The Year That Was – Hotel and Travel Industry in 2009

The year 2009 was a year of ups and downs for hotels in particular and the global travel industry in general. There were many events and developments that helped shape the outlook of the hotel industry over the past 12 months. Let us take a look back at 2009 and identify these developments.

Who can forget the global H1N1 virus scare that rocked the world? Some surveys suggest that many travelers will be more concerned about germs and health-related issues in general, thanks to the outbreak of the H1N1 virus. This has thankfully led to more stringent measures and health awareness on the part of the establishments.

The global recession was clearly still in effect the whole year round, and there will even be some repercussions heading into 2010. There are still some significant properties and establishments being shopped and sold. However, it should be noted that, while some companies have been selling their hotels, there are those that are utilizing the sale to expand their core properties. That is a positive sign, showing growth and a willingness to expand despite the continued pinch given by the recession.

In 2009, eco-tourism and eco-friendly destinations started taking the spotlight, as both the travelers and the various establishments have become more and more environmentally conscious. Destinations such as Sweden, Norway, and Switzerland are the top dogs when it comes to eco-friendly places to visit. The hotels in such countries also benefit tremendously because of the influx of travelers, and a lot of them have already adopted an eco-friendly mentality to go with the times.

Of course, there are also many hotel groups-from smaller-scale local establishments to big chains of luxury hotels-who have re-evaluated their business approach and have made changes to their various investment strategies. This is a wise move, still in line with managing the costs and income in an economic landscape that still is not as stable as desired.

Another trend in 2009 was an increased patronage for online travel services, such as booking sites and aggregators that really are a big help to travelers. Still, traditional booking occupies a significant chunk of the pie, even with online services gaining some headway over the past year.

Some establishments, from hotels to apartments to luxury spas, have shown a diminishing level of performance in the middle of the year. The good thing is that some of them have been able to recover quite nicely and gain back some lost ground-and some lost ratings-to get back on track.

There are indications that leisure spending on the side of the travelers will go up in 2010, and that is a definite plus for the hotel industry. More people willing to spend more money translate to more business opportunities for hotels and other members of the hospitality industry.

All in all, it was another year and another step to recovery in 2009. Things are shaping up quite nicely for 2010, and hopefully, hotels and their respective managements learned a lot in the past year and start to apply them in order to flip the script this coming year.

Ways to Find Cheap Hotel Packages

Traveling for work or pleasure can be a worry-free experience especially if you can find cheap hotel packages. Sometimes, travelers are faced with the difficulty of locating cheap hotel packages that is very important especially when on a tight budget. Being able to save on the travel costs and to stay at reasonable priced hotel accommodation can definitely go a long way in making your trip a pleasant one. This allows you to focus budget planning on your trip.

Some people find searching for the best deals to be a frustrating package most especially if they do not know the right place to look considering that there is a mountain of information when searching for the best hotel deals online and offline.

The most ideal place to begin your search is on the internet. You may not know it but it is through the internet where you can find great hotel deals. Various websites online can give you with comprehensive information on the cheap hotel packages within your budget. Many aggregate travel websites online are containing information on hotels due to the links of the partner suppliers to hotels from different parts of the world.

To effectively narrow down your search, you can take advantage of the search and compare options of the website allowing you to compare the different rates of hotels they have in their database that have the same characteristics suitable to your search criteria. This enables you to search easily and compare the rates of hotels in the same are with similar star rating among other criteria you may have in mind when it comes to choosing hotels.

One of the benefits of booking a hotel through aggregate travel website is the presence of the best rate guarantees, discounts and special deals that you may not be available when booking directly through the websites of hotels. But, you have to take note of the fine print before booking as there might be additional charges that are involved.

Interestingly, people are searching for online portals offering cheaper options during peak travel seasons. You may find out that the prices of hotels are generally during peak travel periods including long vacation periods during summer or even during the weekends. This is because most hotels raise their rates generally as there is high demand for it. But you can find some portals online that are specializing at offering cheaper deals during peak travel periods. Therefore it is ideal to book hotels using these websites to ensure that the costs of your accommodation remain to be affordable.

To find cheap hotel packages, it may be a good idea to consider selecting hotels further from the heart of the city. If it is not important to stay in a hotel located in the city centre, you can find inexpensive hotels further away from it. This way, you can find local hotel chains that can give you with comfortable stay but will charge you with lower room rates compared to those located near business districts.