Cancun and Riviera Maya Plan to Reopen to Tourists Next Month What to Know

Hugo Lopez-Gatell Undersecretary of Prevention | May 15, 2020

The popular tourist destinations of Cancun and Riviera Maya plan to reopen for international travel by the beginning of June, according to reports. Not long ago, Los Cabos, on the other side of the country, also announced a phased reopening plan to welcome visitors back to its beaches. The proposal to reopen the Quintana Roo state, which includes Cancun, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and more, coincides with the start of air travel to the region, according to Riviera Maya News. In fact, Southwest has said it will resume flights between Houston, Denver, and Baltimore to Cancun next month. At first, tourism is likely to be centered around conventions and weddings, Darío Flota Ocampo, the director of the Consejo de Promoción Turística de Quintana Roo, told the paper. To promote travel to the area, the group will launch a campaign in late May targeting local tourism.

Spotlight

Travelers today hunger for the same simplicity and convenience while in an airport that they enjoy in their everyday lives, where amenities and other items are a click away on their tablet or smartphone. And, with airlines and airports looking to grow incremental revenue from the sale of onboard amenities and ancillary fees, the answer to satisfying passengers and ramping up a retail strategy may lie within the retail industry itself.

Spotlight

Travelers today hunger for the same simplicity and convenience while in an airport that they enjoy in their everyday lives, where amenities and other items are a click away on their tablet or smartphone. And, with airlines and airports looking to grow incremental revenue from the sale of onboard amenities and ancillary fees, the answer to satisfying passengers and ramping up a retail strategy may lie within the retail industry itself.

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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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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Fareportal and Amadeus Expand Partnership with Integration of NDC Offers

Fareportal | November 18, 2022

Fareportal’s prominence in the travel industry’s adoption of new distribution capability (NDC) to advance travel retailing is growing with its most recent integration of NDC with Amadeus, a leader in global travel technology and long-time partner of Fareportal. The company behind leading online travel agencies CheapOair and OneTravel, Fareportal has been a front-runner in NDC integrations, with multiple airlines supported over the past few years. Amadeus has been a major driver of NDC since the technology standard’s inception and has heavily invested in retailing capabilities to enable this transition for our industry. Amadeus is live with NDC-enabled content in every region of the world and deeply committed to progressing NDC adoption and collaborating to unlock opportunities for value creation. Fareportal is leveraging the benefits of the Amadeus Travel Platform to access NDC-enabled content. Among the advantages is the ability for travel sellers to search, compare, book, and service air content through one single platform. Amadeus currently is partnering with more than 20 airlines to distribute NDC-sourced content in the Amadeus Travel Platform. More than half of them are already making their NDC content available in Amadeus. For the air traveler, the benefit of NDC comes in the form of enhanced retail offerings via a single platform. Passengers can access the full suite of products offered by an airline, all within the OTA’s digital ecosystem. Amadeus’ NDC-enabled solutions allow for complex servicing capabilities for NDC offers, which help streamline customer support, providing the ability to help those travelers who require post transaction service. “Our partnership with Amadeus has continued to grow and expand over the years. This latest integration highlights the strength of its solutions and the benefit Amadeus provides to our brands, CheapOair and OneTravel.” -Werner Kunz-Cho, Fareportal CEO Sam Abdou, Executive Vice President, Airline Distribution, Search and Online, Amadeus, adds, “The fact that our long-term relationship with Fareportal continues to grow is a testament to the strength of our teams and their dedication to technology innovation. We believe that NDC is critical to the advancement of travel retailing and we are dedicated to driving its growth and success for the benefit of all players. Today’s announcement with Fareportal is significant given the role online travel agencies play in advancing NDC and accelerating its adoption around the world. About Fareportal: Fareportal is a travel technology company powering a next generation travel concierge service. Utilizing its innovative technology and company-owned and operated global contact centers, Fareportal has built strong industry partnerships providing customers access to over 500 airlines, a million lodgings, and hundreds of car rental companies around the globe. With a portfolio of consumer travel brands including CheapOair and One Travel, Fareportal enables consumers to book online, on mobile apps for iOS and Android, by phone, or live chat. Fareportal provides its airline partners with access to a broad customer base that books high-yielding international and domestic flight, hotel, and other travel and add-on ancillaries.  About Amadeus: Travel powers progress. Amadeus powers travel. Amadeus’ solutions connect travelers to the journeys they want through travel agents, search engines, tour operators, airlines, airports, hotels, cars and railways. We have developed our technology in partnership with the travel industry for over 30 years. We combine a deep understanding of how people travel with the ability to design and deliver the most complex, trusted, critical systems our customers need. In 2019, we helped connect over 1.9 billion people to local travel providers in over 190 countries. We have a global mindset and a local presence wherever our customers need us. Our purpose is to shape the future of travel. We are passionate in our pursuit of better technology that makes better journeys. Amadeus is an IBEX 35 company, listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange under AMS.MC. The company has also been recognized by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the last ten years.To find out more about Amadeus, visit www.amadeus.com.

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AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS, INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

FLYR Partners with Azul to Optimize Revenue Management

FLYR Labs | January 30, 2023

FLYR Labs, an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven forecasting, pricing, and commercial-wide decision-making solutions provider, recently partnered with Brazilian airline Azul to implement FLYR's advanced AI technologies. The technologies will enhance the airline's revenue management strategy, beginning with fare bundles and ancillary product optimization, addressing the growing customer demands. FLYR will provide Azul with comprehensive pricing, data management, and forecasting capabilities that enable personalized offers for customers to assist the airline in achieving its goal of allowing total revenue management and dynamic offer optimization. Azul's primary source of profit is the sale of ancillary products such as priority boarding, seat selection, luggage, and fare families. The AI-based Revenue Optimization solution offered by FLYR combines all available historical and real-time data with deep learning algorithms to determine the ideal pricing and distribution strategy. The solution from FLYR will enable Azul to provide real-time prices for each customer's shopping request or as a scheduled continuous price. This allows the airline to provide travelers with the right ancillaries at the perfect price, with little change to the present shopping infrastructure. It also predicts anticipated revenues for each flight, all within an intuitive user interface. Since its start in 2008, Azul has been the fastest-growing airline in Brazil, and it now has the country's largest airline network in terms of cities served, with flights to over 150 destinations. Alex Mans, Founder and CEO of FLYR, commented, "We're excited to partner with Azul and harness the power of AI to improve their revenue management and offerings for customers." He added, "The limitations of legacy technology mean airlines have historically struggled to understand how changes in fares can affect ancillary revenues. Through our partnership, we will provide Azul with a crucial competitive advantage when it comes to boosting profitability and enhancing the customer experience." (Source – GlobeNewswire) About FLYR Labs Based in Santa Monica (California), FLYR Labs provides airlines with the intelligence and insight they need to make the best-informed decisions through its proprietary Revenue Operating System. Its vertically integrated platform combines data, forecasting, reporting, pricing, and simulation capabilities into a "single pane of glass" that informs and automates all commercial functions. The company solves complex problems with brilliantly engineered solutions that rely on end-to-end Managed Data Infrastructure and deep learning (AI) to assist leading airlines worldwide in achieving their full potential.

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