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Where do People Travel for Business?

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Where do People Travel for Business?

When it comes to global business, the right transportation is essential. Getting talent from one side of the globe to another matters as much as ever it has – and perhaps even more so. But which cities are the most attractive for modern business? This is a question whose answers have remained more or less the same over the last four or five years, despite the fact that global business flights have more than doubled.

New York

The Big Apple leads the pack when it comes to inbound business flight, and it has done since 2014. This is largely thanks to its status as a centre of global finance, but it’s also because New York is among the most business-friendly states in the US, with a range of tax incentives offered to startups. Buzzfeed and WebMD originated here. Whether you’re taking a private jet or a commercial airliner, New York remains the world’s premier destination for business travellers.

London

London has consistently run a close second, despite the uncertainty still lingering over Brexit. Among the biggest draws of the capital is the English language, which remains the second most widely-spoken language in the world (and probably claims the top spot when we count only the customers of international airports). London contains around 15 businesses per hundred residents; the figure for the rest of the UK is around 10.

Paris

Paris is something of a fast-climber, experiencing around twenty-per cent growth over the two-year spell from 2016-2018. It’s easy to see why a business might locate here; Paris has an enormous amount of culture and history to offer, and thus it’s easy to persuade would-be staff to settle here. While France might have something of a reputation for overbearing bureaucracy (the word, is, after all, derived from a French one), the business environment is competitive enough to tempt many international businesses and skilled employees looking to sample life on the continent.

Shanghai

With China having established itself as a global power, it’s probably no surprise that its busiest airport is so attractive to international business customers. While the city isn’t quite as attractive to western travellers as the other entries to this list, it’s a location that no globalised business can afford to neglect – and this is reflected in its rapid rise as a centre of international air traffic. 

Among the more interesting trends in global air traffic generally has been an increased spread between different continents, with five of the seven listed in the top twenty destinations. There is perhaps no better example of this than that of Shanghai.

Toronto

Toronto outranks many US cities, including San Francisco, Houston and LA. As with New York, there is a range of incentives to businesses looking to grow here. The combined rate of corporate and income tax sits at around 26.5%, which is lower than the US average by around thirteen percentage points.

Singapore

Like Dubai, Singapore claims a great deal of air travel thanks to its popularity as a stop-off for long-haul flights between Europe and Australia. But there’s more to Singapore than that. The country is widely regarded as an ideal place from which to tap into Asia’s emerging markets. The location is strategically attractive, the workforce is competitive and the economic policy is explicitly favourable to business. It’s also emerging as serious competition for Hong Kong’s financial centres. For the world’s business travellers, there’s no shortage of reasons to pay this part of the world a visit.

ATLANTA OFFERS DELIGHTS FOR THE EYES, MIND AND BELLY

Rich in history, food and culture, Atlanta is a city that never seems to disappoint visitors. You’ll discover a variety of things to do if you’ve found yourself in Atlanta with time to kill in between meetings and conferences. Bring your appetite, a comfy pair of shoes and plenty of camera space as Atlanta boasts some of the most beautiful things to eat, see and experience. Global Trade magazine took time to vet the best spots to visit while maximizing your Atlanta experience after-hours—whether you’re seeking fancy cocktails, thrills at new heights or simply wanting to learn more about the city’s robust history. 

Centennial Park District

Take the time to unwind while taking in breathtaking views at The Glenn Hotel’s SkyLounge. This distinguished rooftop experience is among the top 23 in the world, as voted by ABC.com, and among the top five in Atlanta according to Forbes Travel Guide. Located in the heart of the city in Centennial Park District, SkyLounge offers unmatched views paired with a refreshing variety of perfectly crafted drinks to satisfy any cocktail lover’s taste buds. If you’re seeking more sustenance during your visit to The Glenn, stop by Glenn’s Kitchen for a tasty meal doused in Southern style for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Seeking more heights? Take a stroll over to the SkyView Atlanta Ferris Wheel on Luckie Street. Towering 20 stories high, it boasts 42 gondolas with temperature-controlled features. Feeling fancy? Take advantage of the VIP gondola and enjoy Ferrari-style seats and a glass floor to enhance the experience. 

If you’re a sports fanatic, look no farther than the College Football Hall of Fame located just off of Marietta Street. Be fair warned, however, and bring yourself dressed appropriately with a comfy pair of shoes if you dare give the Indoor Running Field a try. Test your skills by kicking a field goal or challenge yourself to the obstacle course. If you’re looking for something that doesn’t demand your inner athlete, take your college football team pride to the next level at The Quad, where you can register your team of choice and watch it light up on a three-story helmet wall. There’s also the “Game of Your Life” 4K feature film showing at the Game Day Theater, bringing the big screen to life with all the college football action your heart desires. 

Old Fourth Ward

If you’re a history buff and seeking a region rich in history and heritage, exploring the sites and monuments in the Old Fourth Ward are well worth your time. Established in the 1800s, Old Fourth Ward boasts the very historic birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr. Visitors get the opportunity to experience the very home he grew up in and the church he preached at, Ebenezer Baptist Church at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Park, also known as “Atlanta’s Top Tourist Destination” by the National Park Service. Take a moment to appreciate the Behold Monument unveiled by the civil rights martyr’s wife, Coretta Scott King, or the beautiful World Peace Rose Garden featuring themes of peace and non-violence through 185 different kinds of roses with unique colors and scents.

Once your craving for history is satisfied, take your appetite for a trip to the Ponce City Market Food Hall, where you can find options ranging from Indian street food, Szechuan-style cuisine, Asian favorites, traditional American dishes, Southern favorites and an impressive elevated craft beer garden at Nine Mile Station. Boasting views that pair well with the beer or cocktail of your choice, if you’re in town on the right day, you might even be able to catch the weekly cult classic film featured on the rooftop. You won’t regret visiting Ponce City Market and might even find yourself going back for seconds. Did we mention there’s also a wine tasting room? 

If the weight of a business trip starts to get heavy, what better way to alleviate it than with laughter? Head on over to Dad’s Garage Theater in the Little Five Points neighborhood for some uniquely showcased humor from classic improv to sketch. It goes without saying, there’s a lot to do in this part of the city. 

Buckhead District 

Buckhead is sure to please those seeking a fancier Atlanta experience–from shopping and fine dining, to historical sites and classy cocktails–all paired with modern landscapes and a refreshing atmosphere that can’t be overlooked when in Atlanta. 

If you have an appreciation for a fine bourbon and fancy atmosphere, be sure to check out the Southern Art and Bourbon Bar in Buckhead. Southern Art takes a different approach to cooking and boasts a fresh cuisine experience with the finest versions of Southern favorites that rely on the seasons to determine their character. Considering Southern Art was founded by Art Smith–known for serving as Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef for a decade–this choice spot is definitely worth a visit that will leave guests satisfied and impressed. If you’re stuck wondering what to do on a Friday or Saturday evening, Southern Art has you covered through its weekly featured “Bourbon Bar Unplugged” with live music and entertainment up until midnight. 

For another taste of history, be sure to give the Atlanta History Center a visit and plan to spend a generous amount of time exploring attractions such as the 1928 Swan House, the Smith Family Farm, the Margaret Mitchell House, and 33 acres of breathtaking gardens, woods and nature’s beauty at the Goizueta Gardens. 

Finish off the night with an elegant cocktail atop the W Atlanta’s Whiskey Blue Bar that sits 125 feet above the city skyline, where you can take in the scenery at one of the two offered patios. If you’re curious about what’s inside, head over and enjoy a cozy yet chic experience at the W’s Living Room Cook Hall or lounge area. 

With Southern hospitality at the forefront of ATL culture, you’re bound to find some interesting and kind folks to mingle with. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed. 

EXECUTIVE DESTINATION: CALIFORNIA

California is a big state, one of the biggest, actually, with its 163,696 square miles making it the third largest in the United States in terms of area and its 39.5 million residents making it the most populous in America.

When it comes to travel to or within the Golden State on business, there is no single destination that is a central location to the hubs of industry, unless that industry is agriculture, in which case just about anywhere in the Central Valley should work just fine. Direct flights there on major airlines could be an issue, however.

Otherwise, you would not fly into, say, Los Angeles International Airport—the world’s fifth busiest and second only to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta in the U.S.—if your business meetings were in Silicon Valley. Nor would you stay in, for instance, San Francisco—whose $878 billion GDP gave it America’s third largest urban economy in 2017—if your trade convention was in sunny San Diego.

Getting There

For our business travel purposes, we are going to focus on San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose (which is in the heart of Silicon Valley) and San Francisco.

The international airports in all four of those cities are served by Air Canada, Alaska, American, British Airways, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, United and Virgin. Allegiant, Condor, Japan Airlines, Spirit and Sun Country fly in and out of all except San Jose.

Chances are that American and United are airlines that use your nearest airport for flying across the continent. Both figured prominently in the 15th annual Tested Reader Survey in December’s Global Traveler. More than 22,000 frequent business and luxury travelers named the best in a variety of travel-related categories.

American was named the Best Airline in North America and, for the third consecutive year, the Best Airline for Domestic First Class. American Airlines AAdvantage was deemed the Best Frequent-Flyer Customer Service.

United Airlines MileagePlus was deemed the Best Overall Frequent-Flyer Program for the 15th straight year and Best Frequent-Flyer Bonus Program for the sixth consecutive year.

The airline also just announced that its new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners will fly United “Premium” transcontinental routes between Newark and California beginning Jan. 7. The newest and biggest version of Boeing’s 787 widebody, the jets will also start flying from Newark to San Francisco on Feb. 14.

Seating 318 passengers, the 787-10s include 44 lie-flat business-class seats and 21 of United’s new “Premium Plus” recliner seats that split the difference between business-class and typical coach seating. Also onboard are 54 extra-legroom Premium Economy seats and 199 in standard coach.

Staying There

U.S. News & World Report identified the top business hotels of 2018 in large American cities by considering amenities, reputation among professional travel experts, guest reviews and hotel class ratings.

What follows is a rundown of each of our target California cities, with the nightly rates being what was quoted on Dec. 10, 2018 (meaning current prices may vary).

LOS ANGELES

-The Peninsula Beverly Hills

Stars: 5

Critic rating: Excellent

Nightly rate: $605

Amenities: Business center with a few computers, color printers, executive desks and a fax machine. Six meeting spaces accommodate events of up to 250 people.

-Montage Beverly Hills

Stars: 5

Critic rating: Excellent

Nightly rate: $545

Amenities: 24-hour business center. On-site meeting planners. Variety of rooms, including ballrooms, are configurable to all types and sizes of events.

-The London West Hollywood

Stars: 5

Critic rating: Great

Nightly rate: $339

Amenities: Meeting and event coordinators. Media equipment to facilitate audiovisual presentations. 24-hour business center. Access to printers, personal computers and an ATM.

SAN DIEGO

-Hotel del Coronado (Coronado Island)

Stars: 4

Critic rating: Excellent

Nightly rate: $268

Amenities: 47 indoor event venues ranging in size from 300 to 12,500 square feet. Event planners. Full-service FedEx Center with computer workstations with Internet access, fax and copy service, shipping and postal services and more.

-La Valencia Hotel and Spa (La Jolla)

Stars: 4

Critic rating: Great

Nightly rate: $299

Amenities: Four meeting rooms, including a ballroom with a terrace, a boardroom and The Galeria, which can hold up to 40 participants. The Med and Patio Sol can also be booked for many types of meetings.

-Omni San Diego Hotel (Downtown)

Stars: 4

Critic rating: Great

Nightly rate: $144

Amenities: Space for up to 1,200 people. 27,000 square feet of meeting space. Grand Ballroom measures 9,266 square feet.

SAN FRANCISCO

-The Ritz-Carlton

Stars: 5

Critic rating: Excellent

Nightly rate: $359

Amenities: 18 event rooms. Up to 500 attendees can enjoy the ballroom, which can also be divided into four smaller spaces. On-staff event planners.

-The St. Regis

Stars: 5

Critic rating: Great

Nightly rate: $356

Amenities: 22,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space. Board meetings or business receptions for up to 600 attendees can be handled.

-Fairmont

Stars: 5

Critic rating: Great

Nightly rate: $195

Amenities: 72,000 square feet and dozens of meeting rooms. Event of any kind for up to 2,300 people can be handled. Sustainable meeting options.

SILICON VALLEY

No U.S. News & World Report data was available for the region, so we turned to Oyster.com (“The Hotel Tell-All”), which boasts of knowing “what business travelers look for in hotels.” Instead of relying on guests and professionals, Oyster reviews properties around the world in person.

-Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto

Stars: 5

Nightly rate: $469

Amenities: 24-hour business center with secretarial services, translation and interpretation services and well-equipped meeting rooms.

-Rosewood San Hill (Menlo Park)

Stars: 5

Critic rating: NA

Nightly rate: $485

Amenities: Rooms have large work desks with several power outlets and comfortable seating. Nearly 17,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space with high-tech amenities and private dining rooms.

-Aloft Silicon Valley (Newark)

Stars: 4

Critic rating: NA

Nightly rate: $134

Amenities: Comfortable work desks. Quiet area, which is a 20-minute drive away from Palo Alto, the W hotel boasts “a mellow vibe perfect for unwinding after a day of work.”

 

LOUNGES ARE IN THE CARDS: BEST AIRPORT BUSINESS CLUBS (AND ASSOCIATED CREDIT CARDS)

Business takes us to people and places that were previously unimaginable. Perhaps some were imaginable–trips to London, New York, Tokyo or Berlin. But Dubai, Sydney, Kuala Lumper or Lima? As a business traveler, the world is your client and airports do a fabulous job not only facilitating your comings and goings, but also offering premier options to relax, eat, work or a combination of all three.

Airport business lounges have rapidly evolved over the years. Initially offering simply a seat with an internet connection and perhaps a glass of wine and shrimp cocktail, lounges are now mini-hotels, replete with executive chefs, showers and buffets with more options than you could possibly desire and unparalleled ambiance.

Gaining access to an airport lounge can come in a variety of ways. If you are traveling in business or first class, you will typically receive free access to most lounges. If you’re in economy, you will likely need to pay. Either way, the plethora of lounges these days is extensive, but we’re going to dive into some of the best.

In no particular order, first up is the Plaza Premium Lounge, Terminal 2, at Rio de Janeiro Galeao International Airport. At a very affordable $32.72 per passenger, this lounge ranked an impressive 5 out of 5 from Netflights.com. Private relaxation rooms, showers, an ambiance that is nearly spa-esque but professional enough to get some work done, the Plaza Premium Lounge is a must access when flying through Rio. Made-to-order sandwiches get rave reviews online, as do the chocolate smoothies.

The 1903 Lounge, Terminal 3 at Manchester Airport is an “adults only” lounge, so if you’re towing along your 5-year-old to experience Manchester while you’re at work, you’ll need to pass on this option. At a buffet offering fit for none other than a king, you can expect nothing short of spectacular from the English with 1833 vintage reserve cheddar and real dairy ice cream from Cheshire Farm. The drinks menu will make you dizzy, but in a good way.

Another lounge that will keep the head spinning is Lounge @ B, Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport. For $38.67 a pop, you can plop into a massage chair that rivals a real masseuse and also putting you in a relaxed mood are an array of pastries, Champagne and amazing customer service that rivals any lounge’s on the planet.

Ever had a craving for lamb pie? Or perhaps rice pudding? According to several users on Yelp, the Strata Lounge, International Terminal at Auckland Airport boasts perhaps the best lamb pies and rice pudding on the planet! This is a business lounge, through and through, but the food is where it truly stands out. Sleek, sliding glass doors and a range of New Zealand wine and beers will keep you satiated, but perhaps not in tip-top shape to work on that investor presentation.

While the lounges themselves are fabulous, a post on the best airport business lounges would need be complete without a mention to the credit cards that can gain you access to said lounges.   

The Platinum Card from American Express

Before jumping into the card offers here, we should touch on Centurion Lounges, which can be found worldwide in the most premier, often-traveled airports, including San Francisco, Sydney, Sao Paulo, Houston, Miami, New York, Mumbai, Mexico City, Las Vegas, Dallas and Buenos Aires. Each location features a healthy square footage and an even healthier offerings of food, drink and amenities. In Dallas, for example, spa treatments await as does a menu designed by Dean Fearing, a James Beard Award-winning chef. Need a shower after a long flight? Hit San Francisco, shower to your heart’s content, and then ramble on over to their wine tasting station.

We could keep detailing city by city but the point here is the Platinum Card from American Express gives you access to Centurion Lounges. This card will also gain you access into Delta Sky Clubs if you’re flying that airline.

Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard

A bit of a mouthful, this advantageous card from Mastercard brings with it Admirals Club membership coupled with access for immediate family members or two guests traveling with you. Admirals Club is a network of lounges operated by American Airlines. Originally started in 1936 to provide perks to loyal airline passengers, members of the club were referred to as admirals and greeted as such.

While you’ll likely be traveling with other adults while on business, having this membership is an added perk when you find yourself on vacation with the kiddies. The lounge has a great space for kids to unwind and play, which is music to any parent’s ears.

Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express

This card is Delta-specific as the name suggests. You will receive access when flying Delta to its Sky Clubs, but a knock on this card is it previously allowed for complimentary guest access, which is now been rescinded.

As a card holder, you will also receive a free checked bag, 20 percent inflight savings as well as priority boarding. With the business version of this card, you are privy to some interesting perks that make that annual fee much more palatable.

Business lounges are in most major airports and if taken advantage of intelligently, they will allow the savvy traveler to rest up, eat up and even get some work done in between massages. Happy traveling and see you at the lounge!

EXECUTIVE GETAWAYS: CHICAGO

The forgotten gem of the Midwest. For those who have been to or are from Chicago, the Windy City holds a special place in their hearts. Chicagoans take great offense at “fly-over city” being applied to the Second City, which is smack-dab in the heart of America. If you are going there for business, do not fret: The heartland metropolis has a wealth to offer that will leave you wanting more, guaranteed.

Where do most executive getaway articles begin? You guessed it, where to lay your executive head. The Chicago Loop (coupled with the rest of downtown) is the second largest business district in the country. Only Midtown Manhattan tops it in terms of scale. Major corporations such as Chase Bank, Exelon, Aon Corp., United Airlines, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and Sidley Austin and Morton Salt are all headquartered in the Loop. So where will you likely be laying your head? The Loop.

By far one of the best business hotels in the Loop is the Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront. Located on the edge of Chicago’s Theatre District, the Wyndham features 357 rooms with all the amenities you could ask for at very reasonable rates despite its first-class status. Another solid choice in the Loop is the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park. Nearly double the size of the Wyndham in terms of rooms (687), this David Rockwell-designed hotel is a stunner aesthetically. If you want to splurge a bit, check out the Fairmont Gold Concierge Level, which includes a private lounge and reception area with sweeping views of Lake Michigan.

If a direct location in the Loop is not a priority and you want to make this business trip one to never forget, the Waldorf Astoria Chicago is your only destination. Located in the swanky Gold Coast neighborhood, and a short distance from the Loop and downtown, the hotel features a top-notch restaurant (Balsan), an indoor lap pool, a world-renowned spa and sleek rooms. There is a plethora of conference space and from an amenities perspective, there is not a single thing missing in this hotel. The Astoria has truly taken business travel to another level with this property.

Now that you’re settled in and presumably exhausted after a long day in meetings, workshops, etc., it’s time to experience that one-of-a-kind Chicago dining that everyone raves about. Narrowing down our suggestions to fit a tight piece such as this is challenging to say the least. With that said, no trip to Chicago is complete without a taste of their infamous deep-dish pizza. New York versus Chicago is in full swing here, and Pequod’s Pizza in Lincoln Park will give any New York pizzeria a serious run for their money. Deep doughy pizza, caramelized crust and an assortment of toppings at Pequod’s might leave you with some calories to burn that next day, but they are entirely worth it.

Taking you from pizza to one of the world’s finest dining establishments, Alinea is the place to take only your most highly regarded colleagues and clients. Oh, and make reservations months ahead of time as this three-Michelin-starred restaurant is always in hot demand. Dishes change based on the season, but the edible balloon and tabletop dessert are present year-round. Another excellent choice for special guests is Maple & Ash. This Gold Coast steakhouse has been churning out creative twists on old, steakhouse classics for years. The wine list is extensive, and you might even see some Chicago celebrities/sports stars as well.

If you’ve got a more casual night, a bit more upscale than pizza, perhaps with a colleague or someone you do not need to wine and dine, go to Frontera Grill and Topolobampo. A bit of a mouthful, but mouths are filled here with south of the border fare in a casual, festive setting. This is the type of place you are angry at when 11 p.m. rolls around and you’re in full swing but need to wake up for your flight at 6 a.m. Great food, fantastic atmosphere.

If you’re lucky, dining will not be the only thing occupying your free time. Perhaps a nightcap will be in order. Chicago is not only a foodie town but a boozy town. You’ll get a real taste of the speakeasy culture at The Violet Hour, a hip cocktail lounge without a sign, but with a line–always. Once inside, the wait is most definitely worth it. The Sportsman’s Club is another Chicago staple, more informal but interesting, especially in the summer when top chefs from around the city flock to the patio to host cookouts. The food is otherworldly, and $20 will fetch you a hefty plate and one drink.

Finally, what’s to see in this city? Most business trips will yield the equivalent of one full day (a couple half days) or two if you’re lucky. A must, must, must for sightseers is the Art Institute of Chicago. A world-class art museum—and literally one of the oldest in the U.S.—it boasts collections ranging from modern to quite ancient. Don’t be surprised when a Gauguin, Manet or Picasso await you. The iconic lion statue outside is also an obligatory spot for a selfie pic.

Our next recommendation is neighborhoods. As generic as it sounds, Chicago neighborhoods are impressive. You’ve got Chinatown, Greek Town, Little Italy and a range in between. Immigrants from everywhere, similar to New York and Los Angeles, came to Chicago in search of a better life. Their culture arrived with them and is on full display in the Windy City.

To wind it up, the aquarium! You can take in the Shedd Aquarium, located on Chicago’s Museum Campus, where a charming backdrop of the lake welcomes visitors to a dazzling display of penguins, whales, sharks, piranhas, stingrays, dolphins … the list is endless. One of the country’s premier aquariums, this is a great option for burning a morning or afternoon before a flight.

We hope this post has been fruitful, and most of all, entertaining for your next business trip to the wonderful, Windy City!

BUSINESS TRAVELERS MUST BE CULTURALLY AWARE

Hong Kong is special. In fact, “special” is part of its classification, a “special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China.” A newly formed colony of the British Empire post the First Opium War in 1842, the territory was held by the Brits until 1997, when it was returned to China but with the request that the area be maintained as “special,” a government distinct from that of mainland China.

 

The Chinese accepted and with a population of roughly 7.5 million folks crammed into 426 square miles, it is clear people want to be in Hong Kong, which is the world’s seventh largest trading entity. Firms from all over the world conduct a range of business in Hong Kong, where English is the most common language. While Hong Kong is chock full of skyscrapers and other “western” symbols, there are several cultural sensitivities one should be aware and mindful of as a business traveler to these 426 square miles in southern China.

 

First, hierarchy is still very much a major part of Hong Kong culture. Greeting business counterparts with their title and surname is recommended and if presented to a group of Hong Kong businessmen and women, do intend on greeting the eldest of the group first. Second, a handshake and a slight bow is commonplace and avoid any other contact beyond that of a handshake. Pats on the back and grabbing an elbow while shaking hands are no-nos. The less physical contact the better.

 

A common mistake many travelers make when visiting Hong Kong is referring to residents as Chinese. It is understandable as the official languages are Chinese and English, the regional language is Cantonese, and 92 percent of inhabitants are Chinese. But again, Hong Kong is a special administrative region and Hong Kongers like to be referred to as Hong Kongers, not Chinese. If you intend on presenting a gift to a business counterpart(s), avoid distributing presents in the denomination of 4. The number represents “death” in Cantonese, and that’s a bad way to begin what you’d like to be a fruitful relationship. Lastly, be careful with social drinking. Attempting to keep up with Hong Konger off-hours “business meeting” drinking could place you in a perilous position come the following morning. Be present but avoid going shot for shot.

 

When it comes time to pick an area to stay in, it is true that the plethora of hotels and activity in Hong Kong can be overwhelming. From a business perspective, Central Hong Kong is the financial center of the city and located in the general vicinity of some of the more visited spots such as Lan Kwai Fong (a series of small streets with restaurants and bars) and Victoria Peak. Downtown Hong Kong is also within walking distance and there are a series of affordable, luxury hotels such as the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong and Island Shanri-La Hong Kong.

 

Another fantastic option is Hong Kong’s main commercial area, Wan Chai. In good weather one can stroll between Central Hong Kong and Wan Chai, which is also home to the world famous Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Center. Adjacent to Wan Chai is a neighborhood known as Admiralty and due to its proximity, most refer to the general area as Wan Chai/Admiralty. Affordable, business and luxury hotels in Wan Chai/Admiralty are the JW Marriot Hotel Hong Kong, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong and Conrad Hong Kong.

 

It will be quickly evident that the major difference between corporate travel and business in Hong Kong compared to many other cities in Asia is language. English is by far more widely spoken in Hong Kong than Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai or even Mumbai. The British influence is felt strongly, but in conjunction with a strong Chinese culture energy that is distinct in Hong Kong. As such, it is always recommended to add on a couple days either before or after a business trip to take in the city. Be it the horse racing at Sha Tin or Happy Valley or snapping a photo in front of the Big Buddha at Lantau Island, the sights and sounds are completely unique and will keep you longing for another trip back to this very “special administrative region.”

YOTEL Plans Major International Expansion

New York, NY – YOTEL has announced global expansion plans targeting key city centers and international airports in Asia, Europe and North America.

More than 3,000 cabins are scheduled to open by 2018, including YOTEL hotels in Singapore, Paris, Miami, San Francisco and a second property in New York City.

Initially conceived for busy international travelers at airport terminals, YOTEL’s concept proved highly successful in urban centers with the opening in 2011 of the 669-room YOTEL Times Square developed by the Related Companies, one of New York City’s most prolific developers.

Designed around the customer, YOTEL cabins deliver affordable luxury without the clutter through small but smart spaces, providing everything for a guest to relax, refresh, sleep and connect.

Typically located in easily accessible, fast upcoming neighborhoods, YOTEL hotels offer a sense of community as well as space for work and social gatherings, and provide an ever-improving guest experience.

In addition to New York, Miami and San Francisco, YOTEL is in advanced negotiations to operate new properties in Boston, Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle and Toronto. Outside North America, the company is actively pursuing opportunities in Europe and Asia Pacific, in particular Dubai, London, Milan, Barcelona, Sydney and Hong Kong.

YOTEL’s next 3 locations to open in the U.S. are in Miami, Brooklyn’s Williamsburg and San Francisco’s Mid-Market neighborhood. New York-based real estate developer Synapse Capital is developing a 100,000 square foot mixed-use project along with 110 YOTEL cabins in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Together with IFA Hotels & Resorts and its partners, Synapse is also transforming the Grant Building at 1095 Market Street in San Francisco into a 200-cabin YOTEL hotel. YOTEL Miami is a 250-cabin hotel being developed by Aria Development Group in partnership with AQARAT (Kuwait Real Estate Company) in the heart of Downtown Miami.

In Europe, YOTEL is developing its fourth airport hotel at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, which is due to open in mid-2016. The following year, YOTEL will open its first property in Asia with the launch of YOTEL Singapore on ultra-prime Orchard Road.

Developed by Singapore-listed Hong Fok Corporation Limited, YOTEL Singapore will feature 600 state-of-the-art cabins located at the heart of the city-state’s busiest commercial strip and steps away from all major tourist attractions.

12/23/2014

Hyatt Opens New Hotel in Suzhou, China

Suzhou, China – Hyatt Regency Suzhou has announced the opening of its new Hyatt Regency Suzhou Hotel.

Located in the Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) with a subway station at its doorstep, the new hotel is part of Jinghope Plaza, a new complex project that includes a luxury shopping mall, entertainment venues and two ‘Grade-A’ office buildings.

Hyatt Regency Suzhou is a key connecting point between Suzhou and Shanghai, offering easy accessibility to visiting guests.

The hotel is 25 minutes by train from Shanghai, one hour by car to Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, and 10 minutes by car to Suzhou SIP Railway Station, the transportation hub of Yangtze River Delta region.

The hotel offers 355 spacious guestrooms and suites plus a Regency Club. In addition, there are five restaurants and lounges, more than 15,000 square feet of meeting, event and wedding venues, spa and wellness facilities, and a 25-meter indoor swimming pool on the third floor with floor-to-ceiling city views.

The 24-hour fitness center offers the latest cardio and strength equipment, which enables guests to share their workout stats via social media.

The hotel was designed by LTW Designworks and features a 29-story triangular atrium topped with a glass roof. The interior design “is inspired by Suzhou’s classic gardens offset by large-scale contemporary artworks and abstract patterns that reference the modern face of Suzhou,” the company said.

09/02/2014

Asia Pacific Region Dominates Business Travel

chinatravelWashington, DC – Business travel in Asia Pacific, led by a dominant China, outpaces that in the rest of the world, according to a newly released travel forecast by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

Global business travel spending is expected to hit a record $1.18 trillion in 2014, a 6.9 percent growth over the previous year, the forecast said.

Driven by infrastructure investments, exports and service development, business travel spending in China has grown from $32 billion in 2000 to $225 billion in 2013, an average of 16.2 percent each year. By comparison, growth in business travel spending from the US has grown at an annual rate of just 1.1 percent since 2000.

The report, which details travel spending in 75 countries, along with the top industries, economic factors and characteristics that influence business travel, finds that record high business travel spending is driven by a few dominant markets – namely the US, China and Western Europe.

The Global Annual Report & Forecast also shows that spending in the US and Western Europe will grow more slowly compared to Asia.

The Asia-Pacific region, the report said, is already the largest business travel region in the world, comprising 38 percent of global business travel. Business travel spending in Asia Pacific totaled $392 billion in 2013 – more than doubling in size since 2000 with a growth rate of 7.5 percent annually.

The GBTA expects business travel spending to continue growing at a 10.2 percent annual pace over the next five years. The association expects that by 2018, Asia-Pacific will have gained another 5 percent in market share, while the US and Western Europe will lose three percent and two percent, respectively.

Italy and Spain slipped in the GBTA’s annual rankings of the top 15 countries by travel spending, while the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – continue to rise in the growth ranking, representing four of the top six countries in terms of business travel spending growth.

There was some reservation about Russia’s position “as an escalating Ukrainian crisis could push Europe and Russia into a recession.”

Moreover, Russia – a country that has been on the rise in recent years in terms of business travel spending – “could see plummeting business travel activity if the crisis continues,” the forecast said, as sanctions from the West “are already taking their toll on the Russian economy with the GBTA expecting business travel spending in Russia will fall more than five percent in 2014.”

Ranked by spending in 2013, the trade group identified the top 15 business travel markets – the US topped the list ($274 billion), followed by China ($225 billion) and Japan ($61 billion).

08/26/2014