TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY, DESTINATION AND TOURISM
AMERICAN EXPRESS | October 20, 2022
American Express® (NYSE: AXP) and Cvent® (Nasdaq: CVT), a market-leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider, introduced enhanced features to the Cvent Event Marketing & Management platform that further expand virtual payment capabilities, leveraging American Express’ integrated budget management and payment automation solutions.The enhanced features provide a seamless meetings & events (M&E) payment experience for American Express Corporate Meeting Card and vPayment clients using the Cvent Event Marketing & Management platform, by:
Streamlining onboarding and improving the user experience, including a step-by-step escalation process to provide additional support
Simplifying M&E expense allocation with American Express @ Work Reconciliation®, a free 24/7 tool that eases the invoicing process
Increasing virtual funding account options with vPayment, an American Express® payment solution that assigns a single-use account number to each transaction to help increase billing efficiency, expected to be available in the US and UK late 2022
Incorporating an automated reconciliation process, providing users with greater budget visibility, more audit controls, and better data consistency, expected to be available early in 2023
“As large companies increasingly look to bring people back together for client events or internal gatherings, they want more simplification, efficiency and automation, and managing their budgets has become more important, That’s why we partnered with Cvent to deliver an enhanced virtual payment and automation solution that helps provide a seamless user experience and better serves our clients’ needs.”
-Dean Henry, Executive Vice President, Global Business Financing, Payments & Digital Experiences at American Express
According to the new American Express Meeting & Events Trendex1, 97% of corporate event planners believe company events and meetings are equally or more important compared to pre-pandemic, with about three-fourths (74%) saying they expect their 2023 meetings and events budget to increase. While over eight in ten (81%) planners are already using an automated payment process, 82% say they plan to further automate their payment processes within the next six months.
Looking deeper into the main attributes corporate event planners are looking for in a spend management software platform, the top five are:
Simple user experience (50%)
Enhanced security (48%)
One integrated meeting & expense budget platform (39%)
Greater budget visibility (37%)
Automated end-to-end reconciliation (37%)
Since 2018, American Express and Cvent’s virtual payments integration has allowed event managers to pay suppliers and manage meetings and events budgets with American Express virtual account numbers via the Cvent Event Marketing & Management platform. These new American Express and Cvent enhancements aim to address growing needs as companies continue to reimagine what returning to the office, M&E planning, and business travel look like.
“Capturing actual meetings and events spend has long been an organizational pain-point with cumbersome invoices, manual spreadsheets, and siloed processes – which ultimately leads to decreased visibility and reduced budget control, For over two decades, Cvent has helped thousands of companies gain greater control over these expenditures, and with our American Express® payment enhancements, organizations can streamline their payment and reconciliation processes to deliver greater visibility and insights into their total meeting and event spend. In today’s environment, controlling costs is essential for event programs to maximize ROI and prove their value to the organization.”
-Anil Punyapu, Cvent Senior Vice President of Sales
1The Morning Consult poll was conducted between September 1-September 5, 2022 among a sample of 305 Corporate Meeting Planners & Event Organizers employed full time or part time, with one of their main responsibilities including organizing/planning/marketing events. The interviews were conducted online. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 6 percentage points.
ABOUT AMERICAN EXPRESS
American Express is a globally integrated payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, instagram.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress. Key links to products, services and corporate responsibility information: personal cards, business cards, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, Accertify, Kabbage, Resy, corporate card, business travel, diversity and inclusion, corporate responsibility and Environmental, Social, and Governance reports.
Cvent Holding Corp. (Nasdaq: CVT), is a leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider with more than 4,700 employees and approximately 21,000 customers worldwide. Founded in 1999, the company delivers a comprehensive event marketing and management platform and offers a global marketplace where event professionals collaborate with venues to create engaging, impactful experiences. Cvent is headquartered in Tysons, Virginia, just outside of Washington D.C., and has additional offices around the world to support its growing global customer base. The comprehensive Cvent event marketing and management platform offers software solutions to event organizers and marketers for online event registration, venue selection, event marketing and management, virtual and onsite solutions, and attendee engagement. Cvent’s suite of products automate and simplify the event management process and maximize the impact of in-person, virtual, and hybrid events. Hotels and venues use Cvent’s supplier and venue solutions to win more group and corporate travel business through Cvent’s sourcing platforms. Cvent solutions optimize the event management value chain and have enabled clients around the world to manage millions of meetings and events. For more information, please visit Cvent.com.
COMMERCIAL TRAVEL, AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS
Southwest Airlines | September 22, 2022
Southwest Airlines Co. ( NYSE: LUV) is rewarding its Rapid Rewards Members for their long-term support by giving them a limited-time incentive, making it easier to earn tier status through 2023. Starting today, Rapid Rewards® Members have more opportunities to maintain or accelerate their way to the highly coveted A-List or A-List Preferred tier status.
"We're making it easier for our Members to either earn A-List or A-List Preferred tier status, or maintain it through next year as a way to show our appreciation for their continued engagement with Rapid Rewards, We believe loyalty is a two-way street, and this is our way of thanking Customers for continuing to fly Southwest and for trusting us to connect them to the people and places that matter most in their lives."
-Jonathan Clarkson, Vice President of Marketing Loyalty & Products at Southwest Airlines
Reward Travel Counts
Southwest Airlines® is counting reward flight segments from Jan. 1 through Sept. 19, 2022, and applying them toward tier status segment requirements so Members can continue to enjoy the benefits and rewards they love and value. No registration is necessary for Members, and qualifying reward flight segments were automatically added to Members' tier progress on Sept. 13.1 Customers can view changes in the "My Account" section on Southwest.com.
Earn With New Reward Travel
Rapid Rewards Members who register and purchase Southwest® flights using Rapid Rewards points through Nov. 30, 2022, can now earn flight segment credits that count toward A-List or A-List Preferred tier status through 2023.1 The flight segment will appear in "My Account" within 72 hours after the flight is completed.
Earn Double Tier Qualifying Points
Southwest Rapid Rewards Members who register for this promotion and purchase Southwest qualifying flights, and travel through Nov. 30, 2022, can earn double tier qualifying points toward A-List or A-List Preferred tier status for 2023.2
Join Rapid Rewards
The Rapid Rewards program is designed around a simple concept—to make earning reward flights faster and easier. With Rapid Rewards, every seat is a reward seat, there are no blackout dates, and points don't expire. Customers can create an account to become a Rapid Rewards Member at Southwest.com.
All Rewards flights are subject to availability and taxes, fees, and other government or airport-imposed charges of at least $5.60 per one-way.
Tier qualifying points are earned on flights paid entirely with dollars, LUV Vouchers, gift cards, or travel funds, and with no portion of the purchase price paid for with Rapid Rewards points. Only qualifying activity will be eligible for flight credits.
ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
Southwest Airlines Co. operates one of the world's most admired and awarded airlines, offering its one-of-a-kind value and Hospitality at 121 airports across 11 countries. Having celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2021, Southwest took flight in 1971 to democratize the sky through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel and now carries more air travelers flying nonstop within the United States than any other airline.3 Based in Dallas and famous for an Employee-first corporate Culture, Southwest maintains an unprecedented record of no involuntary furloughs or layoffs in its history. By empowering its more than 62,0004 People to deliver unparalleled Hospitality, the maverick airline cherishes a passionate loyalty among as many as 130 million Customers carried a year. That formula for success brought industry-leading prosperity and 47 consecutive years5 of profitability for Southwest Shareholders ( NYSE: LUV). Southwest leverages a unique legacy and mission to serve communities around the world including harnessing the power of its People and Purpose to put communities at the Heart of its success. Learn more by visiting Southwest.com/citizenship. Southwest is also continuing to develop tangible steps toward achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, including offering Customers an opportunity to help the airline offset its carbon emissions. To be part of the solution, visit Southwest.com/wannaoffsetcarbon.
AirDNA | November 15, 2022
A new joint report from hospitality data supplier STR and short-term rental analytics provider AirDNA shows that competition between short-term rentals and hotels has accelerated in the fight for leisure guests, with the price gap tightening and rental supply falling behind in urban markets.During the pandemic, the U.S. short-term rental sector used its supply flexibility to recover faster than hotels, especially in coastal and mountain destinations, pushing rentals' market share to a record 17% of total lodging in summer 2020. Hotels retargeted towards leisure guests to reclaim demand, focusing on urban areas, pushing short-term rentals' market share back to below its pre-pandemic trajectory.
"During the pandemic, short-term rentals had an advantage over traditional hotels due to consumer perception of better COVID-19 safety, Now in 2022, hotels can compete on price and have claimed demand on key holidays where, pre-pandemic, they typically lost out on leisure travelers."
-AirDNA Vice President of Research, Jamie Lane
Hotels Lead in Cities
In large cities, short-term rental supply contracted dramatically as demand dropped off in 2020, while government subsidies helped to reduce permanent closures of hotels. As urban demand began to recover in 2022, hotels were ready to accommodate travelers, while urban rental supply remains 17% below 2019. With strict regulations limiting short-term rentals in cities like New York and San Francisco, which both lost 25% of their pre-pandemic supply levels, supply is unlikely to fully recover in these areas.
"Looking to the future, hotel supply will likely remain strongest in urban and suburban locations, with low development in coastal and rural areas due to higher barriers to entry, where short-term rentals will likely see more opportunity for growth,"
-STR's Vice President of Analytics Isaac Collazo.
A new STR survey of more than 1,000 travelers shows that value for money is an important factor for rental guests, even more than hotel guests. Despite the perception that rentals are cheaper, in 2019, hotels and comparably-sized rentals were priced around the same, except in urban locations. In large cities, hotels were priced 42.9% higher than rentals, but that gap has closed to 26.6% in 2022. Hotels are now offering lower rates than rentals in all location types except urban and coastal resorts, where the difference is 10%.
While rentals' market share is highest in coastal and mountain or lake destinations, in urban and suburban locations their share has flattened or declined. Rentals should continue to grow their market share, albeit at a slower pace than pre-pandemic, led by expansion in resorts and small towns less well-served by traditional hotels.
AirDNA helps hosts, property managers, and investors succeed in the short-term vacation rental market by turning rental data into actionable analytics. The Denver-based company has tracked the daily performance of 10 million vacation rentals in 120,000 global markets since 2014 to provide real-time market insights. Their range of online and exportable reports offer a solution for everyone in the industry to analyze trends, price rentals, identify new investment opportunities, and benchmark performance.
STR provides premium data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights for the global hospitality industry. Founded in 1985, STR maintains a presence in 15 countries with a North American headquarters in Hendersonville, Tennessee, an international headquarters in London, and an Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore. STR was acquired in October 2019 by CoStar Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSGP), the leading provider of commercial real estate information, analytics and online marketplaces.