“The guest experience has never been more important,” says Matthew Cameron-Smith, CEO at Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia.

Media 7 | June 27, 2022

Matthew Cameron-Smith
Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia's CEO, Matthew Cameron-Smith, discusses, Tali Wiru, Indigenous training and employment across Australia, as well as experience-based vacations, the iconic Red Centre, and tourism facilities. Read more to learn more about eco-friendly, sustainable travel.

Life is not lived in the rearview mirror, you should use your eyes for vision rather than just for sight.

MEDIA 7: You are not new to the hotel industry. How does it feel to be back in the accommodation industry after working in destination marketing and guided tours for so long?
MATTHEW CAMERON-SMITH:
In a word, great! The tourism industry is the sum of its parts, and regardless of tour or hotel, it is all about focusing on giving the guest an amazing experience.


M7: Can you shed some light on the innovations you intend to implement or the change already in command by you at Voyages, with the strategy applied to it?
MCS:
We were very active over the COVID-19 lockdown periods, ensuring we improved and developed more experience for our guests. Over that period, we completed a full refurb of SID and a refresh of the DG's public areas. We also opened the Gallery of Central Australia, which is a celebration of Central Australia's desert art and supports the economic and cultural sustainability of 19 local art centers. 2022 also saw the celebration of ten years of Tali Wiru, our exclusive dune-top culinary experience showcasing native ingredients paired with fine Australian wines. Despite what COVID-19 threw at us, we remained focused on changing the lives of young indigenous people through education and training. We are celebrating over 600 graduates through the National Indigenous Training Academy, with 60 more to come on 22/23. These graduates now hold nationally recognized qualifications in horticulture, retail, or hospitality, and every grad is guaranteed a job with VITA. The Anangu Community Foundation continues to work with the community to drive social, economic, and well-being outcomes that are supported by much-needed donations from our guests.

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With the digitization of society, guests are better researched and better informed.



M7: What distinguishing features can the modern Voyages experience bring to conferences, events, and meetings?
MCS:
We offer a very unique, culturally immersive experience for the meetings industry. This could be an exclusive Sounds of Silence dinner under 50,000 stars or a private camel ride to view the sunset at Uluru. Delegates could even try their hand at learning the art of dot painting or hear stories from community leaders about the world's oldest living culture.


M7: How does the organization ensure that its clients have a hassle-free modern business travel experience with transparent spending?
MCS:
We have modernized the guest experience through the development of a guest mobile app so they can book tours, dining, and use maps to make their experience seamless.

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The tourism industry is vibrant, exciting, and resilient, so it’s not about a job, it’s about a career.



M7: With over two decades of experience, what is the paradigm shift you see in the hospitality industry today?
MCS:
The guest experience has never been more important — or should I say, a genuine experience has never been more important. With the digitization of society, guests are better researched and better informed, so you need to deliver on what you say you will.


M7: What are your top 3 suggestions for aspirants in the travel industry?
MCS:
Remember, our industry is vibrant, exciting, and resilient, so it’s not about a job, it’s about a career. Work hard – your guests expect it, and it will make you stand out from the pack. Be forward-facing. Life is not lived in the rearview mirror, and you should use your eyes for vision rather than just for sight.

ABOUT VOYAGES INDIGENOUS TOURISM AUSTRALIA

Voyage's commitment to the community-
Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia is owned by the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC) and manages tourism and resorts on their behalf. The Tourism Company has a strong commitment to social responsibility and strives to give back and support the people and communities in their regions and throughout Australia. All profits from the business activity are used to support Indigenous training and employment. Voyages offer experience-based holidays in spectacular wilderness locations, including Ayers Rock Resort in the iconic Red Centre and tourism facilities in Mossman Gorge, located in tropical Queensland. Their goal is to offer getaways that people just can’t enjoy anywhere else: enriching experiences, incredible natural beauty, and a suite of activities and attractions that appeal to every traveler who’s seeking a new kind of adventure.
Voyage's philosophy-
Voyages are focused on providing guests with enriching, memorable experiences that they would not be able to enjoy anywhere else in Australia.They are committed to building and sustaining an Indigenous workforce through training, employment, and economic development. Also, they aim to train and develop more Indigenous staff, enabling them to secure employment in the hospitality industry across Australia. In turn, their guests enjoy a more "authentic" Indigenous Australian experience.

More C-Suite on deck

Q&A with Sangram Vajre, Co-founder & Chief Evangelist at Terminus

MEDIA 7 | January 9, 2020

Sangram Vajre, Co-Founder & Chief Evangelist at Terminus is also an author and host of the podcast FlipmyFunnel. He is one of the leading minds in B2B marketing. MEDIA 7: What are you passionate about? SANGRAM VAJRE: Three things: Lead professionally. Grow personally. Love family. M7: Terminus has been recognized as one of Georgia’s 40 fastest-growing companies by ACG Atlanta. What factors contribute to this pace? SV: One of our core values is #OneTeam – which means we think and act as one team and know that if we treat our team right, they will treat our customers amazing. There are no great companies, only great people that make those companies.

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'The “Swissness” stands for quality around the world' says Henri W.R. Kennedie, President & CEO at Swiss International Hotels & Resorts.

Media 7 | July 12, 2022

Swiss International Hotels & Resorts President & CEO Henri W.R. Kennedie discusses the company's iOS and Android apps, as well as its operations, licensing, revenue, quality, and other relevant topics. Read along for additional information on Swissness, Swiss-Select, and more.

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Q&A with Andrea Lechner-Becker, Chief Marketing Officer at LeadMD

MEDIA 7 | December 5, 2019

Andrea Lechner-Becker, Chief Marketing Officer at LeadMD is an experienced Marketing and Sales Executive with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry. Skilled in Business Process, Marketo, Sales, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and IT Service Management, Andrea is also a strong business development professional and a storyteller. MEDIA 7: What inspired you to get into marketing? ANDREA LECHNER: Frankly, not having better options. I originally attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse thinking I’d major in Archaeology. I wanted to be Indiana Jones! But, after visiting the archaeology building – i.e. the cold, dark basement of the science building – where a girl sat to piece together pieces of an old Native American vase, I knew archaeology was not going to be the right path for me. And so, without being good at science and a major in art or art history was unlikely to pay my bills, I decided to go into “business”. I originally registered as a management major, but took my first marketing class and thought it was more interesting and switched my sophomore year. That was pretty much it. I’d never been involved in business classes or DECA in high school – I didn’t really know what to do or what jobs in marketing were even possible. I dumb lucked myself into it really. M7: As a storyteller, do you relate the brand to a story or story to the brand? AL: Both? Neither? I think there are stories in every brand, because there are people working on the brand and people engaging with the brand and people using what the brand creates. People, most often a single person, are at the heart of great stories. You can start with the “point” of the story you’re trying to tell. Say you have a software that help accountants better create reports for board meetings. It’s likely you’ll want to tell a success story about an accountant getting promoted to CFO in part because your software helped better communicate their work product to the board. You could have the idea for that and go looking for that story in your customers. OR, you could hear that story, and say, “That’s amazing!” and share it with customers, partners and internal people. Stories are all around us – the most important thing is to keep your ears and eyes open for finding them.

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Q&A with Sangram Vajre, Co-founder & Chief Evangelist at Terminus

MEDIA 7 | January 9, 2020

Sangram Vajre, Co-Founder & Chief Evangelist at Terminus is also an author and host of the podcast FlipmyFunnel. He is one of the leading minds in B2B marketing. MEDIA 7: What are you passionate about? SANGRAM VAJRE: Three things: Lead professionally. Grow personally. Love family. M7: Terminus has been recognized as one of Georgia’s 40 fastest-growing companies by ACG Atlanta. What factors contribute to this pace? SV: One of our core values is #OneTeam – which means we think and act as one team and know that if we treat our team right, they will treat our customers amazing. There are no great companies, only great people that make those companies.

Read More

'The “Swissness” stands for quality around the world' says Henri W.R. Kennedie, President & CEO at Swiss International Hotels & Resorts.

Media 7 | July 12, 2022

Swiss International Hotels & Resorts President & CEO Henri W.R. Kennedie discusses the company's iOS and Android apps, as well as its operations, licensing, revenue, quality, and other relevant topics. Read along for additional information on Swissness, Swiss-Select, and more.

Read More

Q&A with Andrea Lechner-Becker, Chief Marketing Officer at LeadMD

MEDIA 7 | December 5, 2019

Andrea Lechner-Becker, Chief Marketing Officer at LeadMD is an experienced Marketing and Sales Executive with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry. Skilled in Business Process, Marketo, Sales, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and IT Service Management, Andrea is also a strong business development professional and a storyteller. MEDIA 7: What inspired you to get into marketing? ANDREA LECHNER: Frankly, not having better options. I originally attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse thinking I’d major in Archaeology. I wanted to be Indiana Jones! But, after visiting the archaeology building – i.e. the cold, dark basement of the science building – where a girl sat to piece together pieces of an old Native American vase, I knew archaeology was not going to be the right path for me. And so, without being good at science and a major in art or art history was unlikely to pay my bills, I decided to go into “business”. I originally registered as a management major, but took my first marketing class and thought it was more interesting and switched my sophomore year. That was pretty much it. I’d never been involved in business classes or DECA in high school – I didn’t really know what to do or what jobs in marketing were even possible. I dumb lucked myself into it really. M7: As a storyteller, do you relate the brand to a story or story to the brand? AL: Both? Neither? I think there are stories in every brand, because there are people working on the brand and people engaging with the brand and people using what the brand creates. People, most often a single person, are at the heart of great stories. You can start with the “point” of the story you’re trying to tell. Say you have a software that help accountants better create reports for board meetings. It’s likely you’ll want to tell a success story about an accountant getting promoted to CFO in part because your software helped better communicate their work product to the board. You could have the idea for that and go looking for that story in your customers. OR, you could hear that story, and say, “That’s amazing!” and share it with customers, partners and internal people. Stories are all around us – the most important thing is to keep your ears and eyes open for finding them.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

LONELY PLANET'S BEST IN TRAVEL DESTINATIONS FOR 2023 REVEALED

Lonely Planet | November 18, 2022

Global travel authority Lonely Planet has unveiled its top destinations to visit next year with the release of Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2023. Lonely Planet's annual marquee moment celebrates its expert predictions for where to go in the year ahead. Best in Travel 2023 is Lonely Planet's 18th annual collection, featuring 30 must-visit destinations around the globe. As part of its larger ambition to deliver an engaging product that solves proactive travel planning needs through personalized, local-led guidance, Lonely Planet has reimagined Best In Travel for 2023. This year's list centers expert local perspectives at the heart of each destination, and is sorted by the type of trip best had there: eat, journey, connect, learn and unwind. This shift in the list's organization signals Lonely Planet's reinvigorated dedication to aiding travelers in navigating the world in the ways most meaningful to them. Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2023 offers a comprehensive set of itineraries aimed at helping travelers to explore the world — while following along with some seriously knowledgeable locally-based experts along the way. The eat category features Peru's capital Lima alongside chef Ricardo Martins, affordable world class dining in South Africa and the dining scene around Umbria, Italy, among others. Intrepid journeys include the reinstated night train between Istanbul and Sofia, Bulgaria and a long-weekend road trip through Nova Scotia, Canada's dramatic Atlantic province narrated by surfer Dean Petty. The overlooked peninsula of Halkidiki in Greece, historic Jordan told through the lens of designer Tania George, future-facing Jamaica and ever-popular Malta all offer tempting chances to unwind. Travelers looking to connect with distinctive local scenes are directed to the buzzing art-centric Accra with Surf Ghana's Sandy Alibo and musician Pure Akan, as well as Sydney, back on the map after the enforced separation of the past few years. In the learn category Lonely Planet spotlights destinations such as New Mexico with the incredible Native American hoop dancer ShanDien Sonwai LaRance, Manchester, home to one of the UK's most dynamic arts scenes, and the laid-back surf culture of El Salvador. Each year, Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2023 lists start with nominations from Lonely Planet's vast community of staff, writers, bloggers, publishing partners and more. The nominations are then whittled down by its panel of travel experts to just 30 destinations. Each is chosen for its topicality, unique experiences, 'wow' factor and its ongoing commitment to sustainability, community and diversity. According to Lonely Planet's Senior Vice President of Content and Executive Editor Nitya Chambers the release of Lonely Planet's annual "hot list" of destinations and travel experiences comes at an exciting time to be planning travel. "2023 is shaping up to be the year to get out and explore. With much of the world firmly on the road to recovery, travelers are looking for different locations and experiences. The lists celebrate the world in all its wonderful enticing variety," Chambers continues. "Each of the itineraries in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2023 shows how to leave the crowds behind and truly get the heart of a destination. As always Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2023 delivers new takes on popular destinations such as Western Australia and Japan, and unearths some lesser-known gems like the food scene in Montevideo, Uruguay, indigenous community-operated attractions in Alaska and South America's eco-tourism rising star Guyana. Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2023 - Complete List EAT JOURNEY UNWIND CONNECT LEARN Umbria, Italy Istanbul to Sofia Halkidiki, Greece Alaska Manchester, UK Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Nova Scotia, Canada Jamaica Albania New Mexico, USA Fukuoka, Japan Bhutan Dominica Accra, Ghana Dresden, Germany Lima, Peru Zambia Raja Ampat, Indonesia Sydney, Australia El Salvador South Africa Western Australia Malta Guyana Southern Scotland Montevideo, Uruguay National Natural Parks, Colombia Jordan Boise, USA Marseille, France ABOUT LONELY PLANET A trusted voice in travel guidance, Lonely Planet is part of the Red Ventures portfolio. Providing both inspiring and trustworthy information for every kind of traveler since 1973, Lonely Planet reaches hundreds of millions of travelers each year helping them unlock amazing experiences. Lonely Planet can be found on lonelyplanet.com, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter, through video and in 14 languages, armchair and lifestyle books, e-books and more. Over the past 49 years Lonely Planet has printed over 145 million guidebooks covering 221 countries as well as countless other titles showcasing the wonders of the world for travelers of all types. Visit Lonely Planet at lonelyplanet.com and join our community of followers on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and sign up for the Lonely Planet Newsletter at lonelyplanet.com/newsletter.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Optii to Roll out Its Hotel Operations Platform at The Alexander

The Alexander and Optii Solutions | November 17, 2022

Optii Solutions, the leading hotel operations software, today announced that The Alexander, A Dolce Hotel in Indianapolis has selected Optii as its hotel operations platform. The Alexander has adopted the full Optii platform to support its hotel operations team to work more efficiently and effectively. The property features 209 rooms across two towers, with 157 hotel rooms, and 52 extended stay residences. This layout and room mix increases the operational complexity, especially for the housekeeping staff when it comes to turnaround times and cleaning sequences. Kevin Green, Director of Operations, The Alexander, said: “We are always looking at how we can improve both the efficiency of our operation and the guest experience we provide. Using Optii to automate our housekeeping teams’ cleaning routes has saved us a considerable amount of time, so that guests can have earlier access to their rooms. Overall, guest satisfaction has been high since Optii’s adoption, and less time is wasted between when a room attendant is finishing a room and starting the next clean. It’s a win-win. “We are thrilled to have The Alexander as a customer. The dedication to sharing arts and culture with guests, really drives home what exceptional hospitality and experiences is all about. We are glad that we can play a part in removing operational challenges, so that the staff can focus on sharing the beautiful property with their guests.” -Katherine Grass, CEO, Optii Solutions, About The Alexander Nestled in the CityWay area of downtown Indianapolis, The Alexander, A Dolce Hotel, pairs contemporary design with unparalleled hospitality. Blocks from both the Gainbridge Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil Stadium, the downtown Indianapolis hotel is only minutes from top attractions and local events, including museums, professional sports, and the Indiana Convention Center. About Optii Solutions Optii Solutions is a hotel operations solution that leverages smarter technologies such as artificial intelligence, analytics, messaging and mobility to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of housekeeping and service delivery departments. For further information about Optii, please visit: www.optiisolutions.com

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM,HOSPITALITY TRENDS

EPISODE Hsinchu Officially Debuts as the First Hotel in the JdV by Hyatt Portfolio in Taiwan

Hyatt Hotels Corporation | November 22, 2022

Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) announced the official opening of EPISODE Hsinchu, marking the first hotel within the JdV by Hyatt portfolio in Taiwan and the debut of the Hotel EPISODE brand which delivers new experiences that match the unique rhythms of the modern lifestyle traveler."Modern travelers have outgrown the one-size-fits-all business versus leisure mindset, and in response, we created the Hotel EPISODE brand for that community. Our guests can fuse a day’s worth of collaborative work with new encounters that not only energize them, but also make time for true rest,” said Aaron Chan, Chairman of Riant Capital and creator of the Hotel EPISODE brand. Located along Taiwan’s northwestern coast, Hsinchu is about an hour’s drive from Taipei and 40 minutes from Taoyuan International Airport. The city is globally renowned for its Hsinchu Science Park – also known as the Silicon Valley of Taiwan, and is home to top science and technology-focused universities and research institutes. Aside from being a technology innovation hub, Hsinchu features ancient architectural and cultural landmarks such as Chenghuang Temple and East Gate as well as scenic attractions such as 18 Peaks Mountain Park and Siangshan Wetlands. The hotel is conveniently located adjacent to the main freeway exit and a short drive from the Hsinchu Science Park. Westwood Restaurant curated by Michelin-starred Chef Richie Lin Westwood is Hsinchu’s newest culinary destination, a modern California fusion bistro serving comfort food. With its 1930s Art Deco-inspired interiors and an island bar with a vintage LA vibe that takes center stage, Westwood is a great place to dine and imbibe. Every morning begins with Chef Richie Lin’s “Around the World” variety of Western and Asian breakfast bento, including California-style avocado pancakes, Scandinavian rye sourdough with smoked salmon, and Hsinchu rice noodles and guabao. SOCIAL, an all-access lounge for the community The hotel’s aptly named communal space, SOCIAL, is an “all-access” living room for in-house guests as well as anyone in the neighborhood to meet or celebrate. In addition to offering all-day complimentary snacks, refreshments and a daily happy hour, SOCIAL will regularly host comedy shows, movie nights, live musical performances and DJ sets, serving as a vibrant new platform in the city for play, creativity and discovery. Thoughtful In-room Amenities The pet-friendly hotel features 140 stylish rooms and suites, all of which come with fine comforts such as 400-thread-count sheets, Sealy premium pillowtop mattresses, sleep kits and luxurious bathroom amenities. For guests staying in the hotel’s most premium Loft Suites, a Dyson Supersonic hairdryer and a cocktail-making bar serving Aquagen sparkling water are among the joy-driven offerings. In-room bottled water for all guests is provided in reusable glass bottles, a first step in Hotel EPISODE brand’s commitment to be more environmentally conscious. Self-Check-In System Leveraging technology for more streamlined and efficient service, the hotel has introduced self-check-in kiosks with the goal of minimizing wait time at check-in. The traditional front desk has been replaced with a dedicated team of Experience Providers who offer personalized service to each guest. Embracing the brand’s namesake (joie de vivre), the JdV by Hyatt portfolio offers a collection of independent properties that are true reflections of the urban neighborhoods they call home, inviting guests and locals alike to connect and celebrate the joy of life while unwinding in spaces designed with distinctive personality. Special Opening Package Now Available to Book Enjoy a one-night stay with two Westwood breakfasts and set dinners (worth NT$1500) specially crafted by Chef Richie starting from NT$7,199. For more information, please visit the EPISODE Hsinchu website. To make a reservation, please contact 03-516-9311. World of Hyatt Gives Members 500 Reasons to Stay Somewhere New To provide World of Hyatt members even more ways to be rewarded, World of Hyatt is offering members the opportunity to earn 500 Bonus Points for qualifying nights at EPISODE Hsinchu from November 1, 2022 to February 28, 2023, as part of World of Hyatt’s new hotel member offer. Additional participating hotels and their offer stay periods can be found at worldofhyatt.com/newhotelbonus. No registration is required and members can earn on top of other offers. The term “Hyatt” is used in this release for convenience to refer to Hyatt Hotels Corporation and/or one or more of its affiliates. About JdV by Hyatt A community for the spirited, the light-hearted, the young-at-heart, the JdV by Hyatt brand offers a collection of vibrant, independent hotels that are true reflections of the urban neighborhoods we call home. Embracing its namesake (joie de vivre), the JdV by Hyatt brand invites guests and locals alike to connect, live in the moment and celebrate the joy of life. Each hotel provides an experience that is inclusive in spirit and space, inviting all to make each stay yours truly. Follow @JDVHotels on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for news and updates. For more information, please visit www.jdvbyhyatt.com. About Hyatt Hotels Corporation Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company guided by its purpose – to care for people so they can be their best. As of September 30, 2022, the Company’s portfolio included more than 1,200 hotels and all-inclusive properties in 72 countries across six continents. The Company's offering includes brands in the Timeless Collection, including Park Hyatt®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt®, Hyatt Residence Club®, Hyatt Place®, Hyatt House®, and UrCove; the Boundless Collection, including Miraval®, Alila®, Andaz®, Thompson Hotels®, Hyatt Centric®, and Caption by Hyatt; the Independent Collection, including The Unbound Collection by Hyatt®, Destination by Hyatt™, and JdV by Hyatt™; and the Inclusive Collection, including Hyatt Ziva®, Hyatt Zilara®, Zoëtry® Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets® Resorts & Spas, Breathless Resorts & Spas®, Dreams® Resorts & Spas, Vivid Hotels & Resorts®, Alua Hotels & Resorts®, and Sunscape® Resorts & Spas. Subsidiaries of the Company operate the World of Hyatt® loyalty program, ALG Vacations®, Unlimited Vacation Club®, Amstar DMC destination management services, and Trisept Solutions® technology services. For more information, please visit www.hyatt.com.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

LONELY PLANET'S BEST IN TRAVEL DESTINATIONS FOR 2023 REVEALED

Lonely Planet | November 18, 2022

Global travel authority Lonely Planet has unveiled its top destinations to visit next year with the release of Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2023. Lonely Planet's annual marquee moment celebrates its expert predictions for where to go in the year ahead. Best in Travel 2023 is Lonely Planet's 18th annual collection, featuring 30 must-visit destinations around the globe. As part of its larger ambition to deliver an engaging product that solves proactive travel planning needs through personalized, local-led guidance, Lonely Planet has reimagined Best In Travel for 2023. This year's list centers expert local perspectives at the heart of each destination, and is sorted by the type of trip best had there: eat, journey, connect, learn and unwind. This shift in the list's organization signals Lonely Planet's reinvigorated dedication to aiding travelers in navigating the world in the ways most meaningful to them. Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2023 offers a comprehensive set of itineraries aimed at helping travelers to explore the world — while following along with some seriously knowledgeable locally-based experts along the way. The eat category features Peru's capital Lima alongside chef Ricardo Martins, affordable world class dining in South Africa and the dining scene around Umbria, Italy, among others. Intrepid journeys include the reinstated night train between Istanbul and Sofia, Bulgaria and a long-weekend road trip through Nova Scotia, Canada's dramatic Atlantic province narrated by surfer Dean Petty. The overlooked peninsula of Halkidiki in Greece, historic Jordan told through the lens of designer Tania George, future-facing Jamaica and ever-popular Malta all offer tempting chances to unwind. Travelers looking to connect with distinctive local scenes are directed to the buzzing art-centric Accra with Surf Ghana's Sandy Alibo and musician Pure Akan, as well as Sydney, back on the map after the enforced separation of the past few years. In the learn category Lonely Planet spotlights destinations such as New Mexico with the incredible Native American hoop dancer ShanDien Sonwai LaRance, Manchester, home to one of the UK's most dynamic arts scenes, and the laid-back surf culture of El Salvador. Each year, Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2023 lists start with nominations from Lonely Planet's vast community of staff, writers, bloggers, publishing partners and more. The nominations are then whittled down by its panel of travel experts to just 30 destinations. Each is chosen for its topicality, unique experiences, 'wow' factor and its ongoing commitment to sustainability, community and diversity. According to Lonely Planet's Senior Vice President of Content and Executive Editor Nitya Chambers the release of Lonely Planet's annual "hot list" of destinations and travel experiences comes at an exciting time to be planning travel. "2023 is shaping up to be the year to get out and explore. With much of the world firmly on the road to recovery, travelers are looking for different locations and experiences. The lists celebrate the world in all its wonderful enticing variety," Chambers continues. "Each of the itineraries in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2023 shows how to leave the crowds behind and truly get the heart of a destination. As always Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2023 delivers new takes on popular destinations such as Western Australia and Japan, and unearths some lesser-known gems like the food scene in Montevideo, Uruguay, indigenous community-operated attractions in Alaska and South America's eco-tourism rising star Guyana. Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2023 - Complete List EAT JOURNEY UNWIND CONNECT LEARN Umbria, Italy Istanbul to Sofia Halkidiki, Greece Alaska Manchester, UK Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Nova Scotia, Canada Jamaica Albania New Mexico, USA Fukuoka, Japan Bhutan Dominica Accra, Ghana Dresden, Germany Lima, Peru Zambia Raja Ampat, Indonesia Sydney, Australia El Salvador South Africa Western Australia Malta Guyana Southern Scotland Montevideo, Uruguay National Natural Parks, Colombia Jordan Boise, USA Marseille, France ABOUT LONELY PLANET A trusted voice in travel guidance, Lonely Planet is part of the Red Ventures portfolio. Providing both inspiring and trustworthy information for every kind of traveler since 1973, Lonely Planet reaches hundreds of millions of travelers each year helping them unlock amazing experiences. Lonely Planet can be found on lonelyplanet.com, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter, through video and in 14 languages, armchair and lifestyle books, e-books and more. Over the past 49 years Lonely Planet has printed over 145 million guidebooks covering 221 countries as well as countless other titles showcasing the wonders of the world for travelers of all types. Visit Lonely Planet at lonelyplanet.com and join our community of followers on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and sign up for the Lonely Planet Newsletter at lonelyplanet.com/newsletter.

Read More

TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Optii to Roll out Its Hotel Operations Platform at The Alexander

The Alexander and Optii Solutions | November 17, 2022

Optii Solutions, the leading hotel operations software, today announced that The Alexander, A Dolce Hotel in Indianapolis has selected Optii as its hotel operations platform. The Alexander has adopted the full Optii platform to support its hotel operations team to work more efficiently and effectively. The property features 209 rooms across two towers, with 157 hotel rooms, and 52 extended stay residences. This layout and room mix increases the operational complexity, especially for the housekeeping staff when it comes to turnaround times and cleaning sequences. Kevin Green, Director of Operations, The Alexander, said: “We are always looking at how we can improve both the efficiency of our operation and the guest experience we provide. Using Optii to automate our housekeeping teams’ cleaning routes has saved us a considerable amount of time, so that guests can have earlier access to their rooms. Overall, guest satisfaction has been high since Optii’s adoption, and less time is wasted between when a room attendant is finishing a room and starting the next clean. It’s a win-win. “We are thrilled to have The Alexander as a customer. The dedication to sharing arts and culture with guests, really drives home what exceptional hospitality and experiences is all about. We are glad that we can play a part in removing operational challenges, so that the staff can focus on sharing the beautiful property with their guests.” -Katherine Grass, CEO, Optii Solutions, About The Alexander Nestled in the CityWay area of downtown Indianapolis, The Alexander, A Dolce Hotel, pairs contemporary design with unparalleled hospitality. Blocks from both the Gainbridge Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil Stadium, the downtown Indianapolis hotel is only minutes from top attractions and local events, including museums, professional sports, and the Indiana Convention Center. About Optii Solutions Optii Solutions is a hotel operations solution that leverages smarter technologies such as artificial intelligence, analytics, messaging and mobility to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of housekeeping and service delivery departments. For further information about Optii, please visit: www.optiisolutions.com

Read More

DESTINATION AND TOURISM,HOSPITALITY TRENDS

EPISODE Hsinchu Officially Debuts as the First Hotel in the JdV by Hyatt Portfolio in Taiwan

Hyatt Hotels Corporation | November 22, 2022

Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) announced the official opening of EPISODE Hsinchu, marking the first hotel within the JdV by Hyatt portfolio in Taiwan and the debut of the Hotel EPISODE brand which delivers new experiences that match the unique rhythms of the modern lifestyle traveler."Modern travelers have outgrown the one-size-fits-all business versus leisure mindset, and in response, we created the Hotel EPISODE brand for that community. Our guests can fuse a day’s worth of collaborative work with new encounters that not only energize them, but also make time for true rest,” said Aaron Chan, Chairman of Riant Capital and creator of the Hotel EPISODE brand. Located along Taiwan’s northwestern coast, Hsinchu is about an hour’s drive from Taipei and 40 minutes from Taoyuan International Airport. The city is globally renowned for its Hsinchu Science Park – also known as the Silicon Valley of Taiwan, and is home to top science and technology-focused universities and research institutes. Aside from being a technology innovation hub, Hsinchu features ancient architectural and cultural landmarks such as Chenghuang Temple and East Gate as well as scenic attractions such as 18 Peaks Mountain Park and Siangshan Wetlands. The hotel is conveniently located adjacent to the main freeway exit and a short drive from the Hsinchu Science Park. Westwood Restaurant curated by Michelin-starred Chef Richie Lin Westwood is Hsinchu’s newest culinary destination, a modern California fusion bistro serving comfort food. With its 1930s Art Deco-inspired interiors and an island bar with a vintage LA vibe that takes center stage, Westwood is a great place to dine and imbibe. Every morning begins with Chef Richie Lin’s “Around the World” variety of Western and Asian breakfast bento, including California-style avocado pancakes, Scandinavian rye sourdough with smoked salmon, and Hsinchu rice noodles and guabao. SOCIAL, an all-access lounge for the community The hotel’s aptly named communal space, SOCIAL, is an “all-access” living room for in-house guests as well as anyone in the neighborhood to meet or celebrate. In addition to offering all-day complimentary snacks, refreshments and a daily happy hour, SOCIAL will regularly host comedy shows, movie nights, live musical performances and DJ sets, serving as a vibrant new platform in the city for play, creativity and discovery. Thoughtful In-room Amenities The pet-friendly hotel features 140 stylish rooms and suites, all of which come with fine comforts such as 400-thread-count sheets, Sealy premium pillowtop mattresses, sleep kits and luxurious bathroom amenities. For guests staying in the hotel’s most premium Loft Suites, a Dyson Supersonic hairdryer and a cocktail-making bar serving Aquagen sparkling water are among the joy-driven offerings. In-room bottled water for all guests is provided in reusable glass bottles, a first step in Hotel EPISODE brand’s commitment to be more environmentally conscious. Self-Check-In System Leveraging technology for more streamlined and efficient service, the hotel has introduced self-check-in kiosks with the goal of minimizing wait time at check-in. The traditional front desk has been replaced with a dedicated team of Experience Providers who offer personalized service to each guest. Embracing the brand’s namesake (joie de vivre), the JdV by Hyatt portfolio offers a collection of independent properties that are true reflections of the urban neighborhoods they call home, inviting guests and locals alike to connect and celebrate the joy of life while unwinding in spaces designed with distinctive personality. Special Opening Package Now Available to Book Enjoy a one-night stay with two Westwood breakfasts and set dinners (worth NT$1500) specially crafted by Chef Richie starting from NT$7,199. For more information, please visit the EPISODE Hsinchu website. To make a reservation, please contact 03-516-9311. World of Hyatt Gives Members 500 Reasons to Stay Somewhere New To provide World of Hyatt members even more ways to be rewarded, World of Hyatt is offering members the opportunity to earn 500 Bonus Points for qualifying nights at EPISODE Hsinchu from November 1, 2022 to February 28, 2023, as part of World of Hyatt’s new hotel member offer. Additional participating hotels and their offer stay periods can be found at worldofhyatt.com/newhotelbonus. No registration is required and members can earn on top of other offers. The term “Hyatt” is used in this release for convenience to refer to Hyatt Hotels Corporation and/or one or more of its affiliates. About JdV by Hyatt A community for the spirited, the light-hearted, the young-at-heart, the JdV by Hyatt brand offers a collection of vibrant, independent hotels that are true reflections of the urban neighborhoods we call home. Embracing its namesake (joie de vivre), the JdV by Hyatt brand invites guests and locals alike to connect, live in the moment and celebrate the joy of life. Each hotel provides an experience that is inclusive in spirit and space, inviting all to make each stay yours truly. Follow @JDVHotels on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for news and updates. For more information, please visit www.jdvbyhyatt.com. About Hyatt Hotels Corporation Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company guided by its purpose – to care for people so they can be their best. As of September 30, 2022, the Company’s portfolio included more than 1,200 hotels and all-inclusive properties in 72 countries across six continents. The Company's offering includes brands in the Timeless Collection, including Park Hyatt®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt®, Hyatt Residence Club®, Hyatt Place®, Hyatt House®, and UrCove; the Boundless Collection, including Miraval®, Alila®, Andaz®, Thompson Hotels®, Hyatt Centric®, and Caption by Hyatt; the Independent Collection, including The Unbound Collection by Hyatt®, Destination by Hyatt™, and JdV by Hyatt™; and the Inclusive Collection, including Hyatt Ziva®, Hyatt Zilara®, Zoëtry® Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets® Resorts & Spas, Breathless Resorts & Spas®, Dreams® Resorts & Spas, Vivid Hotels & Resorts®, Alua Hotels & Resorts®, and Sunscape® Resorts & Spas. Subsidiaries of the Company operate the World of Hyatt® loyalty program, ALG Vacations®, Unlimited Vacation Club®, Amstar DMC destination management services, and Trisept Solutions® technology services. For more information, please visit www.hyatt.com.

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