Courtyard by Marriott, the Perfect Choice for Australian Business Travellers

Courtyard by Marriott has over the past 5 years been progressively rolling out upgrades to their hotels worldwide with the changes & upgrade aimed squarely at the business traveller, whilst also encouraging budget conscious families to stay at over 900 locations worldwide.Courtyard by Marriott is a mid tier hotel chain owned and operated by the Marriott International, and is known as the pioneer in the business hotel category that today comprises one of the largest share of the American hotel and accommodation market.The company which was ultimately responsible for developing, designing and implementing the new look Courtyard was global design consultancy firm IDEO. During their research and discussions they developed a list of 5 brand principles that would be applied to the overall redesign project:Focus on working smarter and anticipating needs
Instill pro-activity to let personality shine
Enable guests to feel comfortable in public spaces using subtle gestures
Provide options and a sense of control
Aim to help guests feel refreshed, refueled, and rechargedThe hotel lobby area quickly became the focus of the redesign teams efforts, as most business travellers would realise apart from time spent in a guest room, the lobby is more often than not where most business travellers spend the bulk of their time, whether it be for meetings, meals, drinks or simply relaxing, it is a melting pot of opportunities if designed well.In addition to the lobby redesign the team also spent time redesigning the guest rooms and other public areas of the hotel to ensure a uniformed approach to the new look and feel was achieved. This was important so that when frequent business travellers, or road warriors, book with Courtyard they would be confident they knew the level or service and amenities in different locations across the world.The Lobby TransformationThe changes, which have been made to the lobby are both functional and aesthetically pleasing for both business and leisure travellers, include
Flexible and functional open spaces to relax, eat, dine and meet
The Bistro; for breakfast, drinks and dinner daily offering a seasonal menu tailored for the business traveller
Free WiFi and business centres
GoBoard® touch screen for up to the minute local information on weather, attractions, the local area, restaurants and much more
Boarding Pass station; where travellers can check-in and print their airline boarding passes all before getting to the airport
The Market; perfect if you are looking for something light to snack on or last minute toiletries you have run out of
Check-in; gone are the days of long boring reception desks these have been replaced by check-in modules which allow a more personal experience for each travellerGuest RoomsIn addition to redesigning the guest rooms, IDEO also spent time to redefine the guest room experience to ensure that all travellers are comfortable and get the most out of their stay:Fresh, plush bedding; for a great nights sleep
Modern and flexible spaces; the ability to hold informal meetings in your room or be productive at the well thought through workstation
High speed internet connectivity; a must for all business travellers
Spacious bathrooms; plenty of space to freshen up before your next meeting or before heading out for the eveningThe designers also spent time on further enhancing the offering of each Courtyard hotel by extending their touch to the Fitness & Pool areas, with new weight and cardio machines, fresh towels and temperature controlled pools. The team spent time developing useful outdoor space (in most) North America properties to provide even more functional space for business and leisure travellers, all with free WiFi, comfortable seating and in some locations a fire pit.Whether you are travelling to America for business or on a strict budget and want accommodation options that provide flexibility, comfort, connectivity and style highly recommends the new breed of Courtyard by Marriott hotels.

The Fundamentals Of Planning Your Business Travel Like An Expert

A well-defined travel policy is an important (and cost-effective) manner of effective travel management. A specified travel policy should outline clearly stipulated guidelines for all employees with regards to responsibilities and while traveling; travel arrangements and travel expenses.There are a numerous factors to consider when compiling a travel policy for your company.Although cost-effectiveness is an important requirement, it is vital that you don’t jeopardies the safety and quality of travel service, as well as compromise on travelling employees’ travel needs. Offer a small variety of options that allow employees to select one that suits them the best. You can avoid unnecessary compromise even further by letting employees offer their thoughts and/ opinions during the decision-making process.Always ensure that you always have your employees’ up-to-date contact details on hand, in case of emergencies.Responsibility regarding expenses – personal, business, leisure etc. – must always be clearly and precisely set out.GET A GRIP ON TRAVEL TECH
Travel planning has undoubtedly been revolutionised by the rise of online booking apps. The trouble with the increase in availability of such tools is choosing which one to use for your business travel planning.A great option is to have a ‘personalised’ online booking tool that has been custom made according to you business’ particular travel policies and needs. Although having your own travel tech has its advantages – such as being able to increase efficiency with built in approval processes and managing your travel at any time – there are a few disadvantages that should be noted. The initial designing and assembly, as well as the continued administration, of a custom online booking tool can be rather steep. Another drawback is that all the research necessary will be your responsibility. It begs the question whether the convenience is worth the required effort and cost.A terrific option is to make use of a travel management company (TMC). Working with a TMC means acquire an experienced travel management asset that is a devoted travel manager. A travel manager can assist you in making the best travel decisions, based on your unique business requirements. Further benefits include help with a multitude of other details, such as VISA applications; arranging ground transport; arranging Forex and taking care of travel emergencies.The smart choice would be to use a combination of the two. The advantages of TMCs are clear and they often have an online booking tool that companies can use. This way you get best of both – the convenience and control of managing your travel bookings yourself, as well as the individual support and assistance with more complicated and/ or time-consuming processes.ENSURE TRAVELLING EMPLOYEES’ SAFETY
Although business travel is an essential and probable part of most businesses, is doesn’t come without risks. A company has a duty of care to its employees. This means it has a legal (and moral) obligation to elude risk of injury to an employee during a business trip, as much as possible. The onus is on you (the travel planner) to ensure that all the proper safety plans and measures are in place. This means assigning sufficient travel insurance, which includes medical cover, lost luggage, flight cancellations, as well as natural disasters and terrorism and everything in between.Employees must be informed of the associated risks of their destinations, before travelling, and need to be informed of the course of action to follow in case there is a travel emergency.It is vital to always know where your companies travelling employees without exception. There is a multitude of apps and online tools that you can use to help keep track of and stay in touch with your travellers.PRE-BOOK TO SAVE
You can save more when you plan ahead when it comes to making travel arrangements. Research has proven that business travellers who only book their flights a day beforehand – can end up paying as much as 200% more for their flights.In contrast – airfares are generally the cheapest from three weeks and more before the departure date. Employing an advanced purchase strategy, you can reduce or moderate the influence of price fluctuations on your company’s travel budget. Although it’s not always possible to book so far in advance as meetings and schedules are sometimes changed at the last minute), it is definitely worth the effort in the long term.APPOINT THE MOST QUALIFIED PERSON
Travel planning is not an easy task – it’s far more than just coordinating itineraries. The responsibilities of a travel manager range from bookings, policy management, budget approvals, reporting and handling travel emergencies. Then there’s the time-consuming task of finding the most affordable flights, ground transport, accommodation etc.Managing your company’s travel plans yourself has some advantages, such as great understanding of the needs and schedules of your travellers. However, employing an experienced and well-equipped corporate travel agencies will save you a great deal of the hassle. Quality TMCs have a comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the travel industry, which empowers them to know when, how and where to find and book the best offers. Furthermore, TMCs often have global buying power and long-standing relationships with suppliers – which offer you the added benefit of being able to secure discounted fares on larger travel volumes.

The Construction Industry and Technology

Technology, from ideas and machineries, plays a fundamental role in construction industry, as construction agencies utilize variety of modern ideas and method of designing and building establishments nowadays. Now, clients can reap the benefits of high-tech modern construction method from 3D modeling and initial designs in the computer and other construction software programs, better mobile communication access, etc. Here are some undeniable benefits you can get and take advantage from modern engineering in construction specialists and construction professional agencies.Accessibility
A single project requires a big number of people working on different operations and processes, from skilled workers to professionals. A project, depending on its size, can have hundreds, up to thousands of workers, and this involves a lot of coordinated effort from these workers. With communication technology, getting in touched and passing the right message at the right time is no longer a problem. Mobile and internet technology speeds up the information dissemination process, making people work a lot easier and better in their designated tasks.Computer Aided Design and 3D/4D Renderings
Construction plans were originally done by hands, and it takes a lot of talent, knowledge, effort, patience and time to complete a comprehensive and detailed construction plan, which obviously takes weeks, if not months. Today’s technology betters and speeds up the process by doing planning straight in the computer. 3D modeling is about physical model of the proposed construction to a computerized image. With this, designers and architects can use construction software such as 3D modeling and draw the project in no time. Also, physical models are easily converted to computerized image, giving construction agencies better marketing tools, portability and ease of access of their model establishments through a laptop.Computer models’ benefits though is more in the actual construction process, as it contains all the details in the project, from the list of materials used, geometrical information of the building, etc. Thus, it helps the architect, engineer and the construction team to meet in the middle and complete the job more effectively.Construction Software
Any problem seen from the design can be easily corrected and ironed out with the use of the right construction software programs. Interoperability issues are also easily figured out with these computer programs, as it provide wide range of operating system and equivalent data sources that can be integrated. With the improved quality of new version of construction software, accuracy issues have been reduced substantially. Also, with its accurate calculations, software promise a cut of 20% up to 30% in your building cost. Though not all agencies are really good in this area, companies with this technology certainly undertake better constructability analysis, and data flow to both erectors and fabricators or the project.Laser and GPS
Decades ago, construction project utilize string and steel tape measures to manually measure the boundary lines of the establishment to be erected. Today’s technology makes faster and more accurate calculations using lasers and GPS (global positioning system). Also, heavy machineries can be primed to cut exact angles and grades of construction materials, saving time and guess work.