Bahrain welcomes over 12 million tourists in 2019

Travel and Tour World | April 25, 2019

Bahrain, an island country in Persian Gulf region is boosting its tourism industry with the arrival of more than 12 million tourists annually in tourism season. Now the hospitality industry of Bahrain continues to be one of the prime drivers of the recent economic growth in Baharin. It is according to CBRE’s 2019 latest report, Bahrain Market Snapshot for the first quarter of the year reveals that tourism numbers have aggregated to an average increase of 8 per cent year-on-year since 2012.

Spotlight

In the past year, although the growth rate of the Chinese economy has slowed down, the impact of a steadily growing number of high net-worth individuals witnessed over 120 million Chinese citizens traveling abroad of which, 70 million were tourists. According to statistics from the International Tourism Organization, in 2015, Chinese tourists spent over US$215 billion, 53% higher than the previous year, becoming the largest outbound tourist group in the world. Under the background of these fast growing trends in overseas travel by consumers from China, Hurun Report were pleased to work with Marriott International for the first time. The result of our collaboration is this 2016 Luxury Traveler White Paper, which focuses on the habits and characteristics of young luxury travelers and their attitudes towards travelling.

Spotlight

In the past year, although the growth rate of the Chinese economy has slowed down, the impact of a steadily growing number of high net-worth individuals witnessed over 120 million Chinese citizens traveling abroad of which, 70 million were tourists. According to statistics from the International Tourism Organization, in 2015, Chinese tourists spent over US$215 billion, 53% higher than the previous year, becoming the largest outbound tourist group in the world. Under the background of these fast growing trends in overseas travel by consumers from China, Hurun Report were pleased to work with Marriott International for the first time. The result of our collaboration is this 2016 Luxury Traveler White Paper, which focuses on the habits and characteristics of young luxury travelers and their attitudes towards travelling.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,BUSINESS TRAVEL

HRS Acquires Paypense, Enabling Widescale Digitized Payment Technology for Corporations and Employees

HRS | August 08, 2022

HRS, the leading Gobal corporate travel and payment technology platform, announced the acquisition of Germany-based Paypense, enhancing HRS’ growing compilation of efficient corporate payment offerings. Only two years since launch, Paypense’s open platform has already made inroads with a broad range of corporations, enabling employees to use digital payment technology to pay for all work-related purchases. This smarter solution ensures compliance to budgets while also capturing relevant data for auditing, steering and even sustainability metrics. “HRS Pay, reinforced by years of proprietary investments and our 2021 purchase of Itelya to propel the digital transformation of payment, is taking the next step in delivering an exceptional 'in destination experience' for corporate employees, Paypense provides intelligent spend management services for managers and employees alike, whether they are on the road for weeks at a time or supporting a one-day, off-site event that doesn’t require travel. This acquisition represents a new milestone for HRS Pay as we continue to focus on elevating employee satisfaction.” -Tobias Ragge, HRS CEO The employee satisfaction component is critical to driving the successful deployment and ongoing use of spend management technology. Recent research from the Global Business Travel Association, inclusive of feedback from 600+ procurement executives and nearly 2,500 business travelers, found that 85 percent of respondents said that the ease of completing expense reports, ease of expense approval process and speed of reimbursement are important to spend management.. Paypense’s Broad Array of Controls and Efficiencies Redefine Spend Management Leveraging automated intelligence and auto-approved, in-policy purchasing, Paypense dramatically reduces concerns about what items an employee may acquire. This elegant solution appeals to accounting and procurement managers, as Paypense effectively ensures the right amounts are spent on the right kind of purchases, every single time. The under-the-hood approach to managing virtual technology and secure connections to a company’s preferred banking institutions makes this seamless to employees who crave simplicity in all expense-related processes. Other Paypense highlights include: The provision of pre-approved budgets in real time to individual employees, groups, or job candidates via Paypense’s patented "matrix approval engine.” Functionality also allows for the approval and dispensing of increased allocations for emergency scenarios; Mobile app capabilities that facilitate tracked purchases by the employees, without him/her ever having to use their own funds; Automated receipt acquisition for common online portals used by employees, including air, rail, hotel, auto, ridesharing, phone and other prominent suppliers; and Leveraging supplier and localized data, Paypense captures the CO2 emissions of individual expenses, a vital element for companies taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint. “With our open platform, we’ve introduced a unique differentiator for the provision of virtual credit cards for pre-approved expenses, It’s clear from our industry engagement that there is an appreciation for our approach. We’re working in concert with expense providers and financial institutions, not competing with them as we transition from expense management to spend management. And with all parties squarely focusing on enhancing the employee experience, we’re increasing satisfaction even as we uncover new avenues of payment efficiency.” -Christopher Hecht, founder and CEO of Paypense Complemented by this acquisition, HRS Pay now offers truly holistic spend management solutions covering not only travel-related spend, but also non-travel, localized spend that accounts for significant expenses,” said Kurt Knackstedt, Chief Growth Officer for HRS Pay. “With the full integration of Paypense, our complete end-to-end spend management platform provides unmatched visibility of level-3 data, multi-category invoice digitization, and superior VAT reclaim automation – all available globally via any payment provider. Given these cumulative capabilities, HRS Pay is uniquely positioned to deliver the consummate payment solution for Fortune 500 multi-national companies. Paypense’s employees will officially become HRS Pay employees when the acquisition formally closes in August. Christopher Hecht will join the HRS Pay team as Chief Product Officer, overseeing development and working collaboratively with clients, partners and employees to enrich HRS Pay solutions moving forward. HRS Pay solutions will be featured at the upcoming Global Business Travel Association conference in San Diego on August 14-17 at the HRS booth (# 3229). Paypense is also one of an exclusive few new technologies to be selected for the Innovate event in New York City on October 24. About HRS HRS is reinventing the way businesses and governments work, stay and pay in today’s dynamic global marketplace. HRS’ advanced platform technology is extending its reach beyond hospitality to meetings, office space management, payment efficiency and crisis recovery. Beyond cost savings in the global post-pandemic economy, HRS clients gain from an unrivaled focus on essential aspects including safety, security and satisfaction. HRS is also recognized for its award-winning Green Stay Initiative, technology that helps corporate hotel programs achieve their NetZero targets, and its groundbreaking Crew & Passengers Solution, which leverages automation to elevate experiences for air and rail operations. Founded in 1972, HRS works with 35 percent of the global Fortune 500, as well as the world’s leading hotel chains, regional hospitality groups and payment providers. More information at www.hrs.com/enterprise.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Agoda and Alipay+ Expand on Their Partnership to Offer Greater Rewards to Travelers Through Digital Payment Methods

Agoda and Alipay+ | August 09, 2022

Agoda and Alipay+ announced a new partnership that will leverage Alipay+ solutions on the Agoda platform for better customer benefits and rewards. This is in addition to the existing integration of multiple digital wallets, namely the AlipayHK, GCash and TrueMoney, through Alipay+ on Agoda’s platforms.With this new partnership, multiple Alipay+ marketing solutions, including Alipay+ Rewards and its in-cashier marketing services, can be used for discounts distribution and redemption on Agoda. This enables Agoda to enhance its transaction conversion rate, while travelers can enjoy great returns in countries and regions like Hong Kong SAR of China, the Philippines, and Thailand – with the possibility of more regions to come in the future. As the global economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the online travel industry has seen a vigorous rebound. In some key countries across the region, bookings have increased nearly tenfold since the start of the year, according to Agoda data and this number is only expected to increase. “As we gear up for the return to travel, we want to offer our customers greater choice and flexibility in their bookings. The pandemic has greatly accelerated the digitisation of travel and we are committed to keeping with the times as we continue to onboard more diverse modes of payments globally. We value this partnership with Alipay+ as it helps us offer more benefits to the end user through the clever integration of new payment solutions and rewards programs – allowing us to reach out to and target a wider network of customers.” -Damien Pfirsch, CCO, Agoda. Introduced by Ant Group in 2020, Alipay+ is a suite of global cross-border digital payments and marketing solutions designed to enable businesses, especially small and medium-sized businesses, to process a wide range of mobile payment methods and reach hundreds of millions of regional and global consumers. Other leading e-wallets supported by Alipay+ include Boost (Malaysia), Rabbit LINE Pay (Thailand), Touch 'n Go (Malaysia), Kakao Pay (South Korea), Klarna (Europe) and more. “We are glad to reach this new partnership with Agoda to support the recovery of the travel industry from the pandemic. With innovative payment and marketing solutions, Alipay+ is committed to helping merchants reach global consumers as a cross-border economic connector and allow consumers to make payments on global platforms with their preferred digital wallets.” -Jing Yin, General Manager of Global Strategic Accounts of International Business Group at Ant Group Agoda has partnered with Ant Group and integrated Alipay as a payment option in the Chinese market as early as 2013. Since early 2022, Agoda has been integrating Alipay+ payment solutions to accept payments through multiple digital wallets across Asia. On July 4, Agoda also worked with Alipay+ to launch a Brand Day campaign in the Philippines market. About Agoda Agoda helps anyone travel anywhere with its great value deals on a global network of 2.7M hotels and holiday properties worldwide, plus flights, airport transfers and more. Agoda.com and the Agoda mobile app are available in 39 languages and supported by 24/7 customer support. Headquartered in Singapore, Agoda is part of Booking Holdings (Nasdaq: BKNG) and employs more than 4,800 staff in 32 markets, dedicated to leveraging best-in-class technology to make travel even easier. About Alipay+ Alipay+ provides global cross-border digital payments and marketing solutions that enable global e-wallets and merchant partners, especially small and medium-sized businesses, to better serve their users and customers. Alipay+ is introduced by Ant Group, the owner and operator of Alipay. As one of the world’s leading digital payment platforms, Alipay serves hundreds of millions of users by connecting them with merchants and partner financial institutions that offer inclusive financial services and digital daily life services.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

GigNet Signs Agreement with Oasis Palm and Grand Oasis Hotels to Provide World Class Internet to Create Memorable Travel Experiences

GigNet | July 06, 2022

GigNet, a Digital Infrastructure company with an extensive regional fiber optic broadband network from Costa Mujeres, North of Cancun, through the Hotel Zone of Tulum, announced today it is implementing a private network to connect Oasis Palm, Oasis Smart, Grand Oasis and three corporate offices. This will ensure fast, reliable connections with seamless communication between the six locations. Oasis is a leading hotel group in Cancun, and one of the driving forces behind its success is the constant philosophy of innovation. This technology partnership with GigNet underscores Oasis’ commitment to exceptional guest services and superior operations. “Every day is important when you want to reach excellence and we work hard to meet our clients’ expectations for a truly memorable vacation experience. Advanced broadband has become an essential element in creating that experience. High-speed Internet helps us provide innovative entertainment and it also permits us to have access to the data that we need to make smarter and quicker business decisions,” -Gener Hernandez, Corporate IT Manager for Oasis Hotels. Mark Carney, OBE and President of GigNet Mexico stated, “We are excited about welcoming Oasis Palm and Grand Oasis to the GigNet family. Oasis and GigNet are both pioneers in the Cancun region and we share a forward-thinking spirit. This also expands our relationships with the leading hospitality innovators headquartered in Spain that operate in Mexico and Latin America. Oasis joins the growing list of hotel and resort developers that recognize GigNet’s superior technology and leadership in client satisfaction.” Mr. Carney added, “GigNet Managed Services allows our clients to create a secure private network that enables seamless communication between departments and locations for guest services and management information systems.” ABOUT OASIS HOTELS Oasis Hotels & Resorts is a major hotel group founded in the 1970s by a Spanish family who were pioneers in the Cancun tourism industry, including innovations in the operations and marketing of all-inclusive resorts. The group prides itself on gastronomy and entertainment offerings that pamper guests with high-quality options and world-class service. In the Cancun region Oasis operates a variety of properties, including magnificent beachfront resorts, two hotels that are designed for families with children, and two urban hotels in central Cancun that are popular with business travelers. Together, these properties offer travel experiences that appeal to a wide range of international tourists and visitors from other regions of Mexico. https://oasishoteles.com/en ABOUT GIGNET GigNet is the Mexican Caribbean brand of GigNet, Inc., a U.S. based international Digital Infrastructure company specializing in Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) and Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) for enterprise customers including hotels, resorts, retailers, offices, large commercial operations, governmental offices, and medical and educational facilities, as well as fiber-optic transport services for mobile phone operators in the region. Through its Mexico operating subsidiaries, GigNet, S.A. de C.V., and Sanalto Redes Peninsular, S.A.P.I. de C.V., the Company is a fully licensed telecommunications provider in Mexico. GigNet is actively adding customers to its extensive regional broadband network in the Mexican Caribbean, one of the largest and fastest growing tourism and new residential development destinations in the world, with over 25 million annual airport visitors. GigNet is a leader in the Digital Transformation of the region.

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