BCD announces Rennies merger in South Africa

Buying Business Travel | October 15, 2019

BCD Travel has announced its joint-venture partner in South Africa Connex Travel is merging with Rennies Travel. The combined business results in a total of 737 employees, with offices in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London, Stellenbosch and Richard’s Bay, as well as Namibia. The news follows BCD’s January announcement that Rennie’s Travel, owned by Bidvest, had joined its Global Network. Previously operating as BCD Travel South Africa, Connex Travel has been a Global Network partner since 2009. The merged companies will operate as Rennies BCD Travel.

Spotlight

New research by climate campaign group Possible, which was published by the BBC, has found that a small number of frequent flyers dominated air travel before the pandemic with the vast majority only traveling domestically. In the United States for example, just 12 perent of people take 66 percent of all flights. That trend is also evident in other developed countries such as the United Kingdom where 15 percent of people take 70 percent of flights. Calls are growing from environmental groups for the implementation of a Frequent Flyer Levy which is a tax that increases the more a person flies each year.

Spotlight

New research by climate campaign group Possible, which was published by the BBC, has found that a small number of frequent flyers dominated air travel before the pandemic with the vast majority only traveling domestically. In the United States for example, just 12 perent of people take 66 percent of all flights. That trend is also evident in other developed countries such as the United Kingdom where 15 percent of people take 70 percent of flights. Calls are growing from environmental groups for the implementation of a Frequent Flyer Levy which is a tax that increases the more a person flies each year.

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Cloudbeds Partners with Rakuten Travel Xchange to Extend Reach

Rakuten, Cloudbeds | August 04, 2021

Cloudbeds, the fastest growing hospitality management platform today, announced a partnership with Rakuten Travel Xchange, the hotel wholesale and travel technology division within the Rakuten Group. The collaboration connects Cloudbeds with Rakuten Travel, the highly ranked OTA in Japan, and 400+ B2B partners connected worldwide through API connections, travel agent portals, and websites. The unique and diverse distribution channels allow Cloudbeds to extend its reach to the extensive Rakuten Travel Xchange customer base through a single connection. In addition, Rakuten Travel Xchange adds the Cloudbeds inventory of properties that use its award-winning technology platform to manage all aspects of their business, from booking engines to payments. “We are always seeking high-value partners to complement our expanding platform, “says Anna Tsujihata, Head of Hotel Contracting and Connectivity, of Rakuten Travel Xchange. “With Cloudbeds now part of our global distribution platform, we expand our offerings to travelers seeking unique properties with superior guest experiences.” “As global travel reopens, we want our properties to be available to the largest customer base possible,” says Sebastian Leitner, VP of Partnerships for Cloudbeds. “By partnering with Rakuten Travel Xchange, a major global player and distribution channel in Japan; we significantly increase our global footprint. We are excited to partner with them.” The announcement comes as the pandemic wanes and travel demand is increasing. Since the beginning of the year Rakuten Travel Xchange has seen bookings increase month after month, with strong demands coming from the United States and Mexico in particular. As restrictions have started to lift in other markets, travel in these geographies has followed similar trends. What is clear is that there is a large amount of pent-up demand. Rakuten Travel Xchange is seeing this demand in real-time across its global distribution network. About Rakuten Travel Xchange Rakuten Travel Xchange is a hotel distribution service providing travel retailers around the world owned by the Rakuten Group, Inc., a global leader in Internet services. It enables accommodation partners to distribute their inventory through an extensive global distribution network that includes Rakuten Group’s branded sites, other online travel agents, wholesalers, airlines, app-only players, loyalty programs, and an assortment of offline retailers including travel agents and call center operators. About Cloudbeds Founded in 2012, Cloudbeds is the fastest-growing hospitality management platform in the world. Its SaaS platform provides tools to manage better properties of all types and sizes, allowing property managers and owners more time to focus on their guests while building revenue, driving bookings and increasing operational efficiencies. Trusted by more than 20,000 hotels, hostels, inns, and alternative accommodations in more than 157 countries, the Cloudbeds suite is a fully integrated platform of capabilities designed to help properties unify their management, reservations, and booking systems, grow revenue, and automate workflows with confidence and ease. For more information, visit www.cloudbeds.com.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Agilysys Introduces 13 Hospitality Solution Studios

Agilysys | June 29, 2022

At the HITECH Orlando 2022, Agilysys, Inc. introduced 13 Hospitality Solution Studios. Each of these studios is tailored to improve Return on Experience (ROE) in a defined type of venue. ROE is a metric to measure how technology creates more engaged and empowered staff members and returning guests that spend more, and leave detailed reviews. “Businesses are disappointed when they force-fit generically designed technology into their unique operations. On the other hand, if they build proprietary solutions they sacrifice scale, evolutionary pace and interoperability as surrounding systems advance. Our Hospitality Solution Studios circumvent this challenge by combining our core solutions with the right Experience Enhancers – which address specific and finite tasks such as guest-controlled mobile ordering – for each type of venue. The technology is modular and integrated, so it is much easier to manage and evolve than tailored solutions cobbled together from different vendors.” -Don DeMarinis, senior vice president of Agilysys, Agilysys now offers these 13 Hospitality Solution Studios to maximize ROE: Hotel Studio for the priorities of owners, managers, and property management companies operating portfolios of branded properties across multiple locations. Resort Solution Studio for understanding and optimizing experiences for guests and staff across all property venues and amenity touchpoints and across the complete time horizon of each guest relationship and staff member relationship. Casino Solution Studio to accommodate complexities at properties that host both casino guests and non-casino guests, as well as heightened cybersecurity stringency and multi-layered approaches to earning and redeeming loyalty points and rewards. Cruise Solution Studio to accommodate the unique timeframe, capacity, and international monetary requirements of optimizing experiences on cruise ships. Independent Property Solution Studio for the priorities of non-branded property owners and managers. Management Company Solution Studio to deliver the data-driven insights and operational efficiencies required to optimize property performance and accommodates the unique requirements of combining condominium ownership, rental and management workflows and reports with non-owned unit rentals and management. Campus Solution Studio to cater to the food and beverage ordering process, payment and delivery management requirements across students, guests, and staff. Hospital Solution Studio to address the food and beverage operations and nutrition management in hospitals and across care networks. Lifestyle Community Solution Studio to address unit ownership and management needs, food and beverage operations and resort-like amenity management. Senior Living Solution Studio for providing hospitality experiences to an aging population of guests and skill-credentialed staff. Theme Park Solution Studio for managing dispersed hospitality touchpoints, delivering ubiquitous mobility, and optimizing highly varied food and beverage operations. Stadium Solution Studio to handle periods of intense demand and high transaction volume, mobile food and beverage ordering and delivery, and secure contactless payments. Corporate Dining Solution Studio to offer food and beverage ordering and delivery options across corporate campus venues with varying operating hours, item selections and direct-to-office delivery options, as well as to accommodate company-specific payment plans and methods. “Delivering hospitality experiences exceptionally well can be a game-changer for businesses outside the realm of traditional hospitality, Meeting demand smoothly and flawlessly can create a strong bond between guests and venues, and between employees and employers. Conversely, hospitality disappointments can strain loyalty and break bonds. We enjoy helping a wide variety of businesses and operations get hospitality right so that it serves as an important business lever,” -Don DeMarinis, senior vice president of Agilysys

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

CIBT Launches Version 2.0 of ImmiSMART

CIBT | June 22, 2022

On June 21, CIBT, a global leader in mobility services, announced the launch of an advanced version of its market-leading visa and immigration software, ImmiSMART. This updated version solidifies CIBT’s commitment to technological innovation in the global mobility sector. This launch comes just four months after CIBT acquired the mobility software platform developed by Viselio. With the help of ImmiSMART, companies can align their human resources, business travel, and global mobility operations to ensure a fully compliant mobile workforce. ImmiSMART’s new features leverage new data sources, AI, and automation to offer an outstanding client experience for every user. "ImmiSMART's new features and capabilities are a first of their kind in the industry and underscore our passion for leveraging technology to deliver an exceptional experience for the employee and a fully compliant solution for the employer," -CIBT's CIO Aravind Venkateswaran. ImmiSMART offers instantaneous and definitive assessments that determine whether an employee requires a visa, work authorization, or another type of documentation before traveling. As a result, it reduces the travelers time and the corporate travel spend by significantly reducing offline consultations with an advisor. The assessments can also confirm travel feasibility for specific dates and suggest alternative travels options, if necessary. Health and entry requirements such as COVID restrictions are also provided with the assessment. ImmiSMART was named a 2022 finalist for Technology Innovation by Business Travel Awards Europe. CIBT continues to deliver on its commitment to creating solutions that synthesize data, and offer clear guidance and direction in real-time.

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