Common Travel Myths Exposed

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I have to say that I’m not shocked that Japanese people are favorites among hotel staffers. They’re just so much more polite on average, though one has to wonder about the culture’s no tip policy! Has anyone heard of the $100 in the hotel bible thing? That was a surprise to me.

Spotlight

Adventure Travel Trade Association

The ATTA serves as a strategic membership organization for companies in the Adventure Travel arena. The ATTA is dedicated to raising the profile of Adventure Travel in the world travel market and provides valuable services, knowledge and connections that will help Members succeed in their businesses, thereby contributing to industry-wide growth. The ATTA is actually about you, the member. Without your support and involvement, the ATTA will not succeed or even exist. The ATTA will work tirelessly to serve the industry both in the short and the long term. In the short term, we’ll work to bring you opportunities that drive new customers, lower your costs and increase your return on the existing business activities you pursue. In the long term, we’ll help implement industry standards, attack the thorny insurance issues, tackle initiatives that get adventure travel in front of the mainstream culture and work to get big corporations who should be investing in this industry educated about who

OTHER ARTICLES
AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

Age of Digital Concierge: Hotel Chatbots Are Redefining CX

Article | July 12, 2022

The travel industry is reviving. Tourist spots across the globe are packed with excited explorers. Though it feels like everything is going back to normal, the way people travel has changed. The hospitality tech revolution is making mundane tasks easier and the customer experience richer. Most travelers prefer self-service over waiting to be served. Online planning and bookings have picked up pace, so have contact-less check-in and 24/7 digital concierge. Hotels must swiftly meet these evolving demands or risk losing in the race. They must incorporate technology into their day-to-day operations to eliminate human error, increase their service efficiency, and, above all, offer an outstanding customer experience. One of the technology trends reshaping the travel and hospitality industry is digital concierge—hotel chatbots that bring the concierge desk into the palm of a guest’s hand. Convenient, right? A Sneak Peak into Hotel Chatbots Hotel chatbots are software applications that communicate with your hotel’s website page visitors and resolve their queries. They are either programmed to behave a certain way or can be AI-powered. Programmed chatbots are configured to answer a limited set of questions. However, they can collect visitor information so your customer executives can get in touch with prospects to resolve their queries or provide them with booking assistance. On the other hand, AI-powered chatbots use NLP (Natural Language Processing) and ML (Machine Learning) to analye human behaviour and accordingly answer questions. Digital Concierge Brings in Conversions Personalized communication forms the crux of customer experience. A desired, non-intrusive interaction between a guest and a chat bot can create strong engagement and help the guest to make a booking at your hotel. In such cases, the bot will forward the booking inquiries directly into the IBE (Internet Booking Engine) and strengthen your direct sales. 30-50% of the chatbot-prospect interactions result in IBE forwarding of booking inquiries. This statistic shows how accepting the guests are of the chatbot’s services. (Source: DialogShift, Olga Heuser) Chatbots can also be integrated into social media platforms and instant messenger platforms so that guests can directly make bookings from a platform of their choice. How are Hotel Chatbots Redefining CX? Apart from bringing in revenue through direct sales, hotel chatbots also create a solid customer experience for the guests, so they don’t go home unsatisfied and give you a good review online. Here are the ways in which they enhance the customer experience: 24/7 Availability- Chatbots promptly respond to guest queries round the clock Multi-Lingual Support- Languages are not a barrier for them Efficiency- They lighten your hotel staff’s load of answering guest queries Customer Retention- They collect guest information, which helps in retention and follow-up Brand Awareness- They are brand representatives and increase brand awareness through responsiveness Additionally, AI- powered chatbots can also: Highlight the hotel’s special features upon check-in Recommend places and activities to do around the hotel with pictures and links Request feedback from guests about services Assist with table reservations or pool-side orders The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas Used Rose to Impress Guests The introduction of Rose, a smart chatbot that converses with guests on The Cosmopolitan’s website, changed the game for the hotel. The bot’s playful personality wooed hotel guests. Those who made a booking directly from the website ended up spending 37% more than those who did not engage with her. Let’s Wrap It Up A hotel chatbot refines the concierge experience for guests through rapid response times and enhances your hotel’s AI marketing efforts. It can be an invaluable asset for hotel business owners looking to stay ahead in the race.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

AI CRM and Online Booking Tipped To Boost Travel Recovery

Article | August 5, 2022

Travel technology professionals view tech as the way to help travel come back stronger, according to research. The TravelTech Show (formerly TTE Europe) polled buyers and suppliers who listed artificial intelligence, customer relationship management and online booking tools as the top three technologies to help boost recovery. Rounding out the top five were self-service portals and innovative payment options. The findings will be unsurprising to many in the industry already looking to AI, the cloud and other technologies to boost efficiency and improve the customer experience. Brian Sheerin, managing director of SABS Travel Technologies, says: Allowing travelers to self-book through an OBT [online booking tool] while still providing simple methods to communicate, such as online chat, are key to reducing customer frustration and allowing travel businesses the space to restructure, to resource and to meet customer expectations. OBTs were already playing a massive part in booking travel pre-pandemic and now it is even more important in the role of rebuilding the sector and customer confidence in it.”In recent weeks, American Airlines announced a far-reaching partnership with Microsoft, Expedia Group unveiled its new tech platform Open World and Miami Airport announced its rollout of biometric boarding technology. Payment developments and other advances in travel fintech also have been highlighted recently as an increasing priority to the industry as it looks to find new revenue streams. The TravelTech Show research also quizzed participants on the top challenges facing the travel technology industry currently, with economic uncertainty taking the top slot (52%), followed by COVID-19 restrictions (46%) and climate change (36%). Cyber security took fourth place compared to two years ago when it was in seventh place. Meanwhile, sustainable travel moved to seventh place compared to the second-place spot it held in 2020.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

Augmented Reality Transforming the Travel and Hospitality Industry

Article | August 2, 2022

“I believe that augmented reality will be the biggest technological revolution that happens in our lifetimes.” – Tim Sweeney, Founder and CEO of Epic Games Augmented reality (AR) has proved to be a significant concept in tourism and hospitality management in the past few years. It allows us to enhance the physical environment and enhance the experience of exploring the surrounding area. According to Grand View Research, the global market for augmented reality was worth USD 25.33 billion in 2021. From 2022 to 2030, the market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40.9%. As things keep pace with digitalization and this generation seeks quick and efficient yet reliable methods, every sector widely uses the application of augmented reality. According to Hospitality Tech, the market size of augmented reality will reach $198 billion by 2025, and the hotel business will be one of the key contributors to this income target. Effectively, Starwood, Marriott and Holiday Inn are already making a difference in the travel and hospitality industry by leveraging this technology. An investment in AR brings a lot of change in business revenue for both small hoteliers and prominent hotel tycoons. AR Improve Customer Experience for Travel and Hospitality Redefine the customer experience with augmented reality in the tourism industry. AR-based travel apps help businesses enhance their services and offer personalized experiences to their customers. By adding interactive hotel features that make the space more fun, you can get people to visit nearby attractions. Utilizing CX to maintain and expand a client base produces a terrific asset that positively affects ROI. CX effectively boosts customer lifetime value (LTV), which can become self-perpetuating. Companies that excel at CX and customer-centricity are 60% more profitable and generate 5.7% more revenue than those that don't. Ideas for Implementing AR in the Tourism and Hotel Industry AR is utilized chiefly via smartphones and offers many options concerning interactive experiences. AR in Excursions & Travel Attractions AR technology may be a terrific marketing tool for guiding first-time guests through the hotel and a great way to retain customers and provide more engaging experiences. With the application of augmented reality software, a standard tourist map comes to life. Moreover, AR technology enables clients to examine points of interest, restaurants, and other businesses. Your hotel restaurant may even use augmented reality to let customers explore the menu and ingredients in a new way by showing them 3D versions of the meals on their phones. Transportation If you have a travel mobile app with AR, you can point out the transportation objects to get the best possible directions, travel route, next destination, and places to travel to. Pokemon Go shows one such example of how you can use modern digital technologies to make the travel experience even better. It became the first popular augmented reality game. This AR app brought players out into the street and made them move and travel a lot. Scadi is one such AR app in travel for visitors of Alpine ski resorts. It uses advanced algorithms to create the most comfortable, safe and exciting routes for skiers and snowboarders. Integrates with other technology Using augmented reality in conjunction with other technologies such as beacon technology allows your hotel to more efficiently promote to visitors and upsell through push notifications. For example, through push notifications, hotels may give partner companies special offers or discounts, and vice versa, partner businesses can advertise the hotel. Hospitality Industry Must Make Room for AR for Better ROI In a post-pandemic context, the travel and hotel industries embrace technological advancements that enhance visitor experiences, eventually boosting corporate income and reducing operating expenses. Utilizing interactive technologies like AR, VR, and other interactive technologies increases operational efficiency, productivity, and ROI. By using augmented reality with CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) or EAM, you gain more understanding (Enterprise Asset Management). Augmented reality can assist facility managers in boosting the efficiency of their engineers and reducing the expense of ensuring their safety. AR will assist them in increasing their revenue by reducing their maintenance expenses. Using AR-based product models, the hospitality industry is gaining a significant competitive edge, resulting in faster sales cycles. Case Studies Holiday Inn During the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London in 2012, Holiday Inn introduced one of the first uses of Augmented Reality in a hotel setting. The experiences used picture recognition and chroma video. The program identified hotel locations and activated athlete video footage, merging real and virtual components. This Holiday Inn use case shows how hotels may leverage AR to develop unique guest experiences around local events. In addition, the campaign helped promote the hotel and bolster its status as the official hotel for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Premier Inn The Hub Hotel from Premier Inn, the largest hotel chain in the United Kingdom, is one of the few places to have adopted the AR technology back in 2016. The hotel provided a wall map of the local region in each room. Tourists could use their smartphones to read information about local areas of interest by pointing them at a wall. Conclusion The benefits of augmented reality in the travel and hospitality industries are immense. AR is a potent tool for increasing company potential and returns on investment. Utilizing innovative technology boosts your hotel's exposure and brand awareness while propelling it into the digital age. Augmented reality in the tourism industry truly sets you apart from the competition. FAQ How is augmented reality changing the travel & tourism industry? Augmented reality helps hotels enhance the physical locations they are attempting to attract visitors to, such as hotel rooms and local attractions. What is digital transformation in the hospitality industry? Digital transformation refers to how companies restructure themselves to adapt and modify their corporate culture to empower innovations that utilize technology and propel their enterprises to new levels of growth. What are the benefits of augmented reality? Creates unique customer experiences Reduces cognitive overload Increases engagement

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

Excellent Customer Experience in Travel Industry Generate Customer Loyalty

Article | May 10, 2022

As the impact of COVID-19 subsides, the devasted travel industry appears to be resuming normalcy with increased travel volumes. In addition, emerging tourism trends and technology in the travel industry have offered new possibilities for business travel to redefine itself. The present opportunities available in the travel sector may benefit your firm. However, customer experience in the travel industry has a significant impact on growing long-term loyalty. Providing a positive client experience is a significant problem for many in the travel and tourism industry. Customer Experience Is a Challenge to Recover Customer experience is a critical component of the travel and tourism industry. As travel volumes have increased in the post-covid era, so have negative travel experiences. Business travelers who commute frequently have higher expectations. For a very long time, they have voiced their dissatisfaction, even before the leisure travelers complained. This imbalance has been exacerbated by COVID-19. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, 38% of business passengers complained about the airline, double the percentage compared to leisure travelers. The actual question, though, is how to overcome this obstacle. Some companies may go above and beyond to reassure travelers with honesty, openness, and unmatched customer service. You may improve the customer experience by implementing the following ideas. Concentrate on the corporate culture Give specific examples of consumer advocacy Equip employees with the necessary tools According to a survey conducted by Think with Google, superior customer service is the most compelling aspect for high-value travelers. Additionally, 60% of them agree that customer service is the most crucial factor when it comes to picking a brand to travel with. CX Plays a Vital Role in Revenue Generation Managing customer experience in travel can enhance the brand-customer relationship, ultimately leading to revenue growth. The adoption of technology for travel booking, ticketing, and expenditure management has improved the customer experience. Satisfied customers increase income and assist firms in calculating the return on their travel and cost expenditures. Customer experience is a key differentiator that boosts customer happiness and loyalty, and both sells and establishes a competitive edge. “CX is the difference between success or slump.” — Chris Pescott, CEO of Perceptive. Annual business travel expenditures will reach $1.7 trillion globally by 2022. According to Statista, nearly 500 million business travels will take place withing the United States each year by 2022. Ways to Improve Customer Experience (CX) Use Tech to Create Breakthrough Customer Experiences Technology in the travel industry is regularly evolving. By putting technology at the center of each touchpoint, the industry is laying the groundwork for a successful customer experience in travel. Chatbots powered by AI and machine learning deliver client care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Chatbots have been intelligently developed using cutting-edge technology and may be used in place of humans. AI is constantly evolving, making it more trustworthy and effective as a commercial solution. Embrace an Omnichannel Mindset With mobile devices accounting for more than 50% of online traffic, multi-device digital experiences have become the norm. In addition, today's customers interact with companies across various offline and online channels, frequently switching several times, and each stage of the journey must be seamlessly connected and consistent. As a result, adopting omnichannel is one of the most significant changes you will undertake. Use Customer Journey Mapping To create a customer journey, you must first understand your consumer. By comparing journey maps to core KPIs, you may gain a deeper insight into your customer experience and identify areas of concern and opportunity. You may use trip maps to enhance the customer experience and visualize the customer experience in the future. Alternatively, you may influence organizational transformation from the stage of inspiration to the planning and execution phases. Utilize all touchpoints and seek new possibilities for interaction. Case studies: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines KLM's social care staff are well-known for their responsiveness and efficiency – the airline even shows a live countdown on its Twitter header picture to inform consumers when they may anticipate a response. However, what sets the organization apart is its ability to generate unique customer experiences. Qatar Airways Qatar Airways is elevating the business class travel experience. At a recent travel industry conference in Berlin, the airline unveiled its Business Class QSuite. This is the first time a business class cabin has been offered and sold with a real double bed. However, the organization goes a step further by providing value to consumers traveling for business. Additionally, the QSuite may be an open work and meeting room. Multiple configuration choices appeal to clients seeking privacy or personalization. A score of 9.2 for audience insights indicates that the brand is in tune with its social audience well enough to cultivate an impressive number of committed followers. Conclusion The travel and tourism industry significantly benefits from nurturing an outstanding customer experience. Supremacy in customer experience can be offered with the help of sophisticated digital technology that can quantify effects and forecast behavior. In addition, as 'bleisure' travel continues to grow in popularity to blend business and leisure time, the customer experience in travel is increasing in relevance. FAQ: What are the benefits of a good customer experience? A good customer experience increases sales and creates customer loyalty. Moreover, it reduces complaints. How would you define excellent customer service? Great customer service means responding promptly to a client's wants, being responsive to their concerns, and offering an enthusiastic level of care. Do you value customer service or customer experience more? Consumer service results in a positive customer experience. Both are critical to the business's success.

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Spotlight

Adventure Travel Trade Association

The ATTA serves as a strategic membership organization for companies in the Adventure Travel arena. The ATTA is dedicated to raising the profile of Adventure Travel in the world travel market and provides valuable services, knowledge and connections that will help Members succeed in their businesses, thereby contributing to industry-wide growth. The ATTA is actually about you, the member. Without your support and involvement, the ATTA will not succeed or even exist. The ATTA will work tirelessly to serve the industry both in the short and the long term. In the short term, we’ll work to bring you opportunities that drive new customers, lower your costs and increase your return on the existing business activities you pursue. In the long term, we’ll help implement industry standards, attack the thorny insurance issues, tackle initiatives that get adventure travel in front of the mainstream culture and work to get big corporations who should be investing in this industry educated about who

Related News

BUSINESS TRAVEL

Cain Travel agency signs GDS agreement with Sabre to drive agency sales and revenue growth

Cain Travel and Sabre | August 05, 2022

Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR) a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, announced a new distribution agreement with Cain Travel, a US-based travel agency. This new agreement will enable Cain Travel to complement services to their customers worldwide, drive efficiencies and support their economic growth by leveraging their proprietary technologies along with Sabre's travel marketplace (GDS). Cain Travel will have access to Sabre's marketplace of more than 400 airlines, 750,000 hotel properties, and hundreds of tour operators, rail, car rental and cruise providers, to sell customized travel packages from suppliers around the world. Additionally, the travel agency will use their proprietary technologies – powered by Sabre API's – along with the reach represented by the Sabre GDS to differentiate its services among their competitors. "The key reasons Cain Travel chose Sabre were its technology and strategic vision on NDC. We were looking for a travel technology partner that could help us address many aspects of our business – driving revenue, reducing costs, and improving our efficiency, Sabre's technology strategy including its approach to NDC will make it easier for our staff to find the content and personalized offers that our customers expect. We look forward to a successful and bright future with our new partner." -Michael Cain, President of Cain Travel Group of Boulder Founded in 1985, Cain Travel is one of the nation's largest independent travel management companies, providing a unique set of travel solutions. "As the industry continues to recover, travel companies face the challenge of quickly adapting their business to this dynamic market's changing needs and requirements, We are excited to serve as the strategic technology partner for Cain Travel and to bring them onto the Sabre GDS where they will have full access to Sabre's leading technology and broad travel content." -Andy Finkelstein, senior vice president, Global Agency Sales and Corporate Solutions for Sabre Today, thousands of agency points of sale are shopping, booking and servicing NDC offers through the Sabre marketplace. Sabre continues to broaden its NDC capabilities, coverage and content from multiple airlines. About Sabre Corporation Sabre Corporation is a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, serving a wide range of travel companies including airlines, hoteliers, travel agencies and other suppliers. The company provides retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, drive revenue and offer personalized traveler experiences. Through its leading travel marketplace, Sabre connects travel suppliers with buyers from around the globe. Sabre's technology platform manages more than $260B worth of global travel spend annually. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world. For more information visit www.sabre.com. About Cain Travel The Cain Travel Group of Boulder, Inc. (Cain) is a certified Woman Owned Small Business founded in 1985. Since our inception, Cain has grown to become among the largest privately held TMCs in the country. Cain has achieved this success through a combination of employing extremely experienced and dedicated staff, enjoying unparalleled employee and customer retention rates and conceptualizing, developing and deploying new technologies designed to enhance traveler experience and facilitate the success of travel programs. The Company is based in Boulder, Colorado.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Optii Solutions Adds Multiple New Languages to Its Platform

Optii Solutions | August 04, 2022

Optii Solutions, the leading hotel operations software, announced that it has added multiple new languages to its platform, to further support its European expansion. Several additional languages are also in development with release dates in the next 30 to 60 days. With travel, tourism, and hospitality drawing a particularly diverse workforce from around the world, the need to seamlessly communicate across languages and avoid errors is critical. Optii is designed to break down gaps and lags in communication with the goal of increasing productivity and establishing a repeatable and scalable guest experience within a hotel. Language barriers can disrupt the gains hotel operations would otherwise achieve from the implementation of technology, because instructions or staff communication is missed or misunderstood. Seamless translation to 20 languages within the same technology platform avoids this. It also leads to a better work experience for the staff who can choose to work in the language they are most comfortable with. The company has for some time supported core languages that are prevalent in the industry and workforce, but with shifting demographics, the need to add more languages is critical. This has proven true especially in the European market, where Optii is expanding with several new hotel group customers. “As we grow into new markets, the make-up of the workforce looks different and we need to account for that. Being a customer-centric technology provider, a lot of our roadmap items come from our customers. This is the case with our latest expansion into several European markets. Not only will we deliver on the customer needs, but we can also play a small part in bringing their workforce together and breaking down barriers.” -Katherine Grass, CEO, Optii Solutions About Optii Solutions Optii Solutions is a hotel operations solution that leverages smarter technologies such as artificial intelligence, analytics, messaging and mobility to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of housekeeping and service delivery departments. For further information, please visit: www.optiisolutions.com

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Coty and Ant Group Reach Strategic partnership to Deploy Alipay+ Solution in Global Travel Retail Industry

Coty Inc | August 03, 2022

Coty Inc. (NYSE: COTY) ("Coty"), one of the world’s leading beauty companies and global leaders in fragrance, has officially signed the Global Travel Retail Joint Business Partnership with Ant Group to enhance the cooperation in digitalization. The agreement means that Coty will be the first beauty company to reach the strategic partnership in travel retail to support digital platforms like Alipay and other digital payment methods at a global level through Alipay+, a suite of global cross-border mobile payments and marketing solutions operated by Ant Group.Based on the partnership, Coty will continue expanding the travel retail business through the digital operation powered by Alipay+, by creating comprehensive and diversified brand campaigns via Alipay and other payment platforms, and offering more customized consumer experience with higher quality and efficiency. This strategic partnership will extend from China to a wider area of APAC, and furtherly to Coty’s global travel retail market. In the past year, Coty's travel retail business saw an outstanding performance. The traffic and sales of brick & mortar retail stores in Hainan saw strong growth with the help of digital operation, and the duty-free business in China achieved a triple-digit growth. Digital operation is a clear strategic focus for Coty Travel Retail to innovate online and offline shopping experiences with a traveler-centric approach. Alipay, as a leading digital open platform leveraged by over 80 million businesses serving more than 1 billion consumers, is a valuable partner of Coty to co-create the future of beauty by innovative marketing capabilities and digital payment solutions. Since 2021, Coty has partnered with Alipay together on a series of travel retail activations, including Lancaster Super Brand Day, fragrance annual award, and had “Travel Around World” campaign debut in June. "The cooperation with Ant Group in digitalization will help us serve our customers better In the future, Coty and Ant will continue to work together to explore more possibilities of digital channels to improve consumer experience. We will also aim to deliver better services and products to more consumers around the world on their travel journey, and let them enjoy a better, more convenient and sustainable future." -Caroline Andreotti, Executive Vice President of Coty's Global Travel Retail Business, remarked at the signing ceremony. With the signing of this agreement, Coty will go forward hand in hand with Ant Group to boost the development of digital service as well as the travel retail business, and will continue to develop more in-depth cooperation in an all-round way, across precision marketing, omni channel activations, and digital payment solution. Coty's travel retail department is bringing the global iconic brands and tourists’ most favorable regional brands to travel retail channels, covering prestige and consumer brands, to build a matrix that include three product categories – fragrance, makeup, and skincare. At the present, the brands that Coty’s travel retail department is operating in Asia Pacific market include: 2-axis beauty brands (covering makeup and fragrance) -- Gucci beauty and Burberry beauty; the fragrance category -- Chloe, Tiffany, Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein; and the skincare category, of which, Lancaster, founded in Monaco in 1946, is a representative among the iconic high-end skincare brands. The skincare category, in particular, has grown exponentially in Asia and represents a huge growth opportunity for Coty Travel Retail. By launching Lancaster with an Asia-focused product line-up, Coty targets to become an even stronger global player in skincare. It features new merchandising designs and offers the Asian consumers effective, sophisticated, safe, and sustainable personal care products customized to fit their regional needs. The key markets for this new product line-up are China, Korea, Thailand, and India focusing on the key markets for the category in the travel retail industry and a strategic vector of growth for the company . Till now, Lancaster has set up four brick & mortar retail stores in Hainan and launched an official mini program on the Alipay platform, injecting a booster into the skincare business expansion of Coty in APAC. With innovative technologies and solutions, Alipay+ brings an easy way to capture digital-first customers and makes it more convenient for merchants to serve hundreds of millions of users of leading digital payment service providers. Especially, through a one-stop integration and simple technical adaption, merchants can access all existing and later-onboarded digital payment methods brought by Alipay+. Moreover, Alipay+ can help merchants further extend the reach of potential users through its rich marketing campaign solutions. Facing the impact and challenge caused by the COVID-19, Alipay+ has been working with brands since 2020, to find a way out for the travel retail industry in the post-pandemic era. With the comprehensive understanding of brand business, Alipay+ is making efforts to empower digital operation and transformation of business partners, and to improve consumers’ shopping experience with its payment and marketing solutions. About Coty, Inc. Founded in Paris in 1904, Coty is one of the world’s largest beauty companies with a portfolio of iconic brands across fragrance, color cosmetics, and skin and body care. Coty serves consumers around the world, selling prestige and mass market products in more than 130 countries and territories. Coty and our brands empower people to express themselves freely, creating their own visions of beauty; and, we are committed to creating our own positive impact on the planet. Learn more at coty.com or on LinkedIn and Instagram. About Ant Group and Alipay+ Ant Group aims to create the infrastructure and platform to support the digital transformation of the service industry. It strives to enable all consumers and small and micro businesses to have equal access to financial and other services that are inclusive, green and sustainable. Ant Group is the owner and operator of Alipay, the leading digital platform in China serving hundreds of millions of users, and connecting them with merchants and partner financial institutions that offer inclusive financial services and digital daily life services such as food delivery, transport, entertainment, and healthcare. Ant Group has further introduced Alipay+, a suite of global cross-border mobile payments and marketing solutions which enables merchants, especially small and medium-sized businesses, to better serve consumers from all over the world by collaborating with global partners.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

Cain Travel agency signs GDS agreement with Sabre to drive agency sales and revenue growth

Cain Travel and Sabre | August 05, 2022

Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR) a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, announced a new distribution agreement with Cain Travel, a US-based travel agency. This new agreement will enable Cain Travel to complement services to their customers worldwide, drive efficiencies and support their economic growth by leveraging their proprietary technologies along with Sabre's travel marketplace (GDS). Cain Travel will have access to Sabre's marketplace of more than 400 airlines, 750,000 hotel properties, and hundreds of tour operators, rail, car rental and cruise providers, to sell customized travel packages from suppliers around the world. Additionally, the travel agency will use their proprietary technologies – powered by Sabre API's – along with the reach represented by the Sabre GDS to differentiate its services among their competitors. "The key reasons Cain Travel chose Sabre were its technology and strategic vision on NDC. We were looking for a travel technology partner that could help us address many aspects of our business – driving revenue, reducing costs, and improving our efficiency, Sabre's technology strategy including its approach to NDC will make it easier for our staff to find the content and personalized offers that our customers expect. We look forward to a successful and bright future with our new partner." -Michael Cain, President of Cain Travel Group of Boulder Founded in 1985, Cain Travel is one of the nation's largest independent travel management companies, providing a unique set of travel solutions. "As the industry continues to recover, travel companies face the challenge of quickly adapting their business to this dynamic market's changing needs and requirements, We are excited to serve as the strategic technology partner for Cain Travel and to bring them onto the Sabre GDS where they will have full access to Sabre's leading technology and broad travel content." -Andy Finkelstein, senior vice president, Global Agency Sales and Corporate Solutions for Sabre Today, thousands of agency points of sale are shopping, booking and servicing NDC offers through the Sabre marketplace. Sabre continues to broaden its NDC capabilities, coverage and content from multiple airlines. About Sabre Corporation Sabre Corporation is a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, serving a wide range of travel companies including airlines, hoteliers, travel agencies and other suppliers. The company provides retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, drive revenue and offer personalized traveler experiences. Through its leading travel marketplace, Sabre connects travel suppliers with buyers from around the globe. Sabre's technology platform manages more than $260B worth of global travel spend annually. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world. For more information visit www.sabre.com. About Cain Travel The Cain Travel Group of Boulder, Inc. (Cain) is a certified Woman Owned Small Business founded in 1985. Since our inception, Cain has grown to become among the largest privately held TMCs in the country. Cain has achieved this success through a combination of employing extremely experienced and dedicated staff, enjoying unparalleled employee and customer retention rates and conceptualizing, developing and deploying new technologies designed to enhance traveler experience and facilitate the success of travel programs. The Company is based in Boulder, Colorado.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Optii Solutions Adds Multiple New Languages to Its Platform

Optii Solutions | August 04, 2022

Optii Solutions, the leading hotel operations software, announced that it has added multiple new languages to its platform, to further support its European expansion. Several additional languages are also in development with release dates in the next 30 to 60 days. With travel, tourism, and hospitality drawing a particularly diverse workforce from around the world, the need to seamlessly communicate across languages and avoid errors is critical. Optii is designed to break down gaps and lags in communication with the goal of increasing productivity and establishing a repeatable and scalable guest experience within a hotel. Language barriers can disrupt the gains hotel operations would otherwise achieve from the implementation of technology, because instructions or staff communication is missed or misunderstood. Seamless translation to 20 languages within the same technology platform avoids this. It also leads to a better work experience for the staff who can choose to work in the language they are most comfortable with. The company has for some time supported core languages that are prevalent in the industry and workforce, but with shifting demographics, the need to add more languages is critical. This has proven true especially in the European market, where Optii is expanding with several new hotel group customers. “As we grow into new markets, the make-up of the workforce looks different and we need to account for that. Being a customer-centric technology provider, a lot of our roadmap items come from our customers. This is the case with our latest expansion into several European markets. Not only will we deliver on the customer needs, but we can also play a small part in bringing their workforce together and breaking down barriers.” -Katherine Grass, CEO, Optii Solutions About Optii Solutions Optii Solutions is a hotel operations solution that leverages smarter technologies such as artificial intelligence, analytics, messaging and mobility to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of housekeeping and service delivery departments. For further information, please visit: www.optiisolutions.com

Read More

TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Coty and Ant Group Reach Strategic partnership to Deploy Alipay+ Solution in Global Travel Retail Industry

Coty Inc | August 03, 2022

Coty Inc. (NYSE: COTY) ("Coty"), one of the world’s leading beauty companies and global leaders in fragrance, has officially signed the Global Travel Retail Joint Business Partnership with Ant Group to enhance the cooperation in digitalization. The agreement means that Coty will be the first beauty company to reach the strategic partnership in travel retail to support digital platforms like Alipay and other digital payment methods at a global level through Alipay+, a suite of global cross-border mobile payments and marketing solutions operated by Ant Group.Based on the partnership, Coty will continue expanding the travel retail business through the digital operation powered by Alipay+, by creating comprehensive and diversified brand campaigns via Alipay and other payment platforms, and offering more customized consumer experience with higher quality and efficiency. This strategic partnership will extend from China to a wider area of APAC, and furtherly to Coty’s global travel retail market. In the past year, Coty's travel retail business saw an outstanding performance. The traffic and sales of brick & mortar retail stores in Hainan saw strong growth with the help of digital operation, and the duty-free business in China achieved a triple-digit growth. Digital operation is a clear strategic focus for Coty Travel Retail to innovate online and offline shopping experiences with a traveler-centric approach. Alipay, as a leading digital open platform leveraged by over 80 million businesses serving more than 1 billion consumers, is a valuable partner of Coty to co-create the future of beauty by innovative marketing capabilities and digital payment solutions. Since 2021, Coty has partnered with Alipay together on a series of travel retail activations, including Lancaster Super Brand Day, fragrance annual award, and had “Travel Around World” campaign debut in June. "The cooperation with Ant Group in digitalization will help us serve our customers better In the future, Coty and Ant will continue to work together to explore more possibilities of digital channels to improve consumer experience. We will also aim to deliver better services and products to more consumers around the world on their travel journey, and let them enjoy a better, more convenient and sustainable future." -Caroline Andreotti, Executive Vice President of Coty's Global Travel Retail Business, remarked at the signing ceremony. With the signing of this agreement, Coty will go forward hand in hand with Ant Group to boost the development of digital service as well as the travel retail business, and will continue to develop more in-depth cooperation in an all-round way, across precision marketing, omni channel activations, and digital payment solution. Coty's travel retail department is bringing the global iconic brands and tourists’ most favorable regional brands to travel retail channels, covering prestige and consumer brands, to build a matrix that include three product categories – fragrance, makeup, and skincare. At the present, the brands that Coty’s travel retail department is operating in Asia Pacific market include: 2-axis beauty brands (covering makeup and fragrance) -- Gucci beauty and Burberry beauty; the fragrance category -- Chloe, Tiffany, Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein; and the skincare category, of which, Lancaster, founded in Monaco in 1946, is a representative among the iconic high-end skincare brands. The skincare category, in particular, has grown exponentially in Asia and represents a huge growth opportunity for Coty Travel Retail. By launching Lancaster with an Asia-focused product line-up, Coty targets to become an even stronger global player in skincare. It features new merchandising designs and offers the Asian consumers effective, sophisticated, safe, and sustainable personal care products customized to fit their regional needs. The key markets for this new product line-up are China, Korea, Thailand, and India focusing on the key markets for the category in the travel retail industry and a strategic vector of growth for the company . Till now, Lancaster has set up four brick & mortar retail stores in Hainan and launched an official mini program on the Alipay platform, injecting a booster into the skincare business expansion of Coty in APAC. With innovative technologies and solutions, Alipay+ brings an easy way to capture digital-first customers and makes it more convenient for merchants to serve hundreds of millions of users of leading digital payment service providers. Especially, through a one-stop integration and simple technical adaption, merchants can access all existing and later-onboarded digital payment methods brought by Alipay+. Moreover, Alipay+ can help merchants further extend the reach of potential users through its rich marketing campaign solutions. Facing the impact and challenge caused by the COVID-19, Alipay+ has been working with brands since 2020, to find a way out for the travel retail industry in the post-pandemic era. With the comprehensive understanding of brand business, Alipay+ is making efforts to empower digital operation and transformation of business partners, and to improve consumers’ shopping experience with its payment and marketing solutions. About Coty, Inc. Founded in Paris in 1904, Coty is one of the world’s largest beauty companies with a portfolio of iconic brands across fragrance, color cosmetics, and skin and body care. Coty serves consumers around the world, selling prestige and mass market products in more than 130 countries and territories. Coty and our brands empower people to express themselves freely, creating their own visions of beauty; and, we are committed to creating our own positive impact on the planet. Learn more at coty.com or on LinkedIn and Instagram. About Ant Group and Alipay+ Ant Group aims to create the infrastructure and platform to support the digital transformation of the service industry. It strives to enable all consumers and small and micro businesses to have equal access to financial and other services that are inclusive, green and sustainable. Ant Group is the owner and operator of Alipay, the leading digital platform in China serving hundreds of millions of users, and connecting them with merchants and partner financial institutions that offer inclusive financial services and digital daily life services such as food delivery, transport, entertainment, and healthcare. Ant Group has further introduced Alipay+, a suite of global cross-border mobile payments and marketing solutions which enables merchants, especially small and medium-sized businesses, to better serve consumers from all over the world by collaborating with global partners.

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