In Sri Lanka, hoteliers struggle as cancellations pile up

MUJIB MASHAL AND KAI SCHULTZ | May 8, 2019 | 155 views

WERAPITIYA, Sri Lanka — Tucked away behind a ridge, surrounded by lush mountains where 45 bird species chirp, is a luxury resort that sells peace of mind for about $900 a night. The resort, Santani, opened in 2017 here in Sri Lanka, and quickly received a series of accolades for hotels and spas. Rooms spread across 50 acres were booked continuously, often by celebrities and business tycoons. The influx of jobs and cash transformed the nearby village. The owner purchased 70 additional acres and made plans for an expansion.

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InsideJapan Tours

Established in 2000, InsideJapan Tours is a market-leading Japan travel specialist, offering unique group tours, tailored travel and cultural experiences in Japan. Our team have had years of experience living, working and travelling in Japan, and we offer unrivalled advice and support - whatever your budget or personal interests.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY, INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Bump Revenue with Flight Ticket Reservation System

Article | July 13, 2022

Flight carriers across the world are constantly processing bookings from travelers. To keep up with the demand, they need to be on top of everything. Technological advances have helped airline reservations move away from a manual system. At a time when commercial aviation relied on physical systems, they offered tickets through dedicated reservation centers dotting popular cities. Such facilities had employees to assign paper tickets to travelers. These paper tickets represented the sale of a seat on a flight. But as more and more people could afford air travel, alterations became necessary and a stressful process. The challenges in airline reservation were mostly related to mobility, alterations, and refund and the solution was an online flight ticket reservation system that addressed them all at once. Cut to 2022. Today, we book flight tickets on-the-go using an automated passenger reservation system, thanks to the computerized reservation systems that are crucial for any airline company or tour operator to offer outstanding customer experience to travelers. Airline Reservation System: Getting into the Nitty-gritty The airline industry is not an exception to cut-throat competition, as the number of airline companies has seen a rapid increase in the last few decades. Every company is trying to adopt a new technological solution or business strategy that can help generate higher revenue, offer its customers a satisfying customer experience, and remain up-to-speed with the dynamic demands of the industry. This need to stay ahead of the game led to the creation of the airline reservation system. An airline reservation system is a web-based flight booking engine used to conduct flight bookings. The bookings are made by collating information such as airline schedules, fare tariffs, passenger reservations, and PNRs with the help of global distribution systems. This system provides real-time inventory and rates for travel agents and travelers so they can choose from the many options available. Flight Ticket Reservation System Streamlines Flight Booking Processes A flight reservation system streamlines air ticket booking with key features that make it easy for a travel agent or traveler to book a ticket from their computers or phones. Here are the components of online flight ticket reservation system: Reservation Management Inventory Management Multi-city search Option Payment Gateway Integration A Mobile-friendly design A Customizable System Online Reservation Facility Multi-language Compatibility Why Airline Companies and Tour Providers Depend on Travel Tech Providers? Airline companies like yours make it a point to use a computer reservation system to achieve their revenue goals. Tour operators also rely heavily on flight ticket reservation system so that they can offer their end customers a platform for mobile airline reservation. Let us take a look at the many ways an online flight ticket reservation systems has changed the airline industry: Bookings Don’t Have to Wait Tour operators and travelers can buy flight tickets 24/7 without having to visit a physical counter. This increases convenience and makes the process of booking a ticket hassle-free. Consequently, your business remains available for your customers through your flight ticket reservation system provider around the clock, so they don’t have to struggle to book the ticket. Your Staff Can Focus on More Important Tasks With the help of an online booking system, you can reduce the administrative time that your staff spends on tedious filing and noting down customer information. Easily automate key tasks such as payments, report generations, waiver signing, and reservation and let your staff focus on other important tasks. Additionally, customer success teams can give their time to important issues than mitigating smaller challenges. API Integrations are Your Best Friend Online booking systems allow API integrations with large distributors and well-known brands within the travel sector. This can make your airline visible to a larger customer base. Such tech integrations can get you more bookings and help you with branding. Offer an Enhanced Customer Experience When you integrate flight ticket reservation system solution into your website, you offer end customers a seamless experience. They are in charge of the entire process, right from exploring the flights you offer to checking-in at a time that is convenient for them. Get Insights into Your Business You can get valuable insights through the analytics dashboard that tells you about popular sellers, add-ons, time-slots, and seasons using a flight ticket reservation system technology. You can get a clear idea on what’s working for the customers and what isn’t. You can improve your offerings and business processes to achieve business growth. Last Thoughts Integrating an online flight reservation system into your airline or tour operations business can help you keep up with the current market trends, and grow your sales and market share.

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL, INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Which Technologies Are Transforming Travel in 2020?

Article | July 13, 2022

Like most industries, the travel and tourism sector is experiencing a tech revolution. Innovative new technology is disrupting old methods and transforming the shape of the industry. In fact, the travel and tourism sector is in a significant growth period, mostly driven by tech advancements. Certainly, tech has been the driving force behind making it easier for people to access travel. Of course, the notion of technology reshaping industries is something that is happening across sectors. When looking at how tech is changing travel, we can also see similar movements in other areas of business. For example, the gambling industry is being driven into interesting new areas by technology, with sites like bet-ny.com providing a full casino experience online. This push has allowed people to access betting in innovative new ways and from anywhere at any time, provided they have an internet connection.

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AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

Why tourism providers are still working on travel personalisation

Article | July 12, 2022

It should come as no surprise that even as we enter the new decade, industries such as retail and travel are seeing continued investments in digital platforms and solutions aimed at delivering hyper personalisation. The reason is that millennials have risen in purchasing power, becoming the dominant driver of business and growth. Any business that market its products or services to this audience must adapt and develop innovative approaches to address dramatic shifts in customer behaviour, as well as the demands for mobile and social media.

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Travel tech pros put sustainability behind economy as key challenges for 2020

Article | February 10, 2020

Economic uncertainty is deemed to be the biggest challenge facing the travel industry, ahead of climate change and sustainability issues, according to new research. A survey by Travel Technology Europe, sister brand of PhocusWire, reveals that 53% of those polled put economic conditions at the top of the list of concerns followed by sustainable travel at 45% and climate change at 44%. The study was carried out in the run-up to the United Kingdom's general election in early December 2019, so the challenge of economic uncertainty is not that surprising.

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Spotlight

InsideJapan Tours

Established in 2000, InsideJapan Tours is a market-leading Japan travel specialist, offering unique group tours, tailored travel and cultural experiences in Japan. Our team have had years of experience living, working and travelling in Japan, and we offer unrivalled advice and support - whatever your budget or personal interests.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Hotel Payment Software Platform Selfbook Announces a Strategic Investment from Amex Ventures

Selfbook | December 09, 2022

Selfbook, a unique, comprehensive hotel payment software platform bringing direct bookings and modern payment technology to hotels worldwide, announced a strategic investment from Amex Ventures. The investment follows a $40 million Series A and A+ round led by Tiger GlobalThis announcement highlights Selfbook’s continuous growth within the hospitality space. As it continues to broaden its reach in the travel industry, Selfbook looks forward to working with American Express following this investment. Selfbook enables hotels to offer guests a seamless, one-step checkout experience directly on their websites while elevating the user experience and streamlining the payment process for hotels, which can increase conversion and boost revenue. Selfbook also groups multiple services, such as restaurant reservations, spa appointments and activities, into a single payment flow to easily drive upsells. “The American Express brand is synonymous with global travel and payment security, and we are thrilled to have Amex Ventures be part of our investor base, As hotels around the world continue to use Selfbook to offer a guest-first booking experience and secure payments, the investment from American Express will help us deepen our global presence and provide even more effective payment tools for our partners.” -Khalid Meniri, Co-Founder and CEO of Selfbook We are constantly on the lookout for innovative technologies that enhance and elevate the travel and payments experience,” said Margaret Lim, Managing Director of Amex Ventures. “We believe Selfbook is driving hotel bookings and payments into the future with their elegant checkout experience, intuitive user interface, and robust support for modern payment methods preferred by guests through a unified platform that seamlessly integrates with existing hospitality software. About Selfbook Uniquely positioned at the intersection of fintech and hospitality, Selfbook revolutionizes hotel bookings and payments from the inside out. Working in tandem with hotels’ existing technology systems, Selfbook enhances what matters most to hotels, including direct conversion, revenue, cash flow control, and security. Built by a team of hospitality veterans, Selfbook’s products provide a refreshingly effortless user experience for guests and hoteliers alike. Selfbook is committed to empowering hotels worldwide with modern e-commerce solutions tailor-made for our industry.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Shoopit, the New Flight Scanning Search Engine, Releases 2022 Consumer Travel Survey

Shoopit | December 09, 2022

Innovative flight search engine and browser extension, shoopit, has released its 2022 Consumer Travel Survey. The project was undertaken to uncover the habits of UK travellers in the face of difficult economic challenges, showing that while those most affected by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis may delay their flight bookings, they still say that they’re likely to travel at least once in the next 12 months. The survey was conducted among 2003 UK consumers who have bought a plane ticket in the last five years to determine how their travel habits have changed and where their priorities lie. The interviews were conducted by Sapio Research on behalf of shoopit in November 2022. The key results of the survey are detailed below: Pre-COVID-19 pandemic (pre-2019) travelling habits: In the past five years, respondents who had travelled by plane for either ‘holiday’ or ‘business’ took two trips per year. Respondents spent an average of nine nights abroad on a ‘holiday trip’, and two nights abroad on a ‘business trip’. Post-COVID-19 pandemic travelling habits: Since the pandemic, respondents are 57% less likely to take as frequent trips abroad as they were prior to Covid-19. The survey also shows that respondents are more likely to travel shorter distances and have 51% less budget for travel expenses. Future travelling: Over the next 12 months respondents intend to make two ‘holiday trips’ and one ‘business trip’, with individuals expecting to spend on average nine nights abroad for a ‘holiday trip’ and four nights abroad for a ‘business trip’. However, on average those who are ‘extremely affected’ by the cost of living crisis only intend to travel once in 2023. Impact of the cost-of-living crisis on travelling: On average, respondents would consider themselves less likely to book a flight when the price increases by 17%, while for those ‘very affected’ by the cost-of-living crisis, this threshold decreases to 15%. Furthermore, 55% are less likely to travel abroad in the next 12 months and 32% have delayed booking a trip due to the cost-of-living crisis. This increases to 42% for those ‘extremely affected’ by the cost-of-living crisis. Impact on the environment: Travellers are evermore becoming conscious of their carbon footprint with 40% of respondents most likely to book direct flights. In addition, 78% of people will not be taking business trips as opposed to only 32% prior to covid, highlighting the shift businesses have taken towards non-essential travel. To check out the survey in more detail and to see how people’s flight booking habits have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis, download the full report here. About Shoopit Shoopit is a search engine and browser extension that acts as an online shopping optimiser for flight bookings. What makes it unique is that it doesn’t just collect prices like an aggregator. Instead, it scours local versions of global websites to get the best possible prices for its users (the price you’re shown for the same seat on the same flight can vary wildly, depending on where you happen to live!) Born out of a commitment to make the internet transparent, democratic and borderless, Shoopit searches local versions of world’s most popular flight-booking websites, to find the best prices offered, allowing shoopit users to make better, informed purchases online, while at the same time making savings - regardless of where they live or what their IP address is. It launches in the UK, with backing from global online access provider, Hola.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

More Travel Disruption Feared As Passengers Take To The Skies This Holiday Season

IBS Software | December 08, 2022

New data from travel technology company IBS Software reveals that despite more than two thirds (68%) of passengers being inconvenienced by disrupted journeys since COVID travel restrictions were lifted and 66% expecting more of the same during upcoming trips, most (83%) still plan on flying for a break in the next six months. The research, which polled 2000 recent travellers in the UK and US*, warns that holiday providers have one more chance to get it right; if holidaymakers experience disruptions again during their upcoming trips, over half (55%) will avoid booking with the airline in the future. When asked who they blame for their poor experiences, 50% said it was the fault of the airlines when flights were delayed, with just 13% blaming the airport. However, when it comes to lost luggage the jury is out - 42% say it's the airport's responsibility and 40% are seething at the airline. Delayed flights or missed connections was the most common holiday hurdle, affecting over a third of all passengers (35%), followed closely by waiting in longer than normal queues (31%) and cancelled flights (15%). Lost luggage, which dominated the news headlines in the Summer, is confirmed by the research as a major annoyance, blighting nearly 1 in 7 passengers' holidays over the last 18 months. Despite a clear desire to travel, passengers won't accept more disruption without protest. If passengers find out their journey is going to be disrupted, 53% will complain to the airline and 38% will use social media to broadcast their annoyance. And if an airline doesn't have a reputation for punctuality they're likely to lose out with 93% of travellers saying this is an important factor when deciding which airline to buy from. However, there is still an opportunity for airlines to win back the loyalty of their passengers. When terminal turmoil occurs, passengers can be placated by automatic refunds when eligible; proactive customer support to suggest alternative routes; and automatic alerts on their phone when something goes wrong. As one passenger who took the survey commented: "Just actually organise yourselves properly, there's no excuse for all the disruption". Philip Hinton, SVP, IBS Software, comments: "The pent-up desire to travel was always going to put airlines and airports under extreme pressure - and so it proved, with widespread disruption plaguing many long-anticipated journeys. Airlines know this is a major issue and we are seeing them prioritising on-time performance and customer satisfaction because the widespread issues have directly impacted business performance." About IBS Software IBS Software is a leading SaaS solutions provider to the travel industry globally, managing mission-critical operations for customers in the aviation, tour & cruise and hospitality industries. IBS Software's solutions for the aviation industry cover fleet & crew operations, aircraft maintenance, passenger services, loyalty programs, staff travel and air-cargo management. IBS Software also runs a real time B2B and B2C distribution platform providing hotel room inventory, rates and availability to a global network of hospitality companies and channels. For the tour and cruise industry, IBS provides a comprehensive, customer-centric, digital platform that covers onshore, online and on-board solutions. IBS Software is a Blackstone portfolio company and operates from 15 offices across the world. Further information can be found at https://www.ibsplc.com/

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Hotel Payment Software Platform Selfbook Announces a Strategic Investment from Amex Ventures

Selfbook | December 09, 2022

Selfbook, a unique, comprehensive hotel payment software platform bringing direct bookings and modern payment technology to hotels worldwide, announced a strategic investment from Amex Ventures. The investment follows a $40 million Series A and A+ round led by Tiger GlobalThis announcement highlights Selfbook’s continuous growth within the hospitality space. As it continues to broaden its reach in the travel industry, Selfbook looks forward to working with American Express following this investment. Selfbook enables hotels to offer guests a seamless, one-step checkout experience directly on their websites while elevating the user experience and streamlining the payment process for hotels, which can increase conversion and boost revenue. Selfbook also groups multiple services, such as restaurant reservations, spa appointments and activities, into a single payment flow to easily drive upsells. “The American Express brand is synonymous with global travel and payment security, and we are thrilled to have Amex Ventures be part of our investor base, As hotels around the world continue to use Selfbook to offer a guest-first booking experience and secure payments, the investment from American Express will help us deepen our global presence and provide even more effective payment tools for our partners.” -Khalid Meniri, Co-Founder and CEO of Selfbook We are constantly on the lookout for innovative technologies that enhance and elevate the travel and payments experience,” said Margaret Lim, Managing Director of Amex Ventures. “We believe Selfbook is driving hotel bookings and payments into the future with their elegant checkout experience, intuitive user interface, and robust support for modern payment methods preferred by guests through a unified platform that seamlessly integrates with existing hospitality software. About Selfbook Uniquely positioned at the intersection of fintech and hospitality, Selfbook revolutionizes hotel bookings and payments from the inside out. Working in tandem with hotels’ existing technology systems, Selfbook enhances what matters most to hotels, including direct conversion, revenue, cash flow control, and security. Built by a team of hospitality veterans, Selfbook’s products provide a refreshingly effortless user experience for guests and hoteliers alike. Selfbook is committed to empowering hotels worldwide with modern e-commerce solutions tailor-made for our industry.

Read More

INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Shoopit, the New Flight Scanning Search Engine, Releases 2022 Consumer Travel Survey

Shoopit | December 09, 2022

Innovative flight search engine and browser extension, shoopit, has released its 2022 Consumer Travel Survey. The project was undertaken to uncover the habits of UK travellers in the face of difficult economic challenges, showing that while those most affected by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis may delay their flight bookings, they still say that they’re likely to travel at least once in the next 12 months. The survey was conducted among 2003 UK consumers who have bought a plane ticket in the last five years to determine how their travel habits have changed and where their priorities lie. The interviews were conducted by Sapio Research on behalf of shoopit in November 2022. The key results of the survey are detailed below: Pre-COVID-19 pandemic (pre-2019) travelling habits: In the past five years, respondents who had travelled by plane for either ‘holiday’ or ‘business’ took two trips per year. Respondents spent an average of nine nights abroad on a ‘holiday trip’, and two nights abroad on a ‘business trip’. Post-COVID-19 pandemic travelling habits: Since the pandemic, respondents are 57% less likely to take as frequent trips abroad as they were prior to Covid-19. The survey also shows that respondents are more likely to travel shorter distances and have 51% less budget for travel expenses. Future travelling: Over the next 12 months respondents intend to make two ‘holiday trips’ and one ‘business trip’, with individuals expecting to spend on average nine nights abroad for a ‘holiday trip’ and four nights abroad for a ‘business trip’. However, on average those who are ‘extremely affected’ by the cost of living crisis only intend to travel once in 2023. Impact of the cost-of-living crisis on travelling: On average, respondents would consider themselves less likely to book a flight when the price increases by 17%, while for those ‘very affected’ by the cost-of-living crisis, this threshold decreases to 15%. Furthermore, 55% are less likely to travel abroad in the next 12 months and 32% have delayed booking a trip due to the cost-of-living crisis. This increases to 42% for those ‘extremely affected’ by the cost-of-living crisis. Impact on the environment: Travellers are evermore becoming conscious of their carbon footprint with 40% of respondents most likely to book direct flights. In addition, 78% of people will not be taking business trips as opposed to only 32% prior to covid, highlighting the shift businesses have taken towards non-essential travel. To check out the survey in more detail and to see how people’s flight booking habits have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis, download the full report here. About Shoopit Shoopit is a search engine and browser extension that acts as an online shopping optimiser for flight bookings. What makes it unique is that it doesn’t just collect prices like an aggregator. Instead, it scours local versions of global websites to get the best possible prices for its users (the price you’re shown for the same seat on the same flight can vary wildly, depending on where you happen to live!) Born out of a commitment to make the internet transparent, democratic and borderless, Shoopit searches local versions of world’s most popular flight-booking websites, to find the best prices offered, allowing shoopit users to make better, informed purchases online, while at the same time making savings - regardless of where they live or what their IP address is. It launches in the UK, with backing from global online access provider, Hola.

Read More

TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

More Travel Disruption Feared As Passengers Take To The Skies This Holiday Season

IBS Software | December 08, 2022

New data from travel technology company IBS Software reveals that despite more than two thirds (68%) of passengers being inconvenienced by disrupted journeys since COVID travel restrictions were lifted and 66% expecting more of the same during upcoming trips, most (83%) still plan on flying for a break in the next six months. The research, which polled 2000 recent travellers in the UK and US*, warns that holiday providers have one more chance to get it right; if holidaymakers experience disruptions again during their upcoming trips, over half (55%) will avoid booking with the airline in the future. When asked who they blame for their poor experiences, 50% said it was the fault of the airlines when flights were delayed, with just 13% blaming the airport. However, when it comes to lost luggage the jury is out - 42% say it's the airport's responsibility and 40% are seething at the airline. Delayed flights or missed connections was the most common holiday hurdle, affecting over a third of all passengers (35%), followed closely by waiting in longer than normal queues (31%) and cancelled flights (15%). Lost luggage, which dominated the news headlines in the Summer, is confirmed by the research as a major annoyance, blighting nearly 1 in 7 passengers' holidays over the last 18 months. Despite a clear desire to travel, passengers won't accept more disruption without protest. If passengers find out their journey is going to be disrupted, 53% will complain to the airline and 38% will use social media to broadcast their annoyance. And if an airline doesn't have a reputation for punctuality they're likely to lose out with 93% of travellers saying this is an important factor when deciding which airline to buy from. However, there is still an opportunity for airlines to win back the loyalty of their passengers. When terminal turmoil occurs, passengers can be placated by automatic refunds when eligible; proactive customer support to suggest alternative routes; and automatic alerts on their phone when something goes wrong. As one passenger who took the survey commented: "Just actually organise yourselves properly, there's no excuse for all the disruption". Philip Hinton, SVP, IBS Software, comments: "The pent-up desire to travel was always going to put airlines and airports under extreme pressure - and so it proved, with widespread disruption plaguing many long-anticipated journeys. Airlines know this is a major issue and we are seeing them prioritising on-time performance and customer satisfaction because the widespread issues have directly impacted business performance." About IBS Software IBS Software is a leading SaaS solutions provider to the travel industry globally, managing mission-critical operations for customers in the aviation, tour & cruise and hospitality industries. IBS Software's solutions for the aviation industry cover fleet & crew operations, aircraft maintenance, passenger services, loyalty programs, staff travel and air-cargo management. IBS Software also runs a real time B2B and B2C distribution platform providing hotel room inventory, rates and availability to a global network of hospitality companies and channels. For the tour and cruise industry, IBS provides a comprehensive, customer-centric, digital platform that covers onshore, online and on-board solutions. IBS Software is a Blackstone portfolio company and operates from 15 offices across the world. Further information can be found at https://www.ibsplc.com/

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