Saudi Arabia hotel industry gearing for 23.3 million tourists’ arrival in 2023

Travel And Tour World | July 10, 2019

Saudi Arabia is seeing its rapid growth in the hotel sector across the kingdom, fuelled by increasing demand from tourists.The latest data released by Expedia Group disclosed that travellers from the USA, UAE and UK topped the list for travel demand into Saudi Arabia in 2018. With travel bookings in the kingdom considered the largest in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena), the power of the international traveller growth to Saudi Arabia is expected to remain strong.

Spotlight

According to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), worldwide business travel spend rose by 3.5% in 2016 to $1.3 trillion1 and is expected to reach $1.6 trillion by 2020. That’s the same as the US government has spent in the war on terror since 9/112. As travel spend rises, so too does the criticality of travel management. In 2016, half of corporates spending half a million (or more) on travel contracted with a single TMC for managed travel services worldwide3

Spotlight

According to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), worldwide business travel spend rose by 3.5% in 2016 to $1.3 trillion1 and is expected to reach $1.6 trillion by 2020. That’s the same as the US government has spent in the war on terror since 9/112. As travel spend rises, so too does the criticality of travel management. In 2016, half of corporates spending half a million (or more) on travel contracted with a single TMC for managed travel services worldwide3

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM,HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Selina Expands into Wellness Market Through Global Retreats Partnership with Mantra, a Wellness Retreat Operator

Selina Hospitality PLC | November 04, 2022

Selina Hospitality PLC. (“Selina”; NASDAQ: SLNA), the fast-growing lifestyle and experiential hospitality company targeting millennial and Gen Z travelers has formed a strategic partnership with Mantra, a global retreat operator, to curate wellness retreats throughout Selina’s ecosystem of 163 locations across 25 countries and six contents. The expansion into the retreat market is a first for Selina, and will create a separate entity focused solely on building these enriching wellness experiences. Per Global Wellness Institute, the wellness economy is projected to reach nearly $7.0 trillion in 2025, and the Mantra partnership allows Selina to tap into this growing business segment all while maximizing synergies across distribution and operating expenses.Mantra is known for its transformative programs that create unique experiences by bringing together the best wellness instructors of yoga, meditation, and movement with a culinary experience, live music & day trips to deliver a full mind, body, soul retreat. Mantra will be curating local wellness talent (teacher, chefs, musicians, etc.) and developing customized programs across Selina's global and diversified hotel system, be it deep in the desert, the jungle or any number of Selina’s cool, urban locations. Selina is proud to champion a brand like Mantra and to be at the forefront of this evolution in global travel and retreat experiences. We see our partnership as an incredible opportunity to reach new customers and to enter the wellness market by providing leaders, teachers, and coaches with beautiful spaces to bring their unique skills and experiences to people around the world” said Selina VP Strategy, Steven O’Hayon. Prior to joining forces with Selina, Mantra had put together over 50 retreats, corporate offsites & festivals since its founding in June 2020. These events, which hosted over 5,000 people, took place in Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Egypt & Sri Lanka, and now through this partnership will expand out to even more places worldwide. “Partnering with a company that upholds such similar values and quality standards as Mantra is a dream for us. Having the support of Selina at this stage allows us to tap into their vast global reach and advanced systems to scale our presence and grow our community,” -Doron Domb, Mantra Founder & CEO. About Selina Hospitality PLC. Selina (NASDAQ: SLNA) is one of the world's largest hospitality brands built to address the needs of millennial and Gen Z travelers, blending beautifully designed accommodation with coworking, recreation, wellness, and local experiences. Custom-built for today's nomadic traveler, Selina provides guests with a global infrastructure to seamlessly travel and work abroad. Founded in 2014, each Selina property is designed in partnership with local artists, creators, and tastemakers, breathing new life into existing buildings in interesting locations around the world – from urban cities to remote beaches and jungles. Selina's portfolio includes 163 open or secured properties across 25 countries and six continents. To learn more, visit www.selina.com or follow Selina o Twitter Instagram, Facebook or YouTube.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

SUNRATE Partners With Visa for Virtual Corporate Cards to Boost Travel Solution

SUNRATE | January 10, 2023

SUNRATE, recognized as a leading financial solutions provider, collaborated with Visa, a world leader in digital payments. The partnership is to enhance the travel solutions offered by SUNRATE. In the past, SUNRATE's stakeholders had only one way to pay for travel-related expenses with their travel partners. Now with the partnership, they will have a virtual corporate card that makes this process much easier and more streamlined. SUNRATE, at the end of last year, shared news of a strategic alliance with Agoda, the world's largest online travel agency. In 2021, the company was accepted into the Visa network as a primary participant. SUNRATE’S corporate cards will help its travel partners to have control over spending track and allocations. In addition, a corporate card will ensure the security of the transactions and the data for the users. Technologies like Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) have made it difficult for shared card information to be misused by imposing a time limit on each transaction. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) Level 1 is an international standard for financial data security. SUNRATE has been certified to meet this standard. "The launch of Visa virtual corporate cards is a monumental step for SUNRATE as we cement our leadership as a one-stop B2B payment partner, especially for the travel industry. Since our partnership announcement with Agoda, we have worked with many other travel stakeholders, including other OTAs and we take pride in being able to solve their overall business needs. The Visa virtual corporate card will be a key solution for our customers and beyond," -Shawn Qin, Head of Card Business, SUNRATE. (Source: Cision) About SUNRATE SUNRATE is an advanced global payment and treasury management platform for international businesses. Having global headquarters in Singapore and offices in China, Indonesia, Japan, and the United Kingdom, SUNRATE collaborates with Citibank, Standard Chartered, and Barclays and is the leading member of MasterCard and Visa. The company has facilitated local and global growth for over 130 firms since its establishment in 2016.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

battleface Launch Robin Assist, a Tech Platform for Travel Insurance Service

battleface | January 12, 2023

battleface, a travel insurance provider, recently announced the launch of Robin Assist, a new tech-based platform as a service. It is designed for brokers, carriers, managing general agents (MGAs), and self-employed businesses. Robin Assist is supported by the global application programming interface-driven (API) insurtech platform through round-the-clock customer service, emergency medical assistance services, and claims. battleface's founders come from a travel insurance background, having worked in the roles of underwriting, claims, customer service, compliance, and emergency medical treatment. battleface has expanded distribution globally since its foundational days. The company is in the UK, EU, US, Canada, and Australia because of its adaptive technology and network of medical, travel, and security partners. The Robin Assist platform offers a variety of services, including round-the-clock service in multiple languages, insurance claims management, aid in transit and evacuation in case of medical emergencies, management of medical cases, international systems for controlling healthcare costs, and instant remittances in over 140 currencies. battleface intends to make its API-driven insurtech platform publicly available for easy product creation, rate administration, policy fulfillment, nation- and state-specific compliance, global distribution, out-of-the-box affiliation, and relationship management. "battleface was born out of emergency travel and medical assistance, where we saw the need for tech-driven products to deliver relevant services for today's travelers," said Sasha Gainullin, CEO, battleface. He further added, "With the launch of Robin Assist, our team will continue to deliver the same level of excellent service that our customers currently experience, supporting travel insurance brands globally." (Source: PR Newswire) About battleface battleface, Inc., founded in 2017, is headquartered in Columbus (Ohio). It is a global full-stack firm that makes it simple for clients and partners to get the right travel insurance for them. Its custom-built embedded goods, location-independent access to essential benefits, and attentive, around-the-clock customer assistance are only the beginning.

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