Tag: Independent

Independent Hotels Band Together to Keep Giants at Bay

(Bloomberg) — A group of independent hotel owners is forming a “rebel alliance” to survive the pandemic and prevent their properties from getting swallowed up by the likes of Marriott International Inc. and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.

Loading...

Load Error

The group, led by Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, is launching Curator Hotel & Resort Collection, a new company that aims to reduce costs on everything from bed linens to credit card processing. The move comes during the worst year in the history of the modern lodging industry, as spiking Covid-19 cases threaten to squash a modest travel rebound.

“We’re trying to give owners and operators of independent lifestyle properties an alternative to selling out their businesses or becoming more commoditized by joining with a major brand,” Pebblebrook Chief Executive Officer Jon Bortz said in an interview. “We want to do it in a way that gives them all the flexibility to be the rebels they want to be.”

Companies like Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt Hotels Corp. own very little real estate, and they make much of their profits by licensing brands and providing services to property investors, who agree to comply with certain standards as part of the deal. In downturns, they focus on recruiting owners of existing hotels — dangling so-called soft brands that let owners join the larger network without going through a wholesale makeover.

“Conversions as a percentage of our openings were highest coming out of the Great Recession,” Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson said on a recent earnings call. “We would expect conversion activity to increase, certainly in terms of discussion, starting now.”

Occupancies Hammered

This year through September, occupancy at U.S. hotels was below 45% on average, down from 68% during the same period of 2019, according to lodging-data firm STR. The pandemic has landed hard on urban hotels, which depend on a combination of business travel and leisure guests who come to sample local restaurants and cultural institutions.

Pebblebrook, whose 53 properties include the Viceroy Santa Monica Hotel and the Paradise Point Resort in San Diego, has seen its shares plummet 33% since the beginning of the year, in line with a Bloomberg index of real estate investment trusts that own hotels. While lodging stocks have rallied on recent vaccine news, industry projections estimate that a full recovery is at least three years off.

Bortz said his company began developing the plan after outbidding Blackstone Group Inc. to acquire LaSalle Hotel Properties in 2018. The $5.2 billion deal made Pebblebrook the largest U.S. owner of independent lifestyle hotels, giving it scale to negotiate savings with a variety of vendors.

Curator will aim to provide similar savings to other hotel owners, charging fees that are roughly 15% of what big brand companies demand, and offering short-term contracts that give owners freedom to exit the program after 12 months.

Pebblebrook is the majority owner of Curator. Other founding members have minority stakes, including Benchmark Hotels & Resorts, Viceroy Hotels & Resorts and Provenance Hotels, the lodging company founded by

Continue reading

Independent Low Cost Travel (attitude Travel) Budget Travel Information and Expert Advice

Friday, 3rd October, 2008

Low cost Airlines in Europe

North England’s own budget airline, Jet 2 plans to expand its route network in 2009, flying to many more sunshine destinations – including Cornwall, Croatia and Cyprus.

In fact, next year, Jet 2 will fly more low cost routes to the Mediterranean, Adriatic & Dalmatia than ever before – not only from the North of England, but also from Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Jet 2 will fly to many more sunshine destinations from Northern Ireland and the North of England in Spring and Summer 2009

Wednesday, 24th September, 2008

Low cost Airlines in Europe

You wait years for an LCC, then 4 come along at once. This autumn, Wizz Air, germanwings, Germania & Air Arabia all start flying to Ukraine.

The former Soviet Republic has long only been accessible via flag carriers such as British Airways and Austrian Airlines. At last, no-frills carriers will make transit to cities such as Kyiv and L’viv affordable.

Wizz Air - one of the European low fare airlines to start operating direct low cost international routes into Ukraine in 2008...

Wednesday, 24th September, 2008

Low cost Airlines in the Middle East

Air Asia will fly beyond the borders of Southeast Asia with new routes to both India and Bangladesh.

Attempts by other cheap Asian airlines such as Mihin Lanka, Nok Air & Fly Yeti to operate low cost flights across the Bay of Bengal, linking South Asia with Southeast Asia have so far all failed. Only the Indian LCC AI Express currently links Thailand & Singapore to India & Bangladesh.

The Tyn Church on Prague's Old Town Square...

Wednesday, 24th September, 2008

Low cost Airlines in Asia

Sri Lanka’s only low fare airline, grounded for most of 2008, expects to take to the skies again in December.

Mihin Lanka is uniquely placed to offer inter-regional low cost routes linking the Persian Gulf to Southeast Asia. But the revived carrier will now face increased competition from aggressively expanding low cost rivals AI Express and Air Asia.

Mihin Lanka plans to take to the skies again in December 2008...

Monday, 22nd September, 2008

Low cost Airlines in Asia

Air Asia will fly beyond the borders of Southeast Asia with new routes to both India and Bangladesh.

Attempts by other cheap Asian airlines such as Mihin Lanka, Nok Air & Fly Yeti to operate low cost flights across the Bay of Bengal, linking South Asia with Southeast Asia have so far all failed. Only the Indian LCC AI Express currently links Thailand & Singapore to India & Bangladesh.

Air Asia - due to fly into India in November 2008...

Monday, 22nd September, 2008

Low cost Airlines in Europe

The largest, best established budget carrier in the Middle East, Air Arabia has set its sights on Europe.

The low fare airline will commence flights to Ukraine on October 15th, 2008, and plans to establish a new base in the Moroccan capital Rabat from which it will fly to many Mediterranean destinations in both North Africa and Europe.

Air Arabia is now expanding its route networks into Europe...

Friday, 29th August, 2008

Low cost Airlines in Asia

India’s pioneering no-frills airline Air Deccan has been swallowed up whole by Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher. The phoenix rising from Deccan‘s ashes is Kingfisher Red.

Crucially, this means that what was once the cheapest air network in India has now been superceded by leaner, meaner competitors such as spiceJet, IndiGo and also GoAir,

Continue reading

The independent travel guide for Southeast Asia. Travelfish.org

The independent travel guide for Southeast Asia. Travelfish.org

Photo: On the job in Hue.

Welcome to Travelfish, the independent travel guide for Southeast Asia

We’ve got pre-trip planning information, weather information, country backgrounders and itineraries, plus we check out hotels, restaurants and things to do and see in the region, and provide transport information to get you moving. We never accept discounts or freebies.

You can browse the site for free. To post on our forum, where you can ask and answer questions on travel to the region, you need to become a Travelfish member. Members can also download more than 200 PDF guides, are eligible for discounts from Travelfish partners and a 50% discount off our travel planning services.


or …


Get started!

Select a destination and start planning.

Latest Southeast Asia book reviews

Looking for something to read on the train, at the beach or in the bus? A new title every week.

Latest destinations

These are the latest destinations updated on Travelfish. May not be major rewrites!

Latest places to stay

Latest places to stay updated on Travelfish. May not be major rewrites!

Latest activities

Latest things to do updated on Travelfish. May not be major rewrites!

About Travelfish

A few quick words about the Travelfish team and what we’re trying to do.

Travelfish founders Samantha and Stuart.Travelfish founders Samantha and Stuart.

Samantha Brown and Stuart McDonald came up with Travelfish.org as they sunned themselves on an eastern Thai beach in 2004. They wanted to use the internet to better provide travel intelligence to independent travellers, to help them find more interesting destinations, to get off the beaten track and to find little-known places to stay. They also wanted to help little-known places to stay find people to host.

What began as a collection of their favourite spots in Thailand has developed over the years into one of the largest independent travel guides dedicated solely to Southeast Asia. Researched and written by a team of writers who live in the region, Travelfish.org today contains independently researched and written coverage to Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. If we’ve written about a place on Travelfish.org, we’ve been there in person. There are no exceptions to this. Not one.

Our team of writers live in the region, research in person and as far as humanly possible, work anonymously. Travelfish.org operates on a strict “no freebie” basis, so what you read on Travelfish.org is our own unvarnished opinion on all things Southeast Asian. There’s no outside influence you need to worry about.

Source Article

Continue reading

Backpacking: Budget Independent Travel – Advice, guide & packing help


Hello. Pleased you found us. You have come to the right place.
Enough of reading blogs. Need
real help?


Travel Independent .info is an independent, non-commercial site by travellers for travellers to
encourage everyone to travel independently and give them the information they need to feel confident about it.

It is not a blog full of ramblings or selfies. No self-promotion,
no sponsored content, unrealistic claims or e-books/tours for sale.


Around since 2002, updated monthly. You’ll find balanced, comparative, simple advice for 110+ countries,
7 continent  – everything important to get you ‘on the road’.
There is simply no other travel site with a broader scope,
wider range of countries covered or experience.


No idea where to start? Start here:

If you are totally new to travel or starting to plan a trip and simply have no idea where to start – this one page guide is probably the place for you.

Know roughly what you are looking for? Follow the chapter links below:

Start Here

What to Pack

Seen enough ‘packing lists’ to make you sick? Confused on what to pack for travel / backpacking trip?

Take it from those who have learnt the hard way and are not selling or promoting anything other than the concept of travelling light.
What you pack can really make a difference to your trip: packing tips and advice on everything you need.


Where to Go

Where to travel to? Good question. How to pick a route, our country/sight recommendation and why you might have already decided.
– the real planning is up to you with some hard choices to be made.

Global highlights and lowlights – a few ideas of the good, the bad and the ugly!


Before You Go


Unsure as to malaria prophylaxis, jabs, how much will you send, how to carry money, insurance or visas you need?.

The before you go bit is tougher than the trip itself and can seem like an administrative nightmare.
It is all covered from money to buying air tickets and travelling alone.

Travel insurance is a particular minefield. Found out exactly what you need, what you don’t and who the best providers are.

On the Road

‘On the road’ a comprehensive guide to some of the things that you need to face and deal with whilst
travelling and how to deal with them
, such as food poisoning and bus travel.

It is all covered from getting ill and staying healthy, moving around,
sleeping, looking after your things/avoiding crime to dealing with beggars and hassle.

If you are interested in using any of the material in this site, would like extra material for commercial purposes or would like to
support the site with a paid link, then please get in touch.

Read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Support us.
Please note this site is kept up-to-date and current with a lot of hard work, miles and

Continue reading