All posts by Martin Kelly

Airbnb Links with Flight Centre's Corporate Brands

Flight Centre today announced a partnership with Airbnb in which its corporate customers can access Airbnb for Business product. The deal was sealed after a successful trial with an average rate spend of A$80, much less than business travellers would pay in traditional accommodation. Airbnb listings will appear on Flight Centre brands Campus Travel and Stage and Screen in the coming weeks, followed 'soon after' by FCm Travel Solutions and Corporate Traveller.

Airlines to Make $7.69 per Passenger this Year

The global airline industry will be profitable for the third straight year despite rising fuel, labour and maintenance costs, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts. "But, with earnings of $7.69 per passenger, there is not much buffer. That’s why airlines must remain vigilant against any cost increases, including from taxes, labor and infrastructure," commented Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Fragrance Group Leads Hobart's Hotel Building Boom But Something Doesn't Smell Right

Ibis Styles Hobart facade, due to open July 2017.
Ibis Styles Hobart, due to open in July.

Hobart's long-dormant hotel scene is bursting into life with last week's launch of the 114-room MACq 01 and confirmation today that the Ibis Styles Hobart – at 296 rooms the city's largest hotel – will open in July.

Owned by Fragrance Group, this is the first of three hotel developments the Singaporean company has planned for the Tasmanian capital. More 

Marriott to Open 80 Hotels in Asia-Pacific This Year

Marriott International today announced it is on track to open 80 hotels  and 19,000 rooms in Asia Pacific this year. The world's largest hotel company also confirmed its regional brand count will rise to 23 with the debut of MOXY Hotels (Tokyo) and Delta Hotels (Shanghai). Marriott said it has more than 500 properties in its local development pipeline expected to open by 2021.

Emotion The Key To Maximum Clicks and Shares

Jonah Peretti, Buzzfeed (3)All of us wants to achieve maximum impact – views, shares, likes – out of any piece of content we produce, whether it's a personal post on Facebook or a company  EDM pushing the latest deals.

But as we all know, it's easier said that done. So what's the secret sauce?


Making people feel something, that's the key says Jonah Peretti, founder of news and gossip site BuzzFeed. More 

Live Bookings The Future for Rome2rio

Renfre pic...
Renfre now live on Rome2rio.

Travel search engine Rome2rio has declared that live bookings are its future after announcing connections with three major European coach and rail operators. Consumers can this week book National Express, Renfre and Trenitalia services directly through Rome2rio, which had previously directed users to their sites. More 

Things Go From Bad To Worse at Virgin Australia

Another terrible result for Virgin Australia, which has just posted a $62.3 million loss for the third quarter – much worse than the same period last year (a mere loss of $18.6 million). So far Virgin's lost $90.6 million in the nine months to the end of March while arch-rival Qantas made hundreds of millions in profit. More 

These Are The Good Old Days says Marriott

Tahiti Market Hot Now
Tahiti Market Hot Now, 20% Revenue Growth

"It's a moment in time for us. These are the good old days."

Colourful comment from Marriott International executive Richard Crawford about the Australian hotel market at an STR breakfast gathering yesterday, which revealed the usual wildly varying performances across Asia Pacific, although generally things are good, especially in Tahiti. More 

Ocean Cruise Market Grows 21% in 2016

There's no end in sight to the Australian cruising boom with the number of Australians taking taking an ocean cruise  growing by 21% during 2016 to reach 1.281 million passengers, according to research by industry body Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia. More 

Aussie Outbound Growth Slumps To GFC Levels

Resident departures, Short-term
Australian resident departures, Short-term

The outbound travel boom by Australians appears to be over. Outbound growth fell to just +1% during March, according to the latest ABS stats.

That's the lowest figure since the bad old days of the GFC in 2009, when outbound travel went backwards. It is the sixth consecutive month to under-perform the previous year.

Post-GFC outbound travel rebounded spectacularly but this is different, the leading edge of a longer-term trend.

Best Western Celebrates Its People

Vicki Rabjohns, Best Western Goulburn
Vicki Rabjohns, Best Western Goulburn

Best Western Hotels & Resorts Australasia is celebrating its people in a new social media campaign – The People of Best Western – featuring profiles of the owners, operators and employees that form the fabric of the 125-property chain.

“You can talk about brand values all you like but without our people putting in the hard work and offering genuine hospitality it’s just rhetoric,” says Angela Smith, Best Western’s Senior Marketing Manager. More 

Hirum Claims World-First Mobile Tech Breakthough

Logo - Hirum 170x160Australian travel tech company Hirum Software Solutions has upended its business and is claiming a game-changing technology breakthrough with its new mobile-first product Hirum Anywhere, which can operate live without internet or power.

How can that be? Hirum is not saying nor has it filed a patent for the new technology to ensure the machinations remain confidential. More 

Punctuality Problem For China's Major Airlines

China's aviation sector is booming but the country's biggest airlines have a problem with aviation data firm OAG ranking Air China, China Eastern and China Southern the least punctual of the world's major airlines with one-third of their flights delayed. A major issue is that 75% of the airspace is controlled by the military which will not relinquish it for civilian flights. The Govt has said this may change. Until then, count on being late.

No Longer Business As Usual on Airbnb

Airbnb has ramped up its pitch to business travellers, which trebled in volume last year, by launching a dedicated search filter that will only show listings featuring amenities like Wi-Fi, toiletries, a designated work space, an iron and hangers etc. Airbnb says 10 % of its trips are now taken by business travellers while 250,000+ companies are using it.