INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Consumers’ Shifting Behavior Continues Reshaping Travel Industry's Future

Travel Pulse | December 14, 2021

Consumers Shifting Behavior
Data intelligence company Morning Consult has released its ‘State of Travel and Hospitality’ report for 2021’s fourth quarter. The objective of its analysis was to discover how consumers are changing the sector’s future amid the ongoing pandemic by surveying over 9,000 adults across the Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

The firm found that that the travel industry is, indeed, rebounding, although slowly. Especially given the recent rise of fast-spreading strains, like the Omicron and Delta variants, COVID-related health concerns remain a factor for potential travelers; as do vaccination, testing and quarantine requirement at their intended destination, including confusion about what the actual regulations are at any given time.Sixty-four percent of U.S. adults said they’d traveled within the past year, more than 25 percent in the past month alone. It was discovered that younger generations—Millennials and Gen Zers—and high-income consumers were found to be more likely to travel than their older and poorer counterparts.

One of the trends it examined is the pandemic-fueled increase in air rage. COVID-related airline (and federal) mandates, specifically when it comes to mask-wearing, prompted a steep rise in incidents of passengers refusing to follow the rules aboard their flights. From verbal rants and offensive language to physically assaulting crew members and fellow flyers, “unruly passengers” have become an all-too-common problem.

According to Morning Consult’s survey, 41 percent of Americans have actually avoided domestic travel during the pandemic, due to concerns about how their fellow passengers might act aboard the plane. And, 63 percent are at least slightly concerned that an “air rage” incident will occur on their next flight, and 21 percent said they’re either “very” or “extremely” concerned.Just as with face masks, COVID-19 vaccines quickly became a highly politicized issue, with an already-polarized America split in their perceptions about COVID-related precautions and the virus itself. Consumer support for vaccination mandates, while polarized across party lines, is actually rather high when it comes to air travel. Sixty-three percent of Americans believe vaccination should be required when flying internationally, while 60 percent also said they should be required of passengers flying domestically.

Travelers are also approaching travel planning differently and reorganizing some of their priorities. Leisure travelers have become accustomed to the idea that their plans may need to change at a moment’s notice. From consumers, the industry is seeing shorter booking windows, higher importance placed on flexibility and even a willingness to spend more money to ensure their plans are reschedulable. Price still remains the primary concern in booking travel, followed by brands’ safety measures.Then, there’s the business travel segment, which everyone foresaw would start rebounding only after the return of leisure travel. The fast rise and widespread adoption of remote-working and virtual-meeting technology prompted by the pandemic seem to have permanently displaced a portion of the business travel market. Now, 39 percent of regular U.S. business travelers say they’ll never go on another work trip again. Those who do travel for business are likely to do so closer to home, bound by tighter corporate policies and smaller budgets. The data actually revealed that one in every five business trips taken over the next year will just be day trips.

Spotlight

Key industry spokespeople joined us for an informative Q&A on the Hospitality Industry.

Ted Horner (Managing Director at Hospitality Technology Consultants), Tish Nyar (Director of Operations at Australia & New Zealand TFE Hotels), and Scott Boyes (Vice President Operations at NSW/ACT Accor Hotels) provided their insight on the interaction between technology and hospitality.

Spotlight

Key industry spokespeople joined us for an informative Q&A on the Hospitality Industry.

Ted Horner (Managing Director at Hospitality Technology Consultants), Tish Nyar (Director of Operations at Australia & New Zealand TFE Hotels), and Scott Boyes (Vice President Operations at NSW/ACT Accor Hotels) provided their insight on the interaction between technology and hospitality.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Plusgrade Adds Upstay for Its Ancillary Revenue Solutions of Hospitality Industry

Plusgrade | February 01, 2023

On January 31, 2023, Plusgrade announced the acquisition of UpStay, a fast-expanding provider of upgrade and auxiliary revenue solutions for the hospitality industry. UpStay helps hundreds of hotels in 17 different countries make more money by giving their guests more value. Meanwhile, this integration strengthens its five global travel ventures, adding hotel upgrades and other innovative ancillaries to its ancillary revenue and loyalty products. As a result, it expects to generate about $5 billion in new revenue opportunities for its partners in 2023. Ken Harris, CEO of Plusgrade, said, "The acquisition of UpStay is another step forward for our vision and mission of becoming the Global Ancillary Revenue Powerhouse. We have been accelerating this mission through a series of innovations, launches and acquisitions, and have come into 2023 as a powerhouse for the global travel industry. We are thrilled to have the UpStay team join us, and look forward to tapping into their expertise and innovative technology to bring even more value to our now 200+ airline, hospitality, cruise, rail and financial services partners around the world." (Source - Cision PR Newswire) Tzafrir Blonder, CEO of UpStay, expressed, "This is an exciting day for UpStay. After 4 years of incredible growth and success, we are thrilled to be joining forces with Plusgrade to invest further in our product offerings and enhance our ability to drive ancillary revenue for our partners through upselling additional on-property amenities and services. I look forward to continuing to lead the hospitality ancillaries vertical in the company, as we grow with Plusgrade in 2023 and beyond." (Source – Cision PR Newswire) About Plusgrade Plusgrade, one of the leading technology companies providing ancillary revenue solutions in the global travel industry, has partnered with about 140 airlines, hotels, cruise lines, financial services companies, and passenger rails worldwide since 2009. Headquartered in Montreal, it assists companies in creating new revenue streams and travel experiences for their guests and passengers. It maximizes the return on unsold premium inventory through the customer journey. The company provides travel partners with incremental ancillary revenue and merchandising strategies by introducing new products, loyal branding, and customer satisfaction.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Hotel Payment Software Platform Selfbook Announces a Strategic Investment from Amex Ventures

Selfbook | December 09, 2022

Selfbook, a unique, comprehensive hotel payment software platform bringing direct bookings and modern payment technology to hotels worldwide, announced a strategic investment from Amex Ventures. The investment follows a $40 million Series A and A+ round led by Tiger GlobalThis announcement highlights Selfbook’s continuous growth within the hospitality space. As it continues to broaden its reach in the travel industry, Selfbook looks forward to working with American Express following this investment. Selfbook enables hotels to offer guests a seamless, one-step checkout experience directly on their websites while elevating the user experience and streamlining the payment process for hotels, which can increase conversion and boost revenue. Selfbook also groups multiple services, such as restaurant reservations, spa appointments and activities, into a single payment flow to easily drive upsells. “The American Express brand is synonymous with global travel and payment security, and we are thrilled to have Amex Ventures be part of our investor base, As hotels around the world continue to use Selfbook to offer a guest-first booking experience and secure payments, the investment from American Express will help us deepen our global presence and provide even more effective payment tools for our partners.” -Khalid Meniri, Co-Founder and CEO of Selfbook We are constantly on the lookout for innovative technologies that enhance and elevate the travel and payments experience,” said Margaret Lim, Managing Director of Amex Ventures. “We believe Selfbook is driving hotel bookings and payments into the future with their elegant checkout experience, intuitive user interface, and robust support for modern payment methods preferred by guests through a unified platform that seamlessly integrates with existing hospitality software. About Selfbook Uniquely positioned at the intersection of fintech and hospitality, Selfbook revolutionizes hotel bookings and payments from the inside out. Working in tandem with hotels’ existing technology systems, Selfbook enhances what matters most to hotels, including direct conversion, revenue, cash flow control, and security. Built by a team of hospitality veterans, Selfbook’s products provide a refreshingly effortless user experience for guests and hoteliers alike. Selfbook is committed to empowering hotels worldwide with modern e-commerce solutions tailor-made for our industry.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

battleface Launch Robin Assist, a Tech Platform for Travel Insurance Service

battleface | January 12, 2023

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