GBT launches new tool for TMCs

Travel Daily Media | February 26, 2020

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has today introduced its Rest Assured Solutions, an enhanced suite of end-to-end accommodations products and services. Rest Assured Solutions gives travel managers confidence that they are getting the most out of their hotel programme while offering travellers access to the properties they want at the best rates, all in one place. Introduced at this year’s Business Travel Show in London, Rest Assured Solutions helps travel managers and decision-makers reduce out-of-policy bookings that stem from well-intended traveller behaviour and booking decisions.

Spotlight

It’s common knowledge that US health care spending is an issue of concern and spiraling out of control. Voters rank health care as the single most important domestic issue. There’s growing awareness that the US doesn’t get the value of care for what it pays for either. The value of care that is realized for the amount spent is going down due to liability insurance and other costs. Furthermore, close to 50 million people in the US lack health insurance. The American healthcare system is the costliest in the world. Indeed, the high costs of American medicine have put many American businesses at a competitive disadvantage with foreign firms. In short, countries such as India, Thailand, Mexico, Dubai, and Costa Rica can provide healthcare treatment at much lower prices and better service than in the United States.

Spotlight

It’s common knowledge that US health care spending is an issue of concern and spiraling out of control. Voters rank health care as the single most important domestic issue. There’s growing awareness that the US doesn’t get the value of care for what it pays for either. The value of care that is realized for the amount spent is going down due to liability insurance and other costs. Furthermore, close to 50 million people in the US lack health insurance. The American healthcare system is the costliest in the world. Indeed, the high costs of American medicine have put many American businesses at a competitive disadvantage with foreign firms. In short, countries such as India, Thailand, Mexico, Dubai, and Costa Rica can provide healthcare treatment at much lower prices and better service than in the United States.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Sabre, Conferma Pay and Mastercard Join Forces to Power the Travel Economy with Virtual Cards

Sabre Corporation,Conferma Pay and Mastercard | November 29, 2022

Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR) a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, and Conferma Pay, a global fintech firm that specializes in payment technology, announced a new partnership with Mastercard to accelerate the use of virtual cards for business-to-business (B2B) travel payments. Today's announcement builds on Sabre's August 2022 acquisition of Conferma Pay. The collaboration with Mastercard is the next step in advancing Sabre's goal to create an open and independent travel payment ecosystem. Digitization of travel payments with virtual cards helps address the historic challenges associated with B2B leisure and corporate travel payments. The securely generated, single use card numbers provide a link between booking and associated payments to third party suppliers. Travel buyers and suppliers are therefore able to easily track and reconcile payments, as well as benefit from flexible pricing, financing options, and enhanced security through card payment guarantees. "The payments industry is in the midst of a revolution and there is an increased need for travel companies to better manage the whole payment experience, Companies in the travel space – including travel management companies, travel agencies, corporations, issuers and technology partners – need sophisticated solutions and seamless connections. Sabre is taking strategic steps to fulfill the needs of our industry, beginning with the acquisition of Conferma Pay. Now, the new partnership with Mastercard will help Conferma Pay to build new and enhanced digital capabilities in virtual cards, transforming the payment experience for issuers." -Roshan Mendis, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Sabre Travel Solutions. As part of the agreement, Mastercard has agreed to make a minority investment in Conferma Pay, which will continue to operate independently and serve the entire travel industry and beyond. Mastercard's investment in Conferma Pay is subject to customary closing conditions. A combination of experience, technologies and capabilities will accelerate travel payment innovation and drive inclusive and sustainable growth for the sector, said Chris Fendley, Executive Vice President, Enterprise Partnerships at Mastercard. Virtual cards deliver visibility, boost liquidity and increase control over B2B payment flows, which enhance payment strategies and empower organizations across the travel value chain to run, grow and protect their business, which has never been more essential. Conferma Pay connects issuers to more than 700 travel management companies, all the major global distribution systems and more than 100 online booking tools. Conferma Pay is fully integrated with all the major card schemes and serves more than 50 banking partners, who issue Conferma Pay generated virtual cards in nearly 100 currencies. "We've already made significant inroads in the B2B travel space through partnering with Sabre, We are excited about the new investments. This, combined with our existing strong relationships, will enable Conferma Pay to build on our global footprint and be at the forefront of addressing industry challenges and opportunities." -Martin Cowley, interim CEO at Conferma Pay Sabre's Virtual Payments will continue to offer Conferma Pay services – with increased capabilities that help travel buyers, agencies and corporations best support travel customer needs. Sabre Virtual Payments is a unique, secure, automated and integrated end-to-end payment solution designed to simplify and add value to the transactions that TMCs, OTAs, travel agencies, corporations and travel suppliers do every day. Sabre Virtual Payments takes all the capabilities of Conferma Pay and its network of issuers and combines it with seamless integration across Sabre products for -connected travel buyers, agencies and corporations. About Sabre Corporation Sabre Corporation is a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, serving a wide range of travel companies including airlines, hoteliers, travel agencies and other suppliers. The company provides retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, drive revenue and offer personalized traveler experiences. Through its leading travel marketplace, Sabre connects travel suppliers with buyers from around the globe. Sabre's technology platform manages more than $260B worth of global travel spend annually. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world. For more information visit www.sabre.com. About Mastercard (NYSE: MA) Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all. www.mastercard.com About Conferma Pay Conferma Pay is a global financial technology company. It designs and integrate virtual payment systems that provide a more efficient, seamless and secure way to pay for businesses. Conferma Pay was born in Manchester in 2005. Since then, it has connected over 700 TMCs, and directly integrates with all the major GDSs and OBTs. Its roots lie in corporate travel payment integration. It enables its payment providers to flow virtual cards into the preferred purchasing process of any business travel buyer. Crucial to this is its network of banking partners, who have issued virtual cards in over 200 countries, in 40 currencies with over 45 commercial banking partners via all major card networks. Its ecosystem continues to expand to meet the growing requirements of its global customer base.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Taconic Capital Advisors and HEI Hotels & Resorts Jointly Acquire Hyatt Regency Jersey City

Taconic Capital Advisors LP and HEI Hotels & Resorts | December 05, 2022

Taconic Capital Advisors LP (“Taconic”) and HEI Hotels & Resorts (“HEI”), announced that they have jointly acquired Hyatt Regency Jersey City from affiliates of Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) and Veris Residential Inc. (NYSE: VRE). The property is a full-service, 351-key hotel located adjacent to Exchange Place situated on a pier extending over the Hudson River in Jersey City, NJ.In conjunction with the purchase, Taconic and HEI were successful in assuming a $100 million fixed-rate CMBS mortgage with ample remaining term. The hotel was completed in 2002 and more than $15 million in subsequent upgrades have been performed since 2010. Major enhancements to the guestrooms, food and beverage outlets and event spaces are expected to commence under the new ownership. Hyatt Regency Jersey City occupies fee simple real estate with unmatched and undisturbed views of the Manhattan Skyline. The property features well-appointed guestrooms, a state-of-the-art gym and indoor heated pool, a restaurant and lounge and 20,000 square feet of meeting space that has long served as a popular venue for corporate retreats, weddings, and social gatherings. The hotel is centrally positioned amongst 28 million SF of office space within a one-mile radius and is conveniently located near world-famous attractions, including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, One World Trade and the 9/11 Memorial. “We are pleased to further our partnership with HEI and begin an exciting relationship with Hyatt. Hyatt Regency Jersey City was a compelling opportunity to acquire a world-class hotel with a strong segmentation mix and a diverse set of revenue contributors, The highly accretive assumable financing allowed us to continue our thesis for well-located urban, upscale hotels in an otherwise prohibitive financing environment.” -Andrew Lam, a Director in Taconic Capital Advisors’ Commercial Real Estate Group Hyatt Regency Jersey City is a wonderful property with a rich legacy that has greatly benefitted from Jersey City’s rapidly expanding corporate base as well as the revitalization of Hudson Yards and Lower Manhattan, said Clark Hanrattie, Partner at HEI. We are proud to team with Taconic on this important transaction and we are looking forward to making the hotel the very best it can be. The joint acquisition of Hyatt Regency Jersey City follows Taconic and HEI’s March 2022 purchase of the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown, NY, a 15-acre property that offers 444 guestrooms and 21 event rooms for a total of 26,700 SF of conference and meeting space, including a 9,000 SF ballroom. Over the past two years, Taconic has been involved in hotel transactions throughout the capital structure, spanning over 20 properties totaling more than 5,000 keys. About Taconic Capital Advisors Taconic Capital Advisors (“Taconic”) is a global institutional investment firm that pursues an event-driven, multi-strategy investment approach designed to generate strong, risk-adjusted returns over multiple market cycles. Taconic was founded in 1999 by former Goldman Sachs partners Frank Brosens and Ken Brody. The firm has approximately $8 billion of total assets under management with offices in New York, London and Hong Kong and more than 100 employees worldwide. Taconic’s full-service commercial real estate platform invests in all asset classes and across the capital structure in both public and private markets. The strategy’s brand mandate offers flexibility to capitalize on shifting market opportunities, creating uncorrelated risk-adjusted return profiles for investors. Rooted in distressed and opportunistic investing, the team applies high-touch asset management capabilities to drive strong asset-level performance and capital market executions. Well-established relationships drive Taconic’s unique and diverse transaction sourcing channels which include local operating partners, investor partners, and a broad network of lenders, CMBC special servicers, trading desks, and brokerage houses. Taconic’s series of closed-ended real estate funds are fully discretionary and have received over $1 billion in capital commitments. Investments to date across all Taconic funds total over $3 billion of gross asset value across approximately 175 distinct transactions. About HEI Hotels & Resorts Founded in 1985, HEI is an established expert on Luxury, Upper-Upscale, and Upscale hotels in Urban, Super-Suburban, and destination Resort locations across branded, soft-branded and independent lifestyle categories. The company’s portfolio currently includes 90-plus assets, representing more than 28,000 keys across approximately 30 different capital partners. HEI continues to be one of the most active investors in, and managers of, institutional-quality hotel assets across the US.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM,HOSPITALITY TRENDS

EPISODE Hsinchu Officially Debuts as the First Hotel in the JdV by Hyatt Portfolio in Taiwan

Hyatt Hotels Corporation | November 22, 2022

Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) announced the official opening of EPISODE Hsinchu, marking the first hotel within the JdV by Hyatt portfolio in Taiwan and the debut of the Hotel EPISODE brand which delivers new experiences that match the unique rhythms of the modern lifestyle traveler."Modern travelers have outgrown the one-size-fits-all business versus leisure mindset, and in response, we created the Hotel EPISODE brand for that community. Our guests can fuse a day’s worth of collaborative work with new encounters that not only energize them, but also make time for true rest,” said Aaron Chan, Chairman of Riant Capital and creator of the Hotel EPISODE brand. Located along Taiwan’s northwestern coast, Hsinchu is about an hour’s drive from Taipei and 40 minutes from Taoyuan International Airport. The city is globally renowned for its Hsinchu Science Park – also known as the Silicon Valley of Taiwan, and is home to top science and technology-focused universities and research institutes. Aside from being a technology innovation hub, Hsinchu features ancient architectural and cultural landmarks such as Chenghuang Temple and East Gate as well as scenic attractions such as 18 Peaks Mountain Park and Siangshan Wetlands. The hotel is conveniently located adjacent to the main freeway exit and a short drive from the Hsinchu Science Park. Westwood Restaurant curated by Michelin-starred Chef Richie Lin Westwood is Hsinchu’s newest culinary destination, a modern California fusion bistro serving comfort food. With its 1930s Art Deco-inspired interiors and an island bar with a vintage LA vibe that takes center stage, Westwood is a great place to dine and imbibe. Every morning begins with Chef Richie Lin’s “Around the World” variety of Western and Asian breakfast bento, including California-style avocado pancakes, Scandinavian rye sourdough with smoked salmon, and Hsinchu rice noodles and guabao. SOCIAL, an all-access lounge for the community The hotel’s aptly named communal space, SOCIAL, is an “all-access” living room for in-house guests as well as anyone in the neighborhood to meet or celebrate. In addition to offering all-day complimentary snacks, refreshments and a daily happy hour, SOCIAL will regularly host comedy shows, movie nights, live musical performances and DJ sets, serving as a vibrant new platform in the city for play, creativity and discovery. Thoughtful In-room Amenities The pet-friendly hotel features 140 stylish rooms and suites, all of which come with fine comforts such as 400-thread-count sheets, Sealy premium pillowtop mattresses, sleep kits and luxurious bathroom amenities. For guests staying in the hotel’s most premium Loft Suites, a Dyson Supersonic hairdryer and a cocktail-making bar serving Aquagen sparkling water are among the joy-driven offerings. In-room bottled water for all guests is provided in reusable glass bottles, a first step in Hotel EPISODE brand’s commitment to be more environmentally conscious. Self-Check-In System Leveraging technology for more streamlined and efficient service, the hotel has introduced self-check-in kiosks with the goal of minimizing wait time at check-in. The traditional front desk has been replaced with a dedicated team of Experience Providers who offer personalized service to each guest. Embracing the brand’s namesake (joie de vivre), the JdV by Hyatt portfolio offers a collection of independent properties that are true reflections of the urban neighborhoods they call home, inviting guests and locals alike to connect and celebrate the joy of life while unwinding in spaces designed with distinctive personality. Special Opening Package Now Available to Book Enjoy a one-night stay with two Westwood breakfasts and set dinners (worth NT$1500) specially crafted by Chef Richie starting from NT$7,199. For more information, please visit the EPISODE Hsinchu website. To make a reservation, please contact 03-516-9311. World of Hyatt Gives Members 500 Reasons to Stay Somewhere New To provide World of Hyatt members even more ways to be rewarded, World of Hyatt is offering members the opportunity to earn 500 Bonus Points for qualifying nights at EPISODE Hsinchu from November 1, 2022 to February 28, 2023, as part of World of Hyatt’s new hotel member offer. Additional participating hotels and their offer stay periods can be found at worldofhyatt.com/newhotelbonus. No registration is required and members can earn on top of other offers. The term “Hyatt” is used in this release for convenience to refer to Hyatt Hotels Corporation and/or one or more of its affiliates. About JdV by Hyatt A community for the spirited, the light-hearted, the young-at-heart, the JdV by Hyatt brand offers a collection of vibrant, independent hotels that are true reflections of the urban neighborhoods we call home. Embracing its namesake (joie de vivre), the JdV by Hyatt brand invites guests and locals alike to connect, live in the moment and celebrate the joy of life. Each hotel provides an experience that is inclusive in spirit and space, inviting all to make each stay yours truly. Follow @JDVHotels on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for news and updates. For more information, please visit www.jdvbyhyatt.com. About Hyatt Hotels Corporation Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company guided by its purpose – to care for people so they can be their best. As of September 30, 2022, the Company’s portfolio included more than 1,200 hotels and all-inclusive properties in 72 countries across six continents. The Company's offering includes brands in the Timeless Collection, including Park Hyatt®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt®, Hyatt Residence Club®, Hyatt Place®, Hyatt House®, and UrCove; the Boundless Collection, including Miraval®, Alila®, Andaz®, Thompson Hotels®, Hyatt Centric®, and Caption by Hyatt; the Independent Collection, including The Unbound Collection by Hyatt®, Destination by Hyatt™, and JdV by Hyatt™; and the Inclusive Collection, including Hyatt Ziva®, Hyatt Zilara®, Zoëtry® Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets® Resorts & Spas, Breathless Resorts & Spas®, Dreams® Resorts & Spas, Vivid Hotels & Resorts®, Alua Hotels & Resorts®, and Sunscape® Resorts & Spas. Subsidiaries of the Company operate the World of Hyatt® loyalty program, ALG Vacations®, Unlimited Vacation Club®, Amstar DMC destination management services, and Trisept Solutions® technology services. For more information, please visit www.hyatt.com.

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