TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Digital Disruption to Shine a Light on Contactless Technology in the Next Year

TravelPulse | December 14, 2020

The year 2020 will be known for ended travel and major interruptions in the hospitality industry. One positive takeaway has been the diverse sort of disturbance the area has confronted – digital disruption. In an industry traditionally more slow to receive the most recent technologies, COVID-19 intensified the need to increase measures, upgrade tasks and move to smart technologies that address the new health and safety necessities for hotels.

With news on vaccines and numerous locales emerging from lockdowns, there is light toward the finish of this dark tunnel. It's the ideal opportunity for hotels to invest in new technology to help support travelers' confidence and get ready for recovery. The following are a couple of tech patterns to look for in 2021 that will have a major effect on staff and guests in the new year.

Spotlight

Global inbound arrivals are expected to grow by 5% to 1.4 billion trips in 2018. On the back of an upgraded economic outlook for major economies such as the US, Japan and the Eurozone, inbound receipts are expected to see an even stronger rise of 11%. Domestic trips are booming in Asia Pacific, where trips are expected to grow by 10% in 2018. Average spend per trip is increasing, again driven by Asia Pacific. Global expenditure is expected to rise by 9%

Spotlight

Global inbound arrivals are expected to grow by 5% to 1.4 billion trips in 2018. On the back of an upgraded economic outlook for major economies such as the US, Japan and the Eurozone, inbound receipts are expected to see an even stronger rise of 11%. Domestic trips are booming in Asia Pacific, where trips are expected to grow by 10% in 2018. Average spend per trip is increasing, again driven by Asia Pacific. Global expenditure is expected to rise by 9%

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Corporate Traveler Launches Melon, A New Travel Platform Built Exclusively for SMEs

Corporate Traveler | September 22, 2021

Ahead of the predicted boost in business travel demand, Corporate Traveler, the only global TMC catering exclusively for start-ups to mid-market businesses, has unveiled Melon – its new proprietary travel management platform. Launching in the US and Canada , Melon's intuitive design and simple navigation belies a host of innovative features developed in response to the evolving expectations of an increasingly travel hungry, tech-savvy and budget conscious workforce. Commenting on the motivation for the development of Melon, Chris Lynes, Senior Vice President for Corporate Traveler said: "During this period of pause, we listened to our customers and adapted our offerings, investing in a next generation digital experience that combines rich content supported by our trademark dedicated and personalized service. Simple to use and tailored to meet the exacting needs of our customers, Melon is a different type of travel platform one that goes the extra mile just like our people. "Our clients tell us that travel is crucial to their success, and in the US, we are already seeing encouraging signs of recovery with 35% uplift on bookings made in August alone. This indicates strong desire to return to in-person meetings in the months ahead," added Lynes. Seamless online experience, tailored to individual needs As a business travel expert, Corporate Traveler understands that an accessible, on-the-go travel management solution is business critical to its customers; therefore, the new omni-channel platform has been designed to switch between mobile and desktop without losing functionality. With Melon, admins are also able to control travel options, by setting personalized algorithms and even individual spend levels. Armed with this information, the platform's AI technology does the legwork and removes the frustration typically associated when searching via multiple sites, serving up a variety of choices based on learned behaviors to align with company travel policies and program goals, while taking traveler preferences and loyalty affiliations into consideration. A breakdown of spend, alongside dashboard analysis of important KPI metrics in real-time, also helps customers extract key data needed to inform decision making and accurately manage finances. Combining technology and personal service to support customers 24/7 Unsurprisingly, as barriers to international movement lift and companies resume travel programs, duty of care has been identified as a priority. Corporate Traveler addresses this in multiple ways with Melon: from displaying the latest guidance before booking to proactively sharing live updates. Program admins can also track employees' whereabouts in real-time, while Melon's robust health and safety capabilities provides prompt alerts on risk-related events impacting travel such as country entry requirements, latest government and supplier COVID restrictions, adverse weather, crime and more. These features are underpinned by access to dedicated travel consultants 24/7, 365 days a year. Lynes added: "In this ever-evolving travel environment, it is difficult to keep track of the latest developments across the world. Melon ensures our customers are informed and aware at every step of their booking journey. And while on the go, help is always an instant away whether via Melon's AI mobile chat function or the expert assistance of our agent support team. At Corporate Traveler, every customer is considered a VIP, so we pride ourselves in always extending the highest level of service to all travelers at all times – with no exceptions." Access to a competitively priced, truly global inventory Corporate Traveler customers also enjoy an expansive choice of travel content and options sourced from the widest range of travel suppliers. And being part of industry powerhouse the Flight Centre Travel Group, this means the best market wide rates, unique added-value benefits, and exclusive deals too. In the US, Corporate Traveler provides expert travel management services to over 6,000 businesses across the country, where its teams in more than 20 US cities are dedicated to making corporate travel simpler, faster, and easier for customers. About Corporate Traveler Corporate Traveler is the only global TMC catering exclusively to start-ups and mid-market businesses. Established in 1993, the company is present in seven countries where it provides expert tailored advice, dedicated travel managers, and innovative, advanced booking technology to more than 14,000 customers worldwide in a typical year. Being part of industry powerhouse the Flight Centre Travel Group, access to a competitively priced, truly global inventory alongside added-value benefits and exclusive deals comes as standard. Corporate Traveler recently unveiled Melon – its new proprietary, on-the-go travel management platform featuring intuitive navigation and a seamless end-to-end online experience to help customers easily book, manage, and measure the performance of their business travel programs.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

Klook Rebrands, Signaling the Transformation of its Business to Power a New Future of Travel

Klook | March 01, 2022

Klook, a leading travel and leisure e-commerce platform, launched a bold and all-new brand identity. The company's first end-to-end rebrand comes at a pivotal time of change in the travel industry, as Klook gears up to champion a new future of traveling in 2022 and beyond.The new brand identity invites people to experience everything with optimism, joyfulness, and enthusiasm. "The rebrand is a massive milestone for Klook. We've overcome many obstacles in the past two years to get here, and there's no better time than now to show everyone a new Klook, As we enter a new era of travel, this rebrand is our commitment to bring joy back to our customers who have missed the magic of traveling and be their go-to travel and leisure app at home or abroad." -Eric Gnock Fah, Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder of Klook. Cementing position as a leading superapp for travel and leisure Klook's ongoing efforts to curate and provide a wider range of joyful experiences for its customers both at home and abroad have more than quadrupled the number of products and services during the pandemic from 100,000 pre-COVID in 2019 to over 490,000 in 2021. It also doubled its global travel presence to over 1,000 destinations in 2021, paving the way for the much-anticipated recovery of international travel. Since the pandemic, Klook has shifted gears to focus on domestic travel with new activities such as local workshops, staycations, cruises, and car rentals. Despite most markets in Asia being under COVID-19 restrictions, the pivot has proven successful. The company surpassed 2019 revenue in 2021 on domestic travel alone, with monthly active users exceeding pre-COVID levels. As cross-border travel gradually resumes with vaccinated travel lanes and the easing of travel restrictions, this twin-growth strategy will enable Klook to maintain its foothold as the leading player in the Asia Pacific. Expanding our services to experience a world of joy in a new travel era As the superapp for travel and leisure, customers can discover and book the best of what any destination has to offer across three categories - play, stay and move. They can look forward to new offers such as hotels and staycations, car rentals, attraction passes, and services including COVID-19 testing and travel-related insurance. Stay+ for an epic stay experience: The company is expanding its staycations product to Stay+, a bundled accommodation and activities offering. Stay+ allows customers to purchase room-only offers at competitive rates with bundled experiences, including attractions, local tours, in-hotel services, and more. Car Rentals to take you anywhere: The company has consolidated one of the most extensive car rental inventory in the Asia Pacific and has seen over 350% year-on-year growth in 2021. It will continue its expansion efforts in 2022. Klook Pass for supersized fun: Combining the best packages from various activities and experiences, Klook Pass is an exclusive all-in-one digital pass format. It provides customers with savings, convenience, and a one-of-a-kind booking experience. Insurance for peace-of-mind: In partnership with ZA Tech, Klook became the first travel player to roll out a full suite of travel-related insurance on a multi-market level, focusing on Asia-Pacific. AXA and Chubb were the first two insurers partnering with Klook on their substantial product line. Relentlessly innovating to empower and help merchants succeed Klook is dedicated to elevating the travel industry in this new era of travel and will double down on its support for merchants in becoming future-ready. The company is launching Flickket, a new brand to accelerate the digital transformation of its merchants. The new brand will provide dedicated tech solutions to support them in digitizing faster and expanding their product distribution globally. Since 2020, the number of merchants coming on board to digitally transform their business has increased eightfold. Flickket will support them in a few key areas: Preparing for the next generation of travelers: With Flickket, merchants can enjoy "Express Go!", a touchless offline checkout solution. Customers today expect a contactless customer experience from start to finish. However, many merchants lack the resources to deploy such tech solutions. Merchants can leave the logistics with Flickket while providing customers with a seamless, contactless, and cashless ticket purchase experience. "Express Go!" is now being used by over 20 attractions across Asia. More capabilities to help merchants maximize inbound tourism: Our integration efforts with Google Things-to-Do and Grab enable merchants to reach an even larger customer demographic. They can also reach out to even more global customers through our vast partnership network of online travel agencies, airlines, and more. "Bigger, brighter, and better days are ahead for us and the travel industry. Expect more from us as we reimagine the way we travel in this new era," concludes Gnock Fah. Hear from Eric Gnock Fah as he shares more on our rebrand in this video. About Klook Klook is the leading travel and leisure e-commerce platform for experiences and services anytime, anywhere. We curate the most joyful experiences so that users can satisfy their relentless curiosity for adventure and experiences at home and around the world. With our website and app, users can experience a world of joy, from attractions, tours to local transportation and stays. Founded in 2014, we are here to inspire and enable more moments of joy through over 490,000 activities in over 1,000 destinations.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Hyatt Announces Grand Hyatt Cancún Beach Resort Planning

Hyatt Hotels Corporation | June 06, 2022

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced plans for Grand Hyatt Cancún Beach Resort, a new-build resort in Quintana Roo, Mexico, in collaboration with ownership group Diestra Realty, S.A. de C.V. Anticipated opening in 2024 in time for the summer season. Grand Hyatt Cancún Beach Resort will be a captivating destination with 500 guestrooms, 28 of which have a plunge pool, and 46 luxury suites, including one Presidential Suite; 11 dining concepts featuring world-class chefs and iconic dishes reflective of the destination; six bars, including a lobby lounge bar, pool bar, and beach shack; and an indoor and outdoor destination spa and fitness center to connect guests with their bodies. In addition, kids club, activity centers, business centers, and retail outlets will be available. “Cancún is one of the most desired and booming leisure tourism destinations in the world, and we are thrilled to collaborate with the team at Diestra Realty to bring the iconic Grand Hyatt brand to this sought-after destination. The new Grand Hyatt resort will be a critical piece of our strategy to grow Hyatt’s luxury resort presence in key leisure destinations that our guests, World of Hyatt members, and owners are seeking.” -Camilo Bolanos, Hyatt’s senior vice president of development for Latin America and the Caribbean The Grand Hyatt Cancún Beach Resort will be part of a newly planned resort cluster. Strategically placed between downtown Cancún and the Cancún Hotel Zone, Puerto Cancún aims to combine lively city life with a resort feel and atmosphere, establishing the new Grand Hyatt hotel as a popular destination for tourists and locals. Grand Hyatt Cancún Beach Resort will join 18 more Hyatt-branded hotels in Cancún, including all-inclusive luxury resorts across the AMR Collection brands, providing guests and World of Hyatt members with even more resort alternative recreational activities. In addition, this hotel will represent an exciting milestone in the expansion of the Grand Hyatt brand in the Americas, joining Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, Grand Hyatt Bogotá, Grand Hyatt Nashville, Grand Hyatt at SFO, and Grand Hyatt Vail, all of which have opened within the past five years.

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