FEATURES AND ADVICE

IACE Travel Launches LIVE Virtual Tour to Hidden Treasures in Japan Series

IACE Travel | October 26, 2020

In light of international flight restrictions, IACE Travel is offering a different route for travelers missing out on trips to Japan. With the cooperation of Kotohira Bus Company, IACE Travel launches a series of virtual tours to the "Hidden Treasures in Japan." Broadcast live from Japan, this virtual tour series brings tourists to some of Japan's lesser known towns and villages. This is a new way of taking virtual tours than has ever been experienced. Get an idea of where to go and how to prepare for your next trip!

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OneConnect is a fully managed, cloud-based supplier aggregation platform that supports over 250 suppliers.

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OneConnect is a fully managed, cloud-based supplier aggregation platform that supports over 250 suppliers.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Mid-Century Modern Style and Sensibility of Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts Arrive on Fifth Avenue, with Second Hotel in New York City

Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts | December 21, 2022

Nostalgic nods to the glamourous era of travel set in the iconic, cosmopolitan allure of New York City's most well-known avenue. Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts – part of Marriott Bonvoy's® portfolio of 30 extraordinary brands – introduces its newest outpost in New York City with the opening of Le Méridien New York, Fifth Avenue. Taking cues from the European-born brand's mid-century modern design aesthetic, the chic hotel is a 21-story architectural masterpiece featuring 165 beautifully styled guest rooms and 17 apartment-style residences for longer stays. "Le Méridien has always inspired travelers to explore the world in style and savor the good life through the lens of its European spirit, and what better city to continue this legacy than in Manhattan, with our second hotel in the destination,As we continue to celebrate the brand's momentous 50th anniversary this year, we're delighted to expand on our global footprint and bring a distinct stay experience and chic signature programs to creative-minded travelers visiting New York City." -Jennifer Connell, Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts and Vice President, Distinctive Premium Brands, Marriott International. Designed by Gene Kaufman Architect, the hotel's light-colored masonry façade and grid of windows with dark railings blend traditional elements with a modern flair. The timeless chic interiors, designed by Paul Vega and Vennie Lau of New Jersey-based design studio VLDG, pay homage to the neighborhood that was dominated by the textile mercantile trade in the 20th century. Bold geometric patterns, contrasting colors, and textured fabrics are woven into the hotel's design scheme and infused with iconic New York City cultural elements and modern, mid-century design details. Signature design details include curated artwork throughout the lobby, including a luminous acrylic wall sculpture, a textile column that merges units of color and patchwork to create a patterned field, and a scale map printed on wood acoustic walls. Within the New York-inspired guest rooms, design takes shape with the brand's signature mid-century modernism along with custom murals that depict a map of Manhattan, with connecting waterways. Featuring a color palette with shades of grey and blue with pink accents for a cohesive aesthetic, the rooms – six of which have walk-out terraces – include the Le Méridien signature bed, MALIN+GOETZ bath products, 4K smart TVs, an elevated desk inspired by higher surfaces used by creative individuals, and more. Serving as a focal point of the hotel's public spaces, the Le Méridien Hub is a gathering place and modern reinterpretation of the traditional hotel lobby, serving custom-brewed, barista-crafted coffee beverages during the day and sparkling cocktails in the evening at the signature Latitude/Longitude Bar. The property's all-day ristorante, Allora, specializes in seasonally inspired, regional Italian aperitivi and fare including its signature Miller's Wife Pasta. Additional amenities and services include a complimentary 24-hour health club with Life Fitness equipment, in-room dining, and more. Located on Fifth Avenue between West 30th and West 31st, the new hotel is near some of the city's most notable sights including Empire State and Flatiron buildings, NoMad district, Herald Square, and not to forget, the famed Fifth Avenue shopping, and many more must-see, can't-miss attractions. Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts participates in Marriott Bonvoy, the award-winning travel program from Marriott International. Marriott Bonvoy Members will earn points for their stay at the new hotel, and at other properties across Marriott Bonvoy's portfolio of 30 extraordinary brands, including all-inclusive resorts and premium home rentals, as well as through everyday purchases with co-branded credit cards. Members can redeem their points for experiences including future stays, Marriott Bonvoy Moments, or through partners for luxurious products from Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques. With the Marriott Bonvoy app, members enjoy a level of personalization and a contactless experience that allows them to travel with peace of mind. To explore further and make a reservation, please visit www.Marriott.com/en-us/Hotels/NYCCMU-Le-Meridien-New-York-Fifth-Avenue. About Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts Born in 1960's Paris during an era of glamorous travel, Le Méridien® Hotels & Resorts continues to celebrate cultures around the world through the distinctly European spirit of savoring the good life. With over 110 hotels and resorts in more than 30 countries and territories, spanning from Maldives to Monaco and from Santa Monica to Sichuan, Le Méridien's engaging mid-century designed spaces coupled with chic signature programs put a playful twist on art, coffee, sparkling cocktails, summer, family, and inspire creative-minded travelers to explore the world in style. For more information, please visit www.lemeridien.com, and stay connected on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Le Méridien is proud to participate in Marriott Bonvoy®, the global travel program from Marriott International. The program offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, exclusive experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments, and unparalleled benefits including free nights and Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit www.MarriottBonvoy.com. About Marriott Bonvoy Marriott Bonvoy's® extraordinary portfolio offers renowned hospitality in the most memorable destinations in the world, with 30 brands that are tailored to every type of journey. Members can earn points for stays at hotels and resorts, including all-inclusive resorts and premium home rentals, and through everyday purchases with co-branded credit cards. Members can redeem their points for experiences including future stays, Marriott Bonvoy Moments™, or through partners for luxurious products from Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques®. To enroll for free or for more information about Marriott Bonvoy, visit www.MarriottBonvoy.com

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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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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Virgin Voyages Welcomes Paysafe Aboard for Online Payments

Paysafe and Virgin Voyages | November 30, 2022

Paysafe (NYSE: PSFE), a leading payments platform, announced a partnership with Virgin Voyages, Richard Branson’s lifestyle travel brand focused on delivering irresistible cruise vacations for adult travelers. Paysafe will ensure travelers can quickly and securely pay online for their next cruise with Virgin Voyages, whose payments risk will also be mitigated by Paysafe’s bespoke travel solution.Whether booking an opulent Virgin Voyages cruise in the Caribbean, Europe, or the South Pacific as well as Transatlantic crossings, travelers can now use their credit card to pay online to book their exclusively adult seabound vacation through Paysafe, with all transactions processed seamlessly. With 20+ years’ card-not-present payments’ experience, including for travel merchants, Paysafe will allow Virgin Voyages to better serve its global customer base by accepting payments in multiple currencies besides the U.S. dollar. The relatively high-risk nature of cruise travel payments – with cruises often booked many months in advance of travelers’ setting sail – will be mitigated by Paysafe, which has deep expertise in risk management for travel merchants. Paysafe’s custom risk product for Virgin Voyages leverages Mastercard’s T&E Risk Monitor, which is powered by Actuary, to provide the merchant with full transparency on the holdback and release of funds for processed ticket sales, ensuring effective credit risk management. Paysafe will also help Virgin Voyages negotiate the issue of fraud and chargebacks through its dedicated in-house risk and chargeback teams. In addition, a Cruise Line Relationship Manager at Paysafe will enable Virgin Voyages to overcome specific payments challenges. “We’re delighted to partner with Virgin Voyages, the latest venture from the iconic Virgin Group and its co-founder Richard Branson. We look forward to supporting this unique travel brand’s growth by leveraging our travel payments experience to facilitate the reservation process for Virgin Voyages and its customers.” -Afshin Yazdian, President of Merchant Solutions at Paysafe John Birdsall, Senior Director of Corporate Accounting at Virgin Voyages, commented: "Virgin Voyages is strongly focused on giving our Sailors the vacation of a lifetime, and this covers every aspect of their experience including booking their trip and making safe and secure online payments. Our partnership with Paysafe has helped create a smooth and seamless process." About Paysafe Limited Paysafe (NYSE: PSFE) (PSFE.WS) is a leading payments platform. Its core purpose is to enable businesses and consumers to connect and transact seamlessly through industry-leading capabilities in payment processing, digital wallet, and online cash solutions. With over 20 years of online payment experience, an annualized transactional volume of over U.S. $120 billion in 2021, and approximately 3,500 employees located in 10+ countries, Paysafe connects businesses and consumers across 100 payment types in over 40 currencies around the world. Delivered through an integrated platform, Paysafe solutions are geared toward mobile-initiated transactions, real-time analytics and the convergence between brick-and-mortar and online payments. Further information is available at www.paysafe.com. About Virgin Voyages Virgin Voyages is a new lifestyle travel brand focused on delivering irresistible cruise vacations. Scarlet Lady and Valiant Lady - the first and second ships in the fleet - were designed to reflect a yacht’s sleek luxury, offering the intimate, elevated experience of a boutique hotel at sea. Featuring spaces designed by some of the top names in contemporary interiors, our Lady Ships are exclusively adult, a sanctuary at sea for the 18+ traveler. A dose of Vitamin Sea is naturally intertwined across the entire ship, with well-being, relaxation and rejuvenation at the forefront. Our fleet sails to 100 of the world's most incredible destinations with 25+ unique itineraries across four continents. Each sailing offers alluring entertainment and Michelin-inspired menus served across 20+ world-class eateries. With a modern twist on luxury, coupled with discerning design, Virgin Voyages offers incredible value for its Sailors, including food, essential drinks, WiFi and group fitness classes, all covered in the voyage fare.

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