Global Travel Collection | October 19, 2021
As countries reopen their borders and international air travel resumes, pent-up demand for hard-earned vacations is driving new luxury travel trends. Travel advisors and experts from the Global Travel Collection (GTC) recently shared key insights from travel bookings at "Elevate," the international virtual conference and trade show that brought together luxury travel advisors with 300 of the industry's leading luxury travel suppliers.
Travel advisors from All Star Travel Group, Andrew Harper, Colletts Travel, In The Know Experiences, Protravel International, R. Crusoe & Son and Tzell Travel Group, along with advisors from ALTOUR, a sister company of GTC at Internova Travel Group, comprise the largest selling force for luxury travel.
Luxury Travel Planning
Luxury is being redefined. Luxury travel advisor Maya George of Tzell Travel Group notes luxury travel is now more than expensive five-star hotels and first-class flights. It's the total package from beginning to end, and the connections made through the travel experience.
Planning for travel is now done farther out. Tiffany Bowne of All Star Travel Group shares that she's already booking summer and fall 2022 trips for clients, many of whom are also using a travel advisor for the first time. They're also booking multiple luxury trips at a time.
Travelers are spending more. It's been almost two years since some clients have taken a trip, said Scott Davis of ALTOUR, so they're willing to pay more for their next vacation.
Brazil is trending worldwide, according to Wagner Barros of Colletts Travel. "Some places in Brazil remind travelers of the Maldives," he says.
Exotic, far-off destinations are still in demand. Travelers are traveling to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia for sports fishing, said luxury travel advisor Paulette Darensburg of Protravel International. Maya George adds, there's also a huge buzz around Zanzibar and Roatan, Honduras.
Travelers still flock to the Caribbean and Mexico for privacy. Amy Blackenship of ALTOUR explains that private villas are plentiful here, and these destinations are reached easily by private air.
Safety and ease of entry are paramount. Luxury travel advisor Leslie Tillem of Tzell Travel Group says clients are constantly asking questions about travel requirements and health and safety protocols. This is expected to continue well into the next few years.
People want something different. Lily Szemplinski of In The Know Experiences shares clients want all the details of their trips taken care of so they can seek out new experiences that are inspiring and enlightening.
Luxury travel is evolving in ways that connect people with luxury products. Kamala Cummings of In The Know Experiences notes her clients are looking at travel as a means to rejuvenate their souls. They're seeking experiences and accommodations that are infused with gastronomy, art and fashion.
Luxury travelers are also seeking sustainability. Wagner Barros continues this is a trend that is going to stay as clients are increasingly asking for eco-friendly hotels and operators.
Luxury is not necessarily opulent hotels anymore. It is becoming more experiential and cultural, based within offerings at a property and within the destination itself, shares Stephen Scott, Protravel International.
Small boutique resorts and villas offer an ideal escape. Small boutique resorts and villas are the most sought-after accommodations, along with private yachts, notes Linda Seargent of Tzell Travel Group. Travelers want access to resort amenities but with the private space.
Domestically, luxury clients are looking for properties outside of major cities. What the pandemic has shown is we need more hotels in these areas, shares Ashley Les of Protravel International.
Space travel is piquing interest. Greg Kiep of Protravel International notes space travel is something that, though still new to the luxury travel space, will continue to gain interest over the next five years.
More are opting for trains over flights. Quality alone time is underestimated, says Maya George. Some travelers are preferring to take longer routes or different methods of travel, such as long, scenic train rides, to get away.
Cruising makes a big comeback. There is heightened interest in Luxury River cruising, particularly in Europe, for 2022 and 2023, comments Paulette Darensburg. World cruises are selling out in record time, notes Scott Davis.
"Our travel advisors are trusted counsellors with insider knowledge of emerging trends in the luxury travel space, and they know how to deliver these experiences to their clients seamlessly. They are becoming more of a concierge with their service levels. For the ultra-luxury clientele, these travel advisors travel with their clients to ensure everything is done correctly. They look after their travelers every step of the way, saving clients the time and hassle of having to make any necessary changes to their itinerary on their own."
Angie Licea, President of Global Travel Collection
Internova Travel Group recently launched its "Go Human. Book Human." advertising campaign to promote the value of a travel advisor as the complexity of travel continues in the wake of the pandemic. At the heart of the campaign is an immersive web experience on BookHuman.Travel that connects consumers directly with travel advisors from Protravel International, Tzell Travel Group and Andrew Harper Travel, travel brands of Global Travel Collection, the luxury and premium division of Internova.
About Global Travel Collection:
Global Travel Collection (GTC), a division of Internova Travel Group, is the world's largest collection of international luxury travel agencies, including the well-established networks of Protravel International, Tzell Travel Group, and Colletts Travel, as well as Andrew Harper, In the Know Experiences, All Star Travel Group and R. Crusoe & Son. GTC advisors and agencies are industry leaders in providing premium travel services to leisure travelers, corporate executives and the entertainment industry. The combined global reach and leverage translates into value, recognition, and preferential treatment for its world travelers.
About Internova Travel Group:
Internova Travel Group is one of the largest travel services companies in the world with a collection of leading brands delivering high-touch, personal travel expertise to leisure and corporate clients. Internova manages leisure, business and franchise firms through a portfolio of distinctive divisions. Internova represents more than 62,000 travel advisors in over 6,000 company-owned and affiliated locations predominantly in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, with a presence in more than 80 countries.
Sonder | January 07, 2022
Sonder Holdings Inc. (“Sonder”), a leading next-generation hospitality company that is redefining the guest experience through technology and design, announced it has added over 100 new corporate travel accounts over the last year as a result of the high demand for its thoughtfully designed, reliable and tech-enabled accommodations among business and group clients.Sonder has seen increasing corporate travel demand from the technology, hospitality, retail, entertainment and healthcare industries, and nearly half of Sonder’s corporate booked revenue was driven by corporate housing demand. With Sonder locations in major global business hubs, the most popular destinations for corporate and group bookings last year were New York City, Philadelphia, London, Dublin, New Orleans and Palm Springs.
“In this economy, companies offering a compelling relocation package to a prospective hire can really stand out,” shared Situ’s Managing Director Phil Stapleton. “Today, our clients are consistently prioritizing autonomous accommodation spaces that are comfortable, thoughtfully designed, tech-forward and in the right locations. Sonder consistently delivers across all these aspects, helping us provide the outstanding corporate housing experience our clients are looking for, which makes a difference.”
Sonder’s flexible accommodation options span individual hotel rooms to full apartments with multiple bedrooms, which are available for one-night or multi-night stays. Many spaces offer room to spread out and work remotely, with fully-equipped kitchens, living rooms, multiple bedrooms and en-suite laundry. Sonder’s tech-enabled experience makes it easy for travelers to request early check-in or late check-out directly from their phones, and to bypass crowded lobbies via check-in through the Sonder app. Sonder guests also receive instant support through the company’s 24/7 Concierge service through the app.
“We’re incredibly pleased with the traction we’ve seen among this important travel segment since launching a dedicated team focused on this customer base just last year, and to be working with strong partners in the space,Our continued growth and working with over 100 corporate clients has proven that there’s a significant need for thoughtfully designed, tech-enabled accommodations among these agencies and travelers.”
-Kristen Richter, Vice President of Sales at Sonder
Following the launch of its dedicated business travel offering and Global Distribution System connectivity in mid-2021, Sonder recently signed a partnership with ABC Global Services, a leading supplier of services and technology for travel agencies, advisors and professionals. ABC Global Services’ entire global agent network will now benefit from the ability to choose a comfortable, contactless stay at Sonder in more than 35 cities around the world, at preferential rates.
“While corporate travel may look a little different these days, what matters to our clients and their travelers remains the same: a consistent, comfortable and reliable hospitality experience,We believe that Sonder’s next-generation business model meets that need, delivering an experience that’s innovative, seamless and elevated – with flexible options for different types of stays and travelers.”
-Dee Runyan, President at ABC Global Services
Sonder also has active business travel partnerships with Egencia, HotelEngine and TripActions, three top Travel Management Companies.
Business Combination with Gores Metropoulos II
Sonder recently announced that the Registration Statement on Form S-4 filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on July 7, 2021, as amended by Amendment No. 7 filed on December 20, 2021, was declared effective on December 22, 2021. The Registration Statement was filed in connection with the proposed business combination of Sonder and Gores Metropoulos II, Inc. (Nasdaq: GMII, GMIIW, and GMIIU). A special meeting of Gores Metropoulos II stockholders to approve the business combination will be held on January 14, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time.
Sonder’s common stock and public warrants are expected to be listed on Nasdaq under the ticker symbols “SOND” and “SONDW,” respectively, following the closing of the business combination. Upon completion of the business combination, subject to any redemptions by the public stockholders of Gores Metropoulos II and the payment of transaction expenses at the closing, Sonder expects to have approximately $310 million in PIPE proceeds, up to $450 million in cash in Gores Metropoulos II’s trust account and $165 million of Delayed Draw Notes to fund operations and support new and existing growth initiatives.
Sonder is revolutionizing hospitality through innovative, tech-enabled service and inspiring, thoughtfully designed accommodations combined into one seamless experience. Launched in 2014 and headquartered in San Francisco, Sonder provides a variety of accommodation options — from spacious rooms to fully-equipped suites and apartments — found in over 35 markets spanning ten countries and three continents. The Sonder app gives guests full control over their stay. Complete with self-service features, simple check-in and 24/7 on-the-ground support, amenities and services at Sonder are just a tap away, making a world of better stays open to all.To learn more, visit www.sonder.com or follow Sonder on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Download the Sonder app on Apple or Google Play.
About Gores Metropoulos II, Inc.
Gores Metropoulos II, Inc. (Nasdaq: GMII, GMIIW, and GMIIU) is a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by an affiliate of The Gores Group, LLC, a global investment firm founded in 1987 by Alec Gores, and by an affiliate of Metropoulos & Co. whose Principals are Dean, Evan and Daren Metropoulos. Gores Metropoulos II was formed for the purpose of entering into a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses. Messrs. Gores and Metropoulos together have over 100 years of combined experience as entrepreneurs, operators and investors across diverse sectors including industrials, technology, media and entertainment, business services, healthcare and consumer products and services. Over the course of their careers, Messrs. Gores and Metropoulos and their respective teams have invested in more than 180 portfolio companies through varying macroeconomic environments with a consistent, operationally-oriented investment strategy. For more information, please visit www.gores.com.
AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS
Wheels Up | March 31, 2022
Wheels Up announced a new strategic partnership and a minority investment in Tropic Ocean Airways. Tropic Ocean Airways is the world's largest amphibious airline and leading provider of last-mile private charter and scheduled service in Florida, the North-eastern United States, the Bahamas, the Caribbean and beyond.
Wheels Up's multiyear commercial arrangement is the next move in its attempts to grow the addressable market for its product offerings and provide a seamless first- to last-mile travel solution for its members and consumers. Tropic Ocean's charter and select scheduled by-the-seat services will be integrated into Wheels Up's marketplace. Wheels Up members and customers will be able to book and pay for Tropic Ocean flights directly through their standard Wheels Up booking methods.
The parties' initial objective is to increase Wheels Up customers' access to alternatives inside Tropic Ocean's present service region. In addition, the parties hope to expand into new markets throughout the United States and the Caribbean.
Along with the commercial agreement, Wheels Up announced a minority capital investment in Tropic Ocean, a first for the company, to support Tropic Ocean's continued growth and specific shared initiatives under the commercial agreement, such as introducing new flight offerings exclusively for Wheels Up customers.
"Wheels Up is a clear leader in private aviation, and we're excited to partner with them in offering even more seamless travel options to their members and customers. This partnership will also help us extend the reach of our existing products, invest in our operational capabilities, and expand our offerings
-Rob Ceravolo, Tropic Ocean CEO