ATPI launches technology investment strategy

Buying Business Travel | February 10, 2020

The ATPI Group has announced a new technology-focused investment strategy with the launch of a programme to support tech start-ups, including online booking tool Taptrip. The Endeavour programme will offer both financial backing and market knowledge to technology start-ups that are “disrupting and driving the sector”, according to ATPI. It will be built on the group’s existing proprietary capabilities and will be structured as a series of individual investment and development projects. The group said it is focusing its investment and growth strategy on companies that are looking to innovate and create new solutions. The priority for the programme is on start-ups that have the capability and agility to build and grow their software to meet the changing needs of customers, both on the buyer and traveller side.

Spotlight

The holiday season is quickly approaching, it’s essential that your destination or your hotel have the right Digital Marketing strategy guidelines laid out to boost engagement, visits and direct bookings.

Spotlight

The holiday season is quickly approaching, it’s essential that your destination or your hotel have the right Digital Marketing strategy guidelines laid out to boost engagement, visits and direct bookings.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Africa's first voco hotel is open in South Africa's trendy district, Rosebank Johannesburg

IHG Hotels & Resorts, | February 02, 2022

IHG Hotels & Resorts, one of the world's leading hotel companies, has opened voco The Bank Johannesburg Rosebank – the first voco property in Africa. As one of IHG's newest hotel brands, voco combines the reassurance of a global brand with the informality and charm of an individual hotel.The Bank, Rosebank's striking new architectural gem, is a short distance from the Gautrain (Metro Express) and surrounded by the buzzing walk-work-play district of Rosebank. voco The Bank Johannesburg Rosebank takes space, sophistication and artistry to the next level, with a range of beautifully appointed rooms and suites featuring the thoughtful, relaxed and unstuffy design so characteristic of the voco brand, as well as an enviable collection of original local artwork. An upscale sanctuary in the heart of one of the city's trendiest districts, an international business hub renowned for its shopping, art and design, and exclusivity, voco The Bank Johannesburg Rosebank delivers on the promise of its name – 'to invite' or to 'come together' in Latin. "As part of our growth strategy in Africa we have partnered with Valor to expand our footprint on the Continent. Valor has been our long-term partner in the United States and the United Kingdom, and we are delighted to open our first voco hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa. voco The Bank Johannesburg Rosebank is a best in class property and a great entry to market for IHG. voco The Bank is a distinct hotel with an individual character in the buzzing "walk-work-play" district of Rosebank and will be a great addition to the destination. This new opening in the trendy hub of Rosebank adds to the momentum we are building in the IMEA region with six voco hotels openings in key cities." -Haitham Mattar, Managing Director, India, Middle East and Africa, IHG The 131-room hotel embodies the characteristics of voco with exclusive features and distinctive hallmarks, setting it apart for a memorable stay. Every guest will experience the voco signature 'come on in' warm welcome, promising a swift and simple check in, with dedicated voco hosts available throughout the guest's stay as resident experts, and a locally inspired welcome treat. As part of the transformational works carried out at the property, the guest rooms benefit from the voco design concept with thoughtful comforts like cosy bedding made from 100% recycled materials, Antipodes high quality organic amenities in larger dispenser bottles, and high-speed Wi-Fi, Smart TVs, executive desks and in-room refreshments. So, guests can relax and indulge in some 'me time' when they stay at voco. Double volume ceilings, chic modern bathrooms and valet parking complete this distinctive upscale experience, while business travellers will be delighted with thoughtful features such as the in-room hand-held clothes steamers and large workspace with international adaptors and USB ports. For a taste of 'voco life', the exciting and modern mid-century inspired all-day eatery, Proud Mary, is located on the ground floor of The Bank building, while Workshop17, a haven for remote working, can be found just one floor up. voco Johannesburg Rosebank also features a fully equipped gym. Guests staying at voco The Bank Johannesburg Rosebank can enjoy in-room dining selecting from Proud Mary's innovative menu featuring delicious small plates, salads, grills and a boutique wine list you would find at no other eatery in town. With its strong commitment to ensuring the highest levels of sustainability, reflected in the multi award-winning building's use of mainly renewable energy sources and voco The Bank Johannesburg Rosebank's leading global sustainable practices, guests will be assured that their stay is both the epitome of comfort whilst being easy on the planet. "We know that nowadays guests like to feel that they are making a difference, We've gone out of our way to minimise the impact of our hotel on the environment, using best-practice sustainable guidelines where-ever we can. But it is just important for us to look after our guests while also looking after the planet. So, we have not sacrificed our world-class amenities and the comfortable and friendly guest experience that people have come to expect from voco." -Jessica Redinger, General Manager of voco The Bank Johannesburg. Occupying six floors of this mixed-used building, voco The Bank Johannesburg Rosebank shares this innovative space with signature tenants such as Rand Merchant Investments, Bespoken Man Barbers and Tailor Me, with the Rosebank Mall, The Firs and The Zone shopping districts being right on its doorstep. For guests on the clock, private Workshop17 meeting and event spaces can be booked seamlessly through voco The Bank Johannesburg Rosebank.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Fareportal Continues Travel Innovation with Enhanced Chatbot Experience

Fareportal | December 02, 2021

The popularity of chat platforms has transformed the customer relationship management landscape. Chat platforms are now ubiquitous and have made their way into the fabric of everyday life. The demand for chat-based communications tools to support customers has grown, and that trend skyrocketed exponentially during the pandemic – a time when travel companies struggled to address the sharp rise in customer support requests. In response, Fareportal, the travel tech company powering online travel agencies CheapOair and One Travel, went to work to enhance its existing chatbot service. The chatbot uses natural language understanding to mimic human conversation and is available 24/7. Customers can engage with the chatbot to search for flights, request help with their existing booking, and make changes to – or even cancel – their existing bookings quickly and easily. The chatbot can resolve most inquiries and when needed, complex cases that require human intervention are routed to the company's live agents. "The number of travelers needing our assistance keeps growing, so we've fast tracked many innovations for CheapOair and OneTravel. Our commitment to customer service is unwavering, and we are very pleased to offer our customers an easy to use and efficient chatbot solution." -Werner Kunz-Cho, CEO of Fareportal Due to the success of the chatbot's end-to-end solution that helps customers through the lifespan of their travel plans, the tool handles 7,000 chats daily, a 12-fold increase from January 2021, with a 55% containment rate for chats resolved by the bot and a 95% success rate in customers' intent identification. Further enhancements will be rolled out in the future as the demand for chatbot-based service grows and customer needs evolve. About CheapOair CheapOair is an online travel agency that specializes in providing cheap flights and great last-minute flight deals for travelers worldwide. Consumers can book online, on mobile apps for iOS and Android, by phone or live chat. Part of Fareportal's family of travel brands, CheapOair bridges the gap between an online travel agency and a traditional agency with travel agents available worldwide to help find great deals on flights to global destinations on over 600 airlines, a million hotels, and 100s of car rental companies. Follow CheapOair on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for travel inspiration and helpful travel tips.  About Fareportal   Fareportal is a travel technology company powering a next-generation travel concierge service. Utilizing its innovative technology and company owned and operated global contact centers, Fareportal has built strong industry partnerships providing customers access to over 600 airlines, a million hotels, and hundreds of car rental companies around the globe. With a portfolio of consumer travel brands including CheapOair and One Travel, Fareportal enables consumers to book online, on mobile apps for iOS and Android, by phone, or live chat. Fareportal provides its airline partners with access to a broad customer base that books high-yielding international and domestic flight, hotel and other travel and add-on ancillaries.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Stayntouch Partners with Residential Hospitality Brand Mint House to Launch Guest-Centric Cloud PMS Across 22 Properties

Mint House | January 13, 2022

Stayntouch, a world-wide leader in guest-centric cloud hotel property management systems (PMS) and contactless technology, announced an expanded partnership with Mint House, a transformational residential hospitality company that offers tech-forward apartment-style accommodations across the United States. Debuting with the brand's award-winning property, Mint House at 70 Pine - New York, Stayntouch has completed the deployment of its guest-centric cloud PMS across 22 Mint House properties.Founded in 2017, Mint House operates in more than 15 major U.S. cities including New York, Miami, Austin, Denver and Nashville with plans to grow to 3,000+ rooms in 30 additional markets over the next 12 months. Mint House selected Stayntouch because of its flexible, open-API architecture and comprehensive integration library, advanced automation capabilities, and ability to facilitate a tech-first hospitality concept and contactless guest journey. Mint House also leverages Stayntouch's day-use booking feature to offer rooms ideally suited for flexible, remote work. "Mint House provides a comprehensive and guest-centric tech ecosystem that includes everything from mobile check-in and smart thermostats, to on-demand fitness,Stayntouch's emphasis on automation and contactless solutions allows us to efficiently operate our properties and customize our sales and revenue strategies to deliver against an undeniable shift in consumer behavior towards remote work and truly flexible travel." -Patrick Duffy, Head of Revenue Strategy at Mint House We are delighted that Mint House has chosen to expand its partnership with Stayntouch, because both companies share the same underlying mission and philosophy: That technology can be used to deliver an exceptional guest experience, while continually reimagining and enhancing the relationship between hotels and their guests," said Michael Heflin, Chief Revenue Officer at Stayntouch. "We are proud that our intuitive and flexible PMS is helping one of the world's most innovative hospitality brands meet the ever-changing demands of today's travel landscape. About Mint House Mint House is transforming the traditional hotel model and creating a new category of hospitality that is fundamentally changing the way we live, work and play away from home—all powered by technology. Mint House's award-winning properties are thoughtfully designed with full kitchens, expansive living areas and connected workspaces in prime downtown locations—offering a new kind of stay that's smarter and more comfortable than a hotel and delivers on the personalized service and consistency travelers have come to expect. Mint House's proprietary tech stack and mobile-first model powers a seamless and feature-rich guest experience including mobile check-in and keyless entry, pre-stocked groceries, 24/7 digital concierge services, on-demand fitness, smart thermostats and shoppable spaces. For more, visit minthouse.com and @staymint. About Stayntouch Stayntouch provides a cloud-native, guest-centric, and fully mobile hotel property management system (PMS) and over 1100+ integrations, enabling hotels to raise service levels, drive revenues, reduce costs, and ultimately captivate their guests. Backed by a team of professionals with deep roots in the hospitality industry, stayntouch is a trusted partner to many forward-thinking hotels and resorts, including the TWA Hotel, First Hotels, Conscious Hotels, Margaritaville, Valencia Hotel Group, and Modus Hotels. Stayntouch is also a preferred PMS partner to some of the leading independent hotel collections around the world including; Design Hotels, an Independent Marriott Brand, and Curator Hotel & Resort Collection.

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