On-the-go travel agency launches during coronavirus pandemic

Travel Weekly | April 06, 2020

A new travel agency which allows its agents to sell holidays while travelling the world has launched amid the coronavirus crisis. Travelisto.com, which has joined homeworking group Travel-PA, says its ‘travel designers’ will be “hybrids between enthusiastic influencers and real travel experts”. It says they will provide “the latest advice with the highest standards of customer service while enjoying a great work-life balance and productivity levels”. The Atol-licensed agency has been founded by Abraham Bravo, who has 15 years’ experience in the UK travel industry in commercial and operational roles including at airlines, tour operators and niche specialty travel companies.

Spotlight

Discover Machu Picchu and Cusco on a Tailor Made journey with Abercrombie & Kent, alongside the country's finest travel guides. Catch the sun rising over Huayna Picchu as the morning mist parts to reveal Machu Picchu. Then, explore this pre-Columbian fortress and other sites in the Sacred Valley with a former resident archaeologist. Witness indigenous rituals and meet Andean artisans to gain an understanding of Peru's deep cultural roots. For the ultimate experience, you may even choose to travel to the Incan citadel aboard the elegant Hiram Bingham train.

Spotlight

Discover Machu Picchu and Cusco on a Tailor Made journey with Abercrombie & Kent, alongside the country's finest travel guides. Catch the sun rising over Huayna Picchu as the morning mist parts to reveal Machu Picchu. Then, explore this pre-Columbian fortress and other sites in the Sacred Valley with a former resident archaeologist. Witness indigenous rituals and meet Andean artisans to gain an understanding of Peru's deep cultural roots. For the ultimate experience, you may even choose to travel to the Incan citadel aboard the elegant Hiram Bingham train.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY, AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

IBS Software Partners with IATA to Power IATA's New CASSLink Initiative Aimed at Transforming Air Cargo Payments

IBS Software | October 07, 2022

IBS Software, a leading SaaS solutions provider to the travel industry globally, announced that it has been selected by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), as a technology partner for IATA's new CASSLink project, designed to simplify payments in the air cargo industry. The modernized CASSLink has been successfully deployed in the United States air cargo market, in collaboration with IATA's wholly owned subsidiary Cargo Network Services (CNS).CASSLink is IATA's internet-based data processing and customer management system, which puts customers first by meeting the evolving billing and payment requirements for the entire air cargo value chain. It facilitates the interaction and exchange of information between airlines and freight forwarders participating in IATA's Cargo Accounts Settlement System (CASS), simplifying the customer experience and driving operational efficiencies. Working closely with IATA, IBS Software is focused on digitally transforming the CASS platform to develop an agile platform that can meet payment innovations and customer demands. Focussed on customer experience, the new CASS platform features improvements in real time analytics, self-service capabilities, additional payment options, global accessibility and a fresh modern multi-lingual user interface. The new CASSLink will be rolled out to all other CASS markets from the fourth quarter of 2022 and continuing through 2023. Air cargo played an outsized role during the pandemic, delivering life-saving vaccines and medical supplies and keeping global supply chains running. Moving forward, it is vital that industry continues to digitally transform to allow payments between parties to be handled quickly, efficiently and with total trust," said Muhammad Albakri, IATA's Senior VP, Financial Settlement and Distribution Services. Our CASSLink platform has already changed the way airlines and third parties interact. We're delighted to have found an excellent partner in IBS Software to power the new CASSLink, ensuring that it continues to be fit for purpose as we head into a new era for air cargo. "As air cargo grows, so do the challenges for airlines, freight forwarders and other players in handling payments in an increasingly complex value chain. The air cargo industry has a golden opportunity to influence the global supply chain, making payments simpler and more efficient is critical to enticing and keeping customers, It's an honour for us to partner with IATA to modernize its platform and further enhance the value it brings the industry." -Akshay Shrivastava, Head of Consulting and Digital Transformation at IBS Software About IBS Software IBS Software is a leading SaaS solutions provider to the travel industry globally, managing mission-critical operations for customers in the aviation, tour & cruise and hospitality industries. IBS Software's solutions for the aviation industry cover fleet & crew operations, aircraft maintenance, passenger services, loyalty programs, staff travel and air-cargo management. IBS Software also runs a real time B2B and B2C distribution platform providing hotel room inventory, rates and availability to a global network of hospitality companies and channels. For the tour and cruise industry, IBS provides a comprehensive, customer-centric, digital platform that covers onshore, online and on-board solutions. The Consulting and Digital Transformation (CDx) focuses on driving digital transformation initiatives of its customers, leveraging its domain knowledge, digital technologies and engineering excellence. IBS Software is a Blackstone portfolio company and operates from 15 offices across the world. Further information can be found at https://www.ibsplc.com/. About IATA The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for the world's airlines, representing some 290 airlines or 83% of total air traffic. IATA supports many areas of aviation activity and help formulate industry policy on critical aviation issues.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK, HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Seven Marcus Hotels & Resorts Properties Recognized with the Prestigious Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards

Marcus® Hotels & Resorts | October 10, 2022

Marcus® Hotels & Resorts, a nationally recognized hotel owner and management company and division of The Marcus Corporation (NYSE: MCS), announced today that seven of its owned and/or managed properties have been recognized as top hotels and resorts by the 2022 Condé Nast Traveler’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards. “We are thrilled that the judicious readers of Condé Nast Traveler recognized seven of our properties as being among the very best of the best, This year’s list includes the largest number of Marcus Hotels & Resorts properties in our history. This is testament to the commitment across our portfolio to the highest standards of excellence. As travel preferences evolve and change, Marcus Hotels & Resorts continuously provides our guests with enriching and authentic amenities, experiences and hospitality. We thank the readers of Condé Nast Traveler for their continued support as they explore and enjoy our properties across the country, and offer our huge congratulations to our outstanding associates who everyday work to make even ordinary days for our guests extraordinary.” -Michael Evans, president of Marcus Hotels & Resorts. The Marcus Hotels & Resorts properties that were recognized by Condé Nast Traveler readers as top hotels and resorts in their respective categories are: Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin was recognized as the #2 Top Resort in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest. This all-seasons premier resort is the ideal Midwest vacation destination. Situated on 1,300 acres in the beautiful woodlands of Lake Geneva, the resort features two championship golf courses, Mountain Top downhill ski hill, full-service WELL Spa & Salon and a wide array of fine dining options. This is the sixth consecutive year this property has been named a Top Resort by Condé Nast Traveler readers. Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel in Milwaukee, one of the country’s most immersive and inviting arts hotel experiences, was honored as the #10 Top Hotel in the Midwest and #1 hotel in Milwaukee. This is the third consecutive year that the property, which opened in 2019, has been named a Top Hotel in the Midwest by Condé Nast Traveler readers. The hotel broadly celebrates the arts in its many forms with multiple gallery and exhibition spaces, nightly live music and programmed events, and unique culinary experiences awaiting guests inside. Milwaukee’s distinguished luxury hotel, The Pfister Hotel was recognized as the #15 Top Hotel in the Midwest. This is the sixth consecutive year the 127-year-old, iconic property has been named a Top Hotel in the Midwest by Condé Nast Traveler readers. 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This contemporary-classic hotel has a rich history in Oklahoma City stretching back to 1911. At the epicenter of Oklahoma City’s vibrant culture, guests can experience many of the city’s biggest attractions. A Lincoln, Nebraska landmark, Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker was honored as the #7 Top Hotel in the Midwest. This is the second year the property was recognized by Condé Nast Traveler readers. Just minutes away from the historic Haymarket District, this beautiful hotel has been serving Nebraska's capital city for nearly 90 years and offers guests unique, popular and fun experiences. The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry and are commonly known as “the best of the best of travel.” The 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards are published on Condé Nast Traveler’s website and celebrated in the November issue. About Marcus Hotels & Resorts Marcus Hotels & Resorts owns and/or manages 17 hotels, resorts and other properties in the U.S. The company’s distinctive portfolio includes city-center meeting hotels, upscale resorts, historic properties, and premium branded and independent first-class hotels. Marcus Hotels & Resorts is an approved operator for all major lodging brands. A leader in the hospitality industry since 1962, Marcus Hotels & Resorts creates asset value for hotel owners through its expertise in management, development and product repositioning. This includes premier food and beverage brands such as Mason Street Grill, ChopHouse, Miller Time® Pub & Grill and SafeHouse® Restaurants. For more information, please visit: http://media.marcushotels.com and follow the company on Facebook and Twitter (@MarcusHotels). About The Marcus Corporation Headquartered in Milwaukee, The Marcus Corporation is a leader in the lodging and entertainment industries, with significant company-owned real estate assets. In addition to its lodging division, its theatre division, Marcus Theatres®, is the fourth largest theatre circuit in the U.S. and currently owns or operates 1,064 screens at 85 locations in 17 states under the Marcus Theatres, Movie Tavern® by Marcus and BistroPlex® brands. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.marcuscorp.com.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY, HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Optii Solutions Launches New Learning Center Experience

Optii Solutions | October 27, 2022

Optii Solutions, the leading cloud-based hotel operations software, announced that it has launched a learning center with enhanced usability, improved search, and content designed for on-the-job learning. Almost every department and member of the operations team comes in contact with some aspect of Optii’s hotel operations platform. It was therefore important to ensure that educational content and accessibility works for a range of roles, cultures, and working environments. Optii’s Learning Center puts search at the forefront to allow users to access information quickly and on any device. Browsable content is organized to be user-centric and mirror common tasks and functions of any given role within a hotel operations team. Optii prioritizes recruitment from hospitality, and specifically housekeeping and operations. This ensures that the company maintains a close connection and understanding of all levels of hotel operations. While this knowledge is critical to creating a user-centric technology experience, it also serves to ensure that educational information is developed and presented in a quick and effective manner. “In developing learning content for our customers, I always start from a point of putting myself in their shoes. Many of the questions or challenges that operations and housekeeping professionals have, I have experienced at some point during my time in housekeeping. This knowledge helps me develop and structure training material in a way that will help team members get their answers, get back to their task, and be successful.” -Shelley Snyman, Director of Operations, Optii Solutions, Katherine Grass, CEO, Optii Solutions, said: Customer success has always been a top priority for Optii. While critical, the impact of our solution goes beyond productivity gains, guest experience, and cost savings. Optii has become an indispensable tool for housekeeping and maintenance staff in their daily operation, and we are focused on ensuring their success. A lot of the value of Optii is downstream to that. 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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