businesswire | May 19, 2023
Global payments provider Elavon has partnered with The Digital Line (TDL) on a voice-activated solution for the hospitality industry.
The solution – Audico – utilises the Amazon Alexa device to deliver a variety of voice-driven services. Elavon is the exclusive payments provider for the Audico solution in hospitality, globally.
Hemlata Narasimhan, Elavon Merchant Services President in Europe, says, “Virtual assistant technology is the future of hospitality, and we’re thrilled to be powering the payments behind Audico. This is all about improving the customer experience, and a large part of this is seamless payments. We’re pleased to be partnering with Amazon’s approved partner The Digital Line to make this happen.”
Audico is unique in the UK market, and has already been implemented at the world-famous Ascot Racecourse in Southeast England, where premium customers can call for betting services, order food and drinks, and purchase merchandise from their private boxes all with a few simple words to Alexa. The audible command is then relayed to staff as a Card Not Present transaction, and payment is made using a pre-determined account preference such as a credit card.
Audico is also being explored as a room service solution in hotels, and in premium hospitality areas at other venues and stadiums, as well as providing a landmark series of services in the health care industry.
George Vaughan, The Digital Line’s CEO, says, “This partnership represents a unique opportunity for two recognised brands to collaborate on initiatives that will revolutionise multiple business verticals, including hospitality, venues and health care, delivering a level of digital transformation not seen before.”
About The Digital Line
A commercial research, information, and technical innovation consulting firm, The Digital Line (TDL) has a specific interest in venues, hospitality, retail, education, and healthcare. TDL offers a full range of professional services to help companies in various industries create their plans for upcoming technological endeavours and support the deployment of critical projects in a more creative and cost-effective manner.
TDL also collaborates with cutting-edge businesses, products, and institutions, placing it at the forefront of the latest wave of technical advancements and because of its intelligent integration of private, public, and academic entities, is able to push the limits of disruptive digital technologies.
prnewswire | June 01, 2023
GetYourGuide, the leading global platform for discovering and booking travel experiences, announced today the closing of $194 million in equity and credit financing. The round represents a valuation increase for the company and solidifies its leadership position in the industry. The strategic investment will be deployed to expand GetYourGuide's marketplace in key geographies such as North America and accelerate product innovation for both travelers and experience creators globally.
Blue Pool Capital led the $85 million Series F funding round, with participation from KKR and Temasek. UniCredit led the Revolving Credit Facility (RCF) of $109 million, with participation from BNP Paribas, Citi and KfW.
"In the current market, we view this as a vote of confidence from our investors who believe passionately in unlocking unforgettable experiences for travelers around the globe," said Johannes Reck, CEO and co-founder of GetYourGuide. "We are still early in the transformation of our category and the larger $300 billion category and the even larger $1.5 trillion experiences market. And our technology is poised to help drive innovation and growth for our partners and customers alike," Reck added.
Consumers are continuing to spend on experiences over traditional retail goods. GetYourGuide's data confirms this trend: booking volumes in the first quarter of 2023 are four times higher than the first quarter of 2019. The travel experiences category is quickly growing, benefiting from a generational shift in consumer spending habits. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, American consumer spending on experiences grew twice as fast as spending on goods between 2000 and 2019.
"There is immense opportunity in the digitization of the experiences industry, and we believe GetYourGuide's global leadership and market-leading customer-centricity in the category stems from its deep expertise in this complex space," said Oliver Weisberg, CEO of Blue Pool Capital. "We believe GetYourGuide is uniquely positioned to be the global leader in the category; we are pleased to lead the equity financing given the strength of the business," added Weisberg.
The investment will help increase the pace of innovation for travelers and supply partners, leveraging the rapidly progressing capabilities of AI and Large Language Models (LLMs). The acceleration of product investment will not only help travelers make the most of their travels, but also empower supply partners to manage and grow their businesses on the platform with intuitive tools.
The funding comes in time to kick off peak travel season, where record-breaking engagement is expected on GetYourGuide's platform. Part of driving this increased engagement are Originals by GetYourGuide, the company's signature co-created tours with exclusive activities and access, such as NYC: MoMA Before Hours Tour with Art Expert; London: Coronation Tour; Milan Cathedral & Terraces Exclusive After-Hours Tour; and Turning the Lights on at the Vatican Museums.
J.P. Morgan acted as exclusive financial advisor to GetYourGuide on the transaction. For more information about GetYourGuide, please visit getyourguide.press.
Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, GetYourGuide, a travel booking platform, specializes in online travel, tours, attractions and local activities, tourism, e-commerce, technology, the hospitality industry, engineering, sales management, account management, marketing, and travel experiences. It has been transforming travel experiences for explorers since 2009. It accelerates growth for experience creators through access to data-driven insights, technology and a market expert. It focuses on simplifying the digital travel reality. It provides meaningful moments of discovery for travelers. It has leading venture capital investors for funding and support and various local offices worldwide.
prnewswire | April 04, 2023
Cambria Hotels, part of the Choice Hotels International, Inc.family of brands, continues its nationwide expansion with the grand opening of its first hotel in Georgia: the Cambria Hotel Savannah Downtown Historic District. The brand's newest downtown addition will provide modern travelers with the upscale amenities they need to discover all the opportunities Savannah has to offer.
To commemorate the grand opening of Georgia's first hotel, which officially opened its doors in December, the Cambria Hotel Savannah Downtown Historic District welcomed community members and distinguished guests to a ribbon cutting ceremony. Guests were treated to a Savannah-inspired reception and property tours featuring the hotel's full-service bar and restaurant, contemporary and sophisticated guestrooms, and state-of-the-art fitness center.
Speakers at the event included Janis Cannon, senior vice president, Upscale brands, Choice Hotels, Savannah city officials, and Lois Model, Executive Director at Savannah Center for Blind and Low Vision, who each expressed their enthusiasm about the brand's debut in Georgia.
"Known for its hospitality, innovative history, and vibrant culture, Savannah is a corporate, entertainment and industrial hub," said Janis Cannon. "At Cambria Hotels, our expansion stays focused on growth in markets with strong business and leisure demand. This makes Savannah the ideal spot to debut the Peach State's first Cambria. We're proud to welcome guests to yet another brand-defining property in our growing lineup of Cambria hotels nationwide."
The new six story, 101-room Cambria hotel positions guests in the heart of the city's National Historic Landmark District, providing modern travelers with easy access to top Savannah landmarks, renowned architecture and more than 100 restaurants situated along the neighborhood's cobblestone streets. The Cambria Hotel Savannah Downtown Historic District is within walking distance to the Savannah Civic Center, the SCAD Museum and Forsyth Park, and is a short drive to several top area employers, including Georgia Ports Authority – one of the busiest container gateways in the nation – Gulfstream, Hunter Army Airfield, St. Joseph's Hospital, and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power System's North American headquarters. The hotel's charming design is reflective of the surrounding Savannah community, known for its stunning buildings, iconic city squares and parks, and coastal landscapes.
The Cambria Hotel Savannah Downtown Historic District, which participates in Choice Privileges, the award-winning loyalty program from Choice Hotels, features upscale amenities and approachable indulgences that appeal to today's travelers, including:
Multi-purpose indoor and outdoor spaces, including a lobby bar, for productive work or relaxation.
Locally inspired design décor, reflecting the unique personality of the surrounding National Historic Landmark District community.
Contemporary and sophisticated guest rooms, complete with design forward fixtures, abundant lighting and plush bedding.
Immersive, spa-style bathrooms with Bluetooth mirrors.
Onsite dining with freshly made food, local craft beer, wine and specialty cocktails, as well as to-go options.
Multi-function meeting and event spaces.
State-of-the-art fitness center.
The Cambria Hotel Savannah Downtown Historic District showcases how Choice Hotels has become the go-to challenger brand for developers looking to move to upscale with the flexibility to build at a reduced cost while retaining a design-forward experience. This property was developed by HOS Management Group, a second-generation hospitality and development group with over 30 years of industry experience managing a diverse collection of iconic hotel brands, and is managed by Peachtree Hotel Group, a private equity management firm focusing on opportunistically deploying capital across its distinct operating and real estate divisions.
There are currently over 65 Cambria hotels open across the U.S. in popular cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, New Orleans, and Phoenix, with over 70 hotels in the pipeline. Cambria guests visiting any of these locations and more are able to gain enhanced rewards and benefits through the Choice co-branded, no fee credit card program.
About Cambria Hotels
The Cambria Hotels brand is designed for the modern traveler, offering guests a distinct experience with simple, guilt-free indulgences allowing them to treat themselves while on the road. Properties feature compelling design inspired by the location, spacious and comfortable rooms, flexible meeting space, and local, freshly prepared food and craft beer. Cambria Hotels is rapidly expanding in major U.S. cities, with hotels open in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Nashville, and Phoenix. There are currently more than 65 Cambria hotels open and nearly 70 hotels in the pipeline. To learn more, visit www.choicehotels.com/cambria.