AAA, ACG to join hands to revive Puerto Rico tourism

Travel and Tour World | April 23, 2019

The Auto Club Group (ACG) and AAA Travel Agency intend to join hands to help Puerto Rico’s tourism industry which is still recovering from Hurricane Maria, which struck the island in 2017.“ACG has a long heritage of helping the communities we serve,” said Deborah Haas, Vice President, Travel Products and Services. “With this project we further extend our community impact in an area which the AAA Travel Agency helps travellers visit every year.”In May, ACG will sponsor a three-day event, hosted by Tourism Cares, a non-profit organisation which unites the travel and tourism industry to benefit local communities. ACG will join organisations like World Central Kitchen and Foundation for Puerto Rico at the event to exchange knowledge, participate in hands-on volunteering programmes and explore different ways to support the people of Puerto Rico.

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FEATURES AND ADVICE

IDEMIA ID2Travel Delivers End-To-End Frictionless Biometric Travel Experience in North America

IDEMIA I&S North America | December 07, 2021

IDEMIA I&S North America, the leading identity security and authentication solutions provider, announced the first-of-its-kind travel platform, ID2Travel is launching in North America. ID2Travel is the only interoperable traveler identity platform covering the entire passenger facilitation ecosystem, already proven by IDEMIA and partners around the globe.Based on identity management and biometric identification, ID2Travel is a passenger facilitation solution that improves the traveler experience to deliver efficient, secure and frictionless travel. The platform is interoperable and can be deployed as part of the airport, airline, port or any travel-based infrastructure, or through IDEMIA's patented and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)-rated biometric capture solutions. The passenger experience from check-in and across every touchpoint in the travel experience uses identity proofing that leverages mobile enrollment with secured digital credentials on the traveler's mobile device, biometric devices, and technology back-end services. "ID2Travel is transforming the entire travel experience,Prior to COVID, Americans took approximately 2.3 billion trips, over a one-year period, and this makes the need for the passenger experience to be even more frictionless and seamless as we return to pre-pandemic travel patterns. With that experience and privacy in mind, the timing couldn't be more ideal to launch our ID2Travel offering in North America to improve passenger flow and maintain a touchless experience, while balancing interoperability throughout the broader travel ecosystem." -Lisa Sullivan, Senior Vice President, Travel and Transport, IDEMIA I&S North America Passengers can enroll using a mobile device from home by scanning a state ID or passport, and then taking a selfie to do a 1:1 match. Once submitted for enrollment, travelers will be able to use biometrics to securely and simply move through the airport to their gate and beyond in their travel experience. The IDEMIA solution also allows passengers to opt out and remove their enrollment at any time and all data is immediately removed from the system, empowering the traveler to take full control of their personal identity information (PII). IDEMIA is the only company that has successfully delivered a complete biometric enrollment to gate frictionless passenger facilitation solution (Fast and Seamless travel at Changi by IDEMIA, Aéroport Paris Orly, a biometric journey from check-in to boarding, Iceland's Comprehensive Entry/Exit System with IDEMIA).For more information visit: https://www.na.idemia.com/id2travel About IDEMIA I&S North America IDEMIA I&S is a leader in identity security and authentication services to governments and private companies, operating in North America. Our mission is to help people access what matters most more quickly, more safely, and more securely, in both the physical and the digital worlds. Our best-in-class technology helps to authenticate and secure physical and digital transactions. IDEMIA is recognized by the National Institute of Standards (NIST) as a top-ranking participant in the Institute's passenger facilitation simulation testing as well as in its regular Face Recognition Vender Test (FRVT) rankings, reinforcing the trustworthiness and reliability of IDEMIA's facial recognition solutions for government and consumers alike.

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

United Airlines and Virgin Australia Group Announce New Partnership

United Airlines & Virgin Australia Group | December 14, 2021

United and Virgin Australia Group announced today a new partnership that will enhance the travel experience between Australia and the Americas. This partnership will add more benefits for both MileagePlus and Velocity Frequent Flyer members as well as access to more one-stop connections to cities across the United States, Australia, Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America. The agreement, which is subject to government approval, is set to roll out starting in early 2022.Australia has always been a key part of United's network as demonstrated by United being the only carrier to maintain passenger service between the U.S. and Australia throughout the pandemic. In addition, United offers more flights to Australia than any other U.S. carrier and now extends its presence by adding Virgin Australia Group's comprehensive network. "The United States and Australia share a special bond and I'm especially proud that United was the only airline to maintain a vital link between these two countries throughout the pandemic,Looking ahead, Virgin Australia is the perfect partner for United. Our partnership provides considerable commercial value for both airlines and a shared commitment to offer the best travel experience for our customers." -United CEO Scott Kirby. United currently offers daily direct flights from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Sydney, while other services including flights from Houston and direct services to Melbourne are expected to resume later in 2022. Under this new partnership, United's customers will now have access to top Australian destinations including Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. In addition to the ability to redeem and earn points/miles, eligible premier MileagePlus and Velocity members will also receive the following benefits when flying on United and Virgin Australia worldwide: Priority check-in Priority boarding Priority baggage delivery and additional baggage check allowance Priority security clearance Lounge access The partnership will also triple Virgin Australia's reach into the U.S., with customers accessing United's vast domestic and international network, connecting at United's multiple Australian gateways. The partnership is another significant customer enhancement for the relaunched Virgin Australia, that will also see the airline resume the sale of codeshare flights at virginaustralia.com, starting with United services in early 2022, followed by the airline's other international partners. Virgin Australia first paused the sale of codeshare flights on its website at the height of the pandemic, and today's announcement will open a new gateway for travel between Australia and the U.S. and beyond. "We are grateful to have such a strong partner in United,They have proudly been one of Australia's most loyal and long serving aviation partners and their market strength both to Australia and in the United States brings great value to our guests. We look forward to innovating together on behalf of our guests to ensure they have the very best travel experiences to over 90 destinations in the U.S." -Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka. Committed to Ensuring a Safe Journey United is committed to putting health and safety at the forefront of every customer's journey, with the goal of delivering an industry-leading standard of cleanliness through its United CleanPlus SM program. United has teamed up with Clorox and Cleveland Clinic to redefine cleaning and health safety procedures from check-in to landing and has implemented more than a dozen new policies, protocols and innovations designed with the safety of customers and employees in mind. To manage entry requirements in different destinations, and find places to get tests, customer can visit United's Travel Ready Center. United Next United is more focused than ever on its commitment to customers and employees. In addition to today's announcement, United has recently: Launched an ambitious plan to transform the United customer experience by adding and upgrading hundreds of aircraft as well as investing in features like larger overhead bins, seatback entertainment in every seat and the industry's fastest available Wi-Fi. Announced a goal to create 25,000 unionized jobs by 2026 that includes careers as pilots, flight attendants, agents, technicians, and dispatchers. Announced that United will train at least 5,000 pilots by 2030 through the United Aviate Academy, with the plan of at least half being women and people of color. Required all U.S. employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Became the first airline to offer customers the ability to check their destination's travel requirements, schedule COVID-19 tests and more on its mobile app and website. Invested in emerging technologies that are designed to decarbonize air travel, like an agreement to work with urban air mobility company Archer, an investment in aircraft startup Heart Aerospace and a purchase agreement with Boom Supersonic. Committed to going 100% green by 2050 by reducing 100% of our greenhouse gas emissions without relying on traditional carbon offsets, including a recent agreement to purchase one and a half times the amount of all of the rest of the world's airlines' publicly announced Sustainable Aviation Fuel commitments combined. Eliminated change fees for all economy and premium cabin tickets for travel within the U.S. About United United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." In 2019, United and United Express® carriers operated more than 1.7 million flights carrying more than 162 million customers. United has the most comprehensive route network among North American carriers, including U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. For more about how to join the United team, please visit united.com/careers and more information about the company is at united.com. United Airlines Holdings, Inc. is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL". About Virgin Australia Virgin Australia Group is a major Australian airline operating scheduled domestic and short-haul international flights, charter and cargo services, and the award-winning loyalty program Velocity Frequent Flyer.The Group has been a competitor in the Australian aviation landscape for more than 20 years, carrying tens of millions of passengers in that time and operates three seating choices; Economy, Economy X (extra leg room Economy) and Business Class.Virgin Australia is now embarking on an exciting new chapter. In September 2020, US private equity firm Bain Capital acquired Virgin Australia and relaunched it as a mid-market carrier with a renewed focus on its heartland customer. Since that time the airline has simplified its fleet structure to an all-Boeing 737 fleet and has made significant investments in technology and customer experience. Virgin Australia is focussed on creating great experiences and has won many awards over the years including Best Cabin Crew, Best Domestic Airline and Best Economy Class. Velocity Frequent Flyer has also scooped a wealth of prestigious gongs including the Freddie Awards Best Program of the Year and Best Redemption Ability for Asia/Middle East and Oceania.+

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Newmark Expands Hotel Capital Markets Practice with New Hires and Three New Locations

Newmark | October 07, 2021

Newmark Group, Inc. announced the expansion of its Lodging Capital Markets Group with two new hires and the relocation of two Newmark professionals. With these moves, the Group has established three new locations in California, South Florida and Texas. The new hires include Nick Pappas, a Senior Managing Director based in Los Angeles and Parker Sherrill, a Director based in Dallas. Lawrence Wolfe, one of four co-heads of Newmark's Lodging Capital Markets Group, is relocating to Miami from New York City and Director Greg Morgan is relocating to Los Angeles from Washington, D.C. With approximately $4.5 billion of hotel transactions currently under contract or in the market, this geographic expansion will further cement Newmark's Lodging Capital Markets Group as one of the leading platforms nationally. The company's recent transactions include arranging the sale of the Potomac Yards hotels in Washington, D.C.; the financing of the Edition West Hollywood and the recapitalization of the Graduate Hotel platform. The impressive collective career resume of Newmark's hospitality professionals includes more than $250 billion of transactions, including some of the most high-profile lodging deals ever completed, such as the sales of the Waldorf Astoria and Baccarat Hotel in New York, Miami Beach's Setai Hotel and Four Seasons Washington, D.C.; as well as the recapitalization of Kiawah Island Resort and the financing of the London West Hollywood. The Group focuses on all lodging and leisure capital markets transactions, including sales, joint ventures and financings. "As 'drive-to' leisure destinations throughout the U.S. are already seeing increasingly strong demand, the hospitality industry's recovery is expected to be fueled by the return of group and corporate travel as well as international tourism in 2022. We are thrilled to announce the continued expansion of Newmark's lodging capital markets platform. We have always been active in the southeast and Texas and on the West Coast, and we believe those three regions will be among the most active markets in our business over the next several years." said Adam Etra, Vice Chairman, Co-Founder and Co-Head of Newmark's Lodging Capital Markets Group. Pappas joins Newmark from Canyon Partners and will team with Director Greg Morgan in the Los Angeles office. The two will focus on California, the Pacific Northwest and the Mountain Region. Sherrill, who joins Newmark from JLL (and previously HFF), will focus on Texas and the Southwest Region. Wolfe, who helped originally establish Newmark's lodging business with Etra, Mark Schoenholtz and Miles Spencer in 2018, will focus on Florida and the Southeast, while continuing to work on the platform's high-profile transactions throughout the country. With new locations in California, South Florida and Texas, the Lodging Capital Markets Group will further entrench themselves in some of the highest-performing and most pandemic-resilient markets. Newmark's expansion covers four of the five markets with the highest year-to-date revenue per available room (RevPAR) – Miami, Tampa, San Diego and Los Angeles, according to STR. Additionally, the Pacific Region has had the highest RevPAR in the country over the past two years, according to STR. Economic fundamentals and demographics also continue to outpace those of other regions – eight of the top ten metropolitan regions with the largest increase in construction employment were in the Western U.S. or Florida, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and numerous cities throughout the West and Florida have some of the fastest growing populations. About Newmark Newmark Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NMRK), together with its subsidiaries ("Newmark"), is a world leader in commercial real estate, seamlessly powering every phase of the property life cycle. Newmark's comprehensive suite of services and products is uniquely tailored to each client, from owners to occupiers, investors to founders, and startups to blue-chip companies. Combining the platform's global reach with market intelligence in both established and emerging property markets, Newmark provides superior service to clients across the industry spectrum. Newmark generated revenues in excess of $2.2 billion for the trailing twelve months ending June 30, 2021. Newmark's company-owned offices, together with its business partners, operate from over 160 offices with approximately 6,200 professionals around the world.

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