Travel Advisor Develops Subscription Model to Deal With New World of Travel

Travel Advisor | June 12, 2020

Travel Advisor Develops Subscription Model to Deal With New World of Travel
Ralph Iantosca, owner of Iantosca Travel in Irving, Texas, has been a successful high-end travel advisor for many years, with a portfolio of loyal affluent customers. But the pandemic threw his business into disarray with his having to repay commissions while some suppliers did not offer refunds to clients. “I’ve never been through anything like this,” said Iantosca, “but after I got sick and tired of being sick and tired, I decided it was time to redo the way I do business.”

Spotlight

Accounting for more than 10% of global GDP and the creation of one in five new jobs according to the World Travel and Tourism Council, travel and tourism continues to be one of the world’s fastest-growing industries. It is also an industry undergoing rapid transformation, shaped by new technologies and the values and needs of an increasingly diverse range of travellers. Emerging trends in sustainability, luxury, technology and innovation are all influencing the future direction of the hospitality industry. As worldwide hospitality education leaders, our responsibility is to provide aspiring hospitality professionals with the skills and knowledge they need, and to develop the next generation of leaders for the hospitality industry. Monitoring industry trends and adapting our education programmes accordingly is essential for us to ensure that our curricula are relevant for the industry and our students. With this in mind, these are some of the top trends to watch for in 2019:

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Elude Launches Travel Discovery Platform, Paving a New Wave of Spontaneous Getaways

Elude | August 09, 2021

Elude, the travel discovery and booking service that is reinventing the vacation experience for all, launched its mobile app today. Elude is the first solution of its kind catering directly to the new traveler who seeks to escape the ordinary by exploring destinations they can afford but might not have known previously existed. By disrupting the traditional and inefficient travel booking model, Elude is the only booking platform answering the question -- Where can I travel for 500 dollars? Elude’s key feature is a budget-first search engine that provides users immediate access to global flights, leaving from the nearest airport, and accommodations within their selected price range. The platform’s personalized onboarding experience customizes trip packages and curates future travel suggestions based on customer’s preferences. Elude is also bringing rewards and credits to travel booking. Whether travelers are looking for a last-minute getaway or an extended stay, Elude is opening access to global destinations, all in line with the customer’s budget. “Shopping for travel is broken, and we are modernizing an archaic system by supercharging the way people plan their vacations,” said Alex Simon, Chief Executive Officer. “People deserve to feel emboldened to explore, and we want our users to have access to the transformative power of travel more often.” Elude was brought to life by avid travelers, Simon and Frankie Scerbo, who craved to travel the globe during college, only to realize all the trips they researched were too expensive. Built from their personal pain points, Elude is granting access to global destinations that travelers can afford to explore. The co-founders closed their initial investments while traveling abroad, raising 2.1 million in funding. Mucker Capital, Unicorn Ventures, Upfront Scout Fund, StartupO, Grayson Capital and Flight VC have invested in Elude. Elude has also attracted industry veteran advisors, including global entrepreneur from Priceline.com Jeff Hoffman, former Airmap CEO Ben Marcus and prominent social media industry leaders such as former Instagram Chief Marketing Officer, Cliff Hopkins, and Snapchat’s Head of International Partnerships, Juan David Borrero. “As an active investor and advisor in the travel industry, I have seen numerous ideas and attempts to reframe the travel booking process, and none of them grabbed my attention the way Elude did,” Hoffman added. “Elude reflects the way many travelers prefer to travel, and yet no one has been able to capture that until now. Frankie and Alex are constantly exploring the pain points travelers face as they create and reimagine the future of the industry. From the beginning, they presented a practical and methodical approach for building a product that will make travelers’ lives easier.” With millennials spending over $200B annually on travel, younger generations are constantly on the move. Simon and Scerbo’s experience growing Elude led to the realization that their users are more interested in making their money last longer. They want multiple trips throughout the year instead of spending large amounts of their disposable income on just one trip each year. “Our users are craving to explore the world differently. Instead of planning trips to landmark locations, our users are searching for quiet treasures that offer refuge from the hustle of city life,” said Scerbo, “We’re thrilled to lead the industry into its next chapter, rebuilding an ecosystem of adventurers that was disjointed during the pandemic.” Elude is perfectly catered to the next generation of travelers, who are eager to share experiences with a greater global community. Today, 97% of vacationers will share vacation posts on social media, and travel creators enable consumers to uncover newfound destinations from their living room. Yet, people are still spending hundreds of hours scrolling to prepare for a trip instead of actively booking vacations. In a feverish time for travel, people are craving adventure, and Elude is imploring everyone to wander more and worry less. About Elude Elude is the only travel discovery and booking platform that allows anyone to plan trips in line with their budget -- instead of location or price. Elude’s key feature is a spontaneous budget-first travel search engine that offers access to global flights and accommodations. Elude’s fully customizable onboarding experience offers curated trip packages and future trip suggestions based on customers’ preferences and interests. By disrupting the traditional travel booking model, Elude is building a community of explorers, allowing anyone to experience the transformative powers of travel more often.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Sabre Unveils First Product Powered by its Proprietary Sabre Travel AI™ Technology

Sabre Corporation | November 04, 2020

Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), the leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, announced today it will be launching the Company's first product powered by its proprietary Sabre Travel AI ™ technology. Working with Google, the Company is developing technology that will accelerate the delivery of a smart, scalable retail engine that is powered by state-of-the-art AI technology and advanced machine-learning (ML) capabilities, the first of its kind in travel. The Company plans to officially launch the first iteration of its Sabre Smart Retail Engine ™ early next year, continuing to innovate in omni-channel retailing to enable capabilities across airline business models, passenger service systems (PSS) and global distribution systems (GDS).

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CLEAR S-1 Proves Biometrics' Growth Beyond the Travel Industry

CLEAR | June 09, 2021

Biometrics are poised to make the leap beyond airports and act as a passport to any number of environments where crowds gather in post-COVID reopening. To that end, biometric security firm CLEAR filed its S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), paving the way for an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange. CLEAR may arguably be best known for its origin that ties into creating “a frictionless travel experience while enhancing homeland security,” as described in the prospectus. At a high level, the company’s biometric security service offers subscriptions to its services, speeding up passenger flow through TSA lines at the airport. But branching into other use cases shows how fungible, in a way, biometrics tech can be, where knowing who is who — for admission, for security, or commerce — is an essential deployment. But along the way, as CLEAR’s filing shows, the pivot beyond travel — where demand is only now recovering from the ravages of the pandemic — will help determine whether the firm will see ignition. CLEAR points to the “convenience economy” as a critical driver for using biometrics in a bid to streamline everyday interactions. Tracking The Enrollments Digging into the prospectus, since inception, there have been 5.6 million cumulative enrollments, with 61 million cumulative use cases across its platform. Along with the decline in travel-related activity, first-quarter revenues slipped 17 percent as U.S. domestic flyers dropped by 60 percent. But the company remarked in its prospectus that a trend in its favor would be the reopening of and return to secular growth in the travel industry. As travel declined, cumulative enrollments on the platform were up more than 12 percent, to 5.2 million. Looking across the entire year, revenue was up 20 percent to 230.8 million in 2020, while net loss narrowed to $9.3 million from $54.2 million. Moreover, the company has debuted its Health Pass app, which stores healthcare-related data such as COVID test and vaccine records, which can help members show credentials required to enter a sporting event. CLEAR has partnered with 26 sports and entertainment partners and 67 Health Pass-enabled partners. That reach helps give coverage to 110 locations, including offices, theaters, and theme parks. Launched in 2010, CLEAR’s biometric security service is popular among frequent fliers who purchase subscriptions for $179 a year. Along with gaining the ability to speed through airport lines, subscribers can also use the service at sports stadiums and entertainment venues. Looking Toward Scale CLEAR defines the total addressable markets, by vertical, as being rather significant. In aviation and travel, 90 million American adults fly at least twice annually, while 31 million flies at least six times annually. In hospitality, there were 1.3 billion room nights occupied in 2019, pre-pandemic, in the U.S. Per data from ESPN, across major sports leagues, there were 130 million sports attendees in 2019. The movement into adjacent use cases depends on how many consumers embrace $179 annual subscriptions (the price of Clear PLUS) and whether the populations that do so will justify partners signing on with the technology platform.

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Spotlight

Accounting for more than 10% of global GDP and the creation of one in five new jobs according to the World Travel and Tourism Council, travel and tourism continues to be one of the world’s fastest-growing industries. It is also an industry undergoing rapid transformation, shaped by new technologies and the values and needs of an increasingly diverse range of travellers. Emerging trends in sustainability, luxury, technology and innovation are all influencing the future direction of the hospitality industry. As worldwide hospitality education leaders, our responsibility is to provide aspiring hospitality professionals with the skills and knowledge they need, and to develop the next generation of leaders for the hospitality industry. Monitoring industry trends and adapting our education programmes accordingly is essential for us to ensure that our curricula are relevant for the industry and our students. With this in mind, these are some of the top trends to watch for in 2019: