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February 05, 2013 - 09:40 AM ET
International Travel Partnership aligned with Colombia's Swiss Andina Turismo, a travel agency with locations in Bogotá and Medellín.
Average rates and occupancy at hotels in December increased year over year in the Americas and the Middle East and Africa, but average rates decreased, while occupancy rose in Europe and the Asia/Pacific region, according to data from STR Global.
Corporate negotiated hotel rates for 2015 are trending higher than previously forecast in several global regions, according to data provided to BTN by BCD Travel's Advito consultancy.
Commercial cards will be exempted from a forthcoming European Union cap on card interchange fees after all, as the European Parliament announced Wednesday it has backed down from its original decision to block such an exemption. Without the exemption, the interchange fee charged on "four-party" commercial cards (effectively those issued as Visa or MasterCard cards) would have been cut from an average of 1.5 percent to a maximum of 0.3 percent, whereas "three-party" providers (principally American Express and Diners Club) would have been free to continue imposing much higher merchant fees.
Average roundtrip airfares in 2015 will decline 5.1 percent year over year, adjusted for inflation and not counting taxes and surcharges, according to a report issued on Wednesday by the International Air Transport Association.
Africa in recent years has become a growing focus for development by major international hotel companies. While North Africa long has been the primary focus in such development, many hotel companies now are turning more attention to sub-Saharan Africa. Lagos-based research firm W Hospitality Group earlier this year reported that, for the first time since it began surveying African hotel development in 2009, the number of international and regional hotel chain deals signed for 2014 outpaced those signed in North Africa. The number of branded hotel rooms planned for the region has grown about 13 percent each year since 2011, according to W Hospitality Group. Tourism Business Council of South Africa CEO Mmatšatši Ramawela spoke recently to Business Travel News senior editor Michael B. Baker about the growth of local African hotel companies in both developing and mature markets on the subcontinent.
Atlanta - As part of its tightening relationship with joint-venture partner Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic recently began service to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport here, taking over one of Delta's three daily flights to London Heathrow. During an event inaugurating that route, Virgin Atlantic CEO Craig Kreeger and founder Richard Branson spoke separately to Business Travel News senior editor Michael B. Baker about how the joint venture is affecting the carrier, Virgin's long-term growth plans and the company's interests outside of air travel. An edited transcript of those conversations follows.
Business travelers today are in the midst of one of the great evolutions of...