Indonesian Travel Startup Seeks to Raise Funds Valuing Company at $4.5 Billion

Traveloka, one of the largest online travel companies in Southeast Asia, is in talks to raise fresh funds that could value the Indonesian startup at as much as $4.5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.Traveloka, which counts global travel company Expedia Group Inc., Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com Inc. and venture-capital firm Sequoia Capital among its investors, is looking to raise $500 million in its latest funding round, the people said.

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Business Travel, Airlines and Airports

interCaribbean Announces Upcoming Launch of Non-Stop Flights Between Bridgetown and Kingston

InterCaribbean Airways | January 08, 2024

In a significant development for Caribbean regional travel, interCaribbean Airways is excited to announce the upcoming launch of its new non-stop flight service connecting Bridgetown, Barbados, and Kingston, Jamaica. Scheduled to commence on February 6th, 2024, this service will mark a new chapter in the connectivity between these two major Caribbean destinations. Bridgetown, the Southern Caribbean hub for interCaribbean, will see flights to Kingston on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with return flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Operated by interCaribbean's CRJ700 Jet aircraft, this route will be the only non-stop service between Bridgetown and Kingston. "We are proud to introduce this non-stop service, which is a direct response to the growing need for improved travel connectivity in the Caribbean," said Trevor Sadler, CEO of interCaribbean. "This new route is set to enhance both business travel and tourism, bringing these two vibrant cities closer." This new service also introduces convenient one-stop connections for passengers traveling from southern destinations such as Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, Georgetown, Antigua, and Dominica, further expanding the reach and impact of the route. These connections will significantly enhance the travel experience for passengers, providing more efficient and streamlined travel options within the Caribbean. With the introduction of the Bridgetown-Kingston service, interCaribbean continues to expand its network, reinforcing its role as a key player in Caribbean aviation and contributing to stronger connections within the region.

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Destination and Tourism

TravelHost Relaunches Brand with New Website and Marketing Initiatives, Eyes National Expansion

TravelHost | January 05, 2024

TravelHost, the premier provider of local news and information for travelers, has unveiled the first step of a comprehensive transformation today with the launch of a new website and multi-media marketing initiative. This is the beginning of a brand revitalization strategy that includes new social channels and the premier of a 15-second commercial that will air on digital and broadcast platforms in Q1 2024. Founded in 1968 as the nation's first in-room hotel magazine, TravelHost was purchased last year by Bridge Media Networks (Bridge Media), a growing media conglomerate, to join a lineup of national media outlets including TV networks NEWSnet™ and Sports News Highlights™ and DRIVEN Autos. Orestes Baez, an industry veteran with more than 35 years of experience in the magazine and newspaper business, was hired as CEO to revamp the TravelHost brand and expand the service markets. Baez has opened six new markets in 2023, including: Nashville and Pigeon Forge, TN; Austin, TX; Virginia Beach VA; Phoenix, AZ; and San Diego and Orange County, CA. TravelHost plans to add 100 additional markets throughout the United States over the next five years. This rapid growth initiative and new marketing strategy highlight the brand's commitment to providing travelers with custom-curated recommendations to eat, shop, play, and stay. "TravelHost has helped families create unforgettable moments for 55 years," said Baez. "We are committed to building the innovative products and services that will help our customers make new memories in the years to come. With deep, hyperlocal expertise driving our business, TravelHost will help any traveler 'live like a local'." The all-new Travelhost.com website, created in partnership with BLOX Digital, boasts intuitive navigation, robust review-style articles, available e-Editions of the printed magazines and an integration with Expedia for hassle-free reservations. Users can also opt-in for a complementary newsletter to deliver the latest local tips right to their inbox. TravelHost will make use of BLOX Digital's full solutions suite, a strategic move aimed at enhancing efficiency and managing costs. "We are delighted that TravelHost has chosen to partner with BLOX Digital," said Brad Ward, CEO of BLOX Digital. "Our team looks forward to helping TravelHost harness the full potential of our fully-integrated platform to expand into new markets, improve efficiency, and boost digital revenue."

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Travel Technology, Hospitality Management

AirDNA Acquires Uplisting, Setting New Standards in Short-Term Rental Intelligence and Management

PR Newswire | January 10, 2024

AirDNA, a leading short-term rental (STR) data provider, announced today the acquisition of vacation rental software and channel management system Uplisting. This acquisition marks a pivotal leap in AirDNA's mission to provide a comprehensive, one-stop solution for those investing in and operating short-term rental properties. Demi Horvat, CEO of AirDNA, shares the vision behind the acquisition: "Merging Uplisting's first-class property management tools with our unparalleled market insights will create holistic, tailored solutions for all STR stakeholders, from aspiring hosts to large professional managers. This integration equips users with robust tools for every step on their journey, from research and investment to set-up and ongoing optimization of their properties." Uplisting, an Airbnb Preferred Plus software partner, is a powerhouse for effectively managing and synchronizing STR listings on key platforms like Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com. Its automation of critical tasks like real-time booking updates and guest communication has made it indispensable in optimizing the operations of vacation rental hosts and property managers globally. In 2023 alone, Uplisting processed an estimated $400 million in bookings, empowering users with reliable technology tools that catalyze growth. Vincent Breslin, Founder of Uplisting, commented: "Joining forces with AirDNA opens up a realm of possibilities for the vacation rental market. With our combined wealth of expertise, we are poised to redefine industry standards, driving innovation and delivering enhanced value to all our clients." In another decisive move to strengthen its commitment to STR hosts, AirDNA is introducing a new Dynamic Pricing feature that automatically syncs AirDNA's Smart Rates™ to Airbnb. This much-requested functionality empowers users to maximize booking revenues, drawing on extensive data from millions of listings on Airbnb and Vrbo to provide effective pricing recommendations. "Dynamic Pricing makes it easier for busy STR hosts to set their rates by automatically analyzing market and competitor trends. This ensures the best prices are delivered in real-time to their Airbnb listings, eliminating guesswork and manual adjustments. With our focus on building easy-to-use tools for hosts and Uplisting's comprehensive suite for bookings, operations, guest communication, and beyond, we're bringing professional tools within reach of everyone," said Horvat. Following AirDNA's acquisition of Arrivalist in July 2023, these strategic milestones showcase AirDNA's dynamic expansion under the umbrella of predictis, a family of software-enabled data businesses, and a portfolio company of Alpine Investors. "With this second acquisition in just six months, AirDNA is poised for continued growth and innovation, and with more developments in the pipeline, it is well positioned to expand its leadership position at the forefront of the short-term rental industry," remarked Jean-Marc Levy, CEO of predictis. FOCUS Capital Partners Ireland served as the financial advisor to Uplisting.

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