International Tourism Numbers and Confidence on the Rise

travelandtourworld | May 21, 2019

The latest issue of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer from the World Tourism Organization shows that international tourism continued to grow over the first quarter of 2019. Though at a slower rate when compared with the last two years, the 4% increase registered in early 2019 is a very positive sign. The Middle East (+8%) and Asia and the Pacific (+6%) experienced the highest increase in international arrivals. Numbers in both Europe and Africa were up by 4%, and in the Americas growth was recorded at 3%.“International tourism continues to perform strongly worldwide fuelled by a positive economy, increased air capacity and visa facilitation”, says UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili. “Growth in arrivals is easing slightly after two years of exceptional results, but the sector continues to outpace the global rate of economic growth.”Europe, the world’s largest tourism region, reported solid growth (+4%), led by destinations in Southern and Mediterranean Europe and Central and Eastern Europe (both +5%). Growth in Africa was driven by the ongoing recovery in North Africa (+11%). In the Americas, the Caribbean (+17%) rebounded strongly after weak results in 2018, following the impact of hurricanes Irma and Maria in late 2017. In Asia and the Pacific, results for the first three months showed a 6% increase led by North-East Asia (+9%) and a very solid performance from the Chinese market. With this growth comes greater responsibility for translating it into better jobs and better lives”, Mr. Pololikashvili stresses. “We need to continue investing in innovation, digital transformation and education so that we can harness the many benefits tourism can bring while at the same time mitigating its impact on the environment and society with a better management of tourism flows.”

Spotlight

Throughout history sailing has been instrumental in the development of civilization, affording humanity greater mobility than travel over land, whether for trade, transport or warfare, and the capacity for fishing. The earliest representation of a ship under sail appears on a painted disc found in Kuwait dating to the late 5th.

Spotlight

Throughout history sailing has been instrumental in the development of civilization, affording humanity greater mobility than travel over land, whether for trade, transport or warfare, and the capacity for fishing. The earliest representation of a ship under sail appears on a painted disc found in Kuwait dating to the late 5th.

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

United Airlines and Virgin Australia Group Announce New Partnership

United Airlines & Virgin Australia Group | December 14, 2021

United and Virgin Australia Group announced today a new partnership that will enhance the travel experience between Australia and the Americas. This partnership will add more benefits for both MileagePlus and Velocity Frequent Flyer members as well as access to more one-stop connections to cities across the United States, Australia, Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America. The agreement, which is subject to government approval, is set to roll out starting in early 2022.Australia has always been a key part of United's network as demonstrated by United being the only carrier to maintain passenger service between the U.S. and Australia throughout the pandemic. In addition, United offers more flights to Australia than any other U.S. carrier and now extends its presence by adding Virgin Australia Group's comprehensive network. "The United States and Australia share a special bond and I'm especially proud that United was the only airline to maintain a vital link between these two countries throughout the pandemic,Looking ahead, Virgin Australia is the perfect partner for United. Our partnership provides considerable commercial value for both airlines and a shared commitment to offer the best travel experience for our customers." -United CEO Scott Kirby. United currently offers daily direct flights from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Sydney, while other services including flights from Houston and direct services to Melbourne are expected to resume later in 2022. Under this new partnership, United's customers will now have access to top Australian destinations including Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. In addition to the ability to redeem and earn points/miles, eligible premier MileagePlus and Velocity members will also receive the following benefits when flying on United and Virgin Australia worldwide: Priority check-in Priority boarding Priority baggage delivery and additional baggage check allowance Priority security clearance Lounge access The partnership will also triple Virgin Australia's reach into the U.S., with customers accessing United's vast domestic and international network, connecting at United's multiple Australian gateways. The partnership is another significant customer enhancement for the relaunched Virgin Australia, that will also see the airline resume the sale of codeshare flights at virginaustralia.com, starting with United services in early 2022, followed by the airline's other international partners. Virgin Australia first paused the sale of codeshare flights on its website at the height of the pandemic, and today's announcement will open a new gateway for travel between Australia and the U.S. and beyond. "We are grateful to have such a strong partner in United,They have proudly been one of Australia's most loyal and long serving aviation partners and their market strength both to Australia and in the United States brings great value to our guests. We look forward to innovating together on behalf of our guests to ensure they have the very best travel experiences to over 90 destinations in the U.S." -Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka. Committed to Ensuring a Safe Journey United is committed to putting health and safety at the forefront of every customer's journey, with the goal of delivering an industry-leading standard of cleanliness through its United CleanPlus SM program. United has teamed up with Clorox and Cleveland Clinic to redefine cleaning and health safety procedures from check-in to landing and has implemented more than a dozen new policies, protocols and innovations designed with the safety of customers and employees in mind. To manage entry requirements in different destinations, and find places to get tests, customer can visit United's Travel Ready Center. United Next United is more focused than ever on its commitment to customers and employees. In addition to today's announcement, United has recently: Launched an ambitious plan to transform the United customer experience by adding and upgrading hundreds of aircraft as well as investing in features like larger overhead bins, seatback entertainment in every seat and the industry's fastest available Wi-Fi. Announced a goal to create 25,000 unionized jobs by 2026 that includes careers as pilots, flight attendants, agents, technicians, and dispatchers. Announced that United will train at least 5,000 pilots by 2030 through the United Aviate Academy, with the plan of at least half being women and people of color. Required all U.S. employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Became the first airline to offer customers the ability to check their destination's travel requirements, schedule COVID-19 tests and more on its mobile app and website. Invested in emerging technologies that are designed to decarbonize air travel, like an agreement to work with urban air mobility company Archer, an investment in aircraft startup Heart Aerospace and a purchase agreement with Boom Supersonic. Committed to going 100% green by 2050 by reducing 100% of our greenhouse gas emissions without relying on traditional carbon offsets, including a recent agreement to purchase one and a half times the amount of all of the rest of the world's airlines' publicly announced Sustainable Aviation Fuel commitments combined. Eliminated change fees for all economy and premium cabin tickets for travel within the U.S. About United United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." In 2019, United and United Express® carriers operated more than 1.7 million flights carrying more than 162 million customers. United has the most comprehensive route network among North American carriers, including U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. For more about how to join the United team, please visit united.com/careers and more information about the company is at united.com. United Airlines Holdings, Inc. is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL". About Virgin Australia Virgin Australia Group is a major Australian airline operating scheduled domestic and short-haul international flights, charter and cargo services, and the award-winning loyalty program Velocity Frequent Flyer.The Group has been a competitor in the Australian aviation landscape for more than 20 years, carrying tens of millions of passengers in that time and operates three seating choices; Economy, Economy X (extra leg room Economy) and Business Class.Virgin Australia is now embarking on an exciting new chapter. In September 2020, US private equity firm Bain Capital acquired Virgin Australia and relaunched it as a mid-market carrier with a renewed focus on its heartland customer. Since that time the airline has simplified its fleet structure to an all-Boeing 737 fleet and has made significant investments in technology and customer experience. Virgin Australia is focussed on creating great experiences and has won many awards over the years including Best Cabin Crew, Best Domestic Airline and Best Economy Class. Velocity Frequent Flyer has also scooped a wealth of prestigious gongs including the Freddie Awards Best Program of the Year and Best Redemption Ability for Asia/Middle East and Oceania.+

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Holisto to Be Publicly Listed on the Nasdaq

Holisto. | June 15, 2022

On June 13, Holisto Ltd, a leading technology-based online travel booking platform, and Moringa Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company, announced that they entered a business combination agreement that would get Holisto publicly listed on the Nasdaq. Holisto Ltd’s expected pro forma equity value will be approximately $405 million, thanks to this business combination. Moringa’s non-redeeming public shareholders can receive a pro-rata portion of a bonus pool of up to an additional 1,725,000 shares at transaction close. This would result in a merger consideration of between 1.15 and 1.6 Holisto ordinary shares for each such Moringa Class A ordinary share not redeemed. However, the ratio of merger consideration for non-redeeming shareholders will depend on the number of Moringa shares redeemed. “From the outset we were inspired by the opportunity to disrupt the large, fragmented and complex travel booking market, using advanced big data and AI technologies that enable incremental cost savings and simplicity through the ability to combine offerings from multiple sources, Our combination with Moringa and access to public markets will allow Holisto to continue to aggressively leverage our technology by scaling our platform and infrastructure and expand our customer acquisition and brand awareness.” -Eran Shust, Chief Executive Officer and co-Founder of Holisto. “We are incredibly excited to announce the merger with Holisto. Holisto is innovating with advanced technology solutions in a large, global market which is ripe for transformation for the benefit of the consumer traveler. We look forward to our partnership and opportunity to leverage our expertise as Holisto continues to rapidly scale its business.” -Ilan Levin, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Moringa Holisto is a tech-based online travel booking platform. It harnesses the power of advanced AI to make travel more affordable and personalized for customers. Its unique holistic view of hotel rates and plans result from multiple inventory sources, including online travel agencies, wholesalers, global distribution systems, and hotel operators, so that consumers can get the best deals on their bookings.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

Expedia Group results improve but CEO sees ‘bumpy’ road ahead for global travel recovery

Expedia Inc | August 11, 2021

Expedia Group, the Seattle-based online travel giant, posted improved results for the second quarter, but cautioned that the resurgence of the pandemic is complicating the recovery of the global travel industry, and its business as a result. The company’s net loss of $301 million for the second quarter was an improvement over its loss of $753 million a year ago. Adjusted earnings per share were $1.13, exceeding analyst expectations of 60 cents per share. Revenue for the quarter more than tripled from last year to $2.1 billion, reflecting ongoing signs of recovery for the global travel industry. That compares to revenue of $2.9 billion in the second quarter of 2019, prior to the pandemic. Gross bookings rose to $20.8 billion, up from $2.7 billion a year ago, but still well below its $28.3 billion in bookings two years ago. Expedia Group includes travel brands such as vrbo, Orbitz, Hotwire, Trivago, Hotels.com, and Egencia in addition to the flagship Expedia.com. Despite seeing progress in the second quarter, the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant and lower vaccine rates in some parts of the world are creating new challenges, said Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern on a call with investors and analysts. Highlights from his comments: Expedia saw improvement in the overall market and in its business in the second quarter in North America and the U.S., particularly in domestic travel and vacation rentals. Improvement in international travel, corporate travel, and big city travel was “relatively muted, comparatively,” Kern said. However, travel has cooled off in July, following the close of the quarter. “There’s a lot of unknowns, including in the U.S., and we’re starting to see some of that percolate through cancellation rates and more volatility in the numbers,” Kern said. Kern expressed optimism that global travel will ultimately recover from the pandemic. “We believe that as vaccines continue to roll out across the globe, that will bring greater security and greater comfort and greater willingness to travel,” he said. “But the road may still be bumpy for a while, as we watch all the variants play out and various government responses to them.” Expedia Group on Thursday announced a marketing promotion for its apps to raise up to $12 million for UNICEF’s vaccination efforts in low-income countries

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