CCRA Travel Commerce Network and Uplift announce strategic alliance

TravelDailyNews International | December 11, 2019

CCRA Travel Commerce Network and Uplift announce strategic alliance
CCRA Travel Commerce Network and Uplift announce their collaboration to provide travel advisors a flexible financing solution that makes it easy for clients to book today and spread the cost of their vacation into low monthly payments. With Uplift Pay Monthly, travel advisors can help more clients realize their travel dreams by offering them the freedom to finance their trip and pay over time. Travelers can easily apply for Uplift Pay Monthly on their mobile phone and receive a decision in seconds, enabling advisors to convert more business and clients to commit earlier. As part of the partnership with CCRA, travel advisors are paid-in-full at the time of booking by Uplift. The travel fintech company handles all future monthly payments from the client and provides customer support for both advisors and clients around the clock.

Spotlight

When we think of the managed travel industry we generally think about suited up travellers, kitted with laptops, briefcases and corporate presentations all packed neatly into compact hand luggage. But there is a whole other side to managed travel and these travellers only rarely make the headlines. These are the Marine & Offshore travellers who are vital to the global economy. Not only do they provide the resources necessary to operate it but they also move some 90% of the goods and resources that are consumed around the world.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

JetBlue Introduces ‘Sustainable Travel Partners’ Program Empowering Corporate Customers to Enhance the Sustainability of their Business Travel

JetBlue Airways | January 06, 2022

JetBlue (Nasdaq: JBLU) today announced the launch of its “JetBlue Sustainable Travel Partners” program, and its inaugural customers, Biogen, Deloitte, ICF, and Salesforce, a suite of offerings to help corporate travel customers reduce their business travel emissions and meet their own corporate sustainability targets. In keeping with JetBlue’s customer focus, the airline is approaching sustainable travel as a partnership by providing its corporate travelers with personalized data and resources to help them enhance the sustainability of their travel. JetBlue has a long history of taking meaningful and measurable steps in reducing aviation’s contribution to climate change and is now inviting its corporate partners to join in this mission.he Sustainable Travel Partners program offers corporate partners the following resources: Business travel emissions reduction through the offering of JetBlue generated sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) certificates Complimentary carbon offsetting on all domestic flights operated by JetBlue Personalized travel data and analysis for more accurate emissions reporting Consultation and tools for custom planning and target-setting to support in making more sustainable travel decisions JetBlue Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Certificates SAF is a synthetic jet fuel produced from renewable biological resources that can be replenished rapidly and without impacting food supply. Compared to traditional petroleum-based Jet-A fuel, SAF can emit up to 80 percent less CO2 over its lifecycle when used in neat form and reduces air pollutants such as particulate matter and sulfur oxides. SAF drops into existing engines and infrastructure and is ASTM certified when blended up to 50-50 with fossil Jet-A fuel. With more than a 10 year track record of safe use in aircraft, SAF is recognized as the most promising solution to mitigate air transport emissions currently available. JetBlue has been flying regularly on SAF as a component of its fuel supply from its partners Neste out of San Francisco International Airport (SFO) since July 2020 and World Energy (SAF producer) and World Fuel Services (logistics supplier) out of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) since July 2021. JetBlue recently shared industry-leading plans to speed up its transition to SAF with a deal with its partner SG Preston that will bring 67 million gallons of blended SAF a year to the Northeast over 10 years. Following this agreement, JetBlue leads the airline industry in committed SAF off-take based on a percentage of total fuel at roughly 8% and is on track to meet its goal of converting 10% of its total fuel use to SAF years ahead of its 2030 target. Through the purchase of SAF certificates, JetBlue customers now have the ability to directly and meaningfully reduce their business travel emissions. Business travel emissions, categorized as “Scope 3” emissions, are indirect emissions customers are not directly responsible for but that exist within the value chain, such as those produced through corporate travel. By purchasing SAF certificates, our corporate customers may reduce their reported carbon footprint, while helping cover the cost premium of SAF that exists today - thereby growing the share of SAF JetBlue is able to source while helping stimulate the emerging SAF market that is critical for the aviation industry to reach its net zero goals. Through the Sustainable Travel Partners program, our partners are helping source roughly 325,000 gallons of SAF, helping reduce 2,730 metric tons of CO2 emissions. Complimentary Domestic Carbon Offsetting In July 2020, JetBlue became the first US airline to voluntarily offset the CO2 emissions from jet fuel for all its domestic flights. All of JetBlue’s purchased carbon offsets are audited, verified and retired on the airline’s behalf from its three expert carbon offsetting partners Carbonfund.org, EcoAct, and South Pole. As part of its offsetting portfolio, JetBlue selects projects around the globe focused on forestry, landfill gas capture, solar, and wind projects that reduce or avoid CO2 emissions. As Sustainable Travel Partners, JetBlue’s customers can benefit from enhanced reporting on our complimentary carbon offsets, as well as review opportunities to expand offsetting utilizing JetBlue’s offsetting expertise and business partners. Emissions Travel Data and Analysis Historically, business travelers have not had the ability to estimate their air travel emissions in a personalized, accurate, or granular way. Through the Sustainable Travel Partners program, JetBlue is saving partners the effort of inaccurate guesswork by offering emissions reporting based on travelers’ actual flying and JetBlue’s average actual fuel burn on those routes. JetBlue’s intent is to provide our partners with more accurate emissions reporting by sharing actual operational data, as well as incorporating the airline’s own emissions reduction initiatives into emissions reporting. JetBlue is also working to include travel emissions data into Salesforce’s Net Zero Cloud with hopes of making this available to the airline’s Sustainable Travel Partners. For corporate customers who purchase SAF certificates, JetBlue will also provide emissions reporting highlighting the estimated emissions reduction associated with the SAF. Sustainable Tools and Consultation JetBlue Sustainability and Corporate Sales representatives have developed guidance and are available for personalized conversations to help JetBlue’s business customers develop strategies to reduce their emissions associated with their organization’s business travel. This includes helping set emissions reduction targets associated with their business travel and recommending actions to promote more sustainable travel decisions to achieve these goals. “As our business customers return to the skies, they increasingly have been asking for our support in meeting their net zero and sustainable travel goals,JetBlue has extensive expertise in decarbonizing air travel thanks to our early and leading commitments and supply agreements. We’re now extending these options to our corporate customers so that, for the first time, they can play a direct role in enhancing the sustainability of their air travel when flying with JetBlue. We’re proud to introduce the Sustainable Travel Partners program to help our business customers set and achieve their sustainable travel targets.” -Sara Bogdan, director of sustainability and environmental social governance, JetBlue. Partner Quotes Climate action is essential for human and planetary wellbeing,” says Alphonse Galdes, Ph.D., Head of Pharmaceutical Operations and Technology at Biogen. “Yet, if we hope to make a substantive impact in this area, we all must come together – across industries – to re-examine the way we work, the way we live and the way we consume energy. By becoming an inaugural member of JetBlue's Sustainable Travel Partner Program, we at Biogen are proud to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and their associated impacts, as well as utilize more accurate data to inform travel decisions in the future. “Deloitte is committed to driving responsible climate choices, By coming together with JetBlue, we are another step closer to reducing our travel emissions and achieving a more sustainable future.” -Scott Corwin, Managing Director and US Leader for Sustainability and Climate Change at Deloitte LLP As the first professional services firm in the world to reach carbon neutral status in 2006, sustainability is part of our company’s DNA,” said ICF President, Chair and CEO John Wasson. “As we continue to pursue our own ambitious carbon reduction targets, we’re thrilled to partner with JetBlue to help other companies achieve their sustainability targets, too. We are proud to join JetBlue's Sustainable Travel Partners program to help accelerate the aviation industry's journey to net zero," said Patrick Flynn, VP and Global Head of Sustainability at Salesforce. "The urgency of this climate emergency means we need all-of-the-above strategies. For us that includes helping incentivize emerging clean technologies like Sustainable Aviation Fuels and working with partners like the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance to lower barriers to scale and cost reduction. JetBlue’s Decarbonization Strategy JetBlue is taking bold steps to address its emissions and reduce its contribution to climate change. In 2020, JetBlue became the first US airline to voluntarily offset CO2 emissions on all its domestic flights. To date, the airline has offset more than 6 million metric tons of CO2. Upon launching this initiative, JetBlue has been very transparent that it views carbon offsetting as a short-term solution while the industry builds up lower-carbon solutions. The airline has therefore been very aggressive in growing solutions that have a more direct reduction in air travel emissions, such as making large commitments to the purchase of SAF. JetBlue recently shared plans to speed up its transition to SAF with a deal that will bring 67 million gallons of SAF a year to the Northeast over 10 years, putting the airline well ahead of pace to reach its target to convert 10 percent of its total fuel usage to SAF on a blended basis by 2030. While JetBlue views SAF and carbon offsetting as promising solutions in addressing aircraft emissions, these are just two pieces of JetBlue’s larger decarbonization strategy, which currently also includes aircraft efficiency, fuel optimization, electric ground operations and technology partnerships. Industry Collaboration The Sustainable Travel Partners Program represents the next step as JetBlue collaboratively works with its many partners to accelerate solutions to decarbonize aviation. In November, JetBlue announced it had joined Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance (SABA), a joint initiative with Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), and a forward-looking group of corporate travelers and U.S. airlines to help drive investment in high-integrity SAF. In October, JetBlue joined as a launch member of the Aviation Climate Taskforce, a new non-profit organization founded to accelerate breakthroughs in emerging technologies to decarbonize aviation, alongside 9 other global airlines and Boston Consulting Group (BCG). JetBlue’s Focus on the Environment JetBlue depends on natural resources and a healthy environment to keep its business running smoothly. Natural resources are essential for the airline to fly, and tourism relies on having beautiful, natural and preserved destinations for customers to visit. The airline focuses on issues that have the potential to impact its business. Customers, crewmembers and community are key to JetBlue's sustainability strategy. Demand from these groups for responsible service is one of the motivations behind changes that help reduce the airline’s carbon output and overall environmental impact. For more on JetBlue’s sustainability initiatives, visit www.jetblue.com/sustainability. About JetBlue Airways JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline®, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles, Orlando and San Juan. JetBlue carries customers across the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America, and between New York and London. For more information, visit jetblue.com.To join JetBlue’s Sustainable Travel Partner program, visit https://www.jetblue.com/sustainability/sustainable-travel-partners.For more information on JetBlue’s sustainability and ESG strategy, read the 2019-2020 ESG Report which can be found here.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Corporate Traveler Launches Melon, A New Travel Platform Built Exclusively for SMEs

Corporate Traveler | September 22, 2021

Ahead of the predicted boost in business travel demand, Corporate Traveler, the only global TMC catering exclusively for start-ups to mid-market businesses, has unveiled Melon – its new proprietary travel management platform. Launching in the US and Canada , Melon's intuitive design and simple navigation belies a host of innovative features developed in response to the evolving expectations of an increasingly travel hungry, tech-savvy and budget conscious workforce. Commenting on the motivation for the development of Melon, Chris Lynes, Senior Vice President for Corporate Traveler said: "During this period of pause, we listened to our customers and adapted our offerings, investing in a next generation digital experience that combines rich content supported by our trademark dedicated and personalized service. Simple to use and tailored to meet the exacting needs of our customers, Melon is a different type of travel platform one that goes the extra mile just like our people. "Our clients tell us that travel is crucial to their success, and in the US, we are already seeing encouraging signs of recovery with 35% uplift on bookings made in August alone. This indicates strong desire to return to in-person meetings in the months ahead," added Lynes. Seamless online experience, tailored to individual needs As a business travel expert, Corporate Traveler understands that an accessible, on-the-go travel management solution is business critical to its customers; therefore, the new omni-channel platform has been designed to switch between mobile and desktop without losing functionality. With Melon, admins are also able to control travel options, by setting personalized algorithms and even individual spend levels. Armed with this information, the platform's AI technology does the legwork and removes the frustration typically associated when searching via multiple sites, serving up a variety of choices based on learned behaviors to align with company travel policies and program goals, while taking traveler preferences and loyalty affiliations into consideration. A breakdown of spend, alongside dashboard analysis of important KPI metrics in real-time, also helps customers extract key data needed to inform decision making and accurately manage finances. Combining technology and personal service to support customers 24/7 Unsurprisingly, as barriers to international movement lift and companies resume travel programs, duty of care has been identified as a priority. Corporate Traveler addresses this in multiple ways with Melon: from displaying the latest guidance before booking to proactively sharing live updates. Program admins can also track employees' whereabouts in real-time, while Melon's robust health and safety capabilities provides prompt alerts on risk-related events impacting travel such as country entry requirements, latest government and supplier COVID restrictions, adverse weather, crime and more. These features are underpinned by access to dedicated travel consultants 24/7, 365 days a year. Lynes added: "In this ever-evolving travel environment, it is difficult to keep track of the latest developments across the world. Melon ensures our customers are informed and aware at every step of their booking journey. And while on the go, help is always an instant away whether via Melon's AI mobile chat function or the expert assistance of our agent support team. At Corporate Traveler, every customer is considered a VIP, so we pride ourselves in always extending the highest level of service to all travelers at all times – with no exceptions." Access to a competitively priced, truly global inventory Corporate Traveler customers also enjoy an expansive choice of travel content and options sourced from the widest range of travel suppliers. And being part of industry powerhouse the Flight Centre Travel Group, this means the best market wide rates, unique added-value benefits, and exclusive deals too. In the US, Corporate Traveler provides expert travel management services to over 6,000 businesses across the country, where its teams in more than 20 US cities are dedicated to making corporate travel simpler, faster, and easier for customers. About Corporate Traveler Corporate Traveler is the only global TMC catering exclusively to start-ups and mid-market businesses. Established in 1993, the company is present in seven countries where it provides expert tailored advice, dedicated travel managers, and innovative, advanced booking technology to more than 14,000 customers worldwide in a typical year. Being part of industry powerhouse the Flight Centre Travel Group, access to a competitively priced, truly global inventory alongside added-value benefits and exclusive deals comes as standard. Corporate Traveler recently unveiled Melon – its new proprietary, on-the-go travel management platform featuring intuitive navigation and a seamless end-to-end online experience to help customers easily book, manage, and measure the performance of their business travel programs.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Ski Season’s Greetings! MCR Acquires Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa in Stowe, Vermont

MCR | January 03, 2022

Walking in a winter wonderland! MCR — the country’s 4th-largest hotel owner-operator — has acquired the 117-room Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa in Stowe, Vermont. Just downslope from Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak, Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa is your home base for four seasons of outdoor adventure. Come for the mountain biking, leaf-peeping, hiking and snowshoeing; stay for the spacious guestrooms (with fireplaces!), 50,000-square-foot spa, two pools and outdoor jacuzzi. Want to link up with friends and family? We’ve got a nine-hole golf course and 32 townhomes, too! Before catching the lifts at Stowe Mountain Resort this winter, carb up with a hearty breakfast at Charlie B’s, our on-site restaurant and pub serving a delicious buffet of eggs, home fries and oatmeal. We’ll be waiting for you at dinnertime with steaming French onion soup and lemon pepper-crusted salmon. Not a snow bunny? At Stoweflake, it’s always a spa day! The world-class spa offers 120 therapeutic treatments in 30 rooms plus a fully equipped salon. The true highlight is the Aqua Solarium, a 12-foot Hungarian mineral soaking pool with a cascading waterfall inspired by the area’s famous Bingham Falls! Get moving again at the sports and wellness center, which has Cybex fitness equipment, spinning and Pilates studios, tennis courts and a racquetball/squash court! Schedule a class with an instructor or splash in the indoor and outdoor pools (with a bubbling jacuzzi). With so much to do on the grounds, Stoweflake is the perfect place for an event. Gather your guests for a conference, wedding or family reunion — we have 25,000 square feet of meeting space in 17 rooms and outdoor terrain bordered by the Green Mountains. If you need more space than the resort’s guestrooms, opt for one of our 32 townhomes, each equipped with a full kitchen and private deck for cocoa-sipping and stargazing. Stoweflake’s location means off-property outings couldn’t be more convenient. Visit the Von Trapp family home (yes, the real-life Sound of Music clan, who settled in Stowe after leaving Germany!) or Alchemist Brewery. Take a short drive into town, where 80 boutiques, country stores and galleries — all twinkling with holiday lights — await. Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa is located at 1746 Mountain Road and features: 117 guestrooms and suites 32 one-, two- or three-bedroom townhome rentals A 50,000-square-foot spa and sports center with a waterfall and meditative garden Two tennis courts A racquetball and squash court An executive nine-hole, par-3 golf course Indoor and outdoor pools with a jacuzzi A 25,000-square-foot conference center with 17 meeting rooms Charlie B’s Restaurant & Pub Fast Wi-Fi On-site parking Reserve rooms by phone at (802) 253-2322 or online at stoweflake.com. About MCR 4th-largest hotel owner-operator in the United States $4.0 billion portfolio of 140 premium-branded hotels MCR operates 8 Marriott brands, 6 Hilton brands and a number of unflagged independent hotels 20,000 guestrooms across 37 states and 100 cities Founded in 2006 Offices in New York City, Dallas, Chicago and Richmond, Virginia 4,000 team members across the country Three-time recipient of the Marriott Partnership Circle Award, the highest honor Marriott presents to its owner and franchise partners Recipient of the Hilton Legacy Award for Top Performer For the TWA Hotel at New York’s JFK Airport, MCR won the Development of the Year (Full Service) Award at The Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS), the Urban Land Institute New York Excellence in Hotel Development Award and the American Institute of Architects national Architecture Award, the highest honor given by the AIA Named one of Fast Company’s 10 Most Innovative Travel Companies of 2020 For more information, please visit mcrhotels.com

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Spotlight

When we think of the managed travel industry we generally think about suited up travellers, kitted with laptops, briefcases and corporate presentations all packed neatly into compact hand luggage. But there is a whole other side to managed travel and these travellers only rarely make the headlines. These are the Marine & Offshore travellers who are vital to the global economy. Not only do they provide the resources necessary to operate it but they also move some 90% of the goods and resources that are consumed around the world.