GOODBYE VEGAS, HELLO DES MOINES
Talk about a lunchbag letdown. A story in USA Today says folks who planned the annual convention of the American Choral Directors Association had previously met in such cities as Miami, L.A. and New York. But this time, for their 50th anniversary, they chose their home base of Oklahoma City.
Organizers say they're saving 30 to 40 per cent, as rooms are being offered at a Marriott for $150. Can't say I blame them. And you wonder if that could have repercussions within Canada. You'd think it would be cheaper to book a convention in, say, London versus Toronto or Edmonton versus Vancouver.
Speaking of USA Today and Marriott (my, I just LOVE a good segueway), Marriott officials have said they'll stop giving out newspapers, including America's favourite, to guests as a matter of course. Folks can still ask for USA Today or the local paper (thank you) or the Wall Street Journal, but papers won't be automatically distributed to every guest. Good for the environment; not so good for newspaper readership numbers.
HEY, AMERICA - THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS FOR US
A report out of the U.S. of A says visitors from overseas, meaning not from Mexico or Canada, accounted forr 60 per cent of U.S. incoming travel in 2000. But it was down to 50 per cent last year.
Looked at from our northern perspective, that means Canadians and Mexicans went from 40 per cent of U.S. tourism eight years ago to 50 per cent last year. I didn't see a break down on Mexico versus Canada, but you'd think they'd be rolling out the red-and-white welcome mat for us Canucks, wouldn't ya?
I say we push for Canadian dollars at par for the entire U.S. - bars, hotels, restaurants, outlet malls, ballparks; you name it. It's the least they can do, right?
ASIA HOTEL BOOM
A CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) survey of five cities including Singapore, Hanoi, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Kuala Lumpur showed 23,000 four- and five-star hotel rooms could come on line from the end of this year to the end of 2012. And that's a lot.will be potentially available from 2009 until the end of 2012.
"The additional supply, combined with declining demand, will present a challenging period for hotels in the short to medium term," said Robert McIntosh, CBRE Hotels regional executive director.
Bangkok, of course, has its own issues to deal with these days.