DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Tourism Thailand and Avanti Partner on 2021 Campaign for FIT travel

FIT | October 22, 2020

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and independent travel specialist Avanti Destinations have launched a joint campaign to help advisors inspire FIT clients to plan a 2021 getaway in Thailand. The joint promotion consists of a 38-page downloadable “future travel lookbook," a savings of $250 for every land booking worth a minimum of $3,000 made by December 31, 2020, for travel anytime in 2021. As part of the promotion, no deposit is required on the land portion, and there are no fees for changes made 21 or more days prior to departure.

Spotlight

Australia is a huge country. People usually think that it is best to travel the country by plane. But what is so great about Australia, if not the outback and the wonderful nature? Do something different, take a road trip and enjoy what the Australian nature has to offer. But where to go in Australia?

Spotlight

Australia is a huge country. People usually think that it is best to travel the country by plane. But what is so great about Australia, if not the outback and the wonderful nature? Do something different, take a road trip and enjoy what the Australian nature has to offer. But where to go in Australia?

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

VacationRenter Upgrades Platform, Gets New Partners

VacationRenter | May 26, 2022

VacationRenter, the fastest-growing vacation rental search engine, has enhanced its global inventory expansion. It offers full site translations, personalized travel inspiration and traveler resources, and more. "Researching and booking vacation rentals can be frustrating and time-consuming. Our platform helps make the experience easier, We are always working on making our site better. Our latest upgrades focus on improving the user experience for our international customers, as well as giving all customers more information and tools to quickly find the perfect rental." -CEO Heath Hammett An overview of the platform upgrades: Customer-Forward Improvements These improvements include streamlining the process of finding the perfect vacation rental. It delivers priority updates, price alerts, personalized travel inspiration, upgraded search and usability, and a user-friendly design. New and Expanded Inventory In partnership with Interhome, VacationRenter now offers more than 30, 000 vacation rentals in the U.S and Europe. These rental homes and apartments add to the convenience in travel destinations such as Myrtle Beach, SC, and Madrid, Spain. VacationRenter has also expanded its partnership with Plum Guide. As a result, customers can easily research Plum Guide’s high-quality homes across Europe and the U.S. Internationalization VacationRenter has launched full site translations in French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Polish and German for global travelers. Additionally, it has also enhanced key information for almost 6, 000 locations across the globe, including FAQs and details on must-see attractions. Up-to-Date Traveler Resources The new Traveler Resource Center gives travelers the correct destination and even property-specific information. It also includes COVID-related restrictions and guidelines. Apart from this, the new VacationRenter’s Travel Trends pages display booking trends and average nightly prices. This data gives insight into traveler behaviors for the ones in the travel industry, such as homeowners, property managers and travel reporters. VacationRenter is bracing up for travel to make a comeback for both domestic and international U.S travelers, who are seven times more likely to resume travel at home.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM,INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Travel Advisors See Strong Demand for Luxury Trips This Summer

Internova Travel Group | July 05, 2022

Dream destinations, multigenerational vacations and a desire for unique experiences are some of the trends driving luxury travel for the summer in 2022, according to travel advisors from the Global Travel Collection (GTC). The United Kingdom tops the list of international destinations booked by GTC travel advisors, a spot it's held for the last five years. Other places in the top 15 include Italy, France, Israel, Spain, Switzerland, Mexico, the United Arab Emirates, Greece and Germany, followed by South Africa, Ireland, Australia, the Dominican Republic and Portugal. Luxury travel advisors with GTC brands report that their clients are excited to travel again, with some booking multiple trips. And they're willing to spend more to get the vacation experience they want. But that high demand is driving up prices, and hotels are stretched thin due to staffing shortages, limiting availability. "Europe is in high demand this summer, with destinations like Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy the most booked, My luxury travel clients do a combination of experiences, like cooking classes, hiking/biking excursions and immersive activities connecting them to the place, as well as making sure they have dining reservations at the top spots." -Tiffany Bowne, with All Star Travel Group, a brand within Global Travel Collection. Carolyn Consalvo, with Global Travel Collection's Andrew Harper, remarked that beach vacations and Alaska cruises are very popular. "I would say most people are looking for destinations where they can be outdoors a majority of the time," she said. "Bucket lists are becoming to-do lists,Many of my clients want to travel to their dream locations," with destinations as varied as the Maldives, southern Italy's Amalfi coast, Australia and Hawaii. -Shayna Mizrahi, with In The Know Experiences, also part of Global Travel Collection Remote work has also opened up new possibilities, she added. "The demographics of my most active luxury travelers today are young professionals, who now can work remotely from anywhere and are choosing to combine this with unique luxury trips. Luxury travelers are eager to make up for the time they couldn't spend seeing the world with friends and family over the past two years. I'm doing multiple multigenerational trips — grandparents not wanting to miss any more time and taking their family on an unforgettable trip of two to three weeks, said Diana Castillo, with Protravel International of Global Travel Collection. Laura Triebe, also with Andrew Harper, is also handling more requests for multigenerational vacations and bucket-list destinations like Hawaii and Africa. I think the client that calls now is more serious about traveling and is willing to adjust to an ever-changing world. With rising prices and limited availability in some vacation spots, luxury advisors are putting their skills and experience to the test. Clients are willing to pay to get what they want," and that includes upgrading their accommodations, said Michelle Summerville, with In The Know Experiences. More people want to travel in the best way possible, better than they have in the past," she said. The greatest challenge in selling luxury travel right now is the severely limited space and availability for flights and hotel rooms in the most desirable destinations, said Leslie Tillem, with Tzell Travel Group of Global Travel Collection. We are seeing extraordinary demand in luxury travel across the spectrum, leading to a lack of availability at any price. Bridget Kapinus, with Andrew Harper, concurs. Demand is high for last-minute travel. She's also contending with factors like a scarcity of hotel rooms and higher costs for flights. Travelers who had never used an advisor before started to seek them out to help navigate COVID-19 entry and testing requirements. Now, they're sold on the value of a travel professional. "Your time is precious, and you want the assistance of an expert to help you plan your vacation, said Angie Licea, President of the Global Travel Collection. Our luxury travel advisors have years of experience putting together trips for their clients, as well as firsthand knowledge of the world's most popular destinations. They stay on top of the trends in luxury travel and deliver concierge-level service. Plus, travelers have the comfort of knowing that there's a human being they can call whenever they have a question or concern. My travels throughout these past 18 months have been our best marketing,said Castillo, of Protravel International. "We have shown our clientele that travel can be pleasant and enjoyable and that we can help set up all the requirements they may need in order to make their vacation seamless. Mizrahi, with In The Know Experiences, has also been sharing details about her travels, something her clients appreciate immensely. Her firsthand experience "is something that no Google search or website can provide. About Global Travel Collection Global Travel Collection (GTC), a division of Internova Travel Group, is the world's largest collection of international luxury travel agencies, including the well-established networks of Protravel International, Tzell Travel Group, and Colletts Travel, as well as Andrew Harper, In the Know Experiences, All Star Travel Group and R. Crusoe & Son. GTC advisors and agencies are industry leaders in providing premium travel services to leisure travelers, corporate executives and the entertainment industry. The combined global reach and leverage translates into value, recognition, and preferential treatment for its world travelers. About Internova Travel Group Internova Travel Group is one of the largest travel services companies in the world with a collection of leading brands delivering high-touch, personal travel expertise to leisure and corporate clients. Internova manages leisure, business and franchise firms through a portfolio of distinctive divisions. Internova represents more than 70,000 travel advisors in over 6,000 company-owned and affiliated locations predominantly in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, with a presence in more than 80 countries.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Mastercard Expands Travel Suite

Mastercard | June 24, 2022

Mastercard expanded its Mastercard Travel and Lifestyle Services platform. New partnerships that focus on smooth travel experiences and memorable moments for its cardholders are at the crux of this expansion. New features include WhatsApp servicing, COVID alerts and offers like lounge access when flights are delayed are offered to customers. “Many of us eagerly await the chance to satisfy our love for travel, but it can be stressful to plan a trip with so many uncertainties about what traveling will look like, At Mastercard, we’re here to support every step of the journey — from planning to booking to transportation to experiences in destination — so travelers can focus on what really matters. After two years of disruptions, we know that time with our loved ones is truly priceless.” -Mastercard’s Stephanie Meltzer-Paul, executive vice president, Global Loyalty In addition to providing direct service to cardholders, Mastercard assists governments, businesses, and brands in understanding changing consumer patterns and preferences to build and test programs and incentives. Mastercard services give customers everything they need to welcome back travelers, from market analysis and insights to marketing solutions and consumer engagement strategies. The Tourism Innovation Hub in Spain, for example, was recently established to develop customized goods and solutions to enable a sustainable, inclusive return to travel through innovation, research, and collaboration throughout the ecosystem. Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services is a travel planning and booking portal that provides World and World Elite cards with unique guarantees, amenities, and upgrades, as well as 24/7 concierge and premium offers and entertainment from major travel brands. With the experience economy in full swing, travelers can satisfy their wanderlust with customized city tours informed by local experts and member favorites via the Inspiration Module. The program now features WhatsApp servicing, which is presently accessible in certain geographies2 throughout the world and will be available globally by the end of the year, where members can message Lifestyle Managers regarding travel and concierge requirements from their phone. Cardholders benefit from the Lowest Hotel Rate Guarantee, and the Mastercard Hotel Stay Guarantee, as well as free nights and preferential treatment at over 4,000 4- and 5-star properties worldwide. In addition, travelers can book once-in-a-lifetime Priceless Experiences while in location, such as a dream vacation to London and Paris with Michelin-starred restaurants, luxury glamping in Sweden's Blekinge archipelago, or a visit to the top of New York City's One World Observatory. Premier Programs and New Travel Partnerships In addition to the preferred experience of Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services, Mastercard has formed several new alliances to provide perks that reduce travel stress and promote more enjoyable experiences. Convenience: Cardholders enjoy access to a global network of over 1,100 airport lounges for delayed flights or relaxing in quiet. Mastercard Flight Delay Pass, currently accessible in select locations worldwide, provides complimentary lounge access on eligible delayed flights. FastTrack in Europe was also recently established, as was Mastercard Travel Pass in Canada, providing a hassle-free airport experience. Connection: Starting in the Asia Pacific and expanding to additional regions later this year, select cardholders now have access to complimentary worldwide roaming data packs for use in more than 200 countries, and a 15% Mastercard discount on top-ups via Flexiroam. Care: Through Sitata, cardholders can opt-in to get real-time notifications and the most recent COVID limits and requirements, including testing locations and cost. Convenience: The new mycardbenefits.com is a digital insurance platform that allows Mastercard cardholders to instantly access – and smoothly submit – claims for the insurances contained on their card, such as vehicle rental, and lost luggage replacement, mobile phone, and trip cancellation. Cash Rewards: Use Mastercard Travel Rewards to shop and earn cash rewards at hundreds of prestigious retailers in 19 destinations, and thousands of online deals for unique save

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