Interprefy Raises $2.8 Million for Event Tech: Travel Startup Funding This Week

skift | May 31, 2019

Interprefy Raises $2.8 Million for Event Tech: Travel Startup Funding This Week
Startups announcing funding this week include Mindsay , a travel chatbot maker, Interprefy , a service for providing remote interpreters for events, Airfree, a service that sells duty-free products online during flights, and Airblack, a social-travel commerce startup. Earlier this week, Mind say raised a $10 million Series A round with participation by Accor and Groupe ADP (Paris Airports).DataArt, a technology consultancy for multiple sectors whose clients include Travel port and Apple Leisure Group, announced an undisclosed equity funding round led by the German development finance institution DEG.

Spotlight

Who’s ready to hit the slopes? Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Ski Destinations in the US, focusing exclusively on states out west. For this list, we’re looking at some of the best, most highly-regarded, unique and sometimes underrated downhill resort areas across the western United States.

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Khiri Travel Myanmar has announced that its joint venture partner in Myanmar

Khiri | August 11, 2020

Briels said that the COVID-19 pandemic was the catalyst for the decision. “I want to continue telling unique stories of Myanmar and creating experiences with niche products such as Lalay Lodge, biking adventures and others,” he said. Following Briels’s exit, Khiri Travel Myanmar will restructure and will continue to provide B2B travel services to clients as before. Since 2011, Khiri Travel Myanmar has been a joint venture between Briels, Aung Min Thein and Khiri Travel Ltd. Khiri Travel in Myanmar will now adjust internally while continuing to provide a full range of DMC services in the country.

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Mastercard Launches Tourism Innovation Hub in Spain

Mastercard | January 21, 2022

Mastercard announced the establishment of a new Tourism Innovation Hub in Spain, with the support of the Spanish Government. The Hub, based in Madrid and which will open in the second quarter of 2022, will develop solutions to support a sustainable and inclusive recovery for the global tourism sector through innovation, research and collaboration across the ecosystem. The initiative was ratified today, at the FITUR International Tourism Fair, between Reyes Maroto, Spain’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, and Mark Barnett, President of Mastercard Europe.In 2019, travel and tourism represented 10.4% of global GDP but nearly halved to 5.5% in 2020 - similarly international visitors spent US$1,691.5 billion in 2019 and the amount dropped to US$517.6 billion in 20201. And according to its latest forecast, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates that international tourist arrivals remained 70 to 75 percent below 2019 levels last year2. The impact also goes beyond GDP figures, with the industry playing a vital role in generating jobs and creating opportunities for micro and small businesses around the world. But despite the clear challenges, Mastercard data shows that there are opportunities for a robust recovery in the relatively near future. Many consumers are looking at how to spend their share of the extra US$5 trillion saved since the onset of COVID-193, and travel ranks second only to eating out as the out-of-home activity most missed during lockdowns4. There has been a clear willingness to travel that has been determined by pandemic-related restrictions. “There has been a multi-trillion dollar impact on the global tourism industry over the past couple of years, but Mastercard is committed to enabling innovation and ensuring that technology is harnessed for a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable recovery, The Tourism Innovation Hub will foster programs and build partnerships which will help the industry recover and drive more inclusive and sustainable tourism growth. Being located in Spain will allow us to leverage the expertise of a country intrinsically linked to tourism and the second most visited destination in the world." -Mark Barnett, President of Mastercard Europe. According to the Spanish Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto: "The Spanish Government believes that now is the time for us to work together to build the future of our post-pandemic tourism model. We are going to stop measuring the success of the Spanish tourism model exclusively by the increase in the number of tourists - we must now go beyond this and focus on quality, profitability, innovation and sustainability, as well as social inclusion and territorial cohesion. There is no time to lose in taking up this challenge. And we all need to work together - the institutions and the private sector - strengthening our alliances and bringing other partners on board so that the Spanish tourism sector maintains its international leadership." UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili added: “Tourism’s future will be driven by new ideas, new business methods and through joined-up solutions to overcome challenges and fulfil our sector’s enormous potential. UNWTO warmly welcomed the creation of a new Tourism Innovation Hub and looks forward to working closely with Mastercard to harness the power of data and creativity to build a more inclusive and sustainable sector.” The Tourism Innovation Hub will act as a global platform for industry research, tourism strategy development and the co-creation of tailored products and solutions, through partnerships and initiatives such as: Thought Leadership: leveraging data insights and capturing target consumer insights to identify trends and inform policy decision-making. Development Center: co-creating new products and services, codifying best practices and serving as a platform to bring together public and private sector partners to innovate together. Labs As A Service: designing, developing and testing new products and platforms that deliver digital first, sustainable and inclusive solutions for the industry, which address common business and consumer priorities. Supporting the Global Tourism Industry. Mastercard’s trusted network and leading technology stands at the heart of the global tourism industry: Facilitating payments so tourists can spend safely, securely and easily when they travel abroad Enabling digital payments acceptance for small businesses to allow them to benefit from the tourism economy Working with travel agents, airlines, hospitality providers and many others across the ecosystem Building loyalty through engagement programs and Priceless Experiences, giving tourists tailored access to the best and most exciting opportunities when they explore or return to preferred destinations Partnering with tourism agencies to supporting businesses in the tourism industry and encouraging inbound tourism through digital vouchers and incentive schemes Providing data insights to governments and tourism agencies to identify trends and inform strategies, including through the Mastercard Economics Institute Insights Reports, as well as executing inbound tourism campaigns. Sustainable tourism will be a key focus, and there will be close collaboration between the Tourism Innovation Hub and Mastercard’s Sustainability Innovation Lab, to help empower governments, businesses and consumers to transform how they adapt and create new sustainable tourism innovations in destination, travel, accommodation, experience, rewards and incentives and other services. Alongside this, Mastercard is working with the UNWTO, headquartered in Madrid, across a range of initiatives. For example, last year the company supported the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition, providing mentorship to innovative small businesses that are enabling sustainable and responsible tourism around the world. In Spain, Mastercard has a well-established track record of supporting the tourism industry, as part of the broader work with governments and cities around the world adapt their tourism strategies. In 2020, Mastercard's data intelligence tools helped the City Councils of Madrid and Barcelona identify how the flow of tourists were being impacted, helping them draw a roadmap to recover post-pandemic tourism. Additionally, in May last year, together with Turespaña, Mastercard announced the first Security Perception Index, which measures the level of confidence shown by visitors in Spain’s health-measures. The Tourism Innovation Hub becomes part of Mastercard's network of global centers of excellence around the world, including the Intelligence and Cyber Centre in Canada, the Fintech-Cyber Innovation Lab in Israel, the Mastercard Lab for Financial Inclusion in Kenya, and the Sustainability Innovation Lab in Sweden, as well as Tech Hubs in Dublin and New York City. About Mastercard 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

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

MakeMyTrip Limited Announces Partnership with Leading AI-Enabled Travel Booking App Hopper

MakeMyTrip | October 18, 2021

MakeMyTrip Limited, India’s leading online travel company, today announced its partnership with Hopper, one of the top travel booking apps for flights, hotels and car rentals, to help travelers save money with personalized recommendations and flexible booking capabilities. Through this partnership, MakeMyTrip aims to further enhance the flight booking experience by boosting its recently launched Price Lock feature. Hopper's Price Freeze technology will power MakeMyTrip’s Price Lock feature and enable customers to lock in flight fares for up to seven days while they are in the process of firming up their travel plans. Since its launch this year, the feature has seen increased adoption amongst flyers as the need for flexible travel has risen sharply post-pandemic. As travel bounces back, the company hopes to see travelers across India actively opting for and benefitting from Price Lock feature. By partnering with Hopper, MakeMyTrip plans to leverage its Price Freeze technology that has proven to drive conversions and increase revenue while offering transparency and flexibility to its customers. “Flexibility is the future of travel – it is how we want to build back demand and put consumer confidence back in booking travel freely, just as they did before the pandemic. As we double down in our efforts to enrich the flight booking experience on the MakeMyTrip platform, we are partnering with Hopper to make use of its innovative technology and pass on the benefits of smart and prudent flight booking to travelers. We are thrilled to extend valuable benefits and bring home best global practices of predictive pricing through Hopper’s data-driven capabilities and AI-rich airfare forecasting tools for our customers.” Rajesh Magow, Co-founder & Group CEO, MakeMyTrip Expressing excitement at joining hands with MakeMyTrip, Frederic Lalonde, CEO and Co-Founder of Hopper, said, “Consumer expectations have changed over the past year and a half, and flexibility is a make-it or break-it factor for travelers. Hopper’s Price Freeze technology will empower MakeMyTrip customers to plan and book their trips with peace-of-mind. As travel continues to rebound, and even enters a travel supercycle, Hopper Cloud is providing the fintech solutions that drive conversions and revenue.” With the addition of Hopper’s predictive algorithms and AI-enabled dynamic pricing tools, MakeMyTrip will be able to protect travelers against airfare volatility. By offering an opportunity for users to lock in low fares before they rise, Hopper's Price Freeze algorithms also help solve one of the major dilemmas of travelers – when is the best time to book my trip? Hopper is powering this partnership as part of its B2B initiative, Hopper Cloud. About MakeMyTrip: MakeMyTrip Limited is India's leading online travel company. We own and operate well-recognized online brands, including MakeMyTrip, Goibibo and redBus. Through our primary websites, www.makemytrip.com, www.goibibo.com, www.redbus.in, and mobile platforms, travellers can research, plan and book a wide range of travel services and products in India as well as overseas. Our services and products include air ticketing, hotel and alternative accommodations bookings, holiday planning and packaging, rail ticketing, bus ticketing, car hire and ancillary travel requirements such as facilitating access to third-party travel insurance and visa processing. About Hopper: Hopper is the world’s fastest-growing mobile-first travel marketplace. By leveraging massive amounts of data and machine learning, the company has developed several unique fintech solutions that help customers save money and travel better. Through its B2B initiative, Hopper Cloud, the company is syndicating its fintech solutions, infrastructure, and agency content. Whether it’s pricing volatility or trip disruptions, Hopper’s proprietary suite of fintech solutions address every pain point in the customer journey while driving conversion, repeat purchases, and profitability.

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Spotlight

Who’s ready to hit the slopes? Welcome to MojoTravels, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Ski Destinations in the US, focusing exclusively on states out west. For this list, we’re looking at some of the best, most highly-regarded, unique and sometimes underrated downhill resort areas across the western United States.