BTA partners with Air Transat

Buying Business Travel | November 11, 2019

Canadian airline Air Transat has become an industry partner of the Business Travel Association BTA as it prepares to boost its services between the UK and Canada. The carrier recently announced that it will increase the frequency of its flights between Gatwick and Toronto to a double-daily service for summer 2020. Its Montreal route will also grow from three flights a week to five. According to the BTA, the partnership will further cement the relationship between Air Transat and TMCs, with the airline’s Club Class offering business travellers an exclusive cabin with an enhanced service.

Spotlight

Paired with changing workforce dynamics, contact centers are coping with issues such as economic uncertainty, customer vulnerability, an increase in global compliance regulations and ongoing pandemic-related disruptions —
from the supply chain to employee health concerns. A perfect storm of external factors have led to higher interaction volumes and more complex customer conversations.

Spotlight

Paired with changing workforce dynamics, contact centers are coping with issues such as economic uncertainty, customer vulnerability, an increase in global compliance regulations and ongoing pandemic-related disruptions —
from the supply chain to employee health concerns. A perfect storm of external factors have led to higher interaction volumes and more complex customer conversations.

Related News

HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Competition for Leisure Guests Heats Up Between Hotels and Short-Term Rentals

AirDNA | November 15, 2022

A new joint report from hospitality data supplier STR and short-term rental analytics provider AirDNA shows that competition between short-term rentals and hotels has accelerated in the fight for leisure guests, with the price gap tightening and rental supply falling behind in urban markets.During the pandemic, the U.S. short-term rental sector used its supply flexibility to recover faster than hotels, especially in coastal and mountain destinations, pushing rentals' market share to a record 17% of total lodging in summer 2020. Hotels retargeted towards leisure guests to reclaim demand, focusing on urban areas, pushing short-term rentals' market share back to below its pre-pandemic trajectory. "During the pandemic, short-term rentals had an advantage over traditional hotels due to consumer perception of better COVID-19 safety, Now in 2022, hotels can compete on price and have claimed demand on key holidays where, pre-pandemic, they typically lost out on leisure travelers." -AirDNA Vice President of Research, Jamie Lane Hotels Lead in Cities In large cities, short-term rental supply contracted dramatically as demand dropped off in 2020, while government subsidies helped to reduce permanent closures of hotels. As urban demand began to recover in 2022, hotels were ready to accommodate travelers, while urban rental supply remains 17% below 2019. With strict regulations limiting short-term rentals in cities like New York and San Francisco, which both lost 25% of their pre-pandemic supply levels, supply is unlikely to fully recover in these areas. "Looking to the future, hotel supply will likely remain strongest in urban and suburban locations, with low development in coastal and rural areas due to higher barriers to entry, where short-term rentals will likely see more opportunity for growth," -STR's Vice President of Analytics Isaac Collazo. A new STR survey of more than 1,000 travelers shows that value for money is an important factor for rental guests, even more than hotel guests. Despite the perception that rentals are cheaper, in 2019, hotels and comparably-sized rentals were priced around the same, except in urban locations. In large cities, hotels were priced 42.9% higher than rentals, but that gap has closed to 26.6% in 2022. Hotels are now offering lower rates than rentals in all location types except urban and coastal resorts, where the difference is 10%. While rentals' market share is highest in coastal and mountain or lake destinations, in urban and suburban locations their share has flattened or declined. Rentals should continue to grow their market share, albeit at a slower pace than pre-pandemic, led by expansion in resorts and small towns less well-served by traditional hotels. About AirDNA AirDNA helps hosts, property managers, and investors succeed in the short-term vacation rental market by turning rental data into actionable analytics. The Denver-based company has tracked the daily performance of 10 million vacation rentals in 120,000 global markets since 2014 to provide real-time market insights. Their range of online and exportable reports offer a solution for everyone in the industry to analyze trends, price rentals, identify new investment opportunities, and benchmark performance. About STR STR provides premium data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights for the global hospitality industry. Founded in 1985, STR maintains a presence in 15 countries with a North American headquarters in Hendersonville, Tennessee, an international headquarters in London, and an Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore. STR was acquired in October 2019 by CoStar Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSGP), the leading provider of commercial real estate information, analytics and online marketplaces.

Read More

TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Virgin Voyages Welcomes Paysafe Aboard for Online Payments

Paysafe and Virgin Voyages | November 30, 2022

Paysafe (NYSE: PSFE), a leading payments platform, announced a partnership with Virgin Voyages, Richard Branson’s lifestyle travel brand focused on delivering irresistible cruise vacations for adult travelers. Paysafe will ensure travelers can quickly and securely pay online for their next cruise with Virgin Voyages, whose payments risk will also be mitigated by Paysafe’s bespoke travel solution.Whether booking an opulent Virgin Voyages cruise in the Caribbean, Europe, or the South Pacific as well as Transatlantic crossings, travelers can now use their credit card to pay online to book their exclusively adult seabound vacation through Paysafe, with all transactions processed seamlessly. With 20+ years’ card-not-present payments’ experience, including for travel merchants, Paysafe will allow Virgin Voyages to better serve its global customer base by accepting payments in multiple currencies besides the U.S. dollar. The relatively high-risk nature of cruise travel payments – with cruises often booked many months in advance of travelers’ setting sail – will be mitigated by Paysafe, which has deep expertise in risk management for travel merchants. Paysafe’s custom risk product for Virgin Voyages leverages Mastercard’s T&E Risk Monitor, which is powered by Actuary, to provide the merchant with full transparency on the holdback and release of funds for processed ticket sales, ensuring effective credit risk management. Paysafe will also help Virgin Voyages negotiate the issue of fraud and chargebacks through its dedicated in-house risk and chargeback teams. In addition, a Cruise Line Relationship Manager at Paysafe will enable Virgin Voyages to overcome specific payments challenges. “We’re delighted to partner with Virgin Voyages, the latest venture from the iconic Virgin Group and its co-founder Richard Branson. We look forward to supporting this unique travel brand’s growth by leveraging our travel payments experience to facilitate the reservation process for Virgin Voyages and its customers.” -Afshin Yazdian, President of Merchant Solutions at Paysafe John Birdsall, Senior Director of Corporate Accounting at Virgin Voyages, commented: "Virgin Voyages is strongly focused on giving our Sailors the vacation of a lifetime, and this covers every aspect of their experience including booking their trip and making safe and secure online payments. Our partnership with Paysafe has helped create a smooth and seamless process." About Paysafe Limited Paysafe (NYSE: PSFE) (PSFE.WS) is a leading payments platform. Its core purpose is to enable businesses and consumers to connect and transact seamlessly through industry-leading capabilities in payment processing, digital wallet, and online cash solutions. With over 20 years of online payment experience, an annualized transactional volume of over U.S. $120 billion in 2021, and approximately 3,500 employees located in 10+ countries, Paysafe connects businesses and consumers across 100 payment types in over 40 currencies around the world. Delivered through an integrated platform, Paysafe solutions are geared toward mobile-initiated transactions, real-time analytics and the convergence between brick-and-mortar and online payments. Further information is available at www.paysafe.com. About Virgin Voyages Virgin Voyages is a new lifestyle travel brand focused on delivering irresistible cruise vacations. Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady - the first and second ships in the fleet - were designed to reflect a yacht’s sleek luxury, offering the intimate, elevated experience of a boutique hotel at sea. Featuring spaces designed by some of the top names in contemporary interiors, our Lady Ships are exclusively adult, a sanctuary at sea for the 18+ traveler. A dose of Vitamin Sea is naturally intertwined across the entire ship, with well-being, relaxation and rejuvenation at the forefront. Our fleet sails to 100 of the world's most incredible destinations with 25+ unique itineraries across four continents. Each sailing offers alluring entertainment and Michelin-inspired menus served across 20+ world-class eateries. With a modern twist on luxury, coupled with discerning design, Virgin Voyages offers incredible value for its Sailors, including food, essential drinks, WiFi and group fitness classes, all covered in the voyage fare.

Read More

TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Space Perspective Becomes First Global Space Travel Experience Company

Space Perspective | November 16, 2022

Space Perspective unveiled MS Voyager – the world’s first Marine Spaceport for human spaceflight, and the first in a planned fleet of this new class of spaceports globally. Spaceports are sites for launching and receiving spacecraft. Now with the capacity to launch from marine-based sites around the world, in addition to launching from land on Florida’s Space Coast, Space Perspective becomes the first global space travel experience company, offering safe and sustainable journeys to the edge of space from where Explorers live and play.The name Voyager is an homage to the Voyager 1 Space Probe mission which, on astronomer Carl Sagan’s request, took a photo of Earth from across the solar system on February 14th, 1990. That photo, now known iconically as the Pale Blue Dot, inspired Sagan’s book of the same name and his call for humans to “preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known” – words that reverberate through Space Perspective’s mission today. “Space Perspective will change your relationship with our planet by providing the quintessential astronaut experience of viewing Earth from the blackness of space, It’s imperative for us to think about our business with a global mindset. Removing geographic borders for launch and landing accelerates our mission of making this transformative experience more accessible to the world and international marketplace – safely, reliably and with minimal impact on our planet.” -Jane Poynter, Space Perspective’s Founder and Co-CEO Plans are underway to integrate marine-based launches into marquee global events, and conversations are active with several potential destinations across the globe to offer Explorers an awe-inspiring view of some of the world’s most iconic geography. We always imagined offering the opportunity to view the most incredible natural phenomena from space, including the Northern Lights, the boot of Italy, the sheer scale of the Nile Delta, and the deep blue seas around the Bahamas. Marine Spaceports like MS Voyager make this a reality, said Poynter. MS Voyager and future Space Perspective Marine Spaceports give the company the operational flexibility needed to grow its business more quickly to reach a supply-constrained global market for commercial space travel that analysts recently estimated could reach over $8 billion by 2030[1]. Marine Spaceports create ideal launch conditions in two ways: by navigating to areas of good weather, which allows for year-round operations within a region, and by moving with the sea breeze, so there is virtually no wind across the deck. This enables more frequent launch opportunities, as well as more options for the time of day, including sunrise and sunset nighttime stargazing flights for Explorers. “This is another important milestone and a proud moment for the Space Perspective crew both in terms of pioneering engineering and the ability to scale our offer quickly, globally. We are grateful to our extended crew of dynamic, best-in-class operational partners,” -Space Perspective’s Founder, Co-CEO and CTO Taber MacCallum. Acquired from one of the world’s premier shipbuilders, Edison Chouest Offshore, MS Voyager’s marine operations will be supported by Guice Offshore. The 292-foot-long vessel, which will call Port Canaveral its home, is now being outfitted for launch, retrieval, and SpaceBalloon™ operations at Conrad Shipyard -- preparations for which were provided by Gulf Ship. In keeping with Space Perspective’s environmentally conscious ethos, offsets will be provided by Cool Effects, and the vessel itself is being retrofitted to use biofuel to reduce its carbon footprint. When it’s time to come back to Earth at the end of the journey in Spaceship Neptune’s pressurized capsule, a patent-pending splash-cone at its base provides a smooth and gentle water landing. Fast boats from Fluid Watercraft will then arrive to stabilize the capsule, which will be lifted onto the Marine Spaceport by a custom-built A-frame provided by Supreme Integrated Technologies. Communications throughout the operation – between land, sea, and capsule – will be provided by Silvus Technologies, utilizing military-grade StreamCaster MANET radios and MN-MIMO waveform technology. We've always believed in Space Perspective's mission and the experience they are bringing to the world through human spaceflight. Unlocking the ability to scale globally with the addition of Marine Spaceports only strengthens the proposition and the power of the company to change people's lives and the future of our planet, said Brandon Ross, General Partner of LightShed Ventures, a major Space Perspective investor. MS Voyager will begin operations in the New Year, aligned to Space Perspective’s planned test flights that commence in early 2023. Space Perspective has sold over 1,000 tickets to date. Tickets are available to reserve now at their current price of $125,000 at SpacePerspective.com. For more information, visit SpacePerspective.com. Follow Space Perspective for updates on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube. Experience the capsule interior here. About Space Perspective Space Perspective is the world’s only carbon-neutral luxury spaceflight experience company. It invites more people than has historically been possible to experience a thrillingly new and visceral perspective that expands the human consciousness – the incredibly exhilarating panoramas and scale of Earth in space. The Observer cited Space Perspective as "the best suborbital space tourism offering in the world." Setting a new bar in out-of-this-world thrilling experiences, as soon as late 2024 Space Perspective plans to take Space Explorers to space inside Spaceship Neptune’s pressurized capsule propelled by a high-performance SpaceBalloonTM without using rocket fuel or high G forces. Space Explorers see the world anew through its vast windows, 450 miles in any direction. The ultra-comfortable, accessible, and gentle six-hour journey redefines space travel. Space Perspective is led by industry luminaries Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum and their unique-in-the-world expert crew who have been integral to all human SpaceBalloonTM flights, and marine launches over the last 50 years. Building on that experience, the Space Perspective crew has innovated and patented the safest spaceflight experience in the world. Poynter and MacCallum have been dubbed ‘Masters of the stratosphere’ by Bloomberg Businessweek. MacCallum also served as Chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.

Read More