TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY, INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

CellPoint Digital partners with Radisson Hotel Group

Radisson Hotel Group | September 09, 2022 | Read time : 01:47 min

CellPoint Digital partners with Radisson
CellPoint Digital, the global leader in payment orchestration, announces a new partnership with Radisson Hotel Group.Radisson Hotel Group is one of the largest international hotel groups. The Radisson family of brands can be found around the world in more than 120 countries. Radisson Hotel Group operates the business in EMEA and APAC with over 1,000 hotels in operation and under development. The Group will now use CellPoint Digital’s full payment orchestration platform to seamlessly integrate new payment methods, new acquirers and stored card facilities. By orchestrating payments across regions and payment methods, CellPoint Digital’s innovative platform will allow Radisson Hotel Group to optimize a multi-acquirer payments model that opens new opportunities for growth.

It also helps increase top-line revenue by utilizing intelligent routing, increasing authorizations, providing system uptime transparency, and reduces the cost of accepting cross-border payments. This will reduce costs, increase acceptance rates and ultimately lead to a better customer experience.

 “After researching the impressive results our global airline clients have enjoyed, Radisson Hotel Group decided we were the right Payment Orchestration partner to help it revolutionize how payments are handled across its locations. This is a very competitive environment, and we are proud to have been chosen by the Group, which has such an incredible reputation in the hospitality field.

-CellPoint Digital CEO, Kristian Gjerding

For many hotels, local payment methods and alternative payment options can be challenging to navigate. But getting payments right can unlock new opportunities for hotels to grow revenue, both in the short and long term. CellPoint Digital’s aim for this partnership is to help Radisson Hotel Group achieve its vision of transforming how it orchestrates international payments.

This is a strategic win for both CellPoint Digital and Radisson Hotel Group. It allows CellPoint Digital to capitalize on its leadership position within the airline space for Payment Orchestration to deliver significant value to the hospitality industry.

Philippe de Roose, SVP Tax & Treasury Radisson Hotel Group, added: “We chose CellPoint Digital because the senior team was impressed with their solution and appreciated its flexibility and innovative approach to help our customers pay in the payment method and currency that they prefer in the most optimal and beneficial way for Radisson Hotel Group. Crucially, both organizations have a shared desire to work collaboratively and get things done.”

News of the partnership comes after it was revealed that business leaders within the hospitality industry see the offering of a variety of payment choices (42%), payment fraud and security (40%) and the refund process (28%) as their most significant challenges this year.

Spotlight

With a fascinating history that reaches back to the dawn of civilization, Egypt is considered the oldest travel destination on earth. The African nation’s awe-inspiring temples and pyramids have captured the imagination of travelers for thousands of years. Although most people come to Egypt to view its ancient monuments, natural attractions beckon travelers too. The Red Sea coast is known for its coral reefs and beach resorts while a trek through the Sahara can lead visitors to a refreshing oasis. Here’s a look at the best places to visit in Egypt:

Spotlight

With a fascinating history that reaches back to the dawn of civilization, Egypt is considered the oldest travel destination on earth. The African nation’s awe-inspiring temples and pyramids have captured the imagination of travelers for thousands of years. Although most people come to Egypt to view its ancient monuments, natural attractions beckon travelers too. The Red Sea coast is known for its coral reefs and beach resorts while a trek through the Sahara can lead visitors to a refreshing oasis. Here’s a look at the best places to visit in Egypt:

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL, AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

Southwest Airlines Launches Limited-Time Tier Status Acceleration Promotion For Rapid Rewards Members

Southwest Airlines | September 22, 2022

Southwest Airlines Co. ( NYSE: LUV) is rewarding its Rapid Rewards Members for their long-term support by giving them a limited-time incentive, making it easier to earn tier status through 2023. Starting today, Rapid Rewards® Members have more opportunities to maintain or accelerate their way to the highly coveted A-List or A-List Preferred tier status. "We're making it easier for our Members to either earn A-List or A-List Preferred tier status, or maintain it through next year as a way to show our appreciation for their continued engagement with Rapid Rewards, We believe loyalty is a two-way street, and this is our way of thanking Customers for continuing to fly Southwest and for trusting us to connect them to the people and places that matter most in their lives." -Jonathan Clarkson, Vice President of Marketing Loyalty & Products at Southwest Airlines Reward Travel Counts Southwest Airlines® is counting reward flight segments from Jan. 1 through Sept. 19, 2022, and applying them toward tier status segment requirements so Members can continue to enjoy the benefits and rewards they love and value. No registration is necessary for Members, and qualifying reward flight segments were automatically added to Members' tier progress on Sept. 13.1 Customers can view changes in the "My Account" section on Southwest.com. Earn With New Reward Travel Rapid Rewards Members who register and purchase Southwest® flights using Rapid Rewards points through Nov. 30, 2022, can now earn flight segment credits that count toward A-List or A-List Preferred tier status through 2023.1 The flight segment will appear in "My Account" within 72 hours after the flight is completed. Earn Double Tier Qualifying Points Southwest Rapid Rewards Members who register for this promotion and purchase Southwest qualifying flights, and travel through Nov. 30, 2022, can earn double tier qualifying points toward A-List or A-List Preferred tier status for 2023.2 Join Rapid Rewards The Rapid Rewards program is designed around a simple concept—to make earning reward flights faster and easier. With Rapid Rewards, every seat is a reward seat, there are no blackout dates, and points don't expire. Customers can create an account to become a Rapid Rewards Member at Southwest.com. All Rewards flights are subject to availability and taxes, fees, and other government or airport-imposed charges of at least $5.60 per one-way. Tier qualifying points are earned on flights paid entirely with dollars, LUV Vouchers, gift cards, or travel funds, and with no portion of the purchase price paid for with Rapid Rewards points. Only qualifying activity will be eligible for flight credits. ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO. Southwest Airlines Co. operates one of the world's most admired and awarded airlines, offering its one-of-a-kind value and Hospitality at 121 airports across 11 countries. Having celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2021, Southwest took flight in 1971 to democratize the sky through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel and now carries more air travelers flying nonstop within the United States than any other airline.3 Based in Dallas and famous for an Employee-first corporate Culture, Southwest maintains an unprecedented record of no involuntary furloughs or layoffs in its history. By empowering its more than 62,0004 People to deliver unparalleled Hospitality, the maverick airline cherishes a passionate loyalty among as many as 130 million Customers carried a year. That formula for success brought industry-leading prosperity and 47 consecutive years5 of profitability for Southwest Shareholders ( NYSE: LUV). Southwest leverages a unique legacy and mission to serve communities around the world including harnessing the power of its People and Purpose to put communities at the Heart of its success. Learn more by visiting Southwest.com/citizenship. Southwest is also continuing to develop tangible steps toward achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, including offering Customers an opportunity to help the airline offset its carbon emissions. To be part of the solution, visit Southwest.com/wannaoffsetcarbon.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM, HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Guesty Announces Acquisition of YieldPlanet, a Hotel-Focused Revenue & Distribution Management Platform, and the launch of Guesty Distribution Hub

Guesty | September 15, 2022

Guesty, the leading property management platform for the short-term rental and hospitality industry, announced the acquisition of hotel-focused revenue and distribution platform, YieldPlanet. The acquisition expands Guesty's offerings and capabilities for traditional hotels, with YieldPlanet's technology integrated within the Guesty platform. Unveiling a new Guesty Distribution Hub, the platform will add direct OTA connections with Hopper, Trip.com, Marriott Homes & Villas and Google's Hotel & Vacation Rental Search Products, and will allow hospitality operators to manage a classic hotel repertoire, revenue and vacation rental offerings from one dashboard. The YieldPlanet acquisition and launch of Guesty Distribution Hub comes upon the heels of Guesty's recent $170 million funding round, from top-tier investors Apax Digital Funds, MSD Partners and Sixth Street Growth, with existing investors Viola Growth and Flashpoint also participating. The capital signals investor confidence in the continued growth of the travel and alternative accommodation industry, and is an endorsement of Guesty's pioneering technology, long-term strategy and position as market leader in the hospitality and property management software sector. With PMCs competing for diverse consumers and travel personas seeking every accommodation under the sun, we are thrilled to offer additional distribution for our Guesty users through direct integration of YieldPlanet and the formation of the Guesty Distribution Hub," says Yair Holtzer, VP of Strategy at Guesty. "Guesty will offer direct integration with Hopper, Trip.com, Marriott Homes & Villas and Google's suite of Travel Search products, joining our already impressive OTA integration with Airbnb, Booking.com, Vrbo, Expedia, Tripadvisor, Agoda, and misterb&b. We will also maintain additional integrations through our valued partnerships. The product enhancements solidify Guesty's status as the leading flexible Property Management Platform. Guesty Distribution Hub is the first ever fully holistic hospitality distribution solution. Guesty customers will now access hundreds of hotel and short-term rental distribution channels (Booking Engine, Metasearch, OTA, and GDS), along with integrated financial tools from one dashboard. "Joining forces with Guesty marks an exciting new chapter for YieldPlanet, allowing us to strengthen and scale our revenue and channel management solutions, We will continue to grow YieldPlanet and will now offer direct distribution from within Guesty's platform, offering their clients exciting new opportunities to grow and expand their businesses." -Claudio Limacher, CEO of YieldPlanet. YieldPlanet's technology, expertise, R&D team, and hotel-focus were a natural fit to join the Guesty family and continue our long-term goal to become the one-stop shop for the hospitality and short-term rental ecosystem," says Amiad Soto, CEO & Co-Founder of Guesty. "YieldPlanet's technology within the Guesty platform, offers best-in-class revenue management, along with its price optimizer product for hotels. Our customers now have access to the widest distribution options on the market from one single dashboard. About Guesty: Guesty is the world's leading property management platform for the short-term, vacation rental and hospitality industry. Serving everyone from hosts to hotel brands, customers utilize Guesty's platform and solutions to centralize their reservations, guest communication, operational tasks, cleaning management and more across all the major booking OTA channels, including Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, Tripadvisor, Expedia, Agoda, direct booking websites and more. With 14 offices serving customers worldwide, Guesty empowers hospitality operators to save time and resources so that they can focus on maximizing occupancy, ensuring a great guest experience, and growing their business. About YieldPlanet: YieldPlanet is a SaaS provider delivering travel technology solutions for revenue and distribution management. The company's easy-to-use solutions synchronize with property management software to provide a single point of control for channels, reducing labor time, administrative cost and increasing distribution. The company services more than 4,000 clients in over 85 countries around the world, with offices in Spain, Switzerland and Poland.

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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.

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