Lufthansa invests in TripActions

Buying Business Travel | January 21, 2020

Lufthansa Group has become the first airline company to invest in business travel platform TripActions, kicking off a strategic partnership. The investment – made through the Lufthansa Innovation Hub – comes as TripActions continues to expand into Europe after opening offices in London and Amsterdam in 2018. It marks Lufthansa’s fourth investment in a tech company and closes a Series D funding round with more than US$250 million raised at a valuation of US$4 billion. TripActions was shortlisted for Best Self-Booking Tool at the 2020 Business Travel Awards. According to the company, the investment from Lufthansa adds to its global momentum and supports its growth into the UK. It claims to have seen 1,000 per cent growth in the country and predicts a doubling of employee headcount in the market 2020.

Spotlight

A city packed with great art and architecture, millions of visitors come each year to enjoy the experience that is Venice. Even at the height of tourist season, however, Venice is a travel destination that manages to exceed all expectations. Here are the top tourist attractions in Venice that make a visit to this.

Spotlight

A city packed with great art and architecture, millions of visitors come each year to enjoy the experience that is Venice. Even at the height of tourist season, however, Venice is a travel destination that manages to exceed all expectations. Here are the top tourist attractions in Venice that make a visit to this.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

HRS Offering Advanced Procurement Consulting and Technology to Hotels to Support Expedited RFP Response for Returning Corporate Volume

HRS | August 01, 2022

HRS, the leading global corporate travel and payment technology platform, announced the offering of its full range of consulting services to the hotel community in the coming months to support a revitalized corporate lodging ecosystem. Beyond data-driven consultation that reflects the hotel priorities of its corporate clients, HRS automation gives hotel sales teams the ability to access and more efficiently bid for corporate volume – all at a time when more corporate programs are using the RFP process to negotiate not only rates, but other elements vital to business travelers as they get back on the road.HRS, playing its part to facilitate corporate lodging’s recovery, is offering this unique package of localized consulting, unlimited bid refinement and RFP support at no charge to the hotel community. Among its growing client base, HRS works with 35 percent of Fortune 500 companies on their hotel programs. “It’s a new time for hotel corporate sales leaders. Travel patterns and dynamics are different, as are the definitions of 'travel' and 'workspace' for corporations, With volume rebounding and companies honing in on regional and national projections, married with the reality of diminished resources at many hotels, HRS is stepping up to help facilitate more opportunities for hotels to bid. Our unbiased RFP technology, data-driven analysis, and experts on the ground in key markets stand ready to help relevant hoteliers compete for these room nights.” -Lukasz Dabrowski, HRS’ senior vice president of global supplier relations. Optimized Tools Help Hoteliers Analyze & Refine Corporate Volume Bids HRS technology – with elements built specifically to aid hotels as they contend for corporate volume – is especially helpful for hoteliers at a time when companies are increasing their submission of RFPs and hotel sales teams are being re-built in the wake of the pandemic. In this fluid environment, it allows hoteliers 24x7 access to refine, revise and re-submit bid terms – all at no cost – as appropriate during the negotiation window. Other time-saving highlights include: Optimized bid submission processes that illustrate the progress towards completion of the submission, mandatory elements, and more Ability to anonymously view elements of competing hotel bids Multiple pre-filled fields in RFPs, reducing the time it takes for hoteliers to respond Simplified user-flow that addresses evolving corporate requests Efficient avenues to address the convergence of RFPs for different segments Transformative Attribute-Based Lodging Procurement, as Priorities and Process Have Evolved As new patterns come to light in the nascent post-pandemic corporate lodging arena, HRS is combining the buying concepts for transient, group, meetings and new Longstay segments to showcase the totality of anticipated client spend. Reflecting the new priorities of corporations – ranging beyond simple rates and amenities – HRS is helping hoteliers align with the most important elements of modern corporate hotel programs. This is particularly vital given the unforeseen elements impacting corporate travel procurement in varying locations, including items such as pandemic outbreaks, political instability, environmental changes and weather-related catastrophes. The “5S framework,” introduced by HRS in 2021, has proven effective in capturing the evolving scope of new requirements from the vast majority of corporate hotel programs. HRS is educating its hotel partners about the 5S framework and how addressing these elements on an ongoing basis can help hoteliers win more recurring volume. The 5S framework covers: Safety Satisfaction Savings Sustainability Security HRS is committed to working transparently with corporations and hotels to drive more automated, expedient negotiations, concludes Dabrowski. There is no longer a 'RFP Season' per se. Instead, automation is driving shortened four-week cycles that allow corporations to be nimbler and more targeted in their procurement activities all year long. Mix that in with prioritized hygiene and sustainability requirements, and hotels are competing in a totally transformed procurement process. About HRS HRS is reinventing the way businesses and governments work, stay and pay in today’s dynamic global marketplace. HRS’ advanced platform technology is extending its reach beyond hospitality to meetings, office space management, payment efficiency and crisis recovery. Beyond cost savings in the global post-pandemic economy, HRS clients gain from an unrivaled focus on essential aspects including safety, security and satisfaction. HRS is also recognized for its award-winning Green Stay Initiative, technology that helps corporate hotel programs achieve their NetZero targets, and its groundbreaking Crew & Passengers Solution, which leverages automation to elevate experiences for air and rail operations. Founded in 1972, HRS works with 35 percent of the global Fortune 500, as well as the world’s leading hotel chains, regional hospitality groups and payment providers. More information at www.hrs.com/enterprise.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

FocusPoint International Launches Global Consumer Travel Plan

FocusPoint International | June 16, 2022

On June 15, FocusPoint International, a market-leading global assistance company, announced launch of its CAP Tripside Assistance (CAP) service plan at their recent ribbon-cutting ceremony inaugurating their new 22, 000 square foot South Florida headquarters and Crisis Response Center (CRC) located in Plantation, Fla. The launch of this domestic travel protection package under CAP for vacations and excursions for Americans traveling within the USA is a result of the success of their international service plan. CAP offers advanced, international and domestic travel assistance and immediate response to stranded, in-crisis travelers or those encountering merely the threat of crisis. “Our goal is simple: to encourage international and domestic travel, and give peace of mind and security that allows our customers to enjoy the moment, create memories, and connect with the cultures and places they’ve planned for, We’ve long enjoyed success in servicing corporations and are now in a position to expand our market share by reaching leisure consumers all around the globe.” -Greg Pearson, founder and CEO of FocusPoint International and CAP CAP is fully indemnified by Lloyd’s of London. It is a full-service international and domestic travel protection for Americans traveling within the USA. It provides medical, and security assistance plans to cover different situations, either for short or extended periods, including, but not limited to: 24/7 unlimited live assistance with the Crisis Response Center (CRC) Assistance Hotline Destination-based health, safety and security information via the CAP Advantage app Home hospital of choice medical evacuations Referrals to medical and legal experts, language interpreters, legal services, and prescription advice and assistance Security evacuation services due to riots, strikes, civil commotion and more Vehicle return for those requiring immediate evacuation back to their country of origin Support for lost luggage or critical documents such as passports or visas Hospital-to-hospital transfers and mandatory quarantine expense coverage due to COVID-19 Mortal remains repatriation services to your country of origin FocusPoint was founded in 2011 and has served over 13 million customers across its network. It has been the choice of corporations, their C-suites, government dignitaries and other entities. They have 19 offices on five different continents and over 5, 000 proprietary and affiliate personnel in medical, security and crisis services.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Fraugster boosts chargeback protection for travel merchants post pandemic

Fraugster | August 02, 2022

Fraugster, an AI payment intelligence company, together with Worldline, a global leader in secure payments and trusted transactions, has confidently enabled travel merchants to weather the storm of the Covid-19 pandemic with its Chargeback Protection Solution. The solution eliminates chargeback losses for merchants by taking full liability for fraudulent transactions. At the same time, advanced AI trained on global payment data makes more accurate decisions to boost approval rates. Innovations in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) allow merchants to go-live without historical data by leveraging a new deep learning model. With the outbreak of Covid-19, global travel was grounded. This caused mass cancellations and a scramble for refunds, but also created new opportunities for fraudsters to strike overburdened travel operators (hotels, airlines and OTAs), and take advantage of weak points in the system. In addition, there was a surge in so-called "angry chargebacks" where customers claim not to have authorised a transaction, usually in response to being frustrated by a cancellation or booking change. Covid-19 fraud patterns and consumer payment behaviour were significantly different to those pre-pandemic. Similarly, data inconsistencies limited the ability to identify and prevent certain types of fraud attacks like last minute cancellations on short term bookings. Chargeback rates jumped to over 3%, versus a baseline of under 0.5% in normal circumstances. "Iberostar experienced a massive increase in fraud pressure during the pandemic. We were pleased that partners Fraugster and Worldline were able to act so quickly to design a new AI model specifically for us. In a few short months we reduced the Chargeback rate from 2.76% to 0.07%, which was a fantastic achievement," -Ferran Llompart, Corporate Treasury Director, Iberostar Additional factors make chargeback protection more relevant than ever. The first is that the total cost of managing chargebacks has risen to nearly 3x of the original transaction value, according to a Fraugster analysis. For verticals like travel, where average order values are in excess of $750, this implies a total cost of over $2000 per fraudulent transaction. Secondly, 80% of online merchants are reporting an increase in first party fraud (also referred to as "friendly fraud") where credit card credentials are intentionally or mistakenly abused. This trend is particularly acute in online gaming environments. These chargebacks are very difficult to prevent or mitigate and are costing companies margin, with limited recourse to recovering chargeback losses. Together these trends are increasing merchants' exposure to chargeback liability and are driving up the total costs related to chargebacks. With Fraugster's Chargeback Protection solution merchants are able to significantly reduce the costs attributable to managing chargebacks, plus chargeback losses and fees, with little to no integration effort. "Fraugster's approach to addressing chargebacks is to use a combination of machine learning and behavioral science to build a sharper picture of the transaction in question. This means merchants can provide a more seamless buying experience for legitimate customers while also preventing fraudulent transactions from getting through - this includes transactions that may turn into chargeback fraud later on, We are pleased that global brands have increased their revenue of between 5-16% since adopting Fraugster's Chargeback Protection solution product and report a steadier and more predictable financial coverage for chargebacks and bottom line impacts." -Christian Mangold, CEO of Fraugster. About Fraugster Fraugster is a Berlin based payment intelligence company. Fraugster enables the world's leading merchants, global payment companies like Worldline and Ratepay to intelligently manage the impact of fraud to minimize the costs of fraud, maximize revenue and improve customer experience. Fraugster has developed one of the most accurate AI compliance, risk and fraud management and revenue uplift platforms in the market and is backed by leading deeptech investors including Earlybird, Speedinvest and CommerzVentures. Further information can be found at https://www.fraugster.com/

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