More than 20,000 Chinese tourists travelled to Oman in Q1 this year

The attractiveness of Oman as the most preferred tourist destination is rapidly growing among Chinese tourists with more than 20,000 traveling to the country in Q1 this year.This was evident at the second Oman-China Tourism Forum organized by the Oman-China Friendship Association, in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism (MoT) and Oman Air and other institutions at the Oasis Club.The concluding ceremony was held under the auspices of H E Ahmed bin Nasser bin Hamad al Mehrzi, Minister of Tourism. The forum was an effort to strengthen friendship and cooperation between the people of Oman and China.The second Oman-China Tourism Forum displayed wonderful tourism cooperation between Oman and China to attract more visitors from the Chinese market, which is considered the biggest in the world.

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Hospitality Trends, Hospitality Management

Auberge Resorts Collection Announces Strategic Partnership with Bdt & Msd Partners

PR Newswire | February 02, 2024

The Friedkin Group announced today that the company has entered into a strategic partnership with BDT & MSD Partners ("BDT & MSD"), a merchant bank built to serve the distinct needs of business owners and strategic, long-term investors. BDT & MSD, through its affiliated hospitality investment vehicle, will make a minority investment in Auberge Resorts Collection, the manager of the award-winning portfolio of luxury hotels, resorts, residences and private clubs set in some of the world's most desirable locations. In addition, BDT & MSD's hospitality vehicle intends to invest significant capital towards acquiring and developing luxury hotel and residential assets that will be branded and managed by Auberge Resorts Collection. The partnership reflects BDT & MSD's belief in Auberge Resorts Collection's unique brand positioning and focus on creating one-of-a-kind luxury hospitality experiences. The investment will support Auberge's continued strategic growth in the Americas, Europe and beyond, with a focus on gateway urban markets and high-profile experiential destinations. "This partnership further solidifies Auberge Resorts Collection's position as the leading name in boutique luxury hospitality and marks a new and exciting era for our world-class portfolio," said Dan Friedkin, chairman of Auberge Resorts Collection and chairman and CEO of The Friedkin Group. "BDT & MSD's differentiated, long-term capital and expertise in luxury hospitality investments makes them a perfect strategic partner and will allow us to further grow the strength of the Auberge brand." "Auberge is a world-class manager of distinctive luxury hotel properties, with an exceptional track record of delivering curated guest experiences in the world's leading hospitality markets. We are excited to be a part of its future and look forward to partnering with Auberge's talented team to build on its differentiated strengths and accelerate further growth," said Coburn Packard, partner & head of real estate at BDT & MSD. Since becoming part of The Friedkin Group in 2013, Auberge Resorts Collection has grown into the leading name in boutique luxury hospitality, comprising 27 unparalleled properties across the U.S., Latin America and Europe, with a development pipeline of over a dozen hotels and two additional hotels planned to open in Florence and South Carolina this year. While each property is unique, all share a crafted approach to luxury and bring the essence of the location to life through one-of-a-kind design that reflects the destination, exceptional cuisine and dining experiences that attract both the local community and global traveler, innovative spas and wellness retreats and highly personalized service.

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Travel Technology, Airlines and Airports

Sabre and IAG expand partnership with multi-year distribution agreement including NDC content

PR Newswire | January 11, 2024

Sabre Corporation, a leading software and technology provider to the global travel industry, has entered into a multi-year distribution agreement with International Airlines Group (IAG) that will expand their existing partnership and further promote modern travel retailing practices. The agreement will allow Sabre-connected travel buyers and agencies to sell traditional EDIFACT content as well as having competitive access to NDC offers from British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling – including Additional Price Points and ancillaries – through the Sabre travel marketplace globally. This enhanced content will provide travel agencies with a wider range of options to compare and shop for, while travelers will benefit from an improved experience with more choice and transparency. Sabre and IAG's airlines are working closely together and will communicate as NDC content is rolled out to Sabre-connected travel agencies on a carrier-by-carrier basis. The agreement between Sabre and IAG underscores the industry's shift towards modern travel retailing, where airlines can differentiate their offerings and provide more personalized experiences to travelers. Both Sabre and IAG are committed to advancing the NDC standard as a key component in the industry's evolution towards modern airline retailing enabled by offers and orders. Colm Lacy, British Airways' Chief Commercial Officer, said: "We are on a journey to A Better BA and we continue to invest across the business as part of that commitment. Not only are we improving the experience of those customers who fly with us, but also the way we work with our valued travel agent and travel buyer partners. We understand how valuable retailing is to them, and IAG's partnership with Sabre allows us to make a wide range of attractable offers available even further across the globe." This agreement is another milestone in the IAG strategy to embrace digital retailing practices and offer more opportunities for customers to access NDC content. The partnership with IAG demonstrates Sabre's continued commitment to driving value and serving the diverse interests of the global travel ecosystem. "We are very excited about what's ahead. The travel industry is entering a new era of personalized retailing that will bring better experiences for travelers and new revenue opportunities for airlines and travel agencies," said Roshan Mendis, Chief Commercial Officer, Sabre Travel Solutions. "It's fantastic to work with a strong, forward-thinking partner like IAG that is just as committed as we are to driving the industry forwards."

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Travel Technology, Hospitality Management

AirDNA Acquires Uplisting, Setting New Standards in Short-Term Rental Intelligence and Management

PR Newswire | January 10, 2024

AirDNA, a leading short-term rental (STR) data provider, announced today the acquisition of vacation rental software and channel management system Uplisting. This acquisition marks a pivotal leap in AirDNA's mission to provide a comprehensive, one-stop solution for those investing in and operating short-term rental properties. Demi Horvat, CEO of AirDNA, shares the vision behind the acquisition: "Merging Uplisting's first-class property management tools with our unparalleled market insights will create holistic, tailored solutions for all STR stakeholders, from aspiring hosts to large professional managers. This integration equips users with robust tools for every step on their journey, from research and investment to set-up and ongoing optimization of their properties." Uplisting, an Airbnb Preferred Plus software partner, is a powerhouse for effectively managing and synchronizing STR listings on key platforms like Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com. Its automation of critical tasks like real-time booking updates and guest communication has made it indispensable in optimizing the operations of vacation rental hosts and property managers globally. In 2023 alone, Uplisting processed an estimated $400 million in bookings, empowering users with reliable technology tools that catalyze growth. Vincent Breslin, Founder of Uplisting, commented: "Joining forces with AirDNA opens up a realm of possibilities for the vacation rental market. With our combined wealth of expertise, we are poised to redefine industry standards, driving innovation and delivering enhanced value to all our clients." In another decisive move to strengthen its commitment to STR hosts, AirDNA is introducing a new Dynamic Pricing feature that automatically syncs AirDNA's Smart Rates™ to Airbnb. This much-requested functionality empowers users to maximize booking revenues, drawing on extensive data from millions of listings on Airbnb and Vrbo to provide effective pricing recommendations. "Dynamic Pricing makes it easier for busy STR hosts to set their rates by automatically analyzing market and competitor trends. This ensures the best prices are delivered in real-time to their Airbnb listings, eliminating guesswork and manual adjustments. With our focus on building easy-to-use tools for hosts and Uplisting's comprehensive suite for bookings, operations, guest communication, and beyond, we're bringing professional tools within reach of everyone," said Horvat. Following AirDNA's acquisition of Arrivalist in July 2023, these strategic milestones showcase AirDNA's dynamic expansion under the umbrella of predictis, a family of software-enabled data businesses, and a portfolio company of Alpine Investors. "With this second acquisition in just six months, AirDNA is poised for continued growth and innovation, and with more developments in the pipeline, it is well positioned to expand its leadership position at the forefront of the short-term rental industry," remarked Jean-Marc Levy, CEO of predictis. FOCUS Capital Partners Ireland served as the financial advisor to Uplisting.

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