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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Baltic Travel Marathon: Latvia

April 24, 2007 at 9:20 am | Posted in fairs and events, Latvia, list, travel | Leave a comment

Finally three Baltic states have chosen tourism objects, that will participate in the first Baltic travel marathon, that will start of 1st May.

Tourism objects from Latvia:

“Mežakaķis” adventure trails

Araisi lake fortress

Daugavpils fortress                                           Aglona Basilica

Additional information can be found Latviatourism.lv. No information about tourism objects from Lithuania and Estonia yet.

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Two more travel blogs

April 17, 2007 at 9:56 am | Posted in blogs, travel | 7 Comments

Today, checking Family Travel blog I found two more/new travel blogs: The Perceptive Travel blog and Practical Travel Gear. Last one is written by travel writer Tim Leffel and the first one is written by Tim and few other contributors. The Perceptive Travel is hardly two months old, but Practical Travel Gear is written from 2005 (not very frequently).

Closer comes the day when I`ll make T-list: part 2….

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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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Museum of tourism

April 12, 2007 at 12:47 pm | Posted in Czech Republic, news, travel | Leave a comment

Czech tourist club has opened tourism museum in Bechyne, Czech Republic. Museum is located in ex- synagogue, and tells and shows Europe`s tourism history. In the centre of museum is interactive map of Czech Republic. In future visitors will be able to choose location on this map and see wide panorama of chosen place on big plasma TV screen.

[via Travel.ru, photos from Klubturistu.cz]

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News gathering

April 11, 2007 at 1:28 pm | Posted in Europe, hotels, news, travel | Leave a comment

Some short, some long, but there they are:

Candid traveler photo from Tripadvisor

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New rules for check-in in Latvia

April 4, 2007 at 2:15 pm | Posted in guests, hotels, Latvia, law, news, travel | Leave a comment

Latvia`s government has accepted rules governing the movement of persons across borders: Schengen Borders Code. Rules come in force either on 5th or 11th of April (due to Easter break), but full Schengen rules come in force either in November or December. It means, that till autum hotels have time to adjust their reservation systems and reservation or guest cards, but they aren`t supposed to give over to police the information about foreigners.

So, from now on guests (foreigners, not Latvians) will be asked to give and hotels will need to gather and then give to police such information:

  • guest name, surname
  • date of birth, resident country, citizenship and its kind
  • what kind of travel document guest has, its serial number, issuing country and date, validity date
  • check-in/check-out date

Married couple has to fill only one declaration. Parents or attorneys will fill this declaration  instead of under-aged ones. For tourist groups declaration will fill the guide. To make check-in faster, I suppose, all hotels will strongly ask tourism companies to send in filled declaration upon arrival and then at check-in hotel will just make quick control if information is correct.

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Some news not to miss

March 29, 2007 at 1:15 pm | Posted in Europe, hotels, news, travel | Leave a comment
  1. London leads global survey on European travel [TripAdvisor.co.uk]
  2. HOWTO: Scam luxury hotels [HotelChatter.com]
  3. Berlin`s funky hotels [Gridskipper.com]
  4. Coming soon: Qbic Hotel WTC Amsterdam [HotelChatter.com]
  5. TripAdvisor trumpets top 10 castle hotels in Europe [PR Newswire.com]
  6. Glin Castle, Ireland and Hotel Therese, France [TabletHotels.com]
  7. Rooms without sevice [The Independent.co.uk] The Caterer blog has its say here
  8. New hotel website startup-VibeAgent.com [TourismInternetMarketing.com]
  9. UK hotel prices close to 100 punds a room [eHotelier.com]
  10. European hotel values in 2006 highest in history [eHotelier.com]

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Photos from MITT 2007

March 26, 2007 at 11:29 am | Posted in Estonia, Europe, fairs and events, Latvia, Lithuania, photo, Russia, travel | Leave a comment

MITT 2007 March 21.-25. in Moscow, Russia. Hotels from Baltics mostly participated by giving their information and marketing materials to their region, city or hotel industry`s representatives.

Fair took place in four exibition halls.

Continue Reading Photos from MITT 2007…

Best online hotel sites – updated

March 26, 2007 at 10:23 am | Posted in award, Europe, hotels, internet, marketing, travel, UK | 4 Comments

 Update! Kevin, editor of Travolution, has sent me a comment explaining more about Travolution Awards:

Just a few things to note:

* The hotels you have mentioned only make up a shortlist – they are by no means winners of any awards.

* The senior staff at Travolution will not be judging any of the hotel categories. This will be done by a collection of senior figures from across the online travel industry.

* The award will be announced on 24 April in London.

 I`m quite confused, but thankful to Kevin. From news it could be understood, that judging process had already happened…. OK, let`s wait 24 April for best of the best 🙂

UK based online travel industry news site Travolution has announced its first Travolution Awards (nominees). Full list here.

Best Hotel Website

• Paramount-Hotels.co.uk
• Jumeirah.com
• BestWestern.co.uk
• Hyatt.com
• Sheraton.com
• VonEssenHotels.co.uk

How they were choosed?

Best Hotel Website

This award will be given to a hotel chain or individual hotelier that has achieved the greatest impact in its market during 2006. This can be based on an increase in traffic, bookings or partnerships, or the introduction of innovative tools and functionality.

Account will be taken of:

  • Originality of design and features
  • Level of innovation against wider web community
  • Success of the website within the market.

Anyone could send in their entrees, but judging process will be up to Travolution senior team and other senior people from online travel industry. I have some doubts that people who sent in those entrees where mostly from UK.

I took a look at those best hotel web sites. First four look quite the same. The same sleek and posh look, quality flash photos, online booking module, the same offers. Looks good but don`t surprise. I can`t judge about innovations and success within the market….But when I look at Sheraton…Sheraton`s Earth (taking over Google Earth)? Interesting. Von Essen Hotels is something completely different from all previous ones. At first I even got confused where to start – so much information with so little letters. In my opinion there should be better hotel site than this one out in Internetsphere. What You think about these websites?

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