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10 Ways to Make Your Hotel Room Romantic

There are several ways that you can transform your hotel room in to your own private romantic hideaway. Of course, you either need to hire someone to pre-stage the room for you or you need to find your way in to the room before your significant other gets there.

Below are the top 10 ways to improve the look and feel of your guest room:

  1. Music. The best way is to have an i-pod with portable speakers (many hotels now have an i-pod docking station) so that you can pipe in her favorite music to fill the room. Not too loud, though.
  2. Lighting. There is nothing worse than walking in to a room filled with bright lights. Turn off all of the lights and strategically place some battery operated votive candles around the room (no fire hazard, allowed by hotels. Do not make the same mistake that some have made – using real candles only to have the smoke hit super sensitive detectors and cause an alarm to go off). Close the drapes / shutters.
  3. Rose Petals. When the person you are trying to impress opens the door, they will find a trail of rose petals leading from the front door to the bed. Sprinkle lots of rose petals on the bed as well. As a special note, most hotels do not like the use of real rose petals but you can use them as long as you are careful (eg if there is a white comforter in the room, protect the bed by placing a romantic blanket or throw on the bed and then place the petals on top).
  4. Flowers. Roses are king but some people do not care for them. Find out what her favorite flower is, and place an arrangement in the room (or can just be a single flower on the bed or placed in a bud vase).
  5. Edible decadence. Chocolate is an aphrodisiac and a favorite for romantic occasions. Skip the bargain basement heart shaped box and go for more of a high-end truffle from a local chocolatier or candy shop.
  6. Scent. Have you noticed how some hotel rooms smell like cleaning products? That can spoil the mood. Pick up a room fragrance spray from a store like the Body Shop. Or you can purchase a "plug in" and insert it into one of the room's outlets – just pick a romantic scent (like vanilla or jasmine)
  7. Bedding. Most nicer hotels have great sheets and comforters these days. But if you want to add something to the experience, bring your own Satin sheets and re-make the bed (yes, a little bit of extra work but worth it) or add a throw or faux fur blanket to the bed.
  8. Bubbly. Champagne always marks a special occasion and will go well with the chocolates. If not in to alcohol, then Sparkling cider is a great substitute (or non-alcoholic sparkling wine).
  9. Love letter. You've set this whole room up – but why? Tell your special someone in a note – but not a piece of binder paper. Buy a nice card, write something special and leave it in the room on the bed.
  10. Extras. Some other nice touches are having a bath ready (decorated around the rim of the tub with candles and rose petals), a framed picture of the two of you in the room, and a massage kit. Some couples may opt to hire someone for a couples massage – but would you rather massage your partner or have some stranger touching them?

Environmental Issues Affecting the Travel Industry

Protecting the environment is now one of the most talked-about and hotly-debated topics across the globe. Many companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to create products or make their products environmentally friendly. An example is the electric car that is being looked at as a viable option to that of the present gasoline powered car. In 2009 world leaders met in Copenhagen to discuss ways in which they can prevent global warming and reduce on the effects of climate change, in effect protecting the environment. The travel industry too has not been left out of this issue. In an industry where the number of people engaged in international travel has been predicted to reach the billion mark in 2010, there is concern about its contribution to the damage done to the environment. Also like every other industry the travel industry needs to be concerned about ways of doing business that are environmentally friendly. Outlined below are some of the environmental issues affecting the travel industry which stakeholders need to address and in some cases seek out long term solutions.

1. Aviation which ferries hundreds of thousands of tourists across the globe is of great concern to those seeking to protect the environment. A major concern for the industry is greenhouse gas emissions and their implication for climate change. Aviation produces at least two percent of emissions. One way the aviation industry is working on this problem is by rolling out newer planes that have fuel efficient engines which means less carbon emissions. However not all airlines especially in the poorer countries can afford buying new aircraft.

2. Mass tourism. With the cost of travel becoming cheaper and more and more people venturing further away from their countries to places that were previously inaccessible but can now be reached because of air transport, areas of environmental and historical significance are becoming crowded. This is putting pressure on ecosystems within these areas and threatening the flora and fauna. Also climate change is going to mean that certain places will not favour visitors because of weather conditions becoming extreme which will lead to overcrowding in other places with more favourable weather conditions. Again this presents a danger to the ecosystems in the overcrowded areas and to the tourism of the area.

3. Deforestation. In spite of the worldwide call to protect the environment there are still areas where massive logging is taking place. This is also contributing to destruction of flora and fauna and is a threat to the tourism in those areas.

4. With the call to go green affecting all industries across the globe the tourism industry has not been left out. There is pressure on those who are in the industry to find methods of doing business that are sustainable and environmentally friendly. For example can the hotel industry build hotels that are more environmentally friendly? What methods can they use to conserve energy and reduce on chemicals that are used in the dry cleaning of tons of laundry used in the industry?

5. Human encroachment. With populations continuing to grow worldwide there is now competition between man and animals for space. Humans are now encroaching on areas like National Parks that are protected and marked for wildlife. This has led to reports of people and their livestock being killed by wild animals which in turn leads to people hunting and killing these animals that are considered to be a threat. This is a threat to the tourism of the area. Human encroachment is also forcing animals to move away from their habitat to other areas where they can not survive leading to the extinction of certain species.

5 Best Extreme Sports in Peru – Peru Travel Guide

Many foreign visitors to Peru are happy with a relaxing few days travelling around ancient Inca archaeological sites, kicking-back in luxury hotels, and riding exclusive trains to Machu Picchu. But if your dream getaway is a taking things to the max in search of extreme thrills and fun, then you will not be disappointed either! Peru can offer it all! Here are the 5 best extreme sports in Peru.

Extreme Mountain Biking

Peru was made for mountain biking, after all the Andes – the world's longest mountain chain runs right down the centre of the country, peaking at 22,132 feet (6,746 m) in the Cordillera Blanca in central Peru. Possibly one of the most extreme sports in Peru with locals and foreigners alike, there are literally thousands of places to find fast fun down-hill thrills. In Cusco there is a handful of specialist travel agents that offer a range of different day (and multi-day) trips, with full suspension Kona bikes. Our favourite extreme ride is the 1 day Mega-Avalanche single track ride, that starts at the top of Abra Malaga in the Sacred Valley (close to Cusco) and descends 1600 meters to the village of Ollantaytambo. Oh, and you can do it three times!

Surfing

You would not think so, but yes, Peru is actually one of the world's best surfing spots. Along the northern coastline, Peru offers waves for everyone from beginners to pros. Peru has produced many world surfing champions, and it's easy to see why when you understand just how good the waves are. Chicama has the world's longest left-handed wave in the world at 4km's long, and Mancora (close by) has the world's largest left-handed point-break in the world. Extreme sports in Peru do not get much better than this!

Sand-boarding

During the 1960s, the small oasis town of Huacachina was once a holiday hot-spot for rich limenians. Nowadays, this rather less glamorous place is the home of one of the most fun and extreme sports in Peru – Sand-boarding. Located 7 km's from the main city of Ica, Huacachina is surrounded by vast sand dunes which stretch as far as the eye can see. There are only a handful of hostels in the town, but all of them will rent you sand-board for a few soles per day. Cover yourself from head-to-toe in sun-block and start climbing! It's fun, cheap, thrilling and often painful!

White Water Rafting

With so many mountains, there are bound to be quite a lot of fast flowing and rocky rivers to enjoy. Rafting is probably one of the most common extreme sports in Peru, and in the region of Cusco, there are many expert travel agencies that will take you out on the river. The Urubamba River (in the Sacred Valley) offers a thrilling full day experience which is suitable for beginners through to intermediary rafters. But hard-core rafters looking for the ultimate thrill need to go a little further afield. Cotahuasi Canyon is the deepest canyon in the world, and is also home to one of the world's toughest rafting challenges. The route includes 6 days of full-on, technical class 4 – 5 rapids, uncharted pre-Inca ruins and spectacular campsites. Extreme sports in Peru do not get much better than this! But be warned the Cotahuasi raft is for only the toughest travellers!

Zip Lines in the Jungle

15 Km's from Machu Picchu, close to the village of Santa Teresa is Peru's first canopy top zip line (also known as flying fox). A series cables with a total length of 2500 meters are broken up into six sections, with the longest section being 400 meters in length. At the fastest point on the wire it is possible to reach speeds of 60 Km / h (37 mph), which is enough to give the sensation of flight! Make sure that you are not scared of heights either, as part of the line hang 150 meters above the jungle floor. Extreme sports in Peru do not get much more fun than this!

Of-course there are a whole bunch of other great things to see and do in Peru, but if you think that there are better extreme sports in Peru than the ones listed, we would love to hear your thoughts!

Key Issues Facing Travel Agencies for Survivability

A travel agency that wants to survive the demands of the present and future business environment can no longer simply be an outlet for distribution, or a friendly neighborhood business. Agencies that are now looking toward the future with optimism are those that have structured a business rather than a distribution outlet. This article is intended to reach those agency owners and managers who have a fairly sizable volume, have established good business relationships with corporations, and are seriously concerned about their future well-being. I hope to touch on a few areas that are of concern, giving some insight into areas that you may or may not have already targeted as vital to survival. Remember, sometimes it is the obvious that escapes us, so do not believe that the simplicity of some of these areas is unintentional. The key to survival is overall profitability, but there are some subtle areas that affect whether or not you are profitable.

Profitability

A travel agency is a rather unique business when looked at from a profitability standpoint. It is perhaps the only retail industry that has a little or no control over its retail pricing structure. Although alternative pricing exists, it is not an effective means for the average agency to gain and / or maintain profitability. Thus, it is vital to make a careful analysis of your costs and your income.

Have you taken the time to analyze productivity; the average per transaction cost compared to the average per ticket / transaction fee revenues received? What about individual productivity? Do you have fair, firm, viable, and enforceable expectations of what your salaried employees must produce? Is your payroll in line with your business volume?

If you were asked to state by how much you wanted to increase your volume in 2012, you most probably would have a ready response. But, have you thought through what measures you will need to take to increase your volume? If you plan to increase your market share, you must keep a constantly growing and evolving prospect list and then follow-up with sales-related meetings and presentations. It will be necessary to generate new volume in order to increase profitability or in some cases just to maintain it. It is of utmost importance that your organization has a firm and tried sales and marketing strategy.

Set a goal, focus on it, and develop a plan. Measure yourself by setting 90-, 180-, 270-, and 360-day goals. Evaluate your progress along the way and give rewards to yourself and those who have helped you to reach those goals.

Another area that affects profitability is your overhead. Use the same common sense you do at home when it comes to improvement of your physical environment. There seems to be a tendency, lately, to go a bit overboard with these things, thus dramatically increasing capital costs, and depleting resources for potential investment in other areas.

Employees

Have you ever heard someone say that a company is only as “good” as its employees? The ability to attract and keep a good, solid, knowledgeable, mature staff is of great importance. State-of-the-art computerization in your office has little value without the people in place to make your operation profitable.

As the fierceness of competition in today’s agency marketplace increases, it will become more and more difficult to locate and retain the top-of-the line employees. Look for employees with a good deal of experience, or lacking that, a drive for success that can be channeled under your good management and leadership. You must begin to look toward the future and develop an employee plan that will maintain the consistency that area of ​​the industry has lacked for a long time. Consistency in your employee ranks will greatly favor your operation. Your clients will be able to have the same friendly voices to relate to, and will not question your stability because of heavy turnover (which is also extremely costly to your bottom line).

Find out how competitive your total compensation package is. Develop “real” incentives that have goals and measures by which an employee receives rewards. Make sure the rewards have substance to them. You may even wish to develop a plan by which your employees could develop equity in your firm.

Examine your training procedures to make sure that your employees are keeping pace with the technological sophistication (changes, updates, modifications, and enhancements) required of today’s travel agents. Your employees, although not likely desire to put in more hours, would like to spend their hours more productively. If this is achieved, then both you and the employee profit. There are many low or no-cost seminars and training forums available through a variety of industry vendors. Let your employees tie into these functions. Set up a program with your automation vendor and other vendors to provide on-going training for your employees at a level suitable for the individual. Remember: sending an employee to an advanced CRS training seminar who has never worked with that particular CRS may be counterproductive. Be sure to provide training at the employee’s level of comprehension.

It may be time to take a look at the overall productivity of your employees and find out the real costs and profits of each person on your payroll. Do you have an expected level of productivity for each employee that justifies his / her salary? If not, realize that an employee earning $ 18,000, plus medical, dental, and life insurance needs to generate a gross sales volume of almost $ 250,000 in order for the company to afford the salary and benefits alone. This does not even take into account other overhead expenses – rent, utilities, other insurances, and a profit. In most operationally mature situations a good, profitable, commercial agent generates an annual sales volume of $ 1,000,000.

Costs

Believe it or not, you do not have to have 700 branches, in 41 states, and 12 foreign countries to achieve savings in the area of ​​cost control. Even if you are buying for just one office, a good vendor is going to want your patronage. For every cost area, seek out three potential vendors who can provide you with the entire scope of your needs. Then do your best to ascertain what your needs will be for an extended period of time. Remember, the greater the single purchase the more efficient for the vendor, thus allowing the opportunity for greater savings to be passed on to you. Request a bid from the vendors; much in the same manner your clients have requested bids from you in order for you to obtain their business.

The cost of everything is on the rise. The days of item purchasing in business is gone simply because of the economics involved. You can achieve greater survivability by changing some of your non-fixed expenses to semi fixed expenses and it does not matter if you’re a single or multi-branch agency.

If you do have more than one branch, consider the concept of centralizing costs wherever possible. Even if there is considerable distance between branches, most vendors will pick up the shipping costs to outlaying locations of an account. The purchasing power gained by centralizing as many costs as possible will bring you cost savings as well as other efficiencies that are being passed up by many agencies, today.

The control of costs in today’s arena of expense inflation will be vital to your survival over the next year or two. Not is the time to begin positing yourself in accordance with your business plan to gain the control necessary.

Industry Vendors

Forget what is in the past. This industry has a habit of being overly reminiscent, and it is costing the very lives of many agencies and seriously threatening many of those still in existence. The face of the basic industry vendor / agency relationship has been changing for quite a while, and I believe that 2012 and 2013 will prove to be the spear-hear period for those changes.

Now is the time to firmly build your alliances, and get to work with your future business plans along with your vendors. The entire distribution system as we now know it has been placed in a questionable posture. You must decide for yourself what steps are necessary for your survival. What agreements should be consummated between your agency and carriers, car rental firms, hotels, tour operators, automation vendors, etc.? Everyone is eager for your business. But, who is offering you the best overall deal in return? It is vital that you begin to explore your options, and look toward the long term. You will not be able to survive on short-term relationships which bring short-term dollars.

Most airline override agreements should be looked at as “the icing on the cake.” Too many agencies make the error of thinking of this as secure, guaranteed income. It may not be. The vast majority of carriers have turned to market share based overrides, rather than what was the traditional “increased volume” based override. Of course, there are still the occasional “other deals” floating around that can help to get some more dollars into your agency. Be aware of every dollar a carrier is offering. Flight, and / or segment cash bonuses paid at point-of-sale can generate substantial immediate dollars for you. Make sure you, and / or a reliable member of your staff is constantly in tune with these “special” offerings. “Do not simply discard those pieces of electronic mail the carriers send you. You could be losing serious dollars. Information of pertinence is also available in all the agency CRS CO-HOST DRS pages.

Also be aware that airlines are extremely eager for your group business, and in some cases, you may be pleasantly surprised to find out how few people an airline will consider a group, and how nice the specific override on that group can be.

Hotels and car rental companies are in the override marketplace as well, more now than in the past. Calculate what your annualized volume with these vendors is, and much in the same manner that you can develop an override program with an air carrier; you may find yourself eligible for more dollars from your car and hotel vendors as well. There seems to be a great deal of latitude afforded the local sales staff of car rental companies, depending on their geographic location as to what they can do for productive agencies. It would seem to make sense to investigate these avenues. The work required to maximize your car rental commission may be well worth it in the long run.

To sum it up, vendors in today’s marketplace are looking for strong and loyal allies. They are willing to compensate you for this loyalty. But, they are demanding that you produce substantial and consistent revenues for them.

Now is the time to look toward the future, and determine whom you should deal with.

MIS

The survivors in today’s environment have developed a keen sense of awareness of the current needs of corporations to have accurate, and in-depth, management data. If you are not up-to-date with what is going on in today’s automation / information world of the travel industry, it may well be time to seek out avenues whereby you can receive some education in this area. Agencies are being looked at more and more for their ability to act as managers, information and data sources, and travel budget and policy markers.

The change in the way corporations view travel agents is a welcome one. It has done much to bring respect to the business and the professionals within it. The question one must ask though is, “Am I prepared to accept the new challenges posed by the changing role of the travel agent?”

If you have any doubts, it’s not too late to learn and grow in the areas you need to. Your ability to support the management information needs of a corporation is vital to your survival.

Areas of Specialization

Over the past several years agencies have begun to expand their menu of services from simply commercial and leisure travel, to include Incentives, Groups, and Meeting Planning. Be aware that such specialization requires knowledge, dedication, risk, and good planning. These “other” areas of endeavor are quite complex. Doing the job half-way generally results in failure.

Incentive Travel is complicated and often misunderstood as being the same as group travel. When properly administered, sold, and operated it can be an extremely profitable venture. The basic and override commissions paid by travel vendors are unusually good. Meeting Planning is quite time consuming, but again, when done properly can become quite lucrative. One of the challenges with Meeting Planning however, is that the air portion of the program can get quite complex. If you are not properly geared and staffed for it, you will be unpleasantly surprised. Again, there are excellent opportunities for increased profitability here.

Specialization in these or any area of ​​the industry is becoming more and more evident these days, and the reason is you must somehow stand out in the crowd to survive. Find out what it is that you and your staff excel at. It may well be worth the time and effort to clearly define an area of ​​specialization. Developing an identity as a “specialist,” when done properly, can greatly enhance your exposure and positivity affect your overall business.

We are now faced with the challenges that many other industries have faced before – how to survive in a time of increased expense, and decreased revenues? If you want to survive, not is the time to act. Prepare for the future by committing yourself to a workable, flexible, realistic business plan. Align yourself with vendors properly. Review costs, and productivity. Set standards. Develop new avenues of revenue generation. Do not let what appears to be turmoil around you dissuade you from success.

Make 2011 a year that will make a difference. Make it the year that you decide to be a winner, and a survivor!

Tourism Through The Ages

The industry of tourism is at its peak. This is not just applicable to one country or one continent. In fact, thanks to the power of the World Wide Web and social media, people are discovering other countries aside from their own. Tourism has changed in a way because people are now more open to share their experiences while travelling to foreign places. Through blogs and reviews complete with photo and videos, others can have a glimpse at someone else's getaway before they decide that they want it also for themselves.

Travelling has also been easier thanks to more affordable flights that allow people to plan trips around the world. People from Asia, for example, can now explore South America and then plan their next exploration to Europe. With the efficiency of air travel, tourism allows people to get to a location fast and without hassle. Compared to sea-faring and land travel during the olden days, a traveller's time to explore is too short. These days, one can take the time to enjoy the scenery and immerse in the culture before he or she goes back home.

The scope of the word "tourism" has changed. Far from the usual sight-seeing and a little cultural exposure, the word now involves other industries. Terms like medical tourism or entertainment tourism are now widely used that people go to certain countries to avail of medical treatments or watch concerts. Because of these aspects that are now part of tourism, the beauty in each country is highlighted. And this beauty goes beyond the scenic places. After all, a huge part of tourism has to do with the people and culture. When these positive aspects in a place are highlighted, many people will be encouraged to experience a country first-hand.

Tourism is improving day by day. As fast as the changes in technology, people are being presented with more options to explore the world. Unlike during the earlier times, tourism can now be enjoyed by all kinds and standing of people. Thanks to globalization, the limits and boundaries are now expanding, letting people explore the world outside of their comfort zones. This era is the best time to discover and to enjoy the rest of the world. If you want to see the world, the industry of tourism is putting on a great show that will make you amazed at the world you live in.

Hotel California Meets the Great Gatsby – Music As a Teaching Resource For Literature

The most famous artistic product of the boozy 1920's is F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, a novel about a man trying to recreate an ideal past in a drunken, materialistic present. It's one of those books just about everyone has a strong impression of whether or not they've actually read it – which makes it hard for many to approach the story with fresh eyes.

If you're a teacher looking for interesting , relevant ways to dig into The Great Gatsby, why not try something like this on for size: the 1920's were to WWI what the 1970's were to the hippy movement. The unprecedented global carnage following the so-called "War to End All Wars" turned disillusioned Americans inwards, setting their priorities on money, bootlegged liquor, and partying. Similarly, after the hippies failed to elevate worldwide consciousness with peace, love, and patchouli oil, 1970's America drowned its sorrows in disco, drugs, and polyester pants.

As an assignment, have your students compare The Great Gatsby to a 1970's song in this same vein. Take, for example, The Eagles' Hotel California, one of the best-selling and most recognizable songs from this (or any) era of American history.

Hotel California boasts some of the most analyzed and memorized lyrics in rock and roll. If the element of mystery means a lot to you, you'll probably be disappointed to hear Don Henley's two cents: "It's basically a song about the dark underbelly of the American dream." Not that a bunch of rock stars would know anything about that. In other words, the symbol of Californian prosperity (back when that still existed) stands in as a microcosm of American decadence in the 1970's.

The "hotel" (wink, wink) California is no Motel 6. It has mirrored ceilings, courtyards, master's chambers, pink champagne, and high-falutin 'guests. The narrator can not help but notice the seductive woman with a Benz, a mind that's "Tiffany-twisted," and a lot of hot guys following her around. He asks for wine, to which the captain famously replies, "We have not had that spirit here since 1969." Since wine is not a spirit (and we're betting The Eagles have a basic understanding of liquor), we're going to go ahead and assume Henley is referring to some other spirit of '69.

In a creepy turn of events, there is then a beast-killing ceremony involving "steely knives," which prompts the narrator to high-tail it "back to the place [he] was before." Only when it's too late does he realize that he can "check out" but "never leave." How, pray tell, can a person be checked out without going anywhere physically? We're thinking there might be some chemistry involved.

So let's review: luxury, substance abuse, a beautiful temptress, materialism, violence, living in the past, and being trapped. Remind you of anyone?

As a rule of thumb, music is one of the best teacher resources because it can be deeply personal and easily relatable at the same time. Plus, the fact that lyrics are usually highly open to interpretation means your students will be putting in a lot more work than they think.

Five Reasons Why You Should Work For the Travel and Tourism Industry

The travel and tourism industry is a massive global industry that caters for the needs of those who have to travel away from home in terms of providing facilities and services like hotel accommodation, air and road transport. Close to a billion people are involved in international travel in this industry which generates billions of dollars every year. Sometimes making a decision on which industry to work for can be quite hard given the many options available today across the globe. Below are five reasons why you should consider working in the travel and tourism industry.

1. There are lots of work opportunities. The travel and tourism industry has a lot of opportunities employment for those seeking employment. You can work in the aviation sector, road, rail and water transport, accommodation providers like hotels and lodges, leisure and business travel agents and tour guides. It is now also possible to work from home thanks to technology which is convenient for some people like mums who have a child or children and do not want to be far away from home.

2. The perks are good. The travel industry provides rewards that not many other industries do. For example those working in the airline industry can get free tickets for themselves and immediate family members to fly to any destination that the airline they work for flies to. Those who work as travel agents can get reduced travel fares and even pay reduced accommodation rates. Then there are the familiarization trips that those who work in the industry have the opportunity to take. Just think of an all expenses paid trip to places like the Seychelles, France, the Kenyan coast of Mombasa to name just a few.

3. It is a growing industry. In spite of the recent downturn because of the threat of terrorism and the world recession, travel industry players are optimistic about its growth. In good times and bad times people always get the urge to move. And with more and more places becoming accessible because of air travel and with both air travel and hotel rates coming down in order to accommodate peoples pocket there is reason to believe that the travel industry will continue to grow and more markets will be reached which is good news for service providers. Furthermore technology like the internet has made it possible to access markets anywhere in the world, at any time of the day.

4. It is never boring. Working in the industry almost means that you will meet new people from time to time. This is especially true for those who work as frontline staff in travel agencies, airline offices or hotels. Those who work in the airline industry as flight attendants have the opportunity to travel to different parts of the world, visit different towns and cities and see and experience different cultures. That can never be a boring job.

5. You do not need years of studying to work in the industry. You may love a certain profession but because of the years of studying involved in learning it you may be discouraged from joining it. Not so with the travel and tourism industry. Three to six months may be enough depending on what qualification you are studying for to get you started working for this exciting industry. Some people because of their love for the work and experience gained in certain areas of the industry have even started working and studied for the paper qualifications later.

Disadvantages of Online Bus Booking

The idea or trend of online bus booking has steadfastly climbed the popularity graph, and has the potential of scoring over its physical counterpart in the very near future. However, as akin to a coin, there is another side to this success story too. There are a number of facts that you should be consciously aware of while out shopping for the best deals in the transportation arena. Even though there are numerous advantages of hopping on the web-based reservation bandwagon, callousness in selecting your firm or reading the fine print may land you in serious trouble – both financial as well as legal.

Recent news, though, has been positive as far as online bus booking is concerned, with GTDC (Goa Tourism Development Corporation) embracing the trend. With government authorities also recognizing the brighter side of web reservations, the darker side of the same is being pushed farther away from public notice.

However, here are a few drawbacks of the online bus booking service, which at times mar the enjoyable experience of reserving a place for yourself on a transport vehicle from the confines of your home:

  • Authenticity

– A lot of portals use the facade of the web as a wall to present fake licenses and registration documents, often convincing the clients of their non-existent authenticity. Make sure you check with the local authorities or with that of the state of origin of the agency, to avoid being conned by the latter.

  • Hidden Costs

– Potential clients often miss out on reading the fine print or hidden terms and conditions stated in the quote. This allows the agency to charge a much higher sum (hidden costs) than the quoted price.

  • Restricted Options

– Some web-based bus reservation sites provide a much restricted outlook – some may offer a cheaper quote on a package tour, conveniently missing out on half of the tourist spots you may have wished to visit had you visited a local travel or booking agency.

  • Special Requirements

– Very few online bus booking services take into consideration special needs of aged or handicapped people. This creates problems for such individuals.

  • Direct Support

– The absence of authentic customer care support, one-on-one interaction and similar after-sales support may cause communication as well as troubleshooting turn limp, even while you are on a trip.

Therefore, even though online bus booking has been a boon for customers who would rather enjoy a quiet laze in their homes, it may turn into a menace too.

Only a handful of online portals provide the standard of service ideally demanded by customers. You can also look up a firm like Ezeego1, which provides online bus booking services in over 4000 pan-India routes, all in a jiffy!

Methods a Hotel Uses to Keep Its Linens and Towels Clean and Fresh

There is nothing better than sliding under fresh, crisp white sheets in a lovely hotel room at the end of the evening. Have you wondered how motels keep their towels and sheets refreshing and clean? Resorts can use hundreds of sets of towels and sheets a day. These establishments use a combination of rapid maintenance and delicate treatment to make sure the prolonged life and cleanliness of their linens. Implement these 5 rules utilized by resorts to extend the life of one's home sheets, towels, and blankets.

One particular way to keep linens fresh and mildew-free is always to hang up the towels after use. Hotels encourage this practice with guests by displaying a sign inside the rest room with the instructions to hang up the towels. When a towel is not hung up to dry after use, mildew can grow around the towels significantly easier, leading to musty odor, even right after laundering. The simple act of hanging a towel may help steer clear of mildew smells inside the towels.

An extremely valuable approach to keep linens fresh is by not under filling or overfilling a washing machine. Filling a washing machine an excessive amount does not allow for adequate mechanical motion to clean the laundry. On the other hand, not filling up a washing machine enough makes it possible for for an excessive amount of mechanical action, triggering the linens to break down quicker. It truly is appropriate to fill a washing machine to approximately 80 percent of the machine's capacity.

It really is also crucial to wash linens on a warm setting, not too hot and not too cold. Washing sheets and towels in cold water is not going to cleanse the linens thoroughly, allowing for some bacteria and dust mites to remain. Nonetheless, because of the frequency of washes, washing those identical linens in hot water can damage the fabric incredibly speedily.

Vinegar can also be a valuable tool for keeping hotel sheets and towels clean. When used in replacement of fabric softener, vinegar removes bacteria and freshens materials. Standard fabric softener coats fabrics with a film, making it tricky to completely clean the linens. Following washing these linens using detergent and vinegar as fabric softener, resort linens will smell clean and will never smell like vinegar whatsoever.

Finally, one crucial component of keeping lodge towels and linen smelling and looking clean is always to cleanse the washers on a regular basis. If mildew grows in a washer, that smell is quickly transferred to the laundered linens, even if they're clean. By being proactive and cleansing the washers on a regular basis, this mildew smell can be avoided.

Resorts that stick to these 5 techniques for cleaning linens will ensure clean sheets and towels for hotel guests. Guests can right away notice the difference if your sheets or towels have not been laundered appropriately. Additionally, these laundry approaches also help extend the life of motels' linens, leading to lower expenses for the resort along with the customer.

Different Types of Hospitality Management Systems

Hospitality management systems are the software that runs your hospitality business. From the food ordering system in your restaurant, to online accommodation booking software, it enables efficient communication and management of your operation, ultimately increasing revenues.

With a range of hospitality management systems to choose from, understanding what is offered is important in order to find the right system that is tailored for your needs and budget. Depending on the type of operation you manage, you should consider the following systems, their advantages and suitability to your company.

Accommodation management software:

Accommodation software packages range from those aimed at B & Bs and small motel owners to ones for running big hotels, clubs and resorts. The basic package offers simple guest and room management, while the more complex ones cover every aspect needed to manage and run a big hotel chain. This includes reservations, service, retail, inventory, staff roster and training, accounting and much more.

Front desk: A front office software package should enable reception staff to keep track of all bookings, state of rooms, guest details and charges, coordinate restaurant reservations for guests, plan housekeeping duties and process guest check-in and check-out. They should also provide a means to communicate effectively with all travel agents and activity operators linked to the system. Features you should look out for include: Reports for arrivals & departures on a specific date. Guest ledger and reservation details, including activities and special requests. Room rates, discounts, package deals, group bookings, etc. Visual schematic of hotel rooms and status. Visual schematic of calendar with room availability. Facility for printing check-in cards for guests. Flexibility in re-assigning guests to different room. Facility to easily add charges to rooms from restaurants, spa, gift shop, etc. Incorporate all payment options upon check-out and print receipt. Print work roster for staff Facilities for storing guest history Communicate efficiently with reservation and travel agents

Housekeeping / maintenance software: Easy-to -use software for the housekeeping and maintenance departments of your accommodation place will increase the efficiency of cleaning and servicing of rooms. Main features of this module will be: Keeping track of room status – dirty, cleaned, inspected, check-ins and check-outs, etc. All information such as number of guests, number of beds, length of stay, special requests (eg baby cot, high chair) should be visible to both housekeeping staff and management. Staff can enter maintenance issues as they arise, and those are automatically sent to the maintenance department. Staff can request cleaning materials and toiletries ordered. Staff can keep track of laundry status for uninterrupted linen supply.

Online reservation system: This software package is essential to any accommodation place. It helps you increase direct online bookings instantly. Prospective guests can view hotel rooms (size, choice of beds), availability and prices, plus services and facilities offered. The systems should have instant confirmation of credit card payments or other secure online payment method. After payment of deposit and confirmation by email, guests should be able to login to view or change their reservation details. Cancellation policies should be stated, airport transport options mentioned.

Hospitality management systems for point of sale ( POS) operations: This includes restaurants and bars, the hotel gift shop, spa, tour desk and other guest services. It should have the options of direct payment or charge to room. Apart from recording normal vending operations, it should include issuing daily transaction reports to management or the accounting office, and a daily revenue report.

In the POS sector there are many operating hospitality management systems catering for the food vendor sector, namely restaurants, cafés, takeaway shops and delis.

Restaurant (POS) management packages. For POS management packages, you have the choice of an off-the-shelf system for restaurants and cafes, where you can set the options that suit your operation, or a customised one, specifically configured for your business. Most systems are quite easy to use and are cost effective. Their features vary, but most offer the following: Order taking, tallying, and cashier options using a hand-held PDA system. Credit-card processing interface Receipts customized for your business. The more advanced systems also offer: Integrating all transactions with your accounting software. Full inventory / stocktaking facility Translation facilities to selected languages.

Administration software: This module is directed at top management and offers access to all levels of the organization. It provides instant access to the data base of all sectors, ensuring total transparency of operations Overseeing and early intervention by senior staff can prevent mistakes being made by inexperienced employees and save money and the reputation of your business. · Other facilities in this package may include:

Tools for setting different rate systems for rooms and services: daily, seasonal, special promotions, etc. Statistical data – percentage occupancy over set periods, and other data used for policy making and customized reports for board meeting presentations. Organizing promotions and package deals. Inventory for different departments. Employee accounts and employee training programs

Remember: with the high staff turnover common to the hospitality industry, it is important to choose a system that needs minimal training to use, and has 'secure areas', which only authorised personnel (with the proper clearance) may access and use.

Choosing and introducing hospitality management systems for your business is a significant undertaking, both operationally and financially. But once up and running, the system will increase efficiency, cut costs and improve the service in your company. You will have happier staff and happier guests, who will promote your business and ultimately increase your revenue.