How to Get the Lowest Hotel Rates for Business Travel

If this is the year that your business is taking a fresh look at reducing lodging costs, join the crowd.

A new survey of travel managers, conducted by Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s Travel Management Institute, puts optimizing hotel spend among the top priorities this year for the travel managers surveyed.

With industry experts forecasting hotel rate hikes this year, many companies are looking for better workforce travel savings and solutions. For many, the solution is putting a lodging savings card in the hands of their employees who travel.

It gives small business travelers access to the low hotel rates that are negotiated privately by lodging management providers for larger corporate clients.

The savings card is particularly aimed at businesses with workforce travelers, those employees who hit the road in boots – not suits – to get the job done. Typically, these travelers stay in economy and midscale hotels like Best Western, Hampton Inn, Ramada, Holiday Inn, Super 8 and Comfort Inn.

No More Bargain Rates
Having an advantage like a lodging savings card is more important than ever this year since hotel deals and bargains are going to be tougher to find.

The January 2011 forecast from PricewaterhouseCoopers said hotel prices will be 5.1 percent higher than last year, citing Smith Travel Research data. Colliers PKF Hospitality Research estimates a 4.6 percent rise.

These rising prices likely will make it tougher difficult for businesses – particularly small businesses -
to negotiate their own low rates.

Finding Privately Negotiated Rates
The key to getting the lowest hotel rates is having enough volume to negotiate a private rate. Small businesses usually are hampered by low volume, which drives the lower rate negotiations that larger companies and lodging management providers can achieve.

Unless a small business is targeting a location where it has 25 room nights or more a month, it can be difficult to get a private rate that is lower than other publicly available prices.

A lodging savings card provides access to those low negotiated rates at thousands of hotels. Many companies find their hotel savings are dramatic, including companies that save thousands of dollars a year.

Savings Card Advantages
The card works particularly well for per diem and seasonal travelers since there is no annual fee or minimal usage requirements.
A company signs up for the card and registers a credit card for billing. Company travelers present the card at check-in to the front desk at any of thousands of participating hotel locations.

The hotel sends the stay details to the lodging management provider that provides the savings card, who then bills the registered credit card.

An invoice statement is posted to the savings card online account, where the company can review it for easy credit card reconciliation. That means no more tracking down hotel receipts or playing detective work with purchase orders.

More than 10,000 smaller companies from the trucking, retail, staffing, energy, food service and other industries already are saving every day.

Dubai Camel Racing Festival 2014 – A Showpiece Event

The thrilling Dubai Camel Racing Festival is an adrenaline-pumping event which is eagerly followed by its aficionados. The organisers of the event wish to popularise this exciting and attractive sport around the world.

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The Camel Racing Festival in Dubai is an exciting spectacle that always captures the imagination of the observer. The sight of many specially bred racing camels charging across a race track is a truly memorable scene that once experienced will never be forgotten.

Camel racing is an age-old sport which is a treasured part of the cultural heritage of the Arabian natives of the United Arab Emirates. In fact one of the objectives of the racing festival is to make the modern Emiratis familiar with this sport which was highly esteemed by their ancestors. The excitement and publicity generated by this exciting sport assure that this distinctive facet of the Emirati heritage will never be forgotten.

Although camels may not be as elegant or as aesthetically appealing as thoroughbred racehorses, they are capable of surprising speeds which often startle the observer. Racing camels are built for speed and sprinting is natural for these creatures.

In times past human jockeys piloted the camels but today the camels are directed by tiny robotic jockeys perched rather precariously on their humps. Camel racing is taken very seriously by its aficionados and many owners and breeders go to great lengths to produce a champion.

As the charging camels storm around the track they are accompanied by owners and enthusiasts who speed alongside the track in four wheel drive vehicles. These breeders and aficionados typically shout and gesture, spurring on the beasts to even greater efforts. Meanwhile the equally vociferous enthusiasts in the spectator areas create a din of their own.

The organisers not only wish to promote this sport in the Middle East, but endeavour to popularise it across the world. It is not surprising that this unique sporting event is gaining the interest of the wider public in different parts of the globe. The 2014 racing season is sure to be avidly followed by enthusiasts of all nationalities.

Dubai has consolidated its position as a premier visitor destination, offering sensational shopping opportunities, leisure options and an attractive cosmopolitan ambience. This bustling city in the Middle East is truly a meeting place for Middle Eastern and global holidaymakers.

Astute travellers desiring a convenient Dubai hotel will find an attractive choice in the Copthorne Hotel Dubai. This Deira hotel Dubai provides comfortable accommodation and discreet hospitality.

‘Super Shred’ vs ‘Doctor’s Diet’: Physicians debate merits of weight loss plans

So you want to lose weight. What could be better than a diet plan created by one of the well-known physicians on the popular health talk show “The Doctors,” two of whom have created their own weight loss programs? The challenge in choosing one of those plans: Dr. Ian Smith provides very different diet tactics in his “Super Shred” diet when compared to Dr. Travis Stork’s “The Doctor’s Diet,” reported USA Today on Feb. 23.

Dr. Ian says he believes that the key to rapid weight loss is “calorie disruption,” and contends that his diet can help dieters lose 20 pounds in four weeks: “Super Shred: The Big Results Diet: 4 Weeks 20 Pounds Lose It Faster!”

The “Super Shred” weight loss program alternates calorie counts, up to 1,600 calories on some days and down to 900 calories on other days. Included are grocery lists, meal plans and recipes. Dieters are advised to perform 40 minutes or more of high-intensity interval aerobic exercise a day.

In addition to calorie disruption, Dr. Ian tells dieters to snack frequently, including specifics on timing. He also emphasizes what he calls “sliding nutrient density,” which means that you eat plant-based foods in the second part of your day.

In contrast, Dr. Travis focuses on food prescriptions so that your meals and snacks become your medicine: “The Doctor’s Diet: Dr. Travis Stork’s STAT Program to Help You Lose Weight & Restore Your Health”.

Although the “Doctor’s Diet” emphasizes health and weight loss equally, Dr. Travis does provide a four-week jump-start to accelerate weight loss, followed by diet to continue the weight loss and concluding with a maintenance plan. That four-week plan emphasizes healthy fats, moderately high protein and low-carb diet meals and snacks.

As for Dr. Ian’s emphasis on high-intensity exercise for 40 minutes, Dr. Travis prescribes only 30 minutes of an activity such as walking. In addition, Dr. Travis feels strongly about the dangers of sugar, telling dieters to surrender the sweet stuff while boosting their protein intake. While not eliminating carbohydrates, he says that those who engage in only minimal activity can benefit from low carb diets.

“We don’t know exactly why protein helps with weight loss. One reason is that it has an impact on the action of ghrelin, known as the hunger hormone, and leptin, the satiety hormone, which is why people who eat protein at each meal find they are fuller and less hungry after they eat than do people who skimp on protein,” he explains.