019:

    Entrepreneurship and innovation

    The hospitality industry continues to provide fertile ground for aspiring entrepreneurs, while innovation will be key for established brands to stay relevant and compete with new players.

    Innovation strategies should also cater to the different profiles, needs and expectations of travellers. For example, the importance of social experiences to Millennials and Gen Z travellers has given rise to a new breed of urban boutique hotels offering social spaces and activities – sometimes at the expense of individual room size, as evidenced by the success of micro-hotels. Busy business travellers, meanwhile, are most likely to appreciate innovations in technology that enable them to save time.

    But to entice luxury travellers, retaining the human touch will be key for hotels to deliver a bespoke experience. Understanding the different needs of guests is essential for brands to develop innovative concepts capable of yielding long-term profit and business growth.

    New technologies in hospitality

    Thanks to new technologies, hospitality businesses can provide guests with greater customisation, convenience and control. Technology is also transforming the way customers interact with brands – even before and after their stay.

    Chatbots, robots and other forms of artificial intelligence provide users with information on-demand and personalised recommendations. Facial recognition technology is opening doors (sometimes literally) to time-saving service, while smart hotel rooms equipped with internet-of-things connectivity allow guests to customise their experience with an app or their own voice. Loyalty programmes based on blockchain and cryptocurrency are also creating interesting new opportunities for brands to engage with customers.

    While these examples provide a glimpse of current and future applications of technology to the guest experience, many of these technologies are still in their early stages, with the potential to change the industry in ways we have yet to imagine.

    Luxury brand management and guest experience

    Balancing heritage with innovation is essential for luxury brands to attract an increasingly diverse range of clients. Relying on brand history alone is no longer enough – brands need to bring their identity into the future in order to stay relevant. However, storytelling is still key for brands to convey their value to customers.

    Global brands will need to reflect the increasingly diverse identity of their clients through multicultural awareness and sensitivity. To meet omnichannel customers, brands will need to build seamless transitions between offline and online experiences while retaining the high levels of service that luxury clients expect.

    We can also expect to see more luxury brands branching into hotels and other hospitality ventures – adopting the codes of hospitality enables brands to provide customers with a uniquely immersive experience that goes beyond traditional retail. Finally, retaining the human touch throughout these interactions will be essential for luxury brands to nurture the personal relationships that build client loyalty.

    Sustainable hospitality

    The United Nations have pushed issues of sustainability to the forefront of public awareness, and conscientious Millennials and Gen Z travellers in particular expect global hospitality businesses to take a more comprehensive approach to corporate social responsibility.

    Transparency and accountability are becoming more important as travellers want to know the impact of their footprint – not only environmentally, but socially as well. Sustainable and socially responsible strategies now range from the reduction of single-use plastics to the development of social business concepts and the shift towards a circular economy system, in which resources are recycled and regenerated, rather than used once and disposed.

    Food and beverage innovations

    Sustainability concerns have also become important within the realm of food and beverage. Interest in locally sourced, seasonal food and vegetable-centric cuisine continues to grow among eco-friendly and health-conscious consumers, resulting in the development of farm-to-table – and even seed-to-table – culinary concepts.

    However, the pursuit of pleasure is also a key motivator for customers seeking new culinary experiences that delight the senses. Millennials are driving a shift towards the democratisation of dining, blurring the boundaries between formal and casual, and embracing high-quality cuisine at an accessible price point.

    Street food and open-fire cooking are introducing diners to a wider range of flavours, traditions and experiences. And in the age of Instagram, visual delights are just as important as deliciousness – something which some of the world’s top pâtissiers already know.

    As these trends reveal, the future of hospitality is increasingly transversal, shaping and being shaped by global movements, industries and consumer values. Despite these rapid changes, among consumer-centric industries such as luxury and hospitality, one constant remains: the importance of the human touch. Human relations continue to play an invaluable role in the delivery of memorable experiences and service, making human talent one of our greatest sources of innovation.

    By Benoît-Etienne Domenget, who serves as CEO of Sommet Education, a group encompassing the prestigious Swiss hospitality management schools Glion Institute of Higher Education and Les Roches Global Hospitality Education. A graduate of HEC Paris, Mr Domenget is a seasoned hospitality professional and has held positions as Senior Vice-President Development EMEA and Managing Director Switzerland with AccorHotels.

  • Corse Lawn House appoints youngest head chef in hotel’s history

    Corse Lawn House has announced the appointment of Chris Monk as its new head chef – the youngest head chef in the hotel’s history.

    Monk will re-join the family-run team at Corse Lawn House after having trained at the hotel as a teenager. Within his new role, Monk will lead all culinary operations, managing the hotel’s signature Anglo-French menus and array of fresh produce.

    He has previously worked at the two Michelin starred Le Champignon Sauvage and renowned Hampshire Michelin starred restaurant, The Montagu Arms Hotel at Beaulieu. In recent months, Monk has been working alongside Corse Lawn House’s owner and proprietor, Baba Hine to learn the ropes of the role before taking the lead as head chef from January 2019.

    Monk said: “It is such an honour to be taking my first head chef role at Corse Lawn House. The hotel has always had fond memories for me. I look forward to putting my own stamp on the kitchen whilst keeping the core values it has always held, cooking everything fresh, from the brioche for breakfast, the scones for afternoon teas to the petit fours, everything is made in house and using local, seasonal produce. We even use all game from within a 10-mile radius, that is really exciting.”

    Hine added: “We are delighted to welcome back Chris as a core member of our hotel team here at Corse Lawn House. Chris is a delightful young man and his passion for food comes through on the plate. He is a fantastic asset to our team – extremely driven, whilst wonderfully calm, and prepared to put in a huge amount of work.

    “Chris has been doing a terrific job so far and our guests are relishing his menus. It’s no mean feat taking on a kitchen with such standing, yet I have absolute confidence in Chris and we are all excited to watch him flourish.”

  • Weekend Events in Delaware, January 18-20, 2019

    Here is a round-up of some of the great events and things to do in Delaware this weekend. While you’re enjoying Delaware, please share travel photos by following VisitDelaware on Instagram and

  • 5 Places Worth A Visit On A Luxury Cruise

    Is sailing on a luxury cruise your idea of a perfect vacation? Afterall, there are few experiences as valuable and wholesome as a cruise vacation. So, sail into the sunset and spoil yourself with a luxury cruise for your next vacation! We have curated a list of the 5 best places to visit on your cruise to lend a hand in your party planning!

    1. The Caribbean

    If one destination had to be awarded for being the most popular (and very beautiful) cruise destination, it would be the Caribbean. There are many cruise ships that work here and offer value deals since you can visit many islands without fretting about purchasing different tickets visas or booking different hotels. Depending on your pocket, you can also opt for some of the more exclusive cruises, which include a day at the private islands such as Half Moon Cay or Castaway Cay!

    2. Alaska

    There are few travel experiences that can be as breathtaking as Alaska! If breathtaking scenery, wildlife and spectacular glaciers are things that feature on your travel bucket lists; you should hop on to a cruise to Alaska the next chance you get! The biggest state in the United States, cruises to Alaska have become immensely popular in the last few years. There are varying bases that you can cover such as some stunning fjords.

    3. Russia

    A cruise to Russia is a very tactical decision since it avoids the otherwise very exhausting process of getting a Russian visa. There are many Baltic cruises that stop at St Petersburg for three days and hence, avoid the red tape! Russian streets are gorgeous and there are many attractions to visit in the city along with sumptuous meals!

    4. Hawaii

    For bikinis and cocktails galore, head to Hawaii on your next cruise! Ditch your corporate meetings and monotonous routines to sail into the sunset and say ‘aloha’ to Hawaii! A cruise around these 8 islands that were formed by volcanic activity is extremely popular. Try to choose a cruise that covers the following islands: Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau and Kahoolawe.There are many tourist attractions here, ranging from breathtaking waterfalls in Maui and the Haleakala National Park.

    5. Australia & New Zealand

    No list on the best cruise destinations can be complete without mentioning Australia and New Zealand. So much has already been said about the world-famous tourist attractions in Sydney but there is more to these places! Many cruises cover Queensland, Newcastle, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and even Tasmania. If you love adventure sports, then this destination should be at the top of your list because there is a lot of water sports that can be done on the many beaches here!

    Trust us, nothing beats the experience of a cruise vacation! Luxury emanates from every aspect, ranging from the food served and the rooms to the decor and ambience of these ships! So, what better than starting with one of the five destinations mentioned above to plan your cruise vacation!

    The post 5 Places Worth A Visit On A Luxury Cruise appeared first on Geeky Traveller.

  • 5 Great Destinations for a Group Getaway

    A group getaway is the ideal opportunity to create memories with friends and family members. Here are five perfect destinations around the world for an ideal group getaway –

    Malta

    Malta is a tourist-friendly destination with affordable hotels and brilliant sight-seeing spots. For people who enjoy sunshine, Malta is ideal as it is sunny throughout the year which facilitates its unique and wild nature. Discovering the historical riches of La Valletta and the protected flora and fauna on the island of Gozo is a real treat. The evenings can be spent in the gorgeous town of Mellieha, capped, “European destination of brilliance” by the EC (European Commission) for its allegiance to conservation-friendly tourism. A visit to the Popeye village in Mellieha, constructed for the musical “Popeye” excursion in the 1970s, is a must. Falling in love with Malta is really easy!

    The Algarve

    One of the most breath-taking areas of Portugal with a balmy and sun-drenched climate throughout the year, the Algarve is an area all travelling groups who cherish golden beaches and blue waters must visit. Be it exploring the wonderful Benagil cave or watching dolphins in their glory in the coasts of the Algarve, it is one of the best tourist spots in Europe for several reasons. Enjoy sunbathing on the terrace of your private villa and looking out at the peaceful sea views. Groups can also enjoy jeep safari tours exploring the mysteries of this wonderful region.

    Corfu

    Treating a friend group to this paradise Greek island of Corfu is a wonderful way to spend a holiday. Enjoying summer sunshine pretty much every day of the year, the island of Corfu, contrary to common perception, is not a desolate and waterless rock – it boasts a unique form of vegetation indigenous to the historic country of Greece. There is a wide range of hotels, villas and guest houses in Corfu. Explore the wonderful beaches and participate in exciting group activities such as private wine tasting.

    Barcelona

    Barcelona is an incomparable spot for group travelling. Or your journey from Barcelona airport, you’ll be greeted by stunning views and interesting landmarks. Visiting the Sagrada Familia and the Port Aventura theme park is a must. The flawless eating and drinking experience the city offers is definitely one of the best in Europe, if not the world. In addition to that, the climate is perfectly warm and there is great football on offer at most times of the year. On the whole, the city presents a charming experience of significant Catalonian cultural sites.

    Cyprus

    The perfect autumn beach spot, the Mediterranean isle of Cyprus presents an ornate history and diverse culture lionized by its blissful climate and wild coastlines. A group visit to this beautiful island is ideal as members can visit the less travelled interior regions of Cyprus, areas that are as entrenched in culture as the island’s beaches are with natural beauty.

    These places are perfect for a quick yet extremely memorable getaway. So, it’s time to get going with your friends and family!

    The post 5 Great Destinations for a Group Getaway appeared first on Geeky Traveller.

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  • The Best Places to Go Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing!

    The Laurentian region is renowned for its vast forests, beautiful mountain landscapes and lively villages. Winter sports enthusiasts are invited to come try one of our many centres and parks offering cross-country ski and snowshoe trails in the Laurentians. Snowshoers and skiers will be spoiled for choice with more than 15 centres, parks and trail networks in the area that cater to athletes of different levels.

    Suggestions for Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing:

    Basses-Laurentides

    • Parc National d’Oka – Oka: Every day from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 28 km of trails for hiking on snow, 20 km of snowshoe trails and 25.9 km of cross-country skiing trails.
    • Parc du Domaine Vert – Mirabel: Monday to Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Weekday rentals end at 3 p.m. 5.7 km of snowshoe trails and 34 km of cross-country skiing trails ranging from easy to difficult.

    Laurentian Heartland

    • Parc national du Mont-Tremblant: Every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 55 km of snowshoe trails and 43 km of easy to difficult cross-country skiing on over 15 trails
    • Parc de La Coulée – Prévost: Every day. 15 km of snowshoe trails and 15 km of easy to difficult cross-country skiing trails.

    • Centre de ski de fond Gai-Luron – Saint-Jérôme: Every day from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 8 km of snowshoe trails and 27.2 km of easy to difficult cross-country skiing trails. New this year, 7 km of fat bike trails – rentals available.
    • Ski de Fond Mont-Tremblant: Monday to Sunday, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 58 km of snowshoe trails and 88 km of cross-country ski trails ranging from easy to difficult.

    • Centre de plein air Roger-Cabana– Saint-Hippolyte: 9 km of snowshoe trails and 12 km of intermediate to difficult cross-country ski trails.
    • L’Interval – Sainte-Lucie-des-Laurentides: 20.3 km of snowshoe trails and 37.2 km of groomed cross-country ski trails and 23.5 km of off-track ski touring.

    • The Wentworth-Nord Trail Network – Wentworth-Nord: 26 km of snowshoe trails and 15 km of easy to intermediate cross-country ski trails. Fat bike trails (with equipment rental) and Hok ski trails are also available.
    • Par Monts et Vals – Laurentides RCM: Par Monts et Vals is a trail connecting the village cores of the municipalities of Ivry-sur-le-Lac, Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Sainte-Lucie-des-Laurentides, Lantier, Val-des-Lacs, Val-David and Val-Morin.

    Upper Laurentians

    • Parc Montagne du Diable – Ferme-Neuve: Wednesday to Sunday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 80 km of snowshoe trails and 75 km of easy to difficult cross-country ski trails.
    • Club de ski des Six Cantons – Rivière-Rouge: Every day from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 14.8 km of snowshoe trails and 35.8 km of easy to difficult cross-country ski trails.

    • Parc écologique Le Renouveau Rosaire-Sénécal – Nominingue: The 400-acre eco park, located between chemin des Marronniers and chemin Tour-du-Lac, offers nature lovers several trails for different outdoor activities, including hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

    Torchlit Snowshoeing Events:

    • January 26 and February 23, 2019, from 6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. at the Parc du Domaine Vert – Mirabel. Come and experience the Parc du Domaine Vert and its wonderful location for your favourite outdoor activities thanks to the hundreds of torches scattered throughout the premises. On-site, you can enjoy the ice rink, the sledding hill (free tubes available), entertainment at Parc du Domaine Vert, sleigh rides, torchlit walks, and snowshoeing and fat bike rides by headlamp. $15 for ages 15 and over and free for ages 14 and under. On-site payment in cash.

    • January 26, 2019 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Ski de fond Mont-Tremblant – Mont-Tremblant. Participants can complete a 7 km torchlit excursion on a small 2-km loop with cross-country skis or snowshoes. The evening aims to raise funds to ensure the sustainability of the Palliacco organization so that it can continue supporting people with cancer free of charge. Online sign-up
    • January 26 and February 23, 2019, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Parc régional de la Rivière-du-Nord – Saint-Jérôme. 3 km of lit trails for walking or snowshoeing. Wilson Falls will be illuminated. Stories for children, petting farm, singers and a bonfire. Come enjoy a nice cup of hot chocolate, soup and cookies. Tickets at the door for $20 per adult and free for children.

    • February 17, March 1 and March 6, 2019, from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Parc national d’Oka – Oka. Join a family snowshoe hike to the Calvaire in the evening accompanied by a park ranger naturalist. Snowshoe rental is available on-site. Adults $15 and free for ages 17 and under. Reservations required.

    • February 2 and 9, 2019 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Parc régional Val-David Val-Morin. An evening of snowshoeing by torchlight will be a unique experience. Alone or in a group, with or without the kids, come discover or rediscover the park. The shimmering stars and torches will amaze you. Light show on the ice walls. $8 for ages 16 and over and $2 for ages 10 to 15.

    Keep up with cross-country and snowshoe trail conditions with the Regroupement ski de fond Laurentides (RSFL).

    Make your dream outdoor excursion a reality in this unparalleled setting. In the mountaintops, in the heart of the snowy woods or out on the hiking trails, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are in the limelight! Prolong your getaway and take the opportunity to stay in the region’s inns, hotels and resorts. Have a wonderful outing!

    The post The Best Places to Go Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing! appeared first on Tourism Laurentians.

  • Marriott trains 500,000 hotel workers to recognize the signs of human trafficking

    Marriott International today announced that, as of this month, it has successfully trained 500,000 hotel workers to spot the signs of human trafficking in its hotels and how to respond if they do, marking a watershed moment in the global fight against this multinational crime.

    “Human trafficking is a horrific form of modern slavery that entraps millions of people around the world,” said Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International. “By educating and empowering our global workforce to say something if they see something, we are not just standing up for the most vulnerable in society, we are also protecting associates and guests as well as living up to a core company value — serving our world.”

    Marriott launched its mandatory human trafficking awareness training program for on-property staff in both managed and franchised properties in January 2017, underscoring ongoing efforts under the company’s robust sustainability and social impact platform, Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction.

    As part of National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Marriott is pleased to report that hundreds of thousands of associates have stepped forward to understand and stop the exploitation.

    “Hotels can unfortunately be unwilling venues for this unconscionable crime – and as a global hotel company that cares about human rights, we’re proud to be training hotel workers across the Marriott system to spot the signs,” said Dr. David Rodriguez, Chief Global Human Resources Officer, Marriott International. “There is no easy fix, but combatting modern-day slavery starts with awareness – and we now have a significant number of people capable of recognizing suspicious behavior and reporting it to management and, in some cases, law enforcement.”

    Training has resulted in rescues

    Since launching the program, Marriott’s training has directly resulted in young people being removed from dangerous situations.

    To develop and test its human trafficking awareness training program, Marriott spent nearly a year collaborating with ECPAT-USA and Polaris – two leading non-profits that specialize in combatting human trafficking. The company arranged for the program to be translated from English into 16 additional languages and also made sure it could be taken either online or in a classroom setting, so it can be accessed and understood in the 130 countries and territories where Marriott operates. The instruction is also broken down by role because the signs that a front desk clerk sees may differ from those that a housekeeper or bartender sees.

    The International Labor Organization projects that worldwide more than 40 million people are subjected to modern slavery – and UNICEF estimates that about 25 percent of trafficking globally involves children. Polaris, which runs the National Human Trafficking Hotline in the United States, estimates there are hundreds of thousands of sex and forced-labor trafficking victims in the United States.

    Examples of the visible and hidden warning signs that Marriott shares with its hotel staff:

    • Minimal luggage and clothing
    • Multiple men seen being escorted one at a time to a guest room
    • Individuals who can’t speak freely or seem disoriented
    • Guests who insist on little or no housekeeping

    “Hotel workers wouldn’t necessarily see a human trafficker visibly restraining a victim; they would typically see a scenario that is much more nuanced and harder to detect if you don’t know what to look for,” said Rodriguez. “That’s why helping hotel workers identify the signs of sexual exploitation and forced labor is so important. This knowledge gives them confidence that they can do something to help, which is already having an important impact in our hotels.”
    Through Marriott’s training, hotel workers learn to observe and take notes about what they remember and then report their suspicions to a manager, who may then contact law enforcement. For their part, law enforcement officials say that this training helps enhance security in their community because greater awareness can lead to greater responsiveness both inside and outside of a hotel’s walls.

    The training is having an impact far beyond Marriott International’s workforce. The company donated the training to academia and to the industry through the American Hotel & Lodging Association Education Foundation, where the proceeds of the training bought by other lodging operators go back to support ECPAT-USA and Polaris.

    Hotel guests also can learn the signs. Guests who suspect trafficking or abuse should not confront the child or adult but should alert hotel management or security, dial 911 or their local emergency number for emergency situations. In the U.S., they can contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text “BeFree” (233733).

    Travel News | eTurboNews

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  • Snowmobiling: The Buddies, The Food & The View

    For the diehard snowmobilers, the ride is all about their machines. But for the rest of us, it’s about the buddies, the food and the view.

  • How to get payment and booking systems right

    Critical to the day-to-day running of a successful hotel is organisation; it’s necessarily a keystone in operational management from back of house to front of house.

    But once you’ve got a potential guest about to book, how well can you manage it? The software you choose to deploy for organising your records of guests’ bookings, stays and managing their payments, will make a huge impact on how tight a ship you can keep.

    Property management systems give hoteliers a diverse, but simple, range of features to use. From booking systems and management features to digital marketing, choosing the right system can drive up occupancy and boost revenue figures, while simultaneously allowing more time for your hotel and its staff members to flourish. Kate Fuller, marketing manager at Guestline, which offers the Rezlynx property management system says: “[It is about] providing users with an easy-to-use system, enabling them to deal with guests quickly and efficiently, enriching the overall customer journey.”

    THE CAPABILITIES

    Many systems available are rather more than high-tech diaries – they have virtually become essential for anyone running a hotel of any size, be it a large branded chain or an independent boutique. A property management system is the core of the operation of a hotel, while payment and booking systems are essential to the smooth running. Payment and booking systems keep track of both current and future guests, from check-in to check-out, laid out clear designs, and these systems will show hoteliers how many rooms they have left for a particular day, and using algorithms help to determine at what rate any vacant rooms should be sold for to maximise occupancy.

    Not only does this make the organisational life for a hotelier much easier, it also clearly lays out what days and what price range of consumers still need to be targeted to maximise revenue. Craig Stewart, co-founder and director at Freetobook, an online booking system, says: “Freetobook helps independents make sense of and bring together the whole of the online marketing space – offering new and exciting services that help them grow their business and save time on the manual stuff.”

    Using one of these systems will allow you to place a booking button on your website, allowing guests to visit your website, check availability and rates, before ultimately making a booking. In return the hotel will be notified about the guests’ contact details and the booking will be entered onto the diary. Fuller adds: “By managing your rates, Guestline systems enable hoteliers to increase direct bookings, improve rates and reduce OTA commissions. Hotels will also benefit from operational efficiencies and improvements in rate parity.”

    ACCESS ANYWHERE

    Owning a hotel is often a stressful intense job, and for hoteliers that are on the move – perhaps they may have another job or a second hotel in another part of the country, or they are heading away for a business meeting, keeping on top of things while you are away from the hotel can be tricky.

    Fortunately there are payment and booking systems offer access on the road. This allows hoteliers to organise operations and deal with any problems or changes quickly and easily. Chris Petty, managing director at Newbook UK, a property management system which offers an array of features, including access to its system on handheld devices, says: “Being able to login to your property management system from any location and device gives the general manager or hotel owner the ability to react to any problem, or pricing change, on the go.”

    Peter St Lawrence, GM and shareholder of The Crown at Amersham hotel in Buckinghamshire, says that he will be making the most of “cross-selling opportunities” by bringing his smaller affiliate properties onto the Newbook system as well. Having everything on one system will not only help your organisational skills, it will also encourage you to cross-sell, driving revenue to any other properties that you own.

    Using a cloud-based system, Newbook allows hoteliers to use its system with only an internet browser required. Not only does this allow the ease of access, but according to Petty it also helps hoteliers save on costs. “This allows for a much lower setup cost,” he says, “as no on site server or support is necessary, saving in some cases thousands of pounds a year.”

    DIGITAL MARKETING

    Property management systems can also offer a variety of other functions to help improve the running of a property and drive guest demand to the hotel, including digital marketing features, helping to increase occupancy.

    Some property management systems allow you to conduct and track your own email marketing campaigns. Running these campaigns will enable you to reach past customers with deals and offers improving your chance of returning guests. Marketing campaigns will allow you to target specific consumers with exactly what they are looking for, at the time that they are looking for it.

    Stewart recommends that hotels also use a mobile-friendly site. He says: “Hotels using the mobile-friendly website and booking process can increase conversion across multiple devices.” Using a mobile friendly site allows guests to book a room at your hotel, at any time, and anyplace. With a large amount of booking now coming from handheld devices this is an investment that will be sure to pay dividends. Booking systems can also support Google Analytics, meaning you will be able to track your conversion rate, and analyse where your marketing is going right, and where it is not going as well as you’d hoped. The hindsight this provides helps to plan better marketing strategies over time.

  • Premier Inn owner sees total sales up for third quarter

    Whitbread, the owner of Premier Inn, has reported total sales growth of 2.5% for the hotel brand in its Q3 trade report.

    The UK business achieved a total accommodation sales growth of 3.5% in the third quarter, which group said reflected a “strong central London market and a weak regional market”.

    Additionally, over 2,000 new rooms have been added in FY19 so far, and the group said “occupancy remained” high at over 80%.

    Whitbread said it is now a “focused hotel business”, with over 800 hotels in the UK, Germany and the Middle East operating under the Premier Inn brand, and a “committed pipeline of over 20,000 additional rooms”.

    Whitbread CEO Alison Brittain said: “We are cautious about the macro environment for the next financial year due to increased uncertainty and continuing high inflation. Although we are confident in our ability to create value from ongoing investment in the UK and increasing investment in international growth, in this environment we expect underlying profit before tax in FY20 to be consistent with this year.”

    She added: “Our unique model and leading market position in the UK puts us in a strong position to capture structural growth opportunities in the UK and internationally.

    “Investing in growth through our disciplined approach to capital allocation ensures we can create sustainable value for shareholders over the longer-term. We look forward to presenting this in further detail at our Capital Markets Day.”

  • Amba Hotel wins TripAdvisor 2018 ‘Travellers’ Choice’ award

    Amba Hotel Charing Cross, part of the Glh Hotels portfolio, has been awarded the TripAdvisor 2018 ‘Travellers’ Choice’ award.

    According to the TripAdvisor the award is achieved by hotels which “consistently receive five star reviews from guests”, and is based on feedback left by TripAdvisor travellers during the past year.

    With a current rating of five stars on TripAdvisor, the hotel said it “prides itself on outstanding guest feedback”, with front-of-house staff who can “anticipate and understand guests’ needs”.

    General manager Pedro Da Silva said: “Receiving the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Award is a milestone moment for Amba Hotel Charing Cross and I am so proud of all our dedicated staff and the fantastic guest experience they deliver.

    “Amba Hotels was designed to raise our guest’s expectations and offer an upgraded experience, and I’m delighted that this has been recognised by our guests consistent five star reviews. I would like to thank everyone who has helped us achieve this award and I am looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish in 2019.”

  • UK hotel market to continue growth in 2019 according to Chrisite & Co

    Despite “growing operational costs” and “concerns over staff recruitment in post-Brexit Britain”, the UK hotel market showed “encouraging signs of growth” in 2018 which looks set to continue in 2019, according to the latest annual report by Christie & Co.

    The report, ‘Business Outlook 2019: Navigate, Innovate, Accelerate’ forecast that RevPAR growth in both London and the UK regions would be steady, with growth of +0.6% and +0.7% in London and the regions respectively, between 2018 and 2019. Supply was also found to show healthy increases, with many of the major British cities such as Manchester, Belfast and Edinburgh seeing “strong” pipelines in the year ahead.
    The report also found international investment continued to be a key driver, with Christie & Co identifying capital from across the globe, particularly from European investors making up more than 50% of UK investment in 2018. Average prices also remained economically positive throughout 2018 with hotels seeing a 4% increase.
    Brexit was identified as a “pivotal factor” for businesses within the hospitality sector in the UK, which employs around 400,000 EU migrant workers, and Christie & Co said any changes to immigration policies “could have a notable impact”.

    Looking to the year ahead, the report outlined Christie & Co’s market predictions; flat or negative profit growth for some operators due to higher costs, a potential increase in distressed positions in the second half of 2019, and new developments in technology being implemented to improve customer service and productivity.

    Barrie Williams, managing director – hospitality at Christie & Co said: “The UK hotel market remains an attractive investment proposition and appeals to a wide range of buyers. Christie & Co continue to see many opportunities for value creation in the hotel market and across brokerage, valuation and consultancy, we are well placed to provide all types of investors with advice.”

  • Top trends in hospitality for 2019

    Accounting for over 10% of global GDP and the creation of one in five new jobs according to the World Travel and Tourism Council, travel and tourism continues to be one of the world’s fastest-growing industries. It is also an industry undergoing rapid transformation, shaped by new technologies and the values and needs of an increasingly diverse range of travellers.

    Emerging trends in sustainability, luxury, technology and innovation are all influencing the future direction of the hospitality industry. As worldwide hospitality education leaders, our responsibility is to provide aspiring hospitality professionals with the skills and knowledge they need, and to develop the next generation of leaders for the hospitality industry. Monitoring industry trends and adapting our education programmes accordingly is essential for us to ensure that our curricula are relevant for the industry and our students. With this in mind, these are some of the top trends to watch for in 2019:

    Entrepreneurship and innovation

    The hospitality industry continues to provide fertile ground for aspiring entrepreneurs, while innovation will be key for established brands to stay relevant and compete with new players.

    Innovation strategies should also cater to the different profiles, needs and expectations of travellers. For example, the importance of social experiences to Millennials and Gen Z travellers has given rise to a new breed of urban boutique hotels offering social spaces and activities – sometimes at the expense of individual room size, as evidenced by the success of micro-hotels. Busy business travellers, meanwhile, are most likely to appreciate innovations in technology that enable them to save time.

    But to entice luxury travellers, retaining the human touch will be key for hotels to deliver a bespoke experience. Understanding the different needs of guests is essential for brands to develop innovative concepts capable of yielding long-term profit and business growth.

    New technologies in hospitality

    Thanks to new technologies, hospitality businesses can provide guests with greater customisation, convenience and control. Technology is also transforming the way customers interact with brands – even before and after their stay.

    Chatbots, robots and other forms of artificial intelligence provide users with information on-demand and personalised recommendations. Facial recognition technology is opening doors (sometimes literally) to time-saving service, while smart hotel rooms equipped with internet-of-things connectivity allow guests to customise their experience with an app or their own voice. Loyalty programmes based on blockchain and cryptocurrency are also creating interesting new opportunities for brands to engage with customers.

    While these examples provide a glimpse of current and future applications of technology to the guest experience, many of these technologies are still in their early stages, with the potential to change the industry in ways we have yet to imagine.

    Luxury brand management and guest experience

    Balancing heritage with innovation is essential for luxury brands to attract an increasingly diverse range of clients. Relying on brand history alone is no longer enough – brands need to bring their identity into the future in order to stay relevant. However, storytelling is still key for brands to convey their value to customers.

    Global brands will need to reflect the increasingly diverse identity of their clients through multicultural awareness and sensitivity. To meet omnichannel customers, brands will need to build seamless transitions between offline and online experiences while retaining the high levels of service that luxury clients expect.

    We can also expect to see more luxury brands branching into hotels and other hospitality ventures – adopting the codes of hospitality enables brands to provide customers with a uniquely immersive experience that goes beyond traditional retail. Finally, retaining the human touch throughout these interactions will be essential for luxury brands to nurture the personal relationships that build client loyalty.

    Sustainable hospitality

    The United Nations have pushed issues of sustainability to the forefront of public awareness, and conscientious Millennials and Gen Z travellers in particular expect global hospitality businesses to take a more comprehensive approach to corporate social responsibility.

    Transparency and accountability are becoming more important as travellers want to know the impact of their footprint – not only environmentally, but socially as well. Sustainable and socially responsible strategies now range from the reduction of single-use plastics to the development of social business concepts and the shift towards a circular economy system, in which resources are recycled and regenerated, rather than used once and disposed.

    Food and beverage innovations

    Sustainability concerns have also become important within the realm of food and beverage. Interest in locally sourced, seasonal food and vegetable-centric cuisine continues to grow among eco-friendly and health-conscious consumers, resulting in the development of farm-to-table – and even seed-to-table – culinary concepts.

    However, the pursuit of pleasure is also a key motivator for customers seeking new culinary experiences that delight the senses. Millennials are driving a shift towards the democratisation of dining, blurring the boundaries between formal and casual, and embracing high-quality cuisine at an accessible price point.

    Street food and open-fire cooking are introducing diners to a wider range of flavours, traditions and experiences. And in the age of Instagram, visual delights are just as important as deliciousness – something which some of the world’s top pâtissiers already know.

    As these trends reveal, the future of hospitality is increasingly transversal, shaping and being shaped by global movements, industries and consumer values. Despite these rapid changes, among consumer-centric industries such as luxury and hospitality, one constant remains: the importance of the human touch. Human relations continue to play an invaluable role in the delivery of memorable experiences and service, making human talent one of our greatest sources of innovation.

    By Benoît-Etienne Domenget, who serves as CEO of Sommet Education, a group encompassing the prestigious Swiss hospitality management schools Glion Institute of Higher Education and Les Roches Global Hospitality Education. A graduate of HEC Paris, Mr Domenget is a seasoned hospitality professional and has held positions as Senior Vice-President Development EMEA and Managing Director Switzerland with AccorHotels.

  • Corse Lawn House appoints youngest head chef in hotel’s history

    Corse Lawn House has announced the appointment of Chris Monk as its new head chef – the youngest head chef in the hotel’s history.

    Monk will re-join the family-run team at Corse Lawn House after having trained at the hotel as a teenager. Within his new role, Monk will lead all culinary operations, managing the hotel’s signature Anglo-French menus and array of fresh produce.

    He has previously worked at the two Michelin starred Le Champignon Sauvage and renowned Hampshire Michelin starred restaurant, The Montagu Arms Hotel at Beaulieu. In recent months, Monk has been working alongside Corse Lawn House’s owner and proprietor, Baba Hine to learn the ropes of the role before taking the lead as head chef from January 2019.

    Monk said: “It is such an honour to be taking my first head chef role at Corse Lawn House. The hotel has always had fond memories for me. I look forward to putting my own stamp on the kitchen whilst keeping the core values it has always held, cooking everything fresh, from the brioche for breakfast, the scones for afternoon teas to the petit fours, everything is made in house and using local, seasonal produce. We even use all game from within a 10-mile radius, that is really exciting.”

    Hine added: “We are delighted to welcome back Chris as a core member of our hotel team here at Corse Lawn House. Chris is a delightful young man and his passion for food comes through on the plate. He is a fantastic asset to our team – extremely driven, whilst wonderfully calm, and prepared to put in a huge amount of work.

    “Chris has been doing a terrific job so far and our guests are relishing his menus. It’s no mean feat taking on a kitchen with such standing, yet I have absolute confidence in Chris and we are all excited to watch him flourish.”

  • Weekend Events in Delaware, January 18-20, 2019

    Here is a round-up of some of the great events and things to do in Delaware this weekend. While you’re enjoying Delaware, please share travel photos by following VisitDelaware on Instagram and

  • 5 Places Worth A Visit On A Luxury Cruise

    Is sailing on a luxury cruise your idea of a perfect vacation? Afterall, there are few experiences as valuable and wholesome as a cruise vacation. So, sail into the sunset and spoil yourself with a luxury cruise for your next vacation! We have curated a list of the 5 best places to visit on your cruise to lend a hand in your party planning!

    1. The Caribbean

    If one destination had to be awarded for being the most popular (and very beautiful) cruise destination, it would be the Caribbean. There are many cruise ships that work here and offer value deals since you can visit many islands without fretting about purchasing different tickets visas or booking different hotels. Depending on your pocket, you can also opt for some of the more exclusive cruises, which include a day at the private islands such as Half Moon Cay or Castaway Cay!

    2. Alaska

    There are few travel experiences that can be as breathtaking as Alaska! If breathtaking scenery, wildlife and spectacular glaciers are things that feature on your travel bucket lists; you should hop on to a cruise to Alaska the next chance you get! The biggest state in the United States, cruises to Alaska have become immensely popular in the last few years. There are varying bases that you can cover such as some stunning fjords.

    3. Russia

    A cruise to Russia is a very tactical decision since it avoids the otherwise very exhausting process of getting a Russian visa. There are many Baltic cruises that stop at St Petersburg for three days and hence, avoid the red tape! Russian streets are gorgeous and there are many attractions to visit in the city along with sumptuous meals!

    4. Hawaii

    For bikinis and cocktails galore, head to Hawaii on your next cruise! Ditch your corporate meetings and monotonous routines to sail into the sunset and say ‘aloha’ to Hawaii! A cruise around these 8 islands that were formed by volcanic activity is extremely popular. Try to choose a cruise that covers the following islands: Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Niihau and Kahoolawe.There are many tourist attractions here, ranging from breathtaking waterfalls in Maui and the Haleakala National Park.

    5. Australia & New Zealand

    No list on the best cruise destinations can be complete without mentioning Australia and New Zealand. So much has already been said about the world-famous tourist attractions in Sydney but there is more to these places! Many cruises cover Queensland, Newcastle, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and even Tasmania. If you love adventure sports, then this destination should be at the top of your list because there is a lot of water sports that can be done on the many beaches here!

    Trust us, nothing beats the experience of a cruise vacation! Luxury emanates from every aspect, ranging from the food served and the rooms to the decor and ambience of these ships! So, what better than starting with one of the five destinations mentioned above to plan your cruise vacation!

    The post 5 Places Worth A Visit On A Luxury Cruise appeared first on Geeky Traveller.

  • 5 Great Destinations for a Group Getaway

    A group getaway is the ideal opportunity to create memories with friends and family members. Here are five perfect destinations around the world for an ideal group getaway –

    Malta

    Malta is a tourist-friendly destination with affordable hotels and brilliant sight-seeing spots. For people who enjoy sunshine, Malta is ideal as it is sunny throughout the year which facilitates its unique and wild nature. Discovering the historical riches of La Valletta and the protected flora and fauna on the island of Gozo is a real treat. The evenings can be spent in the gorgeous town of Mellieha, capped, “European destination of brilliance” by the EC (European Commission) for its allegiance to conservation-friendly tourism. A visit to the Popeye village in Mellieha, constructed for the musical “Popeye” excursion in the 1970s, is a must. Falling in love with Malta is really easy!

    The Algarve

    One of the most breath-taking areas of Portugal with a balmy and sun-drenched climate throughout the year, the Algarve is an area all travelling groups who cherish golden beaches and blue waters must visit. Be it exploring the wonderful Benagil cave or watching dolphins in their glory in the coasts of the Algarve, it is one of the best tourist spots in Europe for several reasons. Enjoy sunbathing on the terrace of your private villa and looking out at the peaceful sea views. Groups can also enjoy jeep safari tours exploring the mysteries of this wonderful region.

    Corfu

    Treating a friend group to this paradise Greek island of Corfu is a wonderful way to spend a holiday. Enjoying summer sunshine pretty much every day of the year, the island of Corfu, contrary to common perception, is not a desolate and waterless rock – it boasts a unique form of vegetation indigenous to the historic country of Greece. There is a wide range of hotels, villas and guest houses in Corfu. Explore the wonderful beaches and participate in exciting group activities such as private wine tasting.

    Barcelona

    Barcelona is an incomparable spot for group travelling. Or your journey from Barcelona airport, you’ll be greeted by stunning views and interesting landmarks. Visiting the Sagrada Familia and the Port Aventura theme park is a must. The flawless eating and drinking experience the city offers is definitely one of the best in Europe, if not the world. In addition to that, the climate is perfectly warm and there is great football on offer at most times of the year. On the whole, the city presents a charming experience of significant Catalonian cultural sites.

    Cyprus

    The perfect autumn beach spot, the Mediterranean isle of Cyprus presents an ornate history and diverse culture lionized by its blissful climate and wild coastlines. A group visit to this beautiful island is ideal as members can visit the less travelled interior regions of Cyprus, areas that are as entrenched in culture as the island’s beaches are with natural beauty.

    These places are perfect for a quick yet extremely memorable getaway. So, it’s time to get going with your friends and family!

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