Archive for November, 2010

universal aXcess Gives New Choice for Companies Seeking to Consolidate Multi-Market, Multi-Platform, Online, Offline and On-the-Go Servicing

Core to Service Offering is Innovative Technology, Investment in People and an Unwavering Focus on Execution

Releases Results from New Business Traveler Survey Focused on Booking and Service Preferences

NEW YORK – American Express Business Travel announced today a new option for corporate traveler service and support called universal aXcess. Launched within a new suite of services called aXcess, with universal aXcess global corporations are provided a consolidated multi-market, multi-platform, online and offline integrated service platform allowing travelers to access their service channel of choice: online tools, travel consultation and agent support, as well as on- the-go mobility tools for itinerary management and emergency services.

The responses from a new American Express survey(1) underscored the need for a service option that offers the best of both online and offline service. It found that the majority (55%) of more than 1,000 business travelers surveyed in the U.S., UK, Germany, France, Spain, Sweden, Japan, China, Hong Kong and Australia, preferred to book their travel online, while almost half (46%) of travelers said they are more likely to turn to an agent for help when traveling.

"Service is core to the American Express brand and core to any service strategy is innovative technology, investment in people and an unwavering focus on execution," said Julie Bottner, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Global Service Delivery, American Express Business Travel. "As market conditions change, we have a responsibility to transform our business travel operations and services to support the evolving needs of our customers. Through our newly branded aXcess suite of service delivery offerings and capabilities, universal aXcess was created for clients who would benefit from what this model offers – consolidated offline servicing, online capabilities and on-the-go tools for their travelers – delivered with the tools, change management techniques, quality controls, and training that have been the hallmark of our servicing value proposition."

As the second-largest area of controllable spending for most companies, business travel and expense is a key area for cost control. Consolidating service locations, while maintaining consistency around the world, helps companies to achieve efficiency targets. According to the survey, eight in ten (81%) business travelers feel that it doesn't matter where in the world their travel agent is sitting, as long as the agent has access to their existing travel itinerary and is able to help make changes.

With universal aXcess companies can consolidate their travel servicing through a global center. The new consolidated service platform provides travelers with a single telephone number from their home country that can be used for all of their travel servicing needs. Travelers will be connected to a central team with visibility into their company's corporate policies and preferred supplier agreements to their own personal travel preferences and itineraries. And, while on-the-go, travelers have access to telephonic and online support, emergency services and a new mobility offering.

When ranking service expectations by importance, more than one half of business travelers surveyed feel services by an experienced and knowledgeable travel agent, and their travel agent having access to the most advanced technology to be most important service they can receive (53% and 51%, respectively).

"With universal aXcess, no matter who a traveler speaks with, they will receive high quality service and consistency from their company's designated central team due to our strategic focus and investments in both agent training and technology platforms," said Ms. Bottner. "Additionally, our global scale enables us to deliver savings and efficiencies without sacrificing the service our customers expect from a travel management company in today's "New Normal" environment."

The aXcess suite of servicing offers and capabilities provide companies with the flexibility to design a service configuration around their preferred channel of delivery or combine multiple options. Additional benefits provided through aXcess and included with universal aXcess are travel alerts and information that can be proactively pushed out to the business traveler to help them prepare for their trip and while on the road particularly if there are situations disrupting transportation methods. Additionally, the aXcess suite provides virtual meetings capabilities and mobility solutions to service and equip business travel clients in this new business operating environment.

American Express Business Travel has rolled out the universal aXcess servicing platform to its client base and already has several clients moving to this platform. Prior to making it available to its client base, the Company worked with its largest global client to implement universal aXcess and has been delivering service to them through this model for over a year.

About American Express Business Travel
American Express Business Travel (www.americanexpress.com/businesstravel), a division of American Express Company, is committed to helping its clients maximize the return on their travel investment through increased cost savings, world-class customer service and greater spending control. With clients ranging from small businesses to multinational corporations, American Express Business Travel provides a combination of industry-leading technology, travel management consulting, strategic sourcing and supplier negotiation support, alongside global customer service available online and offline. The Company also provides a dynamic online community (www.businesstravelconneXion.com) harnessing the collective intelligence of those in the business travel industry offering a variety of perspectives, best practices, current research and industry news.

American Express operates one of the world's largest travel agency networks with locations in over 140 countries worldwide. Total travel sales volume in 2009 was $21.5 billion, including proprietary volume, volume processed through joint ventures, and American Express branded volume processed through its partner network.

American Express Company is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, twitter.com/americanexpress and youtube.com/americanexpress.

(1) The American Express Business Traveler research conducted by Echo Research was completed online among a random sample of business travelers on October 21-29, 2010. The results of the research sample of 1,009 frequent business travelers (average of 3+ per year with one international trip) have a margin of error of ±3.1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

— WebWireID127614 —

ISIPR – Regardless of how excited people get by the chance to earn rewards trough loyalty and incentive programs, they can quickly lose interest if the quality and selection of rewards does not meet their expectations. When updating its rewards catalog, running on the points-based RewardTrax® platform, incentive services provider Incentive Solutions made every effort to include types of incentives and incentive travel rewards that participants desire.

Incentive Solutions' President, Mark Herbert explains: 'Drawing on years of experience and historical data, we've focused our efforts on improving the quality and selection of reward items that we see incentive program participants search for and select the most. This ensures we can offer the 'latest and greatest' products that people want, and in quantities needed to support incentive programs that often involve thousands of participants.'

Herbert notes that the enhancements being made at this time to the merchandise section are expanding the catalog to include more choices to the already wide-ranging selection that offers participants millions of rewards to work towards. Pulling information from the company's database, Incentive Solutions found that electronics are the most popular items followed by home and garden and sports equipment.
For the select high point earners, Rewardtrax offers the 'Uniquely Yours', feature – a concierge type service allowing participants to choose high-end rewards found outside of the online selection.

In addition to giving its merchandise catalog a face-lift by adding new products, the company also revamped its incentive travel portfolio. Incentive Solutions has enhanced its travel rewards by adding a real-time hotel booking tool. Like any other travel booking portal, the new tool allows participants to book flights and hotels, as well as car rentals, all in real time, which means that availability and pricing information is 100% up to date. Herbert points out that the beauty of the live booking tool is that participants are not restricted to red-eye flights and other limitations found in the numerous loyalty incentive programs.
Moreover, participants can now select activities to add to their trips and book tickets to live music, theater and sports events.

Incentive Solutions offers free consultations and complimentary demonstrations of RewardTrax to help businesses evaluate if incentive programs can help boost performance. Call 1-866-567-7432 or visit www.incentivesolutions.com.

About Incentive Solutions Inc.

Based in Atlanta, GA, Incentive Solutions is a leading provider of business incentive programs, group incentive travel and prepaid card reward solutions. Their customized incentive solutions are designed to help clients strengthen relationships and motivate behaviors integral to reaching organizational objectives. Clients use Incentive Solutions' array of incentive products and services for customer loyalty and acquisition, employee recognition, motivation and retention, channel sales incentives, sales force motivation and more.

— WebWireID127603 —

From beautiful artisan-made straight razors to unique gifts sets, special soaps and grooming items, ClassicShaving.com offers luxurious, practical gifts

(PRWeb November 30, 2010)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/11/prweb4828154.htm

Dangriga, Stann Creek District, Belize – A leading Belize real estate company based in the coastal town of Dangriga is preparing to celebrate five years of service in this small, Central American country.

December 15th marks Belize Property Agents fifth year in business in a very competitive field in a nation famous for it's storied scuba diving, fishing, and pristine rain forests.

Business owner David Gobeil attributes his company's continued success to "hard work, making sure the customer always comes first, and complete transparency and honesty"

"When North Americans and Europeans decide to buy property overseas, it can be a very daunting process", said Mr.Gobeil "And that may be a reason for our continued and growing success….we try to educate clients about Belize and help potential property buyers along every step of the buying process".

This includes helping clients decide which part of the country to settle in, as well as showing the clients a sampling of the company's 300 plus listings.

"A lot of people have no idea how different this country is from north to south and east to west. The geography changes dramatically from the north to the south and so do the people" Mr. Gobeil said.

Belize has a multitude of different cultures including indigenous Mayan Indians living along side Garifunas, Creoles, East Indians, Chinese, and Caucasians.

The geography in Belize varies from lush, wet rain forests in the deep south and along the picturesque Hummingbird Highway to dry, dusty conditions in the north near the Mexican border.

Belize Property Agents currently employs five people and operates two offices in the Dangriga area.

"When I started it was only me", said Mr. Gobeil.

Mr. Gobeil says his company is making plans to expand to other areas of the country during the next year.

"We're strategically located in the middle of the country, so continuing our expansion is the next logical step" said Mr. Gobeil.

— WebWireID127599 —

December in the Florida Keys brings many highly anticipated holiday events, including the 47th Annual Sailfish Tournament, a sparkling boat parade, and a New Year’s Eve celebration. To celebrate these…

(PRWeb November 30, 2010)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/11/prweb4835734.htm

Hotel review site now lists 1.000 Muslim-friendly hotels around the globe and gives 1$USD to charity for published reviews.

(PRWeb November 30, 2010)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/11/prweb4838764.htm

NH Hotels has converted an impressive nineteenth century mansion in the arts district of Madrid as part of ambitious renovation plans.

The careful renovation has managed to recover the building which was originally built in 1808 by Jorge Durán, and which was designed in part by Juan de Villanueva, who designed the Prado Museum.

The new NH Palacio de Tepa, is a luxury five-star hotel located in a privileged position on the calle de San Sebastián with access to the calle Atocha and the Plaza del Ángel, and is surrounded by the active bohemian atmosphere of the Arts District with its galleries, boutiques, cafés, jazz bars and taverns, and the hustle and bustle of the calle Huertas.

The new NH Palacio de Tepa has 84 rooms which have been decorated by the architecture and design studio of Ramón Esteve in easy greys and beiges to play with the ever-present light which flows in through the large windows and skylights especially throughout the penthouse rooms.

Different interior decoration options are available across the hotel room types, with the rooms on the fifth floor providing a particularly welcoming atmosphere with their mansard roofs and minimalist decoration.

In addition to the Premium rooms on the two corners of the second floor of the building, many of the rooms are duplex suites and all the rooms have views of the streets and squares of the district, which have also been renovated recently.

Lighting is the main feature of the hotel which has been carefully renovated respecting the original domes of the building and its typical balconies. Two whitewashed interior patios, renovated in accordance with their former use as "corrala" yards, allow light to come in through the interior corridors of the hotel.

The hotel also offers several premium services including a butler service, pampering menu, a 'VIP desk' and private transfer.

About NH Hotels
NH Hotels is the third largest business hotel chain in Europe. NH Hotels has 394 hotels with 58,982 rooms in 25 countries in America, Africa and Europe, including hotels in Barcelona, hotels in Milan, hotels in Vienna and Valencia hotels. NH Hotels now has 35 projects for new hotels under construction, which will provide a further 6,000 rooms.

A key feature of NH Hotels is the desire of its employees to ensure guests satisfaction through the quality of service and constant innovations. NH Hotels' properties offer state-of-the-art technology to help customers work, communicate and be entertained.

The restaurant facilities offer customers top-quality food with famous restaurateurs such as Ferrán Adrià and Paco Roncero creating pioneering spaces, such as 'nhube', 'Fast Good' and 'Estado Puro' to combine restaurants, leisure and innovation for hotel guests.

As a responsible company and industry leader, NH Hotels offers hotel services which anticipate the needs of all stakeholders: employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders, society and the environment, taking great care with every detail and providing efficient, sustainable solutions. NH Hotels is listed on the Madrid Stock Exchange.

For further media information, please contact:
Ana Bermejillo
PR and Communication Advisor
Santa Engracia
120 Edificio Central
Madrid
Spain
+34914519762
www.nh-Hotels.com

— WebWireID127596 —

David Beckham joined hundreds of football fans in adding his signature to the official British Airways aircraft, carrying England's hopes to Zurich.

Beckham is one of several high profile delegates flying to Zurich to represent England ahead of FIFA's announcement on December 2 at 15.00 (GMT).

Speaking at Heathrow's Terminal 5 today, David said: "I'm extremely proud to be flying to Zurich to represent the England 2018 Bid, and to be travelling with the hopes of the nation on this official aircraft. I hope that the next time I'm on British soil, I'll be with the winning England 2018 Bid team."

His signature will appear alongside hundreds of names gathered from British Airways customers, employees and those from the world of football, including; Rio Ferdinand, Fabio Capello, Bobby Zamora, Daniel Sturridge, Ray Clemence, Trevor Brooking, Gary Lineker, Stuart Pearce and Andy Anson.

Hundreds of names were collected on an electronic board in Terminal 5 during 'Back the Bid' week in August.

British Airways, chief executive Willie Walsh, said: "We have backed the bid every step of the way. Other than the Olympics, hosting a World Cup is the biggest sporting event that could come to England. We wish the Bid team every success in Zurich."

British Airways launched its partnership with England 2018 Bid on St George's Day with Gary Lineker. Since then the airline has flown the Bid team around the world to lobby for the right to stage the tournament in England.

As the countdown gets closer, the airline will host a giant screening area at its head office, to allow employees to watch the bid result live on 2 December.

The airline is working closely with BAA, the owners of Heathrow Airport – international gateway and official supporter of the Bid, to give the team the best possible send off.

British Airways is proud to be the official airline of the England 2018 Bid. BA also flew the Bid team and the Bid Book to Zurich in May, to present to FIFA. Signatures were collected on an electronic board in British Airways' lounge in Terminal 5, and then transposed on to the British Airways Airbus, registration 'G-EUOI'.

Images are available to download at www.actionimages.com.

About British Airways:
British Airways plc offers a wide range of worldwide destinations – including European city breaks, hotels in Zurich, flights, car rental and experiences. Customers can save time and money with ba.com when booking ATOL protected holiday packages, ATOL number is 5985. Passengers are offered added peace of mind to their holiday plans and the security of travelling with British Airways. British Airways plc constantly seeks to exceed customers' expectations, both in terms of the value for money and quality of the service provided.

PR Contact:
Katja Cooper
Astral Towers
Betts Way
London Road
Crawley
RH10 9XA
01293 722513
www.ba.com

— WebWireID127592 —

Superbreak, the UK based short breaks specialist, has announced the addition of the Batman Live World Arena Tour to its events break programme as it secures the 'preferred short break partner' title for the tour.

The Yorkshire based tour operator is offering a range of morning, afternoon and evening timed entry tickets to all eight UK venues to ensure avid fans, families and couples alike the chance to experience the tour regardless of their budget or location. The live action arena adventure tour will tour across some of the UK's top city break destinations next year including Birmingham's NIA, London, O2 Arena, Glasgow's SECC and Liverpool's Echo Arena and Superbreak has created bespoke budget to luxury packages across all tour dates.

In addition to the Batman Live Tour tickets, customers can choose from a selection of 2* to 5* hotels in and around the city centres, with a variety of family rooms also available, and tailor make their break by choosing from a range of rail travel options and additional sightseeing tickets.

David Thomas – Superbreak's head of theatre, commented: "This is going to be the biggest thing for family short breaks since the nationwide Walking with Dinosaurs tour. The flexibility of our packages, as well as the range of venues on offer, will help us to offer our customers both value for money and choice for this exciting action arena tour. This is a great addition to our events break programme."

Superbreak already offers a diverse choice of event breaks as its relationship with the likes of the O2 Arena continues to grow. In 2009 alone, the tour operator booked over 45,000 customers onto one of its event breaks and bookings for this year are extremely encouraging. This year, the tour operator has already seen huge success in the expansion of its events break programme, securing a range of tickets to sell out music and comedy acts.

About Superbreak:
Superbreak is the internet division of Superbreak Mini Holidays Limited, the market leader for short breaks and hotels throughout the UK. Superbreak is part of Holiday Break plc. Based in York, England, Superbreak specialises in booking cheap weekend breaks in 2-5 star hotel accommodation throughout Britain for the leisure traveller. Superbreak holds allocations of rooms at all hotels and can make bookings up to and on the day of departure.

With 5000 plus hotel partners in worldwide locations from Aberdeen to Abu Dhabi, from London to Lourdes and with great availability and rates for theatre breaks, events at the O2 Arena, various popular attractions and national and international rail partners, Superbreak can offer an outstanding depth and breadth of UK and Overseas short break products including London hotels and York hotels.

For further information on Superbreak or on this PR, please contact:
Khalid Amin
Online Marketing Manager
Superbreak Mini-Holidays
Eboracum Way
York
YO31 7RE
(01904) 436043
www.superbreak.com

— WebWireID127581 —

Jumeirah Group and Azinco Holding Company have announced the signing of a new management agreement for the Venu Bilgah Hotel, Baku.

Jumeirah Group, the Dubai-based luxury hotel company and member of Dubai Holding, has signed an agreement with Azinco Holding Company to manage Venu Bilgah Hotel, Baku. The new contemporary lifestyle hotel on the shores of the Caspian Sea is scheduled to open in 2011.

The hotel has been constructed in a wave-like structure reflecting the style of the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai. Designed by local architect Nazim Valiev, the hotel will consist of 176 sea-facing guestrooms and suites, an all-day dining restaurant and bar, a further two rooftop restaurants and bars, a 300msq spa with traditional Turkish and Finnish bath areas, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a 1500msq conference centre. The hotel complex will also include 14 villas.

Venu Bilgah Hotel, Baku, is the second hotel to be announced in the rollout of Venu as a collection of contemporary lifestyle luxury hotels. Each hotel offers the promise of 'Local Soul' connecting guests with the location and providing a platform for discovery and enriching experience. The service philosophy of Venu is designed to be intuitive and engaging, a philosophy reinforced by the quality of people attracted to work for the brand.

Venu Bilgah Hotel, Baku is the first management agreement signed by Jumeirah Group in Azerbaijan. This agreement brings the total number of properties under development or in operation by Jumeirah globally to 49.

-ends-

Notes to Editors:

About Jumeirah Group:
Jumeirah Group, the Dubai-based luxury hospitality company and a member of Dubai Holding, operates a world-class portfolio of hotels and resorts. Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts includes the Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah The Meydan and Jumeirah Bab Al Shams hotels in Dubai; Jumeirah Carlton Tower and Jumeirah Lowndes luxury hotels in London; and Jumeirah Essex House luxury hotel in New York. Jumeirah Group also runs the luxury serviced residences brand Jumeirah Living; the spa brand Talise; Jumeirah Restaurants; Wild Wadi Waterpark; The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management; and Sirius, its global loyalty programme. Jumeirah Group has recently unveiled Venu Hotels, a contemporary lifestyle hotel brand.

For further media information please contact:
Mia Hedman
Director Corporate Communications
Jumeirah Group Corporate Communications
PO Box 214159
Dubai
United Arab Emirates
+971 4 364 7962
www.jumeirah.com

— WebWireID127571 —

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