Some 20,000 Airbnb bookings in New Orleans for the annual Jazz and Heritage Festival last month — 2.5 times higher than last year — led to some potential changes. The Louisiana State House of Representatives is considering a bill that forces anyone renting a property for fewer than 29 days to comply with regulations from the fire department, including installing fire extinguishers, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and a map of building exits, just like hotels do. The measure failed, but it may crop up again in the next legislative session. If nothing else, it shows cities and states are paying attention to the huge uptick in Airbnb rentals recently. Hotel and inn operators who are losing out to the company are expressing a loss of revenue. Short-term rentals are actually illegal in New Orleans, but the law is seldom enforced. Other cities are struggling to regulate the Airbnb boom, and there have been arguments over the company’s legality in New York City and San Francisco. Meanwhile, the company continues its huge growth around the world.
I imagine that when writer Hans Christian Andersen mused, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale,” he was standing at the edge of Copenhagen’s historic Tivoli Gardens, one of his favorite haunts, enlivened by the swirl of human happiness that surrounded him: children laughing; carousels spinning; games of chance played for prizes; lovers holding hands; hungry people whispering over sweets, hot drinks, beer and towering, open-faced smørrebrød, Denmark’s quintessential sandwich. That fairy tale lives on today at the second-oldest amusement park in the world, a spectacle of folly architecture, bakeries, gardens, rides, restaurants, puppet shows and joy ... and which also happens to be one of the city’s most storied places to convene for business.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
The restored Park Hyatt Toronto reopened its doors, bringing luxury, sophistication and glamour alongside a nod to the hotel’s Canadian heritage. Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge collaborated on the hotel’s refresh, drawing inspiration from Canada’s seasons and natural landscapes.
I recently dined at Irwin’s in Philadelphia. The restaurant is located on the rooftop of the Bok Building, a former school turned collective of small businesses, non-profits, artist workshops, a bar and restaurant. I previously visited Bok for the bar and yoga classes, and I was excited to experience the restaurant.
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
The Global Business Travel Association, the world’s largest business travel and meetings trade organization, recently released a statement from GBTA CEO Suzanne Neufang regarding the Biden administration’s recent announcement that the U.S. travel ban will be relaxed in November for vaccinated travelers from 26 Schengen countries, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The Rittenhouse has long stood out as one of Philadelphia’s finest hotels, centrally located in one of the city’s poshest neighborhoods. Needless to say, I knew I was in for an afternoon of luxurious pampering when I hopped in my car and headed down I-95 from my suburban home to the heart of the City of Brotherly Love. As I drove through the seemingly endless roadwork on the highway, I realized just how long it had been since I’d driven this once-familiar route into the city as a result of the pandemic. Of course I was eager for the relaxation and bliss that was in my future, but it was also a welcome feeling to head back into Philadelphia for a moment of normalcy.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
ARRIVAL/CHECK-IN: An interesting morning of air travel was followed by a stress-free greeting at The Peninsula Chicago. Upon arrival I stepped out of my Uber and onto the sidewalk of the hotel to be greeted by a doorman in a beautiful all-white uniform who asked my name in order to alert the front desk of my arrival. Once I made my way through the doors and up to the lobby, a front desk agent acknowledged me by name and assured me check-in was not necessary and that she would take care of it later. She actually walked me all the way to my room on the 17th floor and showed me around the suite. This would be unnecessary if the suite wasn’t so high-tech. I appreciated it after realizing how detail-oriented each guestroom was. A hands-free check-in experience is something I can get used to.