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Montreal mixes sport and culture at Outgames
Montreal's reputation as a gay-friendly destination is expected to pay off big-time this summer (26 July to 5 August) when the 1st World Outgames hit town.
Tourisme Montreal is predicting that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-sexual (LGBT) sport and cultural event will have an economic impact in excess of $170 million, and a gay travel expert says it will be the largest LGBT event in history.
Gay travel in Canada represents a huge market segment for all industry sellers, according to John Tanzella, president of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), which last week concluded a formal partnership deal with the Outgames. Tanzella stated, "We are proud to partner with the largest LGBT sport and cultural event in history.
The Outgames will attract 16,000 participants from more than 120 countries, and more than 250,000 visitors will travel to Montreal - a city known the world over for its 'joie de vivre' and nightlife, all in a safe and friendly European setting. The Outgames will feature a program of 35 sports, six cultural activities and an international conference on rights. The opening and closing ceremonies at the Olympic Stadium will be televised - a first for an LGBT event.
Zoom goes year-round from Belfast
Direct flights from Belfast to Toronto will be available all year when Zoom Airlines' summer schedule starts in May.
The Canadian low-cost transatlantic carrier, which offers £99 lead-in one-way fares on weekly Saturday flights in winter, will be the first to offer a year-round link from Northern Ireland. Zoom will also serve Vancouver from Belfast this summer with flights starting at from £129 one-way plus taxes.
UK director Debbie Marshall said: "Our Belfast service has been hugely successful throughout summer and autumn with thousands of passengers flying directly between Northern Ireland and Canada. We are delighted to be the first scheduled airline to be offering affordable travel all year round to Toronto, a popular city-break destination throughout summer and winter."
Canadian hotel performance review
|Province||Number of rooms||Occupancy rate||Average room rates||RevPAR*||Room supply change||Room demand change|
|Newfoundland & Labrador||1,726||62.7%||63.7%||$116.13||$111.83||$72.81||$71.24||2.2%||0.7%|
|Prince Edward Island||889||51.1%||50.7%||$101.03||$100.96||$51.63||$51.19||0.0%||0.8%|
*RevPAR is typically defined as room revenue divided by rooms available.
Travel comes out of the closet: survey
The hospitality industry would be well advised to target the gay traveller. That's the conclusion drawn from a survey conducted in the United States last year that showed the segment out-travels the mainstream market by a wide margin.
Following are some of the key findings:
~ Gay and lesbian travellers took an average of six overnight trips in the previous 12 months - including three short (3 nights or less) trips, two long (4 nights or more) trips and one business trip.
~ 96% of respondents took at least one short leisure trip in the previous year, compared to 56% of mainstream travellers. One third took five or more short trips.
~ 87% took at least one long leisure trip and 16% took five or more long trips.
~ 55% took three or more overnight trips by air in the previous 12 months. October, September and February were the top vacation months, demonstrating the non-peak seasonal preferences of gays and lesbians.
Online reviews: in bed with hope, half-truths and hype
As web sites that publish guest hotel reviews become more influential, some hotels - from bed-and-breakfasts to large resorts - are going to greater lengths to ensure that their properties are rated highly.
Their efforts range from encouraging guests to write flattering reviews to, in extreme cases, submitting bogus recommendations to web sites.
The hotels justify their actions, analysts say, as a counterweight to out-of-context rants by disgruntled guests; both sides are exploiting a new technology that lacks the safeguards of the traditional travel guidebooks, which are written by professional writers and edited for accuracy.
It was not always so. In the early days of review sites on the web, the Internet was a less diverse place and the postings generally came from like-minded travellers. But as more and more people are using the Internet to make travel decisions, there are more incentives, and opportunities, to manipulate reviews.
The major hotel chains deny that they try to influence online reviews in any way. But publishers at the most popular review web sites say they have been inundated by fraudulent posts and have had to develop numerous measures in an effort to protect travellers.
Analysts and web site operators say they fear that the effort is a losing battle.
Planning a trip to France?
Check out France holiday Homes - great selection of holidays properties available for all your vacation needs.
Online accommodation - show me the room
When it comes to reserving accommodation online, what criteria are important?
According to a recent survey of US internet users, being able to see the place is one of the keys.
The survey also showed that some groups of online travellers are more interested in the visual aspect than others. This is true for the following:
Visitor traffic to holiday homes.canada (www.holidayhomes.ca) & For Rent By Owner in Canada (www.FRBO.ca) web sites for the month of February 2005:
Total 'hits' for the month = 118,499 hits (4,232 per day)
Total 'unique visits' for the month = 9,047 (323 per day)
Visitors came from 70+ countries.
For more information, including an independent audit of our site performance, and to view the countries of origin for visitors click here.
Should you allow pets?
Advantages of allowing pets: Lots of potential renters have pets, so allowing pets makes your property available to a larger pool of potential tenants, and thereby increases your chances of renting your home faster and even for slightly higher rates. If you already have pets, your home may be more likely to appeal to another pet owner. Disadvantages of allowing pets: There is a greater chance of damage to your home when pets are present. And it may be difficult to recover.... Click here for more.
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