Saudi Tourism Sector to Contribute Over $70 to GDP

Al Bawaba | April 11, 2019

Saudi Arabia’s travel and tourism sector is expected to contribute $70.9 billion in total to the country’s GDP in 2019, according to data from the World Travel and Tourism Council, as exhibitors prepare to showcase what the kingdom has to offer at this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM), which is being held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from April 28 – May 1.According to data from ATM’s research partner Colliers, international arrivals to Saudi Arabia are expected to increase 5.6 per cent per year from 17.7 million in 2018 to 23.3 million in 2023. Religious tourism is expected to remain the bedrock of the sector over the next decade, with a goal of attracting 30 million pilgrims to the kingdom by 2030, an increase of 11 million from the 19 million Hajj and Umrah pilgrims that visited the country in 2017.

Spotlight

Automating your expense management is a relatively simple project that will save your company many unproductive manhours because employees no longer have to deal with tedious expense reports, yield an ROI of up to 500 percent and increase your employees’ happiness. Choosing the right travel & expense (T&E) tool, however, is crucial. A good fit between your T&E solution and your company’s needs will be strongly correlated with the success of your expense management automation. This whitepaper will guide you through the process of preparing, choosing and implementing an expense management solution.

Spotlight

Automating your expense management is a relatively simple project that will save your company many unproductive manhours because employees no longer have to deal with tedious expense reports, yield an ROI of up to 500 percent and increase your employees’ happiness. Choosing the right travel & expense (T&E) tool, however, is crucial. A good fit between your T&E solution and your company’s needs will be strongly correlated with the success of your expense management automation. This whitepaper will guide you through the process of preparing, choosing and implementing an expense management solution.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

Air Canada and United Airlines Expand Relationship to Make Transborder Travel Easier, With More Choice

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. About United 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".

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Radisson Blu Hotel, Cluj opens as first five-star hotel in Transylvania

RADISSON BLU | July 11, 2022

Cluj-Napoca, Romania’s second largest city, is growing in popularity as a leisure and business destination and attracts visitors year-round with its artistic vibe, chic cafés in which to linger, peaceful green spaces, and cutting-edge festivals, including Untold, Romania’s biggest electronic-music festival with famous international DJs, held at Cluj Arena, directly across the street from the hotel.Located in the central-western part of the city, Radisson Blu Hotel, Cluj offers contemporary elegance after an extensive, two-year long renovation and conversion of a 1980s hotel to a modern, upper-upscale Radisson Blu property. The architects and designers took inspiration for the new design concept from the location of the hotel and the surrounding nature, including the city’s Central Park, one of the oldest recreational public gardens in Europe, and the contemporary buildings in the local neighborhood.The hotel’s 149 rooms feature large windows with stunning views of the city and the Central Park. Spacious family rooms include an additional sofa bed, while the suites offer the ultimate comfort. The largest suite is the 79-sqm Presidential Suite, which offers guests a separate living room, dining area, and a luxurious bathroom with an aromatherapy shower. The modern Lobby Bar at Radisson Blu Hotel, Cluj is the perfect place to enjoy signature drinks, specialty coffee and snacks, or a quick business lunch. The Park, the hotel’s modern international restaurant, is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and offers a terrace for outdoor dining on warmer days. Hikari, the hotel’s Japanese restaurant is inspired by the “Land of the Rising Sun” and serves sushi, seafood, as well as Japanese spirits and wine in a setting inspired by nature, with views overlooking the adjacent Central Park from its floor-to-ceiling windows.For meetings and events, the hotel includes five meeting rooms for up to 60 people, featuring the latest meeting technology. The private ballroom can host events with up to 300 attendees. Radisson Blu Hotel, Cluj has partnered with the adjacent BTarena, also known as Polyvalent Hall, to provide external meeting and events space for up to 10,000 people. A fitness room is also available with weight training and cardio equipment. “We are excited to open the first Radisson Blu hotel in Transylvania in vibrant Cluj and are thrilled to welcome our first guests this summer. With our attention to detail and personalized service, each stay with us is sure to be a memorable experience” -George Miu, General Manager. With the health and safety of guests and team members as its top priority, Radisson Blu Hotel, Cluj is implementing the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol program. The in-depth cleanliness and disinfection protocols were developed in partnership with SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, and are designed to ensure guest safety and peace of mind from check-in to check-out. The Safety Protocol is an integral part of Radisson Hotel Group’s Safety and Security program ensuring we always care for our guests and team members. ABOUT RADISSON BLU Radisson Blu is an upper upscale hotel brand that delivers positive and personalized service in stylish spaces. Characterized by attention to small details and the Yes I Can! service philosophy, Radisson Blu hotels are designed to make a big difference and inspire unforgettable experiences with every stay. Through personalized service and local nuance, each stay at a Radisson Blu hotel becomes a true meaningful and memorable experience. Radisson Blu hotels can be found in major cities, key airport gateways, and leisure destinations. Guests and professional business partners can enhance their experience with Radisson Blu by participating in Radisson Rewards, a global loyalty program offering exceptional benefits and rewards. Radisson Blu is part of Radisson Hotel Group, which also includes Radisson Collection, Radisson, Radisson RED, Radisson Individuals, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson, Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, and prizeotel brought together under one commercial umbrella brand Radisson Hotels. ABOUT RADISSON HOTEL GROUP Radisson Hotel Group is one of the world's largest hotel groups with nine distinctive hotel brands, and more than 1,700 hotels in operation and under development in 120 countries. The Group’s overarching brand promise is Every Moment Matters with a signature Yes I Can! service ethos. The Radisson Hotel Group portfolio includes Radisson Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson RED, Radisson Individuals, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson, Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, and prizeotel brought together under one commercial umbrella brand Radisson Hotels. Radisson Rewards is our international rewards program that delivers unique and personalized ways to create memorable moments that matter to our guests. Radisson Rewards offers an exceptional experience for our guests, meeting planners, and travel agents at over 640 hotels in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Radisson Meetings provides tailored solutions for any event or meeting, including hybrid solutions placing guests and their needs at the heart of its offer. Radisson Meetings is built around three strong service commitments: Personal, Professional and Memorable, while delivering on the brilliant basics and being uniquely 100% Carbon Neutral.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Road Trip Ready: Wyndham New Mobile App Lets Travelers Plan and Book the Ultimate Summer Road Trip

Wyndham | May 24, 2022

Wyndham announced the launch of Road Trip Planner, the latest digital innovation to its award-winning mobile app. The interactive booking tool, a first-of-its-kind service from a major hospitality brand, streamlines the road trip discovery, planning, and booking process, allowing passengers to arrange their next vacation in minutes. It is The Most Convenient Way to Book & TravelSM. "With Road Trip Planner, travelers enter a few details about the trip and instantly get an itinerary with all their hotel stops, bookable in one single transaction. It not only eases the stresses of travel planning but ensures the journey is as exciting as the destination." -Jessica Davidson, senior vice president, digital, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts A Seamless Solution for Road Trippers The latest addition to Wyndham Hotels & Resorts' digital platform, Road Trip Planner, demonstrates the company's dedication to providing value to its property owners and visitors. Road Trip Planner's key features: Customer Itineraries Recommended Routes Details at Your Fingertips Pay Your Way Jessica Davidson further added, "Built upon the success and strong adoption of our mobile app, Road Trip Planner is the perfect complement to Lightning Book®, which is our Fastest Way to Book DirectSM and enables guests to reserve a hotel in just a few taps. Now, whatever your travel preferences—be it booking last minute or planning far ahead—Wyndham has you covered. Summer, here we come!" Understanding the Road Tripper Mindset Earlier this month, Wyndham partnered with Wakefield Research to commission its first-ever American Road Trip Index, which uncovered vital information concerning visitors' future road trips while tapping into pop-culture interests. Wyndham's Road Trip Planner is now accessible as part of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts' award-winning mobile app. The app is available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Mobile check-in and checkout, innovative in-stay features, best-in-class design, personalized experiences, Wyndham Rewards® account management, gamification, and more are available through Wyndham's mobile app.

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