UK tourism to thrive despite Brexit challenges

Posted: Fri 9 November 2018 at 11:00

UK tourism is going to thrive despite Brexit, claims Michael Ellis, the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism.

Writing an opinion piece in the City AM newspaper, the MP said that the World Travel Market, held in London earlier this month, was a fantastic success. He added that deals worth some £3 billion were thought to have been made there.

Ellis wrote: “We have so much to offer international visitors – beautiful landscapes, world-class culture, and unique heritage sites. We are a global country, and have always been a must-visit destination.  We are a global country, and have always been a must-visit destination.”

He explained that he expects UK tourism to continue to thrive despite our exit from the European Union. He pointed out that three quarters of the visitors to the UK in 2017 came from EU member states. Maintaining a good relationship with the EU following Brexit makes sense not just for the UK, but also for other countries who benefit from our tourism Euros, he added.

The World Travel Market saw London’s Excel host some 5,000 travel companies from all over the World between 5 and 7 November. “It has been a great opportunity to show buyers that our destinations, products, and services are worth investing in, and that the UK is, and will continue to be, fully open for business,” said Ellis.

 

The Best Gadgets for Business Travellers

Posted: Thu 1 November 2018 at 11:02

Seasoned business travellers are always on the lookout for things that can make their business trips easier or more enjoyable. There’s really no need to rough-it or go without your home comforts when you’re away with work. Thanks to technology, there’s a solution to almost every business travel problem  – providing you know where to look.

Here are some of the gadgets that can truly enhance your business travel experience:

Portable charger

Most of us are pretty heavy users of our mobile devices. You might even find that you’re glued to your phone and laptop even more than usual when you’re on a business trip. That’s why a battery pack, which can charge your devices when you’re on the move, is such an essential item.

Prices range from around £10 to around £100, but plenty of great options are available at around the £20-£30 price point. Just think … you’ll never have to endure a moment without your phone ever again!

Noise cancelling headphones

Let’s face it – flights can be a pain. If you’re trying to get some rest before an important meeting and you’re seated next to a screaming toddler, it’s not going to go well. This is why you need noise cancelling headphones in your life. They can be pricey, but basic versions are available for around £50, but you can pay up to around £500.

Trtl travel pillow

The days of the donut-style travel pillow are behind us! All hail the Trtl travel pillow, which looks far more like a scarf and offers some serious neck support to allow you to grab some much-needed shut-eye. These next-generation travel pillow are available for around £25 online.

Portable bluetooth keyboard

These widely available, lightweight wireless keyboards allow you to work everywhere and anywhere by connecting to your phone or tablet. You won’t even need your laptop! Grab one from as little as £15.

Travel candle and/or perfume atomiser

Business travel guests staying in our Windsor apartments often enjoy the fact that serviced apartments allow them to feel more at home when on a work trip, so we know how important this is to a happy business travel experience. A super-useful travel accessory that will make you feel at home when travelling for work is a scented candle or perfume atomiser.

Business trips can be lonely and it’s easy to feel homesick when you’re spending extended periods away from home. Carrying a familiar scent with you can help you to feel settled and calm in your accommodation.

A multi-way travel adapter

If you regularly travel to different continents for work, purchasing a multi-way travel adapter will cover all the bases and prevent you having to spend a fortune on several different types of adapter.

Windsor Celebrates Second Royal Wedding of the Year

Posted: Tue 23 October 2018 at 12:11

The Royal wedding of Windsor local Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank took place at Windsor Castle earlier in October, showing off the very best of our historic town once again.

Hundreds took to the gusty streets on Friday 12th October to wish the happy couple well. Visitors also perhaps hoped to catch a glimpse of the many celebrity guests attending.

Former supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell were in attendance. Pop icon Robbie Williams, Hollywood actor Demi Moore and model Cara Delevingne were all also invited. The sheer number of high profile guests lead some to suggest that this wedding was more star-studded than that of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle back in May.

St George’s Chapel, within the grounds of Windsor Castle, hosted the Royal wedding. The newly married couple set off on a carriage ride around the centre of Windsor shortly after emerging as man and wife.

Eugenie’s dress proudly showed off the scar on her back from the operation that corrected her scoliosis when she was 12. She topped off her beautiful gown with the Queen’s Greville Emerald Kokoshnik Tiara, which was made by Boucheron in 1919.

A formal reception at Windsor Castle hosted by the Queen followed the ceremony. There was then a less formal evening reception in Eugenie’s family home of York House within Windsor Great Park.

Private Investors Spend Big on Serviced Apartment Industry

Posted: Wed 19 September 2018 at 09:17

Private equity investors are ploughing more cash into the short-term letting and serviced apartment industry than they are investing in the hotel market.

This is according to the latest report by commercial property research firm JLL. It found that in the year to May 2018, some £486m was invested in the serviced apartment industry in the UK alone. This is up from just £89m back in 2010, showing how rapidly the demand for this kind of accommodation is growing.

The researchers said that the investment in the industry will outpace investment in hotels. Eva Chan, a researcher at JLL’s Hotels and Hospitality EMEA team explained why serviced apartments are so appealing to investors: “With lower running costs than a staffed hotel, the serviced apartment sector also offers the opportunity to redevelop and to renovate to deliver higher returns.”

She added that portfolios of executive apartments are now attracting a large number of bids when they are sold, suggesting that the industry is increasingly seen as a viable asset class from which to make money.

All this investment is good for the guests who enjoy staying in serviced apartments as quality is likely to continue to improve as a result. There will also be more executive apartments available to choose from in towns and cities across the UK.

Summer 2018 Officially Among the Hottest Ever

Posted: Mon 17 September 2018 at 09:00

The Met Office has announced that summer 2018 was indeed the hottest ever – alongside 1976, 2003 and 2006.

This will come as no surprise to business travellers or holiday makers who enjoyed a stay in one of our executive apartments in Windsor over the months of June and July. With scorched ground across Bachelor’s Acre and Windsor Great Park, it was clear to see that this wasn’t any ordinary summer. In fact, there were more than 50 consecutive dry days and temperatures were consistently above average.

The Met Office has now confirmed that June to August temperatures just pipped previous hottest years, 1976, 1910, 2003 and 2006. However, they were unwilling to state a clear ‘winner’, instead adding: “Having further assessed the temperature data for the UK as a whole for summer 2018 the figures are so close that we are declaring it as the joint hottest on record together with 2006, 2003 and 1976.”

Although August was a lot more changeable, temperatures remained higher than average in most parts. The Met Office states that higher than average temperatures are likely to stay with us throughout the Autumn, which means we won’t be getting our winter coats out of storage just yet.

Hotel Prices Continue to Rise Throughout Europe

Posted: Wed 12 September 2018 at 12:32

Hotels are enjoying huge profits thanks to soaring prices, according to the latest survey by hotel insight business Hotstats.

Throughout Europe hotels reported an overall increase in achieved room rates of 11.3 percent in July, leaving holidaymakers and businesses sending their staff on business trips out of pocket. Profits at hotels are also increasing in line with the rise in room costs, with hotels reporting a 16.9 percent year-on-year increase in profits for the month.

The report stated: “Profit levels remained heady in July at €83.70 per available room, which was equivalent to a profit conversion of 41.8 percent of total revenue.”

In addition, the latest Global Travel Forecast Report by Carlson Wagonlit travel predicts further hotel price rises in 2019.

The news that hotels are continuing to reap the benefits of sky-high prices is driving more and more people to book serviced accommodation in Windsor and elsewhere, as they realise that self-catering apartments often offer far better value for money.

“It’s no surprise to us that hotels are continuing to charge higher and higher rates for their rooms,” commented Accommodation Windsor’s Managing Director Nigel Holder. “That’s why we offer a genuine alternative for business traveller and tourists who want a quality, spacious stay in Windsor without paying through the nose.”

Countess of Wessex to Unveil Plaque at Beloved Windsor Department Store

Posted: Wed 12 September 2018 at 11:34

Cherished Windsor department store, Daniel, will be hosting Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, on Monday 17th September as part of its centenary celebrations.

The department store has taken pride of place on Peascod Street since 1918. Holidaymakers staying in Windsor accommodation, as well as locals, are won over by the store’s traditional yet contemporary feel.

Now, after 100 years of serving the Windsor community, the store is marking its special birthday with a plaque to be unveiled by the Countess of Wessex, who is a Windsor local herself.

The plaque unveiling will be accompanied by music from Windsor Boys School and Windsor Girls School – two of the town’s most popular high schools.

The department store has held various other events throughout the year to mark its centenary including a charity evening, where it raised £2,000 for the Mayor’s charities.

The very first Daniel department store was opened in Ealing by Walter James Daniel in 1900, followed by the Windsor store in 1918. The store holds a Royal Warrant from the Queen and is used to supply gifts to the royal household.

It is still a very much a family-run business, with chairman Peter Daniel, the grandson of Walter James Daniel, at the helm.

Ryanair Changes Baggage Policy To Reduce Delays

Posted: Sat 8 September 2018 at 16:09

Ryaniar is attempting to reduce delays on its flights to and from the UK by making further changes to its baggage policy.

The low-cost airline is a favourite option for a huge number of business travellers and tourists who go on to stay in serviced apartments in Windsor and other popular locations in the UK. However, it has suffered from a reputation for complicated baggage allowance rules and delayed flights. To address at least one of these problems, Ryanair has announced some new rules for non-priority travellers.

 

For all bookings made from 1 September, and at airports from 1 November, non-priority passengers will be allowed to carry only one small item of hand luggage. The size limits for this small piece of luggage have increased slightly to 40cm x 20cm x 25cm.

 

The new policy replaces a previous rule brought in earlier in the year, which saw non-priority passengers being asked to check-in their larger pieces of hand luggage at the gate for free. Although this previous rule change was also intended to reduce delays it was actually causing hold-ups, according to the airline.

 

Ryanair says it hopes the new rules will result in passengers either paying to upgrade to priority tickets or spending a little extra on a 10kg carry-on limit if they want to take an extra piece of hand luggage with them.

 

The airline claims that the new rules will only actually impact some 40 percent of passengers as 60 percent of travellers already either pay for priority tickets or happily travel just with one small carry-on bag.

Remainder of 2018 to be Strong for Business Travel Market

Posted: Tue 4 September 2018 at 13:55

Global business travel is heading for the strongest two-year period since the recession, signifying the end of a ‘period of uncertainty.’

This is according to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Annual Global Report & Forecast. The report states that business travel spending increased by 5.8 percent last year when compared with 2016. If this trend continues at the same level, the spend will increase by 7.1 percent this year.

Business travel industry insiders claim that such growth signifies the end of what has been known as the ‘era of uncertainty’.

The report stated that business travel in Western Europe is set for growth of 4-6 percent. Britain still attracts the most business travellers in the region, second only to Germany, with over US$50bn being spent by those visiting the UK on work trips each year. However, the impact of Brexit has been felt and Britain’s capacity for further business travel spend growth depends on the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, according to the GBTA.

More globally, trade was identified as one of the main drivers of the growth in business travel and the GBTA report suggested that increased protectionism in some countries could reduce travel spend in those regions.

Interestingly, the analysts at GBTA expect the most notable growth to take place in Indonesia and India as these economies continue to grow and make a bigger impact on the global marketplace.