Durban to host 2019 Africa Tourism Leadership Forum and Awards

Rising Sun Chatsworth | April 15, 2019

The 2019 Africa Tourism Leadership Forum (ATLF) and Awards will be hosted by Durban KwaZulu-Natal Convention Bureau in Durban, under the auspices of the Provincial Government of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa from August 29 to 30, this year. It is convened by African tourism partners with the support of its key strategic partners including BDO South Africa, NEPAD, Africa Travel Associations (ATA) and Voyages Afriq.

Spotlight

Are you planning to visit your favorite travel destination in coming time? Have you still not decided whether you are going to make it solo or group travel? Then here is an infographic from Airport Parking Reservations.com. It makes comparison between solo tour and group tour on different parameters that allow you to take a proper decision. You will get to know pros and cons of both these travel types and opt for an alternative which will be more suitable for you. So simply browse through the image below and after reading all the facts, you can make a right decision.

Spotlight

Are you planning to visit your favorite travel destination in coming time? Have you still not decided whether you are going to make it solo or group travel? Then here is an infographic from Airport Parking Reservations.com. It makes comparison between solo tour and group tour on different parameters that allow you to take a proper decision. You will get to know pros and cons of both these travel types and opt for an alternative which will be more suitable for you. So simply browse through the image below and after reading all the facts, you can make a right decision.

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL, INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Travel Insured International Announces New Partnership with Blue Ribbon Bags

Travel Insured International | September 27, 2022

Travel Insured International is pleased to announce a new partnership with Blue Ribbon Bags, a leader in travel luggage retrieval. Travel Insured joins Blue Ribbon Bags' growing list of industry partners seeking to provide a better experience for their travelers. As a travel protection provider with plans containing insurance benefits for lost and delayed baggage, we're excited to offer this service to our customers throThis non-insurance service provided by Blue Ribbon Bags will be available to clients of large tour operators working with Travel Insured. Because each Travel Insured plan features insured benefits for Baggage and Personal Effects, Travel Insured can provide eligible payment up to a maximum benefit amount if baggage and personal effects are lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed during the trip or while checked with a common carrier. The added service of Blue Ribbon Bags will assist travelers in tracking their baggage claim via text. "Our job is to make that process a little bit better and to keep that communication with the customer as smooth as possible," says Menkin. With assistance from Blue Ribbon Bags, plan holders will also receive intermediary support in pursuing their lost baggage, which can be a tedious and time-consuming process." -Blue Ribbon Bags CEO, Gabriel Menkin, understands that airlines are doing their best to keep up with lost baggage claims. When somebody has a lost bag, we are sending them real time email, SMS, and WhatsApp notifications every time there's a change to the status of their bag, says Menkin. Travelers will be empowered to track the progress of their lost baggage claim and receive notifications to stay informed every step of the way. For the first 96 hours, Blue Ribbon Bags will track and expedite the return of a traveler's lost bag. If the bag is not recovered, the traveler can file a claim against their Travel Insured protection plan for their lost or delayed baggage and personal effects. Travel Insured partners with large tour operators that provide travel packages to customers, which can include air travel, ground transportation, local tours, and other services at one or more locations per trip. For travelers with varied trip types and multiple destinations on their itineraries, baggage protection may be more important than ever. "This partnership comes at a time when the travel industry is facing unique obstacles in transportation, like significant increases in lost baggage claims from top airlines, We're always seeking innovative ways to enhance our programs, so we're eager to offer this baggage tracking service to our wholesale customers. We strive to help travelers feel confident before, during, and after their trip." -Isaac Cymrot, VP of Strategic Partnerships About Travel Insured International As a leading travel insurance provider with more than 25 years in business, Travel Insured International provides trip protection to help each individual travel confidently. Travel Insured is owned by Crum & Forster whose parent company is Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., an insurance specialty company that consistently earns an A credit rating from AM Best. We're proud to partner with tour operators and help them to offer extensive travel protection with major travel insurance benefits as well as non-insurance assistance services. At Travel Insured, we remain steadfast in the commitment to providing dependable coverage, great value, and end-to-end satisfaction for our customers' travel insurance experience.ugh our plans to help ensure expedition of luggage claims through any major airline in the world.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY, AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

IBS Software Partners with IATA to Power IATA's New CASSLink Initiative Aimed at Transforming Air Cargo Payments

IBS Software | October 07, 2022

IBS Software, a leading SaaS solutions provider to the travel industry globally, announced that it has been selected by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), as a technology partner for IATA's new CASSLink project, designed to simplify payments in the air cargo industry. The modernized CASSLink has been successfully deployed in the United States air cargo market, in collaboration with IATA's wholly owned subsidiary Cargo Network Services (CNS).CASSLink is IATA's internet-based data processing and customer management system, which puts customers first by meeting the evolving billing and payment requirements for the entire air cargo value chain. It facilitates the interaction and exchange of information between airlines and freight forwarders participating in IATA's Cargo Accounts Settlement System (CASS), simplifying the customer experience and driving operational efficiencies. Working closely with IATA, IBS Software is focused on digitally transforming the CASS platform to develop an agile platform that can meet payment innovations and customer demands. Focussed on customer experience, the new CASS platform features improvements in real time analytics, self-service capabilities, additional payment options, global accessibility and a fresh modern multi-lingual user interface. The new CASSLink will be rolled out to all other CASS markets from the fourth quarter of 2022 and continuing through 2023. Air cargo played an outsized role during the pandemic, delivering life-saving vaccines and medical supplies and keeping global supply chains running. Moving forward, it is vital that industry continues to digitally transform to allow payments between parties to be handled quickly, efficiently and with total trust," said Muhammad Albakri, IATA's Senior VP, Financial Settlement and Distribution Services. Our CASSLink platform has already changed the way airlines and third parties interact. We're delighted to have found an excellent partner in IBS Software to power the new CASSLink, ensuring that it continues to be fit for purpose as we head into a new era for air cargo. "As air cargo grows, so do the challenges for airlines, freight forwarders and other players in handling payments in an increasingly complex value chain. The air cargo industry has a golden opportunity to influence the global supply chain, making payments simpler and more efficient is critical to enticing and keeping customers, It's an honour for us to partner with IATA to modernize its platform and further enhance the value it brings the industry." -Akshay Shrivastava, Head of Consulting and Digital Transformation at IBS Software About IBS Software IBS Software is a leading SaaS solutions provider to the travel industry globally, managing mission-critical operations for customers in the aviation, tour & cruise and hospitality industries. IBS Software's solutions for the aviation industry cover fleet & crew operations, aircraft maintenance, passenger services, loyalty programs, staff travel and air-cargo management. IBS Software also runs a real time B2B and B2C distribution platform providing hotel room inventory, rates and availability to a global network of hospitality companies and channels. For the tour and cruise industry, IBS provides a comprehensive, customer-centric, digital platform that covers onshore, online and on-board solutions. The Consulting and Digital Transformation (CDx) focuses on driving digital transformation initiatives of its customers, leveraging its domain knowledge, digital technologies and engineering excellence. IBS Software is a Blackstone portfolio company and operates from 15 offices across the world. Further information can be found at https://www.ibsplc.com/. About IATA The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for the world's airlines, representing some 290 airlines or 83% of total air traffic. IATA supports many areas of aviation activity and help formulate industry policy on critical aviation issues.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK, HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Optii Partners with the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers

Optii Solutions | November 25, 2022

Optii Solutions, the leading hotel operations software, announced that it is entering into a partnership with the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP) to support the organization and its members. The Association of Serviced Apartment Providers is the not for profit trade body representing serviced accommodation Providers, who collectively operate more than 100,000 apartments in 25 countries and offer 3 million bed nights per year. Following the success of multiple properties in the Staycity Group portfolio, Optii is appealing to new segments in the European market beyond traditional hotels. As demand for technology in the serviced apartment segment increases, Optii is pleased to support ASAP’s objective to grow the professional serviced apartment sector into one where the majority of all consumers understand the benefits of serviced apartments, and see them as a safe, modern and credible alternative to more conventional types of accommodation. “We are enthusiastic to partner with Optii after seeing the value they bring to operators such as Accredited ASAP Member Staycity. Raising awareness and understanding of professionally managed serviced apartments with travelers is part of our mission. We recognize that serviced apartments have to meet a certain level of guest experience and value to support that. Optii and other leading technology providers can play a big role in helping our members stay competitive by having a modern, technology-forward operation.” -James Foice, Chief Executive, ASAP Maria Macree, Vice President of Sales - EMEA, Optii Solutions, said: There’s a lot of connective tissue in the hospitality industry, and it’s organizations like ASAP that make that happen. We are thrilled to partner with them, and I am personally excited to add new names and faces to the conversations I am having with members around how Optii can help them run a smart housekeeping and engineering operation that protects the bottom line and delivers on the guest experience that they promise. About the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers The Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP) is the not-for-profit trade body for the serviced apartment and aparthotel sector. All Members sign up to our Code of Conduct and share our aims of raising and promoting standards within this growing part of the hospitality industry. Together we are driving the sector towards becoming a safe, inclusive industry delivering top customer service and living up to our promises, so guests can always stay with confidence. Please see www.theasap.org.uk and our membership directory www.staywithconfidence.com. 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 about Optii, please visit: www.optiisolutions.com.

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