Booking.com pledges semi-neutral role in private accommodation distribution

PhocusWire | October 22, 2019

Booking.com is to deploy a "preferred partner" strategy for private accommodation managers looking to distribute properties on the site. The online travel agency plans to create the list of vendors in the coming months as a means of helping short-term rental partners manage their portfolios. However, Eric Bergaglia, Booking.com's global head of homes and apartments, says the unit will not follow other divisions in the organization that have bought distribution and software companies in recent years as a way to provide distribution services for suppliers. Booking.com has previously acquired a number of supplier-related software platforms.

Spotlight

Sustainability has risen to the top of the CEO agenda and leaders across industries are stepping up action.1 In travel, many companies are already in the process of setting ambitious sustainability goalsand developing corresponding strategies, including
the transition to net zero. 2 However, to achieve these goals and transition to a more sustainable future, travel and tourism (T&T) companies mustsuccessfully develop products that enable more sustainable travel choices.

Spotlight

Sustainability has risen to the top of the CEO agenda and leaders across industries are stepping up action.1 In travel, many companies are already in the process of setting ambitious sustainability goalsand developing corresponding strategies, including
the transition to net zero. 2 However, to achieve these goals and transition to a more sustainable future, travel and tourism (T&T) companies mustsuccessfully develop products that enable more sustainable travel choices.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Sandpiper Hospitality partners with ProfitSword to offer its hotels dynamic business intelligence capabilities

Sandpiper Hospitality | December 20, 2022

Sandpiper Hospitality – a Virginia-based hotel management company with vast expertise in the extended-stay segment – has partnered with ProfitSword by Actabl, the industry’s only integrated hotel operations, business intelligence and labor management solution platform. Each of Sandpiper Hospitality’s 60 managed properties nationwide will have access to ProfitSword’s industry-leading suite of advanced budgeting and performance forecasting tools designed to provide accurate, data-driven decision-making capabilities, increase operational efficiency and drive revenue growth for each property, as well as for the entire organization. “ProfitSword is a game changer for Sandpiper Hospitality as it gives us access to highly customized data and precise real-time analytics,” said Sandpiper Hospitality President & CEO Jim Darter. “We believe this significant move will have a uniquely positive impact on our business by helping us to differentiate ourselves from our competitors and prove our strong return on investment to all our clients.” Sandpiper Hospitality is approved by Marriott International, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Choice Hotels International, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and Extended Stay America to manage their select-service and extended stay brands and now manages over 10 different brands in its burgeoning portfolio. "We are excited to partner with the Sandpiper Hospitality team, ProfitSword by Actabl’s powerful business intelligence, reporting, and financial solutions will enable Sandpiper properties to better serve their guests and enable operations leaders to maximize profitability across their full portfolio.” -Lindsey Goedeker, Vice President Sales, Actabl. Sandpiper Hospitality has seen strong growth in 2022, adding three newly developed Wyndham Hotels & Resorts properties in Texas to its managed portfolio, including a first-of its kind dual-branded La Quinta Inn / Hawthorn Suites in Pflugerville, TX, along with the WoodSpring Suites Orlando I-4 & Convention Center in Florida for new client Sunburst Hospitality. Sandpiper Hospitality has a portfolio of 60 hotels open or under contract with 22 of them under management for third-party clients. Sandpiper Hospitality continues to demonstrate its unique ability to combine a flexible approach to third-party management with extra-ordinary financial results for its investors and clients. For more information, please visit http://www.sandpiperhospitality.com. About Sandpiper Hospitality Sandpiper Hospitality is a high-performance hotel management firm recognized as experts in the extended stay hotel space. With 60 hotels open or under management for a diverse group of clients across the country, Sandpiper Hospitality is on the leading edge of the hottest segment in hospitality. Hotel Business ranked Sandpiper Hospitality as a Top 50 Management Company in its 2022 Green Book and for the second year in a row, ranked it as one of the fastest growing companies in hospitality management. The firm has earned its position as the leading operator in the extended stay hotel segment of hospitality by virtue of superior returns on investment for its investors and clients. Sandpiper Hospitality - where expertise grounds us and flexibility elevates us. http://www.sandpiperhospitality.com About Actabl With a comprehensive suite of industry-leading technology solutions designed to meet the evolving needs of the global hospitality industry, Actabl provides all the insight and intelligence today’s hoteliers need to enhance operational efficiency, improve guest experience, and increase profitability at the individual, team, property, and enterprise levels. Bringing together the industry’s most powerful and proven brands, Actabl’s integrated solution includes the ALICE hotel operations management platform, ProfitSword’s AI-powered business intelligence technology, Transcendent’s advanced asset management, and Hotel Effectiveness’ complete labor optimization system designed for hotels and hotel management companies. With a global team of 250+ employees boasting over 1,000 years of combined hospitality experience, Actabl serves the technology needs of more than 10,000 properties in hospitality markets around the world. To learn more, please visit http://www.actabl.com. About ProfitSword by Actabl Founded in 2001, ProfitSword by Actabl’s mission is to provide exceptional business intelligence tools to the business community, specializing in data collection and integration, data analytics, operational functionality and reporting at all levels of the organization. The ProfitSword Suite is now in use by more than 30,000 users across 3,000+ business units. ProfitSword’s award-winning SaaS solutions provide the end user with applications for consolidated, real-time reporting and data management. ProfitSword uses various available methods of gathering data from disparate sources to create a powerful data warehouse. The suite of applications is accessible to all levels of users throughout the organization.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY, COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

CLEAR Launches a New Identity Verification Technology at Long Beach Airport

CLEAR | January 25, 2023

On January 24, 2023, the consumer services company - CLEAR launched its identity verification technology at Long Beach Airport, making travelers' identity screening quick and effortless. CLEAR's network is specialized to verify the identities of its members by scanning their eyes or fingers instead of identity proofs like a driver's license. After verification, the CLEAR ambassador will take the member through a specific lane to TSA physical security. It will save the time of the member waiting for security screening approval. This new launch is set to generate a profit of around 1.2 million dollars, along with creating 23 job opportunities. Members, who opt for the CLEAR Plus feature, will get access to this new identity-verification technology, which would cost around $16 per month, billed annually. This membership is discounted for American Express, United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines members. The newly-registered active members who are military, veterans, and government officials will also be charged less. Besides, the member can also add family members to their CLEAR Plus account, which would cost $60 for one adult per year. CLEAR's CEO, Caryn Seidman-Becker, said, "California continues to be an incredibly important market for CLEAR, and we're excited to kick off 2023 by further expanding our footprint in Southern California. Launching at Long Beach Airport means locals and tourists alike can enjoy our predictable, friction-free travel experience in even more places – which is all part of our mission to transform the way people live, work and travel." (Source – Cision PR Newswire) About CLEAR CLEAR has been making identity verification frictionless since 2010. Its new lanes are accessible at San Diego International Airport, Ontario International Airport, Palm Springs International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, and Long Beach Airport. In addition, the company also features a free LAX Fast Lane, a virtual queueing pilot. This feature allows travelers to plan ahead of time and even book a time slot for a party at the security checkpoint.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Taconic Capital Advisors and HEI Hotels & Resorts Jointly Acquire Hyatt Regency Jersey City

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.

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