CLIA Extends Suspension of Cruising From US Ports Until September

CLIA | June 19, 2020

The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) announced on June 19 that its ocean-going cruise line members will voluntarily extend the suspension of cruise operations from U.S. ports until Sept. 15, 2020, as the coronavirus outbreak continues.
“The current no-sail order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will expire on July 24, and although we had hoped that cruise activity could resume as soon as possible after that date, it is increasingly clear that more time will be needed to resolve barriers to resumption in the United States,” the CLIA statement said.

Spotlight

This document identifies the benefits that Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC, also known as the “SIM card”)-based, mobile Near Field Communications (NFC) services can bring to the airline industry, airport authorities and the air-traveller. GSMA and IATA have joined forces to develop this initial common understanding of the opportunities that mobile NFC could bring to the air-traveller.

Spotlight

This document identifies the benefits that Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC, also known as the “SIM card”)-based, mobile Near Field Communications (NFC) services can bring to the airline industry, airport authorities and the air-traveller. GSMA and IATA have joined forces to develop this initial common understanding of the opportunities that mobile NFC could bring to the air-traveller.

Related News

HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Mphasis Announces the Achievement of Amazon Web Services (AWS) Travel and Hospitality Competency Status

Mphasis | December 04, 2020

Mphasis, an Information Technology (IT) arrangements supplier having some expertise in cloud and intellectual administrations, declared today that it has accomplished the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Travel and Hospitality Competency status. This status perceives Mphasis' exhibited aptitude in helping clients change their business, from in the background operational efficiencies to visitor confronting client encounters. The dispatch of the AWS Travel and Hospitality Competency comes at a critical time for the business, as it hopes to develop to address the evolving requests, despite COVID-19. AWS's worldwide travel and accommodation practice helps organizations of each size and fragment including - aircrafts, air terminals, ground transportation, travel administrations and merchants, eateries, dwelling, diversion scenes and gambling clubs, voyage lines, and innovation suppliers - to remain coordinated and quicken development. Presently like never before, AWS needs to assist clients with prevailing by interfacing them to AWS Partners with profound AWS experience, and a demonstrated history for helping travel and friendliness organizations fabricate flexibility for the since quite a while ago run.

Read More

HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Certares Acquires The Embassy Suites Atlanta Midtown In Partnership With Highlands Investments And Monomoy Property Ventures

Certares | October 26, 2021

Certares Management LLC a leading investment specialist dedicated to the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors (together with its affiliates, "Certares"), in partnership with Highlands Investments LLC ("Highlands") and Monomoy Property Ventures LLC ("MPV"), today announced the acquisition of the 181 key, new-build Embassy Suites Atlanta Midtown located at 290 17th Street NW in Midtown Atlanta, Georgia. The deal also included the acquisition of an adjacent land parcel and an income-producing parking component.Located in the Atlantic Station area of Midtown, the all-suites property features a lobby bar, restaurant, large fitness area and pool, along with 2,600 square feet of meeting space. The rooms average approximately 500 square feet, and each has a private kitchenette and separate living room area. The hotel sits adjacent to Microsoft's new eastern U.S. headquarters and near Georgia Tech's main Atlanta campus. HEI Hotels & Resorts ("HEI"), a leading hospitality management company that owns and/or operates 84 hotels and resorts throughout the United States, has been selected to operate the property. "We are thrilled to acquire this brand-new asset in the heart of Atlantic Station. Midtown Atlanta is the city's preeminent submarket for technology and healthcare talent recruitment and is seeing an array of corporate relocations and expansions. We look forward to working closely with Highlands, MPV and HEI to ensure the property delivers a great experience to its guests." -Nolan Hecht, Senior Managing Director & Head of Real Estate at Certares Jordan Kary, Founder and Principal of Highlands, added, "We are big believers in both Atlanta and, more specifically, the Midtown Atlanta submarket, and we are excited to acquire this high-quality hotel together with Certares, MPV and HEI. The property's location together with its all-suites rooms and amenity offerings makes the asset well-positioned for outsized growth. We look forward to continuing to identify opportunities to acquire great pieces of real estate at attractive values and working to ensure best-in-class operations and oversight." "High-quality real estate structured off-market from a motivated seller, in an excellent location within a growth MSA, the Embassy Suites Atlanta Midtown is illustrative of the types of investments MPV is successfully targeting as we establish our business,We look forward to building on a close relationship with Certares, Highlands, HEI and Hilton as we execute on our business plan at this asset, and to participating in the substantial ongoing growth in the midtown Atlanta business community." -Kevin Vaughan, Founder of MPV. About Certares Management LLC Established in 2012, Certares focuses on direct investments in proprietary transactions, leveraging deep sector experience in the travel and hospitality industries, and with a consistent emphasis on partnership with management teams to drive growth. Certares brings together a team with decades of both operational and investment experience in private equity, travel, tourism, hospitality and travel-related business and consumer services. For more information, please visit www.certares.com. About Highlands Investments LLC Founded in 2020, Highlands Investments LLC is a New York-based real estate investment and asset management company that employs a value approach to investing and targets select product types and geographic regions across the United States and Canada. Prompted by the shifting dynamics in the global real estate industry, the company's primary objectives include sourcing and negotiating target driven acquisition opportunities and managing investments throughout their lifecycle. Highlands focuses on identifying opportunistic acquisitions at attractive values with the potential to enhance returns at the asset level through operational improvements and through long-term economic recovery. To learn more, visit https://www.highlandsinv.com/. About Monomoy Property Ventures LLC Monomoy Property Ventures (MPV) is a New York-based real estate investment, development and management firm with an extensive track record sourcing, acquiring and redeveloping lodging assets. MPV purchases land parcels and existing buildings in enduring, high-barrier locations in select resort and urban markets in the United States. Through physical and operational repositioning or ground-up construction, MPV seeks to improve buildings, destinations, neighborhoods and the built environment while providing attractive financial returns to our company and investment partners. Through current and prior ventures, Principals of MPV have executed on over $1.4 billion of lodging investments across 23 hotels. For further information, please visit www.MonomoyPropertyVentures.com. About HEI Hotels & Resorts HEI Hotels & Resorts, headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., is a leading hospitality investment and management company that owns and/or operates over 80 luxury, upper-upscale and upscale independent and branded hotels and resorts throughout the United States. HEI's branding partners include Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and Accor. Taking a holistic approach to creating value for its investors and employees, HEI sets the highest standards across all aspects of hotel management and operation and focuses on central principles of excellence and continuous improvement. HEI prides itself on some of the highest employee satisfaction scores in the hospitality industry, fuels local economic prosperity by investing in communities and is committed to environmental stewardship and sustainability. To learn more about HEI, please visit www.heihotels.com

Read More

FEATURES AND ADVICE

“Alexa – Ask HotelPlanner to Make a New Reservation:” Travel Technology Company Launches Alexa-Enabled Booking Feature

HotelPlanner | October 20, 2021

HotelPlanner, a leading travel technology platform powered by proprietary artificial intelligence, announced the launch of its new Alexa-enabled hotel booking feature that immediately connects customers to a global gig-based ‘Hotel Planner’ agent to book a discounted hotel stay – anywhere in the world – at any time, an industry first.The announcement is well-timed with the rise in voice-activated technology and the ‘Internet of Things’ revolution that is already disrupting every industry across the globe. How Alexa-Enabled Hotel Bookings Work Using an Alexa device or the Alexa app, a customer must first say “Alexa – enable the HotelPlanner skill.” Once the skill is enabled, customers can then activate the feature any time by saying “Alexa – open HotelPlanner” or “Alexa – ask HotelPlanner to make a new reservation in Boston.” Once a customer tells Alexa their travel details, the service immediately connects the customer to a live Hotel Planner as a priority call, which bypasses the call queue. The Hotel Planner can then typically offer a discounted rate before completing the booking. This is equivalent to having a personal hotel concierge at one’s beck and call anytime help is needed with hotel bookings. HotelPlanner’s proprietary artificial intelligence and VOIP capabilities will also try to route customers to a gig-based Hotel Planner who either lives in, or knows about, the customer’s desired destination so that they can provide localized and personalized service.And this new booking feature is completely free of charge. Staying Ahead of the Technology Curve Since its founding in 2004, HotelPlanner has sought to stay ahead of the technology curve with next generation features that anticipate evolving customer needs to further simplify and automate the hotel booking process. For example, HotelPlanner pioneered the electronic Request for Proposal (eRFP) process for group bookings in 2004, and then added an online negotiation capability in 2009. In 2014, the company launched its instant group booking feature. In May 2020, at the height of the pandemic, HotelPlanner launched its global gig-economy based reservations platform in response to an influx of customer calls, an industry first for an online travel agency. “We believe that adding Alexa-enabled hotel bookings is an industry game changer,As the Internet of Things and smart homes, smart cars and smart offices become more ubiquitous, HotelPlanner is ready to provide a tech-forward solution that embraces voice activation and anticipates how consumers will interact with technology to make travel plans. And this capability is sustainable, scalable, and complementary with the ongoing expansion of our gig-based Hotel Planner reservation platform.” -John Prince, Co-Founder & Chief Information Officer, HotelPlanner. The transaction is expected to enable HotelPlanner to transform into a diversified hotel and event booking platform with complementary revenue streams, and to provide the combined company opportunities to realize multiple operating synergies to drive growth at scale. About HotelPlanner HotelPlanner is a leading travel technology company that combines proprietary artificial intelligence capabilities with a 24/7 global gig-based reservations and customer service network. HotelPlanner travel agents can customize all traveler hotel & accommodation needs from a single platform while providing localized advice. HotelPlanner is one of the leading providers of individual, group and corporate travel bookings, specializing in unique “Closed User Group” discounted rates offered in unpublished private sale environments. Founded in 2004, HotelPlanner has enduring partnerships with many of the world’s largest OTAs, well-known hotel chains, individual hotels, online wedding providers, ancillary lodging providers, corporations, professional and amateur sports teams and franchises, universities and government agencies.For more information, please visit https://www.hotelplanner.com About Reservations.com Reservations.com is an award-winning online travel company on a mission to bring the human-touch back to travel. Founded in 2014 with a focus on helping consumers create memorable travel experiences, Reservations.com has experienced rapid growth. Reservations.com's user-friendly website offers unparalleled visibility into hotels, including: descriptions, pricing information, and reviews of nearly 500,000 properties globally. The company is on a journey to enable customers to not only reserve hotels, but to create memories.more information, please visit www.reservations.com About Astrea Acquisition Corp. Astrea Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: ASAXU) is a blank check company organized for the purpose of effecting a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition or other similar business combination with one or more businesses or entities. While we intend to evaluate opportunities in many industries, we are targeting technology-enhanced high-growth companies that have clear differentiated business models suited for disruption in their sectors. The diverse experience, extensive relationship network, and successful SPAC experience of our management team and board of directors make Astrea an ideal partner for businesses that have the potential to become outstanding public companies.

Read More