Dubai Tourism partners with Microsoft to streamline data-driven services

Microsoft | August 09, 2020

Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) has partnered with Microsoft to further streamline data-driven services offered to stakeholders. The move will also enhance the e-learning platform for the Dubai College of Tourism (DCT) and adopt an innovative approach towards showcasing the city as a must-visit destination.
The wide scope of collaboration between Dubai Tourism and Microsoft is largely based on leveraging the Azure cloud platform, which provides a range of services from computing to networking, databases to analytics, and artificial intelligence designed to help organisations run their digital systems and processes more efficiently. Dubai Tourism's goal is to create a strong data analytics platform on the cloud that will help it share valuable business insights via online dashboards to facilitate managerial decision-making and to constantly update public and private stakeholders with critical industry-related information.

Spotlight

For 28 years the Readers’ Rail Tours have been taking our loyal readers on unforgettable journeys exploring the rich history and culture of New Zealand. Like-minded travelers come together to enjoy this unique experience of rail, cruise and coach travel - all while forming lifelong friendships and memories. Operating in April/May and October each year, our 14-day tours alternate between the North and South Islands. Each tour offers a variety of day-to-day excursions ranging from garden tours, scenic walks, cultural museums, luncheon cruises and much more. The tours offer a full service of all transport, porterage, day excursions and activities, good quality hotels and most meals

Spotlight

For 28 years the Readers’ Rail Tours have been taking our loyal readers on unforgettable journeys exploring the rich history and culture of New Zealand. Like-minded travelers come together to enjoy this unique experience of rail, cruise and coach travel - all while forming lifelong friendships and memories. Operating in April/May and October each year, our 14-day tours alternate between the North and South Islands. Each tour offers a variety of day-to-day excursions ranging from garden tours, scenic walks, cultural museums, luncheon cruises and much more. The tours offer a full service of all transport, porterage, day excursions and activities, good quality hotels and most meals

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,BUSINESS TRAVEL

HRS Acquires Paypense, Enabling Widescale Digitized Payment Technology for Corporations and Employees

HRS | August 08, 2022

HRS, the leading Gobal corporate travel and payment technology platform, announced the acquisition of Germany-based Paypense, enhancing HRS’ growing compilation of efficient corporate payment offerings. Only two years since launch, Paypense’s open platform has already made inroads with a broad range of corporations, enabling employees to use digital payment technology to pay for all work-related purchases. This smarter solution ensures compliance to budgets while also capturing relevant data for auditing, steering and even sustainability metrics. “HRS Pay, reinforced by years of proprietary investments and our 2021 purchase of Itelya to propel the digital transformation of payment, is taking the next step in delivering an exceptional 'in destination experience' for corporate employees, Paypense provides intelligent spend management services for managers and employees alike, whether they are on the road for weeks at a time or supporting a one-day, off-site event that doesn’t require travel. This acquisition represents a new milestone for HRS Pay as we continue to focus on elevating employee satisfaction.” -Tobias Ragge, HRS CEO The employee satisfaction component is critical to driving the successful deployment and ongoing use of spend management technology. Recent research from the Global Business Travel Association, inclusive of feedback from 600+ procurement executives and nearly 2,500 business travelers, found that 85 percent of respondents said that the ease of completing expense reports, ease of expense approval process and speed of reimbursement are important to spend management.. Paypense’s Broad Array of Controls and Efficiencies Redefine Spend Management Leveraging automated intelligence and auto-approved, in-policy purchasing, Paypense dramatically reduces concerns about what items an employee may acquire. This elegant solution appeals to accounting and procurement managers, as Paypense effectively ensures the right amounts are spent on the right kind of purchases, every single time. The under-the-hood approach to managing virtual technology and secure connections to a company’s preferred banking institutions makes this seamless to employees who crave simplicity in all expense-related processes. Other Paypense highlights include: The provision of pre-approved budgets in real time to individual employees, groups, or job candidates via Paypense’s patented "matrix approval engine.” Functionality also allows for the approval and dispensing of increased allocations for emergency scenarios; Mobile app capabilities that facilitate tracked purchases by the employees, without him/her ever having to use their own funds; Automated receipt acquisition for common online portals used by employees, including air, rail, hotel, auto, ridesharing, phone and other prominent suppliers; and Leveraging supplier and localized data, Paypense captures the CO2 emissions of individual expenses, a vital element for companies taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint. “With our open platform, we’ve introduced a unique differentiator for the provision of virtual credit cards for pre-approved expenses, It’s clear from our industry engagement that there is an appreciation for our approach. We’re working in concert with expense providers and financial institutions, not competing with them as we transition from expense management to spend management. And with all parties squarely focusing on enhancing the employee experience, we’re increasing satisfaction even as we uncover new avenues of payment efficiency.” -Christopher Hecht, founder and CEO of Paypense Complemented by this acquisition, HRS Pay now offers truly holistic spend management solutions covering not only travel-related spend, but also non-travel, localized spend that accounts for significant expenses,” said Kurt Knackstedt, Chief Growth Officer for HRS Pay. “With the full integration of Paypense, our complete end-to-end spend management platform provides unmatched visibility of level-3 data, multi-category invoice digitization, and superior VAT reclaim automation – all available globally via any payment provider. Given these cumulative capabilities, HRS Pay is uniquely positioned to deliver the consummate payment solution for Fortune 500 multi-national companies. Paypense’s employees will officially become HRS Pay employees when the acquisition formally closes in August. Christopher Hecht will join the HRS Pay team as Chief Product Officer, overseeing development and working collaboratively with clients, partners and employees to enrich HRS Pay solutions moving forward. HRS Pay solutions will be featured at the upcoming Global Business Travel Association conference in San Diego on August 14-17 at the HRS booth (# 3229). Paypense is also one of an exclusive few new technologies to be selected for the Innovate event in New York City on October 24. About HRS HRS is reinventing the way businesses and governments work, stay and pay in today’s dynamic global marketplace. HRS’ advanced platform technology is extending its reach beyond hospitality to meetings, office space management, payment efficiency and crisis recovery. Beyond cost savings in the global post-pandemic economy, HRS clients gain from an unrivaled focus on essential aspects including safety, security and satisfaction. HRS is also recognized for its award-winning Green Stay Initiative, technology that helps corporate hotel programs achieve their NetZero targets, and its groundbreaking Crew & Passengers Solution, which leverages automation to elevate experiences for air and rail operations. Founded in 1972, HRS works with 35 percent of the global Fortune 500, as well as the world’s leading hotel chains, regional hospitality groups and payment providers. More information at www.hrs.com/enterprise.

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Fraugster boosts chargeback protection for travel merchants post pandemic

Fraugster | August 02, 2022

Fraugster, an AI payment intelligence company, together with Worldline, a global leader in secure payments and trusted transactions, has confidently enabled travel merchants to weather the storm of the Covid-19 pandemic with its Chargeback Protection Solution. The solution eliminates chargeback losses for merchants by taking full liability for fraudulent transactions. At the same time, advanced AI trained on global payment data makes more accurate decisions to boost approval rates. Innovations in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) allow merchants to go-live without historical data by leveraging a new deep learning model. With the outbreak of Covid-19, global travel was grounded. This caused mass cancellations and a scramble for refunds, but also created new opportunities for fraudsters to strike overburdened travel operators (hotels, airlines and OTAs), and take advantage of weak points in the system. In addition, there was a surge in so-called "angry chargebacks" where customers claim not to have authorised a transaction, usually in response to being frustrated by a cancellation or booking change. Covid-19 fraud patterns and consumer payment behaviour were significantly different to those pre-pandemic. Similarly, data inconsistencies limited the ability to identify and prevent certain types of fraud attacks like last minute cancellations on short term bookings. Chargeback rates jumped to over 3%, versus a baseline of under 0.5% in normal circumstances. "Iberostar experienced a massive increase in fraud pressure during the pandemic. We were pleased that partners Fraugster and Worldline were able to act so quickly to design a new AI model specifically for us. In a few short months we reduced the Chargeback rate from 2.76% to 0.07%, which was a fantastic achievement," -Ferran Llompart, Corporate Treasury Director, Iberostar Additional factors make chargeback protection more relevant than ever. The first is that the total cost of managing chargebacks has risen to nearly 3x of the original transaction value, according to a Fraugster analysis. For verticals like travel, where average order values are in excess of $750, this implies a total cost of over $2000 per fraudulent transaction. Secondly, 80% of online merchants are reporting an increase in first party fraud (also referred to as "friendly fraud") where credit card credentials are intentionally or mistakenly abused. This trend is particularly acute in online gaming environments. These chargebacks are very difficult to prevent or mitigate and are costing companies margin, with limited recourse to recovering chargeback losses. Together these trends are increasing merchants' exposure to chargeback liability and are driving up the total costs related to chargebacks. With Fraugster's Chargeback Protection solution merchants are able to significantly reduce the costs attributable to managing chargebacks, plus chargeback losses and fees, with little to no integration effort. "Fraugster's approach to addressing chargebacks is to use a combination of machine learning and behavioral science to build a sharper picture of the transaction in question. This means merchants can provide a more seamless buying experience for legitimate customers while also preventing fraudulent transactions from getting through - this includes transactions that may turn into chargeback fraud later on, We are pleased that global brands have increased their revenue of between 5-16% since adopting Fraugster's Chargeback Protection solution product and report a steadier and more predictable financial coverage for chargebacks and bottom line impacts." -Christian Mangold, CEO of Fraugster. About Fraugster Fraugster is a Berlin based payment intelligence company. Fraugster enables the world's leading merchants, global payment companies like Worldline and Ratepay to intelligently manage the impact of fraud to minimize the costs of fraud, maximize revenue and improve customer experience. Fraugster has developed one of the most accurate AI compliance, risk and fraud management and revenue uplift platforms in the market and is backed by leading deeptech investors including Earlybird, Speedinvest and CommerzVentures. Further information can be found at https://www.fraugster.com/

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Optii Solutions Adds Multiple New Languages to Its Platform

Optii Solutions | August 04, 2022

Optii Solutions, the leading hotel operations software, announced that it has added multiple new languages to its platform, to further support its European expansion. Several additional languages are also in development with release dates in the next 30 to 60 days. With travel, tourism, and hospitality drawing a particularly diverse workforce from around the world, the need to seamlessly communicate across languages and avoid errors is critical. Optii is designed to break down gaps and lags in communication with the goal of increasing productivity and establishing a repeatable and scalable guest experience within a hotel. Language barriers can disrupt the gains hotel operations would otherwise achieve from the implementation of technology, because instructions or staff communication is missed or misunderstood. Seamless translation to 20 languages within the same technology platform avoids this. It also leads to a better work experience for the staff who can choose to work in the language they are most comfortable with. The company has for some time supported core languages that are prevalent in the industry and workforce, but with shifting demographics, the need to add more languages is critical. This has proven true especially in the European market, where Optii is expanding with several new hotel group customers. “As we grow into new markets, the make-up of the workforce looks different and we need to account for that. Being a customer-centric technology provider, a lot of our roadmap items come from our customers. This is the case with our latest expansion into several European markets. Not only will we deliver on the customer needs, but we can also play a small part in bringing their workforce together and breaking down barriers.” -Katherine Grass, CEO, Optii Solutions About Optii Solutions Optii Solutions is a hotel operations solution that leverages smarter technologies such as artificial intelligence, analytics, messaging and mobility to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of housekeeping and service delivery departments. For further information, please visit: www.optiisolutions.com

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