Interesting bits and pieces from around the world of travel and beyond…
Airbnb opening apartment-style hotel in Manhattan
Airbnb has partnered with New York City developer RXR Realty to convert portions of commercial properties into hybrid apartment-hotel accommodations.
According to Airbnb, the company’s latest lodging type will offer guests “the features of a luxury hotel with all the comforts of a home” and curated local experiences. A digital concierge service, which will be staffed by local hosts, will be offered.
The inaugural units are expected to open at 75 Rockefeller Plaza in midtown Manhattan. Spanning 10 floors, the new accommodations will feature a lobby area with check-in and checkout services and tech-enabled access, as well as a private social club and business center on the building’s top floor. Guests will also be able to access a ground-floor restaurant and bar located adjacent to the lobby.
Radisson Rewards integrating into Jin Jiang loyalty program beginning summer 2019
Seven or eight years ago I researched the world’s major hotel chains to determine approximately how many hotels and rooms were in the top 10 global chains. There were the usual suspects like IHG, Hilton, Marriott, Accor, along with a hotel chain name entirely unfamiliar to me – Jin Jiang.
Jin Jiang International is a Chinese state-owned tourism and hospitality company. And in the past few months Jin Jiang has acquired over 90% of shares for Radisson Hotel Group. Jin Jiang is currently the world’s second largest hotel chain with more than 7,700 properties in 67 countries including Radisson brands and Louvre Hotels Group featuring hotel brands Golden Tulip, Tulip Inn, Metropole and Kyriad among its portfolio.
More airports are allowing non-passengers to go through security
Air travel in the 20th century was more romantic — if only for the fact that you could stay with loved ones all the way up until they boarded their plane. But that forgotten, much-loved aspect of travel could be making a comeback.
This week, the Tampa International Airport announced that it will allow visitors to pass through airport security, even if they have no plans to travel that day. It is the third major airport in the country to reimplement this feature — with some restrictions, of course — post-9/11.
However, airports’ primary motivation may have little to do with sending off your loved ones, and instead be more focused on offering access to shops and restaurants.
Virgin Twilight check-in becomes permanent at Manchester Airport
Last month I covered the news that Virgin Atlantic was trialling their Twilight check-in service at Manchester Airport. It seems it must have been a success because Virgin have now confirmed that the service will remain permanently.
Twilight check-in is designed to allow you some extra sleep before an early morning flight and I suppose could be useful in avoiding the rush during peak times such as bank holiday/school holidays.
The service is available between 4:00pm and 8:00pm the day before your flight. You must then arrive 90 minutes before boarding the next day with your boarding pass and passport.
Horseshoe Bend adds entrance fee after becoming Instagram magnet
The new measure was implemented to help curb an influx of photo-seeking travelers to the location.
Social media is increasingly taking its toll on some of the world’s most photogenic locations, with growing numbers of Instagram-inspired travelers causing concerns about site crowding and conservation. Recently, hugely popular destinations have implemented new rules aimed at combatting overtourism. Just this year, Machu Picchu introduced a stricter ticketing system and Venice announced a visitor tax. Now, an extremely recognizable natural landmark in the United States has joined the expanding list.
For the first time ever, travelers must pay an entrance fee to visit Horseshoe Bend, a regularly photographed spot in Arizona’s Glen Canyon National Recreation Area where the Colorado River takes a dramatic U-shaped turn.