Road Warrior

 

The business of travelling for work

Dearest Moscow

Moscow continues to be the most expensive city for business travellers in terms of hotels, where rates were up 3 per cent in the first six months of the year according to business travel specialists HRG.

Second ranked most expensive is Lagos in Nigeria, followed by Geneva, Zurich, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Sydney, Hong Kong, Paris and Washington DC. Cities where rates decreased were Barcelona, Munich, Istanbul, Bangalaore and Mumbai.

Accor's free wi-fi

Better news for business travellers from Accor Hotels, who have announced that they will be introducing free wi-fi in all of its almost 500 hotels in Asia Pacific by the end of the year.

Brands in the Accor stable include Novotel, Mercure, Pullman and Sofitel.

Surfing the web and checking emails will be free, but bandwidth hogs will have to pay for downloads.

Straight to Toronto

Air Canada is continuing the Dublin to Toronto service until October 14th. It will fly daily until September 30th and then four times weekly until October 14th. Germany’s centre of green technology, Münster, moves a little closer with a Cityjet service via London City Airport beginning on October 29th.

More hotels charge for internet in US

The bugbear of many business travellers is hotels charging for internet access – and the bad news from the US is that more hotels are levying a fee.

The American Hotel and Lodging Association biennial survey found 23 per cent of properties are charging for in-room internet access, up eight points since 2008. At the top end of the market, 84 per cent of luxury and 76 per cent of upper upscale properties charge for access.

Charges for using exercise facilities have become more common, with 25 per cent of hotels levying fees. On the bright side, free breakfast is becoming more common.

A trip to India

If your company is planning on doing business in India, the Irish Exporters’ Association through its Asia Trade Forum is organising a business visit to India from September 5th-7th in co-operation with the India Export Organisations and the Ireland India Business Association. There is just time to apply for a visa, details from Ashley Beston at Irish Exports on (01) 642 4171 and Carol Mullins at FCm Travel Solutions on (01) 605 3989.

Post-Games blues

Post-Olympics hotel trading in London will be tough, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The luxury market has grown 33 per cent since the Games were announced and the budget market more than doubled at 60 per cent.

Liz Hall of PwC said “such a large supply spike against an uncertain economic and travel environment is likely to mean a tougher competitive outlook.”

Expect some rate cutting in the future.

jscales@irishtimes.com