Seva Cafe Ahmedabad, an experiment in ‘peer to peer’ generosity

Seva Cafe Ahmedabad, an experiment in ‘peer to peer’ generosity

Imagine a restaurant where there are no prices on the menu and where the check reads ‘Rupees Zero’ or ‘Free’ with only this footnote: “Your meal was a gift from someone who came before you. To keep the chain of gifts alive, we invite you to pay it forward for those dine after you.” That’s Seva Cafe, a experiment in ‘peer to peer’ generosity. Driven by volunteers and operated by modest staff, the meals are cooked and served with love, and offered to the guest as a genuine gift. To…

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No rooms at Christchurch hotels during Cricket World Cup 2015

No rooms at Christchurch hotels during Cricket World Cup 2015

Thousands of crickets fans have descended on Christchurch for the opening of the Cricket World Cup, packing out the city’s hotels and motels. Only a handful of rooms are left in a city that “seems to be growing” in anticipation of one of the world’s largest sporting events. There was a “genuine, general feeling of excitement” New Zealand Motel Association (NZMA) chief executive Michael Baines said. NZMA members had room for six people across Christchurch as of 4pm on Wednesday. Moteliers were sharing room information on NZMA’s Duty Motel internet…

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Hotelscombined.com affiliate program is biggest ongoing online scam

Hotelscombined.com affiliate program is biggest ongoing online scam

In 2005, Yury Shar, Brendon McQueen and Michael Doubinski (all three formerly worked for HotelClub) partnered to create a hotel comparison site where users could access the best rates from a variety of top travel sites all in the same place. Today, HotelsCombined has nearly 200 employees and 17 million users monthly. The site is available in more than 220 countries and in 39 different languages. In 2010, HotelsCombined won TRAVELtech “Website of the Year and was named a finalist in the Telstra 2010 Business Awards. In the same year,…

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Your guide to 100% successful Schengen Visa Application!

Your guide to 100% successful Schengen Visa Application!

Obtaining a Schengen visa can be a nightmare at the best of times for the national of countries like India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand and most of the Middle East and African countries. You need to obtain a ton of forms for your application and jump through hoops for the embassy but there is always a nagging feeling that the embassy has not informed you of ALL the Schengen Visa requirements. Yes, believe me they deliberately leave things out and if they have outsourced their visa application processing…

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Taj Dubai opening deferred until first quarter of next year

Taj Dubai opening deferred until first quarter of next year

India’s Taj Group has delayed the opening of its flagship hotel in Dubai until the first quarter of next year from this year’s fourth quarter. The launch of the 296-room Taj Dubai, which will be located in Burj Khalifa downtown, is part of Taj’s plans to expand its footprint in the Middle East. Taj Group, which owns the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai, is a unit of the Tata Group conglomerate. Taj Group has 108 hotels in India with an additional 17 international hotels in the Maldives, Malaysia, Australia, the…

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What Should Cruise Agents Do to Increase Revenue in 2015?

What Should Cruise Agents Do to Increase Revenue in 2015?

By: Susan Young As cruise sellers look ahead to Wave Season and taking advantage of new cruise products in 2015, Travel Agent asked several trade and cruise executives what agents should do 2015 to ensure success and increased revenue. Much of their advice goes back to the basics of being a proactive, professional agent. Here’s a sampling of their feedback. Become a Product Expert Product knowledge is absolutely imperative, believes John Lovell, president of Vacation.com: “To ensure their cruise business revenue increases in the coming year, agents definitely need to…

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Danish hospitality giant acquires Copenhagen Marriott Hotel

Danish hospitality giant acquires Copenhagen Marriott Hotel

Solstra, the brand behind Copenhagen’s Hotel Bella Sky and Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers, has acquired the Copenhagen Marriott Hotel. The sale makes Solstra – a majority owner of Scandinavia’s largest exhibition and conference facility the Bella Center – one of Denmark’s largest operators in the hotel, conference and hospitality industry with a revenue of approximately DKK1bn (£107m) annually. As part of the purchase, Solstra will change its name to to BC Hospitality Group A/S. The Copenhagen Marriott Hotel will continue to operate as normal. Oscar Crohn, managing partner at Solstra…

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Amazon to Get Into Hotel Booking With Launch of Travel Site

Amazon to Get Into Hotel Booking With Launch of Travel Site

Amazon.com is poised to launch its own travel service, featuring booking at independent hotels and resorts near major cities. The initial rollout of Amazon Travel would feature a curated selection of hotels within a few hours’ drive from New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle. The service will likely go live around January 1, 2015. We contacted representatives of three independent hotels, two of which signed up for the new Amazon service and one that was strongly considering the option. Properties would load their room types, availability, pricing information, and photos…

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Deck the Malls: Christmas shopping tips for New York, Boston and Chicago

Deck the Malls: Christmas shopping tips for New York, Boston and Chicago

Thomas Breathnach breaks out his big city Christmas shopping tips for travellers heading to New York, Boston and Chicago this season.   by Thomas Breathnach 1. New York Over 100,000 Irish travellers fly Stateside for the annual transatlantic shopping splurge and, unsurprisingly, most of them fill their Christmas stockings in NYC. The Big Apple might still be struggling to find itself a post-Carrie Bradshaw style icon, but in terms of trends, bling is out – and with the city’s Garment District booming again, local designers are most certainly in. This…

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Couple ‘Fined’ £100 By Hotel For Bad Review on Tripadvisor

Couple ‘Fined’ £100 By Hotel For Bad Review on Tripadvisor

A couple were “fined” £100 by a Blackpool hotel after they wrote an internet review describing it as a “rotten stinking hovel run by muppets”. Tony and Jan Jenkinson stayed at the Broadway Hotel in August and were so disappointed with their accommodation that they took to TripAdvisor to share their experience. The couple later found their credit card had been charged £100, with the hotel stating its policy was to charge for “bad” reviews. The policy, included in a booking document, reportedly says: “Despite the fact that repeat customers and couples love…

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