CBP Reschedules Opening of Trusted Traveler Program Enrollment Centers

CBP | July 02, 2020

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced that trusted traveler program enrollment centers will remain temporarily closed until at least August 10. Prior to Wednesday's postponement, Global Entry and other trusted traveler program enrollment centers were scheduled to reopen on Monday, July 6. The decision comes amid a recent rise in COVID-19 cases in several states.

Spotlight

LONDON, July 11, 2018: Hostelworld has revealed a 42% increase in solo bookings by travelers between 2015 and 2017. More and more people are choosing to travel solo and the noticeable trend in those ‘going it alone’ looks set to continue throughout 2018. And its women leading the way, with bookings by female solo travelers up 45% since 2015 in comparison to a 40% increase for men.

Spotlight

LONDON, July 11, 2018: Hostelworld has revealed a 42% increase in solo bookings by travelers between 2015 and 2017. More and more people are choosing to travel solo and the noticeable trend in those ‘going it alone’ looks set to continue throughout 2018. And its women leading the way, with bookings by female solo travelers up 45% since 2015 in comparison to a 40% increase for men.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM, INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

American Express Travel’s 2023 Trending Destinations Unveils Top Trips for Every Type of Traveler

American Express | November 03, 2022

American Express Travel, , published the 2023 Trending Destinations list1, featuring the ten most popular destinations for travel next year, identified by global American Express Card® Member travel reservations. For each of these destinations, American Express Travel Consultants also created three-day itineraries, providing inspiration on the top places to stay, eat, shop and explore the local culture, including how Platinum Card® Members can spend the “bonus vacation day” they receive with guaranteed 4:00 p.m. check-out when they book a Fine Hotels + Resorts® property through American Express Travel.“When Card Members book trips through American Express Travel, they’re trusting us with their most valuable resource, their time,” said Audrey Hendley, President of American Express Travel. “Our global footprint, over 100 years of travel expertise and deep understanding of our Card Members give us a unique ability to inspire travelers with this year’s list of Trending Destinations, make the planning process easy, and confidently advise them on what to do when they get there.” The latest Amex Trendex2 survey found that 50% of adults say they spend at least five hours planning a vacation. To help travelers save time and make the most of their trips, American Express Travel Consultants crafted three-day weekend itineraries for each of the Trending Destinations to provide inspiration on the best places to stay, eat and activities to explore the local culture. 81% of Amex Trendex2 survey respondents agree they want to maximize every hour of their trips, making the expert guidance in the Trending Destinations itineraries a valuable resource. Whether venturing solo, exploring with a group of friends, or spending time with family, the itineraries include something for everyone, from finding the best churros in Mexico City and engaging with koalas in Sydney to treatments at a luxury spa in Paris and exploring a maple forest in Vermont. Additionally, 88% of survey respondents agree they wish their trips were longer. Platinum Card Members have a guaranteed 4:00 p.m. late check-out benefit when they book a Fine Hotels + Resorts property through American Express Travel. Late check-out, one of the many premium benefits unlocked when booking with American Express Travel, gives travelers a “bonus day” to extend their vacations. The Trending Destinations itineraries highlight ways to spend that time, so Card Members get the most out of their trips, including a master cheese class in Paris, sailing to the Prince’s Islands in Istanbul, and a shopping excursion of authentic Portuguese goods in Lisbon. In addition to top destinations, American Express Travel has identified key trends driving travel in 2023: New adventures are in demand: 70% of respondents agree they want to travel to wish list destinations in 2023 Vacationing with holistic health in mind: 89% of respondents agree they want to go on a trip to escape routine, and 74% plan to travel more in 2023 for their wellbeing Seeking out personalized experiences: 88% of respondents agree they like to seek out local experiences and learn about culture when they travel, and 73% are willing to spend more for the travel itinerary that they want. From New Year’s resolution to summer travel: 43% of respondents agree they want to travel more as their New Year’s resolution, and 50% of respondents have already started to think about where they want to go on their upcoming summer 2023 vacations Spending more for the ultimate getaway: 74% of respondents agree they are more likely to spend more on travel in 2023, and 40% say they are willing to pay more for late check-out when making their travel accommodations 2023 TRENDING DESTINATIONS METHODOLOGY American Express Travel’s 2023 Trending Destinations are selected based on global American Express Card Member bookings through American Express Travel, looking at year-over-year travel growth between 2019 and 2022. SURVEY METHODOLOGY This Amex Trendex online poll was conducted by Morning Consult between September 30 – October 3, 2022 among a sample of 2,000 US travelers who have a household income of at least $70K and are defined as adults who typically travel by air at least once a year. The interviews were conducted online. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. FINE HOTELS + RESORTS PROGRAM TERMS & CONDITIONS Fine Hotels + Resorts® (FHR) program benefits are available for new bookings made through American Express Travel with participating properties and are valid only for eligible U.S. Consumer, Business, and Corporate Platinum Card® Members and Centurion® Members (Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Card Members are not eligible). Bookings must be made using an eligible Card and must be paid using that Card, or another American Express® Card, in the eligible Card Member's name, and that Card Member must be traveling on the itinerary booked. The average total value of the program benefits is based on prior-year bookings for stays of two nights; the actual value varies. Noon check-in and room upgrade are subject to availability and are provided at check-in; certain room categories are not eligible for upgrade. The type of experience credit varies by property; the experience credit will be applied to eligible charges up to the amount of the experience credit. Advance reservations are recommended for certain experience credits. The type and value of the daily breakfast (for two) varies by property; breakfast will be valued at a minimum of US$60 per room per day. If the cost of Wi-Fi is included in a mandatory property fee, a daily credit of that amount will be applied at check-out. Benefits are applied per room, per stay (with a three-room limit per stay). Back-to-back stays booked by a single Card Member, Card Members staying in the same room or Card Members traveling in the same party within a 24-hour period at the same property are considered one stay and are ineligible for additional FHR benefits (“Prohibited Action”). American Express and the Property reserve the right to modify or revoke FHR benefits at any time without notice if we or they determine, in our or their sole discretion, that you may have engaged in a Prohibited Action, or have engaged in abuse, misuse, or gaming in connection with your FHR benefits. Benefit restrictions vary by property. Benefits cannot be redeemed for cash and are not combinable with other offers unless indicated. Benefits must be used during the stay booked. Any credits applicable are applied at check-out in USD or the local currency equivalent. Benefits, participating properties, and availability and amenities at those properties are subject to change. ABOUT AMERICAN EXPRESS American Express (NYSE:AXP) is a globally integrated payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, instagram.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress. Key links to products, services and corporate responsibility information: personal cards, business cards, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, Accertify, Kabbage, Resy, corporate card, business travel, diversity and inclusion, corporate responsibility and Environmental, Social, and Governance reports.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Thales Reinforces its Border & Travel Offer With the New Multimodal Biometric Pod

Thales | December 07, 2022

The new Thales multimodal biometric pod is an efficient enrolment and identification solution that helps smoothly manage travelers’ border and immigration processes. The combination of ‘iris & face’ capture and recognition capacities enables a fast and secure enrolment and ID verification at borders. The pod features a modern design that perfectly suits the authority’s needs in highly secure environments. The travel industry and border security agencies have recognized the need to improve efficiency and overall traveler experience at border entry and exit points. For years, biometrics has been used by authorities to simplify traveler experiences at borders, speeding up people enrolment and ID checks such as the eGates or Entry-Exit Systems. With the Thales multimodal biometric pod, borders authorities can easily integrate automation into their processes, without compromising on passenger and employee security or on the confidentiality of the data exchanged as the solution offers ‘security and privacy by design’ parameters. Featuring a camera and a high-resolution LCD screen, the biometric pod is able to recognise pre-enrolled travelers’ iris and face at a distance of 0.5m and up to 1.5m with excellent accuracy. Boosted by AI, the solution captures dual iris and face in two seconds, leading to swifter operations and visibly shorter wait times . Thales biometric pods can be set at any borders checkpoint (airports, seaports, etc.) managing both the first traveler enrolment upon arrival and quick biometric checks whenever required (upon territory exit, internal flights etc). “The combination of biometric patterns applied to contactless authentication, is a sought-after solution for many stakeholders to address security, operational and convenience challenges. Thales relies on its in-house biometrics, border and smart travel expertise to design, develop and deliver top tier responsible biometric solutions to meet users’ expectations and authorities’ requirements”, -Youzec Kurp, VP Identity and Biometric Solutions at Thales. About Thales Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global leader in advanced technologies, investing in digital and “deep tech” innovations – connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and quantum technologies – to build a confident future crucial for the development of our societies. The Group provides its customers – businesses, organizations and governments – in the defense, aeronautics, space, transport, and digital identity and security domains with solutions, services and products that help them fulfil their critical role, consideration for the individual being the driving force behind all decisions.Thales has 81,000 employees in 68 countries. In 2021, the Group generated sales of €16.2 billion.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Sabre, Conferma Pay and Mastercard Join Forces to Power the Travel Economy with Virtual Cards

Sabre Corporation,Conferma Pay and Mastercard | November 29, 2022

Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR) a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, and Conferma Pay, a global fintech firm that specializes in payment technology, announced a new partnership with Mastercard to accelerate the use of virtual cards for business-to-business (B2B) travel payments. Today's announcement builds on Sabre's August 2022 acquisition of Conferma Pay. The collaboration with Mastercard is the next step in advancing Sabre's goal to create an open and independent travel payment ecosystem. Digitization of travel payments with virtual cards helps address the historic challenges associated with B2B leisure and corporate travel payments. The securely generated, single use card numbers provide a link between booking and associated payments to third party suppliers. Travel buyers and suppliers are therefore able to easily track and reconcile payments, as well as benefit from flexible pricing, financing options, and enhanced security through card payment guarantees. "The payments industry is in the midst of a revolution and there is an increased need for travel companies to better manage the whole payment experience, Companies in the travel space – including travel management companies, travel agencies, corporations, issuers and technology partners – need sophisticated solutions and seamless connections. Sabre is taking strategic steps to fulfill the needs of our industry, beginning with the acquisition of Conferma Pay. Now, the new partnership with Mastercard will help Conferma Pay to build new and enhanced digital capabilities in virtual cards, transforming the payment experience for issuers." -Roshan Mendis, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Sabre Travel Solutions. As part of the agreement, Mastercard has agreed to make a minority investment in Conferma Pay, which will continue to operate independently and serve the entire travel industry and beyond. Mastercard's investment in Conferma Pay is subject to customary closing conditions. A combination of experience, technologies and capabilities will accelerate travel payment innovation and drive inclusive and sustainable growth for the sector, said Chris Fendley, Executive Vice President, Enterprise Partnerships at Mastercard. Virtual cards deliver visibility, boost liquidity and increase control over B2B payment flows, which enhance payment strategies and empower organizations across the travel value chain to run, grow and protect their business, which has never been more essential. Conferma Pay connects issuers to more than 700 travel management companies, all the major global distribution systems and more than 100 online booking tools. Conferma Pay is fully integrated with all the major card schemes and serves more than 50 banking partners, who issue Conferma Pay generated virtual cards in nearly 100 currencies. "We've already made significant inroads in the B2B travel space through partnering with Sabre, We are excited about the new investments. This, combined with our existing strong relationships, will enable Conferma Pay to build on our global footprint and be at the forefront of addressing industry challenges and opportunities." -Martin Cowley, interim CEO at Conferma Pay Sabre's Virtual Payments will continue to offer Conferma Pay services – with increased capabilities that help travel buyers, agencies and corporations best support travel customer needs. Sabre Virtual Payments is a unique, secure, automated and integrated end-to-end payment solution designed to simplify and add value to the transactions that TMCs, OTAs, travel agencies, corporations and travel suppliers do every day. Sabre Virtual Payments takes all the capabilities of Conferma Pay and its network of issuers and combines it with seamless integration across Sabre products for -connected travel buyers, agencies and corporations. About Sabre Corporation Sabre Corporation is a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, serving a wide range of travel companies including airlines, hoteliers, travel agencies and other suppliers. The company provides retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, drive revenue and offer personalized traveler experiences. Through its leading travel marketplace, Sabre connects travel suppliers with buyers from around the globe. Sabre's technology platform manages more than $260B worth of global travel spend annually. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world. For more information visit www.sabre.com. About Mastercard (NYSE: MA) Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all. www.mastercard.com About Conferma Pay Conferma Pay is a global financial technology company. It designs and integrate virtual payment systems that provide a more efficient, seamless and secure way to pay for businesses. Conferma Pay was born in Manchester in 2005. Since then, it has connected over 700 TMCs, and directly integrates with all the major GDSs and OBTs. Its roots lie in corporate travel payment integration. It enables its payment providers to flow virtual cards into the preferred purchasing process of any business travel buyer. Crucial to this is its network of banking partners, who have issued virtual cards in over 200 countries, in 40 currencies with over 45 commercial banking partners via all major card networks. Its ecosystem continues to expand to meet the growing requirements of its global customer base.

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