Space Adventures announces agreement with SpaceX to launch private citizens on the Crew Dragon spacecraft

TravelDailyNews International | February 20, 2020

Building on the success of Crew Dragon’s first demonstration mission to the International Space Station in March 2019 and the recent successful test of the spacecraft’s launch escape system, Space Adventures, Inc. has entered into an agreement with SpaceX to fly private citizens on the first Crew Dragon free-flyer mission. This will provide up to four individuals with the opportunity to break the world altitude record for private citizen spaceflight and see planet Earth the way no one has since the Gemini program.

Spotlight

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt across the globe. Governments across the world during 2020 and into 2021 have quite rightly sought to minimise the loss of life through lockdowns of various types. This has had the desired effect and has reduced infection rates and mortality. From the start of 2021 we have seen the much-anticipated large-scale roll-out of vaccines which is now signaling the possible return to normality at least for some parts of the World.

However, a great deal of uncertainty remains, for example how COVID-19 will develop, and we have seen mutations with the emergence of the Brazil, South African, Kent and Indian variants. The real risk is that one of these variants impact on the immunity inferred by either previous infection or by vaccines.

Spotlight

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt across the globe. Governments across the world during 2020 and into 2021 have quite rightly sought to minimise the loss of life through lockdowns of various types. This has had the desired effect and has reduced infection rates and mortality. From the start of 2021 we have seen the much-anticipated large-scale roll-out of vaccines which is now signaling the possible return to normality at least for some parts of the World.

However, a great deal of uncertainty remains, for example how COVID-19 will develop, and we have seen mutations with the emergence of the Brazil, South African, Kent and Indian variants. The real risk is that one of these variants impact on the immunity inferred by either previous infection or by vaccines.

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Priceline Introduces Summer Sale and Expanded Loyalty Program

Priceline | June 20, 2022

Priceline is launching its Summer Sale on June 20 to help travelers save on summer vacations. It shared the most affordable destination for the 4th of July holiday. In addition, it has also expanded its VIP Loyalty program called VIP Family. "This summer, the travel industry is experiencing a significant boom, and we want to help ensure that our customers are getting the best deals, despite current economic stressors like inflation With our everyday deals, Summer Sale and VIP program we're helping fight back against inflation to make travel more affordable and accessible." -Brett Keller, CEO of Priceline With the VIP Family program, travelers can access savings three times faster. VIP members save 50% more than non-members on hotels. They can also get access to exclusive discounts, coupons and travel perks. The program is free, and all the travelers need to do is sign up to enjoy the benefits. Each member gets a private account, and three users can pool their status by creating a VIP Family. Individual family members’ completed trip totals are tallied into one status level so that the families can attain a higher status and unlock more benefits faster. The higher the status, the more the members can save. For the Fourth of July getaway, Priceline has offered the following deals: Domestic Dallas, Texas ($133) Houston, Texas ($135) Bloomington, Minnesota ($135) Charlotte, North Carolina ($148) Kissimmee, Florida ($151) International Calgary, Canada ($127) Milan, Italy ($145) Prague, Czech Republic ($146) Istanbul, Turkey ($147) Athens, Greece ($154) As a part of the Summer Sale, Priceline has these deals: Save $20 on Express Deals® hotels when spending at least $125. Code: SUMMER2022 Dates: June 20 to June 28 Save $100 on Express Deals® hotels when spending at least $500. Code: SUMMER100 Dates: From June 29 to July 4

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Benchmark Pyramid Is Now Pyramid Global Hospitality

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.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Africa's first voco hotel is open in South Africa's trendy district, Rosebank Johannesburg

IHG Hotels & Resorts, | February 02, 2022

IHG Hotels & Resorts, one of the world's leading hotel companies, has opened voco The Bank Johannesburg Rosebank – the first voco property in Africa. As one of IHG's newest hotel brands, voco combines the reassurance of a global brand with the informality and charm of an individual hotel.The Bank, Rosebank's striking new architectural gem, is a short distance from the Gautrain (Metro Express) and surrounded by the buzzing walk-work-play district of Rosebank. voco The Bank Johannesburg Rosebank takes space, sophistication and artistry to the next level, with a range of beautifully appointed rooms and suites featuring the thoughtful, relaxed and unstuffy design so characteristic of the voco brand, as well as an enviable collection of original local artwork. An upscale sanctuary in the heart of one of the city's trendiest districts, an international business hub renowned for its shopping, art and design, and exclusivity, voco The Bank Johannesburg Rosebank delivers on the promise of its name – 'to invite' or to 'come together' in Latin. "As part of our growth strategy in Africa we have partnered with Valor to expand our footprint on the Continent. Valor has been our long-term partner in the United States and the United Kingdom, and we are delighted to open our first voco hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa. voco The Bank Johannesburg Rosebank is a best in class property and a great entry to market for IHG. voco The Bank is a distinct hotel with an individual character in the buzzing "walk-work-play" district of Rosebank and will be a great addition to the destination. This new opening in the trendy hub of Rosebank adds to the momentum we are building in the IMEA region with six voco hotels openings in key cities." -Haitham Mattar, Managing Director, India, Middle East and Africa, IHG The 131-room hotel embodies the characteristics of voco with exclusive features and distinctive hallmarks, setting it apart for a memorable stay. Every guest will experience the voco signature 'come on in' warm welcome, promising a swift and simple check in, with dedicated voco hosts available throughout the guest's stay as resident experts, and a locally inspired welcome treat. As part of the transformational works carried out at the property, the guest rooms benefit from the voco design concept with thoughtful comforts like cosy bedding made from 100% recycled materials, Antipodes high quality organic amenities in larger dispenser bottles, and high-speed Wi-Fi, Smart TVs, executive desks and in-room refreshments. So, guests can relax and indulge in some 'me time' when they stay at voco. Double volume ceilings, chic modern bathrooms and valet parking complete this distinctive upscale experience, while business travellers will be delighted with thoughtful features such as the in-room hand-held clothes steamers and large workspace with international adaptors and USB ports. For a taste of 'voco life', the exciting and modern mid-century inspired all-day eatery, Proud Mary, is located on the ground floor of The Bank building, while Workshop17, a haven for remote working, can be found just one floor up. voco Johannesburg Rosebank also features a fully equipped gym. Guests staying at voco The Bank Johannesburg Rosebank can enjoy in-room dining selecting from Proud Mary's innovative menu featuring delicious small plates, salads, grills and a boutique wine list you would find at no other eatery in town. With its strong commitment to ensuring the highest levels of sustainability, reflected in the multi award-winning building's use of mainly renewable energy sources and voco The Bank Johannesburg Rosebank's leading global sustainable practices, guests will be assured that their stay is both the epitome of comfort whilst being easy on the planet. "We know that nowadays guests like to feel that they are making a difference, We've gone out of our way to minimise the impact of our hotel on the environment, using best-practice sustainable guidelines where-ever we can. But it is just important for us to look after our guests while also looking after the planet. So, we have not sacrificed our world-class amenities and the comfortable and friendly guest experience that people have come to expect from voco." -Jessica Redinger, General Manager of voco The Bank Johannesburg. Occupying six floors of this mixed-used building, voco The Bank Johannesburg Rosebank shares this innovative space with signature tenants such as Rand Merchant Investments, Bespoken Man Barbers and Tailor Me, with the Rosebank Mall, The Firs and The Zone shopping districts being right on its doorstep. For guests on the clock, private Workshop17 meeting and event spaces can be booked seamlessly through voco The Bank Johannesburg Rosebank.

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