TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Sabre and Google Develop Industry-First AI Technology for Travel

Sabre Corporation | October 22, 2020

Sabre Corporation the leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, today announced that Sabre and Google are developing an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven technology platform that is an industry first in travel. The technology, known as Sabre Travel AI™, is infused with Google's state-of-the-art AI technology and advanced machine-learning capabilities that will help customers to deliver highly relevant and personalized content more quickly, deliver personalized content that better meets the demands of today's traveler, and create expanded revenue and margin growth opportunities. The Company is integrating Sabre Travel AI into certain products in its existing portfolio, with plans to bring those to market in early 2021.

Spotlight

Travel management companies are the operational backbone of most managed travel programs. As close allies to travel managers, TMCs can take on many roles for the organizations they serve. They often act as transaction enablers, assisting with planning and booking travel, processing reservations, fulfilling transactions and supporting travelers en route.

Spotlight

Travel management companies are the operational backbone of most managed travel programs. As close allies to travel managers, TMCs can take on many roles for the organizations they serve. They often act as transaction enablers, assisting with planning and booking travel, processing reservations, fulfilling transactions and supporting travelers en route.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Google Travel Now Includes Vacation Rentals in its Search Results Alongside Hotels

Google Travel | June 01, 2021

Google is making moves that further blur the line between hotels and private accommodations. The search giant says searches for “beach rentals” and “staycations” grew by more than 100% globally in the last year. It wants to better serve that interest by combining vacation rentals and hotels in one comprehensive search result for a destination. The “vacation rentals” filter – launched in 2019 – remains for users that want to limit results to only non-hotel properties. Still, without that filter, the default display will show both types of accommodations. Google says results are ranked organically based on relevance to the user’s query. The company would not provide a list of current supply partners, but searches on the site show listings from Tripadvisor, Vacasa, Red Awning, Sonder, Rentals United, and others. Vrbo listings had been on the site for nearly two years but in its earnings call in February, Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern announced the company had pulled them, saying, “We didn’t find investment in the Google vacation rental product particularly incremental, we didn’t think the customer experience was precious, and we are of course also having a period where we see great direct traffic for Vrbo. So we found other ways, and I’d argue more profitable ways, to drive traffic.” It’s unclear at this stage whether properties from Booking.com and Airbnb are participating in the vacation rental search. Google announced the new combined hotels and vacation rental search product Thursday morning during its Google Marketing Live online event. “We’ve seen growing and sustained interest in vacation rentals since the start of the pandemic and have evolved our product accordingly to meet those user preferences. This launch is the first time that we’re showing results that combine both hotels and vacation rentals when a user is trying to find a place to stay,” says a company spokesperson via email.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

New report from WTTC and Trip.com Group reveals latest consumer trends and the shift in traveller behaviours

WTTC & Trip.com | November 26, 2021

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and Trip.com Group launched 'Trending in Travel', a new report that shows the latest trends traveller behaviour and future booking patterns in the wake of COVID-19. WTTC, representing the private Travel & Tourism sector, joined forces with leading global travel service provider, Trip.com Group, and its major consumer brands Trip.com, Ctrip and Skyscanner, to analyse consumer trends shaping the recovery of the Travel & Tourism sector.WTTC's latest projections show strong growth in international spending for 2022 and beyond, projecting to overtake domestic spending in 2022, as more destinations ease restrictions and vaccination rates continue to rise. Following a 69.4% decline (2020), global international spending on travel is set to rise by 9.3% in 2021, and significantly by 93.8% in 2022. The inaugural report also reveals how severe and confusing travel restrictions around the world drove a significant rise in domestic tourism, with a surge in domestic hotel bookings of more than 200% on Trip.com's platform this year compared to 2019. Since the start of the pandemic, mobility restrictions have hindered international travel and, although domestic travel will provide a much-needed boost to the sector, WTTC says the return of international travel is critical to rebooting the global economy. The report focuses on booking trends, consumer considerations, and consumer profiles. It also features examples of markets whose resilience has provided a platform for the recovery of the Travel & Tourism sector. The report shows how COVID-19 has changed the way people travel; younger travellers are the first to return to travel; increased demand for longer stays; the importance of fee-free cancellations and the demand for high levels of health and safety checks. To avoid travel restrictions, travellers are seeking secondary destinations, away from traditional holiday spots, as their destination of choice. This preference positively impacts local communities and livelihoods. According to Trip.com's hotel booking data, Abu Dhabi (UAE) Chiang Mai (Thailand), Doha (Qatar), Florence (Italy), and Frankfurt (Germany) were the most popular secondary destinations in their respective countries in 2021. The report goes on to show that, according to Ctrip data, bookings for 'the great outdoors' will predominate in the short and medium term. In China – one of the world's largest travel markets - nature-related attraction bookings have increased by 265% in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year. The pause in travel has also heightened consumers' eagerness to travel more sustainably with more than eight out of 10 (83%) global travellers saying they would make sustainable travel a priority in the future. Reinforcing this long-term trend, since its launch in 2019, the report shows 68 million travellers have opted to book a "Greener Choice" labelled flight on Skyscanner, a comparatively lower-carbon flight choice. According to the report, 70% of travellers in many major countries such as the U.S., Spain, the UK, Canada, and Japan plan to spend more on travel in 2022 than they have in the last five years, including 2019 - one of the best years on record for Travel & Tourism. "It is clear people are really looking forward to travelling again. Consumers are curious, they are looking at new destinations, 'the great outdoors' and travel that benefits the places and people they visit. As travel and tourism represents over 10% of global GDP this is good news for jobs and economies." -Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO The impact in some countries has been devastating for local communities and this report shows that business is returning in earnest. "Travellers around the world have shown their eagerness to travel, whether limited to domestic travel or able to cross borders, we see a huge amount of pent-up demand steadily being released." -Jane Sun, CEO of Trip.com Group To better evolve with the recovery we must understand travellers, and as an industry adapt to emerging trends. Latest WTTC research shows the global recovery of the Travel & Tourism sector is picking up pace with the sector's contribution to global GDP projected to rise by 30.7% in 2021 and 31.7% in 2022. For more information on the Trending in Travel: Emerging Consumer Trends in Travel & Tourism in 2021 and Beyond report, download the full report here. About Trip.com Group Trip.com Group is a leading global travel service provider comprising of Trip.com, Ctrip, Skyscanner, and Qunar. Across its platforms, Trip.com Group helps travellers around the world make informed and cost-effective bookings for travel products and services, and enables partners to connect their offerings with users through the aggregation of comprehensive travel-related content and resources, and an advanced transaction platform consisting of apps, websites and 24/7 customer service centers. Founded in 1999 and listed on NASDAQ in 2003 and HKEX in 2021, Trip.com Group has become one of the best-known travel groups in the world, with the mission "to pursue the perfect trip for a better world".For more information, please visit: group.trip.com About WTTC The World Travel & Tourism Council is the global authority on the economic and social contribution of Travel & Tourism. WTTC promotes sustainable growth for the Travel & Tourism sector, working with governments and international institutions to create jobs, to drive exports and to generate prosperity. Council Members are the Chairs, Presidents and Chief Executives of the world's leading private sector Travel & Tourism businesses.For further information, please visit: WTTC.org

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Leisure Demand Continues to Drive Hyatt’s Brand Growth in Europe

Hyatt Hotels Corporation | September 07, 2021

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced that a Hyatt affiliate has entered into six new management and franchise agreements for hotels in Europe across The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, JdV by Hyatt, Hyatt Centric, and Hyatt Regency brands, further emphasizing a growing desire from travelers, World of Hyatt members, and owners for hotels that offer unique, differentiated experiences and foster genuine connections with people and cultures. This announcement builds on Hyatt’s growth strategy to significantly expand its brand portfolio in Europe by the end of 2023 – the six new executed agreements are expected to increase Hyatt’s brand presence in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland. This is in addition to the recently announced planned acquisition of Apple Leisure Group (ALG), which is expected to expand Hyatt’s European brand footprint by 60 percent. “The newly executed agreements highlight the positive strides we are making towards our growth strategy in Europe, and the new projects sit alongside a strong pipeline of Hyatt-branded hotels scheduled to open over the coming years,” said Felicity Black-Roberts, Hyatt’s vice president development, Europe. “Confidence in the hospitality sector remains high among investors, and we are delighted to collaborate with leading owners and operators who recognize the value and profitability of Hyatt’s entire brand portfolio, with an emphasis on Hyatt’s independent collections, including The Unbound Collection by Hyatt and JdV by Hyatt brands, and lifestyle brands, including Hyatt Centric. With these new deals, we are asserting our expertise in leisure destinations, reinforcing that Hyatt’s brands continue to resonate and cater to leisure travelers.” The Unbound Collection by Hyatt The Unbound Collection by Hyatt hotel in Crans-Montana, Switzerland The luxurious boutique hotel Rhodania in the Swiss Alps is expected to join The Unbound Collection by Hyatt in 2023. The 41-room hotel is currently located right on the third tee of the famous Severiano Ballesteros golf course, approximately 4,900 feet (1,500 meters) above sea level in one of the most prestigious and well-established year-round mountain destinations in Switzerland. ll Tornabuoni Hotel in Florence, Italy A Hyatt affiliate has entered into a franchise agreement with AG Group for Il Tornabuoni Hotel in Florence, which will join The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand. The luxury boutique 62-room hotel is expected to open in October 2021 and will be the first Hyatt-branded property in Florence. JdV by Hyatt The Tribune Hotel in Rome, Italy The Tribune Hotel, which is expected to join the JdV by Hyatt brand, will mark a significant and long-awaited milestone in Hyatt’s growth strategy: the introduction of the Hyatt brand to Rome. A JdV by Hyatt hotel in Bordeaux, France Driving further momentum within Hyatt’s independent collections portfolio, the JdV by Hyatt brand is expected to debut its first hotel in Bordeaux, France, a city rich in architectural and cultural heritage with highlights including its famous harbor, Port de la Lune, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hyatt Centric Hyatt Centric Altstadt Hamburg in Hamburg, Germany The Hyatt Centric brand will debut in Germany under a franchise agreement between a Hyatt affiliate and SV Hotel AG. Hyatt Centric Altstadt Hamburg will be located on Moenckebergstrasse, one of Hamburg’s most vibrant shopping streets. As a brand synonymous with adventure and being in the center of the action, the Hyatt Centric brand is a perfect addition to this vibrant location. Hyatt Regency Hyatt Regency Madrid Residences in Madrid, Spain Hyatt Regency Hesperia Madrid will expand on its current hotel accommodations to include a residential component – Hyatt Regency Madrid Residences. With 22 premium apartments, the new complex will be located at Paseo de la Castellana, in the heart of the financial center of the capital and in close proximity to many international businesses, diplomatic offices and embassies. Recent Hyatt hotel openings across Europe include: Hyatt Place Ekaterinburg in Ekaterinburg, Russia Hyatt Place London City East in London, United Kingdom 7Pines Resort Ibiza, part of the Destination by Hyatt brand, in Ibiza, Spain Hyatt Regency Zurich Airport The Circle in Zurich, Switzerland Hôtel du Palais Biarritz, re-opened as part of The Unbound by Hyatt Collection brand, in Biarritz, France Three Story Hotels in Sweden, which joined the JdV by Hyatt brand, including Story Hotel Riddargatan and Story Hotel Signalfabriken Stockholm and Story Hotel Studio Malmö in Malmö About Hyatt Hotels Corporation Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company offering 20 premier brands. As of June 30, 2021, the Company's portfolio included more than 1,000 hotel and all-inclusive properties in 68 countries across six continents. The Company's purpose to care for people so they can be their best informs its business decisions and growth strategy and is intended to attract and retain top employees, build relationships with guests and create value for shareholders. About AG Group AG Group is Italy’s first Italian-owned hospitality group capable of providing all aspects of demand for tourism in-house with boutique hotels, DMC/ tour operator & event management, hotel consultancy, culinary outlets and retirement homes. Alboran Hotels and Hospitality Alboran is an active owner of hotel properties with in-depth hotel knowledge and experience of all operating models. Founded in 2016, Alboran’s business concept stands for two main skills, real estate and hotel operations with a focus on sizeable hotels in key leisure and corporate destinations. About SV Group SV Hotel is part of the hospitality and hotel management group SV Group, headquartered in Dübendorf near Zurich. As a franchisee, SV Hotel operates hotels of the Marriott brands Courtyard, Residence Inn, Renaissance and Moxy in Switzerland and Germany. About Hesperia Hotels & Resorts Hesperia Hotels & Resorts is one of Spain’s leading hotel groups, with an established presence in urban and leisure destinations. It is one of the companies with the most experience and knowledge of the industry, having been in operation for more than 20 years

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