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Corporate Newsletter: Issue #10

Welcome to Edge Intelligence for September 2008

Letter from the Editor

In the spirit of the recently completed Olympic games that united the world for those 16 magical days, Executive Edge Travel & Events congratulates the athletes on their accomplishments. For all of our clients whose business intersected the Games, we salute you for inspiring global cooperation and travel.

Through September 20th, the newly refurbished Four Seasons' Singapore is offering a special discount to Executive Edge clients - three nights for the price of two. See Business Hotel News for further details to take advantage of this limited offer or call your Edge Consultant to book.

Enterprise, Avis and Budget are currently offering superb deals for car rental in America - see Edge Intelligence for more details.

As always, we are pleased to have you all as valued clients and we thank you for your business.

Kimberly Rosbe
Editor at Large


 
   

INDUSTRY NEWS

BUSINESS HOTEL NEWS

EVENTS AND CONFERENCES

EDGE INTELLIGENCE

   

INDUSTRY NEWS

Cost-effective travel planning
American, British Airways & Iberia join forces
Qantas will merge
Singapore Airlines launches automated document check facility
American Airlines In-flight dining reaches new heights

BUSINESS HOTEL NEWS

Featured business hotel: The Four Seasons Singapore
Largest Marriott Hotel outside U.S. opens in Beijing

EVENTS AND CONFERENCES

Phuket's first exhibition & conference centre opens at Royal Marina
New World Executive Club Lounge opens in Bangkok
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre leads world in Green Initiatives

EDGE INTELLIGENCE

Clear' Registered traveler cards in US alleviate security lines
Enterprise Rent-A-Car instigates Weekends' Special in U.S.
Avis & Budget's new alliance offers portable DVD players


INDUSTRY NEWS

Cost-effective travel planning

In the global climate of skyrocketing fuel costs and a slowing economy, the need for businesses to adapt their travel policies to the times couldn't be more paramount. Companies who spend between $2 and $10 million on air travel per year are facing the greatest pressure to refine their travel management programs. However by adopting several simple practices, mid-size companies can alleviate price increases and, in fact, can create methods for savings.

Edge recommends re-establishing a travel management program which functions as the framework to guide employee travel practices and policies. Typical aspects of a successful policy include requiring employees to book in certain classes, booking solely through approved channels and requiring advance purchases. Advance booking requirements is the easiest and most significant way to decrease spending. Ideally, booking should occur a minimum of 7 to 14 days prior to departure to capitalize on lower airfares. Another option for reducing potential travel costs is using non-refundable tickets. Suppliers offer discounts to those with non-flexible itineraries. Utilizing preferred hotel providers is yet another way to decrease costs. This method ensures that employees receive negotiated rates, discounts and value-added perks. Finally, if your company's air travel exceeds a certain monetary volume, your TMC can negotiate a preferred corporate rate directly with the airline.

(For other advice or assistance in creating or re-writing your company's travel management program, contact your Executive Edge Consultant.)

American, British Airways & Iberia join forces

American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia signed a joint business agreement mid-August filing for antitrust immunity on flights between North America and Europe and have voiced plans to further expand their global cooperation. Under the agreement, the three airlines will cooperate commercially on flights between the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and the European Union while continuing to operate as separate entities. This agreement will enable OneWorld to compete with its 6 rival global air alliances who have already received transatlantic antitrust immunity. Ultimately, this new alliance will benefit consumers by strengthening the route network through providing seamless travel to more global destinations with increased connections, improved flight schedules and enhance frequent flyer benefits.

Qantas will merge

Chief Executive Officer of Qantas Geoff Dixon has publicly declared that Qantas will eventually merge with another carrier. Dixon was quick to reassure that it would be unlikely the carrier would ever lose its iconic branding of the kangaroo. Dixon told ABC Radio that due to the fragmented nature of the industry, consolidation is inevitable on a long term basis. He said, "People have got to understand that this will happen." Dixon was quick to clarify and emphasize that there were currently no offers on the table to merge but said that "it will happen sooner rather than later" and the Australian people, who so love their iconic airline, need to be prepared.

Singapore Airlines launches automated document check facility

An industry first, Singapore Airlines is the original airline to instigate the Automated Document Check facility at Singapore Changi Airport. The Automated Document Check facility system simplifies the task of checking travel documents by consolidating all visa, travel and immigration requirements of the countries in the customer's itinerary. The new system eliminates time-consuming manual verification by check-in staff which has been the only method to date. Ultimately, the new system streamlines the check-in process and means customers will spend less time at check-in counters as well as providing travelers with the peace of mind that all documents/visas/etc for their itinerary have been filed. Other carriers and airports will follow soon.

American Airlines In-flight dining reaches new heights

American Airlines have recently announced new menus and fine dining options offered exclusively to their premium flyers. Chef's Conclave, a hand-selected group of America's most esteemed culinary authorities including renowned chef Dean Fearing of the Ritz Carlton Dallas, have created dishes for American Airlines found only at the world's foremost restaurants. On international routes, flights to and from Europe will feature dishes including rosemary-scented shrimp drizzled with garlic sauce served over lemon rice and artichokes. Domestic travelers will be treated to dishes such as grilled barbeque chicken salad garnished with blue cheese and julienned jicama. Award-winning wines are also available.

BUSINESS HOTEL NEWS

Featured business hotel: The Four Seasons Singapore

The refurbishment of all guest rooms at the Four Seasons Hotel Singapore is now completed and to celebrate the Four Seasons is offering a special package for Executive Edge clients. Located in the enclave of Orchard Boulevard, the hotel is conveniently placed in the midst of Orchard Road's entertainment, shopping and business areas. The new enhancements include 6 high-speed internet access, wireless connectivity for two laptops, MP 3 player connection and speakers, DVD players, and ergonomically designed executive desk chairs, just to name a few. To introduce the newly refurbished rooms, the hotel is offering the Stay Longer promotion valid until September 20, 2008 with three nights in a guest room or suite for the price of two. The promotion is subject to availability and not valid combined with any other discounts. Please see your Executive Edge Corporate Consultant for further details to take advantage of this limited special offer.

Largest Marriott Hotel outside U.S. opens in Beijing

Built on the renowned Ming Dynasty City Wall Relics Park in Beijing, the newest Marriott in China is the largest in the chain outside the U.S. The 1,312 room Beijing Marriott Hotel City Wall is located in the central business district nearby the embassy district and adjacent to the second ring road, Chang An Avenue and two subway stations.

The hotel has amenities and services to match its size including an array of restaurants with a range of international cuisines on offer. Recreational facilities include an indoor heated swimming pool, a spa with 14 treatment rooms, 24-hour room service, laundry, business center, gift shop, lobby concierge desk and executive floor. For conferences and events, the hotel offers three ballrooms and more than 10 function rooms with over 4,000 square metres of banquet and meeting space.

 

EVENTS AND CONFERENCES

Phuket's first exhibition & conference centre opens at Royal Marina

Phuket's first Exhibition and Conference Centre was launched on August 5th at the Royal Phuket Marina. The facility's location was chosen for its exclusivity - the marina is considered Thailand's most renowned luxury lifestyle yachting community rivaling top marina resort communities in Europe and the Caribbean. Located on Phuket's eastern seaboard overlooking scenic Phang Na Bay, the facility is 2,500 square metres which is three times larger than any existing exhibition space on the island. The exhibition centre officially opens in December and its first event will be the annual Phuket International Marine Expo. Will Morris, Informa Yacht Group CEO, has said he envisages hosting one or two high profile events every month.

(If your company is interested in holding an event at the Royal Marina, please contact Jane, our Events and Conferences Manager.)

New World Executive Club Lounge opens in Bangkok

Centara Grand and the Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld have announced the opening of the new World Executive Club Lounge covering the entire 51st floor of the Centara Grand. The lounge will be an exclusive haven for Club members as well as for all guests staying in Executive Suites at the Centara Grand at CentralWorld who are entitled to complimentary access to the World Club Lounge. The lounge is open 24 hours a day and offers members executive breakfast, afternoon tea and canapes as well as dedicated butler and concierge service in addition to all the world class services of a business lounge including meeting rooms, broadband internet access and phone and fax machines.

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre leads world in Green Initiatives

The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre has proven to be a model for 'green' convention centres across the globe. To date, the MCEC is the only convention and exhibition venue in Australia with both Green Globe and Waste Wise accreditation as well as the receiving the world's first, very prestigious 6 Star Green Star rating. In order to maintain its rating and lead the way as an example for green convention centres being built worldwide in the future, a team of dedicated MCEC employees, aptly named 'The Green Team,' has been created and given the task of coming up with fresh initiatives and new strategies to continue to benchmark and progress MCEC's environmental performance. Under the Green Team's guidance, the MCEC will not only attend to its own water and waste management, but also assist clients in greening their events at the MCEC by recommending waste management, green power and sustainable food menu options and solutions.

EDGE INTELLIGENCE

'Clear' Registered traveler cards in US alleviate security lines

'Clear', the private-sector registered traveler card available now in the U.S. allows fliers to speed through security lines. Since June, with the initiation of the program, some 175,000 travelers have signed up and been vetted for Clear and 20 U.S. airports including New York's LaGuardia and JFK have opened dedicated registered traveler lanes at security check points.

As a repercussion to 9/11, Congress and the TSA embraced the registered-traveller concept as a method for separating "known" travelers from the pack so that screeners could concentrate on those who warrant more scrutiny.

In order to apply and receive a Clear card, you must submit to one background check, iris scan and fingerprinting.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car instigates Weekends' Special in U.S.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car instigated a 50% off Weekends rental program in mid-August. Now Enterprise renters will enjoy an automatic 50% discount off the standard rates when renting Friday through Monday. The nationwide program in America is offered at most of Enterprise's locations except airports and applies to economy through full-size vehicles.

Avis & Budget's new alliance offers portable DVD players

Avis and Budget Rent-A-Car have teamed up with Coby Electronics to begin offering a flicks-to-go program - portable DVD players for rent at locations throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. The Coby Electronics TF-DVD 7050 portable DVD player can be easily attached to the back of a car's headrest. See participating dealers or your Edge Consultant for more details on this special offer.

 
   
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