How to make your serviced apartment feel more like home

Although serviced apartments feel more homely than the usual hotel rooms, there is no place like your home…. If you're someone who is constantly on the road, whether for lifestyle or work, coming home to a serviced apartment that feels like your home, will make you feel more relaxed and less stressed. This, in turn, will benefit you the next day to feel more energised to go about your day. These tips will help make your serviced apartment feel more like your home. With these tips, you can create a nice environment in your serviced apartment whether you’re staying for a couple of weeks or months on end.

Scent

The scent is very important and can make you feel right at home. If you use specific scented candles at home, try finding them in a smaller size and bring it along with you. Preferably tea light candles for their lightweight and size. For some nice scented candles click here. If you use incense sticks, it is even less of a hassle to bring them along with you as they weigh practically nothing. However, be aware that wax candles are allowed to be stored in a checked suitcase or overhead luggage, but gel candles are only allowed in checked suitcases.

Photo by Stéfano Girardelli on Unsplash

If you use laundry washing powder at home for your clothes you can put some in a Ziploc bag. Hang it up in the closet so you can be greeted by the smell every time you open the closet. If you use a liquid, bring some in a travel size bottle spray mixed with water. Even if you use laundry service you can spray your clothes and sheets with it for that familiar freshly washed clothes scent. 

Unpack

A common trait business travellers tend to do is living out of their suitcases. Our tip: hang up your clothes, it is nicer and feels more like you are at home than living out of a suitcase. Yes, it takes time to unpack and pack again, however, you will waste less time looking for your items in your suitcase and you will have a good overview of your clothes. 

The same applies to your toiletries. Getting ready and every time grabbing everything out of your toiletry bag is less efficient. Take your time, unpack your toiletries and make the bathroom your own sanctuary. After that, put your toiletry bag in your suitcase and store both at a place you don’t see. Seeing them will remind you every time that you are not home and that it’s temporary.

Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

Coffee or Tea

There is nothing like waking up in the morning and having your favourite cup of coffee or tea. So pack your own coffee or tea! Depending on how long your stay is, if you have a short stay, don’t bring the whole package, that will only take up space. Put some of the tea in a ziplock bag. For coffee, use two ziplock bags so the rest of your items in your suitcase don’t smell like it.

Snacks

Buy some snacks that you eat back at home or bring some from home. If your taste in snacks is more general, go to a supermarket near your serviced apartment and get some of your favourites. A simple thing as enjoying a snack can make you feel at home.

Photo by Craig Adderly from Pexels

Sleep comfort 

If you are not travelling to a tropical destination, bring your own blanket, a small one will do for the cold days or to cover up with at night. If you cannot afford the space, try packing it in an airtight plastic bag. Still, don’t have enough space? Then at least bring your own pillowcase. 

Pictures

Bring pictures of your loved ones. No frame is needed, just print the pictures and put them between your documents or clothes while travelling. They will arrive at your destination without a crease. Put them close to the door so you will be greeted by them when you enter your serviced apartment after a long day at work. 

Alexa or Google home

Love Alexa or your Google home? Bring them along. There are smaller sizes available and if you are used to waking up with them telling you the local news etc. then why not bring them as your travel companion?

Photo by BENCE BOROS on Unsplash

Greenery

Depending on the length of your stay. If you are used to a green environment in your home, buy yourself some flowers or plants. Not only do they look and smell good, but they also purify the air for you. 

Photo by Chitokan from Pexels

This blog has shown you how you can make your serviced apartment, smell, feel and even taste like your home with your favourite snacks and a cup of coffee. We at Short Stay Citizens always want our clients to feel right at home at their serviced apartment. We hope that these tips will help you settle down in your home away from home. If not, feel free to contact us and we will see what we can do to fulfil your needs.

By Leticia Cardoso

Sources: 

Mentalfloss.com, 2019

Amber C. Snider, Culture trip, 2018

 


How to make your travelling smooth and pleasant

We all travel whether it’s short or long distance. We also know that travelling is a hassle and can sometimes take too long. In this blog, we have a few tips for making your travelling more smooth and pleasant! You’ll even want to travel more no matter how long it takes. Here are the following tips you can implement in your travel journeys and when you arrive at your destination. 

Before travelling

First things first, when your accommodation is booked, always check what services they offer and if they offer additional items in your room. For example, dry cleaning, a hairdryer, a hair straightener, a ride from and to the airport etc. If they do not provide this, you can take that into account during your packing and planning.

Packing

After you’ve done the first step, start with packing your suitcase. By using packing cubes or organising bags you are able to fit more into your suitcase in an efficient fashion. Depending on how you organise the packing cubes you won’t have to unpack your entire suitcase. For example, having each bag contain one outfit or have your morning/bath essentials in one cube, so when you arrive early or late you won’t have to search and take out everything one by one which usually takes up some time. A cube for shoes, so you can keep your shoes separate from your clothing. The cube packages are washable. Check this link for an array of choices.

Instead of having a completely new outfit for each day and making your suitcase heavier, try to pack multi-functional clothing that you can mix and match depending on the weather and function. This will make your suitcase lighter and easier to close. 

As said before, call the accommodation to see what they offer otherwise it is a good idea to bring a portable steamer or wrinkle releaser. This will save you space in your suitcase if your clothing needs pressing. 

A small toiletry kit will go a long way as well. These include small bottles and or sprays you can fill yourself for your lotions or buy smaller versions of a product that contain only 20ml to 50ml, convenient for short trips. 

If your going to another country make sure you have a universal plug, so you can charge all your electronics and make use of your own portable appliances. 

During your flight or train ride

Keep in mind what you will need on the flight and pack that in a small travelling bag. These are the items you will need during your flight and/or train/car ride. The air in an aeroplane is very dry, so make sure you bring moisturizer and a water bottle you can refill. Vitamin C will also be helpful, an eye mask, sunblock, compression socks, anti-bacterial wipes and gel. Extra clothing to change on the plane just in case there is a delay and you have to get to an appointment directly from the airport.

Bring entertainment with you (movies, series, music or a good book), noise-cancelling headphones if you want to be in silence or to make sure you will not hear anything whilst enjoying your music, a power bank for charging, and snacks. Always be prepared, as they say, better safe than sorry.

Useful apps

Don’t forget to download everything on your phone in advance if you can. Your phone is your most important gadget when travelling. You can check-in online through your phone, have your entertainment on it and can help your short or long-distance travelling. The following apps you should download are:

An airline app for information, online check-in and to collect travel points if applicable. Depending on the airline you are travelling with you will have to download that specific one. For example, KLM or American Airlines

A currency app, to understand how much you are spending when you are not used to the type of currency you will be using. For example the free currency calculator application XE Currency.

A taxi or Uber app, to take you where ever you need to be by car. 

A parking app, if you’re renting a car. This will make it easy to pay for your parking spot and have an invoice send to you to know the costs you made and possibly get the costs back from your employer. For a parking app, you will need to download one that is available in the country you’re travelling to. The EasyPark app has parking possibilities for 1200 city’s and counting within Europe.

If you’re planning to use public transportation, you’ll need to download a public transit app that is available in that country or city. You’ll be able to plan your route via the app and you will know the cost of the trip. CityMapper is a very useful app which includes all public transportation information from several cities worldwide, for example, Lisboa, Istanbul, New York, Toronto, Hong Kong, Los Angeles etc. Check out the public transportation applications available in the country you are visiting (if CityMapper isn't available there) and download one that includes different public transportation providers.

Maps.me is an app that can be used offline. You can plan a route through cities and even countries.

If you want to read more about other useful apps, especially for every business traveller, click here.

With all these tips you will be able to have a smooth trip and you will not have to worry about anything anymore. Remember to use packing cubes to save space and time, use mini or refillable toiletry bottles, a universal plug, and your carry-on essentials. And don’t forget to bring and/or download entertainment, the essential apps and lastly -and maybe the most important one- don’t forget to bring snacks! Now all you have to do is enjoy the flight since you will be prepared for anything coming at you! Enjoy your travel, till the next blog!

Did we forget any tips or do you want to add some, comment below!

 

By Naziha Bentouhami

 

Sources:

Emily, Business Travel Essentials

Airplane Essentials, Travel Fashion Girl

How to pack light, Travel Fashion Girl


Types of Serviced Accommodations

Whether it’s for a short period before finding a permanent home in a new country, a shorter stay for a project or for even an extended stay for a long-term work assignment, business travellers need at least some of the comfort that a home provides for their stay abroad.

Serviced accommodations are integral for business professionals and the companies that employ them.  Companies prefer to accommodate their employees in serviced accommodations to keep their employees comfortable and happy. This can improve work quality and productivity. In other words, serviced apartments aid in having an improved work-life balance.

An increasing amount of companies and professionals are opting for serviced accommodations as opposed to hotels with a growth of about 7% in comparison, and an expected increase of 23,000 serviced apartments by the year 2022 in Europe alone. According to ones’ demands and needs, there is a wide range of different types of serviced accommodations available, especially in the past decade a significant increase has been parallel to the rising amount of global nomads that need a place to stay abroad.

But what type of serviced accommodations are offered by providers? 

The range of accommodations provided have a minimum requirement that fit the demands of professionals abroad. Basic serviced accommodations come with furniture, an equipped kitchen, bathroom and toilets. Along with that, there are certain amenities provided similar to that of a hotel such as towels, toiletries, housekeeping services and a reception.

The three types of serviced accommodations being offered are aparthotel rooms, serviced apartments and corporate housing.

  • Aparthotels, are the most identical to a regular hotel. Aparthotels are literally what the name implies: A combination of an apartment and a hotel. This type of serviced accommodation has almost the same services as a hotel and are in designated buildings. An aparthotel provider of Short Stay Citizens, Citadines, offer services such as a 24-hour-reception, housekeeping, room service, meeting rooms, laundry and dry-cleaning, babysitting and more. Depending on the location and provider, some aparthotels might offer more or fewer services. The biggest difference is that the rooms are a bit bigger than the regular hotel rooms but smaller than your average one-bedroom or studio serviced apartment. Aparthotels typically include kitchenettes with limited kitchenware. This type of serviced accommodation, usually, does not have minimum stay requirements such as other types of serviced apartment or corporate housing.

  • Serviced apartments are typically in residential buildings however there are some in designated buildings. For instance, The Ascott Residence in Beijing, also offered by Short Stay Citizens, has buildings around the world offering serviced apartments. Some have a front desk, room service, fitness centre, a business centre, swimming pools, babysitting and more.

  • Serviced apartments in residential buildings, such as Stayci in The Hague, have fewer services but most of them do have housekeeping services and have a washer and dryer in the apartments or in the building. These types of serviced apartments don’t have a reception on site: Guests need to check-in at a designated office for check-in, or the concierge will meet the guests at the apartment to hand over the keys, or self-service check-in is also possible. These serviced apartments are bigger than aparthotel rooms, fully furnished and fully equipped. Most providers have a minimum stay requirement of 7 or 14 days. However, depending on availability, some serviced apartment providers might also provide short stays of less than a week.

  • Corporate housing is an apartment or a house that is fully furnished and equipped. Corporate housing is also sometimes referred to as serviced apartments. Although very similar to serviced apartments, they do not have the same amenities. For example, some only have cleaning services and high-speed internet. It also, usually, has the largest living space compared to aparthotels and serviced apartments. This type of housing has the least similarities with a hotel. For instance, they do not have a front desk, room service, gym, car hiring service, etc. Most corporate housing also has a minimum stay of 14 days or one month. Companies that send their employees frequently abroad to the same location, or for an extended period of time, generally prefer corporate housing.

Corporate housing and serviced apartments can be privately owned or professionally managed.  Privately owned apartments are owned by people who want to rent it out. These types of apartments can be rented for a longer period of time than professionally managed apartments and are often cheaper than other serviced accommodations. However, they offer fewer services and the quality are often not guaranteed. The professionally managed serviced accommodations include more services similar to a hotel and quality is guaranteed. Serviced accommodations are generally less expensive than hotels depending on the length of stay. However, some serviced accommodations might be more expensive due to their location. However, the living spaces are bigger and it has better amenities, therefore, making the stay worth every penny.

For more information check our blog about “The difference between professionally managed serviced apartments, privately owned apartments and hotel rooms”.

Every individual has its own housing preference depending on their needs, wants and budget. Contact Short Stay Citizens to find the serviced accommodation that is best for you!

By Sahar Tahib

 

Sources:

Dwellworks Blog, 2017

Globetrender, 2018

Buying Business Travel, 2019

Gethppy, 2019

National Corporate Housing

 


Tips for Business Travel Insurance

Are you a frequent business traveller? If you answered yes, then keep reading! We have made a checklist for you to see if you need it. Already know that you need it? Scroll down for tips and see if you have the right insurance.

Questions you need to ask yourself about travel insurance

  • Does your company have a corporate security program that covers travel?
  • Does your health insurance cover you internationally?
  • Do you have a credit card with benefits?

If you have answered any of these questions with no, you should look into business travel insurance. You do not want to be abroad, have a medical emergency and worry about the costs. There are different ways you can cover yourself during your business trips. We will discuss some of them below.

Upgrade your health insurance

Many health insurance companies have upgrades that can cover medical bills abroad and emergency transport etc. You should consider changing to another health insurance if the international coverage is not reasonable enough for you. Most basic health insurances do not or only cover medical costs partially. For better cover during travel, you will need to upgrade. Keep in mind that they will not cover travel inconveniences such as lost luggage or delays.

Look into what your credit card offers

Many credit cards offer travel insurance. You can either use your personal or your company credit card to see which one offers the best travel insurance. If you want to use your credit card travel insurance, be aware that you need to pay at least a part of the trip expenses with the card. Keep in mind that credit card travel insurance is quite limited, hence annual coverage limits not per trip. Read into the fine print of the conditions to find out what they cover.

Invest in a separate (business) travel insurance

Or better yet, try convincing your company to invest in one. There are various options: Some you pay every month, another option is travel insurance per trip, or some are available on a yearly basis. What does the travel insurance company do for you?

  •     Track lost luggage
  •     Offer baggage delay coverage
  •     Travel assistance
  •     Find local medical care
  •     Locate translators
  •     Cover lost luggage till a certain amount
  •     Cover trip interruption
  •     Trip cancellation coverage

The difference

As mentioned above, health insurance only covers medical expenses. Credit Cards only cover trips that were fully or partially paid with the card. Travel insurance covers your medical bills and any other inconveniences during your trip. If you do not travel often, you can combine your health insurance and credit card travel insurance and have a safety net during your trip. But if you are a frequent business traveller a separate travel insurance plan is highly advised. 

Tips

  1.     Before you choose travel insurance, compare the limits of cover with the amount that is deducted from a payout or your own mandatory coverage.
  1.     Try not to use tools like websites that compare insurances, because the insurance companies will show their lowest prices to make sure they appear at the top of the search results. But these low prices come with low coverage and high mandatory personal coverage. Visit the websites of the insurance companies and write what is necessary for yourself and make your own comparison tool.
  1.     If you travel more than four times a year, it is best to invest in travel insurance on a yearly basis. If you travel less than that, go for separate travel insurance for your trips.

Now you know if you need separate travel insurance, the ways you can cover yourself during your business trips and some of our tips. At Short Stay Citizens we ensure full legal security throughout the booking process and your entire stay. That is one less worry, however, having travel insurance is of great importance for frequent travellers. We hope you’ll find your perfect fit after reading our blog. Any tips for fellow travellers? Comment below!

 

 

 

 

By Leticia Cardoso

 

Sources:

Business Travel Insurance 

Guide to travel insurance, 2016

 

 


Serviced Apartment Industry News-November 2019

Some may still ask “What is a serviced apartment?”. Serviced apartments are accommodations that have all or some facilities a hotel offers. However, they have more space, are fully furnished and are available for short-term and long-term stays. These apartments have private facilities to cook, in-room technology and more. They are mainly used by people who are on business assignments or in need of relocation. Though, lately, there has been an increase in the usage of serviced apartments: More people are booking them for leisure purposes. It’s no surprise either since serviced apartments are becoming more and more available worldwide and it can be a quite cost-saving alternative to hotel stays. In this blog, we’ll talk about how it’s going in the serviced apartment industry.

Pipeline News

The serviced apartment industry has been around for quite some time now and it continues to grow and innovate. This sector is expanding more in Europe and making it one of the most active sub-sectors in the hotel industry. By 2022 there will be 23,600 new apartments available. Almost a third of the apartments are going to be built in the United Kingdom in the upcoming four years. This will be around 7,505 serviced apartments.  Adagio Apartments has the biggest pipeline with over 50 hotels and 6,000 apartments for the upcoming four years. Staycity has 4,763 apartments in the pipeline for 2019 until 2022 and Independent Apartments has the third biggest pipeline with 4,345 apartments for the coming four years.

Furthermore, eco-friendly serviced apartments are being built more often. The newest sustainable serviced apartment building, by Apartrooms, is built in Aberdeen, Scotland. These apartrooms are available for long or short stays. The vision of the owner, Stuart Duncan, was to provide apartrooms that are sustainable and affordable. To construct this building, the Passivhaus principals were used. The Passivhaus technique is used to create energy-efficient buildings. The buildings are airtight so it uses less power to heat and cool the houses.  They also have thermal isolation.

A 10-unit eco-friendly serviced apartments in Aberdeen by Apartrooms.

Not only in Europe but also in other parts of the world there are new serviced apartments being built. Recently, Radisson Blu serviced apartment opened in Nairobi, Kenya. These are the very first serviced apartments from an international brand in Nairobi! This building contains 122 rooms that are ranging from 20 to 133 square meters. Many rooms have private balconies. There are also meeting rooms, event spaces, a pool, gym, spa, an all-day restaurant and more.

Radisson Blu opens extended-stay in Nairobi, Kenya.

Trends 

Like any other industry, the serviced apartment sector also has its trends. The trends that are currently popular:

  • Micro-apartments: Smaller units are getting more popular amongst employees that must pay the costs themselves. Apartments that are smaller, are more cost-friendly and more appealing to millennials. Millennials tend to not stay for a long time in one place or stay at a workplace where they do not feel satisfied. They settle down later in life and live alone longer. Being able to work and live in the centre of a city is more important to them than the size of an apartment. This will bring a change in the serviced apartment industry. Instead of only offering spacious and high-end serviced apartments, there will be more micro-apartments available in the future. The locations are gaining more importance than the size of the serviced apartment. Companies such as Smartments and Saco are starting to offer apartments of 21-24 square meters.
Micro serviced apartments Leman Locke by Saco.
  • Bleisure: A combination of business and leisure. Many business travellers extend their stay for leisure or try to include leisurely activities while they’re on business. The driving force for this trend is the millennials. They account for 38% of all bleisure trips globally. They want more flexibility and combine business and leisure more often than the generation before them. Even though this is not a very new trend, it has, however, an impact on the serviced apartment industry. This trend has increased the demand for serviced apartments since it is more cost-effective for guests to book a serviced apartment than a hotel for long stays.

 

  • Going green: With sustainability getting more popular and important, there is a new type of traveller: the ‘conscious traveller’. These travellers find sustainable communities and human rights important. Eco-friendly accommodations are more appealing to them and having an eco-friendly accommodation attracts more clients.

“One of a Kind” Serviced apartments are well aware of this trend and are making headway with sustainable apartment buildings. They are sustainable in different ways; how the gardens are designed, recycling and how they operate their business. Some examples of how they practice sustainability are that they recycle and compost all their waste, the gardens are xeriscape meaning that the plants are native to the region and do not need excess water. One of a Kind apartments also provides herb gardens and greenhouses. They promote using bikes and public transport for their guests, use less toxic cleaning products, all their appliances are energy-star rated etc.

The greenhouse of One of a Kind serviced apartments.

With new serviced apartments in the pipeline and exciting trends such as sustainable serviced apartments, micro-apartments and the bleisure trend, the serviced apartment market will innovate and adapt to the everchanging and innovative needs of the target audience. Many exciting things are happening in the upcoming years! Companies like Short Stay Citizens recognize these trends and are providing serviced apartments that match your needs and wants!

 

By Sahar Tahib

 

Sources: 

The Blue Swan Daily, July 2019

Glion, August 2019

Hotel Management, July 2019

 

 


Travel Compliance for Business Travelers: Why an effective Travel Compliance method is important for Multinationals as well as Business Travellers

You are about to embark on an exciting journey to work for your company abroad, something that you will have to keep into account is the type of travel compliance policy your company employs. These are the things that you should take into account when dealing with Travel Compliances and what it means for an employee or employer.

Travel compliance is an agreement multinational companies have to take into consideration when sending employees abroad, such as regulations of the host country and policies the company itself has in place. Not all companies employ the same methods regarding their Travel Compliance, but all of them are in place to make sure spending does not exceed reasonable amounts and laws and regulations are taken into account- while providing professionals with comfortable accommodations when working abroad.

Why do companies bring over or send employees abroad?

One could argue that there is no need to move employees around from one place to another, because why not just hire someone that already lives there? In most cases, this is not attractive for companies if there is a certain type of expertise needed which they cannot find in the country they operate. It would be much more effective to rely on an employee that has a track record and familiarity with the company.

There are various risks involved for business travellers and companies when the regulations of a host country are not taken into account, what are these risks exactly?

For the company

  • Fines
  • Not being able to apply for new working permits
  • In rare cases civil/criminal action

For employees

  • Entry denied to the country
  • Fine(s)
  • Incarceration

Apart from the external risks companies and employees are exposed to when not carefully handling their papers- there are policies set by Multinationals to ensure employees travelling to work abroad do not spend excessive amounts of money. Of course, a multinational is not going to monitor an employees’ every move while this person is abroad, as this would not only breach their privacy but also create a hostile working environment. Instead, companies choose to set certain policies and methods in place to ensure employees do not exceed the set budget- these methods are never able to control expenses entirely, making acting in good faith on both sides imperative.

Expense management is a vital aspect of travel compliance, but what type of methods and processes can multinationals put in place?

  • Automation: By having a monitoring system in place to see what type of expenses are made, a red flag can indicate which expenses are of the highest importance.
  • Process optimization: Along with automation optimizing the processes that go along with detecting certain expenses are important, by automatically searching for the largest expenses it would be possible to avoid looking at all of them individually, instead, focusing on the most important ones.
  • Expense reports: By examining expense reports of an employee over a longer period it would be possible to see whether this person has a predisposition to spend excessively.
  • Comparing Employees: Aside from individual expense reports it is also effective to compare employees with each other to see if one of them spends more than the other while keeping relative measures into account.
  • Resolution Workflow: By assigning certain names for the cases in which excessive spending has been made, it would be possible to categorize them, thereafter it would be possible to see which ones are a recurring problem and give employees training to prevent it in the future.
  • Expense report data mine: By storing cases of excessive spending it would be possible to have useful information for other methods such as comparing employee expenses and having a centralized system possible.
  • Comprehensive Centralized System: By combining several types of information that can be gathered a centralized system will enable it to effectively deal with information.

Overall, it can be said that Travel Compliance is something that will be increasingly important in the future, parallel to the rising amount of Business Travellers. For companies, this means managing expenses properly and employees should be well informed about what type of expenses they are allowed to make.

 

Short Stay Citizens

If you’re in need of serviced apartments, use Short Stay Citizens to relieve you from the accommodation compliance. Short Stay Citizens work with professional serviced apartment providers to ensure industry recognised compliance standards.

 

 

By Selçuk Salman

 

Sources:

Visa Traveler, 2019 

The Accidental Expat, Baker McKenzie

Corporate Compliance Insights, 2016


8 Emerging Business Cities

The never-changing list of important business cities has been dominated by global icons like New York, London and Paris for years. While they are certainly not anywhere near giving up their position as financial leaders, there are some contending cities out there who are working on developing themselves to become business cities. Not surprisingly, most of the cities are located in Asia.

Shenzhen, China

Located near Hong Kong, this Chinese city has more than 11 million inhabitants. While you may have never heard of it, the city is definitely booming. Called the “Silicon Valley of China”, Shenzhen produces most of the electronic devices in the world. It is the home of IT giant Huawei, and chances are the iPhone you’ve been using has been assembled in factories in Shenzhen. The city is working hard to become a strategic location for technology, and we will certainly hear more about it in the future.

 

Beijing, China

The famous capital of China is home to more than 20 million people. For China to become a world player, the business climate must be easily accessible. Hence the recently enforced regulations by the government to advance the business climate in the city. In the West, China is known as the secretive, perhaps even an isolated country, but China itself is working on developing its business and aiming for leadership. And what city could better serve as the starting point for development and leadership than the capital?

Seoul, South-Korea

The birthplace of tech giant Samsung, South-Korea, has the fourth largest economy of Asia and is only surpassed by China, Japan and India. Its capital, Seoul, has over 9 million inhabitants. While not as well-known as cities like Tokyo or Hong Kong, Seoul has a lot to offer. Many famous companies have their headquarters in Seoul, like Hyundai, LG, and KIA. The citizens of Seoul are used to being among the first users of newly developed technology and have access to many technological resources. Seoul is definitely a city to watch.

 

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

The capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi, is the wealthiest emirate in the UAE. The government of the UAE is aiming its attention to improving the business climate and making it more attractive for investors. Just like Dubai, Abu Dhabi is home to very luxurious hotels, apartments and affluent residents. The Emirates pride themselves for having a fairly stable, safe and wealthy country in a not so stable region.

Sao Paolo, Brazil

Sao Paolo is home to over 12 million people and is the biggest city in Brazil. Sao Paolo is the most innovative city of the country and is respected for its technological advances and its performance in the agriculture sector (Secretaria de Relações Internacionais, 2019). Major international companies are based in Sao Paolo, varying from financial companies to IT and other sectors. The Port of Santos is the biggest harbour in South-America. Sao Paolo has a lot of potentials and is already established as a major business city in its own region.

Tokyo, Japan

With a population of 13 million people, the ever-vibrant capital of Japan definitely deserves a spot on this list. Did you know that Tokyo is home to over 600 companies surpassing New York and London? (Sawe, 2018). This includes hugely successful, multinational (Japanese) companies, like Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Sony, Toshiba and Mitsubishi. Tokyo is known for its excellent schools and institutions, but also for its exceptional IT industry (Invest Tokyo, sd). Not only that, Japanese customers expect goods to exceed their expectations, so improvement is key, making research important to the country.

Doha, Qatar

Doha is the capital of the wealthiest country in the world, Qatar. With a population of only 2.6 million, of which 900.000 live in Doha, the small, but immensely rich country, has access to many oil reserves and natural gas. 99% of the population live in cities, and, fun fact, Qatar does not have forests! Oil was not discovered in Qatar until 1939, after which it became the main source of income (BBC, 2018). Did you know that Qatar used to be a British protectorate? Qatar actually gained independence in 1971, not so long ago. Doha is the economic heart of the country, and the government is investing heavily to make the non-oil sectors also attractive to investors.

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

There’s more to Dubai than just the Burj Al Arab and the popular shopping malls. In fact, Dubai wants to become a global leader. The second biggest emirate of the United Arab Emirates, only surpassed by Abu Dhabi, is home to over 2 million people and prides itself for its great infrastructure, its excellent business environment, and its research facilities. It turns out that Dubai is not just the city of perfect Instagram pictures and excellent retail therapy.

 

By Melisa Kirdi

 

Sources

Lin, 2018

Bajpai, 2019

Downey, 2012

Workman, 2018

Invest in Tokyo

Smith, 2017

 

 


EyeForTravel Amsterdam 28-29 November 2018

With the great success of the EyeForTravel Europe summit in June 2018, the next conference now will be held at the Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City, in the capital of the Netherlands. The purpose of the EyeForTravel Amsterdam, held on the 28th and 29th November, is to discuss the European travel trends of the last two quarters of this year and inform about next year’s trends, which will be focused on "the next generation of data, technology, payments and distribution in travel", as mentioned by EyeForTravel. There will be plenty of time to network with over 300 attendees and to consider new partnerships before entering the new year. As the EyeForTravel Amsterdam 2018 event date is in a few days, we will give you an overview of what to expect.


Who is this event for?

This event is the place to be for travel and service suppliers, OTA’s, CFO’s, CEO’s, managers and everyone else who is active in the European hospitality and travel sector. It is for those who want to improve their relationship with their loyal and potential customers. Still thinking whether to attend? Ask yourself this question: do you want to lead your company the customer-centric way? If yes, then this is the event to attend.

What can I do at the EyeForTravel event?

During the EyeForTravel event, split into 2 days, professionals will speak about diverse topics covering trends and practices in Smart Travel Analytics, Technology, Distribution and Partnerships, Marketing Analytics, Revenue Management and Travel Payments.

During the first day of the conference, the keynotes will focus on keeping loyal customers in the digital age where competitors can easily have access to them via different digital platforms. With easy access to mobile digital platforms, UI is crucial to delivering the best UX to create an impact on loyal customers, another discussion will be about on how to integrate AI mixed with human emotions into social media strategy and keep or attract customers.

On the second day, the scheduled keynotes will focus on digital transformations, incorporating AI within the company and mixing it with analytics, and how a traditional company keep customers loyal through customer-centric behaviour.

During these days, companies like KLM, Deutsche Bahn and lastminute.com will give insight about the before mentioned keynotes. Besides these keynotes, other companies will cover more topics including Blockchain, transforming dead data into useful information, GDPR in relation to loyalty and the experience economy. All this information has the purpose to take companies to the next level through implementation of the provided tips and become more profitable. Not to forget, there is room to connect with other attendees during network breaks and lunch sessions. At the end of the first day, EyeForTravel will hold a bigger network event - did we already mention something about a boat party?

Attending the EyeForTravel Amsterdam event will enrich you with the know-how to work on your company's growth, customer loyalty and the KPI’s for next year. Besides that, you can go home with new connections and business relationships to excel with your company. You still have a few days to head to the official website of EyeForTravel for more information about the conference and the schedules and get your hands on your ticket.

By Santa Alcantara


References

EyeForTravel Amsterdam 2018 Brochure


Short Stay Citizens bij Business Nieuws Radio (BNR) - Video

NL

Opgericht in 2017 zijn de oprichters, onder andere Oscar van Wel, klaar om de volgende stap te zetten, scaling-up. Gedurende een radio-uitzending bij Business Nieuws Radio (BNR) heeft Oscar van Wel het platform, shortstaycitizens.com, gepitched tegenover een angel investor en de radio luisteraars. “Wij denken dat wonen de volgende bedrijfskolom is die als een service kan worden aangeboden, zoals wij zeggen 'Living as a Service'”, aldus Oscar van Wel, waar hij de visie van het bedrijf beschrijft wat in bovenstaande video te beluisteren en zien is.

ENG

The founders of Short Stay Citizens, founded in 2017, are ready to take the next step, scaling-up. During a radio broadcast on Business News Radio (BNR), the managing director Oscar van Wel has pitched the platform, shortstaycitizens.com, in front of an angel investor and radio listeners. "We think living is the next business column that can be offered as a service, as we say - 'Living as a Service'", says Oscar van Wel, where he describes the company's vision which can be listened and watched in the video above (only in Dutch).


Understanding the business side of Hong Kong

Hong Kong, the young metropolis and populous modern city located on the continent of Asia, has the highest population and employment density in the world, with approximately 7.1 million and 6.788 people per square kilometres. Known to be one of the world’s leading financial centres, Hong Kong’s service-oriented economy is characterized by its low taxation, practically free port trade and a well-established international financial market.


 

On Hong Kong’s economic freedom. Hong Kong's economic freedom is among the highest in the world, topping the economic freedom index by the Heritage Foundation for 20 years. As a competitive financial hub and business centre, Hong Kong continues to be one of the world's resilient economies. The high-quality legal framework provides effective security of property rights and unequivocally bolsters the rule of law. There is little to no tolerance for corruption, and a high level of transparency enhances government integrity. The efficient practice of regulations and openness to global commerce uphold a dynamic entrepreneurial climate in Hong Kong. The linkage with mainland China is most visible with the finance and trading sectors.

The financial market. Positioning number one in the World Economic Forum's Financial Development Index, Hong Kong carries a substantial and well developed financial system, composed of an integrated network of institutions and markets which provide an extensive range of products and services to local and international clients and investors. Hong Kong's financial markets are portrayed as having a high degree of liquidity and operate under compelling and transparent regulations by the four financial regulators namely the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority (MPFA), the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). The regulators oversee the banking, the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF), insurance as well as securities and prospect enterprises individually, and help to maintain the financial stability of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has a well-developed and dynamic exchange market, the development of which has been stimulated by the absence of exchange controls in Hong Kong and its favoured time zone area. The currency market in Hong Kong consists primarily of the sizeable and dynamic interbank market where wholesale Hong Kong dollar reserves are transacted among banking establishments.

Hong Kong’s stock market was the 6th largest in the world and the third largest in Asia in terms of market capitalization recognized at the end of the year 2016. Hong Kong is known for raising IPO (“Initial Public Offering”) funds. The insurance sector in Hong Kong is large and diverse. Hong Kong's insurance sector was ranked 4th for market penetration and 7th for insurance density ($4,719 per capita). The insurance sector includes 160 licensed insurers as of March 2018 and is mostly owned by organisations overseas.

 

So why do business in Hong Kong? Advocating free press, freedom of speech and abolishing economic barriers, such as tariffs, quotas and limitations on ethnic groups, Hong Kong maintains a list of non-restrictive rules and regulations and is accessible to the wide public. Some other significant advantages include the free flow of information, a skilled workforce, the infrastructure, taxes, geographical location, and a vibrant international lifestyle. The policy of minimum intervention towards the business industry makes Hong Kong a favourable region for doing business.

 

 

By Ismail el Kadiri


References

https://www.censtatd.gov.hk/m/o.jsp

https://www.heritage.org

http://www.scchk.com.hk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=47&Itemid=67

http://hong-kong-economy-research.hktdc.com/business-news/article/Hong-Kong-Industry-Profiles/Insurance-Industry-in-Hong-Kong/hkip/en/1/1X000000/1X003UWM.htm