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New campaign offers a GREAT platform

ufi ibrahim is chief executive officer of British Hospitality Association

‘refund’ booking site launches

Smarter Travel Media, a sub- sidiary of TripAdvisor, has launched a new hotel book- ing website that automatically rebooks rooms if they become available at a lower rate. Tingo is designed to enable


ith the summer approach- ing, hoteliers and other hospitality operators are turning their thoughts to

the coming season, dominated as it is by the Olympic Games in late July and August. How will such a major event affect the

hospitality industry in London – and else- where in the UK? Will it displace many visitors who might otherwise have wanted to come to Britain this year? How many new visitors will it attract? And how will the general economic situation affect domes- tic demand this year? Tese are some of the questions to which we don’t yet know the answer – though we do know from a BHA survey that hotels in London expect to be 100 per cent full during the Games. But the industry is taking no chances –

which is why we welcome the Holidays at Home are GREAT campaign and urge the sector to support it. Te aim is simple: to boost domestic business this year. Celebrity- led TV adverts are currently urging viewers to visit for details of deals including hotel stays, tickets to attrac- tions and other offers designed to encourage more home holidays this year. Of course, what is forgotten is that many

operators offer deals all-year-round to boost booking at specific times or in specific loca- tions, but this new site gives them the chance to use their own innovation and creativ- ity this year – with the added incentive of VisitEngland’s promotional resource. Tis wouldn’t have been possible with-

out the government’s support for tourism, including an additional £4m to VisitEngland. What the campaign needs now is support from all parts of the industry. Te campaign gives operators a new platform to promote any special offer and it makes sense for many of them to take advantage of the resource. What offers operators provide – and when

they provide them – is a commercial deci- sion for them but what is particularly to be welcomed is that the campaign is all-inclu- sive. Offers in the restaurant and attractions sectors, for example, widen the scope of the campaign and this makes it more relevant to even more people during this busy year.


travellers to book a “Money Back” room from an list of properties powered by the Expedia Affiliate Network. Aſter a booking has been

made, the website will mon- itor prices and automatically rebook the room if the rate drops. Te difference in price will then be refunded to the traveller’s payment card. Around 95 per cent of hotels on Tingo could

earn travellers a “Money Back” refund, while the rates will be competitive even if the price isn’t reduced aſter completing the booking. David Krauter, general manager of Smarter Travel Media, commented: “Travellers could

Users will have rooms rebooked if the becomes available at a lower rate

have saved millions last year had there been a simple system in place that automatically rebooked their room. “And that’s what Tingo does, by taking the

gamble out of booking and refunding travellers’ money when rates drop. It’s a no-brainer.” Details:

Barclays: Leisure sector to support UK job creation

More than half (55 per cent) of leisure and hos- pitality businesses are planning to create new job opportunities during 2012, according to new research published by Barclays. Te Barclays Job Creation Survey 2012 also found the sector was “more receptive” to taking

on former public sector employees compared with other UK industries. Barclays surveyed 670 executives from UK

businesses of all sizes and across a number of sectors on attitudes towards job creation. Read more:

PKF: Regional hotels ‘outperform’ London

Regional hotel operators “out- performed” their London counterparts in February – the first time since August 2009 – according to the latest preliminary data from PKF Hotel Consultancy Services. In the capital, rooms yield

increased by a marginal 0.3 per cent and room rate was up 2.8 per cent compared with February 2011. However, occu- pancy dropped 2.5 per cent. The regional market saw

occupancy increase by 1 per cent to 64.4 per cent and was reinforced by a 0.7 per cent growth in room rate. Robert Barnard, partner for Hotel

Consultancy Services at PKF, said: “Tese are a respectable set of results given the general malaise throughout the UK economy.

Read Leisure Opportunities online: Te performance of regional hotels was a “welcome boost” aſter winter “The performance of regional hotels, in

particular, provides a welcome boost aſter an especially challenging winter season.” Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2012

image: sf2301420max/

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