Flying solo: Why traveling alone is the way to go

I can vividly remember the exact moment I decided I was never traveling with people again.It was a crisp fall day in Germany, and I was sitting at Berlin Schönefeld Airport, propped up on my backpack in a state of exhaustion. I was waiting for a budget airline to carry me through my layover in Iceland and back home to Chicago after a long-weekend birthday trip I’d booked in a dramatic flurry after a really bad breakup.

Spotlight

SUNRATE

SUNRATE is the intelligent global payment and treasury management platform for businesses worldwide. Since its inception in 2016, we are recognised as a leading solutions provider and have enabled companies in 130+ companies with our cutting-edge proprietary platform, extensive global network, and robust APIs to scale both local and global growth. With its global headquarters in Singapore and offices in China, Indonesia, Japan and UK, SUNRATE partners with the top global financial institutions, such as Citibank, Standard Chartered, Barclays and is the principal member of both Mastercard and Visa. We are licensed and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority of the UK, the Bank Indonesia, the Hong Kong Customs as a Money Service Operator, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore as a Major Payment Institution.

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Travel Technology

Upselling & Cross-selling Techniques in Hospitality Management

Article | May 5, 2023

Leverage upselling and cross-selling techniques to elevate hospitality & tourism businesses. Discover the strategies used to boost revenue by adapting upselling and cross selling techniques in hotels. 1. Introduction 2. Cross-selling Vs Upselling: Which One Is More Optimal? 2.1. Defining the Two Techniques 2.2. The Key Differences 3. Combining Both the Techniques to Improve Revenue 4. Importance of Implementing the Techniques in Hotel Businesses 5. Conclusion 1. Introduction The hospitality industry is highly competitive, and hotels must find ways to boost revenue beyond room rates and taxes. The key to success in this field is to tailor offers to each customer and encourage them to spend more than they had planned. Cross-selling and up-selling are two effective methods of increasing sales. This article explores these methods' nuances in the hospitality sector. By dissecting the advantages of cross-selling and upselling, we can better understand when it makes sense to implement these tactics for maximum profit. The potency of upselling and cross selling techniques in hotels to improve the business and offer enhances guest experiences. Cross-selling Vs Upselling: Which One Is More Optimal? In the hospitality industry , maximizing revenue and enhancing guest experiences are paramount, and whether to prioritize cross-selling or upselling is a question. While often used interchangeably, these sales techniques hold distinctive positions within the buyer journey. 2.1. Defining the Two Techniques Upselling is a sales approach that offers customers a higher-priced or upgraded service or product that aligns with their interests and preferences. In the hospitality industry, it may encompass enticing guests to upgrade their room selection, such as transitioning from a standard room to a mini-suite, either during the booking process or afterward. Additionally, it may involve presenting guests with hotel packages that provide added value and amenities compared to standalone bookings. The aim is to elevate customers to a higher price category and ensure they enjoy an exceptional stay experience. On the other hand, cross-selling entails encouraging guests to purchase supplementary products or services related to their existing purchases. For instance, this could involve offering a spa package or a romantic dinner to enhance their stay. Cross-selling opportunities in the hospitality industry can include add-on activities like city tours or bicycle rentals, in-room extras such as upgraded amenities or specialized equipment, on-site spa and fitness services, food and beverage options such as dining discounts or meal packages, and other hotel services like complimentary parking or transportation. 2.2. The Key Differences 1. Strategy: Upselling focuses on communicating value to customers, persuading them to opt for a higher-priced or upgraded service or product. The emphasis is on showcasing the benefits and added value of the upsell, ensuring customers see the value in paying extra for a superior experience. On the other hand, cross-selling aims to appeal to impulse buying by enticing customers to purchase additional, related products or services that complement their original purchase. 2. Timing: Timing is crucial in both upselling and cross-selling. With upselling, the timing is most effective when done pre-arrival, ideally a week or two before the guest arrives at the hotel. This allows customers to anticipate their upcoming stay and consider upgrading their room or adding extra amenities. Cross-selling can be implemented post-booking, such as during check-in or through targeted email campaigns when customers have already committed to their initial purchase and are more open to additional offers. 3. Value Perception: Upselling techniques relies on effectively communicating the value and benefits of the upgraded or higher-priced offering. Guests need to see the value in paying extra for the enhanced experience. In contrast, cross-selling often involves appealing to customers' desire for convenience or enjoyment by offering travel management services that enhance their stay without necessarily requiring a significant increase in expenditure. 3. Combining Both the Techniques to Improve Revenue Cross-selling is the most effective post-booking and can be implemented in various ways. Firstly, it can be done at the hotel reception during check-in, where guests can be offered add-on items. Secondly, sending an informative email before arrival to highlight additional services is another compelling cross-selling opportunity. Lastly, when guests express interest in a particular service, it presents an opportunity to introduce them to other relevant options. Upselling, however, is particularly effective when implemented pre-arrival, ideally a week or two before guests arrive at the hotel. This technique can be deployed during the browsing and booking, where customers can be presented with room upgrades and add-on items. It is also fruitful to inform customers about better room options at affordable prices before their arrival, tapping into their anticipation for their upcoming vacation. Furthermore, during check-in, providing guests with information on enhancing their stay by spending a little extra can generate additional revenue. To combine the power of both techniques efficiently, companies must employ specialized software. This software automates room upgrades and the promotion of additional ancillaries, providing customers with the convenience and freedom to choose and bid on attractive upgrades before arrival. Advanced customer journey analytics, such as software offers, enable personalized product offers, increasing sales and hotel revenue. 4. Importance of Implementing the Techniques in Hotel Businesses Implementing upselling and cross-selling techniques is vital for hotel businesses, apartment rentals, and hostels. Hotel upselling techniques and cross selling techniques establishments possess unique opportunities to capitalize on these strategies, similar to how airlines offer seat upgrades, meal additions, and car rental options. When choosing accommodations, travelers invest considerable time and thought into finding a place that aligns with the desired ambiance of their trip. As hosts, this presents an ideal opportunity to offer additional products and activities that complement the property's offerings. Unlike airlines, hotel properties often indicate the activities that guests might be interested in, allowing hosts to select the most relevant products to offer. This could involve tailored offerings such as private guided tours to popular tourist attractions or unique underground graffiti tours based on the guests' preferences and digital travel persona. By providing personalized offerings that cater to the customer's needs, hotel businesses enhance the overall guest experience and deliver excellent service. Activities constitute the third-largest segment of the travel industry and are continuously growing. With data revealing that 46% of travelers engage in sightseeing tours, it becomes evident that upselling and cross-selling will play an increasingly significant role in the hospitality industry. 5. Conclusion In the incredibly competitive hospitality industry, implementing upselling and cross-selling techniques is crucial for hotel businesses. By understanding the nuances and distinctions between these strategies, hotels can target customers strategically and increase revenue streams beyond room rates and taxes. Cross selling techniques encourages impulse purchases by offering additional products or services related to the initial investment. By combining both techniques with specialized software, hotels can personalize their offerings, automate their promotions, and provide a seamless experience for their guests. This strategy not only increases revenue but also caters to guests' various preferences, resulting in increased satisfaction and loyalty. As the activities segment of the travel industry continues to expand, the importance of upselling and cross-selling in hospitality management is anticipated to continue rising. In addition, deploying innovative business travel technology solutions can improve hotel businesses in hospitality industry.

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Hospitality Management

How Best Practices for Travel Expense Management Can Benefit your Business

Article | July 24, 2023

As every department is going through digital transformation in travel companies, finance processes are no exception. The advancements in technology are influencing how travel expense management is evolving. Technology is widely affecting how travel expenses are captured, submitted, audited, processed, and reimbursed. The automated travel expense management is helping most of the corporate travel companies with inclusion of the latest travel management and expense management tools. In 2016, the share of corporate travel expense management was US$1.3 trillion; therefore, by 2023, it is predicted to hit US$1.6 trillion. Companies today are rethinking modern travel expense management policy and developing corporate travel expense management system including expense management best practices. They are actively using travel management and expense management tools to create a smoother workflow. Looking at these developments in expense management policy, it’s important to understand what companies were facing before implementation of automated version of expense management system. Main Hurdles While Managing Travel and Expense Policy violations Multiple layers of forms Delayed submission of expense reports by employees Increased processing cost Lack of visibility into the process Heaps of productive hours were wasted because of the manual processes involved in the expense management policy. Managing the excel reports and cross-verification for policy compliance resulted in increased costs. Delayed submission of expense reports caused late input tax credit claims, which affected businesses to generate revenue. Consequently, to minimize the hurdles of managing travel expenses, an automated travel expense management system, and some best practices for travel expense management were the need of the hour. An Overview: Modern Travel Expense Management Modern travel and expense management systems and its practices help employees manage the financial process in real and measurable ways. The system governs how the finance team spends company money on corporate travel and other related expenses. It includes an automated expense management process, which has drawn attention to seamless receipt generation, auditing, reimbursing, submission of finance reports, and cost savings. To implement modern travel expense management, some best practices for travel expense management are suggested to help build a consistent workflow. Many corporate travel companies have included it to automate the expense management process but are little aware of practices that can enhance their workflow. In this scenario, it's important to know the importance of including the best practices for travel expense management. Why Talk about Best Practices for Travel Expense Management? In the finance department, various types of frauds such as multiple reimbursements, overstated expenses, fictitious expenses, and more always stay at the top of the mind for most CFO’s. A well-controlled travel expense management system helps prevent misuse of company assets and prohibits misconduct from dealing with such situations. According to the Aberdeen group’s research, 43% of top travel companies and their CMOs consider T&E management a critical strategy for their company to handle travel expenses. In comparison, 48% of them say they “need to reduce expense processing costs,” which is why they implemented best practices for travel expense management. Whether large or small, companies realize the potential benefits of a well-managed travel spend mechanism that had best practices for travel expense management to automate the expense management process. They invested heavily in expense management software, which helped them frame a consolidated expense management policy. In the end, corporate travel policy best practices need to be tailored specifically to employees to create best-in-class expense management and improve performance. By following expense management best practices, you can also define and implement an accurate policy and ensure your employees implement potential tools to automate the expense management process. This will create an efficient finance process that will lead to a friction-free travel and expense management system. If you are updating your finance functions, this small expense management guide to the best practices for travel expense management will help you far to reach your goals. Best Practices for Travel Expense Management Create Ownership of the Policy Before you start implementing T&E management as a critical strategy, defining ownership of the policy clearly is crucial. Ideally, your finance team needs to understand it thoroughly while using the best expense management software. Creating ownership of the policy will benefit as follows: First: You will have clear ownership that will ensure that your finance team tracks the policy accurately and makes necessary changes to cater to corporate travelers and their requirements. Second: Your employees will be able to address queries and concerns related to corporate travel a defined way. This way it will become easier for them to handle multiple queries at a time and cater to possible services. Include Simple Policies Your expense management policy should outline what it is accurately. It can only be practiced if you keep policies simple based on the company’s culture and its budget. Using the right travel management and expense management tools, your company’s travel expense management mechanism will be quick and easy for employees to work on expenses claimed by corporate travelers, submit, and audit them. Including simple policies will help employees track receipts through mobile applications and even upload them immediately. This entire process will help minimize errors and lessen receipt loss possibilities. Accurate Expense Reporting To include accurate expense management reporting is considered one of the most successful best practices for travel expense management. Around 30% of CFOs believe that to review expenses reporting for policy violation is the biggest pain point. As you automate the expense management process, the mechanism of expense reporting and expense claim management also gets smarter. There are multiple benefits to have a sound reporting system. It gives budget creators a better understanding of how a specific travel expense budget is consumed. Finance teams get a proper structure and create a defined spending pattern to identify transactions so that there are no fraud possibilities in the management system. The reports under expense reporting become accountable because the total spends are available to senior management for a broad review. Expense Payments Are Timely Processed The right expense management software usage can help your employees process expense payments on time and faster to reduce errors. By implementing this expense management best practice, your employees can present expense reports timely to managers. An automated expense management system eliminates the tedious job of manually checking expense payment violations and encourages initiating flawless expense payment processing. Creates Accountability To keep accountability in expense management is vital for a finance manager. The automated travel and expense management system creates an opportunity to enable accountability option for your company’s expense plan so that managers are made aware of the transactions, submission of reports, expense claims, reimbursements, and more that are taking place. In order to gain high accountability in these areas, the new travel expense management process provides easy access to review and gives appropriate reports. You can easily implement this corporate travel policy best practice to your system and keep a check using expense management software that provides access via mobile applications. Practicing this will give your finance team more power and guide them to generate better revenue annually. Conduct Regular Audits By implementing this as best practices for your travel and expense management, you can efficiently conduct regular audits of the travel expense. Many CMOs have followed it and attained success while implementing it. Similarly, a regular audit also identifies areas of improvement and can point variances that could generate exemplary revenue. Practicing this in your finance process will also help uncover expense fraud. In this case, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ (ACFE) reveals, 20% of small businesses and 13% of larger firms reported fraudulent expense reimbursements in 2019. The activities that were highlighted as Access expenses Non-characterized expenses Fictitious expenses Multiple reimbursements for the same expense After putting your time and effort into recreating a new travel and expense management system and inculcating best practices for travel expense management in your company, it is crucial to choose the right ways to enforce it. Consistent use of best practices for travel expense management will let you save costs, and there will be no adverse impact on your company's budget. You can make effective decisions for your business as it eradicates your finance team's hurdles that were before. Frequently Asked Questions What is a travel and expense policy? A travel and expense policy is a set of rules that covers the process of reimbursement and claims for expenses that are incurred by employees on corporate travel plans. This policy outlines how a company’s employees should set procedures for corporate travel. What is business travel management? Business travel management includes policies that set a company’s function in a strategic way. It includes various types of contracts made with airlines, hotel chains, rental car companies, and other business travel related management services. What is expense management? Expense management works according to two key elements—how a business pays for employee-initiated expenses and how to track all employee-initiated spending. In this, management of costs is included mainly for corporate travel, accommodation, meals, flights, and car rentals. What is expense management automation? Expense management automation encourages services like collection, storage, submission, reporting to function automatically. It implies the use of analytical tools to help companies maintain accountability and compliance through accurate tracking and reporting process. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is a travel and expense policy?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "A travel and expense policy is a set of rules that covers the process of reimbursement and claims for expenses that are incurred by employees on corporate travel plans. This policy outlines how a company’s employees should set procedures for corporate travel." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is business travel management?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Business travel management includes policies that set a company’s function in a strategic way. It includes various types of contracts made with airlines, hotel chains, rental car companies, and other business travel related management services." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is expense management?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Expense management works according to two key elements—how a business pays for employee-initiated expenses and how to track all employee-initiated spending. In this, management of costs is included mainly for corporate travel, accommodation, meals, flights, and car rentals." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is expense management automation?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Expense management automation encourages services like collection, storage, submission, reporting to function automatically. It implies the use of analytical tools to help companies maintain accountability and compliance through accurate tracking and reporting process." } }] }

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Hospitality Management

Flight Chaos: Call Centers Turn to AI for Help

Article | July 19, 2023

In recent weeks, call centers have struggled to keep up with consumer complaints about a large number of delayed and canceled flights. As a result, some are turning to automation, specifically an artificial intelligence program based on advanced natural language processing (NLP). In April 2022 alone, the US Department of Transportation received 5,079 complaints about airline service, a more than 320 percent increase from the same month three years prior. Travel Industry Chasing Task Automation and Personalized Customer Service Customers cannot reach customer service representatives without struggling, waiting as long as eight hours because of cancelled or delayed flights. This situation makes call centers seek the help of conversational AI solutions that offer task automation and personalized customer service powered by NLP. NLP improves linguistic interpretation skills and response rate. In contrast to a traditional interactive voice response structure, which walks callers through a series of menus, modern conversational AI solutions immediately ask callers how they can help and quickly get them the right answer. With the help of an AI-powered solution, call center employees aren’t overwhelmed by lower-level, less complicated queries and can rely on AI to do mundane tasks that consume their time. In addition, customers can help themselves through the automation. Any complex, emotionally-driven conversations are directed to human contact centers automatically. An Airline Uses Mosaicx to Enhance the Customer Experience Intrado, a company that provides an artificial program called Mosaicx, helped an airline client decrease its call abandonment rates by 60%. The solution supports 20 languages, so global clients can be handled seamlessly. AI-powered Call Centers will be Common in the Travel Industry Businesses are swiftly adopting AI-powered conversational solutions to address the spike in flight cancellations and delays due to pilot shortage, the Great Resignation, and the permanent shift to remote working.

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Hospitality Management

Top 7 Hospitality Management Certification and Courses

Article | July 4, 2023

Embark on transformative journey through top hospitality management certification in the tourism and hospitality industry. Elevate career prospects with industry-recognized hospitality certification. The hospitality industry is a dynamic and fast-growing sector that requires skilled professionals to deliver exceptional guest experiences and drive business success. Whether you are an aspiring hospitality professional or a seasoned industry expert looking to expand your knowledge and enhance your career prospects, pursuing a hospitality management certification or course can be a valuable investment. Hospitality management courses are short-term, specialized training programs designed to offer learner with a comprehensive understanding of hotel management and the hospitality industry. 1. Management Foundations in the Hospitality Industry Experience a transformative journey in hospitality management with the hospitality management certification, Management Foundations in the Hospitality Industry. This advanced course caters to industry experts, equipping them with a comprehensive understanding of motivation, leadership, communication, decision-making, and effective human resources management. Delve into service-driven excellence, ethics, social responsibility, and enhancing consumer experiences. This course consists of four modules covering resource allocation, talent recruitment, interviewing, employee training, performance appraisals, and liability avoidance. To solidify your knowledge, the course features curated readings, interactive discussions, and practice quizzes. Elevate your professional prowess and unlock new horizons in the dynamic hospitality industry. 2. Guest Service in Hospitality and Tourism Enhance your hospitality and tourism industry expertise with the exclusive certification in hospitality management, Guest Service in Hospitality and Tourism. This advanced course caters to industry experts, equipping them with essential skills and knowledge to excel in customer service. Dive into the intricacies of greeting guests with finesse, responding adeptly to complaints, and creating unforgettable experiences. From maintaining composure in challenging situations to demonstrating empathy, you'll master the art of exceptional service. With this course, you can learn and leverage practical strategies to handle common grievances, ensuring guest satisfaction at every turn. This certification program will unlock a world of opportunities in the dynamic field of hospitality management. 3. Introduction to Hospitality Management Embark on a transformative journey with a certificate in hospitality titled, Introduction to Hospitality Management. As you transition into a managerial role, renowned restaurant consultant Mike Ganino shares expert insights in this comprehensive online course. Acquire essential skills, from preparing for your first day as a manager to effective task prioritization, delegation, and confident leadership. This 30m 35s online course will help you to optimize staff rostering, master multitasking, and ensure exceptional service standards. Gain expertise in handling challenging situations with demanding customers and effectively respond to customer feedback. With this course you can unlock new possibilities and elevate hospitality management career. 4. Hospitality Management Cornell Certificate Program Uplift in the hospitality industry with Hospitality Management Cornell Certificate Program. As one of the premier hospitality courses developed by the renowned School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University, this advanced certification equips industry experts with the essential skills and best practices to excel in management roles. From finance and marketing to team building and guest loyalty, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of every facet of hospitality management. The course allows one to learn from renowned experts and participate in virtual Zoom sessions, exploring the industry's trending topics. This certificate program is for a duration of three months, divided into weekly modules of three to five hours per week. 5. Teamwork in the Hospitality Industry Embrace the power of effective teamwork in the dynamic hospitality industry with the comprehensive Teamwork in the Hospitality Industry course to improve your work experience. As a hospitality industry expert, one must understand teamwork's crucial role in enhancing work experiences and driving success. In this microlearning program, organized with four lessons to fit seamlessly into a busy schedule, you'll develop the essential teamwork skills required to thrive in the fast-paced hospitality environment. From understanding the significance of effective communication within teams to practical applications and navigating noisy environments, this course empowers you to elevate collaboration and deliver exceptional results. 6. Understanding Travel and Tourism One of the best hospitality and tourism management certifications, The Understanding Travel and Tourism, a course published by NuYew, is one of the best hospitality management programs to enhance expertise in the thriving world of travel and tourism. This course provides a platform for learners and industry experts to gain valuable insights into the travel industry's fundamentals, benefits, and terminology. Acquire the essential skills necessary for success in this dynamic field and discover renowned global tourist destinations and attractions. In addition, the course also includes the intricacies of business travel, hygiene standards, food safety, and event planning within the hospitality and catering industry. 7. Accounting and Financial Management for Travel Agencies Overcome the difficulties of managing the travel and hospitality businesses' accounting transactions or financial statements with Accounting and Financial Management for Travel Agencies. Designed to help industry experts boost their financial management skills, this course will equip you with the knowledge to navigate accounting transactions effectively, interpret financial statements, and make strategic decisions that drive profitability. With the combination of practical case studies and interactive simulations, the course has been created to develop a deep understanding of accounting principles and learn proven strategies for financial success. Whether aiming to meet investment requirements or comply with industry regulators like IATA, this course ensures you have the skills to manage the agency's financial health. Summing Up Learning has become more accessible and convenient than ever before thanks to the advancements in technology. By embracing the listed hospitality management courses, individuals can equip themselves with the necessary skills and knowledge to thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of the hospitality industry. As we move forward, it is evident that continuous learning and upskilling will be crucial in staying relevant and competitive. The online hotel management certification allows professionals to adapt to the changing demands of the industry and stay ahead of the curve. By harnessing the power of digital platforms and innovative learning methods, individuals can unlock new opportunities and pave the way for a successful career in hospitality management.

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Spotlight

SUNRATE

SUNRATE is the intelligent global payment and treasury management platform for businesses worldwide. Since its inception in 2016, we are recognised as a leading solutions provider and have enabled companies in 130+ companies with our cutting-edge proprietary platform, extensive global network, and robust APIs to scale both local and global growth. With its global headquarters in Singapore and offices in China, Indonesia, Japan and UK, SUNRATE partners with the top global financial institutions, such as Citibank, Standard Chartered, Barclays and is the principal member of both Mastercard and Visa. We are licensed and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority of the UK, the Bank Indonesia, the Hong Kong Customs as a Money Service Operator, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore as a Major Payment Institution.

Related News

Hospitality Trends, Hospitality Management

Sonesta Announces First Sonesta Es Suites Ground Up Development

PR Newswire | January 24, 2024

Sonesta International Hotels Corporation (Sonesta) today announced plans for the construction of a new Sonesta ES Suites in Port Charlotte, Florida. This new property, expected to open in Spring 2025, marks the first Sonesta ES Suites brand project developed from the ground up. "We are excited that Sonesta ES Suites Port Charlotte will be our first purpose-built location for the brand," said Brian Quinn, Sonesta's Chief Development Officer. "The Sonesta ES Suites brand stands out as an attractive choice for franchisees looking for an upscale option to capitalize on the continued dependable performance of extended stay hotels." "Sonesta ES Suites Port Charlotte will benefit business travelers and tourists who are looking for accommodations near the beaches, golf courses, parks and other attractions that Port Charlotte has to offer," said Alan Lane, one of Sonesta ES Suites Port Charlotte's owners. "The addition of Sonesta ES Suites Port Charlotte to our diverse portfolio reflects Commonwealth Hotels' unwavering commitment to providing an unparalleled guest experience through visionary development, ethical practices and a steadfast dedication to superior service," said Jennifer Porter, President of Commonwealth Hotels, the hotel's management company. To be located at 1321 Claburn Circle in Port Charlotte, Florida, the Sonesta ES Suites Port Charlotte will be an upscale extended-stay hotel spanning four floors and offering 117 rooms with amenities including breakfast and dining services, an outdoor pool, fitness room, market pantry, guest laundry, onsite parking and more. The location of the new hotel is close to over 20 colleges and universities, two hospitals, more than 70 parks and recreational spaces, more than 12 miles of beaches, 14 golf courses and numerous other attractions. Guests of this location will be able to earn or redeem points in the award winning Sonesta Travel Pass loyalty program.

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Travel Technology, Airlines and Airports

Trip.com Group and LATAM Airlines Group Partner to Enhance Travel Experience Through NDC Technology

PR Newswire | January 22, 2024

Trip.com Group, a leading travel service provider, announced today the signing of a new NDC agreement with LATAM Airlines Group. This agreement between the two companies aims to provide a contemporary and streamlined ticketing experience for global travellers. It also offers unparalleled connectivity to over 144 destinations covered by LATAM Airlines across 22 countries and regions, including Latin America, the Caribbean, North America, Europe, Africa, and Oceania. The key benefit of this agreement is the adoption of NDC standard technology. This technology gives customers access to a complete and more comprehensive selection of airline offerings and the option to buy additional products, services, and add-ons such as baggage allowance and seats. Moreover, customers can access a broader range of ancillary services and more detailed information by browsing the change and cancellation policy section during checkout, leading to improved Trip.com Group and LATAM Airlines Group's after-sales services. Juan Villanova, Sales Manager of Trip.com for Spain and Latin America, comments: "Trip.com is a cutting-edge online travel company that leads the way in technology. Our commitment is to improve our product offerings to guarantee the highest customer satisfaction. With this tech solution, our passengers will have access to an improved and more competitive selection of flights and products." The agreement will include integrating a shopping engine for ticket sales via some of Trip.com Group's leading brands, offering a cost advantage to both suppliers and customers. Henk Van der Velde, Regional Director for Southern Europe and Latin America for Trip.com Group's flight Department, adds: "We are delighted to collaborate with LATAM Airlines Group in the implementation of an NDC standard, and offer solutions for everyone via a shopping engine, which has yielded excellent results. I look forward to continuing this collaboration and bringing new features that positively impact our customer's travel experience." Andreas Schek, Vice President of Sales and Branding of LATAM Airlines Group, adds: "We are proud of this collaboration with Trip.com Group on the implementation of the NDC standard, as it allows us to explore ways to enhance its efficiency further. This is a significant milestone in the future of distribution that will benefit our global customers."

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Travel Technology, Destination and Tourism

Exodus Adventure Travels Announces New Trips in Partnership with Royal Canadian Geographic Society

PR Newswire | January 23, 2024

Exodus Adventure Travels, the international award-winning leader in adventure travel, today announced its new 2024 RCGS Quests trips, a series of expert-led tours developed in partnership with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. These limited edition, small group trips are what travel legends are made of – adventures that are designed to offer travelers unparalleled opportunities to explore some of the planet's most awe-inspiring destinations and led by noted hosts in their respective fields. This year's line-up features such noted hosts as World Elephant Day co-founder, Patricia Sims; bestselling author, Robin Esrock; Indigenous education advocate, Charlene Bearhead, and others. "We are honored to partner with The Royal Canadian Geographical Society on these highly anticipated adventures," said Sam Seward, President at Exodus Adventure Travels. "This is our third year operating our RCGS Quests program, with continued demand to explore further and experience more, pushing these trips to new heights and featuring another stellar line-up of hosts to add even more depth to each itinerary." Exodus' 2024 RCGS Quests Series features the following six adventures: RCGS: Highlights of the Amalfi Coast with Scott Forsyth Discover the land of la dolce vita for a wondrous week on the Amalfi Coast led by an expert local guide and hosted by professional photographer and fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Scott Forsyth. Explore one of Europe's most dramatic stretches of coastline and be spellbound by this land's natural beauty and cultural treasures. The Host: Scott Forsyth is an award-winning photographer who specializes in Canadian landscapes. Devoted to exploring Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific and Arctic Ocean coastlines, Scott is a Fellow of both the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and the Explorer's Club and is Canadian Geographic's Photographer-In-Residence. Eight-day itinerary priced from $2,240 USD. Departing April 6, 2024 RCGS: Classic Kenya 4WD Safari with Patricia Sims No country, perhaps, is more synonymous with a classic African safari than Kenya. Step into scenes from 'Out of Africa' as you explore Kenya's best safari sites led by an expert local safari guide and hosted by award-winning Canadian filmmaker, Royal Canadian Geographical Society fellow and World Elephant Day co-founder, Patricia Sims. The Host: Patricia Sims is the co-founder of the annual World Elephant Day (Aug. 12), a global awareness campaign that brings attention to the critical threats facing elephants. From swimming with wild dolphins and whales in oceans around the world to getting up close and personal with monkeys in the jungles of Borneo and elephants of Thailand, Patricia is also an award-winning filmmaker who always has a passionate eye on conservation. Patricia is a Fellow International of The Explorers Club and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Seven-day itinerary priced from US$4,649 Departing August 10, 2024 RCGS: A Week in Jordan with Sarah Legault Explore the wondrous historical and archaeological highlights of Jordan on this week-long adventure. From the incredible history of the Wadi Rum Desert to strolling through ancient Roman cities and floating in the Dead Sea, this Jordanian adventure contains all the highlights of this fascinating country. It is led by an expert local guide and hosted by Vice President of Philanthropy for the RCGS, Sarah Legault. The Host: Sarah Legault has been the head of advancement at the Royal Canadian Geographical Society since 2018 and has worked at charitable organizations throughout her career. Her vast understanding of the Society, Canadian Geographic and all associated programs is extraordinary. As the current Vice President of Philanthropy and Fellow of the RCGS, Sarah's mission-aligned values of environment, people, culture, and geographical literacy support engaging and forward-thinking initiatives which she always is keen to share and discuss. Seven-day itinerary priced from US$2,550 Departing October 19, 2024 RCGS: Rome, Assisi & Magical Umbria – Premium Adventure with Robin Esrock Explore Rome and Assisi's historic landmarks and classical ruins. Walk through Italy's unspoiled countryside staying in a picturesque four-star resort in the hills of Umbria, led by an expert local guide and hosted by bestselling author, TV host, public speaker and Royal Canadian Geographical Society Fellow Robin Esrock. The Host: Dubbed "King of the Bucket List" by Travel + Leisure, Robin Esrock's success as a global adventurer, travel writer, bestselling author and international TV personality started with a one-year solo round-the-world backpacking adventure to 24 countries. During this year, Robin uploaded weekly reports, photography, videos, reviews, and interviews with every person he met. In doing so, he ushered in a new era of multi-platform, switched-on wired-in travel journalism, leading to adventures beyond his wildest dreams. Robin's stories have been published in noted publications worldwide, including National Geographic Traveler, The Guardian, Chicago Tribune, Toronto Star, Reader's Digest, and more. Eight-day itinerary priced from US$4,050 Departing October 19, 2024 RCGS: Egypt Nile Cruise with Charlene Bearhead Follow in the footsteps of the ancient pharaohs and ride the sands of time back thousands of years on this classic Egypt Nile cruise led by an expert local guide and hosted by Indigenous education advocate, author, Vice President of Learning and Reconciliation at Canadian Geographic, and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Charlene Bearhead. With ancient tombs and mysteries around every bend, unrivaled legacy and mind-blowing history await. The Host: Charlene Bearhead is an Indigenous education advocate and author with over 30 years of regional, national and international experience. Previously Charlene served as education days coordinator for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, education coordinator for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, education advisor for the Canadian Geographic Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada, a member of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights Indigenous Education working group, and the first education lead for both the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba and the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre at UBC. She is also the co-author of the children's book series Siha Tooskin Knows. Eight-day itinerary priced from US$2,380 Departing November 16, 2024 RCGS: Highlights of Vietnam with Lynn Moorman Discover the complex culture and history of Vietnam on this intoxicating exploration of Vietnamese life highlighted by superb landscapes and amazing cuisine. Led by an expert local guide and hosted by Lynn Moorman, a lifelong geographer with a love for exploring remote landscapes and environments. The Host: Lynn Moorman is a prominent geographer and a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Mount Royal University, in Calgary, Canada. Lynn's teaching and research interests lie at the intersection of geography, learning sciences and applied visualization technologies, including virtual and augmented reality. Her work has taken her to the highlands of northern Vietnam, to map agricultural productivity, to the frozen Arctic Ocean where she works with Inuit in Canadian Arctic communities to use near-real time satellite imagery to keep ice travel safe. Lynn is a Fellow, former Board member and current Chair of the Research Committee of the RCGS. 10-day itinerary priced from US$2,170 Departing November 17, 2024

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Hospitality Trends, Hospitality Management

Sonesta Announces First Sonesta Es Suites Ground Up Development

PR Newswire | January 24, 2024

Sonesta International Hotels Corporation (Sonesta) today announced plans for the construction of a new Sonesta ES Suites in Port Charlotte, Florida. This new property, expected to open in Spring 2025, marks the first Sonesta ES Suites brand project developed from the ground up. "We are excited that Sonesta ES Suites Port Charlotte will be our first purpose-built location for the brand," said Brian Quinn, Sonesta's Chief Development Officer. "The Sonesta ES Suites brand stands out as an attractive choice for franchisees looking for an upscale option to capitalize on the continued dependable performance of extended stay hotels." "Sonesta ES Suites Port Charlotte will benefit business travelers and tourists who are looking for accommodations near the beaches, golf courses, parks and other attractions that Port Charlotte has to offer," said Alan Lane, one of Sonesta ES Suites Port Charlotte's owners. "The addition of Sonesta ES Suites Port Charlotte to our diverse portfolio reflects Commonwealth Hotels' unwavering commitment to providing an unparalleled guest experience through visionary development, ethical practices and a steadfast dedication to superior service," said Jennifer Porter, President of Commonwealth Hotels, the hotel's management company. To be located at 1321 Claburn Circle in Port Charlotte, Florida, the Sonesta ES Suites Port Charlotte will be an upscale extended-stay hotel spanning four floors and offering 117 rooms with amenities including breakfast and dining services, an outdoor pool, fitness room, market pantry, guest laundry, onsite parking and more. The location of the new hotel is close to over 20 colleges and universities, two hospitals, more than 70 parks and recreational spaces, more than 12 miles of beaches, 14 golf courses and numerous other attractions. Guests of this location will be able to earn or redeem points in the award winning Sonesta Travel Pass loyalty program.

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Travel Technology, Airlines and Airports

Trip.com Group and LATAM Airlines Group Partner to Enhance Travel Experience Through NDC Technology

PR Newswire | January 22, 2024

Trip.com Group, a leading travel service provider, announced today the signing of a new NDC agreement with LATAM Airlines Group. This agreement between the two companies aims to provide a contemporary and streamlined ticketing experience for global travellers. It also offers unparalleled connectivity to over 144 destinations covered by LATAM Airlines across 22 countries and regions, including Latin America, the Caribbean, North America, Europe, Africa, and Oceania. The key benefit of this agreement is the adoption of NDC standard technology. This technology gives customers access to a complete and more comprehensive selection of airline offerings and the option to buy additional products, services, and add-ons such as baggage allowance and seats. Moreover, customers can access a broader range of ancillary services and more detailed information by browsing the change and cancellation policy section during checkout, leading to improved Trip.com Group and LATAM Airlines Group's after-sales services. Juan Villanova, Sales Manager of Trip.com for Spain and Latin America, comments: "Trip.com is a cutting-edge online travel company that leads the way in technology. Our commitment is to improve our product offerings to guarantee the highest customer satisfaction. With this tech solution, our passengers will have access to an improved and more competitive selection of flights and products." The agreement will include integrating a shopping engine for ticket sales via some of Trip.com Group's leading brands, offering a cost advantage to both suppliers and customers. Henk Van der Velde, Regional Director for Southern Europe and Latin America for Trip.com Group's flight Department, adds: "We are delighted to collaborate with LATAM Airlines Group in the implementation of an NDC standard, and offer solutions for everyone via a shopping engine, which has yielded excellent results. I look forward to continuing this collaboration and bringing new features that positively impact our customer's travel experience." Andreas Schek, Vice President of Sales and Branding of LATAM Airlines Group, adds: "We are proud of this collaboration with Trip.com Group on the implementation of the NDC standard, as it allows us to explore ways to enhance its efficiency further. This is a significant milestone in the future of distribution that will benefit our global customers."

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Travel Technology, Destination and Tourism

Exodus Adventure Travels Announces New Trips in Partnership with Royal Canadian Geographic Society

PR Newswire | January 23, 2024

Exodus Adventure Travels, the international award-winning leader in adventure travel, today announced its new 2024 RCGS Quests trips, a series of expert-led tours developed in partnership with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. These limited edition, small group trips are what travel legends are made of – adventures that are designed to offer travelers unparalleled opportunities to explore some of the planet's most awe-inspiring destinations and led by noted hosts in their respective fields. This year's line-up features such noted hosts as World Elephant Day co-founder, Patricia Sims; bestselling author, Robin Esrock; Indigenous education advocate, Charlene Bearhead, and others. "We are honored to partner with The Royal Canadian Geographical Society on these highly anticipated adventures," said Sam Seward, President at Exodus Adventure Travels. "This is our third year operating our RCGS Quests program, with continued demand to explore further and experience more, pushing these trips to new heights and featuring another stellar line-up of hosts to add even more depth to each itinerary." Exodus' 2024 RCGS Quests Series features the following six adventures: RCGS: Highlights of the Amalfi Coast with Scott Forsyth Discover the land of la dolce vita for a wondrous week on the Amalfi Coast led by an expert local guide and hosted by professional photographer and fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Scott Forsyth. Explore one of Europe's most dramatic stretches of coastline and be spellbound by this land's natural beauty and cultural treasures. The Host: Scott Forsyth is an award-winning photographer who specializes in Canadian landscapes. Devoted to exploring Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific and Arctic Ocean coastlines, Scott is a Fellow of both the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and the Explorer's Club and is Canadian Geographic's Photographer-In-Residence. Eight-day itinerary priced from $2,240 USD. Departing April 6, 2024 RCGS: Classic Kenya 4WD Safari with Patricia Sims No country, perhaps, is more synonymous with a classic African safari than Kenya. Step into scenes from 'Out of Africa' as you explore Kenya's best safari sites led by an expert local safari guide and hosted by award-winning Canadian filmmaker, Royal Canadian Geographical Society fellow and World Elephant Day co-founder, Patricia Sims. The Host: Patricia Sims is the co-founder of the annual World Elephant Day (Aug. 12), a global awareness campaign that brings attention to the critical threats facing elephants. From swimming with wild dolphins and whales in oceans around the world to getting up close and personal with monkeys in the jungles of Borneo and elephants of Thailand, Patricia is also an award-winning filmmaker who always has a passionate eye on conservation. Patricia is a Fellow International of The Explorers Club and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Seven-day itinerary priced from US$4,649 Departing August 10, 2024 RCGS: A Week in Jordan with Sarah Legault Explore the wondrous historical and archaeological highlights of Jordan on this week-long adventure. From the incredible history of the Wadi Rum Desert to strolling through ancient Roman cities and floating in the Dead Sea, this Jordanian adventure contains all the highlights of this fascinating country. It is led by an expert local guide and hosted by Vice President of Philanthropy for the RCGS, Sarah Legault. The Host: Sarah Legault has been the head of advancement at the Royal Canadian Geographical Society since 2018 and has worked at charitable organizations throughout her career. Her vast understanding of the Society, Canadian Geographic and all associated programs is extraordinary. As the current Vice President of Philanthropy and Fellow of the RCGS, Sarah's mission-aligned values of environment, people, culture, and geographical literacy support engaging and forward-thinking initiatives which she always is keen to share and discuss. Seven-day itinerary priced from US$2,550 Departing October 19, 2024 RCGS: Rome, Assisi & Magical Umbria – Premium Adventure with Robin Esrock Explore Rome and Assisi's historic landmarks and classical ruins. Walk through Italy's unspoiled countryside staying in a picturesque four-star resort in the hills of Umbria, led by an expert local guide and hosted by bestselling author, TV host, public speaker and Royal Canadian Geographical Society Fellow Robin Esrock. The Host: Dubbed "King of the Bucket List" by Travel + Leisure, Robin Esrock's success as a global adventurer, travel writer, bestselling author and international TV personality started with a one-year solo round-the-world backpacking adventure to 24 countries. During this year, Robin uploaded weekly reports, photography, videos, reviews, and interviews with every person he met. In doing so, he ushered in a new era of multi-platform, switched-on wired-in travel journalism, leading to adventures beyond his wildest dreams. Robin's stories have been published in noted publications worldwide, including National Geographic Traveler, The Guardian, Chicago Tribune, Toronto Star, Reader's Digest, and more. Eight-day itinerary priced from US$4,050 Departing October 19, 2024 RCGS: Egypt Nile Cruise with Charlene Bearhead Follow in the footsteps of the ancient pharaohs and ride the sands of time back thousands of years on this classic Egypt Nile cruise led by an expert local guide and hosted by Indigenous education advocate, author, Vice President of Learning and Reconciliation at Canadian Geographic, and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Charlene Bearhead. With ancient tombs and mysteries around every bend, unrivaled legacy and mind-blowing history await. The Host: Charlene Bearhead is an Indigenous education advocate and author with over 30 years of regional, national and international experience. Previously Charlene served as education days coordinator for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, education coordinator for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, education advisor for the Canadian Geographic Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada, a member of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights Indigenous Education working group, and the first education lead for both the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba and the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre at UBC. She is also the co-author of the children's book series Siha Tooskin Knows. Eight-day itinerary priced from US$2,380 Departing November 16, 2024 RCGS: Highlights of Vietnam with Lynn Moorman Discover the complex culture and history of Vietnam on this intoxicating exploration of Vietnamese life highlighted by superb landscapes and amazing cuisine. Led by an expert local guide and hosted by Lynn Moorman, a lifelong geographer with a love for exploring remote landscapes and environments. The Host: Lynn Moorman is a prominent geographer and a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Mount Royal University, in Calgary, Canada. Lynn's teaching and research interests lie at the intersection of geography, learning sciences and applied visualization technologies, including virtual and augmented reality. Her work has taken her to the highlands of northern Vietnam, to map agricultural productivity, to the frozen Arctic Ocean where she works with Inuit in Canadian Arctic communities to use near-real time satellite imagery to keep ice travel safe. Lynn is a Fellow, former Board member and current Chair of the Research Committee of the RCGS. 10-day itinerary priced from US$2,170 Departing November 17, 2024

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Events