Moscow has the potential to boost its tourist influx to around 32 million people a year by 2025

Travel and Tour World | June 11, 2019

Global consulting company BCG said that Moscow has the prospective to boost its tourist influx to around 32 million people a year by 2025. However, for that, it needs to take few steps.The firm has come up with a scenario with an eight-point plan that would help grasping the city’s tourism potential to the maximum.The growth in the number of tourists visiting Moscow after the World Cup (from September to December 2018) went up 117 percent compared to the same period a year before. Half of the visitors said that they are ready to recommend Moscow to others.

Spotlight

This whitepaper explains:

  • Travel is an ultra-high-risk sector for card acquirers because most payments are for future delivery. If merchants fail to fulfill a service for which they have taken payment (often months in advance) customers can recover their money from the acquirer by initiating chargeback.
  • Acquirers traditionally demand substantial cash collateral (holdbacks) or other financial security from travel merchants to mitigate this risk.
  • Holdbacks lock away substantial funds for travel companies and can therefore be highly damaging to liquidity.
  • High-profile collapses and the COVID-19 crisis have driven acquirers to impose  harsher terms or quit the travel sector completely.

Spotlight

This whitepaper explains:

  • Travel is an ultra-high-risk sector for card acquirers because most payments are for future delivery. If merchants fail to fulfill a service for which they have taken payment (often months in advance) customers can recover their money from the acquirer by initiating chargeback.
  • Acquirers traditionally demand substantial cash collateral (holdbacks) or other financial security from travel merchants to mitigate this risk.
  • Holdbacks lock away substantial funds for travel companies and can therefore be highly damaging to liquidity.
  • High-profile collapses and the COVID-19 crisis have driven acquirers to impose  harsher terms or quit the travel sector completely.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Arch RoamRight Selected by Trek Travel as Travel Insurance Provider

Trek Travel | July 28, 2022

Arch RoamRight Travel Insurance today announced that Trek Travel, a leading luxury cycling vacations tour operator in North America, has selected Arch RoamRight as its primary travel insurance provider.Trek Travel customers now have access to Arch RoamRight’s travel insurance protection plan and award-winning customer service and claims teams when they book through Trek Travel. Arch RoamRight’s plans offer protection against financial losses caused by trip cancellations and interruptions, coverage for baggage and personal effects, and 24/7 global travel and medical emergency assistance. “Adventure travel continues to grow as more travelers wish to create lifetime memories and experiences, We’re pleased to offer our travel protection through Trek Travel, providing our excellent travel insurance to their valued customers.” -Cory Sobczyk, Vice President of Business Development, Arch RoamRight Trek Travel guests interested in purchasing Arch RoamRight’s travel insurance to help protect their travel plans can work with their trained trip consultants to understand and purchase coverage that meets their specific travel needs. “We’re thrilled to be working with Arch RoamRight as they have demonstrated a track record of exemplary customer service, technology innovation and responsiveness,” said Rich Snodsmith, Director of Sales for Trek Travel. “Our partnership with Arch RoamRight provides our travelers with confidence, knowing that they are protected if an unexpected event happens that prevents them from going on their trip, or an unfortunate mishap occurs during their trip.” About Arch RoamRight Arch RoamRight (www.RoamRight.com) is the co-branding of Arch and RoamRight® marks used by Arch Insurance Company to market its travel insurance that insures U.S. residents traveling around the world. From trip cancellation to travel medical insurance plans and an award-winning mobile app and website, Arch RoamRightTM is an industry leader in innovation and technological solutions. In 2021, Arch RoamRight won multiple American Business Awards® and was named one of the Best in Travel Insurance for 2021 by Money.com. About Trek Travel Trek Travel provides cycling vacations of a lifetime in the world’s most beautiful destinations. From luxury experiences to easygoing self-guided adventures, the bike tour brand has a trip for every rider out there. Their trips include the use of award-winning Trek bicycles, including e-bikes, so you can ride the best routes with the best gear. Trek Travel has been crafting unforgettable cycling vacations for 20 years, and was most recently recognized by Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2022 as one of the top tour operators in the world.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Agoda and Alipay+ Expand on Their Partnership to Offer Greater Rewards to Travelers Through Digital Payment Methods

Agoda and Alipay+ | August 09, 2022

Agoda and Alipay+ announced a new partnership that will leverage Alipay+ solutions on the Agoda platform for better customer benefits and rewards. This is in addition to the existing integration of multiple digital wallets, namely the AlipayHK, GCash and TrueMoney, through Alipay+ on Agoda’s platforms.With this new partnership, multiple Alipay+ marketing solutions, including Alipay+ Rewards and its in-cashier marketing services, can be used for discounts distribution and redemption on Agoda. This enables Agoda to enhance its transaction conversion rate, while travelers can enjoy great returns in countries and regions like Hong Kong SAR of China, the Philippines, and Thailand – with the possibility of more regions to come in the future. As the global economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the online travel industry has seen a vigorous rebound. In some key countries across the region, bookings have increased nearly tenfold since the start of the year, according to Agoda data and this number is only expected to increase. “As we gear up for the return to travel, we want to offer our customers greater choice and flexibility in their bookings. The pandemic has greatly accelerated the digitisation of travel and we are committed to keeping with the times as we continue to onboard more diverse modes of payments globally. We value this partnership with Alipay+ as it helps us offer more benefits to the end user through the clever integration of new payment solutions and rewards programs – allowing us to reach out to and target a wider network of customers.” -Damien Pfirsch, CCO, Agoda. Introduced by Ant Group in 2020, Alipay+ is a suite of global cross-border digital payments and marketing solutions designed to enable businesses, especially small and medium-sized businesses, to process a wide range of mobile payment methods and reach hundreds of millions of regional and global consumers. Other leading e-wallets supported by Alipay+ include Boost (Malaysia), Rabbit LINE Pay (Thailand), Touch 'n Go (Malaysia), Kakao Pay (South Korea), Klarna (Europe) and more. “We are glad to reach this new partnership with Agoda to support the recovery of the travel industry from the pandemic. With innovative payment and marketing solutions, Alipay+ is committed to helping merchants reach global consumers as a cross-border economic connector and allow consumers to make payments on global platforms with their preferred digital wallets.” -Jing Yin, General Manager of Global Strategic Accounts of International Business Group at Ant Group Agoda has partnered with Ant Group and integrated Alipay as a payment option in the Chinese market as early as 2013. Since early 2022, Agoda has been integrating Alipay+ payment solutions to accept payments through multiple digital wallets across Asia. On July 4, Agoda also worked with Alipay+ to launch a Brand Day campaign in the Philippines market. About Agoda Agoda helps anyone travel anywhere with its great value deals on a global network of 2.7M hotels and holiday properties worldwide, plus flights, airport transfers and more. Agoda.com and the Agoda mobile app are available in 39 languages and supported by 24/7 customer support. Headquartered in Singapore, Agoda is part of Booking Holdings (Nasdaq: BKNG) and employs more than 4,800 staff in 32 markets, dedicated to leveraging best-in-class technology to make travel even easier. About Alipay+ Alipay+ provides global cross-border digital payments and marketing solutions that enable global e-wallets and merchant partners, especially small and medium-sized businesses, to better serve their users and customers. Alipay+ is introduced by Ant Group, the owner and operator of Alipay. As one of the world’s leading digital payment platforms, Alipay serves hundreds of millions of users by connecting them with merchants and partner financial institutions that offer inclusive financial services and digital daily life services.

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Mastercard Expands Travel Suite

Mastercard | June 24, 2022

Mastercard expanded its Mastercard Travel and Lifestyle Services platform. New partnerships that focus on smooth travel experiences and memorable moments for its cardholders are at the crux of this expansion. New features include WhatsApp servicing, COVID alerts and offers like lounge access when flights are delayed are offered to customers. “Many of us eagerly await the chance to satisfy our love for travel, but it can be stressful to plan a trip with so many uncertainties about what traveling will look like, At Mastercard, we’re here to support every step of the journey — from planning to booking to transportation to experiences in destination — so travelers can focus on what really matters. After two years of disruptions, we know that time with our loved ones is truly priceless.” -Mastercard’s Stephanie Meltzer-Paul, executive vice president, Global Loyalty In addition to providing direct service to cardholders, Mastercard assists governments, businesses, and brands in understanding changing consumer patterns and preferences to build and test programs and incentives. Mastercard services give customers everything they need to welcome back travelers, from market analysis and insights to marketing solutions and consumer engagement strategies. The Tourism Innovation Hub in Spain, for example, was recently established to develop customized goods and solutions to enable a sustainable, inclusive return to travel through innovation, research, and collaboration throughout the ecosystem. Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services is a travel planning and booking portal that provides World and World Elite cards with unique guarantees, amenities, and upgrades, as well as 24/7 concierge and premium offers and entertainment from major travel brands. With the experience economy in full swing, travelers can satisfy their wanderlust with customized city tours informed by local experts and member favorites via the Inspiration Module. The program now features WhatsApp servicing, which is presently accessible in certain geographies2 throughout the world and will be available globally by the end of the year, where members can message Lifestyle Managers regarding travel and concierge requirements from their phone. Cardholders benefit from the Lowest Hotel Rate Guarantee, and the Mastercard Hotel Stay Guarantee, as well as free nights and preferential treatment at over 4,000 4- and 5-star properties worldwide. In addition, travelers can book once-in-a-lifetime Priceless Experiences while in location, such as a dream vacation to London and Paris with Michelin-starred restaurants, luxury glamping in Sweden's Blekinge archipelago, or a visit to the top of New York City's One World Observatory. Premier Programs and New Travel Partnerships In addition to the preferred experience of Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services, Mastercard has formed several new alliances to provide perks that reduce travel stress and promote more enjoyable experiences. Convenience: Cardholders enjoy access to a global network of over 1,100 airport lounges for delayed flights or relaxing in quiet. Mastercard Flight Delay Pass, currently accessible in select locations worldwide, provides complimentary lounge access on eligible delayed flights. FastTrack in Europe was also recently established, as was Mastercard Travel Pass in Canada, providing a hassle-free airport experience. Connection: Starting in the Asia Pacific and expanding to additional regions later this year, select cardholders now have access to complimentary worldwide roaming data packs for use in more than 200 countries, and a 15% Mastercard discount on top-ups via Flexiroam. Care: Through Sitata, cardholders can opt-in to get real-time notifications and the most recent COVID limits and requirements, including testing locations and cost. Convenience: The new mycardbenefits.com is a digital insurance platform that allows Mastercard cardholders to instantly access – and smoothly submit – claims for the insurances contained on their card, such as vehicle rental, and lost luggage replacement, mobile phone, and trip cancellation. Cash Rewards: Use Mastercard Travel Rewards to shop and earn cash rewards at hundreds of prestigious retailers in 19 destinations, and thousands of online deals for unique save

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