The Year That Was – Hotel and Travel Industry in 2009

The year 2009 was a year of ups and downs for hotels in particular and the global travel industry in general. There were many events and developments that helped shape the outlook of the hotel industry over the past 12 months. Let us take a look back at 2009 and identify these developments.

Who can forget the global H1N1 virus scare that rocked the world? Some surveys suggest that many travelers will be more concerned about germs and health-related issues in general, thanks to the outbreak of the H1N1 virus. This has thankfully led to more stringent measures and health awareness on the part of the establishments.

The global recession was clearly still in effect the whole year round, and there will even be some repercussions heading into 2010. There are still some significant properties and establishments being shopped and sold. However, it should be noted that, while some companies have been selling their hotels, there are those that are utilizing the sale to expand their core properties. That is a positive sign, showing growth and a willingness to expand despite the continued pinch given by the recession.

In 2009, eco-tourism and eco-friendly destinations started taking the spotlight, as both the travelers and the various establishments have become more and more environmentally conscious. Destinations such as Sweden, Norway, and Switzerland are the top dogs when it comes to eco-friendly places to visit. The hotels in such countries also benefit tremendously because of the influx of travelers, and a lot of them have already adopted an eco-friendly mentality to go with the times.

Of course, there are also many hotel groups-from smaller-scale local establishments to big chains of luxury hotels-who have re-evaluated their business approach and have made changes to their various investment strategies. This is a wise move, still in line with managing the costs and income in an economic landscape that still is not as stable as desired.

Another trend in 2009 was an increased patronage for online travel services, such as booking sites and aggregators that really are a big help to travelers. Still, traditional booking occupies a significant chunk of the pie, even with online services gaining some headway over the past year.

Some establishments, from hotels to apartments to luxury spas, have shown a diminishing level of performance in the middle of the year. The good thing is that some of them have been able to recover quite nicely and gain back some lost ground-and some lost ratings-to get back on track.

There are indications that leisure spending on the side of the travelers will go up in 2010, and that is a definite plus for the hotel industry. More people willing to spend more money translate to more business opportunities for hotels and other members of the hospitality industry.

All in all, it was another year and another step to recovery in 2009. Things are shaping up quite nicely for 2010, and hopefully, hotels and their respective managements learned a lot in the past year and start to apply them in order to flip the script this coming year.

The Need For Travel Guides While Traveling To New Places

Traveling is a hobby for many people who love to explore new places in the world. However, if you love to travel with your family, it is important that proper planning for the trip should be done in advance so that there are no problems in the same. In order to visit a new place it is good if assistance of various travel guides is taken. These guides come in the form of books with all kinds of information regarding a particular place. It is easier to find out the right kinds of information that you are looking from these guides. Nowadays guides related to travel and tourism is also found abundantly on the internet. There are many websites that provide detailed information about a place and various other things related to the place.

Again, many people get extremely confused when it comes to choosing a vacation destination. It becomes difficult for them to come to a conclusion as which would be the best place for going on a holiday with the family. In such situations, a guide is very helpful. There are various kinds of guides that list many travel destinations. People can choose a particular travel destination from there. All kinds of information regarding the place are also furnished in the guides so that it is easier for people to have a good knowledge about the place. Approximate expenses are also mentioned so that one can choose the destination as per budget as well. Therefore it is quite clear that having a guide can help in proper planning of a vacation.

With the advent of the internet, online travel guides have become very popular. Much information regarding a place is available on the various websites if properly searched. You can get information on the ways to reach the place, various kinds of accommodation facilities that are available there, places to eat and drink, places of tourist attractions at the travel destination, local transportation, climatic conditions, geographical features, historical references and many more things. With all these information at hand, it is possible to know a place in a much better way. In fact, you can plan your trip nicely if you already have guidance about the place. There are no chances of missing out on any important place while on the trip with the right kind of travel guide.

Good travel guides will contain details about various accommodation facilities that are available at a tourist destination. It will contain the contact details of hotels and resorts and also their tariffs. Accurate maps should also be provided in all the guides, so that travelers can find the places without any problem. Maps can be excellent guides in themselves. Apart from that, contact numbers of various travel agents and tour operators are also provided in the various guides. Many people like to take help for various kinds of things from various travel agents while going on holidays, like booking tickets, booking hotels and arranging sightseeing for tourists. Car rental services are also arranged by many travel agents. Look for the right kinds of guides and have a nice and enjoyable holiday.

Vegetarian Restaurants Can Be Enjoyable for Your Meat Eating Friends

If you’re like most vegetarians, you have at least one meat-eating friend. Quite possibly, you have all meat-eating friends who rib you about tofu at least once a week. So how can you get your carnivorous friend to join you in trying a new vegetarian restaurant? These simple tips will get you and your friend into vegetarian restaurant faster than you can say “soy sausage.”

First and foremost, be up front with your friend. Don’t wait until you’re on the way to the restaurant to tell her that it’s a vegetarian establishment. Even if you can still get her in the door, it will leave bad feelings that will ruin your visit and guarantee that she won’t take your future dining suggestions seriously.

If you’ve been friends more than a couple of weeks, you’ve more than likely dined together at some point. That said, you also probably have an inkling as to your meat-eating friend’s eating habits. Does he order the steak or the chicken? Cheese pizza or supreme? Salad before dinner or bacon cheese fries? Choose a vegetarian restaurant that offers vegetarian versions of his favorites and he’s more likely to agree to a sit down. Juicy veggie burgers, veggie pizza, and pasta marinara are often popular with meat-eating companions.

For a first foray into the world of meat-free dining, it’s also a good idea to look for a vegetarian restaurant that offers dairy products rather than a strict vegan restaurant. Your meat-eating friend may feel more confident ordering a veggie pizza with actual mozzarella than one with soy cheese. Being able to identify ingredients that he knows he likes will go a long way toward making your friend feel comfortable with his dining choices.

If you’re lucky, you can even find a vegetarian restaurant that offers an occasional meat special. A few vegetarian restaurants include a fish or egg entree once a week to appeal to the meat-eating companions of its vegetarian regulars. The rest of the menu is vegetarian, so you will enjoy your many options while your friend is savoring her grilled fish entree or omelette.

Also check out the beverage menu, and if you’re inclined, the wine and beer list. You and your friend can stop by for a drink together while you both sample a vegetarian appetizer or dessert. If she enjoys her first visit, you and she can plan a second visit for a full meal.

Most importantly, keep this fact in mind: You are vegetarian and you still manage find something to eat on traditional restaurant menus when you eat out with friends. You friend will have the same success when he visits your favorite restaurant.

By taking a few simple steps, you can help ensure that your friend enjoys a visit to your favorite vegetarian restaurant. Then you can take the focus off the food options and put it where it really belongs: a great night out with your friend.