Travel Blog

Read all about our journeys, experiences and observations from the team at Gilpin Travel.

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9 Sep

Tanya ventures to Shanghai!

Flight Auckland to Shanghai fully booked in all classes, interesting to note on talking to a number of business travellers the flight was wide open a couple of weeks ago, suggesting last minute bookings. Arrival through customs and immigration easy, lines relatively light and no baggage searches! Tip for travellers - get an APEC card separate processing line - free flowing. Arrival hall wasn't busy, could have been time of day with no caos!

27 degrees at 7.30am, would recommend organising a transfer as our driver was waiting with a vehicle outside which you appreciate in the intense heat, Water and face wipes were provided and the air conditioning was fab. Note driving to city takes approximately 40 minutes or you can take the mag train travelleing at 430km per hour which takes 7 minutes and costs $50 CYT for economy and $100 for first class. If you produce a copy of your electronic ticket you can obtain a 20% discount. No washroom on train and facilities are limited as journey so short. ps: You risk your life by car!

Other interesting facts:-
International Airport 50kms from city.
International and Domestic airports separate, domestic only 15kms from city.
Great tube system which operates all over Shanghai, fast and efficient recommended by business traveller we met. Day passes are approximately $18 CYT.
Avoid travelling first week of May, first week of October as Chinese on holiday and more people than normal.
Rainy months, May and June.
Extremely hot July and August.
Recommended time to travel, March and April, Sep, Oct and Nov.

First impressions of city:-
Clean, orderly, nice green spaces and gardens, well dressed people.
Sky scrapers everywhere and city goes for miles and miles.
Humidity is high but cooler at night.
River divides the city with the Bund on one side and Pudong on the other.
City at night lights up providing a breathtaking view from one of the many outdoor terraces, restaurants and bars.

Hyatt on Bund

Located at the far end of the Bund across a bridge takes around 15mins to stroll into the Bund itself. Hotel, massive lobby with two separate accommodation towers. Central atrium with ground floor fitness centre, spa and gym taking an entire floor, best we have seen. Well appointed rooms with fantastic view of the river and city. Restaurants, private dining rooms and cocktail bar area well appointed. Vue bar on top of building with outside bar and jacuzzi spectacular with 360 degree views. Sorry boys no girls in bikinis although we have been told it happens!

2 Jul

Tipping the BAR

Tanya DustinPaying more attention to ancillary products and services and being innovative can add meaning and value to request for proposals (RFPs) between travel management companies (TMCs) and hotels.

Tanya Dustin, sales manager for Gilpin Travel, says hotels need to be more ‘savvy’ about ancillary services such as parking, meals and internet, which can be up to 25% of the total expenditure at the given property. ‘Wouldn’t it be best for hotels to try and keep as much of that revenue as possible in house?’

She says this is the way the world is going, as evidenced by Air New Zealand’s new approach to trans-Tasman fares and trends in the US airline scene. ‘Ancillary services can be money in the bank, they make up to 10% of an airfare.’

Dustin says she also encourages incentivising the use of corporate rates. ‘Perhaps free nights or kick backs can be offered after a certain level of business is achieved. If that sort of thing is built in to a programme it gives measurable targets for both the hotels, companies and TMC’s.

Travel management companies are looking ahead to a year with a difference (in the form of Rugby World Cup) in 2011. ’We’re very busy with Rugby World Cup and domestic RFPs and getting a fix on the black out dates and inventory available. What TMCs will be doing right now, particularly on behalf of their volume clients, is trying to secure rates that will be held during RWC dates.

‘Some hotels are definitely holding a small number of rooms back for corporate. The hotels will want to control their revenue – and who wouldn’t? But it is possible, as we get close to the event that there will be some dumping of room inventory during the weeks. We are finding that the quarter finals, semis and finals are generally over the weekends and this is where accommodation is harder to come by.’

Dustin acknowledges a growing trend over the last couple of years is for TMCs to book at the best available rate (BAR) rather than the previously negotiated rate.

‘It is always good to have a negotiated rate as companies need to budget and they have to know the maximum they should be paying. On the other hand, TMCs should be booking the BAR rate for these companies if they are lower than the corporate rate – if companies can come under their travel budget that’s brilliant.’

Dustin (who has had a stint on ‘the other side’) says BAR rates can provide challenges for hotels in terms of reporting by client. ‘I have received reports from hotels in the past that totally under state the number of room nights that a client has stayed. Most BAR rates are not linked to a company and therefore no tracking of a company’s actual room nights occurs. A really good reason to use a TMC and ensure you are maximising your volumes in corporate rate negotiations.’

3 Jun

Club Med in Bali

Tales from the desk of Katy Juretich - Gilpin Finance Team

Hi Everyone

Weather amazing, so hot and humid! After 9 hours flying on Monday arriving into Club Med was all worth it! Monday arvo arrival, swim to cool off then cocktails by 5:00pm! The food here is amazing so much to choose from, early night as all were feeling a little jaded. Up early of course, hit the gym good thing as ate way too much Monday night, i think in my 45 minute workout i sweated out 2kg! Quick sight inspection of the resort, which is a must, as it is huge and the surroundings are just so tropical and lush. Quick change into the bikini as by 10:00am it hit 32 degrees, 11:30am aqua aerobics in the pool so of course had to try that out!

Lunch, with a wine... and it's only Tuesday! Booked into the spa this arvo for an 80 minute all over massage and foot massage, out by 4:00pm to hit the trapeze with the rest of the group and then booked in for the sunset cruise coming back in time wait for it.... dinner and more food, did I say amazing?!

Tomorrow am up for an early group power walk then more time lazing around the pool.

Sold on Club Med already! Hope all winter warm there!

Day 2

 Another day in paradise, woke to light humid rain, did a power walk along the main track that runs past all the hotels along the beach and then back to the luxury of air-con in the gym. Breakfast was lavish, everything is so tempting and that mind what you eat plan has gone right out the window. Gave the trapeze a go yesterday and i can be honest and tell you all that along with being a huge adrenalin rush i've never been so scared in my life! Listened to exactly what i was told to do and go my legs up and over in a swing position and landed back to ground saftely! Resort staff here are so friendly and go out of there way to help. Archery this afternoon.

Took a quick cab ride to Kuta to check out the distance and see how much the place had changed... not much still the hustle and bustle and every second store was either Nike, Quicksilver, Roxy, etc etc... some bargains but very similar to home prices i thought just the variety is so much more.

Now back at the resort, and yep lunchtime! Afternoon plans are to laze around by the pool, think since it rained this morning it is even more hotter today.

will send more pics tomorrow, internet very slow.... must be on Bali time.

Wait till you see the pic of my hair!! I gave up on the straighteners and went back to being a curly blonde... so much easier!



Day 3

Think the days and nights are just getting hotter, yesterday arvo it poured down for about 45minutes not long after i had the photos taken facing the beach, it was a nice welcome to another hot day! Tried out the archery, enjoyed that, great thing about this place is that if you want to try out new things the variety is certainly here, and the G.O's are so knowledgeable and helpful that it is definitely worth giving things ago.

Just a few shots of our group; Kaarin our Club Med host with moi, she is amazing always on hand to help. Took a shot of the quiet pool, you can go here if you wish to get away from the main pool, no talking just whispering! more a couples area but great if you wish to have some quiet time together.

Keith got some golf in, am up for that game when i get back!


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