Hotel and Car Rental April Update

Hotel Prices Fall 12 Percent Worldwide
 Hotel prices are falling, according to Hotels.com’s Hotel Price Index. Rates for hotels in December 2008 were more than one tenth lower than they had been a year earlier and just one percent above their level in January 2004.

 Empress Hotel
North American rates fell the most, down 12 percent in the fourth quarter of  2008.
(Source: HPI, STR Global press releases).

Omni Hotels Offers Triple Miles with American, United
 Omni Hotels is offering members of its Select Guest program the opportunity to earn unlimited triple miles in the American AAdvantage and United Mileage Plus programs.

Guest Select members also get complimentary Wifi, morning beverages, pressing,  newspapers and online check-in and express checkout. To take advantage of the triple miles offer, visit SelectGuestProgram/ .
(Source: Omni Hotels).

Car Rental

Hertz Offers Summer Specials
 Hertz is offering 50 percent off weekend rentals through June 30 at participating airports in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. It’s also offering a Weekender, that includes an attractive rate, free child’s seat, no drop-off fee for one-way rentals and up to three days of Hertz NeverLost service. (Source: Hertz).

Travel Back Lash

Concerned by public perception of meetings and events as frivolous, some corporations are opting to meet in places that may look like a bargain but actually cost more.

An Association of Corporate Travel Executives survey of business managers found companies are factoring political correctness into their calculations.

  1. Sixty percent would avoid a “resort” destination like Las Vegas even if the resort city were a better deal than a non-leisure destination.
  2. Thirty-eight percent said public perception is now a key factor in choosing a meeting site.
  3. Sixty-two percent said it would take a dramatic increase in their own business or an increase in projects that required meetings for them to increase the number of meetings and conferences they attend.

Source: Association of Corporate Travel Executives press release.

Hotel Information March 2008

Sheraton and Four Points by Sheraton will implement a smoke-free policy at more than 300 properties in the U.S., the Caribbean and Canada.

Both brands expect to be completely smoke-free in the U.S. and Canada by Dec 31. The two Starwood brands have begun converting all smoking guest rooms to nonsmoking rooms in preparation for the new policy.


Major Hotel Chains´ Internet services

Best Western
Free Internet is a standard in the United States. The brand is working on making it a standard in Europe.

Carlson Hotels
Began phasing in free Internet service as an in-room amenity at Radisson Hotels & Resorts in 2005 and into Latin America this year. Some lobbies offer free WiFi.

Hilton
Extended Stay, mid-price brands offer free Internet access. Individual upscale properties offer free access.

Hyatt
Upscale properties generally charge for Internet access. Midprice Hyatt Place offers free WiFi throughout hotels.

Intercontinental
Holiday Inn offers free Internet access. Extended stay brand Staybridge Suites made WiFi a free amenity in both the lobby and in rooms this year. Upscale properties generally charge for in-room service, although some offer free lobby Internet.

Marriott
Introduced free high-speed and WiFi to guest rooms three years ago at its midprice and extended stay brands and this summer announced that it is eliminating WiFi charges for guests in public areas. Upscale and luxury brands still charge for Internet Service.

Omni
Among the first upscale brands to make free WiFi a brand standard

Starwood
Four Points by Sheraton offers free wired and wireless Internet access. Many W Hotels offer free WiFi access, but in-room Internet connections usually carry a charge.

Wyndham
Free Internet access for mid-priced brands. Select upscale properties give Wyndham ByRequest members access.