Travel Tip – TripIt.com

Top Tips for Travel

TripIt Website

Here at Go Native, we realise the stresses that come from frequent travelling, be it finding suitable accommodation, organising a hectic family holiday on the Costa del Sol or hiking in the Andes.  Unless you have the luxury of a PA to organise your life, it is almost impossible to keep on track of all the various flight details, Serviced Apartment bookings, transfers you have arranged – the list could go on and on.

Tripit.com is a website which helps travellers (be they business or leisure) to organise their trip, work out where they are, how they are getting there, who they are going with, what time their flights are or even how to post a link to the trip on a blog when they are exclaiming to the world how fantastic  their trip has been.

After Go Native was recently introduced to the website, we have spent time looking over the details,  and have come to the conclusion that it is a very useful tool for anyone travelling on both business and leisure.

Our top five things about TripIt:

  1. The multitude of useful apps. Although many of the apps available on the website have been developed by external developers, they work intricately with the website to provide a concise and accurate device to  make your journey as easy as possible.
  2. The simplicity. The majority of travellers these days have access to either a laptop or smartphone with which they can access the internet from almost anywhere on the planet.  Having all of the travel data in one place means that you will not be stuck at the airport frantically rifling through your bags in order to find that post-it on which your flight number was jotted.
  3. Automatic Itinerary.  If you simply email your confirmation emails  to a TripIt email address your itinerary will be automatically updated, saving you the hassle of having to input everything yourself. Also the ability to ‘trip clip’ allowing you to add information from any website to the itinerary for your trip comes in very useful when you find important information about your trip, but don’t want to have to carrying around excessive printouts.
  4. The ability to share you travel plans. Be it on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin, you can always make sure that everybody knows where you are, where you have been and where you will be going.
  5. The ‘Blog badge’. When you get back this gives you the chance to link your trip to any blog that you may be writing, about your travels. This would help with everything from updates about meetings to gloating online about where you have been.

For more information or to join TripIt visit their website – http://www.tripit.com/

London Serviced Apartment Report 2010 – Key Findings

London Serviced Apartment Report 2010

Go Native has just published its London Serviced Apartment Report 2010.  Here is a summary of the reports key findings:

  1. Demand for Serviced Apartments has been steadily increasing since Q2 2009;
  2. Rising demand is fuelled by a growing number of corporates mandating the use of Serviced Apartments and the growing profile of the sector amongst leisure travellers;
  3. Serviced Apartment rates are up 12% since Q1, 2010;
  4. Corporate demand for Serviced Apartments is shifting from prime central to less expensive secondary locations in response to the need to reduce costs;
  5. Corporate demand is also moving towards smaller unit sizes and shared occupancy;
  6. Tourist demand for Serviced Apartments is rapidly increasing as more inventory becomes available through online sales channels;
  7. The recession brought new property development to a near standstill placing significant pressure on supply;
  8. Leased Apartments are becoming an increasingly cost effective alternative to Serviced Apartments for clients with continuous demand for housing reducing cost by up to 30%;
  9. Overall Serviced Apartment stock in London now exceeds 6,600 units, representing just 6% of hotel supply.

Download the full report for free click here.

London Bridge Events – the Counter Culture project

For business travellers, leisure travellers and anyone else visiting London you may be interested to hear about a new music and arts project starting tonight in London Bridge. If you are free then leave the comfort of your Serviced Apartment or wherever you are staying and check out whats going on.

Counter Culture is a four month music and arts project, taking place in a railway arch beneath London Bridge Station.

Inspired by the eclectic nature of many outdoor festivals, counter culture will create a new artistic program that interweaves the best in London arts; club nights, live music, film, theatre and more in one dynamic and ever changing space.

Events run nightly under London Bridge Station, from 24th September through to 1st January. The Counter Culture team have collaborated with a carefully selected handful of the best and innovative promoters to bring you an unrivalled mixture of club nights, live shows, comedy, plays, cinema, and art installations; all put together with the enthusiasm and sense of adventure that really defines what Counter Culture is all about.

Patrons can expect reasonably priced drinks and entry. No beers are over £3 and no event exceeds £15 ticket price, some are even free! There is also the added bonus of a late night 2:30 am licence midweek and 6am at weekends.

Alongside a comprehensive events line-up, there will also be a published Counter Culture magazine featuring interviews with the main players and promoters, acts, DJ’s, and creatives involved in the project.

Opening Times
You must check individual events for opening times. Usually weeknights finish after midnight and weekends at 6am.

For more information visit the Counter Culture website – http://countercultureproject.com/

American Airlines Competition

Members of American Airlines’ AAdvantage scheme can win up to 275,000 miles by posting images of themselves dressed in Lederhosen, to celebrate the annual Oktoberfest event.

American Airlines has this to say about their unusual and fun competition.

“Whether you’re in Munich, Miami or even Shanghai, it’s time to celebrate Oktoberfest. So get in on the fun, already. Now through October 15th, upload a photo of yourself, friends or even pets posing in lederhosen — or any traditional German attire — to our Leder Posin’ photo gallery. Pose at your local Oktoberfest, the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Canyon… heck, pose on a zebra if you want.

Entries will be judged on overall awesomeness, so get creative because 10 finalists will each earn 25,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® miles and be eligible to win the grand prize of 250,000 miles. So what are you waiting for? Buy ‘em, make ‘em or fake ‘em, but grab your lederhosen and start posin’!”

For more information and to see the current entries visit – http://aadvantagemilestones.com/contest-gallery.aspx

London Serviced Apartment Report 2010

London Serviced Apartment Report 2010

DOWNLOAD FOR FREE

Go Native is delighted to announce the release of its latest report on the London Serviced Apartment market.  The report is intended to provide investors and corporate users of Serviced Apartments with an overview of this fast evolving market today.  It is available to download for free click here.

Introduction to Report

The Serviced Apartment Market in London is enjoying a coming of age.

In terms of demand, the Serviced Apartment market has now expanded its profile well beyond its early beginnings in corporate relocation. Initially led by budget constraints but increasingly in response to traveller preference and the surge of project based corporate assignments, Serviced Apartments are becoming an increasingly prominent alternative to hotels, particularly for longer stays. They also offer a degree of flexibility and service unavailable in the traditional long term rental market providing further opportunity for growth for Serviced Apartment operators.

The Serviced Apartment market faces short term challenges in terms of supply. Lack of development finance remains a significant constraint to new development, both in the Serviced Apartment and wider residential property markets, resulting in high occupancy and a rapid return to pre-recession rates.

The Serviced Apartment market is delivering strong demand and yields comparable to the student housing market, thus creating opportunities for investors and developers. For corporate users of Serviced Apartments with visibility and continuity of demand, establishing bespoke portfolios of Leased Apartments offers the opportunity to secure availability and fix rates in the short to medium term.

To read the full report click here.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Go Native continually makes strides to enhance what it does as a company on the subject matter Corporate Social Responsibility.   Some of the areas we currently focus on are:

Environmental Awareness & Sustainability

Go Natives policy towards environmental awareness and sustainability focuses on the reduction of emissions, water and energy conservation, recycling and environmental management policies.

Go Native has made huge strides to improve our environmental performance including:

Reducing Emissions

  • Installed video conferencing facilities and encourage the use of these as well as audio conference calling to reduce business travel
  • Installed low energy lighting in our offices
  • Introduced a program for all PC monitors to enter sleep mode after a period of inactivity
  • Provided our employees with remote access enabling work from home
  • Our printers are set to print double-sided
  • Office policy is to switch off lights and electrical and computing equipment when not in use

Recycling Initiatives

  • A bin in the kitchen for “card”. Which we approximate will recycle 80% of all “office” waste
  • 2 receptacles in the kitchen for the collection of waste plastics and cans
  • Recycle print cartridges

Go Native environmental management policies

Go Native has developed its own eco-ratings standard. Every serviced apartment supplier responding to our questionnaire is given an Eco-Rating reflecting the efforts made to reduce their waste, conserve energy, build sustainably and reduce their overall impact on the environment.

We have also introduced paperless billing for our clients so all their invoicing can be viewed online.

Corporate Housing Solutions in the UAE

As in most markets, the range of housing solutions available will be determined by the profile of individual requirements.  Lower cost leased solutions will be available only to those organisations with sufficient visibility of demand to be able to commit for longer periods. For the risk averse and those with only short term visibility of demand, the better solution will be Serviced Apartments, offering the flexibility to terminate on shorter notice.

Whilst the supply of hotels across the UAE is plentiful, the drawbacks for extended stay travellers continue to be considerable- living space in hotels is very limited, rates are inflated due to the level of services being offered and it is rare to achieve substantial savings for longer term bookings. In addition, the lack of personal cooking and washing facilities generates hidden additional costs for accommodation which should be considered by corporate buyers.
As a result, companies with project staff staying for periods of a week or longer are increasingly making use of both Serviced Apartments and Leased Apartments.

Key Locations in Dubai
Serviced Apartments can be found throughout Dubai, with the best quality, supply and value to be found in the neighbourhoods of Deira & Bur Dubai, the Al Barsha/Tecom areas and the more luxurious Dubai Marina. For long term stays, villas in quality neighbourhoods ideal for corporate stays include Emirates Living, the Arabian Ranches and the coastal areas of Jumeira and Umm Suqeim.

Key Locations in Abu Dhabi
Serviced Apartments are predominately clustered around the major tourist areas including the Tourist Club District and along the Corniche. There is a limited supply of more corporate standard Serviced Apartments in the Al Nahyan and Al Dhafrah neighbourhoods.

City centre leased solutions can be found in the leafy residential areas of Al Nahyan and Al Bateen, and for those willing to commute there is a good range of options in the new Al Raha Beach area and on Al Reem Island.

To read our full Housing Market Intelligence Report for the UAE please click here.

UAE Property Market Overview

UAE Economic Environment
Overall, the UAE has weathered the recession well, with the significant challenges within Dubai’s property market being offset by steady production of oil, gas and chemical manufacturing. GDP is still predicted to grow by 11% in 2010,
driven by an ongoing increase in industrial production and service sector growth.

The Emirate of Abu Dhabi, holding the majority of the cash reserves for the UAE, has pledged considerable capital to bail out some of the largest failed property developments (including Dubai World, estimated at $12 billion). These cash
reserves have undoubtedly prevented a more drastic decline in the UAE fortunes.

Dubai Property Market
Whilst the downturn of the property market in Dubai has resulted in an oversupply of residential and hotel units, the hospitality sector is faring better than expected, with occupancy rates running close to 80%. The UAE continues to be the preferred holiday destination for many Gulf nationals, keeping tourism robust in the region. Primary drivers for industry beyond tourism include aviation, finance, technology and petrochemicals.

The oversupply of residential units has driven down the average rental cost by over 40% year on year in many areas.  Serviced Apartments have seen a similar decrease in average rates. A few areas have proven resilient to the decrease in rental values, particularly around the Jumeriah Beach Residence area and those locations close to the free trade zones (Internet City, Media City, DIFC).

With falling rental prices, a strong commuter culture has arisen between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Approximately 30,000 commuters travel up to 1 ½ hours each day by car to Abu Dhabi, giving at times a near 40% saving in rental values between the cities. There is good supply of high quality 1-5 bed properties.

Abu Dhabi Property Market
Abu Dhabi’s economy has flourished in recent years, with growth in government work, consistent oil production and construction and no issues with over-development. Demand for property has historically outstripped supply, particularly around certain unit types and neighbourhoods, resulting in consistently high rental costs. The Serviced Apartment market is also limited with developments primarily aimed at the tourist market. There are limited options suitable for the corporate guest in proximity to the key business districts.

A number of City-Centre mid-market developments are under development in addition to higher-end developments in both the Abu Dhabi marina and outside the city in the Al-Reef and Al-Raha areas. The development pipeline is likely to have a material impact on current supply constraints.

CLICK HERE TO READ OUR FULL REPORT

Barak Obamas Business Travel Report

Portfolio.com recently published an interesting article commenting on Barak Obamas plans for improving the country’s business travel infrastructure.  They have taken a quirky stance by grading the president’s administration in six different areas related to the subject.

Appointing a Secretary of Transportation: Grade A

Appointing a Transportation Security Administrator: Grade F

Rebuilding the Transportation Infrastructure: Grade D

Airlines and Airport Security: Grade B

Consumer Protection for Passengers: Grade A

Policing Airline Alliances and Mergers: Grade B

To read the full article click here.

Heathrow Travel Product Awards 2010

Heathrow airport has launched its annual awards celebrating the most popular travel accessories, and all those taking part in the voting stand the chance to win a selection of the winning products up to the value of £5,000.

There are a total of twelve categories this year, including Top Technology, Best Camera and Best Watch and Jewellery, with public voting taking place during September and the winners announced in early October.

All those who vote will be entered into a prize draw to win a selection of the winning products, up to the value of £5,000.  To vote click here.

Here are the categories you can vote on: