HOTEL EQUITIES | August 29, 2022
hotel owner, operator, and developer Hotel Equities (“HE”) announced the launch of its new Lifestyle division. HE’s alliance with Greenwood Hospitality combines Greenwood’s extensive collection of lifestyle and luxury hotels with HE’s portfolio of award-winning focused and full-service hotels.
"This is an important milestone for Hotel Equities as we strategically and thoughtfully expand into the lifestyle and luxury segments. We have blended Greenwood Hospitality’s industry leading team of passionate, experienced professionals along with their extensive infrastructure and back-office expertise with our best-in-class training and proprietary business intelligence systems to create a peerless offering in the experiential, full-serve and luxury segments. This creates tremendous confidence and value for both our existing and future stakeholders,”
-President and CEO of Hotel Equities, Brad Rahinsky.
Bill Kohl, Principal at Greenwood Hospitality will lead an elevated enterprise-wide food and beverage team while adding depth to the lifestyle team with the addition of Peter Tziahanas, SVP of Operations. Tom Conran, also a Principal with Greenwood Hospitality lends his skillset to further expand the new lifestyle division across both the U.S. and Canada. All disciplines will be supported by Albert Smith, Hotel Equities’ President of Hotel Operations.
"We've assembled a stellar leadership team to provide tremendous across-the-board support to our lifestyle division and create exciting new concepts that drive revenue and resonate with guests, By providing unrivaled best-in-class service, we look forward to continuing to expand in the lifestyle space.”
-Tom Conran, Principal for Greenwood Hospitality.
The lifestyle division now includes over thirty assets that include award winning hotels like The Farnam in Omaha, NE and The Henry in Dearborn, MI, both Autograph Collection by Marriott hotels, as well as the Tulsa Club, a Curio Collection by Hilton, located in Tulsa, OK.
About Hotel Equities
Hotel Equities is an award-winning full-scale hotel ownership, management and development firm with a portfolio of over 250 hotels and resorts throughout the United States and Canada. Fred Cerrone, CHA, serves as Founder and Chairman; Brad Rahinsky serves as President and CEO. Hotel Equities is an affiliate of 33 Degrees, an integrated management platform combining market knowledge and industry experience across a broad range of CRE assets including office, restaurant, retail, mixed-use and multi-unit residential. For more information on Hotel Equities, visit www.hotelequities.com.
TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,INDUSTRY OUTLOOK
Trip.com | August 10, 2022
The global travel rebound continues apace this summer, with global air traffic reaching almost 70% of pre-pandemic levels in May and international hotel occupancy rates achieving the same in April. Yet, against the backdrop of an increased appetite for travel driven by more than two years of pent-up demand, getaways over the summer months are likely to be affected by supply chain issues at airlines and airports, fully booked hotels and rising costs of accommodation and car hire.In the UK, travel chaos has dominated the headlines since springtime, with flight cancellations and long wait times, passenger caps and even a suspension on short-haul ticket sales threatening the chance of a summer holiday. In the US and Europe, the picture is equally fraught, and in Asia, recovery is fractured, with Southeast Asia and the Middle East recovering well, where China and South Korea are recovering at just 15% of pre-pandemic levels due to travel restrictions and COVID-19 outbreaks alike. As such, when customers should be getting excited about quality time with friends or family, relaxation and culture, they are now braced for uncertainty.
At Trip.com Group, we are committed to helping our customers take the perfect trip, and this summer is no different. In a world where the travel landscape is increasingly complicated, our Trip.com platform has a range of products and partnerships in place to ease traveller concerns. Combined with our leading customer service, Trip.com aims to ensure everyone has a summer holiday to remember – for all the right reasons – this year.
Trip.com Group's Pre-Travel Protection and Cost-Saving Products
Earlier this year, Trip.com expanded on its travel insurance product offering in collaboration with AXA Partners. Made available to UK customers since September last year, this insurance product was extended to travellers across Europe earlier this year and can be easily selected when booking a flight on Trip.com. This travel insurance option provides a variety of benefits including medical, cancellation and baggage cover, as well as protection against cancellation and medical costs if a customer contracts COVID-19. With travel restrictions in place in many countries across Asia and beyond, this product is still incredibly useful in terms of providing ample traveller protection and peace of mind.
In mainland China, our Ctrip platform introduced its TripTour2Day upgrade service, offering free refunds on group tour products cancelled up to two days before departure. Users simply click on the order details page to obtain a one-click refund in as little as one minute on products with the TripTour2Day label.
A week after the TripTour2Day product was launched, sales exceeded 20 million, which proves how vital these products are in terms of offering customers total peace of mind. With many travellers in China harbouring concerns about whether COVID-19 measures would interfere with their plans, this allows users an increased level of flexibility when booking their next trip.
"The TripTour2Day service upgrade shortens the threshold of a free refund from seven days or longer to just two days, giving every Ctrip user a better experience in terms of both booking and opportunity to refund. You can customise your travel needs at your own pace and join a tour with peace of mind,"
-Trip.com Group Tour Business CEO Wen Jiang.
In addition to providing protection-based products, Trip.com is also helping guests to get the best value on their next getaway. As the costs of travel rapidly increase, customers are frequently looking for the best deals in order to maximise the return on their investment. By partnering with Hopper Price Freeze on our European and US sites, Trip.com is offering customers added protection against travel price volatility. For a small upfront fee, Trip.com users can freeze a flight price for up to 14 days, giving them the chance to confirm plans with their travel companions before booking without having to worry about an unnecessary price rise. Price Freeze ensures that customers never lose out, because if a Trip.com user freezes a flight and the prices go up, the difference is covered up to a set amount. If the price goes down, the user pays that lower price.
Yudong Tan, CEO of the Flight Business Group, Trip.com Group commented, At Trip.com Group we are constantly seeking out ways to bring benefits to travellers. With this new Price Freeze feature, powered by Hopper, we are giving our customers more ways to save money when they book flights.
Dedicated Customer Service
Since the beginning of 2020, Trip.com's Customer Service team has been put through its paces, handling complex requests to support our users during some of the most testing times - and we continue to develop tech-focused Customer Service solutions today.
Our intelligent storage auto-expansion technology has been upgraded to allow our systems to manage call levels more than 10 times higher than our average, and we developed an AI-centric mechanism to recognise and prioritise the most urgent customer cases, directing these calls to a staff member as quickly as possible. While speaking with a Customer Service agent, our assistant tool helps agents by automatically labelling and categorising requests in real time, saving customers time and energy while solving problems quicker than ever before.
Our chatbot service also makes use of AI technology to automatically identify trending information in real time based on the most up to date COVID-19 policies and frequently asked questions, updating the FAQs on a daily basis and allowing customers to self-solve over 70% problems without having to hold for a Customer Service agent. The chatbot can also route requests directly to your hotel or airline, helping customers do everything from requesting a confirmation email to rescheduling a flight in the event of extreme weather conditions.
In addition, Trip.com also launched its Customer Service Pledge in November 2021, committing to six key pillars including 24/7 support and free in-app calls. Grace Ding, Head of Trip.com's Global Customer Support Centre commented We are proud to see one of our companies make a pledge towards maintaining an incredible level of service to ensure people can continue to travel stress-free.
With an average customer satisfaction rate of 90% in 2021, Trip.com is ready to support customers quickly and efficiently with any issues they face while travelling this summer.
Delayed Baggage Protection
As global lost luggage becomes a particularly problematic issue, Trip.com's Blue Ribbon Bags delayed baggage protection service also helps to remove the stress from summer travel. With this initiative, Trip.com users will be able to safeguard their checked luggage against any delays during transit.
Commenting on the new service, Lyrics Zhao, Director of Product and Business Development in the Flights Business at Trip.com said, "Trip.com strives to make travel worry-free and relaxing for all. We want the booking experience to be the beginning of a relaxing trip and to offer value added services to the passenger."
"Our service provides air travellers with confidence that if their checked-in baggage does not arrive at the destination airport, we will coordinate and expedite the swift return. Our clients should be able to enjoy their holiday or focus on their work trip while we locate and expedite the baggage,"
-CD Lazear, Senior Vice President of Blue Ribbon Bags.
Whatever this summer throws at you, Trip.com will be by your side to offer solutions. At every stage throughout your travel journey, from pre-booking to when you land in your chosen destination, Trip.com's supportive staff and customer-focused products are available to support you every step of the way and make sure your next trip offers all the relaxation, fun and good times you've been craving.
TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,DESTINATION AND TOURISM
GigNet | August 16, 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 has signed an agreement to provide high speed Internet and Managed Services to Aquaworld marina located in Cancun's Hotel Zone. Aquaworld has been the “Fun Leader” for water activities in Cancun since 1986 and is a 2022 Tripadvisor “Travelers’ Choice” award recipient.Aquaworld’s main facilities are a marina in the Hotel Zone of Cancun, with the capacity to receive hundreds of boats, wave runners, and aquatic equipment. The facility also features the only pool to teach diving courses and training at the PADI certification level. Popular tours include an Isla Mujeres cruise and snorkeling trip and the “Paradise Subsee” – a cross between a yellow submarine and a glass bottomed boat – found only at Aquaworld, with tours of the Punta Nizuc Reef and the Cancun Underwater Museum.
“As the ‘Fun Experts’ in Cancun, our Mission is to offer our guests an exciting, entertaining, and safe experience,Our customers’ experience begins at the Marina before they leave the dock, and this includes allowing them to stay connected to friends and family. Once their adventure begins, capturing the experience in a digital photograph to share and keep for years to come is an important part of the Aquaworld encounter. High-speed Internet helps us deliver this keepsake in a timely, high-quality fashion.”
-Andrea Orozco, General Manager.
Mark Carney, OBE and President of GigNet Mexico, commented, The incredible blue waters of the Caribbean Sea are at the center of the Cancun travel experience. Whether it is a relaxing and interesting boat tour or an exhilarating hands-on activity, Aquaworld helps travelers of all ages enjoy a water adventure while visiting the Cancun region. Our fiber-optic network and strong Wi-Fi services in the Cancun Hotel Zone help leading businesses such as Aquaworld earn top ratings from clients and from travel websites. The best ocean activities and the best Internet are a powerful combination. Together, Aquaworld and GigNet are a reason Cancun is the best destination in the world for travelers, adventurers, families, conferences, and digital nomads.
Founded in 1986, Aquaworld is located in Cancun and in Cozumel and is known globally as a leading company specializing in aquatic entertainment and activities. In addition to being the “Fun Experts” in Cancun for over 35 years, Aquaworld also prides itself on its contributions to preserving the delicate ecological balance of the reefs and ocean life of Cancun and Riviera Maya. Aquaworld has earned the prestigious “ESR” Badge from the Mexican Center for Philanthropy (CEMEFI) for Environmental and Social Responsibility. This places Aquaworld among the elite companies in Mexico who share the distinguished ESR label. Aquaworld is part of the Ultramar family of companies. https://aquaworld.com.mx/en/
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.