TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

New Travel Startup Upaway Launches First On-Demand Travel Support Concierge to Tackle Trip Chaos for Holiday Travelers

Upaway | December 24, 2021

New travel company Upaway is setting out to tackle Trip Chaos with the official launch of its on-demand support in time to service holiday travelers. Founded by Twitter alumna and DE&I thought leader Kayla Glanville, Upaway aims to disrupt the outdated consumer travel industry and make typically out-of-reach, premium travel support accessible and affordable to tackle travel stress.

To help people navigate today's uncertain travel landscape and avoid Trip Chaos, the company offers free travel advice and on-demand (human) trip support — without the high prices or hidden fees — available directly via +1 (213) 545-0903 (text or call) or Direct Message (DM) on Twitter and Instagram. App (iOS) is expected to launch in early 2022.

Upaway Concierge is a team of travel professionals who go above and beyond traditional booking services to make every trip a stress-free experience. From assisting travelers with bulky items (like gifts and carseats) and temperature-sensitive items (like medications or breast milk) to handling flight cancellations or re-bookings, Upaway Concierge offers travelers an on-demand alternative to waiting on hold with their hotels' or airlines' customer service lines.

Upaway saves travelers time, money, and energy by tackling the Trip Chaos facing so many travelers every day — and securing credits and refunds for things like flights and accommodations when things go awry. With an uptick in impacted holiday travel and COVID-19 variants on the rise, Upaway is supporting travelers who have historically been stuck to handle issues on their own and provides them with peace of mind as well as real-time Travel Risk Intelligence data for their destination, powered by Riskline.

"Between being a mom and working full time, planning a family trip wasn't in the cards. With one text, Upaway stepped in and took the stress of planning off my plate and now we have two family trips booked for 2022," 

-Upaway customer Katie P. of Portland, Oregon

Upaway's goal is to revolutionize the consumer travel industry by providing genuine, helpful customer service that large travel corporations have lacked for years. "While working on a consumer product like Twitter and helping airlines, hotels, and destination marketing organizations (DMOs) create relationships with their customers, it became clear that stellar service is often reserved for frequent business travelers," founder Kayla Glanville says of her time working at Twitter with the world's largest travel brands. She was particularly struck by the stark inequity between the business and everyday traveler experiences. "The result is dismal service, stress, and chaos for everyday folks. With Upaway, we're aiming to change that.

About Upaway
Upaway is travel app and SaaS platform based in California, founded by a queer woman, with an intersectional team working remotely around the world. Founded by former tech executive Kayla Glanville, Upaway offers free travel organization tools and connects travelers with on-demand (human!) travel concierge when they need it. It is currently in service via phone and text at +1 (213) 545-0903 and through Direct Message on Twitter and Instagram with a projected general launch of early 2021.

Spotlight

In the near future, there will be 370 million traveling Millennials worldwide1, who, until the inception of Pally, had extremely limited access to social travel communities that offer useful local interactions, as well as affordable, high-quality curated experiences. Moreover, those aged between 15 and 29 will be taking 47% more international trips by 2020 than in 20132.

Spotlight

In the near future, there will be 370 million traveling Millennials worldwide1, who, until the inception of Pally, had extremely limited access to social travel communities that offer useful local interactions, as well as affordable, high-quality curated experiences. Moreover, those aged between 15 and 29 will be taking 47% more international trips by 2020 than in 20132.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM,HOSPITALITY TRENDS

EPISODE Hsinchu Officially Debuts as the First Hotel in the JdV by Hyatt Portfolio in Taiwan

Hyatt Hotels Corporation | November 22, 2022

Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) announced the official opening of EPISODE Hsinchu, marking the first hotel within the JdV by Hyatt portfolio in Taiwan and the debut of the Hotel EPISODE brand which delivers new experiences that match the unique rhythms of the modern lifestyle traveler."Modern travelers have outgrown the one-size-fits-all business versus leisure mindset, and in response, we created the Hotel EPISODE brand for that community. Our guests can fuse a day’s worth of collaborative work with new encounters that not only energize them, but also make time for true rest,” said Aaron Chan, Chairman of Riant Capital and creator of the Hotel EPISODE brand. Located along Taiwan’s northwestern coast, Hsinchu is about an hour’s drive from Taipei and 40 minutes from Taoyuan International Airport. The city is globally renowned for its Hsinchu Science Park – also known as the Silicon Valley of Taiwan, and is home to top science and technology-focused universities and research institutes. Aside from being a technology innovation hub, Hsinchu features ancient architectural and cultural landmarks such as Chenghuang Temple and East Gate as well as scenic attractions such as 18 Peaks Mountain Park and Siangshan Wetlands. The hotel is conveniently located adjacent to the main freeway exit and a short drive from the Hsinchu Science Park. Westwood Restaurant curated by Michelin-starred Chef Richie Lin Westwood is Hsinchu’s newest culinary destination, a modern California fusion bistro serving comfort food. With its 1930s Art Deco-inspired interiors and an island bar with a vintage LA vibe that takes center stage, Westwood is a great place to dine and imbibe. Every morning begins with Chef Richie Lin’s “Around the World” variety of Western and Asian breakfast bento, including California-style avocado pancakes, Scandinavian rye sourdough with smoked salmon, and Hsinchu rice noodles and guabao. SOCIAL, an all-access lounge for the community The hotel’s aptly named communal space, SOCIAL, is an “all-access” living room for in-house guests as well as anyone in the neighborhood to meet or celebrate. In addition to offering all-day complimentary snacks, refreshments and a daily happy hour, SOCIAL will regularly host comedy shows, movie nights, live musical performances and DJ sets, serving as a vibrant new platform in the city for play, creativity and discovery. Thoughtful In-room Amenities The pet-friendly hotel features 140 stylish rooms and suites, all of which come with fine comforts such as 400-thread-count sheets, Sealy premium pillowtop mattresses, sleep kits and luxurious bathroom amenities. For guests staying in the hotel’s most premium Loft Suites, a Dyson Supersonic hairdryer and a cocktail-making bar serving Aquagen sparkling water are among the joy-driven offerings. In-room bottled water for all guests is provided in reusable glass bottles, a first step in Hotel EPISODE brand’s commitment to be more environmentally conscious. Self-Check-In System Leveraging technology for more streamlined and efficient service, the hotel has introduced self-check-in kiosks with the goal of minimizing wait time at check-in. The traditional front desk has been replaced with a dedicated team of Experience Providers who offer personalized service to each guest. Embracing the brand’s namesake (joie de vivre), the JdV by Hyatt portfolio offers a collection of independent properties that are true reflections of the urban neighborhoods they call home, inviting guests and locals alike to connect and celebrate the joy of life while unwinding in spaces designed with distinctive personality. Special Opening Package Now Available to Book Enjoy a one-night stay with two Westwood breakfasts and set dinners (worth NT$1500) specially crafted by Chef Richie starting from NT$7,199. For more information, please visit the EPISODE Hsinchu website. To make a reservation, please contact 03-516-9311. World of Hyatt Gives Members 500 Reasons to Stay Somewhere New To provide World of Hyatt members even more ways to be rewarded, World of Hyatt is offering members the opportunity to earn 500 Bonus Points for qualifying nights at EPISODE Hsinchu from November 1, 2022 to February 28, 2023, as part of World of Hyatt’s new hotel member offer. Additional participating hotels and their offer stay periods can be found at worldofhyatt.com/newhotelbonus. No registration is required and members can earn on top of other offers. The term “Hyatt” is used in this release for convenience to refer to Hyatt Hotels Corporation and/or one or more of its affiliates. About JdV by Hyatt A community for the spirited, the light-hearted, the young-at-heart, the JdV by Hyatt brand offers a collection of vibrant, independent hotels that are true reflections of the urban neighborhoods we call home. Embracing its namesake (joie de vivre), the JdV by Hyatt brand invites guests and locals alike to connect, live in the moment and celebrate the joy of life. Each hotel provides an experience that is inclusive in spirit and space, inviting all to make each stay yours truly. Follow @JDVHotels on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for news and updates. For more information, please visit www.jdvbyhyatt.com. About Hyatt Hotels Corporation Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company guided by its purpose – to care for people so they can be their best. As of September 30, 2022, the Company’s portfolio included more than 1,200 hotels and all-inclusive properties in 72 countries across six continents. The Company's offering includes brands in the Timeless Collection, including Park Hyatt®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt®, Hyatt Residence Club®, Hyatt Place®, Hyatt House®, and UrCove; the Boundless Collection, including Miraval®, Alila®, Andaz®, Thompson Hotels®, Hyatt Centric®, and Caption by Hyatt; the Independent Collection, including The Unbound Collection by Hyatt®, Destination by Hyatt™, and JdV by Hyatt™; and the Inclusive Collection, including Hyatt Ziva®, Hyatt Zilara®, Zoëtry® Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets® Resorts & Spas, Breathless Resorts & Spas®, Dreams® Resorts & Spas, Vivid Hotels & Resorts®, Alua Hotels & Resorts®, and Sunscape® Resorts & Spas. Subsidiaries of the Company operate the World of Hyatt® loyalty program, ALG Vacations®, Unlimited Vacation Club®, Amstar DMC destination management services, and Trisept Solutions® technology services. For more information, please visit www.hyatt.com.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY, HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Optii Announces Connectivity to Oracle Hospitality Integration Platform

Optii | September 29, 2022

Optii Solutions, the leading cloud-based hotel operations software, announced an integration with the Opera Hospitality Integration Platform (OHIP). The new integration will make it easier, faster, and more cost-effective for hoteliers to manage their integration between Optii and Oracle Cloud PMS.When implementing a modern technology solution like Optii, that is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), integrations matter. When seeking to use hotel operations technology to increase productivity, reduce cost, and improve the guest experience, time is of the essence. The faster a solution like Optii can become operational, the faster the benefits are realized for hotel teams, their guests, and hotel owners. The integration with OHIP will address exactly this for Opera Cloud PMS hotel customers. Dino Pietropaolo, CTO of Optii Solutions said, Not only will this integration save Opera Cloud PMS customers time and money when choosing to transform their hotel operation with Optii, they will also get the latest in API technology and a high level of security with fine grained OAuth 2.0 on all APIs. The self serve aspect of Oracle Hospitality Integration Platform will mean a lot more flexibility and autonomy for hoteliers and for Optii. The typical integration between hotel technology applications and a hotel PMS requires work on both the technology application side and the PMS, while with OHIP, hotelier and technology providers such as Optii can manage the integration process without Oracle participation. “At Optii, customer success is everything. But when delays in integration happen, the time-to-value for our customers is impacted and often the mitigation is out of our control. With OHIP, together with our customer, we are in the driver’s seat and have full control of the process and timeline. This helps our customers realize their goals quicker. We are very excited to start offering OHIP integration to our customers in the coming weeks!” -Katherine Grass, CEO of Optii Solutions About Optii Solutions Optii Solutions is a hotel operations solution that leverages smarter technologies such as artificial intelligence, analytics, messaging and mobility to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of housekeeping and service delivery departments. For further information, please visit: www.optiisolutions.com.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

Simplex and TravelX partner to evolve the travel industry into new Web3 era

Simplex and TravelX | December 02, 2022

Simplex, the fiat infrastructure for digital assets globally, announced a partnership with TravelX, a technology company that is working with leading airlines and travel organizations like IATA (International Air Transport Association) to tokenize their inventory by turning them into NFTs (NFTickets). This integration provides customers with easy access to NFTickets through Simplex's on-ramp solution, allowing non-crypto users to purchase seamlessly. "We are honored to partner with Simplex as we create a more transparent, efficient, decentralized and collaborative travel economy. We are very happy to work with one of the world's most important players in digital payments and believe they are the right partner to join us in this journey," -Facundo Diaz, Co-founder of TravelX. NFTickets are the digital representation of regular flight tickets tokenized through blockchain technology. This allows airlines and travel agents to offer more efficient services and ticketing systems, while helping to reduce supplier distribution costs and inefficiencies, ultimately improving profitability. Travelers have more flexibility managing travel assets without support call centers and can easily buy, transfer, trade or sell tickets through blockchain, all on TravelX's marketplace. Distributed through peer-to-peer (P2P) channels, NFTickets unlock a new era of democratization in the travel industry. "We are excited to join forces with TravelX to accelerate their Web3 business with our seamless payment solutions, Together, we are transforming the industry by bridging the gap between traditional and decentralized finance and taking the old ticketing system into the future of Web3 applications." -Dror Ben Eliyahu, Simplex's Head of Business Operations. About Simplex Simplex is the fiat/crypto infrastructure for the entire world. An EU-licensed financial institution, Simplex aims to change the status quo of the current crypto markets by providing simple, seamless, and secure channels to convert over 100+ fiat currencies to 170+ cryptocurrencies. Simplex has been actively supporting existing and new protocols in the industry, nurturing and expanding its portfolio of supported cryptocurrencies and payment methods. About TravelX Led by a team of tech and travel industry veterans, TravelX is building a blockchain-based distribution protocol to create a more secure, decentralized, frictionless, transparent and efficient travel industry. The company's technology allows travel suppliers to tokenize their inventory into NFTs, unleashing distribution capabilities and use cases that enhance both travelers' flexibility and suppliers' profitability. For more, visit www.travelx.io

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