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21. Posted by BrightlyBob (Budding Member 40 posts) 1y 1 Star this if you like it!

£540 is certainly a bargain flight to Sydney, and with your history no-one can criticise your determination to resume your “my retirement IS travel” ethos BriLin! Airlines have evidently decided that for them Covid disruption internationally means they need to get every penny they can right now, even if it means cutting next years fares to the bone, or deeper, to do it.

Of course most hotels business actually arises from domestic travellers, the bigger the country, the more domestic travel, both business and leisure, there is. Most chain hotel properties are actually franchises, owned and operated entirely separately from their namesakes by local businesses but contactually bound to adhere to brand standards which vary in strictness from tight-as-a-drum standards like “Aloft” to ensure the same room in every property worldwide to literally no property defining standards and instead an experience defining outcome, such as is found at “the Luxury Collection”.

A particular freedom each franchise has is on pricing, enabling each franchisee to choose how to compete against the local market but also within the Marriott marketplace too. Here, especially when deciding on pricing for dates months in advance they are assisted by corporate price guidance and here it seems Marriott and the other branders are diverging in their opinions, with Marriott believing 2021 will see 2020 unspent travel budgets driving demand. Airline and International travel may still be disrupted as governments act to prevent importing the problems caused by “foreigners carrying disease“ but demand for domestic travel will be very strong and of course there will still be international travel between permitted countries that are being seen to handle the epidemic well. So less international travel overall but way more than now and exceptionally high domestic demand is Marriotts forecast to its franchisees - “Don’t underprice your 2021 rooms now, you’ll regret it later!” is it seems Marriotts message to its franchisees whereas Hilton and IHGs is probably less optimistic.

Fixing next years hotel rates this year is always a guessing game, that’s why part of the franchise package is price guidance issued by the franchisor utilising highly paid experts and it’s own century-long experience, but as with everything Covid related the guessing game is much chancier since this is outside anyone’s experience...

22. Posted by Brilin (Budding Member 44 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

There is no way i would book a Marriott hotel for next year on these prices, even the Intercontinental is 1/3 cheaper than the Marriott in Sydney. Added to which the points options for Sydney were all upped by 10000 points per night compared to last year. I have enjoyed my loyalty to SPG/Bonvoy over the last 12+ years but my loyalty is becoming stretched.

23. Posted by BrightlyBob (Budding Member 40 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Well, you know my reply to increased point redemptions - increased earnings!

The swap over from SPG to Bonvoy has increased earnings by 25%. Thats not some idle “back of a fag packet” calculation but the result of my full year analysis of all my 2019 Bonvoy stays awarding points on the legacy Marriott and SPG programs and then comparing to the very last point each total of each stay over the year.

Of course increased earnings are followed by increased redemption costs but these are targeted, stay at popular redemption hotspots and its pricier in points, so pay cash. When your travels take you to low redemption demand places, well that’s where to redeem - so pay in Sydney and redeem in Sopot! But you do know all that - you Lancs do like to bump your gums, now don’t you?

24. Posted by BrightlyBob (Budding Member 40 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I’d definitely avoid booking non-refundable for next year. Find a good refundable bargain to lock in something good and then keep an eye out. If Bonvoys pricing itself too highly then go elsewhere - I like the way Trivago presents the choices with a reliable traffic light system - I’ve found quality marking at 8+ to give great stays. Once you’ve got your bargain at currently available rates, keep looking - no-one knows what they’re doing here so I’m sure some storming bargains will come up as the months pass, although if Marriotts forecasting holds good and others adopt it then you could be pleased to be holding a reservation booked now at a property currently receiving less bullish advice!

25. Posted by VerySuiteBoy (Budding Member 8 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Ha, I’ve got so many flight travel credits, I won’t need to spend any $$$ out of pocket next year!

26. Posted by Brilin (Budding Member 44 posts) 1y 1 Star this if you like it!

Lucky you! I must admit though that Funded have me a great deal to change u cruise to next year. So much so that we decided to use it to celebrate my 70 th birthday next year and go the whole hog and upgrade to Queens Grill for the trip. 18 days of sheer luxury!

[ Edit: Edited on 27-Apr-2020, 08:51 GMT by Brilin ]

27. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2502 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Brilin

go the whole hog and upgrade to Queens Grill for the trip. 18 days of sheer luxury!

For me cruises are entirely about the destinations, but you don't mention where the cruise goes. Is it all about the shipboard experience for you?

28. Posted by Brilin (Budding Member 44 posts) 1y 1 Star this if you like it!

Quoting AndyF

Quoting Brilin

go the whole hog and upgrade to Queens Grill for the trip. 18 days of sheer luxury!

For me cruises are entirely about the destinations, but you don't mention where the cruise goes. Is it all about the shipboard experience for you?

Starts with 3 days in Sydney before boarding , Brisbane, Great Barrier reef, 2 islands in Papua New Guinea, Philippines and ending up with 3 nights in Singapore. Mainly a European traveller so I am looking forward to seeing some of the Southern Hemisphere all on Queen Elizabeth.

29. Posted by VerySuiteBoy (Budding Member 8 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

I’ve booked hotels with points for January 2021 in the Florida Keys. Good thing because each night went up by 10,000 points not too long afterwards! Starting in Miami, then 2 different properties in Key Largo, then Marathon, and wrapping up in Key West...!

30. Posted by VerySuiteBoy (Budding Member 8 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Brilin

We decided to use it to celebrate my 70th birthday next year and go the whole hog and upgrade to Queens Grill for the trip. 18 days of sheer luxury!

Sounds amazing Brilin. Can’t wait to see the results!!!

[ Edit: Edited on 27-Apr-2020, 12:46 GMT by VerySuiteBoy ]