Booking.com building connected travel with Google Nest

PhocusWire | December 20, 2019

Booking com has signed a one-year partnership with Google Nest to help build a more "connected trip experience" for travelers and property hosts. While the partnership has a promotional element to it, kicking off with free Nest devices for U.S. travelers spending more than $150, it also aims to provide partners with access to products and services that could improve the experience in properties. Booking com and Google Nest say guests and hosts are looking for more safety and security features when staying in private accommodation with smart technology potentially filling gaps.

Spotlight

When consumer travel apps are cheap, easy to download and offer choice to business travelers, one could ask why managed travel must duplicate the effort. As long as travel compliance to an agency or online booking tool is secure and the travel buyer is successful in achieving market share agreements with suppliers, what’s the difference in a few finger strokes outside a managed environment to scaffold some en route support?

Spotlight

When consumer travel apps are cheap, easy to download and offer choice to business travelers, one could ask why managed travel must duplicate the effort. As long as travel compliance to an agency or online booking tool is secure and the travel buyer is successful in achieving market share agreements with suppliers, what’s the difference in a few finger strokes outside a managed environment to scaffold some en route support?

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

KAYAK and Babbel Team Up to Help Travelers Learn a Language for their Next Trip

KAYAK and Babbel | November 11, 2021

Travel ranks among the top three reasons Americans want to learn another language, according to a recent survey from KAYAK, the world's leading travel search engine. One quarter (almost 24%) said they simply feel more comfortable visiting a country where they can speak the local language, while nearly the same (23%) want to avoid the embarrassment of mispronouncing a word. To help Americans travel like a local while speaking like one too, KAYAK and Babbel are teaming up to launch linGO - a one-stop-shop for travel planning and language learning. Focused on where to go, when to book, and top phrases to consider as restrictions ease (like how to ask for directions or for the check at dinner), linGO pulls together both travel and language hacks to make the most of your next trip. As more countries open up their borders to travelers, KAYAK data reveals the best time to book an international trip for a good price is five months in advance - more than enough time to get conversational in a new language. And, with international travel searches over the last two months continuing to increase weekly, now is the best time to get that trip on the books. To help get you started, KAYAK curated travel hacks for its top trending destinations, based on Babbel's most popular languages (Spanish, French and Italian), to provide data-driven pricing insights for flights, stays and rental cars so you can easily plan and budget for your next trip. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, is seeing a 170% increase in search share compared to 2019; the best time to l book your flight is three months in advance Consider traveling to Nice, France, in January when median flight prices hover around $472 - a 36% decrease from flight prices in December - and average rental car prices are around only $36 per day! Celebrate the holidays in Florence, Italy, where you can snag a stay in December for as little as $133 per night - the cheapest stay of KAYAK's top- trending italian destinations Budget conscious travelers looking for an international getaway should consider Cancun, Mexico, where flight prices come in under $500 roundtrip "KAYAK's survey revealed nearly half of Gen Z (46%) have attempted to learn a language in preparation for an upcoming trip,By teaming up with Babbel, KAYAK is giving travelers access to even more tools to personalize and uplevel their travel experience with language content tailored for transit, dining and connecting with locals." - Matt Clarke, VP of NA Marketing at KAYAK When traveling wasn't an option, we still saw that one of the biggest reasons for Americans to learn a new language was preparing to travel," said Julie Hansen, US CEO, Babbel. "This shows that being able to communicate when visiting another country plays a big role in planning a trip. This is why we're partnering up with KAYAK to give travelers the best experience possible, from the time they decide on a destination to the adventures they have in their new language while away. Nearly half of Americans (46%) revealed that learning a language would positively impact their travel experience by making them more confident when traveling. So, KAYAK and Babbel are giving travelers the extra confidence boost they need by giving away 15 lifetime language subscriptions to Babbel via a holiday sweepstakes. And, three of those lucky few winners will receive the ultimate vacation experience which includes one lifetime subscription to Babbel and a $2,800 gift card to be used for a 7-night vacation to one of KAYAK's top trending destinations. About KAYAK KAYAK, part of Booking Holdings (NASDAQ: BKNG), is the world's leading travel search engine. With billions of queries across our platforms, we help people find their perfect flight, stay, rental car, cruise, vacation package. We also support business travelers with KAYAK for Business, our free corporate travel solution and are transforming the in-travel experience with our app and new hotel and accommodation software. For more information, visit www.KAYAK.com. About Babbel Boilerplate Babbel is driven by a purpose: Creating mutual understanding through language. This means building an ecosystem of language learning offerings that helps people connect across cultures. Babbel, Babbel Live and Babbel for Business provide users with the most effective solution to be able to communicate with real people, in real situations. The key is a blend of humanity and technology. More than 60,000 lessons across 15 languages are hand-crafted by 180+ linguists, with user behaviours continuously analysed to shape and tweak the learner experience. And it works: Studies with Yale University, City University of New York and Michigan State University prove its effectiveness. From headquarters in Berlin and New York, 750 people from more than 65 nationalities represent all the differences that make humans unique. Babbel is the most profitable language learning app worldwide, with more than 10 million subscriptions sold. For more information, visit www.babbel.com or download the apps in the App Store or Play Store. About YouGov Methodology This survey has been conducted using an online interview administered to members of the YouGov Plc panel of individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1190 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 27th - 28th October 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).

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FEATURES AND ADVICE

RateGain launches revAI to transform demand forecasting and price optimization for Car Rentals

RateGain Technologies | September 01, 2021

RateGain Technologies announced at the 2021 International Car Rental Show the launch of revAI, the first end-to-end AI-powered demand forecasting and price optimization platform for car rentals to make every forecast profitable. The summer of 2021 witnessed a surge in car rental demand, with most travelers experiencing supply shortages, highlighting the problematic process of forecasting demand accurately and managing fleets more precisely. This supply-demand gap limits revenue maximization opportunities for car rental operators. revAI solves revenue leakage by leveraging 25 demand indicators that drive hyper-local demand at a city level to help car rental operators clearly understand the market potential and adjust their strategy to reach their maximum revenue potential in any given day. However, unlike most demand forecasting solutions, revAI goes a step further and combines a price optimization module, which enables revenue managers to capture the incremental market share through an AI-driven-price recommendation engine. While most demand forecasting solutions rely on historical bookings, revAI is one of the first platforms to leverage forward-looking demand indicators that are more credible in quantifying demand at a hyper-local level for the city. The forecast and understanding of market demand can also help identify dates that need attention, ensuring that car rental operators never lose an opportunity to maximize. The platform drives automation and digitization. It is aimed to help revenue managers eliminate manual processes such as complex spreadsheets and multiple data sources. revAI provides revenue managers with one single platform to understand demand, determine their pricing strategy and let the system execute that strategy seamlessly to stay ahead and drive recovery through sophisticated machine learning and artificial intelligence framework. Commenting on the launch, Harmeet Singh, Group CEO, RateGain, said, "Car rentals are one of the hardest hit by demand volatility and have very little bandwidth or technology support to adapt. With revAI, we are committed to changing that. Our solution will essentially bridge the gap between forecast and revenue maximization by ensuring that every rental is profitable, reduces time, effort and improves margins." revAI is integrated with leading industry partners allowing independent operators and franchisees to start realizing the benefits and learn how your team can leverage and bring technology-powered transformation to your car rental revenue management and pricing strategy in the post COVID era. About RateGain RateGain is a global provider of SaaS solutions for the hospitality and travel industry, offering travel and hospitality solutions that unlock new revenue every day.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

Cleartrip, an Online Travel Company, will be Acquired by Flipkart

Cleartrip, Flipkart | April 16, 2021

Flipkart announced on Thursday that it has agreed to acquire Cleartrip, an online travel and hotel ticketing firm, as the Walmart-owned e-commerce firm seeks to expand its offerings in the world's second-largest internet market. According to a person familiar with the matter, the deal values 14-year-old Cleartrip, which raised approximately $74 million before the acquisition, at approximately $40 million. Cleartrip, like most other travel companies, is under immense stress as a result of the worldwide pandemic, which has greatly reduced people's desire to travel. Last month, Indian news outlet MoneyControl announced that the two firms were considering a merger. Cleartrip is also an Amazon partner in India, powering the American e-commerce giant's ticketing engine. In 2019, the two companies signed an agreement. The American e-commerce company did not react, even though it is currently battling a legal battle to prevent its estranged Indian partner Future Group from selling business to Reliance Retail. Cleartrip will continue to exist as a standalone brand, with all staff staying, while collaborating with Flipkart to “further create digital innovations to make travel easier for customers,” the two firms announced today. Flipkart has been reported to be working on adding a flight ticket buying feature on its website for more than a year. “Through digital commerce, the Flipkart Group is dedicated to improving customer experiences. For many customers, Cleartrip is synonymous with travel, and as we diversify and search for new areas of growth, this investment will further strengthen our diverse portfolio of customer offers. We welcome the Cleartrip team to the Flipkart Group, with their vast industry expertise and technological skills, and look forward to working together to provide greater value and travel experiences for customers,” said Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO of Flipkart Group, in a tweet.

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