Tourism start-ups focus on innovation and sustainability

Travel Daily Media | January 13, 2020

The UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), in association with Globalia, a tourism group in Spain and Latin America, has selected the finalists of the 2nd Global Tourism Startup Competition. This is an initiative the two entities have been working on since 2018 when its first edition was held. In the competition’s first two editions, Wakalua, the global tourism innovation hub has received proposals of nearly 5,000 startups from 150 countries. The countries with the highest number of projects submitted have been Spain, followed by India, US, Portugal, Nigeria and Colombia.

Spotlight

Although it covers less than 3 square miles, Gibraltar’s strategic location has made it one of the most fought over places in Europe. For centuries, it has withstood political maneuvering, sieges and battles and today, with its red call boxes, Union Jacks and high street shops, Gibraltar staunchly stands as a small pocket of England in the heart of the Mediterranean.

Spotlight

Although it covers less than 3 square miles, Gibraltar’s strategic location has made it one of the most fought over places in Europe. For centuries, it has withstood political maneuvering, sieges and battles and today, with its red call boxes, Union Jacks and high street shops, Gibraltar staunchly stands as a small pocket of England in the heart of the Mediterranean.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM,HOSPITALITY TRENDS

EPISODE Hsinchu Officially Debuts as the First Hotel in the JdV by Hyatt Portfolio in Taiwan

Hyatt Hotels Corporation | November 22, 2022

Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) announced the official opening of EPISODE Hsinchu, marking the first hotel within the JdV by Hyatt portfolio in Taiwan and the debut of the Hotel EPISODE brand which delivers new experiences that match the unique rhythms of the modern lifestyle traveler."Modern travelers have outgrown the one-size-fits-all business versus leisure mindset, and in response, we created the Hotel EPISODE brand for that community. Our guests can fuse a day’s worth of collaborative work with new encounters that not only energize them, but also make time for true rest,” said Aaron Chan, Chairman of Riant Capital and creator of the Hotel EPISODE brand. Located along Taiwan’s northwestern coast, Hsinchu is about an hour’s drive from Taipei and 40 minutes from Taoyuan International Airport. The city is globally renowned for its Hsinchu Science Park – also known as the Silicon Valley of Taiwan, and is home to top science and technology-focused universities and research institutes. Aside from being a technology innovation hub, Hsinchu features ancient architectural and cultural landmarks such as Chenghuang Temple and East Gate as well as scenic attractions such as 18 Peaks Mountain Park and Siangshan Wetlands. The hotel is conveniently located adjacent to the main freeway exit and a short drive from the Hsinchu Science Park. Westwood Restaurant curated by Michelin-starred Chef Richie Lin Westwood is Hsinchu’s newest culinary destination, a modern California fusion bistro serving comfort food. With its 1930s Art Deco-inspired interiors and an island bar with a vintage LA vibe that takes center stage, Westwood is a great place to dine and imbibe. Every morning begins with Chef Richie Lin’s “Around the World” variety of Western and Asian breakfast bento, including California-style avocado pancakes, Scandinavian rye sourdough with smoked salmon, and Hsinchu rice noodles and guabao. SOCIAL, an all-access lounge for the community The hotel’s aptly named communal space, SOCIAL, is an “all-access” living room for in-house guests as well as anyone in the neighborhood to meet or celebrate. In addition to offering all-day complimentary snacks, refreshments and a daily happy hour, SOCIAL will regularly host comedy shows, movie nights, live musical performances and DJ sets, serving as a vibrant new platform in the city for play, creativity and discovery. Thoughtful In-room Amenities The pet-friendly hotel features 140 stylish rooms and suites, all of which come with fine comforts such as 400-thread-count sheets, Sealy premium pillowtop mattresses, sleep kits and luxurious bathroom amenities. For guests staying in the hotel’s most premium Loft Suites, a Dyson Supersonic hairdryer and a cocktail-making bar serving Aquagen sparkling water are among the joy-driven offerings. In-room bottled water for all guests is provided in reusable glass bottles, a first step in Hotel EPISODE brand’s commitment to be more environmentally conscious. Self-Check-In System Leveraging technology for more streamlined and efficient service, the hotel has introduced self-check-in kiosks with the goal of minimizing wait time at check-in. The traditional front desk has been replaced with a dedicated team of Experience Providers who offer personalized service to each guest. Embracing the brand’s namesake (joie de vivre), the JdV by Hyatt portfolio offers a collection of independent properties that are true reflections of the urban neighborhoods they call home, inviting guests and locals alike to connect and celebrate the joy of life while unwinding in spaces designed with distinctive personality. Special Opening Package Now Available to Book Enjoy a one-night stay with two Westwood breakfasts and set dinners (worth NT$1500) specially crafted by Chef Richie starting from NT$7,199. For more information, please visit the EPISODE Hsinchu website. To make a reservation, please contact 03-516-9311. World of Hyatt Gives Members 500 Reasons to Stay Somewhere New To provide World of Hyatt members even more ways to be rewarded, World of Hyatt is offering members the opportunity to earn 500 Bonus Points for qualifying nights at EPISODE Hsinchu from November 1, 2022 to February 28, 2023, as part of World of Hyatt’s new hotel member offer. Additional participating hotels and their offer stay periods can be found at worldofhyatt.com/newhotelbonus. No registration is required and members can earn on top of other offers. The term “Hyatt” is used in this release for convenience to refer to Hyatt Hotels Corporation and/or one or more of its affiliates. About JdV by Hyatt A community for the spirited, the light-hearted, the young-at-heart, the JdV by Hyatt brand offers a collection of vibrant, independent hotels that are true reflections of the urban neighborhoods we call home. Embracing its namesake (joie de vivre), the JdV by Hyatt brand invites guests and locals alike to connect, live in the moment and celebrate the joy of life. Each hotel provides an experience that is inclusive in spirit and space, inviting all to make each stay yours truly. Follow @JDVHotels on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for news and updates. For more information, please visit www.jdvbyhyatt.com. About Hyatt Hotels Corporation Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company guided by its purpose – to care for people so they can be their best. As of September 30, 2022, the Company’s portfolio included more than 1,200 hotels and all-inclusive properties in 72 countries across six continents. The Company's offering includes brands in the Timeless Collection, including Park Hyatt®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt®, Hyatt Residence Club®, Hyatt Place®, Hyatt House®, and UrCove; the Boundless Collection, including Miraval®, Alila®, Andaz®, Thompson Hotels®, Hyatt Centric®, and Caption by Hyatt; the Independent Collection, including The Unbound Collection by Hyatt®, Destination by Hyatt™, and JdV by Hyatt™; and the Inclusive Collection, including Hyatt Ziva®, Hyatt Zilara®, Zoëtry® Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets® Resorts & Spas, Breathless Resorts & Spas®, Dreams® Resorts & Spas, Vivid Hotels & Resorts®, Alua Hotels & Resorts®, and Sunscape® Resorts & Spas. Subsidiaries of the Company operate the World of Hyatt® loyalty program, ALG Vacations®, Unlimited Vacation Club®, Amstar DMC destination management services, and Trisept Solutions® technology services. For more information, please visit www.hyatt.com.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Taconic Capital Advisors and HEI Hotels & Resorts Jointly Acquire Hyatt Regency Jersey City

Taconic Capital Advisors LP and HEI Hotels & Resorts | December 05, 2022

Taconic Capital Advisors LP (“Taconic”) and HEI Hotels & Resorts (“HEI”), announced that they have jointly acquired Hyatt Regency Jersey City from affiliates of Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) and Veris Residential Inc. (NYSE: VRE). The property is a full-service, 351-key hotel located adjacent to Exchange Place situated on a pier extending over the Hudson River in Jersey City, NJ.In conjunction with the purchase, Taconic and HEI were successful in assuming a $100 million fixed-rate CMBS mortgage with ample remaining term. The hotel was completed in 2002 and more than $15 million in subsequent upgrades have been performed since 2010. Major enhancements to the guestrooms, food and beverage outlets and event spaces are expected to commence under the new ownership. Hyatt Regency Jersey City occupies fee simple real estate with unmatched and undisturbed views of the Manhattan Skyline. The property features well-appointed guestrooms, a state-of-the-art gym and indoor heated pool, a restaurant and lounge and 20,000 square feet of meeting space that has long served as a popular venue for corporate retreats, weddings, and social gatherings. The hotel is centrally positioned amongst 28 million SF of office space within a one-mile radius and is conveniently located near world-famous attractions, including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, One World Trade and the 9/11 Memorial. “We are pleased to further our partnership with HEI and begin an exciting relationship with Hyatt. Hyatt Regency Jersey City was a compelling opportunity to acquire a world-class hotel with a strong segmentation mix and a diverse set of revenue contributors, The highly accretive assumable financing allowed us to continue our thesis for well-located urban, upscale hotels in an otherwise prohibitive financing environment.” -Andrew Lam, a Director in Taconic Capital Advisors’ Commercial Real Estate Group Hyatt Regency Jersey City is a wonderful property with a rich legacy that has greatly benefitted from Jersey City’s rapidly expanding corporate base as well as the revitalization of Hudson Yards and Lower Manhattan, said Clark Hanrattie, Partner at HEI. We are proud to team with Taconic on this important transaction and we are looking forward to making the hotel the very best it can be. The joint acquisition of Hyatt Regency Jersey City follows Taconic and HEI’s March 2022 purchase of the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown, NY, a 15-acre property that offers 444 guestrooms and 21 event rooms for a total of 26,700 SF of conference and meeting space, including a 9,000 SF ballroom. Over the past two years, Taconic has been involved in hotel transactions throughout the capital structure, spanning over 20 properties totaling more than 5,000 keys. About Taconic Capital Advisors Taconic Capital Advisors (“Taconic”) is a global institutional investment firm that pursues an event-driven, multi-strategy investment approach designed to generate strong, risk-adjusted returns over multiple market cycles. Taconic was founded in 1999 by former Goldman Sachs partners Frank Brosens and Ken Brody. The firm has approximately $8 billion of total assets under management with offices in New York, London and Hong Kong and more than 100 employees worldwide. Taconic’s full-service commercial real estate platform invests in all asset classes and across the capital structure in both public and private markets. The strategy’s brand mandate offers flexibility to capitalize on shifting market opportunities, creating uncorrelated risk-adjusted return profiles for investors. Rooted in distressed and opportunistic investing, the team applies high-touch asset management capabilities to drive strong asset-level performance and capital market executions. Well-established relationships drive Taconic’s unique and diverse transaction sourcing channels which include local operating partners, investor partners, and a broad network of lenders, CMBC special servicers, trading desks, and brokerage houses. Taconic’s series of closed-ended real estate funds are fully discretionary and have received over $1 billion in capital commitments. Investments to date across all Taconic funds total over $3 billion of gross asset value across approximately 175 distinct transactions. About HEI Hotels & Resorts Founded in 1985, HEI is an established expert on Luxury, Upper-Upscale, and Upscale hotels in Urban, Super-Suburban, and destination Resort locations across branded, soft-branded and independent lifestyle categories. The company’s portfolio currently includes 90-plus assets, representing more than 28,000 keys across approximately 30 different capital partners. HEI continues to be one of the most active investors in, and managers of, institutional-quality hotel assets across the US.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY, AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

IBS Software Partners with IATA to Power IATA's New CASSLink Initiative Aimed at Transforming Air Cargo Payments

IBS Software | October 07, 2022

IBS Software, a leading SaaS solutions provider to the travel industry globally, announced that it has been selected by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), as a technology partner for IATA's new CASSLink project, designed to simplify payments in the air cargo industry. The modernized CASSLink has been successfully deployed in the United States air cargo market, in collaboration with IATA's wholly owned subsidiary Cargo Network Services (CNS).CASSLink is IATA's internet-based data processing and customer management system, which puts customers first by meeting the evolving billing and payment requirements for the entire air cargo value chain. It facilitates the interaction and exchange of information between airlines and freight forwarders participating in IATA's Cargo Accounts Settlement System (CASS), simplifying the customer experience and driving operational efficiencies. Working closely with IATA, IBS Software is focused on digitally transforming the CASS platform to develop an agile platform that can meet payment innovations and customer demands. Focussed on customer experience, the new CASS platform features improvements in real time analytics, self-service capabilities, additional payment options, global accessibility and a fresh modern multi-lingual user interface. The new CASSLink will be rolled out to all other CASS markets from the fourth quarter of 2022 and continuing through 2023. Air cargo played an outsized role during the pandemic, delivering life-saving vaccines and medical supplies and keeping global supply chains running. Moving forward, it is vital that industry continues to digitally transform to allow payments between parties to be handled quickly, efficiently and with total trust," said Muhammad Albakri, IATA's Senior VP, Financial Settlement and Distribution Services. Our CASSLink platform has already changed the way airlines and third parties interact. We're delighted to have found an excellent partner in IBS Software to power the new CASSLink, ensuring that it continues to be fit for purpose as we head into a new era for air cargo. "As air cargo grows, so do the challenges for airlines, freight forwarders and other players in handling payments in an increasingly complex value chain. The air cargo industry has a golden opportunity to influence the global supply chain, making payments simpler and more efficient is critical to enticing and keeping customers, It's an honour for us to partner with IATA to modernize its platform and further enhance the value it brings the industry." -Akshay Shrivastava, Head of Consulting and Digital Transformation at IBS Software About IBS Software IBS Software is a leading SaaS solutions provider to the travel industry globally, managing mission-critical operations for customers in the aviation, tour & cruise and hospitality industries. IBS Software's solutions for the aviation industry cover fleet & crew operations, aircraft maintenance, passenger services, loyalty programs, staff travel and air-cargo management. IBS Software also runs a real time B2B and B2C distribution platform providing hotel room inventory, rates and availability to a global network of hospitality companies and channels. For the tour and cruise industry, IBS provides a comprehensive, customer-centric, digital platform that covers onshore, online and on-board solutions. The Consulting and Digital Transformation (CDx) focuses on driving digital transformation initiatives of its customers, leveraging its domain knowledge, digital technologies and engineering excellence. IBS Software is a Blackstone portfolio company and operates from 15 offices across the world. Further information can be found at https://www.ibsplc.com/. About IATA The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for the world's airlines, representing some 290 airlines or 83% of total air traffic. IATA supports many areas of aviation activity and help formulate industry policy on critical aviation issues.

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