DESTINATION AND TOURISM,INDUSTRY OUTLOOK
Internova Travel Group | July 05, 2022
Dream destinations, multigenerational vacations and a desire for unique experiences are some of the trends driving luxury travel for the summer in 2022, according to travel advisors from the Global Travel Collection (GTC).
The United Kingdom tops the list of international destinations booked by GTC travel advisors, a spot it's held for the last five years. Other places in the top 15 include Italy, France, Israel, Spain, Switzerland, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, Greece and Germany, followed by South Africa, Ireland, Australia, the Dominican Republic and Portugal.
Luxury travel advisors with GTC brands report that their clients are excited to travel again, with some booking multiple trips. And they're willing to spend more to get the vacation experience they want. But that high demand is driving up prices, and hotels are stretched thin due to staffing shortages, limiting availability.
"Europe is in high demand this summer, with destinations like Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy the most booked, My luxury travel clients do a combination of experiences, like cooking classes, hiking/biking excursions and immersive activities connecting them to the place, as well as making sure they have dining reservations at the top spots."
-Tiffany Bowne, with All Star Travel Group, a brand within Global Travel Collection.
Carolyn Consalvo, with Global Travel Collection's Andrew Harper, remarked that beach vacations and Alaska cruises are very popular. "I would say most people are looking for destinations where they can be outdoors a majority of the time," she said.
"Bucket lists are becoming to-do lists,Many of my clients want to travel to their dream locations," with destinations as varied as the Maldives, southern Italy's Amalfi coast, Australia and Hawaii.
-Shayna Mizrahi, with In The Know Experiences, also part of Global Travel Collection
Remote work has also opened up new possibilities, she added. "The demographics of my most active luxury travelers today are young professionals, who now can work remotely from anywhere and are choosing to combine this with unique luxury trips.
Luxury travelers are eager to make up for the time they couldn't spend seeing the world with friends and family over the past two years.
I'm doing multiple multigenerational trips — grandparents not wanting to miss any more time and taking their family on an unforgettable trip of two to three weeks, said Diana Castillo, with Protravel International of Global Travel Collection.
Laura Triebe, also with Andrew Harper, is also handling more requests for multigenerational vacations and bucket-list destinations like Hawaii and Africa. I think the client that calls now is more serious about traveling and is willing to adjust to an ever-changing world.
With rising prices and limited availability in some vacation spots, luxury advisors are putting their skills and experience to the test.
Clients are willing to pay to get what they want," and that includes upgrading their accommodations, said Michelle Summerville, with In The Know Experiences. More people want to travel in the best way possible, better than they have in the past," she said.
The greatest challenge in selling luxury travel right now is the severely limited space and availability for flights and hotel rooms in the most desirable destinations, said Leslie Tillem, with Tzell Travel Group of Global Travel Collection. We are seeing extraordinary demand in luxury travel across the spectrum, leading to a lack of availability at any price.
Bridget Kapinus, with Andrew Harper, concurs. Demand is high for last-minute travel. She's also contending with factors like a scarcity of hotel rooms and higher costs for flights.
Travelers who had never used an advisor before started to seek them out to help navigate COVID-19 entry and testing requirements. Now, they're sold on the value of a travel professional.
"Your time is precious, and you want the assistance of an expert to help you plan your vacation, said Angie Licea, President of the Global Travel Collection. Our luxury travel advisors have years of experience putting together trips for their clients, as well as firsthand knowledge of the world's most popular destinations. They stay on top of the trends in luxury travel and deliver concierge-level service. Plus, travelers have the comfort of knowing that there's a human being they can call whenever they have a question or concern.
My travels throughout these past 18 months have been our best marketing,said Castillo, of Protravel International. "We have shown our clientele that travel can be pleasant and enjoyable and that we can help set up all the requirements they may need in order to make their vacation seamless.
Mizrahi, with In The Know Experiences, has also been sharing details about her travels, something her clients appreciate immensely. Her firsthand experience "is something that no Google search or website can provide.
About Global Travel Collection
Global Travel Collection (GTC), a division of Internova Travel Group, is the world's largest collection of international luxury travel agencies, including the well-established networks of Protravel International, Tzell Travel Group, and Colletts Travel, as well as Andrew Harper, In the Know Experiences, All Star Travel Group and R. Crusoe & Son. GTC advisors and agencies are industry leaders in providing premium travel services to leisure travelers, corporate executives and the entertainment industry. The combined global reach and leverage translates into value, recognition, and preferential treatment for its world travelers.
About Internova Travel Group
Internova Travel Group is one of the largest travel services companies in the world with a collection of leading brands delivering high-touch, personal travel expertise to leisure and corporate clients. Internova manages leisure, business and franchise firms through a portfolio of distinctive divisions. Internova represents more than 70,000 travel advisors in over 6,000 company-owned and affiliated locations predominantly in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, with a presence in more than 80 countries.
TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,BUSINESS TRAVEL
HRS | August 08, 2022
HRS, the leading Gobal corporate travel and payment technology platform, announced the acquisition of Germany-based Paypense, enhancing HRS’ growing compilation of efficient corporate payment offerings. Only two years since launch, Paypense’s open platform has already made inroads with a broad range of corporations, enabling employees to use digital payment technology to pay for all work-related purchases. This smarter solution ensures compliance to budgets while also capturing relevant data for auditing, steering and even sustainability metrics.
“HRS Pay, reinforced by years of proprietary investments and our 2021 purchase of Itelya to propel the digital transformation of payment, is taking the next step in delivering an exceptional 'in destination experience' for corporate employees, Paypense provides intelligent spend management services for managers and employees alike, whether they are on the road for weeks at a time or supporting a one-day, off-site event that doesn’t require travel. This acquisition represents a new milestone for HRS Pay as we continue to focus on elevating employee satisfaction.”
-Tobias Ragge, HRS CEO
The employee satisfaction component is critical to driving the successful deployment and ongoing use of spend management technology. Recent research from the Global Business Travel Association, inclusive of feedback from 600+ procurement executives and nearly 2,500 business travelers, found that 85 percent of respondents said that the ease of completing expense reports, ease of expense approval process and speed of reimbursement are important to spend management..
Paypense’s Broad Array of Controls and Efficiencies Redefine Spend Management
Leveraging automated intelligence and auto-approved, in-policy purchasing, Paypense dramatically reduces concerns about what items an employee may acquire. This elegant solution appeals to accounting and procurement managers, as Paypense effectively ensures the right amounts are spent on the right kind of purchases, every single time.
The under-the-hood approach to managing virtual technology and secure connections to a company’s preferred banking institutions makes this seamless to employees who crave simplicity in all expense-related processes. Other Paypense highlights include:
The provision of pre-approved budgets in real time to individual employees, groups, or job candidates via Paypense’s patented "matrix approval engine.” Functionality also allows for the approval and dispensing of increased allocations for emergency scenarios;
Mobile app capabilities that facilitate tracked purchases by the employees, without him/her ever having to use their own funds;
Automated receipt acquisition for common online portals used by employees, including air, rail, hotel, auto, ridesharing, phone and other prominent suppliers; and
Leveraging supplier and localized data, Paypense captures the CO2 emissions of individual expenses, a vital element for companies taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint.
“With our open platform, we’ve introduced a unique differentiator for the provision of virtual credit cards for pre-approved expenses, It’s clear from our industry engagement that there is an appreciation for our approach. We’re working in concert with expense providers and financial institutions, not competing with them as we transition from expense management to spend management. And with all parties squarely focusing on enhancing the employee experience, we’re increasing satisfaction even as we uncover new avenues of payment efficiency.”
-Christopher Hecht, founder and CEO of Paypense
Complemented by this acquisition, HRS Pay now offers truly holistic spend management solutions covering not only travel-related spend, but also non-travel, localized spend that accounts for significant expenses,” said Kurt Knackstedt, Chief Growth Officer for HRS Pay. “With the full integration of Paypense, our complete end-to-end spend management platform provides unmatched visibility of level-3 data, multi-category invoice digitization, and superior VAT reclaim automation – all available globally via any payment provider. Given these cumulative capabilities, HRS Pay is uniquely positioned to deliver the consummate payment solution for Fortune 500 multi-national companies.
Paypense’s employees will officially become HRS Pay employees when the acquisition formally closes in August. Christopher Hecht will join the HRS Pay team as Chief Product Officer, overseeing development and working collaboratively with clients, partners and employees to enrich HRS Pay solutions moving forward.
HRS Pay solutions will be featured at the upcoming Global Business Travel Association conference in San Diego on August 14-17 at the HRS booth (# 3229). Paypense is also one of an exclusive few new technologies to be selected for the Innovate event in New York City on October 24.
HRS is reinventing the way businesses and governments work, stay and pay in today’s dynamic global marketplace. HRS’ advanced platform technology is extending its reach beyond hospitality to meetings, office space management, payment efficiency and crisis recovery. Beyond cost savings in the global post-pandemic economy, HRS clients gain from an unrivaled focus on essential aspects including safety, security and satisfaction. HRS is also recognized for its award-winning Green Stay Initiative, technology that helps corporate hotel programs achieve their NetZero targets, and its groundbreaking Crew & Passengers Solution, which leverages automation to elevate experiences for air and rail operations. Founded in 1972, HRS works with 35 percent of the global Fortune 500, as well as the world’s leading hotel chains, regional hospitality groups and payment providers. More information at www.hrs.com/enterprise.
TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS
Air Canada and United Airlines | July 25, 2022
Air Canada and United Airlines announced a joint business agreement for the Canada-U.S. transborder market, building on their long-standing alliance, that will give more flight options and better flight schedules to customers traveling between the two countries. Customers will be able to connect to 38 codeshare destinations in the U.S. and eight of the most popular cities in Canada — all while enjoying the benefits of the carriers' MileagePlus® and Aeroplan loyalty programs. The agreement will also strengthen and grow both carriers' networks and help accelerate their COVID-19 recovery. United is a world-class airline and we are pleased to significantly expand our well-established partnership to further enhance the customer journey between Canada and the U.S. by offering more choice, greater convenience and an improved airport experience, said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President of Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada. "This agreement marks a new phase in our evolving relationship that will speed the recovery from the pandemic and strengthen both carriers. It will also enable us to optimize our hubs and schedules and to broaden our global network connectivity to maintain our leadership in the market.
"With this new agreement, we are further strengthening our long-standing partnership with Air Canada, As international travel continues to recover, this expanded partnership will provide an enhanced experience for all transborder travel."
-Patrick Quayle, Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances at United.
Customers who search for flights between the U.S. and Canada on United's or Air Canada's websites and apps will find more flight options scheduled at more convenient times. Codeshare between the two carriers will also be expanded and members of both the MileagePlus and Aeroplan programs will have more accrual and redemption options.
In 2019, the U.S.-Canada transborder market was the second largest international passenger air transportation market in the world and the largest international market for both Canada and the U.S., as measured by seats.
Air Canada and United already cooperate in the transborder market, according to the terms of their existing U.S. antitrust immunity. Under the joint business agreement, subject to compliance with U.S. and Canadian regulatory and antitrust requirements, the two airlines will now be able to,
Coordinate their networks and schedules, enabling the carriers to offer customers more choice, including more flights throughout the day and more access to each airline's seat inventory.
Enhance codeshare on transborder flights, excluding certain U.S. leisure markets and territories. The carriers anticipate customers will be able to connect to 46 transborder codeshare destinations with more than 400 daily frequencies in 2022 – with opportunities to add more codeshare destinations for domestic routes within Canada and the U.S.
Sell seats on each other's transborder flights and share revenue on flights between hub markets (where regulatory authorities and antitrust requirements allow), allowing the carriers to grow their overall capacities.
Align customer policies for greater consistency and enable the seamless provision of onboard products, establish airport co-locations where available and provide extra value to each carriers' frequent flyer programs.
Allow the two carriers to work closer together to advance their sustainability objectives.
The implementation of an expanded partnership builds on the existing close cooperation of the two carriers and previously acquired regulatory approvals. United and Air Canada are also founding members of Star Alliance and a transatlantic joint business agreement with the Lufthansa Group.
About Air Canada
Air Canada is Canada's largest airline, the country's flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2022. Air Canada provides scheduled passenger service directly to 51 airports in Canada, 51 in the United States and 86 internationally. It is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking from Skytrax, which in 2021 gave Air Canada awards for the Best Airline Staff in North America, Best Airline Staff in Canada, Best Business Class Lounge in North America, and an excellence award for managing COVID-19. Through its leading travel loyalty Aeroplan program, Air Canada offers the ability to earn or redeem points on the world's largest airline partner network of 45 airlines, plus through an extensive range of merchandise, hotel and car rental rewards. Its freight division, Air Canada Cargo, provides air freight lift and connectivity to hundreds of destinations across six continents using Air Canada's passenger flights and cargo-only flights with its fleet of Boeing 767-300 freighters. Air Canada has committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050.
United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." From our U.S. hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., United operates the most comprehensive global route network among North American carriers. United is bringing back our customers' favorite destinations and adding new ones on its way to becoming the world's best airline. For more about how to join the United team, please visit www.united.com/careers and more information about the company is at www.united.com. United Airlines Holdings, Inc., the parent company of United Airlines, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL".