Global Travel Group unveils new tool for agents

Travel Daily Media | February 11, 2020

Global Travel Group announced additions to its software and tools available to members at an exclusive rate following a new partnership with leading travel technology company Net Effect. As part of the agreement, members will have the option to subscribe to a host of products all designed to streamline efficiencies for their own marketing and customer relations activities and drive sales. The new products are available now to its members and on sign-up, they will have access to full training and ongoing support to ensure they are able to use the software to its full potential.

Spotlight

Who says business and pleasure have to be separate? Today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Cities for Bleisure Travel (2019). For this list, we’re only looking at Pacific-Asian cities that have become popular with travelers looking to combine “business” and “leisure”, according to a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Spotlight

Who says business and pleasure have to be separate? Today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Cities for Bleisure Travel (2019). For this list, we’re only looking at Pacific-Asian cities that have become popular with travelers looking to combine “business” and “leisure”, according to a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit.

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FEATURES AND ADVICE

RoomRaccoon - The World's Number One Hotel Management System Now Available Across United States

RoomRaccoon | December 01, 2021

RoomRaccoon has expanded to the United States, offering accommodation property owners even greater opportunities to grow their business. Independent hotels in the U.S. will now have the chance to experience the full power of RoomRaccoon, the award-winning Hotel Management System (HMS). With the North American hotel market estimated to be worth $30.66 billion in 2020, RoomRaccoon can play a vital role in helping American hoteliers maximize their share of the market and navigate the new normal with virtual tools like contactless check-in. The Netherlands-based HMS provider has been available in Europe and Africa since 2017 and quickly became the preferred hotel tech solution for over 1,500 properties. In the months leading up to the full North American release, the company recruited and trained a team of local representatives who can offer hotel managers free online demos throughout the northern states and Canadian provinces. "This is a very important moment in the history of RoomRaccoon,Our mission is to empower hoteliers around the world, and this is a big step in that direction. We are excited about the opportunity to partner with hoteliers in North America." -Tymen Van Dyl, CEO, and co-founder of RoomRaccoon. RoomRaccoon is the most complete cloud hotel management system in the world that is designed to be easy to use and fully automated, offering hoteliers a simple, yet comprehensive solution that does the job of multiple hotel tech stacks. RoomRaccoon comes fully integrated with a Property Management System (PMS), Booking Engine, and Channel Manager, meaning you can manage everything from guest check-ins and check-outs, capture, and process direct bookings to instant rate and availability updates across multiple distribution channels in a snap. Other important tools and features that hoteliers benefit from include: Payment processing and card machine Revenue and Yield management Upsell functionality Guest ID scanner Financial reports Automated pre-stay, post-stay, and confirmation emails Online check-in Website builder With RoomRaccoon hoteliers can increase their occupancy rates, control their inventory, maximize their revenue and improve the overall guest experience. RoomRaccoon’s real power lies in the fact that it’s the most complete solution for the modern-day hotelier, said Van Dyl. Unlike legacy technology, RoomRaccoon is made to be compatible with over 138 third-party integrations. “North America opens up the opportunity to partner with even more innovative, fast-paced, and trend-setting companies. RoomRaccoon looks forward to expanding with our existing partners including Event Temple, Lightspeed, Expedia, and Ivvy. We’re excited to discover new opportunities where together we can make a real difference,” said Nick Kleynhans, Head of Partnerships at RoomRaccoon. Hoteliers can also keep an eye out for the RoomRaccoon team at hospitality expos and events next year. “We will be attending different events throughout North America. We believe in the power of events, meeting each other face-to-face, and getting to know the market,” said RoomRaccoon’s Event Planner Marit Hoencamp, who was behind the successful hospitality summit, Check-In 2021, hosted by RoomRaccoon where keynote speakers from Booking.com among others addressed important topics in the industry. What do RoomRaccoon clients think? Training on RoomRaccoon is a breeze compared to some other systems. As a team, we really understand the RoomRaccoon system," said Aimee Lawson, Assistant General Manager of Cloud Estate Boutique Hotel in Stellenbosch, South Africa. “RoomRaccoon has helped us improve our operations with the simplicity of the operating system from the front end and even from the back end. RoomRaccoon is the secret weapon to successful hotel management,” -Jayson Van Noordwyk, General Manager of O’Two Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa. What makes RoomRaccoon stand out in the crowded hotel tech space is the fact it is more than just a hotel tech company, RoomRaccoon is the brainchild of a hotelier who has first-hand experience of the daily operations and pain points involved in running a hotel. Nadja Buckenberger, the product owner at RoomRaccoon, faced many challenges when she first opened the doors of her own independent hotel, the Bliss Boutique Hotel in Breda, Netherlands. The crux was that she couldn’t find a single affordable solution that could manage all aspects of her property. That’s when she decided to join forces with Tymen to create one that could. About RoomRaccoon it was voted the best Hotel Management System in 2020 and 2021 by hotel managers and industry experts on Hotel Tech Report. The company was also nominated as the Netherlands’ fifth most successful software company in 2021 by Techleap.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

New Travel Company Aims To Disrupt Industry With Unique Platform, Proprietary Technology

nomad.me | October 28, 2021

With the busy holiday travel on the horizon, industry leaders Nick Reid and Todd Copley has recently launched nomad.me, a new travel subscription service poised to disrupt the industry with breakthrough aggregation technology and a zero commission markup model. Aimed at savvy leisure and business travelers looking to maximize value, the new platform enables members to pay $295 annually to access the company's proprietary technology to book the lowest possible rates – with a savings up to 60% – at over two million hotels, flights, car rentals, cruises and more. According to Reid – who has worked in every facet of the travel industry, including for such industry leaders as Thai Airways International – this community-based subscription model allows members to exclusively access the company's proprietary aggregation booking engine. "We are focused on revolutionizing the travel industry with an easier and improved buying experience, offering the best possible pricing because there are no markups or commissions," -Nick Reid Copley, a longtime travel industry executive with expertise in the global tour operator sector, travel product development and international hospitality contracting, says nomad.me dovetails into a growing trend – embracing a membership model accelerated by online perusing during the COVID-19 pandemic. "With the launch of nomad.me, we are meeting a growing demand with forward thinking technology," he said. "The subscription economy was on the rise before the pandemic but intensified its reach into nearly every industry as the outbreak persisted. This trend is expected to continue." -Todd Copley About nomad.me Offering enticing travel perks and deals, nomad.me is a community-based travel subscription business that allows members of its closed user group to access a proprietary aggregation booking engine. For more information, visit https://nomad.me/.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Despite the Pandemic, Brazil's Travel Tech Scene is Thriving

Skift | July 29, 2021

Brazil is proving to be a fertile ground for travel tech companies. According to a recent study, the country has 219 companies that provide corporate travel, online travel, distribution, and business intelligence. Entrepreneurs established the majority of these businesses in the last seven years. The country is positioning itself to become a Latin American travel tech hub comparable to Mexico, Colombia, and Argentina. These companies are investing now to gain a competitive edge in the post-pandemic period, and they are playing the long game. According to the So Paulo consultancy Loureiro Consultores, Brazil’s travel tech businesses are expected to generate or service about $6 billion (35 billion reals) in gross travel volume in 2022. The report expands on a rough version published a year ago by business travel company Onfly. The “agency and online reservations” area seems to be Brazil’s most robust category of travel IT firms, accounting for 29% of the total. To be sure, global brands like Booking.com, Expedia, and the Despegar-owned brand Decolar are major online travel sellers in Brazil. In addition, Hurb (formerly Hotel Urbano) is a local player, although it is backed in parts by Booking Holdings. Finally, Submarinoviagens is the online brand of CVC Corp, the established travel giant that claims itself as the largest group of travel and tourist businesses in the Americas. Nonetheless, despite these well-capitalized brands, smaller local competitors seem to be gaining momentum. 123milhas and Viajanet are among the agencies that have maintained or increased their market share throughout the crisis, thanks in part to smart marketing on Lusophone social media. Voopter has maintained its share of the travel price-comparison search, or metasearch, market, despite competition from Mundi, a brand purchased by Booking Holdings, Skyscanner, Trip.com Group, and Google’s travel search. YouVisa is a travel company that provides an adjacent service by digitizing and simplifying the still enigmatic process of obtaining visas for international travel. Just as Oyo Rooms and Ayenda Hoteles in Colombia have generated buzz with their branded hospitality franchise models, Brazil has its own similar tech-forward hospitality startup: Voa Hotéis. Housi in Brazil, like Sonder in the United States and Casai in Mexico, operates on similar business models. It sometimes signs master leases from property managers, creates short-term rentals, and markets them through online agencies. In addition, it sometimes owns the property itself. In December, the startup raised $11 million in funding. Optimized for Brazilian Travel The rise of domestic travel tech and trends in internet use and flight expansion is laying the foundation for a rebound. Millions of Brazilians moved from offline to online due to pandemic restrictions, similar to how China experienced a spike in digitization after the SARS epidemic in 2003. An estimated 150 million Brazilians use the internet, with the recent expansion of mobile broadband benefitting them. The success of the new airline Azul in introducing flights to places that other carriers had overlooked is also benefiting the growing middle class. Investors have mostly ignored the Portuguese-speaking country because they believe its middle-class has not yet reached “the inflection points” at which it would substantially increase travel spending, to use language from a Boston Consulting Group report. Investors have also been cautious about the country, which had only attracted around 5 million international visitors each year on average before the pandemic. However, the relative lack of foreign investor activity has made room for newer homegrown players to take and solidify positions in the long term. Strength in corporate travel tech Brazil’s travel tech scene seems to be doing particularly well in corporate travel. Brazil currently lacks a competitor to Barcelona-based TravelPerk or Palo Alto-based TripActions. Onfly, Paytrack, and Voll are three of the most promising businesses that could follow in their steps. However, it is still early on in the game. B2B Reservas is another promising company. It handles corporate travel distribution, reservations, and payments by connecting hotels to the biggest travel agencies, similar to HRS’s corporate travel marketplace. In an economy dominated by family-owned or state-backed conglomerates, the growth of these stand-alone companies is remarkable. However, it seems that many legacy companies in Brazil’s travel industry have left gaps that can be exploited by entrants, as Azul has shown in the face of established airlines like LATAM and Gol. Enterprise or business-to-business technology vendors are another intriguing categories in Brazil’s travel tech scene. Sensys Travel, for instance, is a business intelligence company that assists travel brands in tracking the rates that their competitors are placing on the market in “real-time.” Any effort to capture a travel company ecosystem should consider whether or not to include so-called mobility players, including ride-hailing companies, ground transportation operators, and next-generation aircraft manufacturers. Some analysts, such as Lufthansa Innovation Hub, include mobility players in their assessments. Brazil may offer a more compelling case for adding mobility players than other markets. The line between IT players providing tourism, business travel, and mobility in Brazil is often more hazy than in other markets. Much of the country’s leisure and business travel occurs outside of aircraft (almost no rail). WiiMove, like Berlin-based Omio, aims to capture multi-modal choices for travelers. The little cruise industry in Brazil is one of the country’s travel mysteries. According to the Wall Street Journal, the country’s Economic growth is expected to expand by more than 4.3 percent this year. In addition, a gradual easing of the pandemic should lead to a recovery in leisure and business travel.

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