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The Globe and Mail

Executives demand a lot when they're on the road

A roundup of travel news from around the globe.

In high style

Executive travellers are a picky lot: Among the items high on their demand list are personal stewards to serve their needs at a moment's notice. Other wished-for services include a concierge who knows all their personal preferences, a chauffeured limousine or private jet when needed, VIP access to restaurants and special events, and a security detail in dangerous places. The aspirations were revealed in a survey by luxury travel agency Vitesse Worldwide of its 3,000 clients in 75 countries.

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In the room

The Accor hotel empire plans to greatly expand its budget Ibis brand while upgrading in-room amenities to meet consumer demand. The days of economy brands being only for people with lower budgets are over, says Grégoire Champetier, Accor's global chief marketing officer. The company plans to spend $210-million to increase the Ibis network of 1,570 hotels by 70 per cent. Also in the works: better mattresses, pillows and digital access. More than half of Accor's earnings come from economy lodgings.

In the air

A German pilot stayed airborne for 90 seconds in a prototype electric helicopter that looks like a basket surrounded by 16 miniature rotors. Don't laugh. That's longer than the first Wright Brothers flight, which lasted only 12 seconds, and look where that led. The multi-copter may initially be used for recreation, but the developer, e-volo, sees later and larger models being adapted for aerial photography, air taxis, air ambulances and sightseeing flights for tourists.

Sources: Vitesse Worldwide, Bloomberg, e-volo.

Special to The Globe and Mail

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