Singapore Airlines to expand NDC programme

Buying Business Travel | September 17, 2019

Sabre Corporation has announced a collaboration with Singapore Airlines for the expansion of the carrier’s NDCNew Distribution Capability - a new system of technology standards to allow the distribution of airfares and ancillaries through third parties which is being developed by airline association IATA with... programme, KrisConnect.Effective November 2019, the partnership will provide select Sabre-connected agents in Singapore with the ability to access and book NDC content from the airline. Through a phased roll-out across the region, all agents connected to the GDS will have the ability to leverage KrisConnect fares in future.Singapore Airlines has been a part of Sabre’s Beyond NDC programme since 2018. Its new KrisConnect initiative is designed to expand the carrier’s digital distribution capabilities and further establishes a long-standing collaboration between the two companies, according to Sabre.

Spotlight

Despite seeing a healthy industry growth, luxury hospitality brands are finding increasing challenges in digitalisation. Technology is not only contributing to a very crowded market space by giving smaller brands a chance to be seen, but it has also had a significant impact on consumer profiles – guests are now expecting the ‘unexpected’.This white paper analyses the current state of the luxury hospitality and travel industries and identifies techniques to be used that can help hotel brands to improve loyalty and reputation through digital personalisation.

Spotlight

Despite seeing a healthy industry growth, luxury hospitality brands are finding increasing challenges in digitalisation. Technology is not only contributing to a very crowded market space by giving smaller brands a chance to be seen, but it has also had a significant impact on consumer profiles – guests are now expecting the ‘unexpected’.This white paper analyses the current state of the luxury hospitality and travel industries and identifies techniques to be used that can help hotel brands to improve loyalty and reputation through digital personalisation.

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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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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Hyatt Shares Updates on Operations, Summer Booking Trends and More

Hyatt Hotels Corporation | June 07, 2022

Hyatt Hotels Corporation shared updates on its operating results for May, summer travel booking trends, and confirmation of the closing of previously announced asset disposition as the NYU International Hospitality Investment Conference commenced. “We are delighted that we closed on the last of four previously announced owned hotel dispositions. In total, these four dispositions generated $812 million in gross proceeds and demonstrate meaningful and expeditious progress towards our current $2 billion asset disposition commitment, Additionally, our operational metrics in May serve as further evidence of continued recovery with comparable system-wide RevPAR improving from April, and system-wide RevPAR outside of Asia Pacific actualizing 3% above 2019 levels for the second consecutive month. As we look forward, we anticipate a busy summer travel season ahead.” -Mark S. Hoplamazian, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hyatt Hotels Corporation In the update, Hyatt announced that the comparable system-wide RevPAR in May was approximately $127, the strongest RevPAR performance in any individual month since November of 2019. The leisure transient revenue was up 18% in May, thanks to Memorial Day weekend, where RevPAR in the Americas was approximately 24% above Memorial Day weekend of 2019. Business transient and group revenue also continued to strengthen in May. The summer travel season ahead looks favorable in terms of booking trends. Gross group room revenue booked in May for stay dates in 2022 for comparable Americas was 46% above May of 2019. The all-inclusive portfolio had strong results. As for the asset dispositions, the company has closed on all four previously announced assets resulting in gross proceeds of $812 million or over 40% of its current $2.0 billion disposition target, reflecting an aggregate multiple of 15.7x 2019 EBITDA, and entered into a long-term management agreement for each of the properties upon sale. Additionally, the company is marketing two of its hotels for sale.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,BUSINESS TRAVEL

HRS Acquires Paypense, Enabling Widescale Digitized Payment Technology for Corporations and Employees

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. About HRS 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.

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