TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY, DESTINATION AND TOURISM
AMERICAN EXPRESS | October 20, 2022
American Express® (NYSE: AXP) and Cvent® (Nasdaq: CVT), a market-leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider, introduced enhanced features to the Cvent Event Marketing & Management platform that further expand virtual payment capabilities, leveraging American Express’ integrated budget management and payment automation solutions.The enhanced features provide a seamless meetings & events (M&E) payment experience for American Express Corporate Meeting Card and vPayment clients using the Cvent Event Marketing & Management platform, by:
Streamlining onboarding and improving the user experience, including a step-by-step escalation process to provide additional support
Simplifying M&E expense allocation with American Express @ Work Reconciliation®, a free 24/7 tool that eases the invoicing process
Increasing virtual funding account options with vPayment, an American Express® payment solution that assigns a single-use account number to each transaction to help increase billing efficiency, expected to be available in the US and UK late 2022
Incorporating an automated reconciliation process, providing users with greater budget visibility, more audit controls, and better data consistency, expected to be available early in 2023
“As large companies increasingly look to bring people back together for client events or internal gatherings, they want more simplification, efficiency and automation, and managing their budgets has become more important, That’s why we partnered with Cvent to deliver an enhanced virtual payment and automation solution that helps provide a seamless user experience and better serves our clients’ needs.”
-Dean Henry, Executive Vice President, Global Business Financing, Payments & Digital Experiences at American Express
According to the new American Express Meeting & Events Trendex1, 97% of corporate event planners believe company events and meetings are equally or more important compared to pre-pandemic, with about three-fourths (74%) saying they expect their 2023 meetings and events budget to increase. While over eight in ten (81%) planners are already using an automated payment process, 82% say they plan to further automate their payment processes within the next six months.
Looking deeper into the main attributes corporate event planners are looking for in a spend management software platform, the top five are:
Simple user experience (50%)
Enhanced security (48%)
One integrated meeting & expense budget platform (39%)
Greater budget visibility (37%)
Automated end-to-end reconciliation (37%)
Since 2018, American Express and Cvent’s virtual payments integration has allowed event managers to pay suppliers and manage meetings and events budgets with American Express virtual account numbers via the Cvent Event Marketing & Management platform. These new American Express and Cvent enhancements aim to address growing needs as companies continue to reimagine what returning to the office, M&E planning, and business travel look like.
“Capturing actual meetings and events spend has long been an organizational pain-point with cumbersome invoices, manual spreadsheets, and siloed processes – which ultimately leads to decreased visibility and reduced budget control, For over two decades, Cvent has helped thousands of companies gain greater control over these expenditures, and with our American Express® payment enhancements, organizations can streamline their payment and reconciliation processes to deliver greater visibility and insights into their total meeting and event spend. In today’s environment, controlling costs is essential for event programs to maximize ROI and prove their value to the organization.”
-Anil Punyapu, Cvent Senior Vice President of Sales
1The Morning Consult poll was conducted between September 1-September 5, 2022 among a sample of 305 Corporate Meeting Planners & Event Organizers employed full time or part time, with one of their main responsibilities including organizing/planning/marketing events. The interviews were conducted online. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 6 percentage points.
ABOUT AMERICAN EXPRESS
American Express is a globally integrated payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, instagram.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress. Key links to products, services and corporate responsibility information: personal cards, business cards, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, Accertify, Kabbage, Resy, corporate card, business travel, diversity and inclusion, corporate responsibility and Environmental, Social, and Governance reports.
Cvent Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: CVT), is a leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider with more than 4,700 employees and approximately 21,000 customers worldwide. Founded in 1999, the company delivers a comprehensive event marketing and management platform and offers a global marketplace where event professionals collaborate with venues to create engaging, impactful experiences. Cvent is headquartered in Tysons, Virginia, just outside of Washington D.C., and has additional offices around the world to support its growing global customer base. The comprehensive Cvent event marketing and management platform offers software solutions to event organizers and marketers for online event registration, venue selection, event marketing and management, virtual and onsite solutions, and attendee engagement. Cvent’s suite of products automate and simplify the event management process and maximize the impact of in-person, virtual, and hybrid events. Hotels and venues use Cvent’s supplier and venue solutions to win more group and corporate travel business through Cvent’s sourcing platforms. Cvent solutions optimize the event management value chain and have enabled clients around the world to manage millions of meetings and events. For more information, please visit Cvent.com.
DESTINATION AND TOURISM
Taconic Capital Advisors LP and HEI Hotels & Resorts | December 05, 2022
Taconic Capital Advisors LP (“Taconic”) and HEI Hotels & Resorts (“HEI”), announced that they have jointly acquired Hyatt Regency Jersey City from affiliates of Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) and Veris Residential Inc. (NYSE: VRE). The property is a full-service, 351-key hotel located adjacent to Exchange Place situated on a pier extending over the Hudson River in Jersey City, NJ.In conjunction with the purchase, Taconic and HEI were successful in assuming a $100 million fixed-rate CMBS mortgage with ample remaining term. The hotel was completed in 2002 and more than $15 million in subsequent upgrades have been performed since 2010. Major enhancements to the guestrooms, food and beverage outlets and event spaces are expected to commence under the new ownership.
Hyatt Regency Jersey City occupies fee simple real estate with unmatched and undisturbed views of the Manhattan Skyline. The property features well-appointed guestrooms, a state-of-the-art gym and indoor heated pool, a restaurant and lounge and 20,000 square feet of meeting space that has long served as a popular venue for corporate retreats, weddings, and social gatherings. The hotel is centrally positioned amongst 28 million SF of office space within a one-mile radius and is conveniently located near world-famous attractions, including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, One World Trade and the 9/11 Memorial.
“We are pleased to further our partnership with HEI and begin an exciting relationship with Hyatt. Hyatt Regency Jersey City was a compelling opportunity to acquire a world-class hotel with a strong segmentation mix and a diverse set of revenue contributors, The highly accretive assumable financing allowed us to continue our thesis for well-located urban, upscale hotels in an otherwise prohibitive financing environment.”
-Andrew Lam, a Director in Taconic Capital Advisors’ Commercial Real Estate Group
Hyatt Regency Jersey City is a wonderful property with a rich legacy that has greatly benefitted from Jersey City’s rapidly expanding corporate base as well as the revitalization of Hudson Yards and Lower Manhattan, said Clark Hanrattie, Partner at HEI. We are proud to team with Taconic on this important transaction and we are looking forward to making the hotel the very best it can be.
The joint acquisition of Hyatt Regency Jersey City follows Taconic and HEI’s March 2022 purchase of the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown, NY, a 15-acre property that offers 444 guestrooms and 21 event rooms for a total of 26,700 SF of conference and meeting space, including a 9,000 SF ballroom. Over the past two years, Taconic has been involved in hotel transactions throughout the capital structure, spanning over 20 properties totaling more than 5,000 keys.
About Taconic Capital Advisors
Taconic Capital Advisors (“Taconic”) is a global institutional investment firm that pursues an event-driven, multi-strategy investment approach designed to generate strong, risk-adjusted returns over multiple market cycles. Taconic was founded in 1999 by former Goldman Sachs partners Frank Brosens and Ken Brody. The firm has approximately $8 billion of total assets under management with offices in New York, London and Hong Kong and more than 100 employees worldwide.
Taconic’s full-service commercial real estate platform invests in all asset classes and across the capital structure in both public and private markets. The strategy’s brand mandate offers flexibility to capitalize on shifting market opportunities, creating uncorrelated risk-adjusted return profiles for investors. Rooted in distressed and opportunistic investing, the team applies high-touch asset management capabilities to drive strong asset-level performance and capital market executions. Well-established relationships drive Taconic’s unique and diverse transaction sourcing channels which include local operating partners, investor partners, and a broad network of lenders, CMBC special servicers, trading desks, and brokerage houses.
Taconic’s series of closed-ended real estate funds are fully discretionary and have received over $1 billion in capital commitments. Investments to date across all Taconic funds total over $3 billion of gross asset value across approximately 175 distinct transactions.
About HEI Hotels & Resorts
Founded in 1985, HEI is an established expert on Luxury, Upper-Upscale, and Upscale hotels in Urban, Super-Suburban, and destination Resort locations across branded, soft-branded and independent lifestyle categories. The company’s portfolio currently includes 90-plus assets, representing more than 28,000 keys across approximately 30 different capital partners. HEI continues to be one of the most active investors in, and managers of, institutional-quality hotel assets across the US.
DESTINATION AND TOURISM,HOSPITALITY TRENDS
Selina Hospitality PLC | November 04, 2022
Selina Hospitality PLC. (“Selina”; NASDAQ: SLNA), the fast-growing lifestyle and experiential hospitality company targeting millennial and Gen Z travelers has formed a strategic partnership with Mantra, a global retreat operator, to curate wellness retreats throughout Selina’s ecosystem of 163 locations across 25 countries and six contents. The expansion into the retreat market is a first for Selina, and will create a separate entity focused solely on building these enriching wellness experiences. Per Global Wellness Institute, the wellness economy is projected to reach nearly $7.0 trillion in 2025, and the Mantra partnership allows Selina to tap into this growing business segment all while maximizing synergies across distribution and operating expenses.Mantra is known for its transformative programs that create unique experiences by bringing together the best wellness instructors of yoga, meditation, and movement with a culinary experience, live music & day trips to deliver a full mind, body, soul retreat. Mantra will be curating local wellness talent (teacher, chefs, musicians, etc.) and developing customized programs across Selina's global and diversified hotel system, be it deep in the desert, the jungle or any number of Selina’s cool, urban locations.
Selina is proud to champion a brand like Mantra and to be at the forefront of this evolution in global travel and retreat experiences. We see our partnership as an incredible opportunity to reach new customers and to enter the wellness market by providing leaders, teachers, and coaches with beautiful spaces to bring their unique skills and experiences to people around the world” said Selina VP Strategy, Steven O’Hayon.
Prior to joining forces with Selina, Mantra had put together over 50 retreats, corporate offsites & festivals since its founding in June 2020. These events, which hosted over 5,000 people, took place in Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Egypt & Sri Lanka, and now through this partnership will expand out to even more places worldwide.
“Partnering with a company that upholds such similar values and quality standards as Mantra is a dream for us. Having the support of Selina at this stage allows us to tap into their vast global reach and advanced systems to scale our presence and grow our community,”
-Doron Domb, Mantra Founder & CEO.
About Selina Hospitality PLC.
Selina (NASDAQ: SLNA) is one of the world's largest hospitality brands built to address the needs of millennial and Gen Z travelers, blending beautifully designed accommodation with coworking, recreation, wellness, and local experiences. Custom-built for today's nomadic traveler, Selina provides guests with a global infrastructure to seamlessly travel and work abroad. Founded in 2014, each Selina property is designed in partnership with local artists, creators, and tastemakers, breathing new life into existing buildings in interesting locations around the world – from urban cities to remote beaches and jungles. Selina's portfolio includes 163 open or secured properties across 25 countries and six continents. To learn more, visit www.selina.com or follow Selina o Twitter Instagram, Facebook or YouTube.