Friday, May 25, 2012

Hotel websites

Thanks to one of the industry newsletters I read for pointing out this gem from The Hotel Internet Marketing Blog.

As we spend a lot of time on hotel websites and 3rd party hotel booking sites, I do wonder why they make things so hard.

K.I.S.S. :-)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Borat thanked for lifting Kazakhstan tourism

From an industry newsletter this morning:

Borat thanked for lifting Kazakhstan tourism - Destination News -

On the eve of the release of his new film ‘The Dictator’, Sacha Baron Cohen and his previous flick, ‘Borat’ have been thanked for boosting tourism to Kazakhstan.

Once banned from Kazakhstan for satirizing its people, Borat was recently acknowledged by Kazakhstan Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov as being responsible for sparking massive interest in the country, AFP reported.

“With the release of this film, the number of visas issued by Kazakhstan grew tenfold,” local news agencies quoted the foreign minister as telling a session of parliament.

“I am grateful to 'Borat' for helping attract tourists to Kazakhstan.”

‘Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan’ was released in 2006 to international acclaim.

But the Central Asian nation from which the film’s protagonist hailed took issue with the movie with its harsh depiction of Kazakh rural life and its people.

According to AFP, earlier this year, Kazakhstan lodged a formal complaint with the Olympic Committee of Asia after a spoof Kazakh anthem from the movie was broadcast at a sports event in Kuwait.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Melbourne trip

I've been to Sydney several times this year but last week I was down in Melbourne for the first time in a number of years. Melbourne is a very quiet market for us at the moment. The hotels are always extremely busy on the weekends (with leisure travel) but unless there is a major concert in town or Tiger Woods playing golf, its not usually too hard to find accommodation midweek.

Since I have very little pull down there right now I did some research to find the best accommodation deal and came up with a great rate for a 2 bedroom apartment (I had some friends staying with me) at Docklands Apartments Grand Mercure.

Other than seeing AFL games at Etihad Stadium, I really hadn't spent any time in the Docklands precinct. Its a little bit further away from the centre of the CBD than I thought but with the free tram stopping about 100m from our apartment block getting around was no problem. On the waterfront there were plenty of good restaurants and cafe's so this too wasn't an issue.

The Docklands Apartments aren't an actual hotel as such, instead its a number of apartment buildings next to each other that Grand Mercure manage. Essentially this just means that there is a separate check-in location and they then give you the keys and tell you which building and apartment you're in. Since there are no porters, no room service, etc the cost was so much cheaper than other 2 bedroom options around the CBD.

If you don't need the full services of a hotel, I'd recommend this property when you're travelling with a few others and want to keep the costs down. 

Docklands - New Quay