Smart tourism to augment quality of hospitality experience

Emerging “smart tourism” aims to improve the quality of tourists’ experience with the destination, a Turkish expert has pointed out, while a hotel giant has already planned to pour 475 million euros into this aspect.Maud Bailly, chief digital officer of Accor Hotels, briefed a group of reporters in Istanbul on April 15 about the chain’s shift towards “augmented hospitality” service.In a bid to “bring augmented hospitality to life,” Accor has started to shift its loyalty programme into a fully integrated global platform. This new lifestyle loyalty program will recognise, understand, cherish, communicate with and reward guests, opening doors across 30 hotel brands as well as a collection of bars, restaurants and nightclubs, according to Bailly’s remarks.As part of the program, Accor and Paris Saint-Germain Football Cub have signed a multi-year partnership agreement.Through its data collection programme, Accor Customer Digital Card, the chain also plans to offer a personalized service to its customers in 4,800 hotels in 100 countries.

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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, Hospitality Management

OsaBus Seeks Dynamic Partnership with US-Based Tour Operator to Offer Exclusive European Tours

Business Wire | January 30, 2024

OsaBus, a distinguished charter bus rental company in Europe, is thrilled to announce its quest for a strategic partnership with a US-based tour operator. Specializing in passenger transportation services across more than 60 premier destinations in Europe, OsaBus has earned its reputation as a leader in the industry. As a licensed tour operator, the company crafts and operates its own tours, providing unforgettable experiences for travelers exploring the diverse landscapes of Europe. The primary focus of OsaBus's expansion strategy is to introduce exclusive European tours tailored specifically for US travelers. With a commitment to delivering high-quality and immersive journeys, the company is actively seeking a dynamic US-based tour operator as a strategic partner. This collaboration aims to bring the richness of European travel experiences to a wider audience in the United States. "We believe there is immense potential in offering European tours to US travelers, and we are actively seeking a partner who shares our vision and passion for creating extraordinary travel experiences," says Oskars Lusis, CEO at OsaBus. "Our goal is to establish a collaborative relationship with a US-based tour operator who can effectively distribute our tours and other services, enhancing accessibility for American travelers seeking authentic European adventres." OsaBus is actively seeking affiliate partners throughout the entire United States, with a primary emphasis on identifying a dynamic and forward-thinking American tour operator as a key collaborator. The company is open to exploring various partnership models that leverage the strengths and expertise of both entities to provide unparalleled travel experiences for customers. Potential partners are invited to engage in discussions with OsaBus to explore the vast possibilities and benefits of this strategic collaboration. The company is committed to fostering a partnership that not only expands market reach but also enhances the overall travel experience for US customers.

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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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