Agoda and Alipay+ | August 09, 2022
Agoda and Alipay+ announced a new partnership that will leverage Alipay+ solutions on the Agoda platform for better customer benefits and rewards. This is in addition to the existing integration of multiple digital wallets, namely the AlipayHK, GCash and TrueMoney, through Alipay+ on Agoda’s platforms.With this new partnership, multiple Alipay+ marketing solutions, including Alipay+ Rewards and its in-cashier marketing services, can be used for discounts distribution and redemption on Agoda. This enables Agoda to enhance its transaction conversion rate, while travelers can enjoy great returns in countries and regions like Hong Kong SAR of China, the Philippines, and Thailand – with the possibility of more regions to come in the future.
As the global economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, the online travel industry has seen a vigorous rebound. In some key countries across the region, bookings have increased nearly tenfold since the start of the year, according to Agoda data and this number is only expected to increase.
“As we gear up for the return to travel, we want to offer our customers greater choice and flexibility in their bookings. The pandemic has greatly accelerated the digitisation of travel and we are committed to keeping with the times as we continue to onboard more diverse modes of payments globally. We value this partnership with Alipay+ as it helps us offer more benefits to the end user through the clever integration of new payment solutions and rewards programs – allowing us to reach out to and target a wider network of customers.”
-Damien Pfirsch, CCO, Agoda.
Introduced by Ant Group in 2020, Alipay+ is a suite of global cross-border digital payments and marketing solutions designed to enable businesses, especially small and medium-sized businesses, to process a wide range of mobile payment methods and reach hundreds of millions of regional and global consumers. Other leading e-wallets supported by Alipay+ include Boost (Malaysia), Rabbit LINE Pay (Thailand), Touch 'n Go (Malaysia), Kakao Pay (South Korea), Klarna (Europe) and more.
“We are glad to reach this new partnership with Agoda to support the recovery of the travel industry from the pandemic. With innovative payment and marketing solutions, Alipay+ is committed to helping merchants reach global consumers as a cross-border economic connector and allow consumers to make payments on global platforms with their preferred digital wallets.”
-Jing Yin, General Manager of Global Strategic Accounts of International Business Group at Ant Group
Agoda has partnered with Ant Group and integrated Alipay as a payment option in the Chinese market as early as 2013. Since early 2022, Agoda has been integrating Alipay+ payment solutions to accept payments through multiple digital wallets across Asia. On July 4, Agoda also worked with Alipay+ to launch a Brand Day campaign in the Philippines market.
Agoda helps anyone travel anywhere with its great value deals on a global network of 2.7M hotels and holiday properties worldwide, plus flights, airport transfers and more. Agoda.com and the Agoda mobile app are available in 39 languages and supported by 24/7 customer support. Headquartered in Singapore, Agoda is part of Booking Holdings (Nasdaq: BKNG) and employs more than 4,800 staff in 32 markets, dedicated to leveraging best-in-class technology to make travel even easier.
Alipay+ provides global cross-border digital payments and marketing solutions that enable global e-wallets and merchant partners, especially small and medium-sized businesses, to better serve their users and customers. Alipay+ is introduced by Ant Group, the owner and operator of Alipay. As one of the world’s leading digital payment platforms, Alipay serves hundreds of millions of users by connecting them with merchants and partner financial institutions that offer inclusive financial services and digital daily life services.
Pyramid Global Hospitality | June 03, 2022
On June 2, Benchmark Pyramid announced that it was rebranding to Pyramid Global Hospitality. The company’s parent entity will include multiple divisions responsible for specific industry segments. Pyramid Global Hospitality will look over all the branded properties in the Americas, while Benchmark, Pyramid Luxury Lifestyle will focus on the company’s portfolio of other independent properties. Pyramid Europe and Hamilton will continue to manage the company’s growing portfolio of European hotels.
“Prior to the merger, each entity had its own identity that resonated with different audiences, Benchmark has strong equity with consumers, and Hamilton has a great reputation as an operator in Europe, while Pyramid has a demonstrated track record with branded hotels. To maintain each entity’s strong brand equity, we formed divisions that speak best to their respective verticals. By having these three distinct branded and independent verticals in the United States and Europe, we can best serve the different needs of our owners and their assets by providing a hands-on approach each company always maintained. From an associate standpoint, our ability to leverage scale is a net positive, allowing us to share best-in-class practices, provide limitless opportunities and be the industry’s employer of choice.”
-Warren Fields, CEO & principal, Pyramid Global Hospitality.
As a part of the rebranding, the company debuted a set of three new logos. They feature three interconnected pyramids in shades of purple. It also launched a new combined company website.
“We are excited about our new identity and believe it amplifies the shared strength of our brand values and perception of our combined company, Continuing to build upon our respective foundations, Pyramid Global Hospitality will invest in people, properties and proprietary solutions to deliver power on the ground and strategic intelligence for exceptional performance and profitability in the hospitality industry. We strive to maintain a best-in-industry standing as the employer of choice in the full-service, select-service and independent categories. Our deep network of capital partners and portfolio assets gives us the agility to tackle opportunities as we create value and empower our team members to ‘Be the Difference.’”
-Alex Cabañas, president, Pyramid Global Hospitality.
Optii Solutions | June 13, 2022
On June 8, Optii Solutions, a market leader in hotel operations software, announced the onboarding of two hotels in the Pebblebrook Hotel Trust; Hotel Chamberlain West Hollywood and Hotel Ziggy, in their hotel operations solution. Optii will help them maximize their housekeeping efficiencies and comply with the new West Hollywood Ordinance that governs workers’ rights.
Optii has a contract with another Pebblebrook group hotel- Montrose West Hollywood. It has successfully helped Montrose streamline its operations with limited staff and adapt to the Ordinance. Springboard Hospitality manages all the three hotels that are members of the Curator Hotels & Resorts Collection.
The West Hollywood Ordinance came into force on January 1 and imposed limits on square footage cleaned and the number of checkouts completed by each room attendant during an eight-hour workday. If these limits exceed, the hoteliers must pay their staff twice their pay for every hour worked. This doubles housekeeping costs for hotels that do not comply with these restrictions.
Optii’s housekeeping platform uses AI to allocate rooms to room attendants based on square footage efficiently. It also set limits for each attendant so that no team member exceeds the Ordinance guidelines. Optii’s platform also offers reporting on both the square footage and number of rooms that an attendant cleans to ensure compliance. A breakdown of departure cleans for each workday, as well as archived boards and data for customer life, is also provided.
“Housekeeping departments represent the largest cost for hoteliers and failure to comply with the West Hollywood Ordinance can mean that these costs skyrocket. We are pleased to be expanding our relationship with Pebblebrook Hotel Trust and helping this group of hotels comply simply and easily.”
-Katherine Grass, CEO, Optii Solutions
Andrew Maffei, Area General Manager, Chamberlain or Hotel Ziggy, said: Our staff are our most important asset and making best use of their time is one of our top priorities. We are excited to be implementing Optii’s technology to ensure our housekeeping team is working efficiently and that we are always fully compliant with the new Ordinance requirements.