Consolidation in Business Travel: What’s Next?

For the past several years, there has been a significant number of consolidations throughout every segment of the travel industry. With mergers and acquisitions of some of the best-known brands in the air travel, lodging and ground transport sectors continuing at a rapid pace, GBTA Convention 2016 featured a Center Stage panel discussion on the topic of consolidation with some of the most well-known experts in the field.

Moderated by Guy Langford, Vice Chairman, U.S. Leader of the Travel, Hospitality & Leisure (“THL”), Deloitte & Touche LLP, the panel consisted of Reggie Aggarwal, CEO and Founder, Cvent; Dara Khosrowshahi President and CEO, Expedia, Inc., and; Kevin Frid, COO of Accor Hotels. The panel brought unique perspectives to an extremely timely and relevant discussion. Cvent is currently being acquired, Expedia has become one of the largest travel companies in the world through acquisitions, and Accor Hotels recently completed an acquisition. Given these backgrounds across travel industries, the conversation provided much needed clarity and insight into one of the biggest drivers shaping today’s travel industry.

There was agreement that having an effective strategy in place must drive the process of successful mergers or acquisitions. If the consolidation is not strategic, it may be unsuccessful. Said Accor’s Kevin Frid, “strategy, when done well, doesn’t change much, but may be tweaked. Economic conditions are always changing.”
The conversation shifted to the hot-button topics of scalability, technology and if it is still possible to “own the customer.” With respect to scalability, Accor’s Frid sees scalability as intrinsically linked to strategy. Saying of the recent merger, “we wanted a bigger footprint in the luxury space and in the U.S. markets, but the reality is that brands can’t scale to determine a price. Brands can only provide a value proposition for its customers.”

While the three panelists had unique perspectives of the current landscape of consolidation, they were in agreement that it is no longer possible to, “own the customer” as today’s young, savvy traveler is resistant to such notions. It is possible, according to Khosrowshahi and Aggarawl, to rely on technology to interact with the customer and alleviate any pain points.

The panel agreed such uses of technology will continue to drive mergers and acquisitions in the travel industry for the foreseeable future. Said Aggarawl, “There is so much cool tech coming out of the travel industry now, and many travel companies now see themselves as tech companies.”

With a healthy and robust reliance on technology, as well as the continued environment of low borrowing and easy access to capital, consolidation will continue to be one of – if not the – biggest drivers shaping the business travel landscape for years to come.

Dubai City Tour in 24 Hours

If you are in the city for just a short visit, you may not be able to cover everything. But this does not mean that you cannot enjoy this beautiful city. Twenty-four hours may seem to be too less when it comes to sightseeing in the city of Dubai. However, if you time it right, you can see and do a lot of things in just one day.

Dubai City Tour in 24 Hours

How to Save Time Sightseeing in Dubai?

You would definitely look for ways to save time when you are in Dubai just for 24 hours. One way would be get into a 24 hours hop-in and hop-off bus. The hop-in and hop-off bus gives you the tour of all the important locations in Dubai and at the same time gives commentary of each of the places on the go. You get to choose from 12 different languages for the commentary. The best thing that if you find a place interesting, you can hop off the bus to explore it in detail and then hop on to the bus to continue your tour. Moreover, along with your tickets, you get complimentary passes for museums, dhow cruises, water bus tours, etc. So, you can decide what interests you the most and plan your tour accordingly. This is the ideal way to save your time as well as money.

Things Not to Miss in Dubai

While the bus tour is an interesting concept, you may be someone who likes to chart his or her own tour. If this is true in your case, you would like to know about the things you must not miss when in this lovely city. Here, we have come up with some of the places and activities that you should not miss in Dubai.

Dubai Mall

Dubai Shopping Mall

The Dubai Mall is the mother of all malls as it is largest not only in UAE but also in the entire world. Apart from being home to almost 1200 retail stores, the mall has a large food court, a host of entertainment options and a large aquarium and underwater zoo right inside the mall. While shopping in the mall is a delight, the aquarium is something you must definitely see, especially you have children with you. If you are in Dubai Mall during evening time, step out of the mall to enjoy the fountain show.

Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa being the tallest building in the world is something you must see when in Dubai. Located next to the Dubai Mall, the Burj Khalifa is a tally, steely structure comprising of 163 floors. The Burj Khalifa tour begins with a tour of the gallery which would show you the story of the construction of the building through pictures and videos. After viewing the gallery, you head to the observation deck on 124th floor in the fastest elevator created till now. The view from the 124th floor is absolutely spectacular as you would not only be able to see the entire city but also the desert and the ocean. Twilight is the best time to visit the Burj Khalifa.

Dubai Shopping Festival

Dubai Shopping Festival

The Dubai Shopping Festival is the ultimate shopping festival of the city for while people arrive from different parts of the world. As it usually lasts for a month and happens during the first month of the year, it would be great if you can scheduled your Dubai during this particular time of the year. The Dubai Shopping Festival offers are incredible as store owners offer till 70% off on their products. It is the perfect time to buy electronic items as you get really good deals during this time of the year. The DSF 2017 has been scheduled for the first month of 2017 and is something you should not miss.

Dhow Cruise Dinner

Dhow Cruise Dinner in Dubai

The dhow cruise dinner is the perfect way to end your 24 hours’ Dubai tour. The dhow cruise is a restaurant inside the traditional Bedouin-style dhow. You can choose to dine on the upper deck or the air-conditioned lower deck. The dhow cruises on the Dubai Creek for two hours, giving you the opportunity to view the beautiful sights along the Creek. Apart from this, you get to dine a scrumptious buffet dinner and watch the amazing Tanura dance by a professional.

Dubai attractions are innumerable and it may be difficult for you to choose what to do when you are in the city for just a day or two. If you are really confused, you can book a tour package from the various Dubai tourism agents or tour companies. With this note, wishing you happy holidays!

Airbus A318

The Airbus A318 is the baby of the Airbus family of airplanes. Most of its siblings seat hundreds of passengers and fly all over the world, the A318 can hold 131 passengers in regular seating. However, when you choose this plane for a business jet, the game changes–big time.

Imagine a plane that is twice the size of regular business jets, one that is full of modern technology and one that looks more like an office or a living room than an airplane. When designed to hold just eighteen passengers, the Airbus A318 has it all. The cabin is enormous, so much so that you will forget you are on a plane. There is 70.2 feet of space from front to back, and over twelve feet to play with width wise and over 7 feet of cabin height. It boasts a private office, an en suite bathroom, three other bathrooms, a dining room, couches, seven pairs of facing chairs and so much more.

Heading off on a transcontinental trip? No worries, as this plane transforms in flight to accommodate eleven full berths and four pullout sleepers allowing you and your team to get a good night’s sleep en route.

The bathrooms are not your typical lavatory-on-a-plane type, either, as they are roomy, functional and feature all the comforts of home, something you don’t expect as you soar at 39,000 feet above the earth.

The Airbus A318 also has a temperature control system that is divided by cockpit, forward and aft so everyone is comfortable for the duration of the trip and because long range flights typically mean lots of luggage, this plane is equipped with 975 cubic feet for your bags.

This business jet can take on trips like London to Dubai in less than six hours or Moscow to London in 3.5 hours, and she has a cruising speed of 450 knots, but this super long range jet also has a secret. Not only is it the roomiest and best appointed cabin wise, but it is the largest commercial airline certified for steep approach operations. This means it doesn’t need super long runways on which to land, making it a wonderful choice when you need to get to smaller airports like London City right in the heart of it all.

Form, function and beauty all work in concert on this business jet that gets you to where you are going in style, small airport or not. Why not check her out for yourself?

AMG Jets provides professional aircraft management, private jets and aircraft charter services, offering first class service worldwide. For more information, please visit their website at

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The Westwind 1124

The Westwind 1124 isn’t the newest business jet on the market, nor is it one that is equipped with all of the state of the art amenities that business charter jets of today have in spades. Instead it is a business jet that offers a comfortable interior, a trustworthy record and best of all, the ability to get where you’re going on your terms, on your schedule and without having to fly commercial.

The Westwind 1124 is a medium sized jet that can be configured to hold up to 10 passengers. It works with a crew of just two, consisting of a pilot and co-pilot and of course like with many business jets, the seating plan can be re-arranged to suit your specific needs. It has superior leather seats, plenty of head, shoulder and leg room and a pressurized cabin that is 1.43m high by 1.43m wide. Great for those longer stay business trips is the fact that this aircraft also boasts 60 cubic feet of baggage space and of course also has an onboard lavatory. It can also be reconfigured as a freight aircraft if that is what your business needs.

Built by the small but successful Israel Aircraft Industries company, the Westwind 1124 has a 13.65m wingspan, a cruising speed of 723 km/hr. and two fuel efficient TFE 731 Turbofan engines. Although her design may seem a bit outdated compared to the newer business jets on the market today, she had modifications in the early 1980’s to her design like a new center section on the wing and the addition of winglets that were industry leading at the time and help to keep her design current by today’s ever changing standards.

The Westwind 1124 is just like any other business charter jet. It eliminates the need to take your team on a commercial airline and lets you avoid the heavy lines and wait times that are associated with security and the processing of thousands of people each and every day at commercial airports.

Best of all, by chartering a jet you can make your own schedule, can fly in and out of smaller airports closer to your destination and can even work in flight thanks to the changeable seating and table configurations.

If you just want to get where you are going on time and without any hassles, then this aircraft may be just what the charter ordered.

AMG Jets provides professional aircraft management, private jet and aircraft charter services. They offer first class service worldwide, so for more information, please visit

How Taxi Businesses Are Advancing and Their Resulting Impact on Customers

Taxis are an inevitable part of today’s transport setup and it can be rightly said that most people are completely reliable on them for their transport needs. Given into the rising demand, many taxi services have blossomed that constantly compete with each other to provide the best services to their customers. All these taxi services try to incorporate that one differentiating feature that gives them an edge over the others in competition. That is where advanced taxi management systems come into picture. These taxi management systems are a one stop solution to launch and run a smooth and successful taxi business. Such management systems take care of everything from pointing out available taxis, bookings, payments and post use services. They are of mutual benefits to both the customers and service providers.

Here is a look at what makes these taxi business management systems exclusive in the existing scenario:

· Easy to install apps

The new to the world and easy to install apps bring in great ease of usage for the customers. In world where everyone is smitten by the use of smart phones, these apps come in really handy. They are mostly supported by all kinds of IOS and Android devices and hence are accessible to majority of mobile users. Just a click on the app, you have a taxi on board. Making a booking on these apps is as easy as child’s play.

· Easy payments

Now you can carry cash or simply may choose not to. The advanced taxi management systems come with easy taxi payment solutions where bills cab be paid through credit and debits cards. You can even make use of online payment wallets that are linked to your accounts to make payments within seconds. For the drivers also, it is easier to accept secured payments and take up customers even when they travel cashless.

· User Engagement

Most taxi business management systems are designed around attracting more customers towards the business concerned and maintaining them through effective services. The more advanced and user-friendly the service is, greater are its chances to find a place in the customer’s mind such that he is driven to opt for the same service even next time. Here simplicity is the key. Taxi management software solutions are one of the most convenient and simple systems available for businesses in the market today.

· Well knitted dispatch systems

A well monitored taxi dispatch system ensures to bring on board the nearest available taxi. This makes a taxi quickly available to the customer and saves a lot of time on the driver’s end as well. All in all, an economical affair for the taxi businesses!

So, we observe that a taxi business has a lot of scope of up-gradation through advanced taxi management systems all which can loop in a lot of customers. This eventually would speak in favor of the taxi business enterprises while bringing convenience to customers.

The King Air 350

The King Air 350 is the latest in a long line of exceptional short field performance turbo prop aircraft. The first, the 100 series began flying in the 1960s and with many advancements and modifications later, the 300 series, namely the 350 arrived on the scene. The Air King selection on aircraft has flown more than 10 billion miles since 1964, which is the equivalent of 143 round trip flights to Mars. How’s that for a reputable and functional aircraft?

Because of its size and the fact its a turbo prop jet, the King Air 350 can land on runways that are as short as 3300 feet. This means that your team can fly in to a city and bypass the major, commercial airport in favour of a smaller one that may just be closer to your destination. It has a 55 cubic foot baggage area that is in the main cabin so your team has access to everything they will need throughout the flight and there is even a flushing toilet in the lavatory that also features a solid wood privacy door.

As for seating, it is plush and comfortable, affording the whole team plenty of leg, elbow, shoulder and head room. There is seating for up to nine and of course this can be configured to custom arrangements or held fast in the specified seating configuration, depending on your needs.

The King Air 350 is part of the 300 Series which is a cleaned up version of its predecessor, the 200 series. It has more powerful engines and redesigned cowlings not to mention the fact that the entire fuselage was stretched out about three extra feet allowing for two extra cabin windows to be included in the design. What makes the 350 better than the 300 version is the addition of winglets as well.

The King Air 350 has a range of some 1800 nautical miles and can fly at a maximum speed of 315 knots. This means that if you happen to be in the middle of the country you can easily get to either coast in one leg of travel. Best of all, it means you can travel in luxury without the need for a commercial airport, their long lines through security and the hustle and bustle that accompanies them.

Get where you are going faster, in a luxury cabin and in one of the world’s most reputable aircraft, what more could anyone want?

AMG Jets provides professional aircraft management, private jet and aircraft charter services. They offer first class service worldwide. To learn more, please visit the website at

Business Travel Tips!

When you travel the world around you, it changes the world within you. That was one of my quotes a few years ago from my travel blog when I was blogging the World Tour. It holds true to this day, in my opinion.

I have traveled a lot these past 3 months, in particular, and am often asked how I do it. How do I maintain my energy, my focus, my connections, my health. So here are my best travel tips – try them, you’ll like them.

TIP #1 – MAINTAIN REGULAR SLEEP HABITS. This is normal for me, anyway, whether I am travelling or not. But when I am on the road, it is critical for me to get my sleep. I adjust to the time zone I am in and go with it. I ensure the room is dark, cool, quiet and normally, when at conferences, for example, I always room alone. I know that many people find great joy sharing a room when attending events. That doesn’t work for me because I get enough stimulation during the business days and meetings – I don’t need the additional stimulation of someone in my room wanting to de-brief for the next few hours. It’s my down time so that I can get mentally ready for a restful sleep. That also means limited electronics or TV.

TIP #2 – GET REGULAR EXERCISE. These days, that can mean just counting your steps in the airports – they are so HUGE! It takes a lot of time and a lot of steps to get around. I hired a personal trainer this year and, when I am at home, it makes a huge difference. When I am on the road, I stay accountable, get my exercise and post photos for my trainer so I show evidence of my commitment. At a minimum, I do some Yoga moves which helps with stretching after long plane rides. I bring my exercise DVD with me, too – me and Jillian Roberts – look out world!

TIP #3 – I MAKE GOOD FOOD CHOICES. There’s not really any reason to look at a menu when I travel. I know what I regularly eat for breakfast, lunch and supper – now, remember my 80/20 rule. When I am somewhere special (like in Africa – I WILL have the chocolate croissants… just sayin’!) – I will try different foods. But for normal travel – I stick with my regular food choices – and rarely will I have a drink when I am on the road. It ruins my sleep. I know it. So why do it?

TIP #4: I KEEP MY GRATITUDE JOURNAL. Next to my exercise clothes, my Gratitude Journal is the one thing that goes in the suitcase. It IS when I travel, that I realize and recognize what a blessed life I live and I want to keep my attitude of gratitude.

TIP #5: KEEP A SENSE OF HUMOR. Travel these days can be frustrating, challenging and difficult. There are many things beyond my control. It is so important to keep a sense of humor – and I do that by people watching. I love it! Most people have their face glued to their electronic devices – I just sit, with my latte, and watch. It’s great for keeping stress levels low. (good quality chocolate and a Starbucks latte makes me a happy traveler! – find your happy place, too!)

I have travelled a lot and will continue to do so. My travels tips are not rocket science – they are pretty basic and yet they work. Try them – you’ll like them too.

Pat Mussieux is fast becoming regarded as a highly valued Canadian mentor for women entrepreneurs taking her own business from zero to a multiple 6-figure home-based business in less than 4 years. Much of her success can be attributed to her expertise in marketing, mindset and money!

5 Tips to Help You Prepare for International Business Travel

Travel overseas for business can be a fun adventure, but it also needs to be taken seriously. Before traveling to another country, whether for work or pleasure, it’s important to learn the customs and procedures of your destination, while also preparing yourself for your trip.

As a business traveler, you’re not only representing your country of origin to all of those you meet, but you are also a representative of your company. It’s important to be knowledgeable about the country you are planning on visiting as a way to show respect.

Besides requiring the correct documents like a visa and passport, there are other obligations you will likely need to complete before making your way overseas. Many of these requirements are specific to a particular destination based on the laws and regulations for the countries you are visiting. Make sure you do your homework well in advance so you know each of these requirements.

5 Tips for Overseas Business Travel

International travel for business can be a very exciting opportunity. You not only get to see new and interesting parts of the world, but you even get paid while doing it. In order to have the best experience possible, there are things you can do in advance to prepare. Here are five tips to help execute the perfect international business trip.

Create an Organized Itinerary: Make sure that your days are packed with opportunities to help your company. Scheduling time for appointments, meetings, and personal time is very important to executing a beneficial international business trip. An itinerary should be a good guide for your trip’s goals and achievements. Because you do not want to waste any time on this trip, it’s better to plan in advance to take full advantage of the opportunity.

Learn about the Culture and Customs: Before landing in said country, it’s important to understand the environment, culture and practices of this region. Knowing up-to-date news and information about your international travel destinations will help you avoid inappropriate comments or disrespectful behavior. Not only is it important to understand the culture, but it is also beneficial to know protocols, customs and etiquette as well. This includes things like: common greetings, religious practices, business manners, dietary practices, and acceptable humor.

Learn the Native Tongue: While not every business trip requires learning a whole new language, it’s always advisable to seek out some basic vocabulary for the region you are visiting. The use of a translator might be beneficial as well. Communication is a huge part of business and breaking down those barriers will only help you with your business endeavors.

Protect Yourself: Traveling internationally can be exciting, but also very stressful and sometimes dangerous. A new environment can mean new hazards and threats. Don’t avoid protecting yourself to save money. Sometimes travel insurance is a valuable way to reduce the risk of health crises and other types of risks.

Stay Connected: Plan to use your communication devices while staying overseas. Make sure that your plan is available in other countries, or rent a cellphone from the airport. Communicating back and forth between your headquarters, while in a different country, is often an important part of international business. Communicating with your coworkers back at the office is an important part of international business travel.

Traveling internationally for business can be a new adventure. It’s becoming increasingly common as more and more U.S. companies also have offices overseas in places like Ireland, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong. In 2014, Forbes rated Denmark as the #1 country for business.

Regardless of where you are traveling, planning ahead helps to make the experience as positive as possible. Know the culture of the places you are visiting, and when possible, make ongoing communication a vital part of your trip. Try to maximize your time spent overseas by preparing in advance for productivity. The more organized you are, the more time you’ll likely have to enjoy some sightseeing and leisure. Always remain respectful, while keeping your goal in sight.

David Easterling has been leading software development companies for more than 15 years. In 2008 he founded Prosoft Nearshore, with offices in Louisville, KY, and Escazú, San José, Costa Rica. Prosoft Nearshore is ranked #16 in Kentucky Top Companies and #2675 on the 2014 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies. David holds a degree from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. He is a Certified Scrum Master, an active member of the Scrum and Agile User Group, and a member of the National Vistage CEO Leadership Group.