Omega Launches New Travel Network for Travel Agencies and Independent Advisors

Omega World Travel | August 25, 2020

Omega World Travel announced today that it would offer a new program designed to assist Independent Travel Agencies and Independent Travel Advisors with their corporate and leisure customers. The program offers a full suite of technology and services to support agencies of any size, including independent travel advisors. Advisors will be able to choose from the most basic needs of transacting a booking to a full-service support network available 24/7. "We realize that one size does not fit all within the travel industry which is why we have the ability to customize a program that meets any size agency, business model, or budget," said Gloria Bohan, CEO and owner of Omega World Travel and Cruise.com.

Spotlight

For most travel managers, corporate travel spend is expected to decrease while expectations for a pleasurable travel experience remain high. Of travel dollars going toward internal initiatives alone, most companies already spend more than 50% of their budget. In response, Advito’s April Bridgeman and LinkedIn’s Leslie Hadden share their tips to faciliate the most practical, enjoyable and cost-effective travel experiences for employees.

Spotlight

For most travel managers, corporate travel spend is expected to decrease while expectations for a pleasurable travel experience remain high. Of travel dollars going toward internal initiatives alone, most companies already spend more than 50% of their budget. In response, Advito’s April Bridgeman and LinkedIn’s Leslie Hadden share their tips to faciliate the most practical, enjoyable and cost-effective travel experiences for employees.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

RateGain's OPTIMA releases MarketDRONE Narratives to help hoteliers react faster to market volatility

RateGain Technologies | September 08, 2021

RateGain Technologies, a provider of SaaS solutions for travel and hospitality, announced the launch of MarketDRONE Narratives, an update to its real-time rate intelligence SaaS solution for hotels, OPTIMA. Through this update, RateGain aims to transform how revenue managers plan and tackle market volatility on an everyday basis. On a daily basis revenue managers spend considerable time manually sourcing data and identifying critical insights that impact their market position. However, with increasing demand channels, last-minute travel plans, and the ongoing volatility, most revenue managers are pressed for time to get these insights on demand to mitigate inaccurate and incomplete analysis that drives revenue maximization. MarketDRONE Narratives provides clear actionable insights, shared every time there is a change in the market, helping revenue and pricing managers know exactly how to position ones revenue strategies for the day to mitigate any loss of market share while increasing RevPAR. Revenue and pricing managers will now save critical time that was earlier spent in collating and analyzing data, allowing them to take the lead in attracting more guests and increasing revenue. Narratives are generated based on change hints using a mix of distribution and market supply data combined with competitive rate shopping data across Hotels and OTAs. It generates personalized insights using all these data points with customized thresholds for each of the hotels that they can configure to get the most relevant insights for tailoring their strategies. RateGain developed these narratives by consulting our customers, industry experts to understand insights that are most vital to make better strategies. Over the last few years, RateGain has focused on solving the problem of collecting and providing accurate real-time data for hoteliers through updates to OPTIMA such as pricing playground and lightning refresh. However, with the volatility introduced in pricing since the pandemic, hoteliers don't only need real-time data but also instant insights which are powered by Narratives. Commenting on the launch, Harmeet Singh, CEO, RateGain, said, "As one of the largest aggregators of data in our industry, RateGain is committed to listening to our customers who have clearly stated the need to evolve rate intelligence solutions. MarketDRONE Narratives is a step in that direction where we continue to push innovation and help our customers move faster every day to unlock more revenue. We will continue to evolve and add more depth to this product such as providing insights on Parity and Events Intelligence to help our customers get all the insights they need instantly. " About RateGain RateGain is a global provider of SaaS solutions for the hospitality and travel industry, offering travel and hospitality solutions that unlock new revenue every day. We are one of the largest aggregators of data points in the world for the hospitality and travel industry.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Four Innisfree Hotels Earn Prestigious ‘Green Key’ Certification for Eco-Friendly Operations

INNISFREE HOTELS | December 29, 2021

Gulf Coast hotel operator and management company Innisfree Hotels is proud to announce that all four of their Pensacola Beach properties have been recognized by the Green Key Global Eco-Rating Program for their ongoing commitment to improving their environmental and fiscal performance. The Green Key Global Eco-Rating Program is a first-of-its-kind “eco-audit” that awards hospitality and tourism enterprises up to 5 Green Keys based on their sustainability practices and diligence when it comes to eco-friendly operations. The Green Key Program is recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), an international accreditation body that manages sustainability standards in travel and tourism. Of the four Pensacola properties, Hilton, Hampton, and Holiday Inn Resort have each received a rating of 4 Green Keys, while the Surf and Sand was awarded 3 Green Keys. These initial keys demonstrate the hotel operator’s commitment and responsibility to sustainability and community engagement. “As we step away from one of the most challenging years in hospitality, we’re humbled that guests have chosen to return to the Gulf Coast, and excited to introduce to them a better, greener Innisfree,We hope to set a new standard for sustainable travel and tourism, and these newly awarded Keys represent only the beginning of Innisfree’s commitment to environmental responsibility.” -the company’s CEO, Ted Ent. This recognition comes after the recent appointment of Brittney Barnett as Innisfree’s new Director of Sustainability. With over seven years of experience in community development and sustainability program implementation, Barnett joined Innisfree in October 2021 to pilot a new program focusing on climate action, resource preservation, ecological balance, and health and wellbeing. Under Barnett’s leadership, Innisfree will continue to pursue the highest standard of sustainable operations. It's inspiring to see our Pensacola Beach hotel teams prioritizing sustainability efforts despite the immense challenges the past few years have posed to their operations,” commented Barnett. “Looking ahead to 2022, we have many more exciting initiatives to roll out as we onboard more hotels into our sustainability program that focuses on ensuring regenerative business operations and thriving host communities. Although each hotel has unique achievements, Innisfree’s Sustainability efforts include LED lighting upgrades throughout the hotel, boiler upgrades, installing an energy management system, procuring Energy Star certified appliances, low-flow showerheads, water saving aerator faucets in each guest room, and EV charging stations. Additionally, the hotel operator established new employee engagement practices that include developing sustainability action plans for each property, conducting sustainability trainings for staff, and establishing a platform for employees to share sustainability ideas. Bonus points were awarded for Innisfree's strong community involvement by leading social initiatives such as their “From the Ground Up” community garden, participating in “The Bail Project,” and “Parent University.” And at the corporate level, Innisfree Hotels formally adopted a company-wide sustainability policy, established a strategic action plan, and formed a corporate green committee to lead their properties. ABOUT INNISFREE HOTELS For more than three decades, Innisfree Hotels has expertly developed and managed dozens of hotels in partnership with many of the world's most-recognized hotel brands. Today, the Gulf Coast-based company owns or manages 3,286 rooms and employs approximately 2,000 people. Innisfree is the largest beachfront hotel owner/operator in the Southeastern United States, boasting 14 beachfront properties along the Emerald Coast. Stretching its expansive portfolio to the Atlantic Ocean, Innisfree also operates seven beachfront/beach view hotels in many premier destinations, such as Amelia Island, Cocoa Beach, Hutchinson Island and Myrtle Beach. Innisfree has also expanded inland, adding key urban hotels in New Orleans, Sarasota, and Downtown Pensacola. Innisfree is a triple bottom line company, measuring success not only in profits but also through its impact on people and on the planet. To these ends, Innisfree strives to promote a culture of responsibility and service to humanity. A value-driven corporate culture enables the company to have a deeper understanding of the needs of its guests, partners and clients, resulting in service that ensures fun and memorable experiences. In 2019, Innisfree was ranked as one of the nation’s top Management Companies and top Owners & Developers by Hotel Business, the no. 1 hotel industry information source according to Harvey Research.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Spirit Airlines Overhauls Dallas Fort Worth with New Check-In Technology Designed to Streamline the Travel Experience

Spirit Airlines: | December 09, 2021

Guests are now checking out the latest evolution in check-in technology at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). Spirit Airlines (NYSE:SAVE) unveiled its automated self-bag drop experience with biometric photo-matching system, which represents a new paradigm for the U.S. airline industry. The redesigned ticket lobby is packed with industry-leading technology designed to limit face-to-face interaction, streamline flight check-ins and get Guests from the curb to the brightest planes in the sky quicker than ever.Spirit's self-bag drop system is now currently operating at New York's LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Chicago O'Hare, and it was recently recognized for two prestigious awards. The "2021 Best Airport Innovation" by the APEX/IFSA Awards, and also a Gold Stevie® Award winner for The Best New Transportation Product or Service in The 2021 American Business Awards®. The airline began developing the nation's first biometric photo-matching solution for domestic air travel in 2019 with its partner Materna Intelligent Passenger Solutions (IPS) North America. Spirit was also the first to pursue combining it with automated self-bag drop capabilities to reduce face-to-face interaction. Following an initial testing period at DFW with both manual ID check and biometric opt-in, the biometric photo-matching solution will eliminate the need to stop and hand government-issued identification to an agent when checking baggage. Here's how biometric photo-matching works: Guests start by tagging their own checked bags after checking in at the kiosk and then proceed to the automated self-bag drops. Guests are advised of the biometric option after scanning their boarding pass at the self-bag drop unit. They may either opt in and continue unassisted or opt out for agent-assisted service. Once the Guest opts in, the unit instructs them to scan their ID on the built-in hardware. The unit compares its scan of the photo on the ID with a facial scan captured by its on-board camera, along with comparing identification information with the Guest's reservation details. None of the data is transmitted to any government agency. A successful match initiates the rest of the automated bag check-in process. Guests are instructed to place their bags on the conveyor belt attached to the unit, which then scans the bags, weighs them, accepts payment for any additional optional services, and sends them straight into their airport's checked baggage system without any further action from the Guest. "We've been on a mission to find opportunities to continue improving every facet of the Guest experience, to include investing in automation and self-service to streamline the travel journey so Guests spend less time in lobbies,Our Guests are tech-savvy, and they appreciate options. Also, limiting touchpoints and unnecessary face-to-face interactions is currently changing the way airports operate." -Mike Byrom, Vice President of Airport Services for Spirit Airlines. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport is committed to identifying and testing innovative solutions that deliver secure, efficient and frictionless customer experiences," said DFW Airport Vice President of Innovation Jodie Brinkerhoff. "We are excited to support our partner Spirit Airlines as it introduces a self-directed, biometrically enabled check-in and bag drop process—which ultimately provide the customer with greater control and fewer requirements for face-to-face processing and document exchanges. Spirit Guests currently check between 400–500 bags daily at DFW and growing, and each of which represents a face-to-face interaction that can be streamlined. Testing data shows the new procedure drops average processing time to just 70 seconds per Guest, reducing time spent at bag check by 30 percent. Additionally, Guests can take advantage of the time savings and reduction in face-to-face interactions whether they're travelling domestically or internationally. The self-bag drop system uses software capable of analyzing key physical features on more than 50,000 forms of ID from nearly 200 countries that a Guest could potentially use when travelling in the United States. Combined with the units' scanning hardware, the software confirms the authenticity of an ID and rejects fraudulent documents. About Spirit Airlines:  Spirit Airlines (NYSE: SAVE) is committed to delivering the best value in the sky. We are the leader in providing customizable travel options starting with an unbundled fare. This allows our Guests to pay only for the options they choose — like bags, seat assignments and refreshments something we call Á La Smarte. We make it possible for our Guests to venture further and discover more than ever before. Our Fit Fleet® is one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient in the U.S. We serve destinations throughout the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean, and are dedicated to giving back and improving those communities. Come save with us at spirit.com.

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