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Showing posts from December 27, 2008

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Today, Wag lessons! Learn why the world wags and what wags it.

NEWS| INtl| Worst Slump in Decades for Thai Tourism

The head of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Phornsiri Manoharn, estimates the eight-day closure of Bangkok’s $4 billion Suvarnabhumi airport by antigovernment protesters a month ago will have caused one million foreign visitors to cancel trips or go elsewhere.

“This is the hardest hit we’ve ever encountered in the 48 years we’ve been promoting tourism to Thailand,” she said. And that’s after the country suffered through the December 2004 tsunami, bird flu and SARS.

With arrival numbers for December likely to be 500,000 — a third of forecasts — the Tourism Authority’s goal of attracting 15.5 million tourists in 2008 and 16 million in 2009 is in tatters.

Far from the 70 percent occupancy they normally see in December, Bangkok’s top hotels are 25 percent full, forcing management to close floors, lay off contractors and ask employees to take unpaid leave.

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NEWS| Hotel industry opposes luxury tax in Punjab

Close on the heels of the Mumbai carnage and global slowdown, imposition of luxury tax in Punjab has evoked strong reactions from the hotel and restaurant owners with the Hotel and Restaurant Association saying the move would wipe off the hotel industry from the state.

Association general secretary Amarbir Singh told FE that the association had 1,492 members comprising hoteliers and restaurant owners who have opposed the imposition of tax threatening to shut operations if the government failed to announce its rollback.

Hoteliers say that occupancy had already declined to 25-30% in the last few years as the government was not encouraging tourism.

“There hardly are any visitors, religious or even for business purpose. The luxury tax will worsen the situation and we would have to discontinue operations if it is cleared.” Describing the present situation as 'worst' for the state hotel industry, he said tha0t it had become difficult for the hoteliers and restaurant owners to even p…

Hospitality sector: Present tense, future uncertain

For hospitality sector, which began the year with uncorking of champagne, is closing 2008 on a dry note, jolted not only by the global economic downturn but also to a great extent by the Mumbai terror attacks.

Looking back, the year had a perfect start with the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram announcing special five-year tax holidays for setting up of two, three and four-star hotels in his Budget speech.

What followed was investments worth Rs 34,000 crore by as many as 25 companies — existing hospitality groups and new real estate player entrants — through the course of the year, not only for lower segment hotels but also for five-stars and luxury hotels.

The happy state of affairs for the sector in the start of the year was also reflected by the increase in the number of foreign tourist arrivals in India. According to the Ministry of Tourism, January saw a rise of 10.4 per cent, February 11.9 per cent and March 14.6 per cent in foreign arrivals.

The party was, however, short-liv…

NEWS| Chandigarh Administration asks hoteliers to install CCTV cameras

The Chandigarh Administration, in its endeavour to make the city secure and safe for tourists and visitors, recently convened a meeting for Security Requirements at hotels (both public and private sector) in the city. The meeting was chaired by Ram Niwas, Home Secretary-cum-Secretary Tourism, Chandigarh.

Major decisions in the meeting included CCTV cameras to be installed at the entry, exit, reception, underground parking and front parking; record of at least one month of CCTV camera footage to be maintained; identity proof must be produced by every customer during check in and proper checking and luggage examination must be done by hand held metal detectors.

It was decided that if any individual brings weapons along, the license number will be noted by staff. A decision was also taken to use telephone equipment with Caller ID to avoid hoax calls and to trace the phone from which the call was made.

In the meeting, Niwas decided to initiate random checks in hotels from January 20, 200…

NEWS| Intl| Qatar And UAE Top Performers

Qatar and the UAE remain the Middle East and North African (MENA) regions best-performing destinations for hotels.

Year-to-date hotel results released by MKG Hospitalitys database CompSet, indicate Qatar has been the regions best-performing country in terms of revenue per available room (RevPAR), with just over $213. This has been driven by a healthy average daily rate (ADR) of over $306 and a relatively high occupancy rate (OR) of 69.5%.

The UAE on the other hand seems to have sacrificed ADR (now at $260) in order to achieve an OR of almost 81% and attain a RevPAR of just over $210.

Kuwait and Bahrain came in third and fourth, both with a RevPAR close to $164. Where Kuwait recorded a high ADR ($282) and low OR (58.3%), Bahrain achieved a higher OR (73.6%) and an ADR of $164. Other notable performers were Oman and Algeria, with RevPARs of $158 and $148, respectively.Related Posts:

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NEWS| Taj Hotels to welcome New Year in grand style

The three Taj hotels in Hyderabad are all set to usher in the New Year 2009 in grand style.Some of the most sought after DJs, musicians and dancers will perform at the New Year gala. The Exterior and facades of all hotels will be lit up to welcome the year 2009.

Taj Krishna

v New Year’s Eve Celebration @ The Grand Ballroom & Lawns: Taj Krishna bids adieu to 2008 and welcomes the New Year with Internationally famous music band Sydney Sensation, Indian Divas, MC Shefali Talwar(former Miss New Delhi). A lavish New Year’s Buffet with international cuisines will be served.

v New Year’s Eve @ Ahala: DJ Mark Vedo brings in the New Year 2009 along with in-house DJ Jay with finger licking delicious elaborate buffet spread served at The Golden Room.

v Special New Year’s Eve buffet @ Encounters: An elaborate dinner buffet with flavours of the world and entertainment
by a Sri Lankan Calypso band, which will be performing hits from 80’s to current chart busters.

v Special Ne…