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16 | MEDIA, TRAVEL & TOURISM


NEWS IN BRIEF Alps hotel nears fi nish


NEWS By Geoff Hadwick


EUROPE’s fi rst Chedi Hotel and Residences development is nearing the end of its construction phase, on schedule for opening in 2013, with “Chedi Andermatt Residences” available from CHF 20,000 per sqm for a two- bedroom apartment. The top-end hotel and residences scheme told OPP that it will play a leading role as “part of the next generation of eco luxury hotels. Forward-thinking investors and buyers from around the world can expect a fully- serviced hotel residence that will deliver strong rental yields year round.” Sales Manager Sara Collins told OPP that The Chedi Andermatt is a “groundbreaking new destination,” and that “the one and two bedroom apartments will come luxuriously furnished.


Only the Best for Hilton


THE new Hilton Grand Vacations Club project at Borgo Alle Vigne in Tuscany has been put together using “the whole suite of Best International Group services,” the UK-based overseas property investment consultancy told OPP. “The project demonstrates Best International’s services in full, from product design, direct investment, attracting additional equity investment, sales and resort management,” says the company’s head of communications Lara Edwards. “Best International were also responsible for attracting Hilton Grand Vacation to become the brand, operator and International sales and marketer for the project through Best International Consulting, our resort and developer consulting business,” she adds.


Istanbul-NYC service up


TURKISH Airlines has increased its fl ights to New York’s John F. Kennedy Internatnonal Airport by a further three per day. “Due to strong demand for seats between Istanbul and New York, Turkish Airlines will introduce a third daily Istanbul-New York fl ight as from May 2012,” the airline said. The summer schedule will include three daily services for this period. Additional fl ights will be operated with Airbus 330-300 and Boeing 777 aircraft. The airline will off er the most frequencies and seats between Istanbul and the U.S. fi nancial hub


Virtual reality property viewings with translations have hit the Canadian residential property market. “For the fi rst time, buyers can locate properties for sale on the internet using 360-degree imagery and travel up and down the streets in question, viewing homes as if they were there in person,” Vancouver-based www.BestHomesBC. com told OPP. The agency is launching the search


service via a platform that uses Google’s “Street View” to locate homes currently for sale throughout British Columbia. All the website’s users have to do is


“simply click on the house symbol within Street View to instantly reveal property details with a link to the full-page listing on BestHomesBC.com. This includes comprehensive property information including a YouTube video, Walk Score and a link to the listing realtor’s contact information. If users see another house symbol up the road in Street View, they can move further up and compare property details.” Speaking to OPP, www.BestHomesBC.


com owner Nicola Way said the new facility is “an effortless way to actually see what the homes and neighbourhoods look like without viewers having to leave


Browsing | BestHomesBC.com’s service allows clients to view properties remotely


the comfort of their living room or even their country. It is perfect for the current climate in Metro Vancouver where we are seeing an uptick in overseas buyers. This makes the process easier for them to view a particular home and get a feel for the surrounding neighbourhood, especially if they are not familiar with the area.” And to make sure that overseas


property buyers get the best possible experience, www.BestHomesBC.com has made sure that its website can be translated into 52 different languages with the touch of a button, giving access to homebuyers both within and outside Canada


What makes the Best Homes BC


virtual reality service better than the normal Google Street View functionality is that it does not focus on one home at a time. “The format that is found on many realtors’ websites is one that shows just one property at any given time,” says Way. “The Google Street View search function that has been designed and incorporated into www.BestHomesBC.com allows the user to see ALL the properties for sale in a street at the same time.” In fact, online buyers can use the


service “as if they were physically walking down the street and saw all the realtors’ signs up,” adds Way.


Europe hotel values are rising up


Hotel values across Europe rose by 2.3% to an average of €220,000 per room, according to the latest Hotel Valuation Index (HVI) by global hotel consultancy HVS London. Paris and London remained in first


and second place in the index with values of €631,000 and €587,000 per room respectively, followed by Zürich (€518,000) and Geneva (€467,000). The 2011 surprise performer was


the Eastern European market of Tallinn. While still in 33rd place in the HVI, the Estonian capital topped the percentage-change leader board with a rise of 14% on 2010 to €91,000. Geneva came second with a 13% increase, and London third (12%). After a fall of 29% in 2010, and


despite its ongoing economic turmoil, Athens achieved an increase in


Growing | Europe hotel values are up


hotel values of 6% to €137,000, but remained in 27th place in the index. Out of the bottom five markets,


only three - Sofia, Birmingham and Berlin - actually recorded a decrease in values. Sophie Perret, co-author of the HVI report and associate director at


HVS, said: “Overall, 2012 is likely to herald a return to sound fundamentals, which will benefit stable markets like the German cities, Istanbul, Paris and London. Increased travel from emerging markets will also offer opportunity for hotels across Europe to improve their performance.” Secondary and provincial markets,


however, “are likely to see modest growth as the much-valued corporate and meeting business takes time to recover fully”. “The slow growth in trading and, hopefully, increased lending levels will help these markets to recover further over the next five years. However, securing debt financing is unlikely to recover significantly within the short to medium term”, she adds.


www.opp.org.uk |MARCH 2012 Virtual viewings for Canada


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