Paris Gradually Reopening to European, International Travelers

Atout France | June 24, 2020

Paris Gradually Reopening to European, International Travelers
Paris is one of the most popular tourist destinations globally and the city is working diligently to welcome European and international travelers back as soon as possible.
According to a teleconference hosted by Atout France, officials announced the country is open to tourists from the European Union and plans are in place to gradually begin opening borders to international visitors on July 1.

Spotlight

The traditional travel buying process faces assault from a barrage of disruptors, including shifts to open-booking, emerging “sharing economy” platforms and new tools that can track both traveler behaviors and preferences as well as pricing volatility. Fortunately, as many buyers report both diminishing returns and increasing complexity to the traditional request-for-proposal process, some of these disruptors stand to bring a welcome change to what can be an increasingly frustrating exercise.

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FEATURES AND ADVICE

RoomRaccoon - The World's Number One Hotel Management System Now Available Across United States

RoomRaccoon | December 01, 2021

RoomRaccoon has expanded to the United States, offering accommodation property owners even greater opportunities to grow their business. Independent hotels in the U.S. will now have the chance to experience the full power of RoomRaccoon, the award-winning Hotel Management System (HMS). With the North American hotel market estimated to be worth $30.66 billion in 2020, RoomRaccoon can play a vital role in helping American hoteliers maximize their share of the market and navigate the new normal with virtual tools like contactless check-in. The Netherlands-based HMS provider has been available in Europe and Africa since 2017 and quickly became the preferred hotel tech solution for over 1,500 properties. In the months leading up to the full North American release, the company recruited and trained a team of local representatives who can offer hotel managers free online demos throughout the northern states and Canadian provinces. "This is a very important moment in the history of RoomRaccoon,Our mission is to empower hoteliers around the world, and this is a big step in that direction. We are excited about the opportunity to partner with hoteliers in North America." -Tymen Van Dyl, CEO, and co-founder of RoomRaccoon. RoomRaccoon is the most complete cloud hotel management system in the world that is designed to be easy to use and fully automated, offering hoteliers a simple, yet comprehensive solution that does the job of multiple hotel tech stacks. RoomRaccoon comes fully integrated with a Property Management System (PMS), Booking Engine, and Channel Manager, meaning you can manage everything from guest check-ins and check-outs, capture, and process direct bookings to instant rate and availability updates across multiple distribution channels in a snap. Other important tools and features that hoteliers benefit from include: Payment processing and card machine Revenue and Yield management Upsell functionality Guest ID scanner Financial reports Automated pre-stay, post-stay, and confirmation emails Online check-in Website builder With RoomRaccoon hoteliers can increase their occupancy rates, control their inventory, maximize their revenue and improve the overall guest experience. RoomRaccoon’s real power lies in the fact that it’s the most complete solution for the modern-day hotelier, said Van Dyl. Unlike legacy technology, RoomRaccoon is made to be compatible with over 138 third-party integrations. “North America opens up the opportunity to partner with even more innovative, fast-paced, and trend-setting companies. RoomRaccoon looks forward to expanding with our existing partners including Event Temple, Lightspeed, Expedia, and Ivvy. We’re excited to discover new opportunities where together we can make a real difference,” said Nick Kleynhans, Head of Partnerships at RoomRaccoon. Hoteliers can also keep an eye out for the RoomRaccoon team at hospitality expos and events next year. “We will be attending different events throughout North America. We believe in the power of events, meeting each other face-to-face, and getting to know the market,” said RoomRaccoon’s Event Planner Marit Hoencamp, who was behind the successful hospitality summit, Check-In 2021, hosted by RoomRaccoon where keynote speakers from Booking.com among others addressed important topics in the industry. What do RoomRaccoon clients think? Training on RoomRaccoon is a breeze compared to some other systems. As a team, we really understand the RoomRaccoon system," said Aimee Lawson, Assistant General Manager of Cloud Estate Boutique Hotel in Stellenbosch, South Africa. “RoomRaccoon has helped us improve our operations with the simplicity of the operating system from the front end and even from the back end. RoomRaccoon is the secret weapon to successful hotel management,” -Jayson Van Noordwyk, General Manager of O’Two Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa. What makes RoomRaccoon stand out in the crowded hotel tech space is the fact it is more than just a hotel tech company, RoomRaccoon is the brainchild of a hotelier who has first-hand experience of the daily operations and pain points involved in running a hotel. Nadja Buckenberger, the product owner at RoomRaccoon, faced many challenges when she first opened the doors of her own independent hotel, the Bliss Boutique Hotel in Breda, Netherlands. The crux was that she couldn’t find a single affordable solution that could manage all aspects of her property. That’s when she decided to join forces with Tymen to create one that could. About RoomRaccoon it was voted the best Hotel Management System in 2020 and 2021 by hotel managers and industry experts on Hotel Tech Report. The company was also nominated as the Netherlands’ fifth most successful software company in 2021 by Techleap.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

Sonder Holdings Inc. Builds Corporate Travel Business With +100 New Accounts

Sonder | January 07, 2022

Sonder Holdings Inc. (“Sonder”), a leading next-generation hospitality company that is redefining the guest experience through technology and design, announced it has added over 100 new corporate travel accounts over the last year as a result of the high demand for its thoughtfully designed, reliable and tech-enabled accommodations among business and group clients.Sonder has seen increasing corporate travel demand from the technology, hospitality, retail, entertainment and healthcare industries, and nearly half of Sonder’s corporate booked revenue was driven by corporate housing demand. With Sonder locations in major global business hubs, the most popular destinations for corporate and group bookings last year were New York City, Philadelphia, London, Dublin, New Orleans and Palm Springs. “In this economy, companies offering a compelling relocation package to a prospective hire can really stand out,” shared Situ’s Managing Director Phil Stapleton. “Today, our clients are consistently prioritizing autonomous accommodation spaces that are comfortable, thoughtfully designed, tech-forward and in the right locations. Sonder consistently delivers across all these aspects, helping us provide the outstanding corporate housing experience our clients are looking for, which makes a difference.” Sonder’s flexible accommodation options span individual hotel rooms to full apartments with multiple bedrooms, which are available for one-night or multi-night stays. Many spaces offer room to spread out and work remotely, with fully-equipped kitchens, living rooms, multiple bedrooms and en-suite laundry. Sonder’s tech-enabled experience makes it easy for travelers to request early check-in or late check-out directly from their phones, and to bypass crowded lobbies via check-in through the Sonder app. Sonder guests also receive instant support through the company’s 24/7 Concierge service through the app. “We’re incredibly pleased with the traction we’ve seen among this important travel segment since launching a dedicated team focused on this customer base just last year, and to be working with strong partners in the space,Our continued growth and working with over 100 corporate clients has proven that there’s a significant need for thoughtfully designed, tech-enabled accommodations among these agencies and travelers.” -Kristen Richter, Vice President of Sales at Sonder Following the launch of its dedicated business travel offering and Global Distribution System connectivity in mid-2021, Sonder recently signed a partnership with ABC Global Services, a leading supplier of services and technology for travel agencies, advisors and professionals. ABC Global Services’ entire global agent network will now benefit from the ability to choose a comfortable, contactless stay at Sonder in more than 35 cities around the world, at preferential rates. “While corporate travel may look a little different these days, what matters to our clients and their travelers remains the same: a consistent, comfortable and reliable hospitality experience,We believe that Sonder’s next-generation business model meets that need, delivering an experience that’s innovative, seamless and elevated – with flexible options for different types of stays and travelers.” -Dee Runyan, President at ABC Global Services Sonder also has active business travel partnerships with Egencia, HotelEngine and TripActions, three top Travel Management Companies. Business Combination with Gores Metropoulos II Sonder recently announced that the Registration Statement on Form S-4 filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on July 7, 2021, as amended by Amendment No. 7 filed on December 20, 2021, was declared effective on December 22, 2021. The Registration Statement was filed in connection with the proposed business combination of Sonder and Gores Metropoulos II, Inc. (Nasdaq: GMII, GMIIW, and GMIIU). A special meeting of Gores Metropoulos II stockholders to approve the business combination will be held on January 14, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Sonder’s common stock and public warrants are expected to be listed on Nasdaq under the ticker symbols “SOND” and “SONDW,” respectively, following the closing of the business combination. Upon completion of the business combination, subject to any redemptions by the public stockholders of Gores Metropoulos II and the payment of transaction expenses at the closing, Sonder expects to have approximately $310 million in PIPE proceeds, up to $450 million in cash in Gores Metropoulos II’s trust account and $165 million of Delayed Draw Notes to fund operations and support new and existing growth initiatives. About Sonder Sonder is revolutionizing hospitality through innovative, tech-enabled service and inspiring, thoughtfully designed accommodations combined into one seamless experience. Launched in 2014 and headquartered in San Francisco, Sonder provides a variety of accommodation options — from spacious rooms to fully-equipped suites and apartments — found in over 35 markets spanning ten countries and three continents. The Sonder app gives guests full control over their stay. Complete with self-service features, simple check-in and 24/7 on-the-ground support, amenities and services at Sonder are just a tap away, making a world of better stays open to all.To learn more, visit www.sonder.com or follow Sonder on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Download the Sonder app on Apple or Google Play. About Gores Metropoulos II, Inc. Gores Metropoulos II, Inc. (Nasdaq: GMII, GMIIW, and GMIIU) is a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by an affiliate of The Gores Group, LLC, a global investment firm founded in 1987 by Alec Gores, and by an affiliate of Metropoulos & Co. whose Principals are Dean, Evan and Daren Metropoulos. Gores Metropoulos II was formed for the purpose of entering into a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganization or similar business combination with one or more businesses. Messrs. Gores and Metropoulos together have over 100 years of combined experience as entrepreneurs, operators and investors across diverse sectors including industrials, technology, media and entertainment, business services, healthcare and consumer products and services. Over the course of their careers, Messrs. Gores and Metropoulos and their respective teams have invested in more than 180 portfolio companies through varying macroeconomic environments with a consistent, operationally-oriented investment strategy. For more information, please visit www.gores.com.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Tuniu Announces Senior Management Share Purchase Plan

Tuniu | December 27, 2021

Tuniu Corporation (Nasdaq:TOUR) ("Tuniu" or the "Company"), a leading online leisure travel company in China, announced that certain senior management members of Tuniu, consisting of Mr. Donald Dunde Yu, founder, chairman and chief executive officer, Mr. Wei Zhang, executive vice president, and Mr. Anqiang Chen, financial controller, as well as certain employees of Tuniu, intend to use their personal funds to purchase the Company's American depositary shares ("ADS") on the open market for an aggregate amount up to a maximum of US$2 million within the next 6 months, pursuant and subject to the restrictions of, and consistent with, the applicable laws and regulations and the Company's securities trading policy. "Although the recovery of the overall travel industry has experienced setbacks due to Covid-19, we remain confident in the long-term prospects of both the industry and Tuniu,We will continue to focus on providing high-quality products and services in order to strengthen our key competitive advantages and be well-positioned to better capture opportunities as the market recovers." -Mr. Donald Dunde Yu About Tuniu ) is a leading online leisure travel company in China that offers a large selection of packaged tours, including organized and self-guided tours, as well as travel-related services for leisure travelers through its website tuniu.com and mobile platform. Tuniu covers over 420 departing cities throughout China and all popular destinations worldwide. Tuniu provides one-stop leisure travel solutions and a compelling customer experience through its online platform and offline service network, including a dedicated team of professional customer service representatives, 24/7 call centers, extensive networks of offline retail stores and self-operated local tour operators. For more information, please visit http://ir.tuniu.com.

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Spotlight

The traditional travel buying process faces assault from a barrage of disruptors, including shifts to open-booking, emerging “sharing economy” platforms and new tools that can track both traveler behaviors and preferences as well as pricing volatility. Fortunately, as many buyers report both diminishing returns and increasing complexity to the traditional request-for-proposal process, some of these disruptors stand to bring a welcome change to what can be an increasingly frustrating exercise.