Dream Vacations, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. also experienced double-digit growth in 2019

TravelDailyNews International | January 16, 2020

In addition to receiving top accolades confirming its powerhouse status in the travel franchise space, Dream Vacations, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. also experienced another year of double-digit growth because their work-from-home travel agents maximize state-of-the-art tools and resources that are continuously launched by the company, enabling increased efficiencies and value to their clients resulting in increased sales. “From technology that drove results and boots-on-the-ground marketing to interactive training and more, making personal connections was the key to our record-breaking year,” said Drew Daly, senior vice president and general manager of Dream Vacations, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. “2019 set us up for even greater success so as we go into Wave Season, the momentum is strong and I’m excited to see what the team has in store for 2020.”

Spotlight

Remember that not every LGBTQ traveler faces the same risk, and there is no “one size fits all” set of advice. Consider your own profile, as well as the sort of experience you want to have in your travels, and determine if a particular destination is right for you.

Spotlight

Remember that not every LGBTQ traveler faces the same risk, and there is no “one size fits all” set of advice. Consider your own profile, as well as the sort of experience you want to have in your travels, and determine if a particular destination is right for you.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Trip.com is Here for Travellers During the Summer of Travel Turbulence

Trip.com | August 10, 2022

The global travel rebound continues apace this summer, with global air traffic reaching almost 70% of pre-pandemic levels in May and international hotel occupancy rates achieving the same in April. Yet, against the backdrop of an increased appetite for travel driven by more than two years of pent-up demand, getaways over the summer months are likely to be affected by supply chain issues at airlines and airports, fully booked hotels and rising costs of accommodation and car hire.In the UK, travel chaos has dominated the headlines since springtime, with flight cancellations and long wait times, passenger caps and even a suspension on short-haul ticket sales threatening the chance of a summer holiday. In the US and Europe, the picture is equally fraught, and in Asia, recovery is fractured, with Southeast Asia and the Middle East recovering well, where China and South Korea are recovering at just 15% of pre-pandemic levels due to travel restrictions and COVID-19 outbreaks alike. As such, when customers should be getting excited about quality time with friends or family, relaxation and culture, they are now braced for uncertainty. At Trip.com Group, we are committed to helping our customers take the perfect trip, and this summer is no different. In a world where the travel landscape is increasingly complicated, our Trip.com platform has a range of products and partnerships in place to ease traveller concerns. Combined with our leading customer service, Trip.com aims to ensure everyone has a summer holiday to remember – for all the right reasons – this year. Trip.com Group's Pre-Travel Protection and Cost-Saving Products Earlier this year, Trip.com expanded on its travel insurance product offering in collaboration with AXA Partners. Made available to UK customers since September last year, this insurance product was extended to travellers across Europe earlier this year and can be easily selected when booking a flight on Trip.com. This travel insurance option provides a variety of benefits including medical, cancellation and baggage cover, as well as protection against cancellation and medical costs if a customer contracts COVID-19. With travel restrictions in place in many countries across Asia and beyond, this product is still incredibly useful in terms of providing ample traveller protection and peace of mind. In mainland China, our Ctrip platform introduced its TripTour2Day upgrade service, offering free refunds on group tour products cancelled up to two days before departure. Users simply click on the order details page to obtain a one-click refund in as little as one minute on products with the TripTour2Day label. A week after the TripTour2Day product was launched, sales exceeded 20 million, which proves how vital these products are in terms of offering customers total peace of mind. With many travellers in China harbouring concerns about whether COVID-19 measures would interfere with their plans, this allows users an increased level of flexibility when booking their next trip. "The TripTour2Day service upgrade shortens the threshold of a free refund from seven days or longer to just two days, giving every Ctrip user a better experience in terms of both booking and opportunity to refund. You can customise your travel needs at your own pace and join a tour with peace of mind," -Trip.com Group Tour Business CEO Wen Jiang. In addition to providing protection-based products, Trip.com is also helping guests to get the best value on their next getaway. As the costs of travel rapidly increase, customers are frequently looking for the best deals in order to maximise the return on their investment. By partnering with Hopper Price Freeze on our European and US sites, Trip.com is offering customers added protection against travel price volatility. For a small upfront fee, Trip.com users can freeze a flight price for up to 14 days, giving them the chance to confirm plans with their travel companions before booking without having to worry about an unnecessary price rise. Price Freeze ensures that customers never lose out, because if a Trip.com user freezes a flight and the prices go up, the difference is covered up to a set amount. If the price goes down, the user pays that lower price. Yudong Tan, CEO of the Flight Business Group, Trip.com Group commented, At Trip.com Group we are constantly seeking out ways to bring benefits to travellers. With this new Price Freeze feature, powered by Hopper, we are giving our customers more ways to save money when they book flights. Dedicated Customer Service Since the beginning of 2020, Trip.com's Customer Service team has been put through its paces, handling complex requests to support our users during some of the most testing times - and we continue to develop tech-focused Customer Service solutions today. Our intelligent storage auto-expansion technology has been upgraded to allow our systems to manage call levels more than 10 times higher than our average, and we developed an AI-centric mechanism to recognise and prioritise the most urgent customer cases, directing these calls to a staff member as quickly as possible. While speaking with a Customer Service agent, our assistant tool helps agents by automatically labelling and categorising requests in real time, saving customers time and energy while solving problems quicker than ever before. Our chatbot service also makes use of AI technology to automatically identify trending information in real time based on the most up to date COVID-19 policies and frequently asked questions, updating the FAQs on a daily basis and allowing customers to self-solve over 70% problems without having to hold for a Customer Service agent. The chatbot can also route requests directly to your hotel or airline, helping customers do everything from requesting a confirmation email to rescheduling a flight in the event of extreme weather conditions. In addition, Trip.com also launched its Customer Service Pledge in November 2021, committing to six key pillars including 24/7 support and free in-app calls. Grace Ding, Head of Trip.com's Global Customer Support Centre commented We are proud to see one of our companies make a pledge towards maintaining an incredible level of service to ensure people can continue to travel stress-free. With an average customer satisfaction rate of 90% in 2021, Trip.com is ready to support customers quickly and efficiently with any issues they face while travelling this summer. Delayed Baggage Protection As global lost luggage becomes a particularly problematic issue, Trip.com's Blue Ribbon Bags delayed baggage protection service also helps to remove the stress from summer travel. With this initiative, Trip.com users will be able to safeguard their checked luggage against any delays during transit. Commenting on the new service, Lyrics Zhao, Director of Product and Business Development in the Flights Business at Trip.com said, "Trip.com strives to make travel worry-free and relaxing for all. We want the booking experience to be the beginning of a relaxing trip and to offer value added services to the passenger." "Our service provides air travellers with confidence that if their checked-in baggage does not arrive at the destination airport, we will coordinate and expedite the swift return. Our clients should be able to enjoy their holiday or focus on their work trip while we locate and expedite the baggage," -CD Lazear, Senior Vice President of Blue Ribbon Bags. Whatever this summer throws at you, Trip.com will be by your side to offer solutions. At every stage throughout your travel journey, from pre-booking to when you land in your chosen destination, Trip.com's supportive staff and customer-focused products are available to support you every step of the way and make sure your next trip offers all the relaxation, fun and good times you've been craving.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,DESTINATION AND TOURISM

SugarCRM and ResPax Partner to Launch First Fully Integrated CRM and Tour Booking Platform for the Travel and Tourism Industry

SugarCRM and ResPax | August 26, 2022

SugarCRM, provider of the award-winning AI-driven CRM platform and ResPax, a leading tour reservation system provider with thousands of customers worldwide reaching millions of travelers globally, today announced a strategic partnership offering the first fully integrated CRM and tour booking platform for the travel and tourism industry.The goals of the partnership are to help fuel travel and tourism industry growth through cutting-edge tools to scale operations, turbocharge visitor numbers, boost customer experience and loyalty, enhance job creation and drive revenues. With this powerful combination of technology, operators can achieve the benefits of a holistic view of customers, tight data integration and collaboration, and enhanced customer insights fueled by AI. The SugarCRM and ResPax partnership provides travel and tourism operators with world-class innovative technologies to streamline business operations, gain an enhanced understanding of visitor needs and preferences, provide a high-definition customer experience, and stay on top of shifting consumer habits and preferences.The combined offering will help travel and tourism operators to: Minimize busy work and enable tour operators to serve and target customers more efficiently; Remove roadblocks and accelerate customer engagement by enabling tour operators to perform preference-based targeting and gain a data-driven deeper understanding of customer needs and preferences to create highly personalized offers; and, Minimize blind spots and optimize customer journeys and user engagement, translating into better user experience, and improved brand loyalty and cross-selling and upselling opportunities. “The customer experience is at the beating heart of the travel and tourism industry,Together, ResPax and SugarCRM are making the hard things easier for tour operators and their guests by streamlining processes and engagement to help the tourism industry rebuild and embrace a period of new growth. -Craig Charlton, CEO, SugarCRM We are pleased to partner with ResPax, a well-respected company with deep roots and expertise in the travel and tourism sector to deliver a purpose-built solution to help tourism operators make the most of every interaction, to rebound following years of pandemic lockdowns, he said. “We are delighted to partner with SugarCRM, to bring the power of the company’s AI powered CRM to tour operators, ResPax and SugarCRM are both innovators and leaders in their respective fields and together we will provide an unparalleled experience for operators and guests. Tour operators can now revolutionize the guest experience and build even stronger and more profitable relationships, using rich customer insights to create unique experiences that resonate with clients.” -Tony Bridgewater, ResPax CEO About SugarCRM SugarCRM is how marketing, sales, and service teams finally get a clear picture of each customer to help businesses reach new levels of performance and predictability. Sugar is the CRM platform that makes the hard things easier Thousands of companies in over 120 countries rely on Sugar to achieve high-definition CX by letting the platform do the work. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Sugar is backed by Accel-KKR. For more information about SugarCRM, visit: www.sugarcrm.com. About ResPax Since 1999, the team at ResPax has been developing enterprise-grade reservation software for leading brands, small operators, and forward-looking organizations in Asia Pacific, Europe, and the U.S. ResPax streamlines tourism operations, giving customers a single workflow to manage all their operations with online bookings, channel manager and enterprise-grade reservations system, so tour operators and travel agents can spend more time growing their business. ResPax is a leading tour reservation system provider that reaches millions of travelers globally, from small day tour operators to large multinational operators.Trinity Software Australia (ResPax) is a private company based in Cairns Australia.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

UrVenue Accelerates PMS Connectivity with Hapi Integrations Platform

URVENUE | September 17, 2022

Hapi, the hospitality industry's leading platform for fast and cost-effective connectivity between technology systems, has announced an integration with UrVenue, a unique non-room inventory booking engine and operations platform for hotels. Through the integration, UrVenue can push and pull data from the industry's leading Property Management Systems by writing to a single Hapi API. As more consumers look to book all parts of their travel experience online, hotel operators are introducing creative ways to sell assets beyond the room. Leveraging Hapi's ability to connect UrVenue's PXMS with PMS systems, hotels will have unified booking and itinerary building capabilities. After booking a hotel room, guests are empowered to book additional experiences across multiple categories - activities, recreation, dining, entertainment, amenities, daylife, nightlife, and curated packages. Meanwhile, Hapi is exposing event streams and transactional APIs at scale, helping hotel companies innovate faster by removing integration, development and deployment challenges. The secure integration between the two companies will allow hoteliers to access critical data in a short amount of time with little to no development work on their end. "The digital guest experience is critical today, and UrVenue is providing a unique solution to non-room inventory management that also includes a powerful booking engine, We're excited to help broaden the number of hotel companies and technology solutions they can connect to. Hapi has become the de facto API standard for connectivity and we're proud to be helping hoteliers at both property and corporate levels access and action their data." -Luis Segredo, CEO of Hapi. UrVenue is the latest hotel technology solutions provider to turn to Hapi for Property Management System connectivity rather than building 1:1 integrations with each provider. Hapi and UrVenue are 100% aligned on our goal to create a more modern digital guest experience, while overcoming the biggest pain point in the hospitality industry – the fractured booking journey, said Deron Pearson, Chief Executive Officer at UrVenue. "This partnership is a great example of how innovation comes from collaboration between organizations that share a passion for challenging the status quo. ABOUT HAPI Hapi is a disruptive Cloud Data Hub that exposes event streams and transactional APIs from hotel systems at scale, designed to solve the hospitality industry's data management challenges while addressing high integration costs. Developed by hotel technology innovators, the secure, scalable, cloud-based data streaming platform is based on an open model, to which multiple layers of encryption, authentication and governance are added. Hapi now serves 6,000 hotels globally, including IHG Hotels & Resorts, Sonesta Hotels, Accor, Hyatt Hotels, Rosewood Hotels, Margaritaville and Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. In 2021, the company achieved Hotel Tech Report's Global Customer Support Certification, a stamp of approval on its dedication to customer success. Visit Hapi at www.hapicloud.io ABOUT URVENUE UrVenue is a hospitality technology company that introduced the industry's first Property Experience Management System (PXMS). As a full-stack technology solution, UrVenue Enterprise enables commerce, operations, data insights and knowledge management for venue and resort experiences and bridges the fractured booking journey with its unified booking capabilities. UrVenue was built specifically for hospitality venues including nightclubs, dayclubs, restaurants, lounges, pools, resort beaches, sportsbooks, special events/shows, recreation, and more. Since 2011, UrVenue's technology has been the trusted solution for clients ranging from independent venue operators to global organizations including Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts, Club Med, Circa Resort & Casino, Tao Group, Resorts World, The Venetian, Mohegan Sun, Paris Society, and Zouk Group. For more information, visit urvenue.com. Follow us on social: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

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