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flightsBy Joe Brancatelli


Another burst of hotel openings around the world: The supply of new hotels seems endless, even after a year of (bad) records for the lodging industry, which recording steep declines in average daily price and occupancy rates. Still, more supply is good for us and, let’s be honest, we’re not kicking about declining hotel room rates, right?

  • Three of the newest properties are from Carlson, the company best known for its Radisson chain. It has chosen to open three more of its medium-priced hotels, an 88-room Country Inns & Suites in Lexington Park, Md., and an 81-room property in Washington, Pennsylvania, not far from Pittsburgh. And in Louisville, Kentucky, it has converted a former Marriott hotel into a 252-room Park Inn outpost.
  • A 100-room Hyatt Regency has opened on Herolds Bay in George, South Africa. And a 166-room Taj Hotel opened on St. George’s Mall in the heart of Cape Town, South Africa.
  • In the Maldives, a 160-room Holiday Inn has opened on Kandooma Island.
  • Pan Pacific has taken over the 484-room landmark hotel in Suzhou, the canal city not far from Shanghai, China. The property, best known for its traditional gardens, had been a Sheraton hotel and it is being upgraded to meet Pan Pacific standards.


On-the-road intelligence to help you travel smarter:

  • Delta Air Lines and Singapore Airlines are cutting their frequent flier program ties. The last day to earn Delta SkyMiles on Singapore flights is May 14.
  • Here’s some good news: McDonald’s will offer free Wi-Fi service in most of its restaurants beginning next month. It has been charging $2.95 for two hours of access.
  • Lincoln Center in New York opened a day-of-performance cut-price ticket operation on Jan. 7. Tickets to the complex’s 12 arts organizations are available for as much as 50 percent off.
  • Continental Airlines says it will test both the paid GoGo in-flight Wi-Fi service and a free e-mail messaging system on flights beginning in the second quarter of 2010.

Related Orbitz resources:

Joe Brancatelli is editor and publisher of, a non-commercial Web site for business travelers. Copyright 2009 by Joe Brancatelli. Licensed by contract for Orbitz use.

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