FEATURES AND ADVICE

Klarna acquires Inspirock, bringing smooth travel planning to its 90M global consumers

Klarna & Inspirock | October 25, 2021

Klarna, a leading global retail bank, payments and shopping service, is bringing its signature smoooth experience to the travel sector with the acquisition of Inspirock, an online trip planner that enables consumers to quickly and easily explore a destination's offerings and create personalized itineraries utilizing local expertise and artificial intelligence.

Over 25 million travelers a year use Inspirock to plan trips tailored to their interests or find inspiration on where to go and what to see. Klarna will integrate Inspirock's capabilities to allow Klarna's 90M users to plan and shop for a trip and pay for it in installments - all through the Klarna app. In addition, Klarna aims to save its customers hours of planning for the typical vacation by using Inspirock's technology.

By bringing Inspirock to Klarna, we are bringing the best of Klarna's smoooth customer experience to the travel sector. For customers, this makes the whole journey from inspiration to planning and preparing for a trip simpler, less stressful and more fun, while enabling our retail partners to better reach and engage with their audiences by offering more personalized content. It's a natural extension of the benefits Klarna brings to payments and shopping.

-Klarna CEO and Co-Founder, Sebastian Siemiatkowski

Inspirock's technology also enables Klarna to offer additional advertising and marketing opportunities to its growing network of over 250,000+ retail partners, helping them to reach high-intent shoppers with more curated and personalized content catered to their travel plans and preferences.

 "We are excited to bring simpler, easier trip planning to Klarna's 90m global consumers. Our goal at Inspirock has been to make planning a trip fast, fun and easy. Together we can deliver on Klarna's ambitions of providing a smooth shopping experience to the travel space in an innovative way. Klarna and Inspirock together can bring great inspiration, tools and shopping experiences, making planning the trip as fun as the actual trip itself."

-Anoop Goyal, CEO and Co-Founder of Inspirock

Klarna's marketing solutions include Comparison Shopping, an AI-driven styling engine, a virtual shopping platform, and an influencer marketing and measurement platform. Together, these services will help consumers make informed decisions about purchasing the products they want from the retailers they love at the best price. 

Travel is a huge global e-commerce market with strong predicted growth. 66% of global travel bookings are made online and this is expected to grow to 72% by 2025, creating a market worth a projected $833bn1. As Covid restrictions ease in many regions and travel plans are back in the calendar, Klarna research has shown that 21% of people put travel at the top of their list of categories they are going to splurge on in 20212.

About Klarna
We make shopping smooth. With Klarna consumers can buy now and pay later, so they can get what they love today. Klarna's offering to consumers and retailers include payments, social shopping, and personal finances. Over 250,000 retail partners, including H&M, IKEA, Expedia Group, Samsung, ASOS, Peloton, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nike and AliExpress have enabled Klarna's innovative shopping experience online and in-store. Klarna is one of the most highly valued private fintechs globally with a valuation of $45.6 billion. Klarna was founded in 2005, has over 4,000 employees and is active in 17 countries. For more information, visit klarna.com.

Spotlight

Named for good sailing winds, Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina and home to nearly a quarter of the country’s two million residents. Come for the stunning European architecture, and stay for delicious cuts of meat, the city’s zest for soccer, and, of course, the tango.

Spotlight

Named for good sailing winds, Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina and home to nearly a quarter of the country’s two million residents. Come for the stunning European architecture, and stay for delicious cuts of meat, the city’s zest for soccer, and, of course, the tango.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Competition for Leisure Guests Heats Up Between Hotels and Short-Term Rentals

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. About AirDNA 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. About STR 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.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY, DESTINATION AND TOURISM

American Express and Cvent Team Up to Make Virtual Payments More Seamless

AMERICAN EXPRESS | October 20, 2022

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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. 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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 METHODOLOGY 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. ABOUT CVENT 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. 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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY, INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

ARC and ForwardKeys Partner for New Destination Marketing Tool

Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) and ForwardKeys | September 21, 2022

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