Kentucky Travel Body Chief Optimistic About Owensboro Tourism Prospects

Travel and Tour World | May 06, 2019

The city of Owensboro may be of little fame at present, but according to President and CEO of the Kentucky Travel Industry Association (KTIA) Hank Phillips, the city is
surely doing something right. Phillips informed the crowd at Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce’s Rooster Booster about the city’s successes in drawing more attention to the city.Mark Calitri, President and CEO of the Owensboro Convention and Visitors Bureau, played a brand-new promotional video highlighting many of Owensboro’s best qualities. The three-minute video–at times, moving, while upbeat and inspirational at others – included clips of the Owensboro Air Show, local businesses and restaurants, the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, Kentucky Motor Speedway, the downtown riverfront, ROMP, and, of course, barbeque, bluegrass and bourbon.

Spotlight

From quick getaways to bucket-list travel experiences, consumers are spending more time and money on travel than ever before. The vast array of online booking sites offering premium travel deals at affordable prices have made it easy for consumers to choose destinations with the tap of a finger. But, it has also forced airlines and hotels to work harder to get - and keep - consumers’ attention.While the majority of travel consumers are brand-conscious, only 9% begin their journey with a specific travel brand in mind. However, when they have a relationship with a travel brand, they’re 22% more likely than average to select that brand over another. Here, we look at the travel consumer and how experiential and social amplification strategies develop relationships that build loyalty.

Spotlight

From quick getaways to bucket-list travel experiences, consumers are spending more time and money on travel than ever before. The vast array of online booking sites offering premium travel deals at affordable prices have made it easy for consumers to choose destinations with the tap of a finger. But, it has also forced airlines and hotels to work harder to get - and keep - consumers’ attention.While the majority of travel consumers are brand-conscious, only 9% begin their journey with a specific travel brand in mind. However, when they have a relationship with a travel brand, they’re 22% more likely than average to select that brand over another. Here, we look at the travel consumer and how experiential and social amplification strategies develop relationships that build loyalty.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Nobu Hospitality to Launch a Hotel and Restaurant on the Stunning Island of Santorini, Greece

Nobu Hospitality | January 19, 2022

Nobu Hospitality, the global lifestyle brand founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro, and Meir Teper, is delighted to announce its first hotel and restaurant in Greece – the Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Santorini, scheduled to open in spring 2022.Situated on the island's captivating northeast coast, the boutique hotel houses a signature Nobu Restaurant, full-service spa, fitness facility, dual-level infinity pool, and five luxurious pool villas, and offers panoramic views of both the Caldera and Aegean Sea from its unique clifftop location in Imerovigli. Just a 10-minute drive to the charming coastal town of Oia and 20 minutes from Santorini (Thira) International Airport, the hotel is well-positioned along the famed Oia-Fira hiking trail that runs between Oia and Fira, Santorini's cosmopolitan capital. Nobu Hospitality has entered a long-term management agreement with MonteRock International (MRI), a group with over 25 years of experience in a variety of core industries including hospitality, media, food & beverage, real estate, banking, and industrial technology. "We are very excited to be coming to Santorini and to work with the local community on this exciting project. Santorini is one of the most highly regarded destinations in the world with its rare beauty, famed for its distinctive cuisine, whitewashed architecture set with a backdrop of steep cliffs, and dramatic sunsets lighting the sea and sky. We look forward to inviting locals and international travellers alike to experience the Nobu lifestyle in this special destination." -Trevor Horwell, Chief Executive Officer Nobu Hospitality Alfredo Longo, Chief Executive Officer MonteRock International comments, We are really proud of the rock-solid collaboration we are having with Nobu brand throughout the years, and we are now more than delighted to expand together in the hospitality industry. In this incredible 'canvas' such as the Island of Santorini, the finest of what Nobu lifestyle and cuisine have to offer would be served in a 'picture-perfect setting,' catering to every need at the highest standards. Adding to Nobu Hospitality's European portfolio, the launch of Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Santorini marks the 26th hotel around the world and tenth hotel in the European continent, with properties in Rome, San Sebastián, and Hamburg also in development.

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FEATURES AND ADVICE

IDEMIA ID2Travel Delivers End-To-End Frictionless Biometric Travel Experience in North America

IDEMIA I&S North America | December 07, 2021

IDEMIA I&S North America, the leading identity security and authentication solutions provider, announced the first-of-its-kind travel platform, ID2Travel is launching in North America. ID2Travel is the only interoperable traveler identity platform covering the entire passenger facilitation ecosystem, already proven by IDEMIA and partners around the globe.Based on identity management and biometric identification, ID2Travel is a passenger facilitation solution that improves the traveler experience to deliver efficient, secure and frictionless travel. The platform is interoperable and can be deployed as part of the airport, airline, port or any travel-based infrastructure, or through IDEMIA's patented and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)-rated biometric capture solutions. The passenger experience from check-in and across every touchpoint in the travel experience uses identity proofing that leverages mobile enrollment with secured digital credentials on the traveler's mobile device, biometric devices, and technology back-end services. "ID2Travel is transforming the entire travel experience,Prior to COVID, Americans took approximately 2.3 billion trips, over a one-year period, and this makes the need for the passenger experience to be even more frictionless and seamless as we return to pre-pandemic travel patterns. With that experience and privacy in mind, the timing couldn't be more ideal to launch our ID2Travel offering in North America to improve passenger flow and maintain a touchless experience, while balancing interoperability throughout the broader travel ecosystem." -Lisa Sullivan, Senior Vice President, Travel and Transport, IDEMIA I&S North America Passengers can enroll using a mobile device from home by scanning a state ID or passport, and then taking a selfie to do a 1:1 match. Once submitted for enrollment, travelers will be able to use biometrics to securely and simply move through the airport to their gate and beyond in their travel experience. The IDEMIA solution also allows passengers to opt out and remove their enrollment at any time and all data is immediately removed from the system, empowering the traveler to take full control of their personal identity information (PII). IDEMIA is the only company that has successfully delivered a complete biometric enrollment to gate frictionless passenger facilitation solution (Fast and Seamless travel at Changi by IDEMIA, Aéroport Paris Orly, a biometric journey from check-in to boarding, Iceland's Comprehensive Entry/Exit System with IDEMIA).For more information visit: https://www.na.idemia.com/id2travel About IDEMIA I&S North America IDEMIA I&S is a leader in identity security and authentication services to governments and private companies, operating in North America. Our mission is to help people access what matters most more quickly, more safely, and more securely, in both the physical and the digital worlds. Our best-in-class technology helps to authenticate and secure physical and digital transactions. IDEMIA is recognized by the National Institute of Standards (NIST) as a top-ranking participant in the Institute's passenger facilitation simulation testing as well as in its regular Face Recognition Vender Test (FRVT) rankings, reinforcing the trustworthiness and reliability of IDEMIA's facial recognition solutions for government and consumers alike.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Introducing AKEN Hotels & Resorts, a New Hospitality Brand Rooted in the Joy of Conscious, Connected Travel

AKEN Hotels & Resorts | November 08, 2021

Inspired by modern luxury travelers’ aspirations, a new hospitality brand is connecting guests to high-end independent properties that exemplify a destination’s most distinctive, compelling experiences. Luxury hospitality management consulting firm Amek Group launched AKEN Hotels & Resorts earlier this month with a collection of upper-upscale to ultra-luxury independent hotels. In contrast to a soft brand, AKEN aims to disrupt traditional, one-model-fits-all approaches by offering deep flexibility and customization for owners and operators, under a single brand umbrella. “We have seen a need in the industry, among independent upscale-and-above properties that are inimitable, artful reflections of their destinations and unlike any other hotel, Many of these gems need additional support in order to reach their potential. By becoming part of the AKEN brand, they can operate with the same levels of support and technology that international brands have, while retaining their independence. Ultimately, this will connect more travelers to authentic, meaningful experiences.” -Luis Gallotti, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Amek Group. The AKEN brand proposition aims to disrupt and reinvent international hospitality management and branding practices. AKEN Hotels & Resorts offers carefully selected properties the opportunity to expand their potential through its services. A hotel that becomes part of AKEN can retain varying degrees of its own branding, based on how much brand presence is needed to help position or differentiate it. On the operational side, AKEN offers an array of different services, from global sales and representation to full management, and has structured 16 different options for properties. “Flexibility is what today’s hotel owners are looking for, and we are incredibly excited to offer this level of customization under a single brand umbrella,” Gallotti said. AKEN is also changing norms by taking on small projects with no minimum number of rooms, an inclusiveness rarely found within large international chains. Whether a property has eight rooms or 150, has existing technology and property management system (PMS) capabilities or needs dynamic solutions such as the company’s proprietary platform built with Sabre, AKEN aims to add value, ultimately strengthening the growing global interest in independent hotel experiences. The brand offers a service standards culture based on the desires of the modern luxury traveler to be spoken to naturally, in an unscripted way. The brand offers three collections: Spirit, Soul, and Mind. AKEN “Spirit” hotels are typically luxury to ultra-luxury, AKEN “Soul” properties are upper-upscale to luxury, and AKEN “Mind” hotels are upscale to upper-upscale. These designations are intended to help travelers easily find hotels that best fit their desires, as experience levels vary based on portfolio. In “Spirit,” for example, the Villa Beluno Hotel in Bariloche, Argentina, is a 14-room property nestled along the shore of Nahuel Huapi Lake, surrounded by the Andes. “Soul” offers properties such as the lush, wine-focused Entre Cielos, set amidst a vineyard in Mendoza, or Bio Habitat in Circasia, Colombia, which is surrounded by more than 16,000 square meters of native forest and features rooms and experiences designed to immerse guests in nature. “Mind” includes offerings such as La Urumpta, a 60-room hotel in Cordoba, Argentina, featuring decor inspired by local culture. When it comes to loyalty, the team behind AKEN Hotels & Resorts has taken a different approach from that of many other travel brands. The loyalty platform, “AKEN Community,” has social and environmental impact and guest gratification in mind. “When a guest makes a reservation through our website,” says Lisandro León Liguori, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Amek Group, “they will have the opportunity to choose from one of three local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to which we, AKEN, and the hotel itself, will donate a total of one US dollar. The three organizations will benefit children, the environment, or animals.” AKEN plans to roll its automatic donation program out in 2022. AKEN also rewards its guests right away, from their first direct booking. “We believe that for the post-pandemic luxury traveler, instant gratification is especially important at the moment of decision-making, because the future is less certain than in previous years,” León Liguori said. Examples of these instant benefits could be a welcome drink or bar discount, extended check-out, early check-in, upgrades, or a personalized in-room amenity, for example. Amek Group recently welcomed Rodrigo Tsutsumi as AKEN Hotels & Resorts Vice President for the Americas. Having most recently spent 10 years at Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Tsutsumi has a unique perspective on the distinct advantages and challenges of both chain and independent hotel business models. “One of the core strengths of AKEN Hotels & Resorts is that we are able to provide our member hotels with the knowledge, experience, and competency on par with what a traditional hotel chain may provide, but with a clear emphasis on fostering these independent hotels’ freedom and distinctiveness,” said Tsutsumi. The launch of AKEN Hotels & Resorts also includes “Experiences” that connect guests to deeply immersive, non-traditional lodging experiences including luxury glamping, yachts, and more. The brand’s “Residences” offerings are secluded private residences with full service and amenities similar to many of those found at a traditional hotel. Uman Lodge, a 16-room AKEN Residences experience in the midst of lush vegetation just north of Chile’s Aysen region, offers a harmonious blend of relaxation and adventure, and amenities suited to a longer stay. About AKEN Hotels & Resorts AKEN Hotels & Resorts is a US-based brand that connects travelers to one-of-a-kind experiences at a collection of independent, upscale-and-above properties that illuminate a destination’s most compelling attributes. AKEN’s continued growth includes additional properties expected to be announced by the end of 2021, and plans to continue expanding into the US and Central and South America. For more information, visit akenhotels.com, or follow the brand on Instagram at @aken_hotels. About Amek Group Amek Group is a white label hospitality service offering tailored management and consultancy for hotels and resorts. Strategically located between Miami, Florida, USA and Buenos Aires, Argentina, Amek Group is the only hospitality company to singly offer independent brands all operational and strategic needs to develop, manage, or operate a hotel. It currently carries 15 properties and experiences in its portfolio. “Amek,” which means “big brother” in the indigenous South American language known as “Onas,” was formed by childhood friends Luis Gallotti and Lisandro Léon Liguori. Basketball brought them together in their native country of Argentina, forming a partnership that would carry them from their youth through recruiting a team of their own. Amek Group’s portfolio of consultancy, development, management, learning, and quality assurance speak to the current favored business model of using remote teams, vertical integration, and a cooperative of hand-selected industry experts. Visit amekgroup.com for more information.

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