SAP Concur shuts down metasearch engine Hipmunk

SAP Concur is shuttering metasearch engine Hipmunk, which the company acquired in 2016. SAP Concur says it is “retiring” both the consumer-facing Hipmunk product as well as travel and expense product Concur Hipmunk and will stop supporting the brand on January 23. The company says it notified employees of the decision this morning (January 14) before communicating the news to its customers and partners; SAP Concur says there will not be layoffs, and “employees who are currently working on Hipmunk will be moving to similar roles based on their skill set, level and job profile.” With the folding of Hipmunk, in particular Concur Hipmunk, which was designed for the small- and midsize-business segment, SAP Concur will focus its efforts on its other products including itinerary manager TripIt Pro and Concur TripLink, which offers direct, managed business travel bookings.

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Travel Technology, Hospitality Management

AirDNA Acquires Uplisting, Setting New Standards in Short-Term Rental Intelligence and Management

PR Newswire | January 10, 2024

AirDNA, a leading short-term rental (STR) data provider, announced today the acquisition of vacation rental software and channel management system Uplisting. This acquisition marks a pivotal leap in AirDNA's mission to provide a comprehensive, one-stop solution for those investing in and operating short-term rental properties. Demi Horvat, CEO of AirDNA, shares the vision behind the acquisition: "Merging Uplisting's first-class property management tools with our unparalleled market insights will create holistic, tailored solutions for all STR stakeholders, from aspiring hosts to large professional managers. This integration equips users with robust tools for every step on their journey, from research and investment to set-up and ongoing optimization of their properties." Uplisting, an Airbnb Preferred Plus software partner, is a powerhouse for effectively managing and synchronizing STR listings on key platforms like Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com. Its automation of critical tasks like real-time booking updates and guest communication has made it indispensable in optimizing the operations of vacation rental hosts and property managers globally. In 2023 alone, Uplisting processed an estimated $400 million in bookings, empowering users with reliable technology tools that catalyze growth. Vincent Breslin, Founder of Uplisting, commented: "Joining forces with AirDNA opens up a realm of possibilities for the vacation rental market. With our combined wealth of expertise, we are poised to redefine industry standards, driving innovation and delivering enhanced value to all our clients." In another decisive move to strengthen its commitment to STR hosts, AirDNA is introducing a new Dynamic Pricing feature that automatically syncs AirDNA's Smart Rates™ to Airbnb. This much-requested functionality empowers users to maximize booking revenues, drawing on extensive data from millions of listings on Airbnb and Vrbo to provide effective pricing recommendations. "Dynamic Pricing makes it easier for busy STR hosts to set their rates by automatically analyzing market and competitor trends. This ensures the best prices are delivered in real-time to their Airbnb listings, eliminating guesswork and manual adjustments. With our focus on building easy-to-use tools for hosts and Uplisting's comprehensive suite for bookings, operations, guest communication, and beyond, we're bringing professional tools within reach of everyone," said Horvat. Following AirDNA's acquisition of Arrivalist in July 2023, these strategic milestones showcase AirDNA's dynamic expansion under the umbrella of predictis, a family of software-enabled data businesses, and a portfolio company of Alpine Investors. "With this second acquisition in just six months, AirDNA is poised for continued growth and innovation, and with more developments in the pipeline, it is well positioned to expand its leadership position at the forefront of the short-term rental industry," remarked Jean-Marc Levy, CEO of predictis. FOCUS Capital Partners Ireland served as the financial advisor to Uplisting.

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Travel Technology, Airlines and Airports

Trip.com Group and LATAM Airlines Group Partner to Enhance Travel Experience Through NDC Technology

PR Newswire | January 22, 2024

Trip.com Group, a leading travel service provider, announced today the signing of a new NDC agreement with LATAM Airlines Group. This agreement between the two companies aims to provide a contemporary and streamlined ticketing experience for global travellers. It also offers unparalleled connectivity to over 144 destinations covered by LATAM Airlines across 22 countries and regions, including Latin America, the Caribbean, North America, Europe, Africa, and Oceania. The key benefit of this agreement is the adoption of NDC standard technology. This technology gives customers access to a complete and more comprehensive selection of airline offerings and the option to buy additional products, services, and add-ons such as baggage allowance and seats. Moreover, customers can access a broader range of ancillary services and more detailed information by browsing the change and cancellation policy section during checkout, leading to improved Trip.com Group and LATAM Airlines Group's after-sales services. Juan Villanova, Sales Manager of Trip.com for Spain and Latin America, comments: "Trip.com is a cutting-edge online travel company that leads the way in technology. Our commitment is to improve our product offerings to guarantee the highest customer satisfaction. With this tech solution, our passengers will have access to an improved and more competitive selection of flights and products." The agreement will include integrating a shopping engine for ticket sales via some of Trip.com Group's leading brands, offering a cost advantage to both suppliers and customers. Henk Van der Velde, Regional Director for Southern Europe and Latin America for Trip.com Group's flight Department, adds: "We are delighted to collaborate with LATAM Airlines Group in the implementation of an NDC standard, and offer solutions for everyone via a shopping engine, which has yielded excellent results. I look forward to continuing this collaboration and bringing new features that positively impact our customer's travel experience." Andreas Schek, Vice President of Sales and Branding of LATAM Airlines Group, adds: "We are proud of this collaboration with Trip.com Group on the implementation of the NDC standard, as it allows us to explore ways to enhance its efficiency further. This is a significant milestone in the future of distribution that will benefit our global customers."

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Hospitality Trends, Cruise

Viking Launches New "Discover More" Sale

Viking | January 04, 2024

Viking® today announced the Discover More sale, providing North American travelers with a variety of new booking incentives across the company's collection of river, ocean and expedition voyages. From now through January 31, 2024, Viking is offering special fares, up to free airfare and a $25 deposit on all itineraries—as well as additional savings for both new and returning guests. "For more than 26 years, we have invited curious travelers to explore the world in comfort. We focus on the destination, and we design travel experiences for the thinking person. This approach has always allowed our guests to discover more history, science and culture when they travel with us," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "As this new year begins, we look forward to welcoming returning guests back on board, as well as introducing new travelers to the Viking way of exploration." Viking now explores all seven continents, with river, ocean and expedition voyages calling in more than 500 ports in more than 85 countries. Highlights of the company's most popular itineraries include: Viking Homelands (15 days; Stockholm – Bergen) – Sail historic waters and discover more of Scandinavia with overnights in Stockholm, Oslo and scenic Bergen. See charming Ålborg and Gdańsk, and visit the grand cities of Berlin and Copenhagen. Witness breathtaking scenery from your ship as she glides through majestic Norwegian fjords in the legendary homelands of the Vikings. Empires of the Mediterranean (10 days; Venice – Athens) – Ten days. Nine magnificent destinations. One epic journey. Sail the Adriatic and Aegean, taking in all the riches of this fabled region. On an exploration bookended by iconic Venice and Athens, discover the ancient ruins of Olympia and the Acropolis. Explore the medieval warrens of Zadar and Dubrovnik, and admire the famed whitewashed villages of Santorini. Delight in the beauty of Corfu and be captivated by Koper, the gateway to picturesque Slovenia. Rhine Getaway (8 days; Amsterdam – Basel) – Explore one of Europe's best-loved rivers. Discover the turreted fortresses, grand cathedrals, historic cities, medieval towns and stunning scenery of the Middle Rhine—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Taste the region's renowned white wines, the roots of its terraced vineyards reaching back to Roman times. Savor the various culinary traditions of Alsace. With calls in Amsterdam, Cologne and Basel, this journey reveals a rich landscape of beauty and culture. Danube Waltz (8 days; Budapest – Passau) – Soak up soothing steam at a Budapest thermal bath. Learn to waltz at a Viennese dance school. Savor Austro-Hungarian cuisine in Vienna and Budapest. Admire the Wachau Valley's beauty. Explore lesser-known Central European cities like Bratislava and Passau. Witness daily monastic life on an exclusive visit to Göttweig Abbey. This eight-day itinerary reveals the best of these places while cruising leisurely through spectacular scenery. Great Lakes Collection (15 days; Ontario – Duluth) – Join Viking for a unique voyage across the historic waterways of all five of the majestic Great Lakes. Experience culture-rich urban centers and admire the awesome power of thundering Niagara Falls. Explore the granite islands and sheltered inlets of Georgian Bay and traverse the famous Soo Locks. Study the aquatic ecosystems of the lakes as you journey and venture into the dense boreal forests that line the shores of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. Antarctic Explorer (13 days; Buenos Aries – Ushuaia) – This ultimate adventure takes you to the Antarctic peninsula, where you will witness towering glaciers, snow-covered landscapes, immense icebergs and once-in-a-lifetime wildlife viewing. In the footsteps of explorers such as Amundsen, Shackleton and Scott, you will be one of the few to discover the world's last truly wild frontier. Each day brings new surprises and the opportunity to change plans to maximize wildlife sightings and adapt to ever-changing weather. Heart of the Delta (12 days; New Orleans - Memphis) – Immerse yourself in history and heritage on this journey bookended by New Orleans and Memphis. Attend a Privileged Access Mississippi Delta blues experience in Greenville and be inspired by the stories of famed musicians and iconic civil rights heroes. Savor delicious Cajun and Creole cuisine, as well as Memphis's famous barbecue. And stir your soul with the rhythms of Dixieland jazz, Delta blues and gospel.

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