Hotel & Car Rental Updates; March

Hotels

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Opens in Downtown Boston
InterContinental Hotels Group is opening a 72-room Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites in downtown Boston. The hotel is expected to open this summer after a $2 million renovation to a historic 100-year-old building.
Coffee in Europe
It is on Friend Street, directly across from the TD Banknorth Garden, and within walking distance to Boston’s famed historical attractions, including Fanueil Hall, Boston Commons, Beacon Hill and the Old North Church.
(Source: InterContinental press release)

Car Rental

Hertz NeverLost Launches Online Trip Planning
The Hertz NeverLost in-car navigation system has added a new feature: Online Trip Planning. It means you can plan your trips online from your home or office by going to www.neverlost.com , then save it on a USB storage device and then insert it into the Hertz NeverLost system.

Online Trip Planning incorporates information from the Yellow Pages, establishments along highway corridors, city guides and other information.
(Source: Hertz press release)

Amtrak Updates

Amtrak Institutes New Security Procedures
Amtrak is deploying its new specialized Amtrak Mobile Security Team to patrol stations and trains and randomly inspect passenger baggage. The Mobile Security Team supplements ongoing patrols already in place.

The Mobile Security Team’s squads may consist of armed specialized Amtrak police, explosives detecting K-9 units and armed counter-terrorism special agents in tactical uniforms.

They will screen passengers, randomly inspect baggage and patrol stations. These squads also may sweep through trains using K-9 units.
(Source: Amtrak press release)

Spot Light

E-Commerce Customer Satisfaction
A University of Michigan report finds that customer satisfaction with the e-commerce industry has improved, with one exception: online travel. The American Customer Satisfaction Index found that, in aggregate, online travel was down 1.3 percent to 75. Expedia (78) and Travelocity (74) both dropped 1.3 percent. Orbitz registered the only gain (+1.4 to 75). The reasons, according to the study: Big online travel agencies are seeing stiff competition from supplier

  • sites such as hotels and airlines as well as from online search engines like Kayak
    or Sidestep
  • The pool of people booking online is not increasing. In fact, a Forrester Research report says that nine percent fewer people booked online in 2007 than it 2005. The industry is losing shoppers, although those who do shop online are spending more money.
  • That means that, to get new customers, online players have to woo them from their competitors. Customer service is the way to do that, but online travel agencies also have to compete on the low prices that supplier sites and search engines promise consumers.

(Source: University of Michigan press release)