Fosun to Relaunch Thomas Cook Brand in 2020

Skift | December 13, 2019

Thomas Cook is set to be relaunched by its Chinese owner, who plans to use the 178-year-old British tour operator’s brand on a travel platform targeting European customers. Fosun Tourism Group, the Shanghai-based company that bought Thomas Cook’s trademark following its dramatic collapse in September, will debut the platform in the first half of next year, according to a person familiar with the plans. Some of Fosun’s existing travel offerings will be grouped together and re-branded as Thomas Cook, with the aim to lure travelers — particularly those in Europe familiar with the name — to the company’s resorts around the world, said the person, who asked not to be identified as they’re not authorized to speak publicly about the plan.

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Delivering the best possible experiences for your travelers is our top priority. That’s why we equip our travel counselors with the best technology, resources, and specialized training to support the personalized needs of your travelers. You can even enjoy savings on travel while your travelers gain additional benefits through our supplier discount program Preferred Extras

Spotlight

Delivering the best possible experiences for your travelers is our top priority. That’s why we equip our travel counselors with the best technology, resources, and specialized training to support the personalized needs of your travelers. You can even enjoy savings on travel while your travelers gain additional benefits through our supplier discount program Preferred Extras

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Hotel Payment Software Platform Selfbook Announces a Strategic Investment from Amex Ventures

Selfbook | December 09, 2022

Selfbook, a unique, comprehensive hotel payment software platform bringing direct bookings and modern payment technology to hotels worldwide, announced a strategic investment from Amex Ventures. The investment follows a $40 million Series A and A+ round led by Tiger GlobalThis announcement highlights Selfbook’s continuous growth within the hospitality space. As it continues to broaden its reach in the travel industry, Selfbook looks forward to working with American Express following this investment. Selfbook enables hotels to offer guests a seamless, one-step checkout experience directly on their websites while elevating the user experience and streamlining the payment process for hotels, which can increase conversion and boost revenue. Selfbook also groups multiple services, such as restaurant reservations, spa appointments and activities, into a single payment flow to easily drive upsells. “The American Express brand is synonymous with global travel and payment security, and we are thrilled to have Amex Ventures be part of our investor base, As hotels around the world continue to use Selfbook to offer a guest-first booking experience and secure payments, the investment from American Express will help us deepen our global presence and provide even more effective payment tools for our partners.” -Khalid Meniri, Co-Founder and CEO of Selfbook We are constantly on the lookout for innovative technologies that enhance and elevate the travel and payments experience,” said Margaret Lim, Managing Director of Amex Ventures. “We believe Selfbook is driving hotel bookings and payments into the future with their elegant checkout experience, intuitive user interface, and robust support for modern payment methods preferred by guests through a unified platform that seamlessly integrates with existing hospitality software. About Selfbook Uniquely positioned at the intersection of fintech and hospitality, Selfbook revolutionizes hotel bookings and payments from the inside out. Working in tandem with hotels’ existing technology systems, Selfbook enhances what matters most to hotels, including direct conversion, revenue, cash flow control, and security. Built by a team of hospitality veterans, Selfbook’s products provide a refreshingly effortless user experience for guests and hoteliers alike. Selfbook is committed to empowering hotels worldwide with modern e-commerce solutions tailor-made for our industry.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK,HOSPITALITY TRENDS

INTELITY's to Update the Partnership with Unifocus

INTELITY | December 26, 2022

Contents 1. Partnership Revision to Add Unifocus into INTELITY's R5 2. What's New in the Platform? INTELITY, a leading guest experienceand management platform provider in the hospitality industry, recently announced updating its strategic partnership with Unifocus, a hospitality operations software and workforce management platform provider. In light of recent updates to Unifocus's technology, the INTELITY integration is brand new. Built on INTELITY's R5 platform to leverage its industry-leading capabilities, the latest integration provides a more robust synchronization of guest request details between Unifocus and INTELITY. 1. Partnership Revision to Add Unifocus into INTELITY's R5 R5 is INTELITY's new cloud-based platform, designed to manage various hospitality operations from back-of-house operations to resident and guest services, all on one platform. The R5 platform from INTELITY enables hotel customers to initiate requests via hotel mobile apps or smart-room tablets. Unifocus is the market leader in workforce management software that enhances hospitality operations. The incorporation of Unifocus into INTELITY's R5 integrations cloud enables identical requests to be directed straight to on-premise teams utilizing their existing operational workflows. 2. What’s New in the Platform? “INTELITY provides solutions that completely change the way guests experience and engage with a property, which is the kind of innovation we’re looking for from Brand Officials.” – Micarl Hill, SVP of Brand Development at the Forbes Travel Guide The entirely redesigned platform, INTELITY's R5, offers a variety of additional capabilities to better serve, monitor, and manage the needs of guests while cutting down on administrative work and giving the team the data they require. The modernized connection is built on top of a long-standing cooperation that has provided staff automation, lifecycle status tracking of guest requests, and enhanced security to customers all over the world. About INTELITY INTELITY is the leading company in contactless guest experience technology, in-room, integrating mobile, and operational capabilities into a comprehensive hospitality platform. Among its many accolades, INTELITY has been named the "Official Guest Engagement and Staff Management Platform Provider" by the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide. The INTELITY platform is utilized in over 60 countries and six continents by boutique hotels, casino resorts, luxury residences, and worldwide hotel brands, among others. About Unifocus Unifocus is the only comprehensive workforce management platform designed to transform the labor-management practices of service industries fundamentally. The robust platform provides intelligent labor management techniques that automatically generate accurate estimates and schedules based on staff availability, business demand, service standards, and work rules. In addition, the staff is effortlessly aligned with a world-class time and attendance system that communicates timetables and allows swaps with tools like Shift Genius that reside on a simple mobile app.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Competition for Leisure Guests Heats Up Between Hotels and Short-Term Rentals

AirDNA | November 15, 2022

A new joint report from hospitality data supplier STR and short-term rental analytics provider AirDNA shows that competition between short-term rentals and hotels has accelerated in the fight for leisure guests, with the price gap tightening and rental supply falling behind in urban markets.During the pandemic, the U.S. short-term rental sector used its supply flexibility to recover faster than hotels, especially in coastal and mountain destinations, pushing rentals' market share to a record 17% of total lodging in summer 2020. Hotels retargeted towards leisure guests to reclaim demand, focusing on urban areas, pushing short-term rentals' market share back to below its pre-pandemic trajectory. "During the pandemic, short-term rentals had an advantage over traditional hotels due to consumer perception of better COVID-19 safety, Now in 2022, hotels can compete on price and have claimed demand on key holidays where, pre-pandemic, they typically lost out on leisure travelers." -AirDNA Vice President of Research, Jamie Lane Hotels Lead in Cities In large cities, short-term rental supply contracted dramatically as demand dropped off in 2020, while government subsidies helped to reduce permanent closures of hotels. As urban demand began to recover in 2022, hotels were ready to accommodate travelers, while urban rental supply remains 17% below 2019. With strict regulations limiting short-term rentals in cities like New York and San Francisco, which both lost 25% of their pre-pandemic supply levels, supply is unlikely to fully recover in these areas. "Looking to the future, hotel supply will likely remain strongest in urban and suburban locations, with low development in coastal and rural areas due to higher barriers to entry, where short-term rentals will likely see more opportunity for growth," -STR's Vice President of Analytics Isaac Collazo. A new STR survey of more than 1,000 travelers shows that value for money is an important factor for rental guests, even more than hotel guests. Despite the perception that rentals are cheaper, in 2019, hotels and comparably-sized rentals were priced around the same, except in urban locations. In large cities, hotels were priced 42.9% higher than rentals, but that gap has closed to 26.6% in 2022. Hotels are now offering lower rates than rentals in all location types except urban and coastal resorts, where the difference is 10%. While rentals' market share is highest in coastal and mountain or lake destinations, in urban and suburban locations their share has flattened or declined. Rentals should continue to grow their market share, albeit at a slower pace than pre-pandemic, led by expansion in resorts and small towns less well-served by traditional hotels. About AirDNA AirDNA helps hosts, property managers, and investors succeed in the short-term vacation rental market by turning rental data into actionable analytics. The Denver-based company has tracked the daily performance of 10 million vacation rentals in 120,000 global markets since 2014 to provide real-time market insights. Their range of online and exportable reports offer a solution for everyone in the industry to analyze trends, price rentals, identify new investment opportunities, and benchmark performance. About STR STR provides premium data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights for the global hospitality industry. Founded in 1985, STR maintains a presence in 15 countries with a North American headquarters in Hendersonville, Tennessee, an international headquarters in London, and an Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore. STR was acquired in October 2019 by CoStar Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSGP), the leading provider of commercial real estate information, analytics and online marketplaces.

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