Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November - Peak Corporate Travel Season

November tends to be one of the busiest corporate travel months of the year as everyone tries to get business done before everything shuts down over the Christmas holidays.

Obviously this year has been a rough one for corporate travel so exactly how busy November would be was anyone's guess. Corporate demand keeps cities busy at this time of year, but its the events and other things happening that fills the hotels and brings our service in to demand.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the month got off to a great start thanks to Tiger Woods playing in the Australian Masters in Melbourne. I didn't give Britney Spears much credit for just how busy it was but it seems I may have been mistaken as the weak after when she was in Sydney, along with Pearl Jam, demand was through the roof. The same week there was a large rail conference in Adelaide that made it crazy busy.

The only frustration with both events was that I knew they were coming, I just didn't imagine the demand for rooms would be to the level it was. The phones rang off the hook and while I had some rooms ready to go, it was nowhere near enough and it was disappointing have to tell so many people that a city was full.

This week, Britney Spears and Pearl Jam came to Brisbane, in the same week that Hulk Hogan was in town and the first cricket test match of the summer is at the Gabba on Thursday. Thankfully I was prepared, grabbed plenty of rooms but they still didn't last too long. Tomorrow (Wednesday the 25th) is the absolute worst of it and so many people have needed that one night. I ran completely out of rooms this afternoon so my fingers are crossed that there are some cancellations overnight and I can find availability in the morning.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Movember - Changing the face of men's health

One of my friends is taking part in Movember and has been challenged to grow a Freddy Mercury-esque mo. I might post some progress pics if he doesn't mind ... but I made a donation to this worthy cause today and if you don't know anything about Movember, see below.

I just made a donation to Movember - the men's health charity raising awareness and funds for prostate cancer and depression in men.

What many people don't appreciate is that close to 3,000 men die of prostate cancer each year in Australia and one in eight men will experience depression in their lifetime - many of whom don't seek help. This is a really important cause that has long been neglected and I ask that you join me by making a small donation at: http://au.movember.com/mospace/199559/

The funds raised go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and beyondblue: the national depression initiative.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia will use the money raised by Movember to fund research into the causes, detection, diagnosis and improved treatment of prostate cancer.

beyondblue will use the money raised by Movember to fund the beyondblue info line and to increase community awareness about depression and reduce the stigma associated with the illness.

For more information on the outcomes of Movember go to: http://au.movemberfoundation.com/research-and-programs/

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tiger lands in Melbourne

Tiger Woods may have only arrived in Australia yesterday and had his first practice round today but his legend definitely preceded him.

We started getting calls last week and had an extremely busy afternoon on Friday doing nothing but bookings for Melbourne hotels. Sure, its not just Tiger in town that has the city full, Britney Spears also has concerts this week ... but we all know who the real draw-card is.

The demand for Melbourne continued on Monday but unfortunately by mid-afternoon the city was essentially full. I only found a few more rooms this morning but they didn't last long and unfortunately nothing really changed throughout the day. There's nothing I hate more than saying we can no longer find rooms but that's what happened today.

Being a golf fan, I'm a huge fan of Tiger Woods. Anyone still needing accommodation in Melbourne this week may not feel the same right now.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dynamic Pricing Across the Accommodation Industry

I came across an interesting article about the Australian accommodation market and what will happen after the GFC (Global Financial Crisis).

Its a good read for those in the hotel industry and there are a few key points brought up by Quest Chairman Paul Constantinou that I couldn't agree with more:
  • "Four to five years before the GFC hit, the industry had been under-supplied. The strong demand for accommodation caused bigger players to get greedy and introduce dynamic pricing to the market.
  • "It's about looking after your customer, driving loyalty, and not treating them like they're a commodity. There's no use giving a customer a loyalty card if you have no loyalty."
  • The clear lesson for accommodation providers is to focus on the long-term and build genuine relationships with its corporate customers, through thick and thin.
Click on the title below to read the full story.

Dynamic Pricing Across the Accommodation Industry | ehotelier.com News Archives

For the last 12 months the GFC has forced travel operators to offer more competitive pricing, but in the wake of a recovering economy, one leading industry player says consumers should brace themselves for price hikes once more.

Dynamic (or variable) pricing was in full swing just 18 months ago, with large accommodation providers charging the corporate world up to three times more for its rooms during peak periods.

The GFC reversed this dynamic, causing average room rates and occupancy rates to decline dramatically.

Will the accommodation industry continue to suffer, or will the much maligned dynamic pricing model re-surface some time soon with the improvement of business confidence?