Cunard Partners with Travel Technology Company "Cool Cousin"

In a cruise industry first, luxury cruise line Cunard has joined forces with 'Cool Cousin', a travel technology company which provides curated and off-the-beaten track recommendations from locals in each port. The 200 destination guides can be downloaded 15 days before sailing, perfect for those keen to start planning and maximize their shore experience. As experts, 'Cool Cousin' are local residents who make informed recommendations on what to do, offering suggestions on the best restaurants and hidden gems to city landmarks. Art enthusiasts can look forward to exploring little-known galleries, coffee lovers can sample delicious beans in locally-loved cafes, and fashionistas can discover up-and-coming designers in hidden boutiques.

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Hospitality Trends, Hospitality Management

Auberge Resorts Collection Announces Strategic Partnership with Bdt & Msd Partners

PR Newswire | February 02, 2024

The Friedkin Group announced today that the company has entered into a strategic partnership with BDT & MSD Partners ("BDT & MSD"), a merchant bank built to serve the distinct needs of business owners and strategic, long-term investors. BDT & MSD, through its affiliated hospitality investment vehicle, will make a minority investment in Auberge Resorts Collection, the manager of the award-winning portfolio of luxury hotels, resorts, residences and private clubs set in some of the world's most desirable locations. In addition, BDT & MSD's hospitality vehicle intends to invest significant capital towards acquiring and developing luxury hotel and residential assets that will be branded and managed by Auberge Resorts Collection. The partnership reflects BDT & MSD's belief in Auberge Resorts Collection's unique brand positioning and focus on creating one-of-a-kind luxury hospitality experiences. The investment will support Auberge's continued strategic growth in the Americas, Europe and beyond, with a focus on gateway urban markets and high-profile experiential destinations. "This partnership further solidifies Auberge Resorts Collection's position as the leading name in boutique luxury hospitality and marks a new and exciting era for our world-class portfolio," said Dan Friedkin, chairman of Auberge Resorts Collection and chairman and CEO of The Friedkin Group. "BDT & MSD's differentiated, long-term capital and expertise in luxury hospitality investments makes them a perfect strategic partner and will allow us to further grow the strength of the Auberge brand." "Auberge is a world-class manager of distinctive luxury hotel properties, with an exceptional track record of delivering curated guest experiences in the world's leading hospitality markets. We are excited to be a part of its future and look forward to partnering with Auberge's talented team to build on its differentiated strengths and accelerate further growth," said Coburn Packard, partner & head of real estate at BDT & MSD. Since becoming part of The Friedkin Group in 2013, Auberge Resorts Collection has grown into the leading name in boutique luxury hospitality, comprising 27 unparalleled properties across the U.S., Latin America and Europe, with a development pipeline of over a dozen hotels and two additional hotels planned to open in Florence and South Carolina this year. While each property is unique, all share a crafted approach to luxury and bring the essence of the location to life through one-of-a-kind design that reflects the destination, exceptional cuisine and dining experiences that attract both the local community and global traveler, innovative spas and wellness retreats and highly personalized service.

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Hospitality Trends, Hospitality Management

Sonesta Announces First Sonesta Es Suites Ground Up Development

PR Newswire | January 24, 2024

Sonesta International Hotels Corporation (Sonesta) today announced plans for the construction of a new Sonesta ES Suites in Port Charlotte, Florida. This new property, expected to open in Spring 2025, marks the first Sonesta ES Suites brand project developed from the ground up. "We are excited that Sonesta ES Suites Port Charlotte will be our first purpose-built location for the brand," said Brian Quinn, Sonesta's Chief Development Officer. "The Sonesta ES Suites brand stands out as an attractive choice for franchisees looking for an upscale option to capitalize on the continued dependable performance of extended stay hotels." "Sonesta ES Suites Port Charlotte will benefit business travelers and tourists who are looking for accommodations near the beaches, golf courses, parks and other attractions that Port Charlotte has to offer," said Alan Lane, one of Sonesta ES Suites Port Charlotte's owners. "The addition of Sonesta ES Suites Port Charlotte to our diverse portfolio reflects Commonwealth Hotels' unwavering commitment to providing an unparalleled guest experience through visionary development, ethical practices and a steadfast dedication to superior service," said Jennifer Porter, President of Commonwealth Hotels, the hotel's management company. To be located at 1321 Claburn Circle in Port Charlotte, Florida, the Sonesta ES Suites Port Charlotte will be an upscale extended-stay hotel spanning four floors and offering 117 rooms with amenities including breakfast and dining services, an outdoor pool, fitness room, market pantry, guest laundry, onsite parking and more. The location of the new hotel is close to over 20 colleges and universities, two hospitals, more than 70 parks and recreational spaces, more than 12 miles of beaches, 14 golf courses and numerous other attractions. Guests of this location will be able to earn or redeem points in the award winning Sonesta Travel Pass loyalty program.

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Travel Technology, Airlines and Airports

Sabre and IAG expand partnership with multi-year distribution agreement including NDC content

PR Newswire | January 11, 2024

Sabre Corporation, a leading software and technology provider to the global travel industry, has entered into a multi-year distribution agreement with International Airlines Group (IAG) that will expand their existing partnership and further promote modern travel retailing practices. The agreement will allow Sabre-connected travel buyers and agencies to sell traditional EDIFACT content as well as having competitive access to NDC offers from British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling – including Additional Price Points and ancillaries – through the Sabre travel marketplace globally. This enhanced content will provide travel agencies with a wider range of options to compare and shop for, while travelers will benefit from an improved experience with more choice and transparency. Sabre and IAG's airlines are working closely together and will communicate as NDC content is rolled out to Sabre-connected travel agencies on a carrier-by-carrier basis. The agreement between Sabre and IAG underscores the industry's shift towards modern travel retailing, where airlines can differentiate their offerings and provide more personalized experiences to travelers. Both Sabre and IAG are committed to advancing the NDC standard as a key component in the industry's evolution towards modern airline retailing enabled by offers and orders. Colm Lacy, British Airways' Chief Commercial Officer, said: "We are on a journey to A Better BA and we continue to invest across the business as part of that commitment. Not only are we improving the experience of those customers who fly with us, but also the way we work with our valued travel agent and travel buyer partners. We understand how valuable retailing is to them, and IAG's partnership with Sabre allows us to make a wide range of attractable offers available even further across the globe." This agreement is another milestone in the IAG strategy to embrace digital retailing practices and offer more opportunities for customers to access NDC content. The partnership with IAG demonstrates Sabre's continued commitment to driving value and serving the diverse interests of the global travel ecosystem. "We are very excited about what's ahead. The travel industry is entering a new era of personalized retailing that will bring better experiences for travelers and new revenue opportunities for airlines and travel agencies," said Roshan Mendis, Chief Commercial Officer, Sabre Travel Solutions. "It's fantastic to work with a strong, forward-thinking partner like IAG that is just as committed as we are to driving the industry forwards."

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