FCM gains SAP Concur TMC Elite Partner Level

TravelDailyNews International | November 26, 2019

FCM Travel Solutions is one of the first major global travel management companies to achieve the coveted TMC Elite level within the SAP Concur Partner Program for TMCs – the highest level of engagement and collaboration attainable between any TMC and the travel expense and invoice management solutions provider. TMC Elite partner level reflects FCM’s continued focus on delivering the best possible levels of service and experience across the industry’s leading solutions. In order to qualify for the TMC Elite partner level, FCM had to meet strict criteria, including TMC certification. This three-month operational process assessed FCM staff’s aptitude for implementing and supporting SAP Concur solutions for their customers and provided training programs to sharpen their expertise and product knowledge.

Spotlight

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing some 240 airlines or 84% of total air traffic. We support many areas of aviation activity and help formulate industry policy on critical aviation issues. www.iata.org.

Spotlight

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing some 240 airlines or 84% of total air traffic. We support many areas of aviation activity and help formulate industry policy on critical aviation issues. www.iata.org.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Introducing AKEN Hotels & Resorts, a New Hospitality Brand Rooted in the Joy of Conscious, Connected Travel

AKEN Hotels & Resorts | November 08, 2021

Inspired by modern luxury travelers’ aspirations, a new hospitality brand is connecting guests to high-end independent properties that exemplify a destination’s most distinctive, compelling experiences. Luxury hospitality management consulting firm Amek Group launched AKEN Hotels & Resorts earlier this month with a collection of upper-upscale to ultra-luxury independent hotels. In contrast to a soft brand, AKEN aims to disrupt traditional, one-model-fits-all approaches by offering deep flexibility and customization for owners and operators, under a single brand umbrella. “We have seen a need in the industry, among independent upscale-and-above properties that are inimitable, artful reflections of their destinations and unlike any other hotel, Many of these gems need additional support in order to reach their potential. By becoming part of the AKEN brand, they can operate with the same levels of support and technology that international brands have, while retaining their independence. Ultimately, this will connect more travelers to authentic, meaningful experiences.” -Luis Gallotti, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Amek Group. The AKEN brand proposition aims to disrupt and reinvent international hospitality management and branding practices. AKEN Hotels & Resorts offers carefully selected properties the opportunity to expand their potential through its services. A hotel that becomes part of AKEN can retain varying degrees of its own branding, based on how much brand presence is needed to help position or differentiate it. On the operational side, AKEN offers an array of different services, from global sales and representation to full management, and has structured 16 different options for properties. “Flexibility is what today’s hotel owners are looking for, and we are incredibly excited to offer this level of customization under a single brand umbrella,” Gallotti said. AKEN is also changing norms by taking on small projects with no minimum number of rooms, an inclusiveness rarely found within large international chains. Whether a property has eight rooms or 150, has existing technology and property management system (PMS) capabilities or needs dynamic solutions such as the company’s proprietary platform built with Sabre, AKEN aims to add value, ultimately strengthening the growing global interest in independent hotel experiences. The brand offers a service standards culture based on the desires of the modern luxury traveler to be spoken to naturally, in an unscripted way. The brand offers three collections: Spirit, Soul, and Mind. AKEN “Spirit” hotels are typically luxury to ultra-luxury, AKEN “Soul” properties are upper-upscale to luxury, and AKEN “Mind” hotels are upscale to upper-upscale. These designations are intended to help travelers easily find hotels that best fit their desires, as experience levels vary based on portfolio. In “Spirit,” for example, the Villa Beluno Hotel in Bariloche, Argentina, is a 14-room property nestled along the shore of Nahuel Huapi Lake, surrounded by the Andes. “Soul” offers properties such as the lush, wine-focused Entre Cielos, set amidst a vineyard in Mendoza, or Bio Habitat in Circasia, Colombia, which is surrounded by more than 16,000 square meters of native forest and features rooms and experiences designed to immerse guests in nature. “Mind” includes offerings such as La Urumpta, a 60-room hotel in Cordoba, Argentina, featuring decor inspired by local culture. When it comes to loyalty, the team behind AKEN Hotels & Resorts has taken a different approach from that of many other travel brands. The loyalty platform, “AKEN Community,” has social and environmental impact and guest gratification in mind. “When a guest makes a reservation through our website,” says Lisandro León Liguori, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Amek Group, “they will have the opportunity to choose from one of three local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to which we, AKEN, and the hotel itself, will donate a total of one US dollar. The three organizations will benefit children, the environment, or animals.” AKEN plans to roll its automatic donation program out in 2022. AKEN also rewards its guests right away, from their first direct booking. “We believe that for the post-pandemic luxury traveler, instant gratification is especially important at the moment of decision-making, because the future is less certain than in previous years,” León Liguori said. Examples of these instant benefits could be a welcome drink or bar discount, extended check-out, early check-in, upgrades, or a personalized in-room amenity, for example. Amek Group recently welcomed Rodrigo Tsutsumi as AKEN Hotels & Resorts Vice President for the Americas. Having most recently spent 10 years at Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Tsutsumi has a unique perspective on the distinct advantages and challenges of both chain and independent hotel business models. “One of the core strengths of AKEN Hotels & Resorts is that we are able to provide our member hotels with the knowledge, experience, and competency on par with what a traditional hotel chain may provide, but with a clear emphasis on fostering these independent hotels’ freedom and distinctiveness,” said Tsutsumi. The launch of AKEN Hotels & Resorts also includes “Experiences” that connect guests to deeply immersive, non-traditional lodging experiences including luxury glamping, yachts, and more. The brand’s “Residences” offerings are secluded private residences with full service and amenities similar to many of those found at a traditional hotel. Uman Lodge, a 16-room AKEN Residences experience in the midst of lush vegetation just north of Chile’s Aysen region, offers a harmonious blend of relaxation and adventure, and amenities suited to a longer stay. About AKEN Hotels & Resorts AKEN Hotels & Resorts is a US-based brand that connects travelers to one-of-a-kind experiences at a collection of independent, upscale-and-above properties that illuminate a destination’s most compelling attributes. AKEN’s continued growth includes additional properties expected to be announced by the end of 2021, and plans to continue expanding into the US and Central and South America. For more information, visit akenhotels.com, or follow the brand on Instagram at @aken_hotels. About Amek Group Amek Group is a white label hospitality service offering tailored management and consultancy for hotels and resorts. Strategically located between Miami, Florida, USA and Buenos Aires, Argentina, Amek Group is the only hospitality company to singly offer independent brands all operational and strategic needs to develop, manage, or operate a hotel. It currently carries 15 properties and experiences in its portfolio. “Amek,” which means “big brother” in the indigenous South American language known as “Onas,” was formed by childhood friends Luis Gallotti and Lisandro Léon Liguori. Basketball brought them together in their native country of Argentina, forming a partnership that would carry them from their youth through recruiting a team of their own. Amek Group’s portfolio of consultancy, development, management, learning, and quality assurance speak to the current favored business model of using remote teams, vertical integration, and a cooperative of hand-selected industry experts. Visit amekgroup.com for more information.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Malaysian based Travel Technology Startup TixCarte Partners with Amsterdam’s Ticketing Platform to Further Enhance Inventory

TixCarte | February 12, 2021

In numerous regards the effect of Covid-19 to the tourism industry is apparent and without a doubt changing. With travel limitations basically everywhere on the world and the majority of the tourism attractions being closed down, COVID-19 has managed a staggering hit to the business. Notwithstanding, rotating or adjusting to endure is one exertion to remain in business and will include the utilization of technology which could carry a positive lift to new companies occupied with travel tech as a component of the way to recovery. Tixcarte Group Sdn Bhd (TixCarte) a Malaysian based travel technology startup today reported partnership with Tiqets for the arrangement of stock for attractions by means of their Automated Programming Interface (API) reconciliation arrangement. The cloud-based technology platform offers a distribution framework that associates travel stage accomplices straightforwardly to a large group of attractions and stock. By means of Tixcarte’s tech tools and APIs, attractions and activities would be able to increase sales by automatically accessing various reseller and distribution channels rather than depending only on their conventional travel agents. Headquartered in Amsterdam, Tiqets brought USD60million up in Series C financing which was driven via Airbnb. To date Tiqets have more than 1 million application downloads with in excess of 10 million tickets sold to in excess of 2,000 venues.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

SendSquared Partners with Resort Data Processing, an Award-Winning Provider of Property Management Software

SendSquared & Resort Data Processing | November 30, 2021

SendSquared (sendsquared.com), a data and marketing communications platform for the hospitality industry, announced it has partnered with Resort Data Processing (RDP), a leading provider of property management software. The collaboration will integrate SendSquared with RDP’s property management software to provide resorts, hotels and vacation rentals the tools to power all guest communications including email, text and voice services. “RDP is a respected industry standard that brings decades of experience in the hospitality industry to this collaboration,SendSquared is absolutely thrilled to join forces with a company we so deeply admire, and together offer added value to our current and future customers.” -Nicolas Wegener, CEO of SendSquared. With the SendSquared integration, properties using RDP software can now leverage valuable guest data to power meaningful communications and sales efforts. At every touchpoint along the customer journey–from pre-booking to post-stay–users can deliver personalized, timely messages that delight guests and allow them to relax and focus on enjoying their stay. “At RDP, we create solutions that meet the unique needs of each customer,Our partnership with SendSquared will provide our customers with best-in-class marketing solutions to help grow their businesses and generate more revenue.” -RDP President Barry Biegler About SendSquared Founded in 2018 and based in the Twin Cities, SendSquared provides an all-in-one communication platform for the hospitality industry that facilitates email marketing, SMS, voice services, CRM and more to help resorts and hospitality organizations grow by building strong customer relationships and increasing direct bookings. SendSquared is trusted by more than 100 leading resorts, hoteliers, and VRMCs. For more information or to demo SendSquared, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and our blog. About Resort Data Processing Resort Data Processing (RDP) has long been considered one of the pioneers of the property management software industry, and currently supports over 1000 installations worldwide. RDP specializes in providing a customized solution for each client. We cater to properties of all sizes, from small luxury vacation rental companies, to 1500 room resort properties. Our software solutions offer an endless feature set that has evolved over 35 years from customer input and real world application.

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