TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,BUSINESS TRAVEL
Direct Travel | August 18, 2022
Direct Travel, Inc. is advancing its digital transformation journey with the upcoming deployment of its AI virtual travel assistant, Simon, and through the integration of key products and services into enterprise-collaboration platforms.
Direct Travel is intentionally meeting its customers where they are by delivering Simon and key products, such as OBTs, duty of care, reporting, itinerary/invoice services and messaging within enterprise collaboration platforms such as MS Teams, Slack, Zoom and others.
“The pandemic has fundamentally changed the pace of business, speeding up the adoption of digital technologies and emphasizing the need for process transformation,By deploying Simon in the channels that our customers use most, such as our website, mobile app, Microsoft Teams, Slack and others, this chat component of our customer engagement strategy allows us to remain even closer to the pulse of our customers. Integration with these endpoints also reinforces our ‘know your customer’ strategy enabling us to acquire personalization-related information from key data stores such as traveler profiles and customer relationship platforms, ensuring the delivery of a completely personalized end-to-end traveler experience,”
-Darryl Hoover, Chief Technology Officer, Direct Travel.
Direct Travel’s DX strategy allows the customer to determine how and where they engage with us based on their needs and specific situation. It also allows Direct Travel to extend management of specific activities, such as invoice/itinerary retrieval, profile updates and reservation processing, to both travelers and travel arrangers.
Key differentiators of this strategy include:
Creating a robust conversational AI chat experience in Microsoft Teams, Slack, our mobile app, webchat and more
Maintaining an agnostic approach with the contact channels
Deploying commonly used applications within our customers' preferred enterprise collaboration platforms
Redefining the customer and employee experience is more important than ever. At Direct Travel, we’re meeting travelers where they are by bringing our services to them and we believe this will drive significant value in the future, transforming the way our customers do business with us, said John Coffman, Chief Financial Officer, Direct Travel.
By combining its virtual assistant, Simon, chat automation and self-service activities for the traveler and travel arranger, Direct Travel is delivering customer engagement at the highest level possible. For more information about this “next new now” DX strategy, visit www.dt.com.
About Direct Travel, Inc.
Direct Travel is a leading provider of corporate travel management services. The company has been providing travel management for over 40 years, working with clients to develop highly customized travel programs. By leveraging both the expertise of its people and innovative solutions, Direct Travel enables clients to derive the greatest value from their travel program in terms of superior service, progressive technologies and significant cost savings. Direct Travel has offices in over 70 locations across North America and the UK and is currently ranked 11th on Travel Weekly’s Power List. For more information, visit www.dt.com.
DESTINATION AND TOURISM,INDUSTRY OUTLOOK
Internova Travel Group | July 05, 2022
Dream destinations, multigenerational vacations and a desire for unique experiences are some of the trends driving luxury travel for the summer in 2022, according to travel advisors from the Global Travel Collection (GTC).
The United Kingdom tops the list of international destinations booked by GTC travel advisors, a spot it's held for the last five years. Other places in the top 15 include Italy, France, Israel, Spain, Switzerland, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, Greece and Germany, followed by South Africa, Ireland, Australia, the Dominican Republic and Portugal.
Luxury travel advisors with GTC brands report that their clients are excited to travel again, with some booking multiple trips. And they're willing to spend more to get the vacation experience they want. But that high demand is driving up prices, and hotels are stretched thin due to staffing shortages, limiting availability.
"Europe is in high demand this summer, with destinations like Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy the most booked, My luxury travel clients do a combination of experiences, like cooking classes, hiking/biking excursions and immersive activities connecting them to the place, as well as making sure they have dining reservations at the top spots."
-Tiffany Bowne, with All Star Travel Group, a brand within Global Travel Collection.
Carolyn Consalvo, with Global Travel Collection's Andrew Harper, remarked that beach vacations and Alaska cruises are very popular. "I would say most people are looking for destinations where they can be outdoors a majority of the time," she said.
"Bucket lists are becoming to-do lists,Many of my clients want to travel to their dream locations," with destinations as varied as the Maldives, southern Italy's Amalfi coast, Australia and Hawaii.
-Shayna Mizrahi, with In The Know Experiences, also part of Global Travel Collection
Remote work has also opened up new possibilities, she added. "The demographics of my most active luxury travelers today are young professionals, who now can work remotely from anywhere and are choosing to combine this with unique luxury trips.
Luxury travelers are eager to make up for the time they couldn't spend seeing the world with friends and family over the past two years.
I'm doing multiple multigenerational trips — grandparents not wanting to miss any more time and taking their family on an unforgettable trip of two to three weeks, said Diana Castillo, with Protravel International of Global Travel Collection.
Laura Triebe, also with Andrew Harper, is also handling more requests for multigenerational vacations and bucket-list destinations like Hawaii and Africa. I think the client that calls now is more serious about traveling and is willing to adjust to an ever-changing world.
With rising prices and limited availability in some vacation spots, luxury advisors are putting their skills and experience to the test.
Clients are willing to pay to get what they want," and that includes upgrading their accommodations, said Michelle Summerville, with In The Know Experiences. More people want to travel in the best way possible, better than they have in the past," she said.
The greatest challenge in selling luxury travel right now is the severely limited space and availability for flights and hotel rooms in the most desirable destinations, said Leslie Tillem, with Tzell Travel Group of Global Travel Collection. We are seeing extraordinary demand in luxury travel across the spectrum, leading to a lack of availability at any price.
Bridget Kapinus, with Andrew Harper, concurs. Demand is high for last-minute travel. She's also contending with factors like a scarcity of hotel rooms and higher costs for flights.
Travelers who had never used an advisor before started to seek them out to help navigate COVID-19 entry and testing requirements. Now, they're sold on the value of a travel professional.
"Your time is precious, and you want the assistance of an expert to help you plan your vacation, said Angie Licea, President of the Global Travel Collection. Our luxury travel advisors have years of experience putting together trips for their clients, as well as firsthand knowledge of the world's most popular destinations. They stay on top of the trends in luxury travel and deliver concierge-level service. Plus, travelers have the comfort of knowing that there's a human being they can call whenever they have a question or concern.
My travels throughout these past 18 months have been our best marketing,said Castillo, of Protravel International. "We have shown our clientele that travel can be pleasant and enjoyable and that we can help set up all the requirements they may need in order to make their vacation seamless.
Mizrahi, with In The Know Experiences, has also been sharing details about her travels, something her clients appreciate immensely. Her firsthand experience "is something that no Google search or website can provide.
About Global Travel Collection
Global Travel Collection (GTC), a division of Internova Travel Group, is the world's largest collection of international luxury travel agencies, including the well-established networks of Protravel International, Tzell Travel Group, and Colletts Travel, as well as Andrew Harper, In the Know Experiences, All Star Travel Group and R. Crusoe & Son. GTC advisors and agencies are industry leaders in providing premium travel services to leisure travelers, corporate executives and the entertainment industry. The combined global reach and leverage translates into value, recognition, and preferential treatment for its world travelers.
About Internova Travel Group
Internova Travel Group is one of the largest travel services companies in the world with a collection of leading brands delivering high-touch, personal travel expertise to leisure and corporate clients. Internova manages leisure, business and franchise firms through a portfolio of distinctive divisions. Internova represents more than 70,000 travel advisors in over 6,000 company-owned and affiliated locations predominantly in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, with a presence in more than 80 countries.
DESTINATION AND TOURISM
Trek Travel | July 28, 2022
Arch RoamRight Travel Insurance today announced that Trek Travel, a leading luxury cycling vacations tour operator in North America, has selected Arch RoamRight as its primary travel insurance provider.Trek Travel customers now have access to Arch RoamRight’s travel insurance protection plan and award-winning customer service and claims teams when they book through Trek Travel. Arch RoamRight’s plans offer protection against financial losses caused by trip cancellations and interruptions, coverage for baggage and personal effects, and 24/7 global travel and medical emergency assistance.
“Adventure travel continues to grow as more travelers wish to create lifetime memories and experiences, We’re pleased to offer our travel protection through Trek Travel, providing our excellent travel insurance to their valued customers.”
-Cory Sobczyk, Vice President of Business Development, Arch RoamRight
Trek Travel guests interested in purchasing Arch RoamRight’s travel insurance to help protect their travel plans can work with their trained trip consultants to understand and purchase coverage that meets their specific travel needs.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Arch RoamRight as they have demonstrated a track record of exemplary customer service, technology innovation and responsiveness,” said Rich Snodsmith, Director of Sales for Trek Travel. “Our partnership with Arch RoamRight provides our travelers with confidence, knowing that they are protected if an unexpected event happens that prevents them from going on their trip, or an unfortunate mishap occurs during their trip.”
About Arch RoamRight
Arch RoamRight (www.RoamRight.com) is the co-branding of Arch and RoamRight® marks used by Arch Insurance Company to market its travel insurance that insures U.S. residents traveling around the world. From trip cancellation to travel medical insurance plans and an award-winning mobile app and website, Arch RoamRightTM is an industry leader in innovation and technological solutions. In 2021, Arch RoamRight won multiple American Business Awards® and was named one of the Best in Travel Insurance for 2021 by Money.com.
About Trek Travel
Trek Travel provides cycling vacations of a lifetime in the world’s most beautiful destinations. From luxury experiences to easygoing self-guided adventures, the bike tour brand has a trip for every rider out there. Their trips include the use of award-winning Trek bicycles, including e-bikes, so you can ride the best routes with the best gear. Trek Travel has been crafting unforgettable cycling vacations for 20 years, and was most recently recognized by Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2022 as one of the top tour operators in the world.