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July 31 – August 6 Twitter in Majorca, WiFi in the sun, Mobile tips and trends, On being relevant…our pick of the week’s stories

Twitter first

Who said a holiday was about switching off? The Sol Wave House Hotel in Magaluf, Majorca, Spain, has become the first Twitter-themed hotel. It has integrated Twitter fully into the guests experience by allowing them to log onto the their personal Twitter accounts using the hotel’s WiFi connection and chat or share photos using the hashtag #SocialWave. The @SolWaveHouse Twitter page lets guests see who is checking in – just in case they might want to connect in the real world. Guests staying at the #TwitterPartySuites, which sleep up to four people, get the exclusive service of the hotel’s Twitter Concierges. Twitter Concierges will restock the fridge and respond to room service request. The hotel hopes the #SocialWave community will meet the needs of its main clients – who are young and social and looking for new experiences.

WiFi on the beach

In a bid to become one of the world’s most connected cities, Chicago’s Mayor Emanuel has announced the launch of high-speed Wi-Fi at five of Chicago’s biggest beaches. Smartphone and tablet users are now able to connect to the Internet while sunning themselves. The service is off the back of the launch of free WiFi at Millennium Park in 2012 and the Mayor’s office has plans to extend the service across additional parks and public spaces across the city in the next few months.

Mobile trends and tips

Mobile is a vital part of a hotel company’s distribution mix as the EyeforTravel Social Media and Mobile in Travel Distribution report, 2013 clearly highlights. This week on we talk in detail to Jeannette Ho, VP Revenue Management and Distribution, Fairmont Raffles Hotels International about how they are tackling mobile distribution. For Ho the trend points very much towards mobile as a growing channel particular in the last minute, by the young generation and for corporate travel. Read how Ho is tackling the trends and hearing the tips on

Social mover on being relevant

Relevance is the one word that should be keeping the captains of the travel industry awake at night, says Brian Solis, the author of a new book WTF: What’s the Future of Business? We interviewed Solis this month who believes the future of business really does rely heavily on the user experience. The travel and hospitality industries, he says, should be thinking more clearly than ever about how to go about designing experiences that are so incredible that people will want to share them.

Emirates goes upmarket

A few weeks ago we had the launch of Virgin’s upper class for less, which allows economy passengers a sniff at what first class is like. Now Dubai-based Emirates is fully targeting the high-end business traveller with a new luxury private jet service. Emirates Executive which launched this week can be chartered by individuals, groups or corporations via the website. Adnan Kazim, Emirates' Divisional Senior Vice President for Planning, Aeropolitical & Industry Affairs is quoted saying that the airline has seen an increasing demand in the private travel segment, especially in the Middle East and Europe as well as in markets such as India, Russia and China. Of course technology is a big focus: the aircraft is equipped with video-conferencing facilities, high-speed Internet access and mobile phone connectivity. Qatar Airways and Korean Air are two commercial airlines that offer a similar service.

London is great, but what about Lincoln?

Visit Britain is keen to promote alternative attractions outside London. It is planning new tourism campaigns to encourage tourists to venture out of the capital. According to the tourism agency 41% of overnight stays are spent in London. Last year Visit Britain launched its successful ‘Great’ campaign which targeted key cities in key markets with films and image-led print adverts showcasing what makes Britain great. Nearly three-quarters of the audience in target cities recall seeing the campaign and 23% of those who do plan to visit in the next year. While Edinburgh remains the second most popular tourist destination after London, many tourists miss cathedral cities like Lincoln, York, Winchester and Salisbury. Tourism figures for the UK so far this year are positive, showing a 2% rise in visitors during the first five months of the year and a 10% boost to the coffers.  

Boost for Brazil

International tourists visiting Brazil this year deliver around £2 billion into the economy, a 9.6% increase on previous years. This was helped by the Confederations Cup taking place in June which boosted tourist arrivals. World Youth Day in July also helped. Recent analysis carried estimates that tourist spend, and other indirect effects around World Youth Day, will generate approximately £4 million. Since 2003, the influx of foreign currency has continued to increase. Last year, Brazil received 5.7 million international tourists, with an expectation to reach a record 6 million visitors by the end of 2013.

Asians are tech-savvy

A Visa study has found that 71% of Asian tourists will share their holiday experiences online after returning from their trips. As many as 73% check-in online while on holiday 77% will upload information about their trip while on holiday. Globally, 80% percent of holidaymakers take phones as companions and want to stay connected everywhere. But people still rely most on their cameras with 70% saying a camera is their preferred companion when travelling (versus 54% saying computers and 32% and entertainment devices). 

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