Stressed? 3 Relaxing Travel Tours To Hit The Reset Button

If you’re feeling stressed, the right trip might just do the trick.A recent Gallup report showed US citizens are some of the most stressed out in the world—results which undoubtedly come as no surprise to the majority of Americans. The 2019 Global Emotions Report, created from more than 151,000 interviews with adults in over 140 countries, explores negative emotions, like anger, worry and stress. Gallup asks questions in regards to the day prior, including “Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?” and “Did you experience sadness during a lot of the day yesterday?”

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WePlann

WePlann is the easiest way for the Latin American tourist to book vacation activities, disrupting the traditionally offline, highly fragmented $10 Billion Latin American leisure activities market (shows, attractions, tours). We offer 400 unique travel experiences in 15 global destinations.

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Hospitality Management

Africa Travel Do’s & Don’ts Amid COVID-19

Article | June 19, 2023

As COVID-19 wreaks havoc across the globe, tourism-dependent regions are suffering exponentially. The continent of Africa is one glaring example, with South Africa propelled into the global top 10 for coronavirus infections, reportedly now surpassing the United Kingdom in cases. For its part, the tourism and industrial sectors in North Africa will likely be hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the African Development Bank’s 2020 edition North Africa Economic Outlook report. Even as Africa contends with pandemic concerns, there are still throngs of travelers who are keen to visit the region in the near future. Many are doing diligence to discern if, when and how to go about scheduling a trip to this tourism hotspot. To help spotlight some top-line issues, I turned to entrepreneur and philanthropist Jay Cameron, Executive Director of Maximum Impact Travel. As one of the leading global experts on Africa travel and commerce, Cameron’s insights are invaluable as travelers deal with this tumultuous situation, helping ensure they plan smartly in the post-pandemic era. MK: What are the key do’s and don’ts when traveling to Africa amid COVID-19? JC: Surprisingly, some African countries have escaped the devastating impacts COVID-19 has caused globally. While other countries around the world have experienced often overwhelming consequences as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, much of Africa appears to have been spared. Even so, the statistics do not suggest the citizens of the countries of Africa have not felt its impact. The fact is, many countries in Africa are seeing regular increases in the numbers of those infected by the novel coronavirus, while much of the world is experiencing a decline in infections. Around the world, experts warn outbreaks of COVID-19 in Africa may continue, resulting in a higher rate of deaths due to the limited local health services available. With coronavirus worries come fears of potential famine due to the virus threat, in combination with existing drought conditions and ongoing conflicts. With this in mind, should you intend to travel to the continent now, or post-COVID-19, you should be prepared. Some good preparedness ideas include researching virus statistics in the country you wish to visit that, for one, you can review at AfricaNews.com. It is also advisable to learn if said country has any travel restrictions, which is information that is accessible online via at CDC.gov. Of course, maintaining a healthy lifestyle to boost immunity before and during your visit is also key. MK: Should travelers be ready to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result, either before departing or upon arrival? JC: African countries are now opening for foreign travelers, but this does not indicate the belief that they have won the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Most African countries are still battling with COVID-19 outbreaks, as the number of infected cases continues to rise daily in nearly every African country. To this end, stringent efforts are in place to ensure individuals arriving on the continent and entering various countries are free of the virus. With this in mind, you should be prepared to present proof of negative COVID-19 status before entering the country to which you are traveling. This measure is being implemented around the globe and the countries of Africa are no exception. In the same vein, departing any African country will require the same proof of negative COVID-19 status. Both mandates are in place to protect your fellow travelers on the flight as well as the residents of the country to which you are traveling. As things ebb and flow, you can check the status of this mandate online at AfricaTravelInc.com. MK: What would you suggest about localized regulations? JC: Travelers must research the localized regulations and requirements with respect to hotel and resorts, airports, ground transportation, public spaces and such for both their own country and their destination.. It is necessary that you understand departure rules from your country of origin, and even more important that you understand your destination country’s prevailing laws for foreign travelers regarding COVID-19. Some African countries like Tanzania and Zambia, for example, have mandated the use of face masks in public places with punishment for the contravention of such laws. Some hotels and resorts also have taken stringent measures and issued their own strict requirements for travelers arriving from foreign countries. For example, at this time, hotel bars in Rwanda are closed but the hotels themselves remain open. Researching and understanding these laws before traveling enables you to stay safe during your visit and steer clear of legal issues with the local authorities. A helpful resource for staying up-to-date on laws that might affect travel to Africa can be found at Travel.State.gov. MK: What about the airlines, specifically? JC: Investigate the requirements for your airline as each carrier has varied responses to COVID-19. As a result of the pandemic, most airlines have adopted measures to keep their passengers and their staff safe. While some airlines like Delta require proof of a negative COVID-19 test before boarding your flight, others provide testing before your flight and attach the result to your ticket. Therefore, to ensure you are able to fly when scheduled, it is your responsibility to know the requirements of your airline before the flight to avoid any issues. A good resource for this is Go2Africa.com. MK: Should tourists be prepared for temperature screenings and COVID-19 tests upon arrival and departure? JC: As pointed out earlier, many African countries are still battling the pandemic, so to keep the residents of their countries safe post-COVID-19, airports have been mandated to request test results or test passengers on-site. Therefore, when traveling, you should be prepared for a coronavirus test upon arrival or departure from any African country. If you refuse to allow this, you will not be able to fly. MK: What about a potential 14-day quarantine upon arrival—is that only for travelers who show signs of COVID-19? JC: Apart from testing, be prepared for a 14-day quarantine if you show signs of the virus or test positive during a test given at the airport. African countries are determined to ensure the pandemic is eliminated completely from their countries. If you show symptoms of the virus upon your arrival in any country in Africa, you will likely be quarantined for 14 days. This can even entail having to stay in the country instead of returning to the U.S. MK: Would you say that travel insurance is an imperative? JC: Make sure your travel insurance company offers COVID-19 coverage and arrange for COVID-19 travel insurance requirements from airlines. You will want to be insured by your travel insurance company for COVID-19 coverage before traveling to any African country. Check with your travel insurance company to ensure COVID-19 is covered under their insurance policy, in the event you need to change your travel plans due to the pandemic. Such coverage policy can protect you by covering expenses related to unexpected changes and/or medical care in the event of illness. MK: With any trip, but especially now, there can be unforeseen circumstances. Any insights on that front? JC: DO NOT travel without extra funds and the ability to extend your trip in the event of a quarantine. With the points mentioned above, there is a great likelihood you will be required to spend more time and money in the country to which you are traveling if your COVID-19 test is positive. As a result, it is advisable to travel only if you are prepared with time and financial contingency plans. However, African countries are not barring U.S. travelers at the same rate as other countries, meaning you can potentially realize your dream safari vacation or other adventure across the continent’s beaches, jungles and deserts. As the world contends with COVID-19 issues, African countries will endeavor to stay open for tourism, business and much more. Preparing for, and abiding by, the region’s travel requirements will make your journey and overall stay in the country more enjoyable and safer for all.

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Hospitality Management

Blockchain Technology in Travel Insurance

Article | June 20, 2023

Most people associate the term "blockchain" with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Dogecoin, or Ethereum. Blockchain is the technology behind cryptocurrencies, but it is also a technology in its own right that has many uses. Blockchain is an immutable ledger that tracks transactions and assets, like cash and patents. All parties have access to the same data simultaneously, eliminating intermediaries and making it a cost-effective way to track assets. It could, for example, track a flight delay and automatically refund a customer’s money. A German blockchain start-up Etherisc launched an insurance product, FlightDelay, which uses blockchain to automatically issue policies and execute payouts for flight delays and cancellations on around 80 airlines. Customers can buy policies with cryptocurrency and receive claims in cryptocurrency. Flight delays are where blockchain-based insurance can make a difference in the travel insurance domain. Data on delays and cancellations is readily accessible, and all assist in automatic payments. This way, companies that offer flight insurance can avoid higher claims-processing costs and save on data protection costs because blockchain is secure. U.S. Insurance Regulations Prevent Blockchain-based Travel Insurance In the U.S, there is a need for state-by-state approval for changes in regulations. Blockchain’s appearance in the U.S. insurance industry may take another ten or fifteen years. However, the potential of blockchain-based insurance products is huge. Insurance companies can sell them at much lower costs compared to traditional insurance products. Blockchain Can Change the Travel Insurance Business Interestingly, the U.S. already has an insurance product similar to FlightDelay but none of them have the blockchain component. Called ‘parametric insurance’, an auto payout is done when some parameter is violated. Using blockchain technology to offer this insurance could save money and enable insurers to pass on some of the savings to the customers. Insurance industry experts think blockchain will definitely make a mark in the travel insurance domain and can change the way travel insurance businesses operate at large.

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Hospitality Management

How Corporate Travel and Expense Management Is Evolving Post-pandemic

Article | August 28, 2023

The travel industry is getting back to business, and demand has skyrocketed for travel technologies that make interactions possible between companies and corporate travelers. A recent Gartner survey reveals how 2020 affected CFOs with their corporate travel and expense management tasks globally. How will finance teams report and forecast expenses? How can corporate travel costs be managed? How to manage travel expense management processes effortlessly? Does this sound familiar to you? These were a few valid questions that kept companies engaged in finding answers during the pandemic. Many finance leaders want to implement proper corporate travel and expense management services and find solutions to bring consistency and clarity to their financial processes. While switching from manual processes to automated management systems can be difficult post-pandemic, with an efficient travel and expense management tool or software, your company can gain optimum benefits and stay productive in the future. This article will show you how it evolved through the coronavirus phase efficiently. Adoption of T&E Management Process for Seamless Work Experience An American Express survey found that 55% of the chief executives and senior financial managers ranked rising travel and expense costs as a top concern during the peak pandemic phase. Digital transformation of your processes is a critical strategy for spend management, and it ensures that employees are using the right product to get the best value. By adopting an efficient travel and expense management tool, your company can gain stellar benefits for your finance team to cater varied requirements, and keep a rigorous control over corporate travel spend. Before looking into how travel expense management processes are evolving post-pandemic, here are the benefits and value travel and expense management solutions offer. Also, this will further facilitate your finance team to manage the current corporate travel scenario effectively. Benefits of Travel and Expense Management Solutions The travel and expense management didn’t disappear during the pandemic. Instead, it accelerated its core value. The idea of integrating travel and expense management services with the help of big data in the travel industry is to leverage best practices for travel expense management that can help analyze and extract key information to diverse corporate travel finance functions. Travel industry leaders who are integrating effective travel expense management services in their corporate travel system have experienced the following benefits: Automatic processes of expenditure Data-driven decisions are smarter Time-saving mechanism Simplifies budgeting Ability to forecast more accurately Delivers better user experience Quick access to integrated data from expenditures Gain deep data visibility Higher rate of compliance with corporate policies in finance These significant upticks will benefit your company and will simultaneously improve your corporate travel policies. Understanding these benefits will help you identify how travel technology can help your company manage complex financial tasks that arose during the pandemic. According to a Gartner survey, a travel expense management system is essential as a key solution to manage the corporate travel economy. Any company, big or small, needs to control its expenditure to recover during the pandemic. Complex Forms of T&E Management Are Gone Legacy processes may get a job done, but they are more time consuming, error-prone, and do not provide visibility into travel spend. And when your travel and expense management process is slow and cumbersome, it can slow down the growth trajectory of your business. Corporate travel and expense management automation and its associated features like corporate travel policy, quick and easy booking, automated expense and reimbursement solutions, live credit card feeds, backup analytics capabilities, and more have taken precedence post-pandemic. These services offer more visibility into the travel spend of your employees. With top travel and expense management solutions, your finance teams can monitor and control costs and expenses in the long run. While many corporate travelers have started researching and organizing trips online, you need to add value to financial services by adopting automated travel and expense management solutions that work effortlessly. Core Focus Areas of Travel and Expense Management The post-pandemic era has seen a lot of companies embracing new and updated travel and expense management solutions to drive cost savings, and enable finance teams to have a better control over their road warriors. Here are some: Contactless Data Record Is the next Big Thing Travel and expense management systems allow employees to record all corporate travel bills and receipts through mobile apps and create expense reports immediately. Big data in the travel industry has played a significant role during the pandemic. Technology leaders have already experienced the benefits of travel and expense management. For example, TripActions’ travel and expense management platform uses data to learn about business travelers’ preferences, and predicts within 30 seconds what travelers are going to book with 90% accuracy. The advantage of big data to travel and expense management has already organized several effortless finance processes for corporate travelers to experience seamless budgets. Automation Is Crucial Integrating travel and expense management solutions could easily add to the unimaginable overheads that companies are experiencing. Automation is one of these solutions. Its integration in the travel and expense management system will give rise to a paperless world that will facilitate finance functions to build an audit trail. With this, it also ensures total compliance to keep the organization and its process fast. Agile Technology Is the Enabler Critically for the travel industry, agile technology has allowed multiple methodologies for incremental development in corporate travels, which has transformed the processes from rigid to flexible. The agile process in corporate travel and expense management allows analyzing tangible results on expense. The approach also provides the potential to change plans according to the requirements. For example, Lola.com, the agile travel management company is helping corporate travelers book, re-book, and take the task of expense reports off the table easily. Finance teams arrange travel policies in minutes and equally manage, control, and view expenditure effortlessly. In short, agile technology is making it much easier for travelers and companies all round. To address the use of agile technology in travel and expense management, Jeanne Hopkins, former CMO at Lola.com, the agile travel management company shares “Finance teams at Lola.com have tried managing, controlling, and got visibility into expenditures efficiently by implementing travel and expense management. Small and mid-sized businesses have to be fast and dynamic in the changing scenario of travel, so that actions like booking, re-booking, and managing corporate travel could be performed with efficiency and results in high productivity.” A Hassle-free Expense Management System Expense has been one common challenge with corporate travel programs. Integrating travel and expense management in your company can eventually introduce you to a hassle-free work solution. As the process involves collecting receipts from multiple sources, either from hotels, flights, or car rentals, travel and expense management solutions make it easier for a manager to look at all corporate travel costs at once. Also, in terms of future travel spend and potential savings, the capability of this management remains exceptional. Modern travel and expense management solutions also include self-service, real time, and easy navigation. For example, for travelers, Lola.com has a large inventory of flights and hotels that allow users to avoid going to various sites to compare fares, and save preferences, loyalty programs, and provides payment options in one place. Traveler profiles are automatically stored so that users can book with one click. The 24/7 support team then ensures easy booking and re-booking for its users without any delay. End-to-End Integration Is the New Order of Workforce End-to-end integrated systems in your company will help your finance team implement best practices for travel expense management. This will make it easier for your employees to initiate, approve, and pay each transaction out of hundreds within minutes, thereby creating a seamless task without any manual involvement. Travel and Expense Management Trends When you automate your travel and expense process, it will not only maximize your returns but, at the same time, it will minimize your spending. This will save you both time and money. Below are the reasons you will want to consider making a switch to automate from a manual process. Remove Guess Work from Expense Process For finance personnel in your company, the new travel and expense management system can be set up in five minutes. One of the travel and expense management tools, like Expensify, helps with easy expense tracking and reporting. Similar to this, SpendCatcher – a mobile application of MobileXpense.com that is infused with AI and deep machine learning extracts payment information with just one tap. Supplier-direct Bookings Companies whose employees use a corporate travel and expense management system can receive reports according to department, employee, direct travel supplier, hotel, or car rental company. This information helps managers analyze spending patterns by actively monitoring it with up-to-date information in one flow from various travel suppliers. In this case, Concur TripLink connects to corporate travelers for direct bookings across the borders. It gives visibility of bookings no matter where it is booked. True Visibility into Spending The corporate travel and expense report management system automatically flags and creates analyses of dashboards highlight hidden expenditure. This can be helpful to know: How much expenditure is going in personal corporate travel cards, and why Find expense categories easily Find out why expense is falling short and ask for details In this context, MasterCard International is rapidly approaching towards a smart, web-based expense management system to control spending, generate comprehensive spending reports, and accurately integrate purchase data. Thus, delivering business efficiently, quickly, and easily. Rise of Bleisure Travel Corporate travel and expense management also includes ‘bleisure travel’ for corporate travelers, those looking to combine business travel with leisure time. With agile travel and expense management tools, you can make quick changes in plans to keep your employees and finance team happy and productive while mapping the budget. In this case, Lola.com has made travel and expense management real by providing an effortless way to manage, book, and report on business plus leisure travel, by encouraging its employers to save most of their time and money. Travel technology offers a deserving platform with travel and expense management to companies for added efficiency and visibility over travel spend. As corporate travel businesses are returning rapidly towards their regular work scenarios, the travel industry will see a rise in revenue. Travel and expense management system will be one of the powerful remedies to the travel industry and will increase its scope to drive growth post-pandemic. According to the new Skift report, 88% of corporate travelers will drive travel technology company growth. 86% of corporate travel managers believe it. Put an end to complex budget management and legacy processes; it is time to know how to manage travel expenses in corporate. Frequently Asked Questions What is travel and expense process? The aim of the travel and expense process is the complete administration of travel expenses, including the recording of expenses, posting in Financial Accounting (FI), and allocation in Controlling (CO) and Funds Management (FI-FM). The process also involves the valuation of costs associated with business-related activities. Why is expense management important? Expense management is important for businesses because it helps employees to keep an accurate track of expenses. This caters to them to plan financial aspects for the future with more clarity and confidence. Capital flow is a daily process in any business, so to manage some significant amounts could get efficiently done through expense management and generate a profit. What is travel and expense management? Travel and expense management is a process that includes finance management by the employee when on a business trip or any expense is made for business goals. Each travel and expense management consists of detailed records of costs, expenditure, budgeting, and report submission.

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The best guess for the future of travel is just a guess

Article | April 16, 2020

Over the past few days, I've looked at a few dozen travel industry predictor graphs, from a number of very credible sources. Below, I've compiled them all onto one graph to create the last predictor you need to understand for the next few weeks. I can say with almost certainty that one, or a combination of these is going to be quite accurate. What’s the point here? The point here is that there is no point. Nobody knows what will happen next week, never mind three years from now.

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Spotlight

WePlann

WePlann is the easiest way for the Latin American tourist to book vacation activities, disrupting the traditionally offline, highly fragmented $10 Billion Latin American leisure activities market (shows, attractions, tours). We offer 400 unique travel experiences in 15 global destinations.

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Travel Technology

OneTravel by Fareportal Delivers Veteran's Day Travel Inspiration

Fareportal | November 08, 2023

Fareportal, featuring brands such as CheapOair and OneTravel, delivers online travel solutions focusing on global bookings through OneTravel. OneTravel's 'Going Places' blog suggests paying tribute to veterans by visiting parks, memorials, and museums on Veteran's Day. Veteran’s Day has undergone historical changes in its name and date, from its origins as Armistice Day to the fourth Monday in October and then its restoration to November 11. On the occasion of Veteran's Day, Fareportal's travel agency, OneTravel, is offering valuable insights for those seeking to commemorate this significant day and pay tribute to the individuals who have served in the armed forces. According to an article published by OneTravel's 'Going Places' blog site, there are several ways to observe Veteran's Day following its spirit, which include visiting various parks, memorials, and museums dedicated to honoring veterans. These locations encompass Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant (South Carolina), Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg (Pennsylvania), Navajo Nation Veterans Memorial Park in Window Rock (Arizona), National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago (Illinois), Liberty Memorial in Kansas City (Missouri), Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., and Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington (Virginia). Werner Kunz-Cho, Chief Executive Officer of Fareportal, stated, "At Fareportal, travel is our mission. We feel it is our responsibility to provide readers with useful information to aid in their travel choices." [Source – Fareportal] Furthermore, he emphasized that the 'Going Places' article offers excellent recommendations for destinations that align perfectly with the spirit of Veteran's Day, and whether one chooses to travel by air or road, there is an encouragement for all to explore these captivating destinations. The history of this observance is intriguing, encompassing its original name and the date on which it was observed. Initially established as Armistice Day shortly after the conclusion of the First World War, the holiday's appellation underwent an official transformation to Veteran's Day in 1954. Subsequently, in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, primarily aimed at creating three-day weekends for federal employees while stimulating travel and tourism. This legislative action resulted in the moving of the observance of Veteran's Day to the fourth Monday in October. The American populace exhibited a mixed response to this alteration of the date. In 1978, President Gerald Ford decided to reinstate the observation of Veteran's Day to its original date, November 11. This year, since it's a Saturday, Veteran's Day will be observed on the preceding Friday. Fareportal, a company hosting consumer travel brands like CheapOair and OneTravel, facilitates customer bookings through various platforms, including online and mobile applications, and provides airline partners with access to a broad customer base for booking international and domestic flights, hotels, and additional services. OneTravel, a part of the Fareportal family, is globally recognized for delivering comprehensive travel solutions to meet diverse traveler needs. With OneTravel, customers can find budget-friendly flight options, including business and first-class fares, make reservations for hotels and car rentals, and plan vacations to top global destinations.

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Business Travel

CellPoint Digital, Riskified Unite to Boost Fraud Prevention

CellPoint Digital | November 07, 2023

CellPoint Digital, a Payment Orchestration provider, has partnered with Riskified, a leader in ecommerce fraud prevention and risk intelligence, to enhance fraud protection for airlines and travel merchants. This partnership allows both companies to boost the value for their joint customers by improving fraud detection capabilities and enabling the use of multiple payment providers. Riskified's fraud management platform utilizes advanced AI and machine learning to protect online retailers from fraudulent transactions. Combined with CellPoint Digital's Payment Orchestration platform, this provides higher transaction approval rates, instant decision-making capabilities, and complete chargeback protection. Kristian Gjerding, Chief Executive Officer at CellPoint Digital, remarked, “Our partnership with Riskified represents a step forward in the world of online payments. Together, these platforms empower airlines and other travel merchants to optimize their payment processes while safeguarding against fraud risks, setting a new standard for secure and efficient ecommerce transactions.” [Source- Business Wire] Riskified’s ecommerce platform is a dynamic system designed to protect online retailers from fraudulent transactions. Built for accuracy at scale. It utilizes advanced AI and machine learning algorithms to analyze and verify the legitimacy of each transaction. It also ensures secure and hassle-free online shopping experiences for customers while minimizing the risk of fraud for travel merchants. The travel merchants who use Riskified’s Chargeback Guarantee solution will not bear the cost of fraud chargebacks if Riskified approves a fraudulent transaction. Ravi Kumawasrami, President of Worldwide Field Operations at Riskified, stated, “Businesses should never have to choose between preventing fraud and providing a cohesive customer experience. Our partnership with CellPoint Digital enables airlines and travel merchants to avoid the dilemma while simultaneously streamlining their operations, increasing their revenue and creating a secure shopping environment.” [Source- Business Wire] Leveraging the integrated solutions offered by CellPoint Digital and Riskified, travel merchants, including airlines, can establish a robust safeguard against continuously evolving fraud threats. The Payment Orchestration platform from CellPoint Digital facilitates the integration of multiple payment methods and smartly routes transactions to increase acceptance while accommodating multiple PSPs and acquirers. Furthermore, this is enhanced by Riskified's sophisticated artificial intelligence and machine learning framework, which effectively identifies fraudulent activities in real-time by utilizing data from an extensive worldwide merchant network comprising over 2.5 billion past transactions. With CellPoint Digital’s Payment Orchestration platform, airlines and enterprise travel merchants enjoy cutting-edge fraud protection, instant decision-making capabilities, higher transaction approval rates, and complete chargeback protection, thus enhancing the overall security and efficiency of the payment processes. About CellPoint Digital CellPoint Digital is a prominent figure in the fintech sector, specializing in payment orchestration. The core of its offerings revolves around a robust Payment Orchestration Platform, which plays a pivotal role in streamlining digital payment transactions. It caters to a broad spectrum of payment methods, from traditional cards to alternative options, and expedites the deployment of novel payment solutions. The platform also optimizes transaction routing, boosting conversion rates and reducing payment-related expenses.

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Travel Technology

Sonesta's Travel SOS Offers Relief for Holiday Travel Disruptions

Sonesta Hotels | November 06, 2023

Sonesta International Hotels Corporation has launched a new service called Travel SOS to help travelers during holiday travel disruptions by providing information on room availability at the nearest Sonesta hotels. The service can be accessed via a dedicated hotline or online using a promo code, offering convenience and flexibility to travelers. Despite potential limitations such as room availability and location coverage, the initiative underscores Sonesta's commitment to exceptional service during peak travel times, potentially enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty. Sonesta International Hotels Corporation launches a new service, Travel SOS (Sonesta Overnight Stay), aimed at easing the stress of holiday travel disruptions. The service provides stranded travelers with information on room availability at the nearest Sonesta hotels during the busy holiday season. Travelers can access the service via a dedicated hotline or by using a promo code online. The initiative underscores Sonesta's commitment to exceptional service during peak travel times, offering peace of mind to travelers across its diverse portfolio of 17 brands and over 1,200 properties. Chris Trick, the Chief Marketing Officer at Sonesta, reportedly conveyed his optimism about the Travel SOS solution. He emphasized that Travel SOS exemplifies Sonesta's dedication to delivering superior service to travelers, especially during peak and challenging travel periods. He noted that the service, accessible via phone or online, offers up-to-date information on over 1,200 Sonesta properties, thereby providing travelers with reassurance. This allows them to relax and fully enjoy the holiday season. The new Travel SOS service launched by Sonesta International Hotels Corporation has its own set of potential drawbacks and benefits. On the downside, the service might be limited by the availability of rooms at Sonesta hotels, especially during peak travel times. If all rooms are booked, the service may not be able to provide the desired assistance. Additionally, the service might be less useful for travelers who are stranded in locations where Sonesta hotels are not present. On the upside, the service is designed to ease the stress of holiday travel disruptions by providing stranded travelers with information on room availability at the nearest Sonesta hotels. This is useful throughout the holidays. The service can be accessed via a dedicated hotline or by using a promo code online, offering convenience and flexibility to travelers. Furthermore, the initiative underscores Sonesta's commitment to exceptional service during peak travel times, potentially enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty. Travel SOS is crafted to be accessed with dial-to-book or click-to-book options, a dedicated Travel SOS hotline and a promo code STAYSOS for online reservations using Sonesta’s website's offers’ section.

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Travel Technology

OneTravel by Fareportal Delivers Veteran's Day Travel Inspiration

Fareportal | November 08, 2023

Fareportal, featuring brands such as CheapOair and OneTravel, delivers online travel solutions focusing on global bookings through OneTravel. OneTravel's 'Going Places' blog suggests paying tribute to veterans by visiting parks, memorials, and museums on Veteran's Day. Veteran’s Day has undergone historical changes in its name and date, from its origins as Armistice Day to the fourth Monday in October and then its restoration to November 11. On the occasion of Veteran's Day, Fareportal's travel agency, OneTravel, is offering valuable insights for those seeking to commemorate this significant day and pay tribute to the individuals who have served in the armed forces. According to an article published by OneTravel's 'Going Places' blog site, there are several ways to observe Veteran's Day following its spirit, which include visiting various parks, memorials, and museums dedicated to honoring veterans. These locations encompass Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant (South Carolina), Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg (Pennsylvania), Navajo Nation Veterans Memorial Park in Window Rock (Arizona), National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago (Illinois), Liberty Memorial in Kansas City (Missouri), Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., and Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington (Virginia). Werner Kunz-Cho, Chief Executive Officer of Fareportal, stated, "At Fareportal, travel is our mission. We feel it is our responsibility to provide readers with useful information to aid in their travel choices." [Source – Fareportal] Furthermore, he emphasized that the 'Going Places' article offers excellent recommendations for destinations that align perfectly with the spirit of Veteran's Day, and whether one chooses to travel by air or road, there is an encouragement for all to explore these captivating destinations. The history of this observance is intriguing, encompassing its original name and the date on which it was observed. Initially established as Armistice Day shortly after the conclusion of the First World War, the holiday's appellation underwent an official transformation to Veteran's Day in 1954. Subsequently, in 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, primarily aimed at creating three-day weekends for federal employees while stimulating travel and tourism. This legislative action resulted in the moving of the observance of Veteran's Day to the fourth Monday in October. The American populace exhibited a mixed response to this alteration of the date. In 1978, President Gerald Ford decided to reinstate the observation of Veteran's Day to its original date, November 11. This year, since it's a Saturday, Veteran's Day will be observed on the preceding Friday. Fareportal, a company hosting consumer travel brands like CheapOair and OneTravel, facilitates customer bookings through various platforms, including online and mobile applications, and provides airline partners with access to a broad customer base for booking international and domestic flights, hotels, and additional services. OneTravel, a part of the Fareportal family, is globally recognized for delivering comprehensive travel solutions to meet diverse traveler needs. With OneTravel, customers can find budget-friendly flight options, including business and first-class fares, make reservations for hotels and car rentals, and plan vacations to top global destinations.

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Business Travel

CellPoint Digital, Riskified Unite to Boost Fraud Prevention

CellPoint Digital | November 07, 2023

CellPoint Digital, a Payment Orchestration provider, has partnered with Riskified, a leader in ecommerce fraud prevention and risk intelligence, to enhance fraud protection for airlines and travel merchants. This partnership allows both companies to boost the value for their joint customers by improving fraud detection capabilities and enabling the use of multiple payment providers. Riskified's fraud management platform utilizes advanced AI and machine learning to protect online retailers from fraudulent transactions. Combined with CellPoint Digital's Payment Orchestration platform, this provides higher transaction approval rates, instant decision-making capabilities, and complete chargeback protection. Kristian Gjerding, Chief Executive Officer at CellPoint Digital, remarked, “Our partnership with Riskified represents a step forward in the world of online payments. Together, these platforms empower airlines and other travel merchants to optimize their payment processes while safeguarding against fraud risks, setting a new standard for secure and efficient ecommerce transactions.” [Source- Business Wire] Riskified’s ecommerce platform is a dynamic system designed to protect online retailers from fraudulent transactions. Built for accuracy at scale. It utilizes advanced AI and machine learning algorithms to analyze and verify the legitimacy of each transaction. It also ensures secure and hassle-free online shopping experiences for customers while minimizing the risk of fraud for travel merchants. The travel merchants who use Riskified’s Chargeback Guarantee solution will not bear the cost of fraud chargebacks if Riskified approves a fraudulent transaction. Ravi Kumawasrami, President of Worldwide Field Operations at Riskified, stated, “Businesses should never have to choose between preventing fraud and providing a cohesive customer experience. Our partnership with CellPoint Digital enables airlines and travel merchants to avoid the dilemma while simultaneously streamlining their operations, increasing their revenue and creating a secure shopping environment.” [Source- Business Wire] Leveraging the integrated solutions offered by CellPoint Digital and Riskified, travel merchants, including airlines, can establish a robust safeguard against continuously evolving fraud threats. The Payment Orchestration platform from CellPoint Digital facilitates the integration of multiple payment methods and smartly routes transactions to increase acceptance while accommodating multiple PSPs and acquirers. Furthermore, this is enhanced by Riskified's sophisticated artificial intelligence and machine learning framework, which effectively identifies fraudulent activities in real-time by utilizing data from an extensive worldwide merchant network comprising over 2.5 billion past transactions. With CellPoint Digital’s Payment Orchestration platform, airlines and enterprise travel merchants enjoy cutting-edge fraud protection, instant decision-making capabilities, higher transaction approval rates, and complete chargeback protection, thus enhancing the overall security and efficiency of the payment processes. About CellPoint Digital CellPoint Digital is a prominent figure in the fintech sector, specializing in payment orchestration. The core of its offerings revolves around a robust Payment Orchestration Platform, which plays a pivotal role in streamlining digital payment transactions. It caters to a broad spectrum of payment methods, from traditional cards to alternative options, and expedites the deployment of novel payment solutions. The platform also optimizes transaction routing, boosting conversion rates and reducing payment-related expenses.

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Travel Technology

Sonesta's Travel SOS Offers Relief for Holiday Travel Disruptions

Sonesta Hotels | November 06, 2023

Sonesta International Hotels Corporation has launched a new service called Travel SOS to help travelers during holiday travel disruptions by providing information on room availability at the nearest Sonesta hotels. The service can be accessed via a dedicated hotline or online using a promo code, offering convenience and flexibility to travelers. Despite potential limitations such as room availability and location coverage, the initiative underscores Sonesta's commitment to exceptional service during peak travel times, potentially enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty. Sonesta International Hotels Corporation launches a new service, Travel SOS (Sonesta Overnight Stay), aimed at easing the stress of holiday travel disruptions. The service provides stranded travelers with information on room availability at the nearest Sonesta hotels during the busy holiday season. Travelers can access the service via a dedicated hotline or by using a promo code online. The initiative underscores Sonesta's commitment to exceptional service during peak travel times, offering peace of mind to travelers across its diverse portfolio of 17 brands and over 1,200 properties. Chris Trick, the Chief Marketing Officer at Sonesta, reportedly conveyed his optimism about the Travel SOS solution. He emphasized that Travel SOS exemplifies Sonesta's dedication to delivering superior service to travelers, especially during peak and challenging travel periods. He noted that the service, accessible via phone or online, offers up-to-date information on over 1,200 Sonesta properties, thereby providing travelers with reassurance. This allows them to relax and fully enjoy the holiday season. The new Travel SOS service launched by Sonesta International Hotels Corporation has its own set of potential drawbacks and benefits. On the downside, the service might be limited by the availability of rooms at Sonesta hotels, especially during peak travel times. If all rooms are booked, the service may not be able to provide the desired assistance. Additionally, the service might be less useful for travelers who are stranded in locations where Sonesta hotels are not present. On the upside, the service is designed to ease the stress of holiday travel disruptions by providing stranded travelers with information on room availability at the nearest Sonesta hotels. This is useful throughout the holidays. The service can be accessed via a dedicated hotline or by using a promo code online, offering convenience and flexibility to travelers. Furthermore, the initiative underscores Sonesta's commitment to exceptional service during peak travel times, potentially enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty. Travel SOS is crafted to be accessed with dial-to-book or click-to-book options, a dedicated Travel SOS hotline and a promo code STAYSOS for online reservations using Sonesta’s website's offers’ section.

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