See the sights, smell the roses… and catch the Pokémon?

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Image: http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/news/pokemon-go-gaming-gone-mobile

Trends, fashions and fads come and go, and it is clear which one is here to stay for summer 2016 – Pokémon Go. Yes, unless you have somehow managed to miss the numerous social media postings dedicated to the latest trend (borderline phenomenon) seizing not only a nation, but the whole world, or have been spared the incident of bumping into someone actively engaging in a little Pokémon hunting on the street, it is clear that there is nothing more all the rage this summer. Normally mobile phone apps and games are associated as taking the human population to whole new levels of anti-socialness; however Pokéman Go seems to be having a miracle effect which is counteracting this magnetic force. Yes, we are still besotted with man’s new best friend, the mobile phone, but now it is encouraging us to voluntarily enter into the light and freshness of the great outdoors and explore. Such is the power of the Pokémon Go because with the augmented virtual reality app projecting images of everyone’s favourite childhood anime onto city landmarks so it looks like they are really there on your mobile screen, people are going out in their droves to partake in a nostalgic game of Pokémon hunting because the only way to catch them all, is to actively explore the surrounding environment – sitting on the couch will get you nowhere. Of course you also have the assistance of GPS technology on your smart phone to help lead the way also.  Pokémon Go is a truly global craze with it having captivated the eyes of citizens spanning 35 countries and becoming more addictive than those little known apps of Facebook and Whatsapp.

With the UK basking in the glorious freedom of the summer holidays and even enjoying a little bit of tropical summer sunshine, Pokémon Go has come at the best possible time. It is the optimum season to explore a new city and what better way to see it than with a fun interactive activity which will keep all members of the family, whether it is the young or the young at heart, engaged and excited. Already players have remarked how it has taken them to parts of the city they had never thought they would venture; likewise it is helping them to connect with other players and to forge social bonds. Fortunately, with apartments in four major UK cities, wherever you stay with us you are right in the heart of some of the UK’s best Pokémon hunting grounds. Therefore, discover all about the Pokémon Go hype in some of our favourite UK vacation spots and be inspired to come visit us and explore our new cities from a new perspective.

Aberdeen

A legion of unique Pokémon characters have finally invaded the Silver City with even some rare ones also to be found. Of course, it is irrefutable that Pokémon would be hiding in the most dynamic and buzzing part of the city – the city centre. Therefore, when you are hitting up Union Street, make sure to take an extra few moments outside the prime shopping area of St. Nicholas Centre as three “Pokestops” are rumoured to be found there. Likewise, if you wanting to view some of the amazing talent on stage at the Music Hall or His Majesty’s Theatre, you might be able to see more than real famous faces, but also some virtual Pokémon ones too. The beauty of Pokémon Go is also that you do not necessary know where you will find the Pokémon, this is why you can venture all across the city in the hopes of finding one and engaging in a little bit of sightseeing and social interaction along the way. Therefore, the app has had people exploring the beautiful length of Aberdeen’s stunning sandy beach; various churches and it has even seen them take day trips to Stonehaven because those little Pokémon sure get everywhere! With Pokémon being rumoured to be located at all kinds of Aberdeen attraction hot spots from the beach to the fishing community of Fittie to tranquil public areas like Seaton Park, it is clear that Pokémon Go could be the perfect activity that will allow you to become acquainted with the sparkling silver exterior of the renowned Granite City.

Birmingham

Known as Britain’s “Second City”, it is of little surprise that the exciting metropolis of Birmingham is absolutely teeming with Pokémon waiting to be discovered. Pokémon mania has even swept the citizens of Birmingham so much that an organised mass Pokémon Go walk was devised that was held on Saturday 23rd July, reflecting the comradery that the virtual app is creating – up to 1,000 walkers were expected. Rumoured Pokémon hotspots include the Jewellery Quarter, St. Paul’s Square and of course along the sides of Birmingham’s vast canal system. They can even be hunted down within the walls of iconic Birmingham attractions including the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, so it is not just art that can be found and admired! Likewise, if you are hitting up the bargains and the temptation of Grand Central shopping centre, you may find more than just good deals. Therefore, from sightseeing to shopping and even to eating, Pokémon Go may be the perfect addictive activity that will allow you to fully explore one of Britain’s most famous metropolises.

Glasgow

pokemon glasgow

http://www.glasgowlive.co.uk/news/glasgow-news/ultimate-guide-pokemon-go-glasgow-11614786

Priding itself for the warmth and friendliness of its citizens, it is no wonder that Pokémon would feel welcome along the dynamic and effervescent streets of Glasgow. With its renowned reputation for its nature scene and its abundance of parks, it is no surprise that many Pokémon have been rumoured to be hiding among the shrubbery such as at Glasgow Green. However, while hiding in parks or even by the Clydeside, they are also of course hitting up popular city central locations from the likes of the Duke of Wellington statue (the one famous for having an ever-present traffic cone residing on its head), George Square, Kelvingrove Museum and even within the haunting beauty of the Victorian cemetery; the Necropolis. Likewise, other rumoured hotspots include the Finnieston Crane as well as the Armadillo and the Hydro which means you may get a dual batch of entertainment if you are stopping by the check out the latest musical talent on stage.

Edinburgh

pokemon go aberdeen

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1omOow1m09QBs1-UVcJ89wSnRI-g&hl=en_US

Of course there is no city in Scotland that Pokémon could desire to infiltrate more than the cobbled historic streets of Scotland’s stunning and animated capital. With some of the most iconic attractions and streets in the nation, it is irrefutable that a couple of Pokémon would want to pop up at these stops. Therefore, it may be of no surprise that if you want to engage in a little bit of Pokémon hunting, than prime locations such as the Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street Gardens, Leith Docks, Edinburgh Zoo and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art certainly pave the way for victory. These are attractions that you would want to visit anyway but doing it under the guise of Pokémon hunting, also gives it that added extra bit of fun. Likewise, it may also bring you to attractions you had never considered previously such as Lochend Park or St. Margaret’s Well which is a well that has been in existence since 1362 and therefore possesses its own unique level of historical value. The hype of Pokémon Go mania in Edinburgh has even reached such a level that local taxi drivers are offering Pokémon Go tours, so if you are feeling a little tired and want a crafty (albeit pricy!) way of viewing the city, this could be the alternative as the route set out claims to stop at 50 “Pokestops” in 20 minutes.

So there you have it, if are really getting swept up in the phenomenon that has captured the nation and their phones, how about a Pokémon Go tour with The Spires? With apartments right in the city centre of these 4 active Pokémon spots, you could not be any closer to all the excitement and hype. While we cannot guarantee that the little monsters will be found under the beds in our apartments, you are bound to find some lurking not too far away whether they are in attractions, parks, restaurants or even transport spots. Therefore, let us know how many you catch and share with us any top tips – maybe we will try and engage in some Pokémon hunting of our own!

Business and Leisure Travellers of the Future

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The old adage goes: “the children are our future”. However, in the travel world, Millennials are the future. While sounding like a futuristic robot or alien race that has been sent to take over the world, or even just a scientific experiment, Millennials are actually normal beings that walk amongst us; they may even be unaware of their “Millennial” status. This is because Millennial, or Generation Y, is simply another term for the generation that was born in the 1980s to early 1990s and is used to classify them seeing as like previous generations, they have characteristics that commonly typify them. For instance, having been brought up in the technological era of the nineties and the noughties, Millennials are predominantly known for their tech-savviness and how they have a constant need to be connected.  How do I know this? Well apart from numerous studies to back this, I myself am a Broadband Baby (that is as close as you will get to discovering my age!) and am well aware of the desire to be consistently connected online. Social media forms a major part of my internship after all, only testifying to my Millennial status.

Why are Millennials so important to the travel industry? Well, as illustrated by STA Travel forming a Travel Management Company and creating a specific brand for Millennial business travellers, it is clear that they are becoming a lucrative travel market with increasing numbers of younger persons engaging in business travel and having a unique set of wants and needs that businesses have to cater for. According to the Harvard Business Review, Millennials will account for 50% of the world’s working population by 2020, and already they may comprise the majority in certain firms. Consequently, it is clear that Millennial business travel will only be on an increasing surge and so it is pivotal to satisfy their requirements to capitalise on their market potential. In the US, it has been reported that Millennials are set to become the most populated generation in the nation as well as having $226 billion to spend on travel in 2015; making them desirable in terms of both market size and disposable income.

As can be seen, Skift (a Travel Marketing Intelligence firm) and SACO have both done some investigation into Millennials and the characteristics that tend to differentiate them from other generations (which can be viewed here):

Infographic-What-is-a-mil

Considering the range of characteristics that tend to be reflected by Millennials, serviced apartments such as The Spires (not to name drop ourselves or anything!) are the perfect accommodation choice to satisfy them whether they travel for business or leisure.  Obviously, top of many a Millennial’s Accommodation Wish list is that all-important accessory that we need like air; Wi-Fi. Thankfully, here at The Spires we can accommodate this with the provision of high-speed Wifi.

Likewise, many Millennials are all about cost-effectiveness and saving money so that they can spend them on experiences instead, something which serviced apartments can greatly help with as we highlighted in a previous blog (https://thespiressuites.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/serviced-apartments-the-cost-effective-alternative/). Through cooking their own food and sharing the apartment with other co-workers or friends, not only can they cut on costs, but they can simultaneously satisfy their desire to stay in a “social” location and to fuel their healthy diets. Linking to the social aspect, Millennials are really eager to participate in networking and have a preference for “blended” living areas such as having their own bedroom but with shared areas such as open-plan kitchens and lounges. This can be accounted for when it is considered how Millennials are twice more likely than preceding generations to consider serviced apartments as being a “social” accommodation choice.

Moreover, Millennials are always on the go and are looking to stay in locations that are conveniently located near all major attractions and business hubs. This is a need that The Spires can particularly help with due to our extremely city-central locations in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Birmingham and Edinburgh alike. When travellers stay with us, they are not more than a minutes’ walk from all the entertainment and action that these busy cities have to offer. A particular trend that STA noticed and is trying to cater for by creating a specific brand for Millennial business travellers is how 69% of 18-35 year old mix up their business trip by adding a leisure component to it. This fits with how Millennials tend to be characterised by their passion for travelling and having experiences. Consequently, serviced apartments like The Spires are an even more perfect match for their requirements. The likes of our Birmingham, Aberdeen and Glasgow apartments are perfectly situated in business hubs which also boast a wide array of attractions and scenery as well as the bustling city life associated with such historic but modern, dynamic and cosmopolitan cities.

However, no matter how old we are and what generation we happen to be classified under, a comfy, warm bed is always our main priority and here at The Spires, you can always trust us to provide that!

A fellow Millennial signing off….

 Sources:

http://www.sacoapartments.com/blog/redefining_the_term_social_network

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-millennials-hotels-20150329-story.html

http://www.travelpulse.com/news/business-travel/sta-travel-launches-new-business-travel-brand-aimed-at-millennials.html

https://hbr.org/2010/05/mentoring-millennials

http://www.bighospitality.co.uk/Trends-Reports/Infographic-How-Millennials-are-shaping-the-future-of-business-travel?utm_source=AddThis_twitter&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=SocialMedia#.VRq1CHVQQek.twitter.

Image: www.cnbc.com