INDUSTRY OUTLOOK, HOSPITALITY TRENDS
Optii Solutions | November 25, 2022
Optii Solutions, the leading hotel operations software, announced that it is entering into a partnership with the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP) to support the organization and its members.
The Association of Serviced Apartment Providers is the not for profit trade body representing serviced accommodation Providers, who collectively operate more than 100,000 apartments in 25 countries and offer 3 million bed nights per year.
Following the success of multiple properties in the Staycity Group portfolio, Optii is appealing to new segments in the European market beyond traditional hotels. As demand for technology in the serviced apartment segment increases, Optii is pleased to support ASAP’s objective to grow the professional serviced apartment sector into one where the majority of all consumers understand the benefits of serviced apartments, and see them as a safe, modern and credible alternative to more conventional types of accommodation.
“We are enthusiastic to partner with Optii after seeing the value they bring to operators such as Accredited ASAP Member Staycity. Raising awareness and understanding of professionally managed serviced apartments with travelers is part of our mission. We recognize that serviced apartments have to meet a certain level of guest experience and value to support that. Optii and other leading technology providers can play a big role in helping our members stay competitive by having a modern, technology-forward operation.”
-James Foice, Chief Executive, ASAP
Maria Macree, Vice President of Sales - EMEA, Optii Solutions, said: There’s a lot of connective tissue in the hospitality industry, and it’s organizations like ASAP that make that happen. We are thrilled to partner with them, and I am personally excited to add new names and faces to the conversations I am having with members around how Optii can help them run a smart housekeeping and engineering operation that protects the bottom line and delivers on the guest experience that they promise.
About the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers
The Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP) is the not-for-profit trade body for the serviced apartment and aparthotel sector. All Members sign up to our Code of Conduct and share our aims of raising and promoting standards within this growing part of the hospitality industry. Together we are driving the sector towards becoming a safe, inclusive industry delivering top customer service and living up to our promises, so guests can always stay with confidence. Please see www.theasap.org.uk and our membership directory www.staywithconfidence.com.
About Optii Solutions
Optii Solutions is a hotel operations solution that leverages smarter technologies such as artificial intelligence, analytics, messaging and mobility to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of housekeeping and service delivery departments. For further information about Optii, please visit: www.optiisolutions.com.
TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,DESTINATION AND TOURISM
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. 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.
TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,COMMERCIAL TRAVEL
Paysafe and Virgin Voyages | November 30, 2022
Paysafe (NYSE: PSFE), a leading payments platform, announced a partnership with Virgin Voyages, Richard Branson’s lifestyle travel brand focused on delivering irresistible cruise vacations for adult travelers. Paysafe will ensure travelers can quickly and securely pay online for their next cruise with Virgin Voyages, whose payments risk will also be mitigated by Paysafe’s bespoke travel solution.Whether booking an opulent Virgin Voyages cruise in the Caribbean, Europe, or the South Pacific as well as Transatlantic crossings, travelers can now use their credit card to pay online to book their exclusively adult seabound vacation through Paysafe, with all transactions processed seamlessly. With 20+ years’ card-not-present payments’ experience, including for travel merchants, Paysafe will allow Virgin Voyages to better serve its global customer base by accepting payments in multiple currencies besides the U.S. dollar.
The relatively high-risk nature of cruise travel payments – with cruises often booked many months in advance of travelers’ setting sail – will be mitigated by Paysafe, which has deep expertise in risk management for travel merchants. Paysafe’s custom risk product for Virgin Voyages leverages Mastercard’s T&E Risk Monitor, which is powered by Actuary, to provide the merchant with full transparency on the holdback and release of funds for processed ticket sales, ensuring effective credit risk management.
Paysafe will also help Virgin Voyages negotiate the issue of fraud and chargebacks through its dedicated in-house risk and chargeback teams. In addition, a Cruise Line Relationship Manager at Paysafe will enable Virgin Voyages to overcome specific payments challenges.
“We’re delighted to partner with Virgin Voyages, the latest venture from the iconic Virgin Group and its co-founder Richard Branson. We look forward to supporting this unique travel brand’s growth by leveraging our travel payments experience to facilitate the reservation process for Virgin Voyages and its customers.”
-Afshin Yazdian, President of Merchant Solutions at Paysafe
John Birdsall, Senior Director of Corporate Accounting at Virgin Voyages, commented: "Virgin Voyages is strongly focused on giving our Sailors the vacation of a lifetime, and this covers every aspect of their experience including booking their trip and making safe and secure online payments. Our partnership with Paysafe has helped create a smooth and seamless process."
About Paysafe Limited
Paysafe (NYSE: PSFE) (PSFE.WS) is a leading payments platform. Its core purpose is to enable businesses and consumers to connect and transact seamlessly through industry-leading capabilities in payment processing, digital wallet, and online cash solutions. With over 20 years of online payment experience, an annualized transactional volume of over U.S. $120 billion in 2021, and approximately 3,500 employees located in 10+ countries, Paysafe connects businesses and consumers across 100 payment types in over 40 currencies around the world. Delivered through an integrated platform, Paysafe solutions are geared toward mobile-initiated transactions, real-time analytics and the convergence between brick-and-mortar and online payments. Further information is available at www.paysafe.com.
About Virgin Voyages
Virgin Voyages is a new lifestyle travel brand focused on delivering irresistible cruise vacations. Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady - the first and second ships in the fleet - were designed to reflect a yacht’s sleek luxury, offering the intimate, elevated experience of a boutique hotel at sea. Featuring spaces designed by some of the top names in contemporary interiors, our Lady Ships are exclusively adult, a sanctuary at sea for the 18+ traveler. A dose of Vitamin Sea is naturally intertwined across the entire ship, with well-being, relaxation and rejuvenation at the forefront. Our fleet sails to 100 of the world's most incredible destinations with 25+ unique itineraries across four continents. Each sailing offers alluring entertainment and Michelin-inspired menus served across 20+ world-class eateries. With a modern twist on luxury, coupled with discerning design, Virgin Voyages offers incredible value for its Sailors, including food, essential drinks, WiFi and group fitness classes, all covered in the voyage fare.