New Tallink hotels to come

May 25, 2007 at 1:59 pm | Posted in Estonia, hotels, Latvia, news, project | Leave a comment

Right now Tallink operates two hotels in Tallinn, Estonia: Tallink Spa & Conference hotel and Tallink City hotel. But as they have ferry routs from other cities around the Baltic sea, they plan to open hotels in those cities as well. Plans are for Tallink hotels in Riga, Stockholm and Helsinki. It`s not sure if they will built new hotels or it will be takeover of existing hotels.

via Eiropa.lv

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Japanese

May 25, 2007 at 7:15 am | Posted in guests, hotels, japanese, Latvia, news, travel | 1 Comment

Today Japan`s emperor visits Latvia. It`s only one day visit, but still. If I think about Japanese and hotels, there are few things that come to my mind:

  • hotels need to have bathrooms with BATH to accommodate Japanese guests,
  • Japanese love to take photographs, also about everything that`s in hotel,
  • they are polite and staff must be extra polite,
  • to Latvia they are mostly coming in groups, they watch birds, enjoy the nature and so on.

There is one travel company in Baltics, that specializes on Japanese tourists. I know that they make entertaining programs for them all over the Latvia, but so far they haven`t come to my city.

If You welcome Japanese guests quite often feel free to share your experience here.

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The foreigners hotels can expect as guests in Latvia

May 21, 2007 at 3:34 pm | Posted in guests, hotels, Latvia, statistics | Leave a comment

Latvian tourism development state agency tells that Latvian hoteliers in year 2007 can expect lots of Lithuanian tourists. Lithuanians were majority in Latvian arrival statistics 2006 and number is supposed to even grow this year. Tourist flow from Russia will grow as well. Because Russians need visa to enter Latvia, they stay longer when here: in average it`s more than 4 nights. Germans will come as well as they always did, but now they can do it for even cheaper price, because Ryanair now flies Riga-Bremen. Then comes Estonians and Finns. Finns used to visit Estonia a lot, but now they go further, so Latvia is their new hot destination. In my opinion this prognosis is little bit late, because Finns come already for two years and soon they will start to go to Lithuania as new destination.

There are some perspective markets: USA – Americans stay there in average 6 nights, France – French people like velo tourism and stays in average 5 nights, Poland – interesting and growing market, many Poles come for business and stays even month or more (at least in my hotel). Last year there were almost 70 thousand Polish tourists in Latvia. Riga and Jurmala`s hotels can expect more Norwegians because of cheap flights operated by Norvegian. Besides Norwegians are in first place by tourist money left: 97 lats in one day per person last year. There might be growing interest from Japan and Netherlands as well.

In general there are more and more tourists coming to Latvia and not only to capital city, but also to regions. Last year we got guests from Germany, Finland, Estonia (lots of them), Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Russia, but also from Mexico, Argentina, Australia, USA, China and other far away places.

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Nasty guests

May 15, 2007 at 3:03 pm | Posted in guests, hotels | 2 Comments

As long as I work in a hotel I can`t understand why guests act so nasty sometimes. What is it that makes people brake things, laugh or scream at employees, disobey any rules, smoke where it`s not allowed and so on?

Today was the worst case. Yesterday receptionist let in normal looking 40 something man. This morning somehow in the room were two men. That `s nothing compared with what maids found out when started cleaning the room. I appologise, but there was shit everywhere: on the floor, in towels, on beds, even one of him had tried to do it in sink…..I simply can`t understand why?….

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Advices for guests

April 26, 2007 at 11:51 am | Posted in employees, guests, hotels, tips | 3 Comments

Crazy Hotel Workers have listed great, funny, interesting, useful and definitely true advices for hotel guests how to handle problems when in hotel:

-Deal with problems as they happen. That’s why there’s usually someone on staff at all times, to deal with things as they occur. If you have a problem with your room at check in, whatever it may be, do NOT wait until checkout the next morning to let us know. It’s quite likely we would’ve been able to fix the issue, whatever it may be. In my opinion, if you take away our chance to fix your problem, why should you be compensated for it?

-Don’t book through internet sites that offer you dirt cheap fares. You really do get what you pay for. If you must book through the internet, use a hotel’s brand website. They are much more reliable. Not all problems with these reservations are the fault of the front desk, believe it or not. The discount websites are very misleading. They would sell you a cot in the basement of the hotel if they could.

-Many hotels strive to be something like your home away from home… but we are still a business. It is our job to sell rooms. You do not get to dictate who goes where, what rooms well sell, etc. If for some reason you have special needs, make them known up front. Perhaps you are a light sleeper? If you let us know in advance, we can try to accommodate you. A room off in the corner somewhere is going to be more quiet than one smack in the middle of the hotel. If you prefer not to be around groups.. make that known as well. I know not all travelers (if any) know when something is going to be going on at the hotel, so it doesn’t hurt to ask. We won’t point and laugh at you, we promise. We really do try to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

For more go here. I wish guests would read and use those advices. Life would be easier both for hotel workers and guests.

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Travolution Awards: best hotel website

April 25, 2007 at 3:14 pm | Posted in award, hotels, internet, marketing, UK | Leave a comment

Month ago I wrote about Travolution Awards and checked hotel website nominees. Now we have got the winner. So the Travolution Award for best hotel website goes to Paramount-Hotels.co.uk.

Hip-hip-hurrah! Check them out and learn from them.

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Funny request

April 23, 2007 at 8:08 am | Posted in guests, hotels, Latvia, personal | 2 Comments

[received by e-mail]

Hello,

It is with pleasure, I discover your internet site. I have a funny request: I collect the “Do not disturb”, “door knob hangers”, “Privacy Please” sign which hangs on the door handle of the rooms. I do not have from your hotel and I would like to obtain one.

If it is possible, could you send me one and also the description of your beautiful hotel. Thanks a lot by advance and maybe see you.

Best regards,

Madame ….

We`ll send her what she wants. It`s interesting that people collect those signs as well as other things from hotels: keys (we had request for them too), guest cards, registration cards, pens and pencils, towels etc. Almost everything, that fits into suitcase…..

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Just a short note: website design

April 19, 2007 at 7:46 am | Posted in hotels, internet, marketing, tips | 8 Comments

Last week I discussed hotel website optimization. Today I want to note another article at eHotelier.com. This time it`s about website design, written by Keith Paulin (leading online marketer in the hotel industry). Keith gives simple and in depth advice on creating good hotel website design. Read Keith`s article here, but I`ll give just key thoughts:

However, once you have prepared a brief, it is important to let your designers…well…design. Don’t restrict their creativity because that is really what you are paying for. You should expect at least two and maybe three alternatives to review, refining these through a series of iterations until you have a design that is both visually appealing as well as Search Engine-friendly. 

And as a final hint, use your common sense…you hotel website must be easy to build, easy to maintain or add to and compelling to visitors.

Nowadays, they should be providing you with a website based on a Content Management System which will allow you to edit or add pages in-house quickly and easily…this will also reduce your ongoing costs. Finally, your website should indeed look smart and stylish…simple, fresh and not too busy…enough to capture visitors imagination without trying to do too much. 

I can completely agree with those advices.

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Women vs. Men in Hospitality

April 17, 2007 at 9:01 am | Posted in employees, hotels, Latvia, management, trend | Leave a comment

Bert van Waldbeek has wrote interesting article for eHotelier.com about female general managers. He argues that there are less women than men GMs in hospitality, but glass ceiling is breaking slowly. Main reasons for that: there are more women bachelors in hospitality and there is increasing importance on empathy in Human Resources and luxury (that asks more attention to details) in hotel industry.

There is also interesting thought by one female GM:

” But the primary barrier to women’s success,” a female General Manager once said, ” is our own belief “. 

She then added : ” We’re often the ones responsible for holding ourselves back. I think it’s more convenient to blame men generally or a system or a structure than it is to take personal responsibility.” 

Mr. Waldbeek says that it`s going to change, future females will have less fear, as well as there will be change in owners` attitude towards main positions: gender won`t matter if person will be willing to make effort.

If there is almost zero female GM in Asia, then in Latvia I have got the feeling, that almost all hotel GMs and other top positions are held by women. Exceptions are Radisson SAS, Reval Hotels and maybe few other big hotels. In my opinion, reason for women dominance in Latvia`s hotel industry is myth that tourism isn`t masculine, it`s not a serious business. If we count that there were and are more female students in universities, then it`s even more obvious.

I`m interested to get your opinion about this subject and situation in other countries so, please, have your say and leave a comment.

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Vienna as congress & conference city?

April 16, 2007 at 12:04 pm | Posted in Austria, hotels, statistics, travel, trend | 2 Comments

What comes to your mind first when thinking about Vienna, capital of Austria? Mozart, opera, coffee, Sacher cake, sausages, architecture, commissar Rex? Whatever… 

Soon name of Vienna will be associated with congresses & conferences and it`s good news for Vienna hotels. According to Tma-online, there were 327 000 congress & conference tourists in Vienna in 2006: more than 1 million bed places, 12% of all Vienna hotel guest nights. It is planned to reach 15% by 2010.

It`s always profitable for city/hotels to attract congresses and conferences, because their participants usually stay 2 nights or more and spend more money. If average traveler spends 240 euros per day in Vienna, then congress participants spends 360 euros per day. What`s also important for hotels, is that congresses and conferences often take place from autumn till spring when there is usually a drop in hotel occupancy levels.

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