TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Affirm and Agoda Enter Partnership

Agoda | June 14, 2022

Affirm and Agoda Enter
On June 13, payment network Affirm announced a partnership with global travel platform Agoda. Agoda is part of Booking Holdings, the world’s leading online travel and related services provider. This partnership allows eligible travelers to book their hotel stays for upcoming trips across the Agoda platform via app and web. In addition, they can pay over time for bookings exceeding $50.

When travelers choose Affirm as a checkout action on Agoda, those eligible can split the total cost of their purchases into either biweekly or monthly payments for as low as 0% APR. Travelers get to see the total cost of their purchase at the time and never have to pay more than the agreed amount upfront. Agoda has integrated Affirm’s Adaptive Checkout to offer customers various payment options to choose from based on their budget and preferences. Eligible travelers also have an option to pay four interest-free biweekly payments and  monthly payment options.

“We are always looking for innovative ways to help more people access travel, using tech to simplify the search, booking and payment processes,The launch of pay-over-time options with Affirm will enable travelers in North America who might have previously found it inconvenient to pay for their booking in one lump sum to spread the costs over multiple payments without incurring any compound interest or additional costs. We’re helping consumers get back out into the world of travel – on their own terms.”

-Agoda’s Chief Financial Officer Thi-Mai-Linh Bui.

According to a recent Affirm Consumer Spend Report, 80% of consumers agree that 2022 will be the year they splurge on a bucket-list trip and nearly 30% plan to pay for travel expenses over time instead of all at once, said Affirm’s Chief Revenue Officer Geoff Kott. “Our partnership with Agoda gives more travelers a budget-friendly way to pay for their next milestone vacation so they can travel without concern for late or hidden fees.

Spotlight

This report was produced in collaboration with the Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism. The Tisch Center is a leading academic center and research partner for the tourism and hospitality industries. Sustainability and sustainable travel are central components in NYUSPS Tisch Center undergraduate and graduate degree programs, through which students examine global best practices in destination management, transport regulations and responsible visitation. This holistic and community-based view on travel enables students to critically analyze tourism products, and understand the role of technology in encouraging sustainability in destination development and management. Please visit sps.nyu.edu/tischcenter for additional information.

Spotlight

This report was produced in collaboration with the Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism. The Tisch Center is a leading academic center and research partner for the tourism and hospitality industries. Sustainability and sustainable travel are central components in NYUSPS Tisch Center undergraduate and graduate degree programs, through which students examine global best practices in destination management, transport regulations and responsible visitation. This holistic and community-based view on travel enables students to critically analyze tourism products, and understand the role of technology in encouraging sustainability in destination development and management. Please visit sps.nyu.edu/tischcenter for additional information.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Four Seasons Expands in Egypt with Addition of Three New Luxury Hotel and Residential Projects

Four Seasons | August 20, 2022

Leading luxury hospitality company Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, in partnership with real estate development corporation Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG), announces plans for an extensive portfolio expansion in Egypt with the addition of new hotels, residential offerings and significant propertyFour Seasons Hotel and Private Residences New Cairo Capital at Madinaty and Four Seasons Hotel Luxor will be introduced in Egypt through this upcoming phase of strategic growth, further building upon the latest multi-million dollar property enhancements at Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Sharm El Sheikh, which doubled the offerings of the existing property with new accommodations, dining outlets, leisure activities, and more. "Egypt is an important destination in Four Seasons history, as it marked our brand's entry into the Middle East 22 years ago. Our continued expansion illustrates our ongoing commitment to the region, and all that it has to offer for luxury travellers and homeowners, TMG has long been an integral development partner for our projects in Cairo at Nile Plaza, Alexandria at San Stefano and Sharm El Sheikh. We are thrilled to continue our exceptional work together, providing guests and residents in Egypt with unmatched luxury experiences through our collection of new hotel and residential offerings." -Bart Carnahan, President, Global Business Development and Portfolio Management Introducing Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences New Cairo Capital at Madinaty Located in the heart of the capital's new evolution, New Cairo Capital is a global destination that stands entirely on its own. Anticipated to open in 2025 and set within the extraordinary Madinaty development on 185 hectares (460 acres) of verdant parkland, Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences New Cairo Capital at Madinaty will be a captivating destination for those who wish to visit the ancient metropolis of Cairo and effortlessly explore the modern extension of the iconic capital city. Each with world-class amenities and surrounded by lush gardens, the Hotel will feature 346 rooms and suites, while the Private Residences will be comprised of 107 villas and 80 luxury residences. The villas will range from 721 to 1,847 square metres (7,761 to 19,881 square feet) with six configurations featuring a contemporary design, floor-to-ceiling windows, rooftop gardens, limestone finishings and private pools, all reminiscent of majestic Egyptian palaces, while luxury residences will range from 221 to 670 square metres (2,379 to 7,212 square feet) with five configurations. Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences New Cairo Capital at Madinaty will bring to life an enchanting culinary experience for guests and residents alike. Gourmet restaurant and bar options will include a waterfront restaurant at the centre of the property with several private dining, al fresco, international and Egyptian-inspired outlets sprinkled throughout the expansive property. The Hotel and Private Residences will also feature a standalone spa and fitness facility. Across several private treatment rooms, an extensive array of tennis and multi-sport courts, guided group classes, and state-of-the-art fitness equipment, visitors will be treated to an intentional space that has been designed for the art of wellbeing. Setting the stage for remarkable events, the Hotel's ballroom features striking vaulted ceilings and generous outdoor event lawn space to accommodate occasions big and small among loved ones and colleagues. Off property, the dynamic destination will offer guests, residents and their families easy access to additional gourmet restaurants, world-class golf courses, exceptional retail outlets, private schools and a full suite of attractions for all to enjoy in New Cairo Capital and Madinaty. The property is being designed by the legendary Pierre Yves-Rochon, who has also worked on Four Seasons properties in Paris, Megève, Bahrain Bay, Doha, Florence, and more. Introducing Four Seasons Hotel Luxor Perched on the Nile River in the south of Egypt, Luxor is one of the country's most storied destinations and considered to be one of the world's greatest ancient sites. Best known for its history as the ancient city of Thebes and its breathtaking Karnak and Luxor temple complexes, this impressively historic city acts as an open-air museum with some of Egypt's finest artifacts on grand display throughout. Set to open in 2025, Four Seasons Hotel Luxor will include 200 guest rooms and suites, each with views of the Nile River, the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens. The Hotel will be located just south of the highly acclaimed Luxor Temple, which dates back to 1400 BC. After a day of exploring the wonders of Luxor, guests will enjoy several restaurant and bar outlets, a tranquil spa, a fitness facility, multiple pools, luxury retail, a Kids For All Seasons program and a young adults centre. For those visiting for business or to host a special event, the property will feature expansive meeting and event spaces totalling 1,300 square metres (14,000 square feet). WATG Architects, who have helped create Four Seasons experiences in Maui, Dubai at Jumeirah Beach, Tianjin and a soon-to-come project in Hanoi will lead the design of the building, with Wimberly Interiors overseeing the interiors, who have worked on Four Seasons projects in Los Angeles and Maui. Announcing New Four Seasons Private Residences at Sharm El Sheikh Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Sharm El Sheikh has introduced a new era of seaside luxury to what has been one of Egypt's most celebrated resorts since its opening 20 years ago. While the legendary service has remained the same, the property has now doubled in size following an exceptional enhancement project, with new accommodations, restaurants, recreational facilities and meeting spaces for travellers who seek a magical blend of mountains, desert and sea. The expansion project includes the addition of 69 Private Residences to the existing collection of 77, giving luxury homeowners the very best of seaside living in Egypt. Overlooking crystal-clear waters and more than one kilometre (3,200 feet) of private beachfront, residents enjoy the property management and service expertise of Four Seasons dedicated residential team as well as priority access to the amenities and offerings of the newly expanded resort, which include twelve exciting culinary concepts, tennis courts, a golf course, fitness facilities, entry to one of the world's most renowned dive sites, and so much more. The new residential offerings will be comprised of 25 villas and 44 chalets ranging from 195 to 240 square metres (2,100 to 2,600 square feet). The two-bedroom ensuite chalets will feature expansive living spaces with sophisticated interiors and private pools. The four-bedroom villas will include sea views, private pools, spacious open-air entertaining setups and will have a total gross area of 710 square metres (7,650 square feet). With only two in the collection, the five-bedroom villas will be custom designed to the owner's discretion and occupy expansion plots with uninterrupted views of the Red Sea. Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences New Cairo Capital at Madinaty and Four Seasons Hotel Luxor will join the brand's portfolio in Egypt including Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at The First Residence, Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza, Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano and Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh. With these latest residential additions, Four Seasons will now manage more than 300 Private Residences across multiple markets in Egypt. Private Residence owners enjoy the thoughtful integration of Four Seasons legendary service along with first-class design, hotel-inspired amenities, and a dedicated residential team. Whether owners are at home or abroad, Four Seasons is on hand to secure and maintain residences, providing added peace of mind and a seamless ownership experience. About Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts opened its first hotel in 1961, and since that time has been dedicated to perfecting the travel experience through continual innovation and the highest standards of hospitality. Currently operating 124 hotels and resorts, and 50 residential properties in major city centres and resort destinations in 47 countries, and with more than 50 projects under planning or development, Four Seasons consistently ranks among the world's best hotels and most prestigious brands in reader polls, traveller reviews and industry awards. For more information, visit fourseasons.com. For the latest news, visit press.fourseasons.com and follow @FourSeasonsPR on Twitter. About Talaat Moustafa Group Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG) Holding is a leading conglomerate with special emphasis on developing integrated communities, including but not limited to mixed-use real estate and hospitality projects across Egypt's key cities, with a land bank of 53 million square meters. Driven by a sharp vision and a unique philosophy, TMG has shaped the urban landscape by developing luxurious, self-sustained cities and communities and an array of residential, commercial and hospitality projects nationwide. TMG excels at creating a unique template for community living and is dedicated to maintaining the highest quality of standards while continuously striving to lead for a new future-proof way of life with people at its core. The group has a strong track record of 50 years in the housing and real-estate development industry, having developed over 33 million square meters of land and sold over 90,000 units. TMG topped the Egyptian companies among the Forbes global list of the 50 most powerful real estate companies in the Middle East and North Africa 2021.

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AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

Vietnam Airlines extends long-standing relationship with Sabre as the carrier continues to play significant role in Vietnam’s tourism resurgence

Vietnam Airlines | September 06, 2022

Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, today announced an extended distribution agreement with Vietnamese flag carrier Vietnam Airlines. The new deal means that Vietnam Airlines will continue to distribute its content to the large network of travel agents through Sabre’s extensive travel marketplace. The agreement further strengthens Sabre’s presence in the Vietnam aviation marketplace and the relationship between Sabre and Vietnam Airlines. In addition to Sabre’s Global Distribution system (GDS), the Hanoi-based carrier also uses a comprehensive suite of SabreSonic Passenger Service System (PSS) technology including reservation and ticketing, inventory and departure control solutions. Vietnam Airlines also leverages Sabre’s Revenue Optimizer to maximize revenue using near-real time network partner and comprehensive passenger revenue performance data as well as further Sabre solutions to enable the carrier to provide travelers with a premium personalized experience. “The aviation industry has evolved rapidly in recent years, and we highly appreciate Sabre’s wide-ranging, robust, scalable technological solutions for having brought significant value to Vietnam Airlines. Sabre’s robust global marketplace has supported Vietnam Airlines efficiently in reaching travelers worldwide following the easing of travel restrictions in Vietnam, We also appreciate the commitment of Sabre in supporting the recovery and growth of Vietnam Airlines as well as the Vietnam travel industry during and after Covid-19 pandemic. Today, we’re very happy to reaffirm our long-standing partnership that our two corporations have enjoyed for over a decade, and look forward to new successes in the future.” -Le Hong Ha, CEO, Vietnam Airlines. The expanded distribution agreement between Sabre and Vietnam Airlines was signed between Mr. Trinh Ngoc Thanh, Vietnam Airlines’ Executive Vice President and Sabre’s Vice President, Regional General Manager, Asia Pacific, Travel Solutions Agency Sales, Mr. Rakesh Narayanan at Vietnam Airlines’ headquarters in Hanoi. Operating across dozens of domestic and international destinations, Vietnam Airlines continues to ramp up operations following the re-opening of Vietnam’s borders to international travelers earlier this year. The carrier is playing a key role in Vietnam’s aim to push tourist arrivals to five million this year, including attracting tourists from key markets including India, the US, Europe and the Middle East. “The fact that we’re able to be in Vietnam to meet our valued partners at Vietnam Airlines and sign this agreement in person is testament to the strong recovery we are seeing across all sectors of the travel industry, This agreement demonstrates our clear commitment to supporting the rapid recovery and future growth of the Vietnam travel industry. We’re excited that Sabre will continue to bring significant value to Vietnam Airlines at this critical time for Vietnam’s aviation market and we look forward to continuing to enable the carrier to connect the world to some of Asia’s most exciting destinations.” -Sean Menke, Chair of the Board and CEO, Sabre. About Sabre Corporation   Sabre Corporation is a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, serving a wide range of travel companies including airlines, hoteliers, travel agencies and other suppliers. The company provides retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, drive revenue and offer personalized traveler experiences. Through its leading travel marketplace, Sabre connects travel suppliers with buyers from around the globe. Sabre’s technology platform manages more than $260B worth of global travel spend annually. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world. For more information visit www.sabre.com. About Vietnam Airlines Vietnam Airlines – a member of SkyTeam Alliance – is the flag carrier of Vietnam and the major carrier in South East Asia. Vietnam Airlines provides air transport services on over 100 routes to more than 20 domestic and 30 international destinations. Operating a modern fleet of more than 100 aircraft, Vietnam Airlines is the first airline in Asia-Pacific to simultaneously operate modern, wide-body aircraft Boeing 787 and Airbus A350. Vietnam Airlines takes great pride in offering its passengers consistent on-time-performance, absolute safety, high quality services embedded with Vietnamese cultural identity. Vietnam Airlines has maintained Skytrax’s 4-star service quality for years and is gradually upgrading to 5-star standard.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

IDnow joins Accelerate@IATA to shape the future of seamless air travel

IDnow | September 13, 2022

IDnow, a leading European identity proofing platform provider, is pleased to announce its participation in the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) Accelerate@IATA 2022 accelerator program. IDnow is working with IATA and its members, providing expertise and regulatory know-how in the field of identity proofing and digital identity. Together, IATA and IDnow are working on the shared goal of making flying more seamless and low-touch for passengers, while lowering fraud risks for airlines. IATA is the trade association for the world's airlines, representing some 290 airlines or 83% of total air traffic. As a leading industry association, IATA is shaping industry standards and the future of aviation. Through the Accelerate@IATA program, IDnow is contributing to the IATA One ID working group. The goal of IATA One ID is to set industry standards that further streamline the passenger journey with digitalization of admissibility and a contactless process through secure biometric enabled identification. Under the One ID vision, upon completing document checks remotely, passengers will be able to arrive at the airport ready to fly and proceed through each airport touchpoint via simple biometric recognition. The objective is to achieve a truly interoperable global system across airports, airlines and governments. IDnow is collaborating with airlines and other technology providers members of the IATA Think Tank on a white paper about the application of digital identity in the air travel industry. In parallel, a proof of concept is being developed to show how digital identity can support people with reduced mobility with traveling, and airlines and airports to prioritize the required staff for the necessary support. We are very pleased to have IDnow participation in the heart of industry innovation conversations. IDnow brings their expertise on the secure decentralized digital identity to support the airline industry for the journey to customer-centricity. – Kat R. Morse, Senior Manager Innovation, Partnerships and Events at IATA. "We understand that in the modern air travel industry, digital identities have a huge potential to shape a whole new traveler experience. From lowering the fraud risk for airlines, to creating a more seamless and low-touch experience for passengers and offering a GDPR compliant solution for storing and sharing of biometric pictures for airports and other players – Digital identity is the key. We are excited and proud to have been selected by IATA to work together and to partner with some of the most prestigious airlines of the world to shape the future of air travel", -Michael A. Binner, Director Digital Identity at IDnow. About IDnow IDnow is a leading identity proofing platform provider in Europe with a vision to make the connected world a safer place. The IDnow platform provides a broad portfolio of identity verification solutions, ranging from automated to human-assisted from purely online to point-of-sale, each of them optimized for user conversion rates and security. In 2021, IDnow acquired the French market leader for identity technology, ARIADNEXT, and the German identity Trust Management AG, enabling IDnow to offer its customers one of the broadest identification solutions through a single, integrated platform. The company has offices in Germany, United Kingdom, France, and Dubai and is backed by renowned institutional investors, including Corsair Capital and Seventure Partners. Its portfolio of over 900 international clients, spans a wide range of industries, and includes leading international players, such as Western Union, UBS, Sixt and Munich Re, as well as digital champions like N26, Solarisbank, wefox and Tier mobility.

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