Promise and Pablum at Corporate Travel’s Biggest Gathering of the Year

Skift | August 08, 2019

Corporate travel is attracting a lot of interest from investors and the tech world due to emerging players with high valuations.At the Global Business Travel Associations (GBTA) annual conference in Chicago this week, it was business as usual for established industry players, with a few new twists.The somewhat unexpected news that Southwest Airlines is looking to revamp how it works with business travelers made perhaps the biggest waves. Southwest Airlines, which is notorious for avoiding dealing with global distribution systems, has cut deals with Amadeus and Travelport to bring content for business travelers to agencies next year.

Spotlight

We’ve interviewed over 100 likely-travelers across the US to get their input on travel and loyalty programs. We’ve compiled our conversations into our 2017 Travel Marketing Trends.

Spotlight

We’ve interviewed over 100 likely-travelers across the US to get their input on travel and loyalty programs. We’ve compiled our conversations into our 2017 Travel Marketing Trends.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Lightspeed to launch new flagship platform, Lightspeed Restaurant, to power Australian hospitality revival

Lightspeed Commerce Inc | September 08, 2022

Lightspeed Commerce Inc. ( NYSE: LSPD) (TSX: LSPD), the one-stop commerce platform for merchants around the world to simplify, scale, and create exceptional customer experiences, has announced the initial launch of Lightspeed Restaurant in the Australian market - a unified hospitality commerce and point-of-sale (POS) platform to power Australia's restaurant revival.Unveiling at Fine Food Australia, and coming soon to Australian businesses Lightspeed Restaurant, an industry-leading cloud platform, combines an innovative POS, contactless integrated payments, online ordering, advanced inventory, industry leading analytics and more; enabling operators to run smarter, more efficient restaurants. The local launch of Lightspeed Restaurant integrates cutting edge technology to build a single product that incorporates the best features of Australian leading Kounta and the breadth and sophistication of Lightspeed's market leading capabilities, and comes as Australia's world-famous dining industry continues to defy economic pressure. Data from a subset of Australian restaurants, cafes and bars using Lightspeed in July found that year-over-year revenue was up 50.3% in restaurants, 48.5% in bars, and 25.7% in cafes compared to the same month in 2021. Remarkably, July was the sixth successive month of year-over-year growth*. "Bringing Lightspeed Restaurant to an Australian market famed for the vibrancy of its hospitality sector is an exciting moment for Lightspeed. Restaurants have rapidly accelerated their digital transformation in recent years, and today merchants can't compromise when it comes to technology. Lightspeed Restaurant allows Australian restaurant owners to take control of seat level ordering, multiple service environments, complex printing setups, and more, all through a single commerce platform - providing the solution they need to meet and exceed the needs of their customers, empower their team and overcome the challenges of today." -Peter Dougherty, General Manager of Hospitality, at Lightspeed Key features of Lightspeed Restaurant include: Advanced insights: Lightspeed Restaurant informs operators what turns customers into regulars, who their best wait staff are and why, and makes them feel like they're on the floor every day even across multiple locations. Comprehensive integrated inventory: Track and automate inventory without breaking the bank. Know exactly how much product was sold, how much is still on hand, and how much is needed from a supplier for the next order. Speed and automation for the front of the house: Optimised by years of user testing, Lightspeed Restaurant is easy to use and train on, key for hiring and retaining staff and running smoother shifts in busy environments. Innovative ordering and payments with Order Anywhere: Fully integrated with Lightspeed Restaurant, Order Anywhere provides contactless ordering and payments for dine-in, and commission-free ordering for takeout, with the flexibility to either pre-pay online or pay at pick up, while avoiding expensive third-party fees. Real-time data: Restaurant owners, chefs and managers receive a daily email detailing everything they need to know before doors open, and a shift prep email detailing reservations, VIP guests, and notes for the service ahead. Bluebonnet Barbecue, Melbourne's iconic Texas-style BBQ venue, has been using Lightspeed Restaurant in the initial launch phase. Bluebonnet's Manager, Mikey Buchanan, said the platform gives the business a competitive advantage and the foundations to overcome challenges and provide better experiences for customers and employees alike. We've been looking for a platform like Lightspeed Restaurant for years. The access to real-time insights has given us a deeper, more accurate understanding of our business than we've ever had before. It's incredibly powerful and sophisticated, but also user-friendly, which is so important in a transient industry where staff come and go. Rather than using different systems for different business functions everything is on one system, driving operational efficiencies which benefit our team and, ultimately, our customers. We're passionate about our craft and our customers, and with Lightspeed Restaurant we spend less time working on administration and non-revenue generating tasks and more time delivering the food and experiences that bring people together. The initial launch of Lightspeed Restaurant in Australia follows the recent launch of Lightspeed Payments, an integrated, contactless payments processor that gives hospitality and retail businesses the ability to process customer payments directly from their point-of-sale. About Lightspeed Powering the businesses that are the backbone of the global economy, and used by merchants around the world including Messina, Lion, Momofuku, Five Guys, and Vera Wang, Lightspeed's one-stop commerce platform helps merchants innovate to simplify, scale and provide exceptional customer experiences. Our cloud commerce solution transforms and unifies online and physical operations, multichannel sales, expansion to new locations, global payments, financial solutions and connection to supplier networks. Founded in Montréal, Canada in 2005, Lightspeed is dual-listed on the New York and Toronto Stock Exchange ( NYSE: LSPD) (TSX: LSPD). With teams across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, the company serves retail, hospitality and golf businesses in over 100 countries.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Expedia Group Launches New Global Social Impact & Sustainability Strategy

Expedia Group | September 14, 2022

Expedia Group announced its new global social impact and sustainability strategy to advance a travel ecosystem that is responsible, open, and accessible to all. Combining the company’s mission, purpose, and values with its traveler-centric mindset, the Open World™ social impact and sustainability strategy is focused on three priorities – increasing access for underserved travelers, democratizing the travel economy, and innovating sustainable solutions for the future of travel. Earlier this year, the company announced its Open World technology platform – created for partners of all sizes to leverage and configure products and services needed to succeed in the travel ecosystem. Aligned with this innovation, and the belief that travel is a force for good, the next iteration of Open World extends to the traveler experience, community engagement, and environmental impact. “Travel is transformative. It broadens horizons, strengthens connections and changes perspectives. With our new Open World™ social impact and sustainability forward-looking plans, we will further our mission to power travel for everyone, everywhere,Travel needs to lighten its footprint on the planet, and everyone should be able to experience it and receive the associated benefits. Now is the time to innovate the existing model. We have a responsibility to enable a stronger, more sustainable industry.” -Peter Kern, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Expedia Group. The Open World™ social impact and sustainability strategy will tackle inequities in travel, accelerate meaningful change for the mosaic of travelers and communities that power the global industry, and ensure a healthy planet. Expedia Group’s social impact and sustainability strategic framework includes: Inclusive pathways for underserved travelers Unfortunately, historic and social barriers still too often limit equitable and accessible travel. Per Expedia Group Media Solutions’ recent Inclusive Travel Insights Report1, demand is increasing as consumers are seeking more inclusive travel offerings when searching and booking. Expedia Group is increasing its own capabilities to improve the experience of underserved travelers by identifying and helping to lessen gaps. For example, Expedia.com has made improvements to accessibility filters to include options like elevators, service animal accommodations, roll-in showers, sign-language staff availability, and also expanded search features for travelers such as LGBTQIA+ welcoming properties. What’s Next? To ensure more people are able to experience all that travel has to offer​, Expedia Group will focus a portion of its giving to provide grants to impact-driven organizations working to remove barriers to travel for underserved communities around the world. ​ Economic advancement for communities underrepresented in travel Expedia Group is strengthening economic opportunity across the travel ecosystem to ensure more people and communities can benefit from the industry’s growth and associated benefits. Using the power of its technology platform to help diversify the business of travel, Expedia Group will support small and local businesses, particularly those focused on improving the representation and experience of underrepresented travelers. What’s Next? To help diversify the business of travel and meet traveler demand for more responsible options, Expedia Group will soon launch a program aimed at start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses in travel. Prosperous planet for generations to come Expedia Group recognizes the environmental toll that today’s travel industry often has on the planet and is committed to mobilizing its vast network of travelers, partners, and peers to innovate more sustainable business models and empower travelers to make more responsible choices. Fostering a healthy planet and a travel industry that mitigates and adapts to climate change is central to the Open World social impact and sustainability strategy. Expedia Group recently joined the Travalyst Coalition and signed the Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action in Tourism. Under the Glasgow Declaration, Expedia Group has committed to deliver plans that will support the global goals of cutting emissions in half over the next decade and allowing the travel industry to reach Net Zero emissions as soon as possible before 2050. The Travalyst Coalition enables these goals by allowing travel companies like Expedia Group to deliver unified sustainability frameworks and methodologies to travelers across the globe. What’s Next? Expedia Group is currently developing a long-term climate action plan and associated roadmap for greening its own operations while driving industry-wide change. A new program being developed in partnership with The Travel Foundation will offer training and practical guidance to destination marketing organizations (DMOs), enabling them to lead the way on climate action in tourism and catalyze meaningful change at a local level. These three priorities build upon Expedia Group’s foundation and ongoing commitment to philanthropy. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic Expedia Group led programs including the Give the World a Shot initiative – a joint endeavor with UNICEF to enhance COVID-19 vaccination rates in communities around the world – as global, equitable access to the vaccine is in line with traveler values and essential to reopening the world to travel. Expedia Group donated approximately $10.5 million – vaccinating three million people and moving the travel industry one step closer to recovery. Learn more about Expedia Group’s past impact work in its 2021 Global Impact Report and latest Inclusion and Diversity Report. For additional information, visit www.expediagroup.com/who-we-are/Impact--Sustainability. The research for the Inclusive Travel Insights Report was conducted in collaboration with Wakefield Research, which included an online survey of 11,000 representatives, general population adults ages 18+ in 11 global markets – Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, the UK and U.S. – fielded between February 11 and March 6, 2022. About Expedia Group Expedia Group, Inc. companies power travel for everyone, everywhere through our global platform. Driven by the core belief that travel is a force for good, we help people experience the world in new ways and build lasting connections. We provide industry-leading technology solutions to fuel partner growth and success, while facilitating memorable experiences for travelers. Our organization is made up of three pillars: Expedia Product & Technology, focused on the group’s product and technical strategy and offerings; Expedia Brands, housing all our consumer brands; and Expedia for Business, consisting of business-to-business solutions and relationships throughout the travel ecosystem. The Expedia Group family of brands includes: Expedia®, Hotels.com®, Expedia® Partner Solutions, Vrbo®, trivago®, Orbitz®, Travelocity®, Hotwire®, Wotif®, ebookers®, CheapTickets®, Expedia Group™ Media Solutions, CarRentals.com™, and Expedia Cruises™.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Spirit Airlines Completes Initial High-Speed Wi-Fi Installation, Takes Ultra-Low Fare Air Travel Experience to New Heights

Spirit Airlines | July 14, 2022

Spirit Airlines (NYSE: SAVE) has completed yet another groundbreaking investment in the Guest experience. Guests can now binge their favorite shows via Spirit Wi-Fi on flights operated by its Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft. The major milestone marks the first time a U.S.-based ultra-low fare airline has offered high-speed Wi-Fi. Spirit partnered with Thales to install the high-speed connectivity solution FlytLIVE to cover Spirit's network across the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. This state-of-the-art system offers access to internet services. Guests can enjoy an at-home level of experience in the air while viewing video from their streaming services, playing games and connecting on social media with their personal devices. As another major milestone, Spirit expects to provide the fastest Wi-Fi service of any U.S.-based airline when all FlytLIVE-enabled planes are connected to the new, very high-throughput SES-17 satellite by September 2022. "This is a real groundbreaking moment in the industry as Spirit adds in-flight amenities and product options that have previously not been available on ultra-low fare carriers, We're continuing to deliver the best value in the sky by providing options that are important to our Guests, like our high-speed Wi-Fi service, while keeping our focus on affordable fares to provide our Guests with More Go." -Matt Klein, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer for Spirit Airlines. At Thales, we are proud to partner with Spirit Airlines in their mission to enhance the Guest experience and are truly excited to have 100% of their A320 & A321 fleet equipped with FlytLIVE. The system's reliability and performance is getting rave reviews from Spirit's passengers who can now stream to their heart's content," said TK Kallenbach, CEO Thales InFlyt Experience. Spirit Wi-Fi Spirit is the leader in providing customizable travel options that allow Guests to pay only for the options they choose like bags, seat assignments, refreshments, and now, Wi-Fi service will be part of this À La Smarte approach to travel. In addition to purchasing Wi-Fi on the flight, Guests can pre-purchase Wi-Fi at the time of booking on spirit.com effective July 13, 2022, and on the mobile app effective August 10, 2022, for flights on or after August 24, 2022. The voucher codes received from the pre-purchase option are for entry in the online Wi-Fi portal on the plane. Wi-Fi Your Way Browsing: browse the web and stay in touch via email, chat, and social media starting at $2.99 Streaming: stream, browse, and chat on board with high-speed internet that's 20x faster than our browsing option starting at $5.99 How To Connect Turn on your device's Wi-Fi and choose "Spirit_WiFi" Open your web browser and visit SpiritWiFi.com Choose the plan, enter your payment or voucher code information, and enjoy Spirit Wi-Fi Features: The most advanced Ka-band high-throughput connectivity FlytLIVE uses SES & Hughes next-generation aviation satellite network and technology SES-17 satellite built to serve routes across the Americas and Atlantic with Ka-band coverage SES-17 is SES's first satellite to have a totally digital payload, powered by a Thales advanced digital transparent processor (DTP), enabling greater flexibility and efficiency than previously available. Using Thales' FlytLIVE and SES-17, Spirit expects to offer the best availability in the Americas and will be faster than other airlines based on published data. Additional program details: In total, more than 80 percent of Spirit's fleet has Wi-Fi capability with system installations completed on Spirit's existing A320 and A321 sub-fleets. The expansion of Wi-Fi functionality to Spirit's existing A319 sub-fleet will be determined at a later date. Spirit plans to gain 24 brand new A320neo planes in 2022 for a projected fleet-wide total of 197 by the end of the year, and 33 more new planes projected for delivery in 2023. The price of the Wi-Fi options is based on the duration of the flight. While inflight, Guests can enjoy complimentary access to Spirit.com—check your flight status on connecting flights, access your mobile boarding pass, and join Free Spirit to earn points from your flight. More information may be found on spirit.com/wifi. Recognition Spirit continues to garner recognition for innovation in the Guest experience and its commitment to operational excellence. The carrier won "Best Airport Innovation" in the 2021 APEX/IFSA Awards for its groundbreaking self-bag drop system with biometric photo matching, which speeds up the check-in process and reduces face-to-face contact. Additionally, Spirit was recognized by Forbes as one of America's Best Employers for Diversity in 2022. Spirit also received the FAA's "Aviation Maintenance Technician Diamond Award of Excellence" for the fourth consecutive year. 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 À 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. About Thales: Thales (Euronext Paris: HO) is a global leader in advanced technologies, investing in digital and "deep tech" innovations – connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and quantum computing – to build a confident future crucial for the development of our societies. The Group provides its customers – businesses, organisations and governments – in the defence, aeronautics, space, transport, and digital identity and security domains with solutions, services and products that help them fulfil their critical role, consideration for the individual being the driving force behind all decisions.

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