Meetings & Conventions: Planner's Portfolio September
By Sarah J.F.Braley
NO BAGGAGE... NEWS TO GO... TAPED TOURS
Let a "virtual bellhop" carry your bags from point of origin
Better than curbside check-in. Wouldn't it be great to travel
without bags at all? Let Grayslake, Ill.-based TraveLite's Virtual
Bellhop (877-BELLHOP; www.virtualbellhop.com) send
your bags on ahead. Virtual Bellhop comes to your door, picks up
your luggage and delivers it to your destination, promising
same-day, next-day or two-day delivery to 150 U.S. cities. Prices
start at $65, and corporate discounts are available. The service
carries the same amount of lost-luggage protection as the airlines;
extra insurance is available for a nominal fee.
Businesswomen prefer Marriott. Women traveling on business look
for conveniences, small luxuries and safety in a hotel, and
Marriott is the chain that best provides those amenities, according
to a study from the Businesswomen's Research Institute.
The group, the research arm of Houston-based MacDonald
Communications Corp., which publishes Working Woman and
Working Mother, also found 70 percent of the 500 women
surveyed add vacation days to trips and/or bring their families
Women most enjoy business travel for the chance to experience a
different city and escape office routines, yet they dislike how
business travel disrupts family life and cuts into their free time
(95 percent of those surveyed are away a median of 10 nights a year
on business). More than 60 percent of the respondents personally
select the hotels they stay in.
Access approved. Expect to see more high-speed Internet access
in hotels. New on the scene from Austin, Texas, is Wayport's
Everywire system, which can be installed without rewiring the
facility. The only thing users need is an Ethernet card and cable.
For those who travel to the Hershey (Pa.) Lodge and Convention
Center where the meeting rooms, exhibit space and guest rooms are
all Everywired the gift shop carries Ethernet accessories right
next to the Kisses and Hugs.
Mmm-mmm good. Legendary chef Jacques Pépin has come on board
with United Airlines to bring good taste to the friendly skies.
Beginning Oct. 1, first- and business-class passengers on select
domestic flights will dine on the results of Pépin's collaboration
with United executive chef Gerry Gulli and his culinary team.
Among the gourmet dishes are rack of lamb Provençal, sea bass in
potato crust, pork loin with port and prunes and braised short ribs
in red wine sauce.
All news, anywhere. News junkies who like to hold the daily
paper in their hands can now get hometown updates delivered to
their hotels. New York City-based PressPoint (www.presspoint.com) digitally sends
global editions to Xerox centers around the world that print and
deliver the 32-page papers. The service is available at
Renaissance, Starwood Luxury Collection, Hilton International and
Le Méridien hotels, as well as select properties in New York City,
Chicago, Los Angeles, London and Washington, D.C.
Among the papers that come in abbreviated versions are The
New York Daily News and The Atlanta
Journal-Constitution, as well as such international papers as
Brazil's Jornal do Brasil, France's Libération
and Spain's El Mundo.
European strolls. Walking tours on the Continent can be led by a
tape from Sound Travel (800-748-5804), a San Francisco
audio-publishing company that previously specialized in museum
tours. The RomeWalks, ParisWalks, LondonWalks, VeniceWalks and
FlorenceWalks tapes steer listeners off the beaten track and away
from crowded tourist traps.
Each package costs $18 and comes with four different itineraries
on two tapes. Maps for each walk also are included.
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