Thailand approves the extension of the visa-on-arrival fee waiver for citizens of 20 countries

Travel and Tour World | May 02, 2019

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to announce that the Royal Thai Government has approved the extension of the visa-on-arrival fee waiver for citizens of 20 countries for another six months, until 31 October.The decision was announced in the Royal Thai Government Gazette on 30 April, reasoning it as a measure to stimulate and promote tourism as well as to enhance the kingdom’s attractiveness among foreign visitors.The citizens of Andora, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China including Taiwan, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan will be exempted from the 2,000 Baht visa-on-arrival fee for the purpose of touring in Thailand for not more than 15 days.The government of Thailand first approved the visa-on-arrival fee waiver from 15 November, 2018, to 14 January, 2019, and further extended the measure to 30 April.

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St. Louis – The Gateway to the West. Welcome to the city that rivals its historical significance with impressive food, sports and music scenes. Don’t miss the best sights, here.

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St. Louis – The Gateway to the West. Welcome to the city that rivals its historical significance with impressive food, sports and music scenes. Don’t miss the best sights, here.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Sabre, Conferma Pay and Mastercard Join Forces to Power the Travel Economy with Virtual Cards

Sabre Corporation,Conferma Pay and Mastercard | November 29, 2022

Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR) a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, and Conferma Pay, a global fintech firm that specializes in payment technology, announced a new partnership with Mastercard to accelerate the use of virtual cards for business-to-business (B2B) travel payments. Today's announcement builds on Sabre's August 2022 acquisition of Conferma Pay. The collaboration with Mastercard is the next step in advancing Sabre's goal to create an open and independent travel payment ecosystem. Digitization of travel payments with virtual cards helps address the historic challenges associated with B2B leisure and corporate travel payments. The securely generated, single use card numbers provide a link between booking and associated payments to third party suppliers. Travel buyers and suppliers are therefore able to easily track and reconcile payments, as well as benefit from flexible pricing, financing options, and enhanced security through card payment guarantees. "The payments industry is in the midst of a revolution and there is an increased need for travel companies to better manage the whole payment experience, Companies in the travel space – including travel management companies, travel agencies, corporations, issuers and technology partners – need sophisticated solutions and seamless connections. Sabre is taking strategic steps to fulfill the needs of our industry, beginning with the acquisition of Conferma Pay. Now, the new partnership with Mastercard will help Conferma Pay to build new and enhanced digital capabilities in virtual cards, transforming the payment experience for issuers." -Roshan Mendis, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Sabre Travel Solutions. As part of the agreement, Mastercard has agreed to make a minority investment in Conferma Pay, which will continue to operate independently and serve the entire travel industry and beyond. Mastercard's investment in Conferma Pay is subject to customary closing conditions. A combination of experience, technologies and capabilities will accelerate travel payment innovation and drive inclusive and sustainable growth for the sector, said Chris Fendley, Executive Vice President, Enterprise Partnerships at Mastercard. Virtual cards deliver visibility, boost liquidity and increase control over B2B payment flows, which enhance payment strategies and empower organizations across the travel value chain to run, grow and protect their business, which has never been more essential. Conferma Pay connects issuers to more than 700 travel management companies, all the major global distribution systems and more than 100 online booking tools. Conferma Pay is fully integrated with all the major card schemes and serves more than 50 banking partners, who issue Conferma Pay generated virtual cards in nearly 100 currencies. "We've already made significant inroads in the B2B travel space through partnering with Sabre, We are excited about the new investments. This, combined with our existing strong relationships, will enable Conferma Pay to build on our global footprint and be at the forefront of addressing industry challenges and opportunities." -Martin Cowley, interim CEO at Conferma Pay Sabre's Virtual Payments will continue to offer Conferma Pay services – with increased capabilities that help travel buyers, agencies and corporations best support travel customer needs. Sabre Virtual Payments is a unique, secure, automated and integrated end-to-end payment solution designed to simplify and add value to the transactions that TMCs, OTAs, travel agencies, corporations and travel suppliers do every day. Sabre Virtual Payments takes all the capabilities of Conferma Pay and its network of issuers and combines it with seamless integration across Sabre products for -connected travel buyers, agencies and corporations. About Sabre Corporation Sabre Corporation is a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, serving a wide range of travel companies including airlines, hoteliers, travel agencies and other suppliers. The company provides retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, drive revenue and offer personalized traveler experiences. Through its leading travel marketplace, Sabre connects travel suppliers with buyers from around the globe. Sabre's technology platform manages more than $260B worth of global travel spend annually. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world. For more information visit www.sabre.com. About Mastercard (NYSE: MA) Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all. www.mastercard.com About Conferma Pay Conferma Pay is a global financial technology company. It designs and integrate virtual payment systems that provide a more efficient, seamless and secure way to pay for businesses. Conferma Pay was born in Manchester in 2005. Since then, it has connected over 700 TMCs, and directly integrates with all the major GDSs and OBTs. Its roots lie in corporate travel payment integration. It enables its payment providers to flow virtual cards into the preferred purchasing process of any business travel buyer. Crucial to this is its network of banking partners, who have issued virtual cards in over 200 countries, in 40 currencies with over 45 commercial banking partners via all major card networks. Its ecosystem continues to expand to meet the growing requirements of its global customer base.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM, HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Guesty Announces Acquisition of YieldPlanet, a Hotel-Focused Revenue & Distribution Management Platform, and the launch of Guesty Distribution Hub

Guesty | September 15, 2022

Guesty, the leading property management platform for the short-term rental and hospitality industry, announced the acquisition of hotel-focused revenue and distribution platform, YieldPlanet. The acquisition expands Guesty's offerings and capabilities for traditional hotels, with YieldPlanet's technology integrated within the Guesty platform. Unveiling a new Guesty Distribution Hub, the platform will add direct OTA connections with Hopper, Trip.com, Marriott Homes & Villas and Google's Hotel & Vacation Rental Search Products, and will allow hospitality operators to manage a classic hotel repertoire, revenue and vacation rental offerings from one dashboard. The YieldPlanet acquisition and launch of Guesty Distribution Hub comes upon the heels of Guesty's recent $170 million funding round, from top-tier investors Apax Digital Funds, MSD Partners and Sixth Street Growth, with existing investors Viola Growth and Flashpoint also participating. The capital signals investor confidence in the continued growth of the travel and alternative accommodation industry, and is an endorsement of Guesty's pioneering technology, long-term strategy and position as market leader in the hospitality and property management software sector. With PMCs competing for diverse consumers and travel personas seeking every accommodation under the sun, we are thrilled to offer additional distribution for our Guesty users through direct integration of YieldPlanet and the formation of the Guesty Distribution Hub," says Yair Holtzer, VP of Strategy at Guesty. "Guesty will offer direct integration with Hopper, Trip.com, Marriott Homes & Villas and Google's suite of Travel Search products, joining our already impressive OTA integration with Airbnb, Booking.com, Vrbo, Expedia, Tripadvisor, Agoda, and misterb&b. We will also maintain additional integrations through our valued partnerships. The product enhancements solidify Guesty's status as the leading flexible Property Management Platform. Guesty Distribution Hub is the first ever fully holistic hospitality distribution solution. Guesty customers will now access hundreds of hotel and short-term rental distribution channels (Booking Engine, Metasearch, OTA, and GDS), along with integrated financial tools from one dashboard. "Joining forces with Guesty marks an exciting new chapter for YieldPlanet, allowing us to strengthen and scale our revenue and channel management solutions, We will continue to grow YieldPlanet and will now offer direct distribution from within Guesty's platform, offering their clients exciting new opportunities to grow and expand their businesses." -Claudio Limacher, CEO of YieldPlanet. YieldPlanet's technology, expertise, R&D team, and hotel-focus were a natural fit to join the Guesty family and continue our long-term goal to become the one-stop shop for the hospitality and short-term rental ecosystem," says Amiad Soto, CEO & Co-Founder of Guesty. "YieldPlanet's technology within the Guesty platform, offers best-in-class revenue management, along with its price optimizer product for hotels. Our customers now have access to the widest distribution options on the market from one single dashboard. About Guesty: Guesty is the world's leading property management platform for the short-term, vacation rental and hospitality industry. Serving everyone from hosts to hotel brands, customers utilize Guesty's platform and solutions to centralize their reservations, guest communication, operational tasks, cleaning management and more across all the major booking OTA channels, including Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, Tripadvisor, Expedia, Agoda, direct booking websites and more. With 14 offices serving customers worldwide, Guesty empowers hospitality operators to save time and resources so that they can focus on maximizing occupancy, ensuring a great guest experience, and growing their business. About YieldPlanet: YieldPlanet is a SaaS provider delivering travel technology solutions for revenue and distribution management. The company's easy-to-use solutions synchronize with property management software to provide a single point of control for channels, reducing labor time, administrative cost and increasing distribution. The company services more than 4,000 clients in over 85 countries around the world, with offices in Spain, Switzerland and Poland.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Cabana Announces Plans to Expand into Austin Market in Partnership with Local Hospitality Experts, New Waterloo

Cabana | September 30, 2022

Cabana, the modern, mobile hospitality company with a fleet of high quality, high-tech campervans, today unveiled Austin, Texas as its next major market launch, with bookings set to formally open early next year. Cabana’s Austin debut demonstrates momentous growth as the organization’s fourth U.S. market, with established operations in Los Angeles and Seattle, as well as San Francisco, which the company announced earlier this year. Austin marks one of several U.S. expansions Cabana plans to introduce over the course of 2023.In conjunction with the upcoming launch, Cabana also announced a new partnership with Austin-based hospitality company, New Waterloo. Leaning on New Waterloo's local expertise and 13 years in hospitality management––while leveraging Cabana's combination of technology and passion for exploration––the two organizations are excited to bring this unique travel experience to Austin residents. “Texas is chock full of unexplored and underrated gems waiting to be discovered,Whether you’re camping in Big Bend National Park or touring the wineries of Texas’ Hill Country, Cabana’s mission has always been to create the most seamless travel experience imaginable. We’re delighted to be partnering with New Waterloo to make this a possibility for Texans and those visiting the Austin area. Through our trip planning capabilities and easy-to-use technology, we’re eager to see how Austinites explore with Cabana.” -Cabana CEO and founder, Scott Kubly New Waterloo will manage day-to-day operations on-site and Austin locals can anticipate travel-inspired events and pop-ups as part of the ongoing collaboration. Nearly 80% of Americans planned to take a road trip this summer, and Cabana’s numbers further this point, with 25K nights booked over the last two years. As desire for hassle-free travel options increases, Cabana will offer complimentary, contactless trip planning to those road-tripping out of Austin, complete with campsite reservations and experience recommendations. Anticipated top trip requests include Big Bend National Park and West Texas, the Hill Country, tailgating, and Texas’ beaches. To celebrate the launch, Cabana will be hosting a pop-up in the Artist Lounge at Austin City Limits across both weekends of the event (Oct. 7 – 9; 14 – 16). Interested guests can also join the waitlist to be the first to know about trip availability at cabana.life/austin. About Cabana Cabana is a modern, mobile hospitality company with a fleet of high quality, high-tech cabanas (camper vans), designed to create a seamless, unique, and integrated travel experience. Cabana is revolutionizing the future of connected travel through innovative technology and high-touch trip planning. Combining passion for travel with easy-to-use technology and the most cost-efficient and operationally effective vehicles on the market, Cabana provides travelers with the convenience and technology needed for frictionless travel, empowering the explorer in everyone and creating opportunities for serendipity, wonder, and exploration.

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