New Online Tool Tells You Which Countries Are Allowing Travel

International Airline Transportation Association | June 05, 2020

The International Airline Transportation Association (IATA) has created an Interactive (COVID-19) Travel Regulations Map, maintaining an up-to-date, authoritative resource that travelers can reference to gauge which worldwide destinations are opening up to receive visitors again, and to what degree. Such a tool will surely prove itself invaluable to anyone hoping to travel internationally in the foreseeable future, as COVID-19-related developments continue to alter the global travel landscape on a near-daily basis.

Spotlight

In recent years, bots were heralded as critical to the future of the travel industry, but only 4 percent of our survey respondents anticipate booking a trip through a travel bot or chat bot in 2018, and only 22 percent say they’re even aware of the existence of travel bots. Instead of bots, WEX anticipates that the next big thing in travel tech will be booking by voice.

Spotlight

In recent years, bots were heralded as critical to the future of the travel industry, but only 4 percent of our survey respondents anticipate booking a trip through a travel bot or chat bot in 2018, and only 22 percent say they’re even aware of the existence of travel bots. Instead of bots, WEX anticipates that the next big thing in travel tech will be booking by voice.

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Survey Finds Americans Cautiously Optimistic About Traveling Again

AAA Travel | October 15, 2020

A recent survey found that while Americans are making vacation plans for the rest of 2020, many are being cautiously optimistic about traveling again. AAA Travel’s study found that 67 percent of adults in the United States planning a vacation before the end of the year have reported report some degree of uncertainty about whether the trip will come to fruition or not.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

CWT Enters into Agreement with Financial Partners to Recapitalize Business as Business Travel Recovery Gains Momentum

CWT | September 16, 2021

CWT, the Business-to-Business-for-Employees travel management platform, announced that it has entered into an agreement with financial stakeholders representing over 90% of the Company’s outstanding debt to recapitalize the business and further strengthen CWT’s financial position as the recovery in business travel continues to gain momentum in key markets around the world. CWT expects to begin soliciting formal approval of the plan from its existing financial stakeholders in the next few weeks and to finalize implementation of the plan later this year. Key terms of the agreement, entered into with financial stakeholder Barings LLC, among others, include: Adding $350 million of new equity capital into the business; Eliminating almost $900 million of debt by replacing CWT’s existing $1.5 billion in debt with new first lien debt of $625 million issued at market rates and a new undrawn revolving credit facility; Providing CWT with substantial long-term liquidity through the resulting balance sheet cash and new revolving credit facility; and Providing for all business partners and other providers of goods and services to CWT to be paid in full. CWT expects to begin soliciting formal approval of the plan from its existing financial stakeholders in the next few weeks and to finalize implementation of the plan later this year. “This is great news for CWT and our stakeholders, highlighting the progress we have made to position CWT for long-term success and providing significant financial resources to further grow and develop our business,” said Michelle McKinney Frymire, CWT’s Chief Executive Officer. “This is an important and exciting time for travel, as the industry is seeing meaningful increases in demand for the first time since the start of the pandemic. As we ramp up operational capacity to continue serving our customers through the recovery, we are continuing to advance our strategic objectives, including driving innovation and delivering industry-leading solutions. We are pleased to be moving ahead with overwhelming support from our financial partners, who will become CWT’s new majority owners, underscoring their confidence in the market, CWT and our strategy and services.” Ms. McKinney Frymire added, “Implementation of this agreement will enable us to move beyond the pandemic, accelerate investments that create industry-leading experiences for our clients and travelers, and position CWT to benefit from the recovery already underway. Our teams have risen to the occasion and continued to meet high customer expectations at every turn despite the pandemic’s outsized impact on the travel industry. Looking ahead, our focus remains on providing best-in-class travel experiences for our customers and travelers while maintaining strong relationships with our partners, suppliers and other stakeholders. At the same time, we are excited to accelerate our strategic priorities. With travel demand now increasing, the actions we are taking will enable us to build on our industry-leading position.” Advancing CWT’s Strategy and Business Momentum CWT entered the pandemic with a track record of strong growth and delivering on its strategic priorities. Building on this success, CWT has used the period of COVID-related travel restrictions and related demand reductions to accelerate many of its strategic development plans and investments across its innovative products, program delivery and travel services. As the recovery in business travel, meetings and events gains momentum, CWT’s customer proposition is fundamentally stronger, broader and more robust. Among others, CWT’s many improvements to benefit travelers include: Patented algorithm search applications; A true omni-channel experience; More efficient follow-the-sun servicing capabilities; An enhanced digital hotel booking experience; Refined data analytics for greater insight and improving ROI; and Dedicated resources and services to enable a safe and secure return to travel. Since its inception, CWT has successfully delivered efficient, safe and connected travel programs from city centers to some of the most remote and hard-to-reach corners of the world, maximizing the potential of technological advancements and human ingenuity. Importantly, CWT believes that a true omni-channel experience brings together people and technology, and is essential for business travel and meetings & events now, and in the future, which is why the Company has been enabling solutions for the E in its B2B4E strategy. CWT’s early positioning as a platform business, enhanced by strategic physical operations, underscores the Company’s commitment to developing the next generation of skills, closing the gap between talent supply and demand, and future-proofing not only its own, but also its customers’ potential. As a result of this differentiated approach, CWT’s global connections, coupled with local knowledge and the application of innovative, patented platform technology, continue to benefit customers while enabling CWT to deliver unparalleled, valuable and seamless travel experiences. CWT is committed to remaining at the forefront of innovation, exceeding customer expectations long into the future, connecting people and helping businesses grow. About Barings Barings is a $382+ billion (as of 6/30/2021) global investment manager sourcing differentiated opportunities and building long-term portfolios across public and private fixed income, real estate, and specialist equity markets. With investment professionals based in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, the firm, a subsidiary of MassMutual, aims to serve its clients, communities and employees, and is committed to sustainable practices and responsible investment. About CWT CWT is a Business-to-Business-for-Employees travel management platform. Companies and governments rely on us to keep their people connected – anywhere, anytime, anyhow – and, across six continents, we provide their employees with innovative technology and an efficient, safe, and secure travel experience.

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Skal International Stands Strong with Its Membership Despite Pandemic and Its effects to the Travel & Tourism Industry

Skal International | September 14, 2020

The Pandemic hit the travel and tourism industry the hardest around the globe. During this most difficult time, Skål International has been able to work on successful retention with its 350 Clubs in over 100 countries, recruit new members and even launch new clubs. 'The Pandemic has reiterated the fact that Skål International plays a vital role in connecting people, providing information, assisting members' careers, and furthering their industries or professions. As technological, social, and economic shifts change how people work and engage with each other, we in Skål International are finding innovative ways to connect with future and potential members' said Daniela Otero, CEO - Skål International.

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