Challenge of online travel booking tools explored in new report

| June 4, 2019

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While 92% of travel managers say they have already adopted online booking tools, there is a growing need among businesses to create a more efficient and streamlined booking process. According to “Booking Tools and Technologies: One Size Does Not Fit All”, a new global survey of corporate travel buyers from the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), underwritten by American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), 80% of respondents say it’s important that all channels are integrated into one platform.

Spotlight

Jumeirah Group / Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts

JUMEIRAH™ Hotels & Resorts are regarded as among the most luxurious and innovative in the world and have won numerous international travel and tourism awards. The company was founded in 1997 and currently operates 20 hotels in 8 countries. Jumeirah’s promise of STAY DIFFERENT™ delivers imaginative and exhilarating experiences in culturally connected environments offering a thoughtful and generous service.In line with this promise, the individuality of the Jumeirah portfolio is unmistakable, encompassing Jumeirah at Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi; the world renowned Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, the world’s most luxurious hotel and recognised as the symbol of Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray and Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai; Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa in Kuwait; Jumeirah Vittaveli in the Maldives; Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel in Shanghai; Jumeirah Frankfurt in Germany; Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa in Mallorca, Spain; as w

OTHER ARTICLES

As travel giants circle, understanding the economics in tours and activities is vital

Article | March 3, 2020

In the past 24 months, the tours and activities sector has moved from, to borrow a Cinderella analogy, the cinders to the palace, where its untapped potential has moved into the sights of major travel retailers and investors. These retailers and investors, as we know, included Booking Holdings, Tripadvisor and SoftBank via their investments in Klook and GetYourGuide. These moves have led to lots of opportunities for operators and consumers alike, but, as always, change does not come without its casualties. Some operators are to dealing with distributors and they understand that such partners can be both partner and competitor.

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Promoting Tourism in the Time of Coronavirus Is a No-Win

Article | March 5, 2020

One of the vulnerabilities of the tourism industry is that it is built entirely around a discretionary good. That is, most people don’t have to travel. They choose to. Despite the massive growth of the tourism industry since globally disruptive events like September 11 and the SARS crisis, that still holds true. As coronavirus continues to spread around the world, the tourism industry sees free-falling demand for travel. It’s anyone’s guess when that may change. With that new reality comes a question: What role, if any, does tourism promotion and marketing have at a time when the appetite to travel is low? One could argue the case both ways that low risk destinations have every reason to ramp up their promotional activities. Or alternatively, that it’s tonally off-base and borderline irresponsible to promote tourism — especially the carefree, leisure kind at such a time.

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5 Reasons the BMW Performance Center West is a Business Itinerary Imperative

Article | August 26, 2020

With the travel and tourism sector having taken a gut punch this year amid coronavirus concerns, many business groups and professionals are seeking new and innovative ways to enjoy memorable team events, proffer inspiring staff incentives and have some impactful one-on-one with customers and clients particularly those activities that inherently facilitate large crowd avoidance. With that, I’ve found a fabulous option in the BMW Performance Center West. This permanent performance driver training facility, located in Thermal, California near Palm Springs, offers one-of-a-kind experiences for both business groups and individuals that are taught by BMW professional driving instructors on a private course. With up to 5.1 miles of expansive track layouts, the facility offers various driving programs and schools allowing participants to get behind the wheel of “the Ultimate Driving Machine” and learn key skills. Things like proper vision, basic car control, panic braking, handling, last-minute emergency lane changing, distracted driving, high-speed control and precision driving are all taught. Plus, it’s just plain old adrenaline-inducing fun. The facility, which opened in 2015, offers various driving solutions for people of all ages and capabilities, and they also have special programs and meeting space for private and corporate groups. So, your entire department or company at large can get in on the action! There are multiple one- and two-day driving schools and experiences, private instruction, customizable events and the opportunity to experience the expansive, luxurious facility in either BMW or MINI vehicles. Here are my top five reasons why this facility is a must-visit vacation destination, with the finer details courtesy of the BMW Performance Center West: 1. Private Instruction in the latest and greatest models Instruction at the facility encompasses the full line of the newest BMW and MINI vehicles. In fact, there are reportedly over 100 new models available for activities at the BMW Performance Center West. Also notable is the fact that all BMW driving experiences and schools are taught by professional BMW Driving Instructors, many of whom are professional race car drivers with dozens of wins. They even hold two world records: Longest Drift in eight hours (232.5 miles) and Longest Tandem Drift (39.25 miles). These BMW Professional Driving instructors teach you how to handle your vehicle in challenging situations and conditions including accident avoidance, cornering, drifting, car control, braking and more. A skidpad allows drivers to feel oversteer and understeer, simulating hydroplaning or driving on black ice and providing the opportunity to learn how to handle those situations. The skidpad also provides advanced drivers with the thrilling experience of drifting. The tight performance track offers plenty of opportunity to learn how to control a vehicle at various speeds and cornering situations. Drivers can definitely satisfy their need for speed and excitement on one of the four tracks and experience driving scenarios they’ve only ever seen in the movies. 2. A variety of track experiences are available In addition to BMW-dedicated tracks and a polished wet skidpad, some classes take advantage of the FIA certified race tracks of The Thermal Club. There are three tracks there with a combined length of 5.1 miles. The North Palm track is 1.2 miles long, the Desert Palm track is 1.8 miles long, and the South Palm track is also 1.8 miles long. Their newly-opened Off-Road Track allows drivers to experience extreme angles in the BMW X-series vehicles, splashing through water obstacles, driving over bumpy off-road trails and more. The vertical angles are literally steeper than any street in San Francisco and the visual sensation is amazing. Drivers often say, “I didn’t know a car could do that!” 3. A range of performance driving experiences are offered Each BMW Performance Center West’s fun and action-packed driving programs delivers a robust experience that you’re sure not to forget. These include: -- BMW Performance Center Drive: This option packs a real punch with two intense and exhilarating driving sessions capped off with a Hot Lap by a Certified BMW instructor. -- M Track Drive: This is the perfect combination of machine and track with six hard-charging laps on one of the tracks of The Thermal Club pushing a BMW M3 or M4 to its limits. Featuring the facility’s most powerful and responsive vehicles, the M Track Drive will put you behind the wheel of an M car for six exhilarating laps on an FIA Certified racetrack. You’ll follow an instructor’s car for a warm-up lap and also learn the proper line for achieving the best time. Then, try to keep their car in your sights as speeds and g-forces increase, pushing your M car to its considerable limits. -- The Ultimate BMW Mixer / The Track Meet: This is a unique driving and dining experience that elevates gift-giving, business networking and client entertaining to a whole new level. It’s a great way to get a taste of what the group events can offer. The mixer is a half-day experience that includes a delicious chef-prepared lunch, three exhilarating driving sessions in a fleet of brand-new BMWs and a Hot Lap around the track with a BMW pro at the wheel. The afternoon is capped off at a private reception with hors d’oeuvres and beverages at the BMW Performance Center. If you do have business needs, the facility has meeting spaces with multimedia capabilities, site-wide Wi-Fi and both indoor and outdoor dining with a delicious catering menu. 4. Both one- and two-day car control schools are available Engage your senses and push through your comfort zone by learning vehicle handling, quick judgment and accident avoidance skills—all developed in a controlled environment with a BMW-certified instructor observing and coaching via radio. These include real-world driving conditions and scenarios—wet pavement, emergency braking and lane changes, distracted driving and more. For the two-day options, participants will build on and reinforce the skills and techniques learned on day one. More seat time and real-time feedback takes driving abilities to the next level. Day two is when things really “click” and safe driving instincts kick in. This is also the day participants will experience an Instructor Hot Lap. There are a wide range of driving school options at the BMW Performance Driving Center that are available to individuals and groups, alike. Below is a brief synopsis of each: -- Car Control School: Take the wheel of a BMW and head out to the track, where professional instructors will hone your driving skills. Understanding stability control, knowing what to do when a vehicle starts to slide on the wet skid-pad and practicing proper vision through the lane-change course will allow you to anticipate situations on a real road. Available as a one-day, or for even more in-depth instruction, two-day course. -- M School: Take the wheel of a high-performance BMW M vehicle and experience the power of M firsthand. Accelerate, corner and brake faster than you ever have before, then learn to maintain control in low traction conditions on the facility’s wet skidpad and keep 400 horsepower under control. End the day with a hot lap in an instructor-driven M vehicle. Available as a one-day, or for even more pulse-pounding excitement, a full two-day course. -- One-Day M School: Learn the theory, physics and mechanics of performance driving. M School builds confidence and consistency while perfecting control, handling, acceleration and braking techniques. -- Two-Day M School: Take everything you learned on day one and push “GO.” Slaloms, drifting, braking, cornering at optimum slip, full- and modified-time laps at speeds you’ve only dreamed of. -- Advanced M School: Game on. M School graduates are an elite class of driver. They’ve proven that they’ve got what it takes to handle the ultimate challenge: BMW’s Advanced M School, held for two full days at road course tracks with pro Instructors, is the closest you can get to a racing experience. -- MINI Motoring School: Take a John Cooper Works MINI Cooper and run it through an autocross course, lead/follow session and some stunt driving techniques, all under the watchful eye of a professional instructor. The mighty MINI will have you grinning from ear to ear all day long. -- MINI Tricks and Stunts School - The first half of the day gets you intimately familiar with the MINI’s handling and capabilities, but the fun meter gets cranked to 11 in the afternoon. They’ll cover silky smooth reverse donuts on the skidpad, J-turns and reverse turns. -- Teen School: There’s a lot for brand-new drivers to keep in mind and the BMW Teen School will allow them to experience how a vehicle feels at the limit in the safety of a closed environment. From wet skidpad exercises and panic braking to performing a double lane change, teens will leave with a solid foundation of vehicle control and a big smile. This option is available as either a one or two-day curriculum. 5. Amenities abound Set against a backdrop of breathtaking mountain views, the BMW Performance Center not only boasts a private course where only you can experience the Ultimate Driving Machine, but also a luxurious modern building, gourmet café, coffee bar and gift shop with exclusive merchandise that you cannot buy anywhere else. Customized corporate retreats and group events held at the BMW Performance Center are a refreshing change from the cliché team-building sessions. All programs are designed to improve dynamics, build trust and facilitate group communication. They have meeting spaces with Multimedia capabilities, site-wide Wi-Fi and indoor and outdoor dining space. In all, this is an unforgettable experience that also makes a great gift idea. With stay at home orders having been lifted, getting behind the wheel of a new BMW at the BMW Performance Center West is a “bucket list” excursion sure to leave you longing for more.

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How Google Flights is shaking up the travel Industry

Article | February 12, 2020

The internet is littered with the bodies of companies unable to adapt when Big Tech moved to offer a service for free. Possibly the most famous example in tech history remains Microsoft’s decision in 1996 to give away its browser Internet Explorer bringing Netscape’s skyrocketing share price to an abrupt halt. The rest is history. Although Google’s recent decision to stop charging for leads to airlines and OTAs in Google Flights might look insignificant in comparison, it is sending shockwaves across the travel industry. To understand why, it is important to understand Google Flights’ weight in the airline distribution ecosystem.

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Spotlight

Jumeirah Group / Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts

JUMEIRAH™ Hotels & Resorts are regarded as among the most luxurious and innovative in the world and have won numerous international travel and tourism awards. The company was founded in 1997 and currently operates 20 hotels in 8 countries. Jumeirah’s promise of STAY DIFFERENT™ delivers imaginative and exhilarating experiences in culturally connected environments offering a thoughtful and generous service.In line with this promise, the individuality of the Jumeirah portfolio is unmistakable, encompassing Jumeirah at Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi; the world renowned Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, the world’s most luxurious hotel and recognised as the symbol of Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray and Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai; Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa in Kuwait; Jumeirah Vittaveli in the Maldives; Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel in Shanghai; Jumeirah Frankfurt in Germany; Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa in Mallorca, Spain; as w

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