Archive for the ‘Infographic’ Category International Taxi Survey

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

The results of the annual Taxi Survey are in, and London’s taxis have come in first place for the third year in a row!

Representing the U.S.; New York City and Las Vegas came in 2nd and 8th respectively. However, New York’s recognizable yellow taxis grabbed the top spot when it came to availability, and will likely maintain this ranking in the coming years due to the introduction of thousands of new green-colored taxis for more widespread access to New York City’s boroughs.

Check out the infographic & rankings for more fun facts about taxis around the world!


The world-wide rankings of the best taxi cab cities -
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And here are the categories listed by order of importance -

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 Do you agree or disagree? Who do you think deserves the top spot? Let us know in the comments below!



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Thursday, September 12th, 2013

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What’s trending in the travel industry?

Here’s a quick round-up of the Hotel-Price-Index (HPI): It dives into domestic and international travel, which cities are most visited, where hotel prices rose and fell, and other helpful travel tips and trends!

Domestic Travel
In 2013, hotel prices in North America were three percent higher on average than during the same period in 2012. Although relatively small, these figures show a trend of slowly increasing rates (since the start of 2010) with average prices now nearing 2006 levels, before the global financial crisis began.

Honolulu became the most expensive U.S. DMA in the first half of 2013 at an average of $230 a night. This average rate surpasses that of New York City for the first time since the inception of the Hotel Price Index. With an average nightly rate of $211, New York City saw 2% year-over-year increase, but it was Honolulu’s 13% rise over the first half of 2012 that pushed it to the top.

When evaluating U.S. destinations by city (not DMA) Newport Coast, CA blew both Honolulu and New York City out of the water with an average daily rate of $501, up 25 percent from 2012! Debuting at number 3 on the World’s Most Expensive Cities List, this resort town is likely attracting posh visitors for its pristine, five-star beaches, recently named cleanest in the country.

Among the nation’s 30 largest cities, it was Nashville that saw the largest price increase (10 percent) over the same time period.

HPIimageInternational Travel
According to the HPI, Americans tend to splurge about 37 percent more when traveling internationally. London, Paris and Rome continue to be the front-running cities with regard to overseas spending for the third year in a row. However, Bangkok (#14) and other far-away cities are moving up in the ranks of American’s most preferred.

Niagara Falls, Ontario debuted at number 10 on the Top 10 Most Popular International Destinations List, rising considerably from number 14 in the first half of 2012. Mexico City rounded out the Top 20, moving up from number 23.

Asia was the only region to see a fall in prices by 2 percent in the first half of 2013. Individual cities in the region performed well but the depreciation in value of the Yen and the Rupee, coupled with a fall in the number of inbound visitors to China contributed to this result. However, outbound travel from China has not yet been impacted by slowdown in the country’s economy and continued to boom.

The HPI tracks real prices paid per room by customers at approximately 155,000 properties within the network in major destinations around the world. To access the full report, including videos, detailed maps, colorful photos and a city-by-city breakdown, check out:!




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The Club Sandwich Index

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Last year, launched the Club Sandwich Index (CSI), which reports on real prices paid by travelers for a Club Sandwich in major tourist destinations worldwide. The CSI, much like the Hotel Price Index from, is a helpful resource for travelers looking to gauge the price of everyday items like food and drink in an unfamiliar city they plan to visit.

By monitoring prices year over year, travelers can become more aware of factors that can affect their travel spend, such as changes in the local price of food or currency fluctuations.

This year, Paris was bumped from its top spot as most expensive Club Sandwich by Geneva. In the States, California Clubs showed the highest price increases over last year. Check out how each city compares below!




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Slice of the Good Life – The Scoop on Luxury Travel

Friday, March 15th, 2013

While chartering a private jet or yacht may not be even remotely in reach for your average traveler, there are still many other unique vacation options that are trending among affluent jetsetters that everyday vacationers can gain inspiration from.

You don’t have to be a billionaire to take a cue from the world’s “High Net Worth Individuals” whose ultimate vacation goals have been identified in the below infographic from Going Global TV as being focused on family and multi-generational trips, as well as distinctive experiences like those delivered by luxury cruises and adventure/expedition packages.

Planning for a once-in-a-lifetime experience doesn’t necessarily mean saving up for your own private island. Meaningful travel experiences and experiential offerings at hotels are becoming increasingly mainstream in 2013 as more standard travelers rediscover the emotional and physical benefits of a quality vacation.

What’s more, you don’t have to spend beyond your means just to enable your whole family to  participate in the fun either. Affordable luxury options exist worldwide you just have to be aware of them and know the right tools to help you find them. For example, The Hotel Price Index from has an entire chapter on best 5-star room rates around the world and best star-rated values (i.e. 5 and 4-star rooms for $125 and under!).

So, tell us, if you were a “High Net Worth Individual” where would you plan your next vacation and what would you do? Leave a comment below!




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Hotel Price Index- Travel Hacks Infographic

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Take a look at this infographic from this season’s Hotel Price Index. These “Travel Hacks” are a great way to take advantage of travel trends seen in 2012!



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Today’s Business Traveler

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

In 2012, we saw the business sector of travel make its comeback after a few years of recession. Here’s an interesting infographic from the folks at Expedia showing how today’s business traveler stacks up to the average traveler. How do you compare?



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Luggage Lost and Found Infographic

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

What should you do if your luggage gets lost in transit? Read through this infographic from AirportLostAndFound via and don’t panic! Over 99% of checked bags were delivered on time in 2011. Let’s hope 2013 is the year of no lost baggage. Happy New Year from the Travel Smart Blog!



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Beep! Beep! Uncovers Top Cities Around the World to Hail a Taxi

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

London reigns as the best city to hail a taxi, according to the annual global taxi survey compiled by®, the leading provider of lodging worldwide. Survey participants from 29 countries critiqued taxis on seven categories – Cleanliness, Value, Quality of Driving, Knowledge of the Area, Friendliness, Safety and Availability. New York City, Tokyo, Shanghai and Bangkok rounded out the top five best cities to hail a cab. Culture coach and founding partner of Dean Foster Associates, Dean Foster has been sharing his cultural expertise with companies for over 20 years. He’s provided us some tips for hailing taxis in these cities and his own personal experience.

  • London - Bags will be stashed with travelers in the big personal cabin behind the driver, not in the “boot”.
  • New York - Avoid “shift time”, usually around 4-6 p.m., when taxis passing by are “off-duty”.
  • Tokyo – Most drivers don’t go by house numbers so the destination’s address, unless it is an iconic landmark, probably won’t mean much to the driver. Before leaving the hotel, have the concierge write down, in Japanese, the intersection, any identifying nearby landmarks, and, if possible, a small map, to be presented to the driver.
  • Shanghai – Drivers don’t speak much English, so before leaving the hotel, have the concierge write down in Chinese the destination name and address on a card, then present it to the driver with two hands as this shows respect
  • Bangkok –Take a tuk-tuk, a kind of motorcycle with a small one or two passenger compartment attached to the back. The advantage of the tuk-tuk is that it can scoot in between traffic thus actually getting travelers to their destination in a timely manner.

I’ve taxied in all of these cities – London, New York, Tokyo, Shanghai and Bangkok, and many more, but my most memorable taxi adventure was in Tokyo a few years ago. After entering the cab, true to form, the driver didn’t know my destination address. I did not present him with written directions, he spoke no English, and I little Japanese.  After much mutual gesturing, efforts to draw recognizable sign-posts and such, a bolt of recognition finally flashed across his face, and we burst out laughing, in relief that we had  figured out, against all odds and across cultural and language barriers, where we were going.  The effort was great, and in the doing, not only had we solved our little mystery together, but we formed the beginnings of a relationship.

After a few minutes, my driver, in a soft, barely audible voice, began singing the words, “On top of Old Smokey, all covered with snow, I rost my true rover, by courting too slow.”  “Now courting’s a pleasure”, I joined in, “and parting’s a grief”.  And together we sang, “but a false-hearted lover is worse than a thief”.  I added the next verse.  Then he sang the opening chorus of that old John Denver song, “Leaving on a Jet Plane.” We worked our way through “Yesterday” by the Beatles, “Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones, and by the time we hit “When the Saints Go Marching In”, that taxi was rocking.  I am sure the closed windows on the cab insured that Tokyo was spared our remarkable duets; I got to my destination all too soon, and after I paid my fare, my singing driver stepped out of the taxi, came around to the curb, and gave me a very un-Japanese hug.  I hugged back.  Then we both bowed, and hesitantly said goodbye.  I stood on the curb and watched as he disappeared into the traffic of Tokyo.



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How to Choose a Disneyland Hotel on a Budget

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Traveling to Disneyland this holiday season? This infographic will help do the work of finding the best hotel on a budget so you can sit back and relax until it’s time for takeoff!



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Discover Your Wanderlust with the Hotel Price Index

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Today the latest edition of the® Hotel Price Index™ (HPI®) was released. The HPI tracks real prices paid per room by customers at approximately 140,000 properties within the network in major destinations around the world. It can also show you how to pursue your wanderlust, whether it’s art, food or entertainment. Below you can check out recommended travel itineraries for key cities from the latest edition of the HPI. Which itinerary speaks to your inner wanderlust?



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