TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,INDUSTRY OUTLOOK
Expedia Group | September 14, 2022
Expedia Group announced its new global social impact and sustainability strategy to advance a travel ecosystem that is responsible, open, and accessible to all. Combining the company’s mission, purpose, and values with its traveler-centric mindset, the Open World™ social impact and sustainability strategy is focused on three priorities – increasing access for underserved travelers, democratizing the travel economy, and innovating sustainable solutions for the future of travel.
Earlier this year, the company announced its Open World technology platform – created for partners of all sizes to leverage and configure products and services needed to succeed in the travel ecosystem. Aligned with this innovation, and the belief that travel is a force for good, the next iteration of Open World extends to the traveler experience, community engagement, and environmental impact.
“Travel is transformative. It broadens horizons, strengthens connections and changes perspectives. With our new Open World™ social impact and sustainability forward-looking plans, we will further our mission to power travel for everyone, everywhere,Travel needs to lighten its footprint on the planet, and everyone should be able to experience it and receive the associated benefits. Now is the time to innovate the existing model. We have a responsibility to enable a stronger, more sustainable industry.”
-Peter Kern, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Expedia Group.
The Open World™ social impact and sustainability strategy will tackle inequities in travel, accelerate meaningful change for the mosaic of travelers and communities that power the global industry, and ensure a healthy planet.
Expedia Group’s social impact and sustainability strategic framework includes:
Inclusive pathways for underserved travelers
Unfortunately, historic and social barriers still too often limit equitable and accessible travel. Per Expedia Group Media Solutions’ recent Inclusive Travel Insights Report1, demand is increasing as consumers are seeking more inclusive travel offerings when searching and booking. Expedia Group is increasing its own capabilities to improve the experience of underserved travelers by identifying and helping to lessen gaps. For example, Expedia.com has made improvements to accessibility filters to include options like elevators, service animal accommodations, roll-in showers, sign-language staff availability, and also expanded search features for travelers such as LGBTQIA+ welcoming properties.
What’s Next? To ensure more people are able to experience all that travel has to offer, Expedia Group will focus a portion of its giving to provide grants to impact-driven organizations working to remove barriers to travel for underserved communities around the world.
Economic advancement for communities underrepresented in travel
Expedia Group is strengthening economic opportunity across the travel ecosystem to ensure more people and communities can benefit from the industry’s growth and associated benefits. Using the power of its technology platform to help diversify the business of travel, Expedia Group will support small and local businesses, particularly those focused on improving the representation and experience of underrepresented travelers.
What’s Next? To help diversify the business of travel and meet traveler demand for more responsible options, Expedia Group will soon launch a program aimed at start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses in travel.
Prosperous planet for generations to come
Expedia Group recognizes the environmental toll that today’s travel industry often has on the planet and is committed to mobilizing its vast network of travelers, partners, and peers to innovate more sustainable business models and empower travelers to make more responsible choices. Fostering a healthy planet and a travel industry that mitigates and adapts to climate change is central to the Open World social impact and sustainability strategy.
Expedia Group recently joined the Travalyst Coalition and signed the Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action in Tourism. Under the Glasgow Declaration, Expedia Group has committed to deliver plans that will support the global goals of cutting emissions in half over the next decade and allowing the travel industry to reach Net Zero emissions as soon as possible before 2050. The Travalyst Coalition enables these goals by allowing travel companies like Expedia Group to deliver unified sustainability frameworks and methodologies to travelers across the globe.
What’s Next? Expedia Group is currently developing a long-term climate action plan and associated roadmap for greening its own operations while driving industry-wide change. A new program being developed in partnership with The Travel Foundation will offer training and practical guidance to destination marketing organizations (DMOs), enabling them to lead the way on climate action in tourism and catalyze meaningful change at a local level.
These three priorities build upon Expedia Group’s foundation and ongoing commitment to philanthropy. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic Expedia Group led programs including the Give the World a Shot initiative – a joint endeavor with UNICEF to enhance COVID-19 vaccination rates in communities around the world – as global, equitable access to the vaccine is in line with traveler values and essential to reopening the world to travel. Expedia Group donated approximately $10.5 million – vaccinating three million people and moving the travel industry one step closer to recovery.
Learn more about Expedia Group’s past impact work in its 2021 Global Impact Report and latest Inclusion and Diversity Report. For additional information, visit www.expediagroup.com/who-we-are/Impact--Sustainability.
The research for the Inclusive Travel Insights Report was conducted in collaboration with Wakefield Research, which included an online survey of 11,000 representatives, general population adults ages 18+ in 11 global markets – Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, the UK and U.S. – fielded between February 11 and March 6, 2022.
About Expedia Group
Expedia Group, Inc. companies power travel for everyone, everywhere through our global platform. Driven by the core belief that travel is a force for good, we help people experience the world in new ways and build lasting connections. We provide industry-leading technology solutions to fuel partner growth and success, while facilitating memorable experiences for travelers. Our organization is made up of three pillars: Expedia Product & Technology, focused on the group’s product and technical strategy and offerings; Expedia Brands, housing all our consumer brands; and Expedia for Business, consisting of business-to-business solutions and relationships throughout the travel ecosystem. The Expedia Group family of brands includes: Expedia®, Hotels.com®, Expedia® Partner Solutions, Vrbo®, trivago®, Orbitz®, Travelocity®, Hotwire®, Wotif®, ebookers®, CheapTickets®, Expedia Group™ Media Solutions, CarRentals.com™, and Expedia Cruises™.
COMMERCIAL TRAVEL,INDUSTRY OUTLOOK
Travel Insured International | September 27, 2022
Travel Insured International is pleased to announce a new partnership with Blue Ribbon Bags, a leader in travel luggage retrieval. Travel Insured joins Blue Ribbon Bags' growing list of industry partners seeking to provide a better experience for their travelers. As a travel protection provider with plans containing insurance benefits for lost and delayed baggage, we're excited to offer this service to our customers throThis non-insurance service provided by Blue Ribbon Bags will be available to clients of large tour operators working with Travel Insured. Because each Travel Insured plan features insured benefits for Baggage and Personal Effects, Travel Insured can provide eligible payment up to a maximum benefit amount if baggage and personal effects are lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed during the trip or while checked with a common carrier. The added service of Blue Ribbon Bags will assist travelers in tracking their baggage claim via text.
"Our job is to make that process a little bit better and to keep that communication with the customer as smooth as possible," says Menkin. With assistance from Blue Ribbon Bags, plan holders will also receive intermediary support in pursuing their lost baggage, which can be a tedious and time-consuming process."
-Blue Ribbon Bags CEO, Gabriel Menkin, understands that airlines are doing their best to keep up with lost baggage claims.
When somebody has a lost bag, we are sending them real time email, SMS, and WhatsApp notifications every time there's a change to the status of their bag, says Menkin. Travelers will be empowered to track the progress of their lost baggage claim and receive notifications to stay informed every step of the way. For the first 96 hours, Blue Ribbon Bags will track and expedite the return of a traveler's lost bag. If the bag is not recovered, the traveler can file a claim against their Travel Insured protection plan for their lost or delayed baggage and personal effects.
Travel Insured partners with large tour operators that provide travel packages to customers, which can include air travel, ground transportation, local tours, and other services at one or more locations per trip. For travelers with varied trip types and multiple destinations on their itineraries, baggage protection may be more important than ever.
"This partnership comes at a time when the travel industry is facing unique obstacles in transportation, like significant increases in lost baggage claims from top airlines, We're always seeking innovative ways to enhance our programs, so we're eager to offer this baggage tracking service to our wholesale customers. We strive to help travelers feel confident before, during, and after their trip."
-Isaac Cymrot, VP of Strategic Partnerships
About Travel Insured International
As a leading travel insurance provider with more than 25 years in business, Travel Insured International provides trip protection to help each individual travel confidently. Travel Insured is owned by Crum & Forster whose parent company is Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., an insurance specialty company that consistently earns an A credit rating from AM Best. We're proud to partner with tour operators and help them to offer extensive travel protection with major travel insurance benefits as well as non-insurance assistance services. At Travel Insured, we remain steadfast in the commitment to providing dependable coverage, great value, and end-to-end satisfaction for our customers' travel insurance experience.ugh our plans to help ensure expedition of luggage claims through any major airline in the world.
DESTINATION AND TOURISM,AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS
Spotnana and American Airlines | September 12, 2022
Spotnana, the modern infrastructure for the travel industry, announced it has developed an advanced integration into American Airlines direct channels that supports personalized travel offers. Travelers booking trips through Spotnana’s Travel-as-a-Service Platform can now access NDC enhanced offerings for greater selections including additional booking flexibility and conveniences as well as seamless loyalty program enrollment and membership benefits We’re excited to partner with American Airlines to build the deepest integration that has existed to date between an airline and a travel platform,” said Sarosh Waghmar, co-founder and CEO of Spotnana.
NDC was introduced to the travel industry 10 years ago and has seen minimal adoption for corporate travel. We aim to change that by providing the industry with a new modern, cloud-based infrastructure designed to connect the travel ecosystem and deliver a new generation of personalized travel experiences.
Spotnana’s integration with American Airlines enables a more seamless, tailored booking experience and offers customers exclusive access to a diverse suite of products and services that elevate the travel journey. Key benefits for corporations accessing American’s modern retail offerings through Spotnana’s Travel-as-a-Service Platform include:
Enhanced offerings for great selections – Travelers gain access to products exclusively available through American’s NDC and direct channels, including but not limited to Main Plus and Flagship® Business Plus™.
Seamless loyalty program enrollment – Travelers can join American’s AAdvantage® loyalty program with one-click enrollment at time of booking and receive relevant shopping results tailored to AAdvantage® membership benefits.
Additional booking flexibility and conveniences – Travelers can purchase ancillary products in advance, modify or cancel trips on a self-service basis, view corporate negotiated rates, and unlock access to Preferred and Paid seats via a comprehensive seat map.
“The Spotnana platform utilizes American’s enhanced direct connection to deliver a more seamless booking experience for customers Our corporate customers who book through Spotnana will now have access to a modern retailing experience, inclusive of elevated offers, benefits, and ancillaries they value through a single, corporate-approved online booking tool.”
-Neil Geurin, Managing Director of Airline Retailing at American Airlines
We’re grateful to work so closely with American Airlines, who is a true industry innovator and pioneer,”said Bill Brindle, VP of Travel Operations at Spotnana. This integration is just the beginning of what is possible through our open Travel-as-a-Service Platform, and the first of many direct connections we plan to build with the world’s leading travel suppliers.
Spotnana powers unparalleled global travel experiences. We are modernizing the infrastructure of the travel industry in order to bring freedom, simplicity, and trust to travelers everywhere. Our Travel-as-a-Service Platform makes travel simpler and more affordable for corporations, while enabling our ecosystem of agency, supplier, and technology provider partners to increase operational efficiency, unlock new revenue sources, and accelerate innovation. To learn more, visit spotnana.com.