Singapore Tourism Board partners Alibaba Group and Traveloka to shore up visitor numbers

On Tuesday, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) cemented two strategic partnerships with Alibaba Group and Traveloka at the Tourism Industry Conference held in the city-state. The deals will help STB develop a digital strategy to bolster Singapore’s tourist numbers and engage visitors in new ways.One deal will see Alibaba’s key business units—including the online travel platform Fliggy, Alipay, video-streaming service Youku, ticketing platform Damai, and Alibaba Cloud—working with STB to generate insights on travelers’ consumption behaviors in Singapore. The three-year agreement serves as a follow-up to an existing pact that the two entities formulated in 2017.

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Business Travel, Airlines and Airports

interCaribbean Announces Upcoming Launch of Non-Stop Flights Between Bridgetown and Kingston

InterCaribbean Airways | January 08, 2024

In a significant development for Caribbean regional travel, interCaribbean Airways is excited to announce the upcoming launch of its new non-stop flight service connecting Bridgetown, Barbados, and Kingston, Jamaica. Scheduled to commence on February 6th, 2024, this service will mark a new chapter in the connectivity between these two major Caribbean destinations. Bridgetown, the Southern Caribbean hub for interCaribbean, will see flights to Kingston on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with return flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Operated by interCaribbean's CRJ700 Jet aircraft, this route will be the only non-stop service between Bridgetown and Kingston. "We are proud to introduce this non-stop service, which is a direct response to the growing need for improved travel connectivity in the Caribbean," said Trevor Sadler, CEO of interCaribbean. "This new route is set to enhance both business travel and tourism, bringing these two vibrant cities closer." This new service also introduces convenient one-stop connections for passengers traveling from southern destinations such as Grenada, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, Georgetown, Antigua, and Dominica, further expanding the reach and impact of the route. These connections will significantly enhance the travel experience for passengers, providing more efficient and streamlined travel options within the Caribbean. With the introduction of the Bridgetown-Kingston service, interCaribbean continues to expand its network, reinforcing its role as a key player in Caribbean aviation and contributing to stronger connections within the region.

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Destination and Tourism

TravelHost Relaunches Brand with New Website and Marketing Initiatives, Eyes National Expansion

TravelHost | January 05, 2024

TravelHost, the premier provider of local news and information for travelers, has unveiled the first step of a comprehensive transformation today with the launch of a new website and multi-media marketing initiative. This is the beginning of a brand revitalization strategy that includes new social channels and the premier of a 15-second commercial that will air on digital and broadcast platforms in Q1 2024. Founded in 1968 as the nation's first in-room hotel magazine, TravelHost was purchased last year by Bridge Media Networks (Bridge Media), a growing media conglomerate, to join a lineup of national media outlets including TV networks NEWSnet™ and Sports News Highlights™ and DRIVEN Autos. Orestes Baez, an industry veteran with more than 35 years of experience in the magazine and newspaper business, was hired as CEO to revamp the TravelHost brand and expand the service markets. Baez has opened six new markets in 2023, including: Nashville and Pigeon Forge, TN; Austin, TX; Virginia Beach VA; Phoenix, AZ; and San Diego and Orange County, CA. TravelHost plans to add 100 additional markets throughout the United States over the next five years. This rapid growth initiative and new marketing strategy highlight the brand's commitment to providing travelers with custom-curated recommendations to eat, shop, play, and stay. "TravelHost has helped families create unforgettable moments for 55 years," said Baez. "We are committed to building the innovative products and services that will help our customers make new memories in the years to come. With deep, hyperlocal expertise driving our business, TravelHost will help any traveler 'live like a local'." The all-new Travelhost.com website, created in partnership with BLOX Digital, boasts intuitive navigation, robust review-style articles, available e-Editions of the printed magazines and an integration with Expedia for hassle-free reservations. Users can also opt-in for a complementary newsletter to deliver the latest local tips right to their inbox. TravelHost will make use of BLOX Digital's full solutions suite, a strategic move aimed at enhancing efficiency and managing costs. "We are delighted that TravelHost has chosen to partner with BLOX Digital," said Brad Ward, CEO of BLOX Digital. "Our team looks forward to helping TravelHost harness the full potential of our fully-integrated platform to expand into new markets, improve efficiency, and boost digital revenue."

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Travel Technology, Airlines and Airports

Sabre and IAG expand partnership with multi-year distribution agreement including NDC content

PR Newswire | January 11, 2024

Sabre Corporation, a leading software and technology provider to the global travel industry, has entered into a multi-year distribution agreement with International Airlines Group (IAG) that will expand their existing partnership and further promote modern travel retailing practices. The agreement will allow Sabre-connected travel buyers and agencies to sell traditional EDIFACT content as well as having competitive access to NDC offers from British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling – including Additional Price Points and ancillaries – through the Sabre travel marketplace globally. This enhanced content will provide travel agencies with a wider range of options to compare and shop for, while travelers will benefit from an improved experience with more choice and transparency. Sabre and IAG's airlines are working closely together and will communicate as NDC content is rolled out to Sabre-connected travel agencies on a carrier-by-carrier basis. The agreement between Sabre and IAG underscores the industry's shift towards modern travel retailing, where airlines can differentiate their offerings and provide more personalized experiences to travelers. Both Sabre and IAG are committed to advancing the NDC standard as a key component in the industry's evolution towards modern airline retailing enabled by offers and orders. Colm Lacy, British Airways' Chief Commercial Officer, said: "We are on a journey to A Better BA and we continue to invest across the business as part of that commitment. Not only are we improving the experience of those customers who fly with us, but also the way we work with our valued travel agent and travel buyer partners. We understand how valuable retailing is to them, and IAG's partnership with Sabre allows us to make a wide range of attractable offers available even further across the globe." This agreement is another milestone in the IAG strategy to embrace digital retailing practices and offer more opportunities for customers to access NDC content. The partnership with IAG demonstrates Sabre's continued commitment to driving value and serving the diverse interests of the global travel ecosystem. "We are very excited about what's ahead. The travel industry is entering a new era of personalized retailing that will bring better experiences for travelers and new revenue opportunities for airlines and travel agencies," said Roshan Mendis, Chief Commercial Officer, Sabre Travel Solutions. "It's fantastic to work with a strong, forward-thinking partner like IAG that is just as committed as we are to driving the industry forwards."

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