Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 30, 2013 12:42 PM
Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson wants to help everybody without $4.6 billion to their name find love. (And if it helps him make a few more bucks, all the better.)
Virgin Airlines, in honor of its new flight plan to Las Vegas, has introduced an in-flight service designed to bring folks together on all of its planes. Passengers can now send a drink, snack or meal to other passengers on their flight and send text messages to them via the touchscreens on their seatbacks. If airline travel was one of the last places that you could escape conversation and advances from others, don’t worry. Virgin does give the opportunity to decline any freebies from other passengers.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 20, 2013 01:33 PM
BBC Worldwide has only been the sole owner of the Lonely Planet brand since 2011 after buying 75 percent of it in 2007, but it's been ready for some time to let it go.
For $42 million less than it had purchased it for—and after years of partnering with Melbourne, Australia-based founders Tony and Maureen Wheeler to build the business into a strong global brand—BBC Worldwide this week sold the world's biggest travel publisher for $77.7 million. The buyer is NC2 Media, which vaguely describes itself as “primarily engaged in the creation, acquisition and distribution of quality digital content and the development of the technologies to make that possible.”
The media company is run by a billionaire Kentucky recluse who supposedly doesn’t use email, made a good chunk of money from selling low-cost cigarettes before selling them off and renouncing tobacco, and is one of the top five landowners in the U.S. with 1.7 million acres to his name, Brad Kelley.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 6, 2013 05:34 PM
'1' hotels will rely on reusable materials in their construction, Starwood says...
...while the Baccarat brand will invoke the elegance of the longtime crystal manufacturer.
It's been 13 years since private equity firm Starwood Capital Group got out of its investment in hotel giant Starwood Hotels & Resorts. But apparently, it misses the lodging business.
SCG, which is involved in many areas of global real estate, announced on Wednesday the creation of two hotel brands: Baccarat Hotels & Resorts and 1 Hotels & Resorts.
The announcement comes as the U.S. hotel industry shares a boom that is also occurring in many world cities. Many analysts expect the expansion will continue for at least a few years as supply attempts to catch up with demand.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 31, 2012 11:04 AM
For decades, if not centuries, groups of men that travel together for work or pleasure have been murmuring to one another, “You keep my secrets and I’ll keep yours.”
It was only 12 years ago that marketing firm R&R Partners borrowed the idea and came up with “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas,” which has so firmly lodged itself into popular culture that it’s hard to remember a time when the phrase didn’t exist. It’s easy to think that Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin were using it back in the mid-‘60s or certainly the larger-than-life Elvis using it during his jumpsuited years there in the early ‘70s.
The phrase certainly suggests that visitors to the city go right ahead and toss whatever inhibitions they may have aside, and so plenty of folks have followed suit. You’ve got O.J. Simpson and a few pals breaking in on some sports-memorabilia peddlers. You’ve got Tiger Woods hooking up with mistresses. You’ve got Paris Hilton getting nabbed for cocaine possession.
And then Prince Harry, third in line to take over for Queen Elizabeth II, went and played some strip billiards with some gals he just met. Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on August 13, 2012 01:33 PM
Almost a year ago, former Google executive Marissa Mayer struck a deal to purchase the user review-based Zagat brand.
Today, Google confirmed it's expanding its travel content library by acquiring the Frommer's brand of travel guidebooks and related assets from US publisher John Wiley & Sons, while Mayer, of course, has struck a different big deal for herself.
The Frommer's deal will beef up the Google+ Local platform, which now incorporates Zagat restaurant reviews, with Frommers-curated lists such as "Best National Parks of the Pacific Northwest" and other travel resources.
Why buy rather than partner? Zagat, for starters, can't do it all alone — while Google has big plans in the travel space.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on January 4, 2012 09:34 AM
Le Pain Quotidien, the bakery-café brand founded in Brussels in 1990, is well-known in London, France and New York, but few realize it's a hit in Russia, where the premium bakery is a go-to for expats and upscale residents in Moscow. It's operated there by NX Bakery Group, which runs several bakery brands in the market for a monthly turnover of $2 million. From sourcing local ingredients to hedging against the unpredictable Russian weather, NX Bakery executives Gohar Gragossian and Ian D. Zilberkweit tell Russian TV's Business RT how they have overcome obstacles to make importing a very European brand a success.
Posted by Matthew Moore on October 28, 2011 11:11 AM
Last Sunday was a bad day for the Glazer family. Both its soccer club, Manchester United, and its American football team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, lost home games in London over the weekend. That's right, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the designated home team when they played the Chicago Bears at Wembley Stadium, England's national stadium. It was the Bucs' second trip to London in three years to play a regular season game on foreign soil.
NFL games in Europe are not a new phenomenon. This year's installment at Wembley was the fifth annual “International Series” game played by the NFL across the pond. The International Series began in 2007, the same year that NFL's Europa League ceased operations. The NFL's initial European experiment began in 1995 but failed to generate a profit despite generating strong attendance numbers. Maybe it was a case of too much, too soon.
The NFL's current strategy for exporting American football falls in line with that of Europe's most popular soccer clubs, including Barcelona and Manchester United, both of which toured the United States this past summer to prepare for their upcoming regular seasons in Spain and England, respectively. Many European soccer clubs have also taken their talents to Asia as they scramble to sell replica jerseys and other branded merchandise in Asia's growing economies.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 22, 2011 04:06 PM
Afar.com, launched in 2010, is the digital extension of the travel magazine of the same name. As the above video explains, for founders Greg Sullivan and Joe Diaz, “experiential travel is a way of life,” and their brand nuance is getting "out of your comfort zone," delving beneath the surface to real places and real people.
It’s one example of how travel is trending as one of the hottest online verticals for disintermediation, with a slew of start-ups seeking differentiation in a crowded field.
Following the early crop of online booking sites – Hotels.com, Expedia, Orbitz and Priceline – a second wave of sites like Kayak made search the currency for iterating online travel. Now, leveraging social media is the Shangri-La for targeted trip advice, crowdsourcing experiences and recommendations from the most trusted sources – friends, and friends of friends.Continue reading...