News and Deals: August 8, 2013 – China tourism set for boom like Japan in the 80s, Myanmar’s hotels are full, but it’s banning homestays because of unmannered foreigners, For luxe hotels custom beverages a new avenue for exclusivity and Would you buy an extra half of an airline seat?

InterContinental Bangkok

China tourism set for boom like Japan in the 80s
CNBC.com

Chinese travelers, at 83 million in 2012, make up a sizeable group of consumers, so it is understandable that talk of a slowdown in the world’s second largest economy could make countries dependent on China tourism receipts a little nervous.

But the concerns are exaggerated, ANZ says, as China’s tourism sector is “at the cusp of a multi-decade increase in tourism expenditures,” similar to the trend seen in Japan three decades ago.

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Myanmar’s hotels are full, but it’s banning homestays because of unmannered foreigners
Quartz

The world’s enthusiasm for Myanmar and its newly open economy has outstripped the country’s fledgling tourist infrastructure, leaving hotel rooms in very short supply. There are only 8,000 hotel rooms in the former capital Yangon, and only 1,500 to 2,500 are up to international standards.

You might think the shortage—which is very slowly being eased by Western hotel chains like Best Western and Hilton—might provide the perfect opportunity for ad hoc house-sharing initiatives like AirBnB, so that Burmese eager to earn some hard currency could be matched up with tourists and other visitors in need of lodging. But not so fast: Minister for Hotels and Tourism U Htay Aung told tour guides this week that visitors are not allowed to not stay in private homes because their manners are “not acceptable.”

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For luxe hotels custom beverages a new avenue for exclusivity
Travel Weekly

The way Todd Rodgers sees it, nothing says lodging exclusivity like pouring your own, custom-distilled vodka.

Called A.vod, the vodka is served at four of AKA’s luxury-residence properties in North America. A.vod is custom-produced at Philadelphia Distilling and is quadruple-distilled, meaning, in simple terms, that the vodka goes down a little smoother than most.

AKA is part of what appears to be a growing list of luxury-accommodations providers looking to gain notoriety (not to mention business) by pouring custom-produced, private-label beverages. While such a practice within the hospitality industry is decades-old when it comes to private-label wines, the production of house-branded spirits and, in some cases beers, appears to be a more recent trend.

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Would you buy an extra half of an airline seat?
Fox News

Would you buy half a seat on a plane so you wouldn’t have to fight for the armrest?

That’s what Michael Batt, a former airline executive and founder of Travel Leaders Group, has suggested.  Batt, who oversees 6,000 travel agencies, was speaking at this week’s Global Business Travel Association meeting in San Diego when he floated the idea in a panel discussion on the so-called sharing economy— the business model based around connecting people represented by startups like Airbnb, Uber and ZipCar.

Batt said airlines could sell half-seats for 50 percent of the fare, so passengers would essentially be buying a seat and a half.   It would be a win-win for the airlines and passengers, he noted.

For airlines, it would bring in new revenue and allow airlines to sell the dreaded middle seat.  Batt said that it would also save the airlines money on fuel costs, and with fewer passengers, it would lighten the load on the already overtaxed cabin crew.

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By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

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