ATPI | July 06, 2021
When faced with a crisis, the travel industry reacts in a variety of ways. ATPI’s solution to the pandemic is to join the other mega-agencies that offer technology to other travel agencies. What ATPI may discover: licensing may be a complicated process.
ATPI’s track record with technology companies works to its advantage. For example, it recently invested $1.4 million in TapTrip and almost $350,000 in Singapore’s Greywing platform. According to its CEO, it now wants to “liberate” its platform and generate money by licensing it to other companies that may not have the means to create their own.
“The technology stacks that we’ve developed, we’re going to move into a different division so that, in addition to a travel management business arm, we’ll have our technology arm,” Ian Sinderson said.
ATPI has fared quite well in comparison to many of its rivals due to rising ties with the robust marine and cargo transport industries. It had a profit of $15 million last year, although that number was 50% lower than in 2019. Selling software could compensate for income lost.
When it formally launches in the coming months, its new technology arm, TripStax, will be a semi-autonomous company. TripStax was founded in August of last year, although ATPI experimented with various names, registering Travelstax and Lemonstack with the UK’s Companies House along the way.
TripStax will provide a full suite of platforms, including a booking tool, profile manager, analytics, duty of care, and traveler tracking platforms – key elements of technology that the agency has spent significant time developing internally, according to Sinderson.
GETTING THE BEST DEAL
ATPI is not the only agency to license a software-as-a-service travel platform to third parties; several of the industry’s larger players do as well. With their vast resources, they have greater opportunities to develop, or even buy, specialized platforms.
For example, American Express Global Business Travel has over 200 agencies signed up for its GBT Partnership Solutions section. They may, for example, utilize its booking tool, Neo, which assists the agency in filling gaps in its footprint. In addition, this premise collaborates with companies such as Kanoo in the Middle East and Tourvest in South Africa.
But what does it think of ATPI’s venture into software licensing?
If Amex GBT’s acquisition of Egencia goes through, it may be able to expand this segment of its company. “Teaming Egencia with GBT’s Supply MarketPlace, one of the most extensive sources for information and experiences for business travelers,” it said in a statement. It is now seeking a vice president for its GBT Partnership Solutions business.
However, one expert has warned that any agency selling its technology must guarantee that it is mature and flexible. “There is always a gap between utilizing a system inside one business and then providing it to a wider audience,” said Guy Sneglar, senior vice president, global travel technology integration, Partnership Travel Consulting.
Amex GBT’s Ahluwalia noted many legal, compliance, data privacy, and regulatory concerns to address before in-house solutions could compete with a third party. Then there are concerns about the content that comes with the technological product and other business structures.
Branching out has proven beneficial over the years, with some spin-offs taking on a life of their own. For example, Atriis, a managed travel technology platform, was founded in 2013 as a joint venture between Amsalem Travel in Israel and Portman Travel (acquired by Clarity Travel) in the United Kingdom.
HRG also found success with developing its expense tool Fraedom, while the UK corporate train booking site Evolvi was initially developed by Harry Weeks Travel, a 1954 agency.
DESTINATION AND TOURISM
FIT | October 22, 2020
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and independent travel specialist Avanti Destinations have launched a joint campaign to help advisors inspire FIT clients to plan a 2021 getaway in Thailand. The joint promotion consists of a 38-page downloadable “future travel lookbook," a savings of $250 for every land booking worth a minimum of $3,000 made by December 31, 2020, for travel anytime in 2021. As part of the promotion, no deposit is required on the land portion, and there are no fees for changes made 21 or more days prior to departure.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation | September 28, 2021
Hyatt Hotels Corporation (“Hyatt” or the “Company”) (NYSE: H), a leading global hospitality company, announced today the pricing of its public offering of:
$700.0 million aggregate principal amount of senior notes due 2023, which will bear interest at a fixed annual rate of 1.300%;
$300.0 million aggregate principal amount of floating rate senior notes due 2023, which will bear interest at a rate equal to Compounded SOFR (as defined in the prospectus supplement relating to the offering), reset quarterly, plus 105 basis points; and
$750.0 million aggregate principal amount of senior notes due 2024, which will bear interest at a fixed annual rate of 1.800%.
The offering is expected to close on October 1, 2021, subject to customary closing conditions. Hyatt will have the option to redeem all or any portion of the notes at 100% of their principal amount at any time on or after October 1, 2022.
The Company intends to use the net proceeds of the offering to fund a portion of the purchase price for its pending acquisition of Apple Leisure Group (the “Apple Leisure Group Acquisition”), to refinance all of its $750.0 million principal amount of floating rate notes due 2022 and for general corporate purposes, which may include payment of any fees and expenses relating to the Apple Leisure Group Acquisition or any other general corporate purpose the Company may deem necessary or advisable, and to pay fees and expenses related to this offering.
Hyatt previously announced that it intends to fund more than 80% of the $2.7 billion purchase price for the Apple Leisure Group Acquisition with a combination of $1.0 billion of cash on hand and new debt financing, including a portion of the proceeds from this offering and a one-year term loan expected to be funded concurrently with the closing of the Apple Leisure Group Acquisition as part of the previously announced acquisition financing commitment, and the remainder with proceeds of its recently consummated equity offering. The offering is not contingent on the consummation of the Apple Leisure Group Acquisition, and the consummation of the Apple Leisure Group Acquisition is not contingent on the consummation of the offering.
J.P. Morgan is acting as representative of the underwriters, and J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank Securities, Scotiabank and Wells Fargo Securities are acting as joint lead book-running managers for the offering.
About Hyatt Hotels Corporation
Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company offering 20 premier brands. As of June 30, 2021, the Company's portfolio included more than 1,000 hotel and all-inclusive properties in 68 countries across six continents. The Company's purpose to care for people so they can be their best informs its business decisions and growth strategy and is intended to attract and retain top employees, build relationships with guests and create value for shareholders.