Airbnb adds checks and balances to Experiences in bid to boost trust

PhocusWire | November 18, 2019

Airbnb has provided a further update on its "10-day sprint" for the development of new trust initiatives following a shooting at a property in suburb of San Francisco last month. The company, which said it would review every host property and flag where properties had been verified, is now extending its trust policies to Airbnb Experiences. The company says it is introducing new tools to verify the quality and accuracy of its Experiences via a series of signals, including information from guests. Further measures include expanding the list of technically-specialized activities - helicopter rides and white-water rafting, for example - for which suppliers must now produce proof of their permits.

Spotlight

Love tech and gadgets? Love to travel? Just in time for Xmas, we put together some perfect smart tech gift ideas, which make life easier for all travelers. These practical gadgets are mostly designed in Australia. They have received hundreds of thousands of dollars backing via Kickstarter and Backit campaigns, from all over the globe.

Spotlight

Love tech and gadgets? Love to travel? Just in time for Xmas, we put together some perfect smart tech gift ideas, which make life easier for all travelers. These practical gadgets are mostly designed in Australia. They have received hundreds of thousands of dollars backing via Kickstarter and Backit campaigns, from all over the globe.

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

VacationRenter Upgrades Platform, Gets New Partners

VacationRenter | May 26, 2022

VacationRenter, the fastest-growing vacation rental search engine, has enhanced its global inventory expansion. It offers full site translations, personalized travel inspiration and traveler resources, and more. "Researching and booking vacation rentals can be frustrating and time-consuming. Our platform helps make the experience easier, We are always working on making our site better. Our latest upgrades focus on improving the user experience for our international customers, as well as giving all customers more information and tools to quickly find the perfect rental." -CEO Heath Hammett An overview of the platform upgrades: Customer-Forward Improvements These improvements include streamlining the process of finding the perfect vacation rental. It delivers priority updates, price alerts, personalized travel inspiration, upgraded search and usability, and a user-friendly design. New and Expanded Inventory In partnership with Interhome, VacationRenter now offers more than 30, 000 vacation rentals in the U.S and Europe. These rental homes and apartments add to the convenience in travel destinations such as Myrtle Beach, SC, and Madrid, Spain. VacationRenter has also expanded its partnership with Plum Guide. As a result, customers can easily research Plum Guide’s high-quality homes across Europe and the U.S. Internationalization VacationRenter has launched full site translations in French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Polish and German for global travelers. Additionally, it has also enhanced key information for almost 6, 000 locations across the globe, including FAQs and details on must-see attractions. Up-to-Date Traveler Resources The new Traveler Resource Center gives travelers the correct destination and even property-specific information. It also includes COVID-related restrictions and guidelines. Apart from this, the new VacationRenter’s Travel Trends pages display booking trends and average nightly prices. This data gives insight into traveler behaviors for the ones in the travel industry, such as homeowners, property managers and travel reporters. VacationRenter is bracing up for travel to make a comeback for both domestic and international U.S travelers, who are seven times more likely to resume travel at home.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

Air Canada and United Airlines Expand Relationship to Make Transborder Travel Easier, With More Choice

Air Canada and United Airlines | July 25, 2022

Air Canada and United Airlines announced a joint business agreement for the Canada-U.S. transborder market, building on their long-standing alliance, that will give more flight options and better flight schedules to customers traveling between the two countries. Customers will be able to connect to 38 codeshare destinations in the U.S. and eight of the most popular cities in Canada — all while enjoying the benefits of the carriers' MileagePlus® and Aeroplan loyalty programs. The agreement will also strengthen and grow both carriers' networks and help accelerate their COVID-19 recovery. United is a world-class airline and we are pleased to significantly expand our well-established partnership to further enhance the customer journey between Canada and the U.S. by offering more choice, greater convenience and an improved airport experience, said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President of Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada. "This agreement marks a new phase in our evolving relationship that will speed the recovery from the pandemic and strengthen both carriers. It will also enable us to optimize our hubs and schedules and to broaden our global network connectivity to maintain our leadership in the market. "With this new agreement, we are further strengthening our long-standing partnership with Air Canada, As international travel continues to recover, this expanded partnership will provide an enhanced experience for all transborder travel." -Patrick Quayle, Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances at United. Customers who search for flights between the U.S. and Canada on United's or Air Canada's websites and apps will find more flight options scheduled at more convenient times. Codeshare between the two carriers will also be expanded and members of both the MileagePlus and Aeroplan programs will have more accrual and redemption options. In 2019, the U.S.-Canada transborder market was the second largest international passenger air transportation market in the world and the largest international market for both Canada and the U.S., as measured by seats. Air Canada and United already cooperate in the transborder market, according to the terms of their existing U.S. antitrust immunity. Under the joint business agreement, subject to compliance with U.S. and Canadian regulatory and antitrust requirements, the two airlines will now be able to, Coordinate their networks and schedules, enabling the carriers to offer customers more choice, including more flights throughout the day and more access to each airline's seat inventory. Enhance codeshare on transborder flights, excluding certain U.S. leisure markets and territories. The carriers anticipate customers will be able to connect to 46 transborder codeshare destinations with more than 400 daily frequencies in 2022 – with opportunities to add more codeshare destinations for domestic routes within Canada and the U.S. Sell seats on each other's transborder flights and share revenue on flights between hub markets (where regulatory authorities and antitrust requirements allow), allowing the carriers to grow their overall capacities. Align customer policies for greater consistency and enable the seamless provision of onboard products, establish airport co-locations where available and provide extra value to each carriers' frequent flyer programs. Allow the two carriers to work closer together to advance their sustainability objectives. The implementation of an expanded partnership builds on the existing close cooperation of the two carriers and previously acquired regulatory approvals. United and Air Canada are also founding members of Star Alliance and a transatlantic joint business agreement with the Lufthansa Group. About Air Canada Air Canada is Canada's largest airline, the country's flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2022. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 51 airports in Canada, 51 in the United States and 86 internationally. It is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking from Skytrax, which in 2021 gave Air Canada awards for the Best Airline Staff in North America, Best Airline Staff in Canada, Best Business Class Lounge in North America, and an excellence award for managing COVID-19. Through its leading travel loyalty Aeroplan program, Air Canada offers the ability to earn or redeem points on the world's largest airline partner network of 45 airlines, plus through an extensive range of merchandise, hotel and car rental rewards. Its freight division, Air Canada Cargo, provides air freight lift and connectivity to hundreds of destinations across six continents using Air Canada's passenger flights and cargo-only flights with its fleet of Boeing 767-300 freighters. Air Canada has committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050. About United United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." From our U.S. hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., United operates the most comprehensive global route network among North American carriers. United is bringing back our customers' favorite destinations and adding new ones on its way to becoming the world's best airline. For more about how to join the United team, please visit www.united.com/careers and more information about the company is at www.united.com. United Airlines Holdings, Inc., the parent company of United Airlines, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL".

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM,BUSINESS TRAVEL

EBG Acquires Undercover Tourist

EBG | June 30, 2022

EBG, one of the rapidly growing e-commerce solutions providers in the U.S. specializing in entertainment and travel, is acquiring Undercover Tourist, a privately held successful B2C online travel marketplace in the country. It specializes in theme parks and attractions. “With the addition of the Undercover Tourist platform to the EBG portfolio, we are gaining a strong consumer brand with a loyal customer following along with a robust knowledge base of engaging content for theme park vacations. We look forward to collaborating with the Undercover Tourist team to expand the platform and to help our supplier partners increase their reach,” -EBG CEO and Founder Brett Reizen. We are excited for Undercover Tourist to take this big leap, which is poised for growth and national product expansion and support as part of EBG’s network. I’m so proud of what the team has built over the years and the future offers amazing opportunities fueled by EBG's insight and guidance, explained Undercover Tourist CEO and Founder Ian Ford. The acquisition complements EBG's current offerings and will broaden EBG's portfolio to serve the B2C market while also providing timely and engaging content such as trip planning advice, travel tips, and more. The Undercover Tourist brand and platform will remain a separate business unit, with product offerings expanding nationally. EBG powers a diverse portfolio of technology solutions and operates a network of employer and membership-based platforms that reach a captive audience, providing leading brands with new distribution channels. The EBG network reaches over 100 million users through participating companies and closed-loop affinity and membership groups. Undercover Tourist, a travel website and theme park expert founded in 2000, has sold over 25 million theme park admission tickets to popular destinations and attractions such as Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Hollywood, SeaWorld Parks, LEGOLAND Parks, and others. Along with saving time and money on attraction tickets, hotels, and car rentals, Undercover Tourist provides free vacation planning tools such as crowd calendars, park planning apps, and more.

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