MakeMyTrip inks pact with TripAdvisor

Travel Daily Media | October 11, 2019

MakeMyTrip has signed an agreement with travel platform major TripAdvisor to offer choices for local experiences at international destinations to outbound Indian tourists. Travellers looking to discover the world will now have over 250,000 bookable tours and activities from the online travel company to choose from when they visit MakeMyTrip’s ‘experiences and activities’ section, the company said.

Spotlight

Japan's tourism industry is on the verge of becoming a major economic engine for the country. In 2020, Japan will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games and enjoy a global platform for its people, culture, and landmarks. Recently, tourism has been positioned as an engine to solve social challenges in Japan and support economic growth. The March 2015 McKinsey Global Institute report, The Future of Japan: Reigniting Productivity and Growth, described how Japan has the potential to more than double its annual GDP growth, to 3 percent, by increasing productivity. This insight is also applicable to tourism, and this report investigates the challenges and potential impact of several initiatives aimed at addressing obstacles to realizing its inbound tourism goals.

Spotlight

Japan's tourism industry is on the verge of becoming a major economic engine for the country. In 2020, Japan will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games and enjoy a global platform for its people, culture, and landmarks. Recently, tourism has been positioned as an engine to solve social challenges in Japan and support economic growth. The March 2015 McKinsey Global Institute report, The Future of Japan: Reigniting Productivity and Growth, described how Japan has the potential to more than double its annual GDP growth, to 3 percent, by increasing productivity. This insight is also applicable to tourism, and this report investigates the challenges and potential impact of several initiatives aimed at addressing obstacles to realizing its inbound tourism goals.

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U.S. Virgin Islands tops Travelzoo poll of Caribbean favorites

Travelzoo | September 07, 2020

The U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) has been listed by Travelzoo’s U.S. members as the destination they would most like to visit in the Caribbean over the next two years. Travelzoo, a leading global travel company with 30 million members worldwide, reports the Caribbean should be prepared for a return of North Americans seeking warmth and refuge from the lockdowns and strictures of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In a recent survey of its widely traveled membership, Travelzoo found that the key to bringing travelers back to the Caribbean lies in providing visitors timely and accurate travel restriction information, and cleaning and disinfecting guidelines. Other factors include visitor safety, travel deals, a low or declining number of COVID-19 cases, flight availability and fewer restrictions, such as mandatory quarantine and curfews.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Federal Government of Brazil Trials Fully Digital, Face-Based Boarding Program at Santos Dumont Airport

Serpro, IDEMIA | March 18, 2021

To exploit the new service, passengers will initially have to stop for a photograph when they check-in at the air terminal. That photograph will at that point be contrasted with a picture in a government database, permitting the air terminal to interface the individual's face to their Brazilian CPF number and their travel documents. From that point forward, they will at this point don't have to introduce those documents (either their identification or their boarding pass) as they travel through the air terminal. They can rather enter lounges and get onto their plane with just a facial recognition filter. The opt-in biometric boarding program requires the assent of the traveler, and will at first just be offered to clients flying with Azul airlines. Be that as it may, the technology will be introduced at different air terminals expecting all works out positively. The Santos Dumont organization comes in the wake of an earlier paperless boarding pilot at the Florianópolis and Salvador airports in 2020. The facial recognition terminals being utilized in the trial feature technology from IDEMIA, Digicon, and Azul/Pacer. The Federal Government is trusting that the Embarque + Seguro program will empower a contactless travel insight during the COVID-19 pandemic, and limit standby times at security checkpoints. “With biometric boarding, travelers will be able to enjoy a more peaceful experience at the airport, while having total control of biometrics at each stage of the trip,” said IDEMIA Sales Director Márcio Lambert. “Our solutions adopt simple, secure and economical approaches, without ever putting data security at risk.”

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Despite the Pandemic, Brazil's Travel Tech Scene is Thriving

Skift | July 29, 2021

Brazil is proving to be a fertile ground for travel tech companies. According to a recent study, the country has 219 companies that provide corporate travel, online travel, distribution, and business intelligence. Entrepreneurs established the majority of these businesses in the last seven years. The country is positioning itself to become a Latin American travel tech hub comparable to Mexico, Colombia, and Argentina. These companies are investing now to gain a competitive edge in the post-pandemic period, and they are playing the long game. According to the So Paulo consultancy Loureiro Consultores, Brazil’s travel tech businesses are expected to generate or service about $6 billion (35 billion reals) in gross travel volume in 2022. The report expands on a rough version published a year ago by business travel company Onfly. The “agency and online reservations” area seems to be Brazil’s most robust category of travel IT firms, accounting for 29% of the total. To be sure, global brands like Booking.com, Expedia, and the Despegar-owned brand Decolar are major online travel sellers in Brazil. In addition, Hurb (formerly Hotel Urbano) is a local player, although it is backed in parts by Booking Holdings. Finally, Submarinoviagens is the online brand of CVC Corp, the established travel giant that claims itself as the largest group of travel and tourist businesses in the Americas. Nonetheless, despite these well-capitalized brands, smaller local competitors seem to be gaining momentum. 123milhas and Viajanet are among the agencies that have maintained or increased their market share throughout the crisis, thanks in part to smart marketing on Lusophone social media. Voopter has maintained its share of the travel price-comparison search, or metasearch, market, despite competition from Mundi, a brand purchased by Booking Holdings, Skyscanner, Trip.com Group, and Google’s travel search. YouVisa is a travel company that provides an adjacent service by digitizing and simplifying the still enigmatic process of obtaining visas for international travel. Just as Oyo Rooms and Ayenda Hoteles in Colombia have generated buzz with their branded hospitality franchise models, Brazil has its own similar tech-forward hospitality startup: Voa Hotéis. Housi in Brazil, like Sonder in the United States and Casai in Mexico, operates on similar business models. It sometimes signs master leases from property managers, creates short-term rentals, and markets them through online agencies. In addition, it sometimes owns the property itself. In December, the startup raised $11 million in funding. Optimized for Brazilian Travel The rise of domestic travel tech and trends in internet use and flight expansion is laying the foundation for a rebound. Millions of Brazilians moved from offline to online due to pandemic restrictions, similar to how China experienced a spike in digitization after the SARS epidemic in 2003. An estimated 150 million Brazilians use the internet, with the recent expansion of mobile broadband benefitting them. The success of the new airline Azul in introducing flights to places that other carriers had overlooked is also benefiting the growing middle class. Investors have mostly ignored the Portuguese-speaking country because they believe its middle-class has not yet reached “the inflection points” at which it would substantially increase travel spending, to use language from a Boston Consulting Group report. Investors have also been cautious about the country, which had only attracted around 5 million international visitors each year on average before the pandemic. However, the relative lack of foreign investor activity has made room for newer homegrown players to take and solidify positions in the long term. Strength in corporate travel tech Brazil’s travel tech scene seems to be doing particularly well in corporate travel. Brazil currently lacks a competitor to Barcelona-based TravelPerk or Palo Alto-based TripActions. Onfly, Paytrack, and Voll are three of the most promising businesses that could follow in their steps. However, it is still early on in the game. B2B Reservas is another promising company. It handles corporate travel distribution, reservations, and payments by connecting hotels to the biggest travel agencies, similar to HRS’s corporate travel marketplace. In an economy dominated by family-owned or state-backed conglomerates, the growth of these stand-alone companies is remarkable. However, it seems that many legacy companies in Brazil’s travel industry have left gaps that can be exploited by entrants, as Azul has shown in the face of established airlines like LATAM and Gol. Enterprise or business-to-business technology vendors are another intriguing categories in Brazil’s travel tech scene. Sensys Travel, for instance, is a business intelligence company that assists travel brands in tracking the rates that their competitors are placing on the market in “real-time.” Any effort to capture a travel company ecosystem should consider whether or not to include so-called mobility players, including ride-hailing companies, ground transportation operators, and next-generation aircraft manufacturers. Some analysts, such as Lufthansa Innovation Hub, include mobility players in their assessments. Brazil may offer a more compelling case for adding mobility players than other markets. The line between IT players providing tourism, business travel, and mobility in Brazil is often more hazy than in other markets. Much of the country’s leisure and business travel occurs outside of aircraft (almost no rail). WiiMove, like Berlin-based Omio, aims to capture multi-modal choices for travelers. The little cruise industry in Brazil is one of the country’s travel mysteries. According to the Wall Street Journal, the country’s Economic growth is expected to expand by more than 4.3 percent this year. In addition, a gradual easing of the pandemic should lead to a recovery in leisure and business travel.

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