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Travel Corner

By Gloria Sloan

For smart, savvy, savings-minded travelers – now is a good time to explore exciting destinations for business, fun and leisure. The hospitality industry offers a worldwide gallery of stylish hotel brands designed for every traveler.

The most important decision that any traveler must make is where they will go to sleep at night. Choosing the right hotel depends on many factors such as the location, room rates, amenities offered, local attractions and often the size, number of rooms and meeting space. Yet, there is much more to learn about your hotel selection. Rating status and the hotel’s reputation for supporting the African-American community is important to some; in addition to multicultural tourism a welcomed hospitality change and worth the destination’s inquiry. The brand name, union reference or ownership can also be significant to searching a preferred collection of celebrated names in hotels and resorts.

When searching for the most desired lodging it pays for travelers to ask about loyalty or reward points available with most brands and hotel partners. The benefits can provide a frequent guest program, upgrades or partner awards and other travel recognitions.

Strategy and budget is important especially to incentive travel programs. Organizations use travel as a promotion or awards depending on business goals and current market conditions. A well structured incentive program is an excellent choice to explore destination travel with a purpose. A popular trend growing is the opportunity of giving back as part of the travel incentive program to a favorite cause or charity. Aftermath in a downturned economy raised eyebrow to lavish corporate spending but travel incentives remain a high motivation for award recognitions.

Meetings of any size or purpose matter to the travel industry. Many hotels offer exceptional packages to host unforgettable experiences built on creativity and made affordable. Make a point to ask about available cost savers and review bundled food and beverage plans that in some cases are all inclusive. Keep in mind cruise ships as a good option now offering fascinating new luxury liners with spectacular features of a resort at sea.

Travel can come with less hassle when planned well. Those of us on a regular circuit find each trip can be a rather unique journey. Whether your travel is business steady, occasional or simply by desire – make it a passionate trip! Use managed travel as a system to acquire full knowledge for an extraordinary event. Thorough research on transportation and lodging is recommended. Take advantage of professional resources that provide more than just a list of hotels but also a personal commentary with details that matter the most to you. Request a link for virtual tours and know the difference between five-star or five-diamond ratings and AAA award winning hotels. Learn about new signature boutique properties within hotel brands and destination names of the luxury and eco-smart or green collections.

In this global hospitality industry choose the option of trusted worldwide experience with a standard of excellence that is earned and valued. Build a travel source relationship and know who to call for advice even for your local lodging needs. It can be a lifetime investment that will save you money and time.

Gloria Sloan is an Independent Licensee and Global Accounts Manager representing HelmsBriscoe, the Global Leader in Meetings Procurement and Hotel Site Selections gsloan @