Spain Will Reopen to International Travelers on July 1

The Telegraph | May 25, 2020

Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, announced over the weekend that Spain will reopen to overseas tourists, beginning July 1, 2020. On that date, the government will officially lift its current fourteen-day quarantine policy for foreign arrivals, The Telegraph reported.
Sánchez said: “As you know, Spain receives more than 80 million visitors a year. I am announcing that from July, Spain will reopen for foreign tourism in conditions of safety,” said Sánchez, according to, The Guardian. “Spain needs tourism, and tourism needs safety in both origin and destination. We will guarantee that tourists will not run any risks, nor will they bring any risk to our country.”

Spotlight

American Express has acquired artificial intelligence-powered assistant Mezi, which co-founder and CEO Swapnil Shinde says upends the current “DIY” trend of travel search and booking into a “do-it-for-me” model. “We use Uber to have someone drive us around, we use Door Dash so someone can get our favorite food and deliver it to us.

Spotlight

American Express has acquired artificial intelligence-powered assistant Mezi, which co-founder and CEO Swapnil Shinde says upends the current “DIY” trend of travel search and booking into a “do-it-for-me” model. “We use Uber to have someone drive us around, we use Door Dash so someone can get our favorite food and deliver it to us.

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Mondee Holdings acquires business travel technology startup Rocketrip

Rocketrip | September 09, 2020

Mondee Holdings, the leading travel technology group with a portfolio of globally recognized brands in the leisure, corporate and retail travel sectors announced today the purchase of Rocketrip, the award winning behavior change technology solution for global business travel programs. Founded in 2013 and backed by Bessemer Venture Partners, Canaan Partners, Genacast Ventures, Google Ventures and Y Combinator, Rocketrip's algorithm-based technology transforms business travel by empowering employees to align their booking choices with company interests. Building a company culture where travelers feel valued and empowered has never been more critical as travel begins to resume, and Rocketrip's solution seamlessly integrates into complex global programs to drive behavior that keeps costs under control and travelers happy.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Novacap Becomes a Major Investor in Plusgrade to Power the Growth of Critical Revenue Streams Through the Global Travel Industry

Novacap, Plusgrade | September 18, 2021

Gaining a foothold into the highly lucrative ancillary revenue market, leading Canadian private equity firm Novacap, announced today that it acquired a substantial equity interest in Montreal-based Plusgrade, the global market leader in upgrade technology and a key ancillary revenue partner for their more than 70 partners in air, cruise, and rail. Founded in 2009, Plusgrade helps airlines, cruise lines and rail operators manage and optimize revenue generated from seat upgrades and other premium services. Through the company's proprietary software-as-a-service platform, travel suppliers are able to capture incremental, high margin revenue from unsold inventory and enhance the passenger travel experience. Plusgrade's products are fully white labeled and integrated into existing reservation systems. Since its inception, Plusgrade has been responsible for generating billions of dollars of new revenue opportunity for leading travel suppliers in more than 50 countries. "This new partnership is a testimony to Novacap's continued commitment to entrepreneurs and founders of innovative companies and to our desire to enable them to scale up and achieve significant growth," said Pascal Tremblay, President and CEO of Novacap. ''I am delighted to embark on this new phase of growth with our long-time partners at CDPQ, who have been instrumental in the success of Plusgrade over the last several years.'' "Plusgrade is a unique income generator that creates significant incremental revenue from missed opportunities, making it an ideal solution for a wide range of businesses, especially in today's transformed post Covid-19 market,'' said David Lewin, Senior Partner at Novacap. "Ken's leadership in creating and growing a new billion-dollar category positions Plusgrade as an incredible solution for its customers, able to meet demand on a global scale and assert the company's leadership in a niche industry with inherent long-term growth.'' "Our partnership with Novacap brings together their experience and industry insights with our hunger to strengthen our core and create new categories that drive meaningful ancillary revenue through incredible customer experiences," said Ken Harris, Founder and CEO of Plusgrade. "We look forward to Novacap joining our Board as we expand into exciting new products and verticals in the next year." About Novacap Founded in 1981, Novacap is a leading Canadian private equity firm with more than C$8B of AUM that has invested in more than 100 platform companies and completed more than 150 add-on acquisitions. Applying its sector-focused approach since 2007 in TMT, Industries and now Financial Services, Novacap's deep domain expertise can accelerate company growth and create long-term value. With experienced, dedicated investment and operations teams as well as substantial funding, Novacap has the resources and knowledge to build world-class businesses. Novacap has offices in Brossard, Québec and Toronto, Ontario. www.novacap.ca About Plusgrade Plusgrade provides innovative revenue-generating solutions for the global travel industry. As the recognized leader in a key segment of the ancillary revenue and merchandising space, Plusgrade helps travel providers worldwide manage, optimize, and capture high-margin revenue generated from upgrades, unsold inventory, and other premium services. Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, with offices in New York and Singapore, Plusgrade has created billions of dollars of new revenue opportunities for the more than 70 premier airlines, cruise lines and rail operators it serves across 50 countries. www.plusgrade.com

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

eDreams ODIGEO delivers greater personalization for travelers with new AI-powered technology

eDreams | February 18, 2022

eDreams ODIGEO, one of the world's largest online travel companies and the second-largest in terms of flights globally, announced that it has achieved greater personalization for travelers following the deployment of a new iteration of the AI technology that powers its travel search engine. As a result, almost three-quarters of users (72%) with a previous search made, now order the first recommended travel option provided to them via search. This represents an increase of +17% since the technology was introduced at the end of last year. The Company's unique travel search engine is supported by a set of algorithms that make predictions on the travel proposals that better meet each traveler, considering the user's previous selections together with dozens of additional criteria and data points as well as aggregated data from 1.7 billion monthly searches from users. Providing truly personalized travel experiences is a key priority for the business as it strongly enhances the customer experience, making it easier and faster for travelers to book the travel option that is most convenient and tailored to their individual needs and preferences, which ultimately means cost, effort and time savings for travelers. The accuracy of this technology reduces the need for users to manually use filters, spend time browsing, comparing and building different itineraries on their own, as the platform makes all the necessary combinations and calculations on their behalf, and in a matter of seconds. The personalization of the booking funnel also brings advantages to the business. When given personalized and tailored-made travel propositions, users are more likely to complete their bookings after making a search on the platform, translating more searches into bookings. The business has seen a growth in conversion rates following the implementation of this enhanced AI solution. "MBL is transforming the way we do business by enabling us to offer a better shopping experience and personalized itineraries for our customers. Over the past five years, we have invested heavily in developing proprietary technology to industrialise data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence across our organization, and we are excited to see such positive results in improving the traveler experience. With this latest enhancement, we offer our customers unique tools that dramatically improve their ability to search and book for the most convenient travel products. -Christoph Dieterle, Chief Product and Retail Officer Our ambition is to go above and beyond to continue being a leader in the application of Machine Learning and AI at scale in the travel sector, driving continuous innovation and serving as a lighthouse for the wider industry. As a technology company and the second-largest flight retailer in the world, we leverage our unrivalled data to create superior itineraries and offers for the 17 million travelers that book with us every year. About eDreams ODIGEO eDreams ODIGEO is one of the world's largest online travel companies and one of the largest e-commerce businesses in Europe. Under its four leading online travel agency brands – eDreams, GO Voyages, Opodo, Travellink, and the metasearch engine Liligo – it serves more than 17 million customers per year across 45 markets. Listed on the Spanish Stock Market, eDreams ODIGEO works with over 660 airlines. The business conceptualised Prime, the first subscription product in the travel sector which has topped 2 million members since launching in 2017. The brand offers the best quality products in regular flights, low-cost airlines, hotels, dynamic packages, cruises, car rental and travel insurance to make travel easier, more accessible, and better value for consumers across the globe.

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