Travel marketers seeing benefits of trip optimization but challenged by privacy laws

PhocusWire | November 01, 2019

Travel marketers claim to be making the customer journey a priority for 2020. Research from Yieldify shows that only 1% have no plans to work on them next year, down from 15% who said the same in 2018. Respondents to the State of Customer Optimization study highlighted challenges such as new privacy regulations which is hampering the efforts of 38% of marketers. Not having the right tools was also named in the top three challenges after the ability to demonstrate return on investment.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

CWT Enters into Agreement with Financial Partners to Recapitalize Business as Business Travel Recovery Gains Momentum

CWT | September 16, 2021

CWT, the Business-to-Business-for-Employees travel management platform, announced that it has entered into an agreement with financial stakeholders representing over 90% of the Company’s outstanding debt to recapitalize the business and further strengthen CWT’s financial position as the recovery in business travel continues to gain momentum in key markets around the world. CWT expects to begin soliciting formal approval of the plan from its existing financial stakeholders in the next few weeks and to finalize implementation of the plan later this year. Key terms of the agreement, entered into with financial stakeholder Barings LLC, among others, include: Adding $350 million of new equity capital into the business; Eliminating almost $900 million of debt by replacing CWT’s existing $1.5 billion in debt with new first lien debt of $625 million issued at market rates and a new undrawn revolving credit facility; Providing CWT with substantial long-term liquidity through the resulting balance sheet cash and new revolving credit facility; and Providing for all business partners and other providers of goods and services to CWT to be paid in full. CWT expects to begin soliciting formal approval of the plan from its existing financial stakeholders in the next few weeks and to finalize implementation of the plan later this year. “This is great news for CWT and our stakeholders, highlighting the progress we have made to position CWT for long-term success and providing significant financial resources to further grow and develop our business,” said Michelle McKinney Frymire, CWT’s Chief Executive Officer. “This is an important and exciting time for travel, as the industry is seeing meaningful increases in demand for the first time since the start of the pandemic. As we ramp up operational capacity to continue serving our customers through the recovery, we are continuing to advance our strategic objectives, including driving innovation and delivering industry-leading solutions. We are pleased to be moving ahead with overwhelming support from our financial partners, who will become CWT’s new majority owners, underscoring their confidence in the market, CWT and our strategy and services.” Ms. McKinney Frymire added, “Implementation of this agreement will enable us to move beyond the pandemic, accelerate investments that create industry-leading experiences for our clients and travelers, and position CWT to benefit from the recovery already underway. Our teams have risen to the occasion and continued to meet high customer expectations at every turn despite the pandemic’s outsized impact on the travel industry. Looking ahead, our focus remains on providing best-in-class travel experiences for our customers and travelers while maintaining strong relationships with our partners, suppliers and other stakeholders. At the same time, we are excited to accelerate our strategic priorities. With travel demand now increasing, the actions we are taking will enable us to build on our industry-leading position.” Advancing CWT’s Strategy and Business Momentum CWT entered the pandemic with a track record of strong growth and delivering on its strategic priorities. Building on this success, CWT has used the period of COVID-related travel restrictions and related demand reductions to accelerate many of its strategic development plans and investments across its innovative products, program delivery and travel services. As the recovery in business travel, meetings and events gains momentum, CWT’s customer proposition is fundamentally stronger, broader and more robust. Among others, CWT’s many improvements to benefit travelers include: Patented algorithm search applications; A true omni-channel experience; More efficient follow-the-sun servicing capabilities; An enhanced digital hotel booking experience; Refined data analytics for greater insight and improving ROI; and Dedicated resources and services to enable a safe and secure return to travel. Since its inception, CWT has successfully delivered efficient, safe and connected travel programs from city centers to some of the most remote and hard-to-reach corners of the world, maximizing the potential of technological advancements and human ingenuity. Importantly, CWT believes that a true omni-channel experience brings together people and technology, and is essential for business travel and meetings & events now, and in the future, which is why the Company has been enabling solutions for the E in its B2B4E strategy. CWT’s early positioning as a platform business, enhanced by strategic physical operations, underscores the Company’s commitment to developing the next generation of skills, closing the gap between talent supply and demand, and future-proofing not only its own, but also its customers’ potential. As a result of this differentiated approach, CWT’s global connections, coupled with local knowledge and the application of innovative, patented platform technology, continue to benefit customers while enabling CWT to deliver unparalleled, valuable and seamless travel experiences. CWT is committed to remaining at the forefront of innovation, exceeding customer expectations long into the future, connecting people and helping businesses grow. About Barings Barings is a $382+ billion (as of 6/30/2021) global investment manager sourcing differentiated opportunities and building long-term portfolios across public and private fixed income, real estate, and specialist equity markets. With investment professionals based in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, the firm, a subsidiary of MassMutual, aims to serve its clients, communities and employees, and is committed to sustainable practices and responsible investment. About CWT CWT is a Business-to-Business-for-Employees travel management platform. Companies and governments rely on us to keep their people connected – anywhere, anytime, anyhow – and, across six continents, we provide their employees with innovative technology and an efficient, safe, and secure travel experience.

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

MakeMyTrip & Amazon Pay Announce Strategic Partnership

MakeMyTrip Limited & Amazon Pay | November 02, 2021

Amazon Pay and MakeMyTrip India, a fully owned subsidiary of MakeMyTrip Limited (NASDAQ: MMYT), India's leading travel group, have announced a strategic long-term partnership to offer travel services on Amazon.in which includes its suite of mobile apps and websites. The partnership will help Amazon Pay create a convenient experience and provide greater value for its customers with access to MakeMyTrip's best in class travel offerings. "We are excited to partner with Amazon, the company that has revolutionized online purchase behaviour of people world over. There is an accelerated digital shift happening as a result of the pandemic and through this partnership, we look forward to making travel bookings extremely onvenient for new adopters, thereby increasing the online penetration of travel bookings. -Rajesh Magow, Co-founder & Group CEO of MakeMyTrip Commenting on the association, Mahendra Nerurkar - CEO & VP, Amazon Pay India, said, "At Amazon Pay, we strive to deliver a trusted, convenient and rewarding experience by simplifying the payment process for our customers. Our partnership with MakeMyTrip, will benefit millions of our customers, allowing them to choose from the best-in-class offerings and services across the country, followed with the ease of using Amazon Pay, facilitating a seamless journey." With this partnership, MakeMyTrip will be able extend its distribution further via Amazon Pay's large customer base, especially in smaller cities and towns and accelerate online booking of travel services across the country. Amazon Pay aims at smoothening the booking and travelling experience for customers, extending the convenience of making online transactions from anywhere to anyone instantly. With Amazon Pay ICICI Co-branded credit card customers will earn unlimited cashback rewards on every flight, hotel or bus bookings and with Amazon Pay Later customers can book tickets and pay next month with no interest. Customers can also use different payment modes on Amazon Pay, including Amazon Pay Balance & Amazon Pay UPI to make their payments frictionless. Booking of bus services via Redbus is already live on Amazon.in and other travel services powered by MakeMyTrip will be going live over the next few months. About MakeMyTrip Limited MakeMyTrip Limited is India's leading travel group operating well-recognized travel brands including MakeMyTrip, Goibibo and redBus. Through our primary websites www.makemytrip.com, www.goibibo.com, www.redbus.in and mobile platforms, travellers can research, plan and book a wide range of travel services and products in India as well as overseas. Our services and products include air ticketing, hotel and alternative accommodations bookings, holiday planning and packaging, rail ticketing, bus ticketing, car hire and ancillary travel requirements such as facilitating access to third-party travel insurance and visa processing. We provide our customers with access to all major domestic full-service and low-cost airlines operating in India and all major airlines operating to and from India, a comprehensive set of domestic accommodation properties in India and a wide selection of properties outside India, Indian Railways and all major Indian bus operators. For more information, visit https://www.makemytrip.com/about-us/company_profile.php About Amazon Pay Amazon Pay is a trusted, convenient, and rewarding way to pay for anything, anywhere on and off Amazon.in. Amazon continues to extend the convenience of Amazon Pay by making it possible for millions of cash customers to start making digital transactions and support the Government's vision of encouraging electronic payment, leading to a less-cash society in India. Amazon Pay smoothens the customer experience of online payments at the time of placing orders with the benefit of 'one-click' payments leading to a faster and smoother check out process. With its cash-load feature, Amazon Pay also solves the pain point of tendering exact amount of cash at the time of delivery. For more information, visit: https://www.amazon.in/b?node=22222997031

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FEATURES AND ADVICE

American Express GBT, Cvent Add Corporate Responsibility Questions To Hotel RFP

Cvent, American Express Global Business Travel | September 06, 2021

In an effort to gather and standardize data related to corporate social responsibility efforts at hotels, American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) and Cvent have created new questions for suppliers to answer as a supplement to the Global Business Travel Association’s request for proposals template. The joint initiative includes 47 questions focused on sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion that are intended to help travel managers evaluate suppliers on these issues. To develop the questions, GBT’s Global Business Consulting team (GBC) and Cvent interviewed corporations, global hotel brands, travel management companies and consultancies. The companies say along with helping travel managers evaluate hotels, the questions benefit hotels by reducing the time needed to respond to individual requests for information on these topics. “As we accelerate the return to travel and events, customer requests for supplier data on corporate responsibility issues are soaring,” says Nina Marcello, a principal within GBC who first proposed the initiative. “Together, GBC and Cvent worked with stakeholders across corporate and meetings travel to deliver a solution that will increase the availability of relevant sustainability and DE&I data. This initiative reflects our own environmental, social and governance commitments and enables suppliers and travel managers around the world to further their corporate responsibility goals. ” Hotel suppliers answer the supplemental questions, related to things such as carbon emissions and leadership demographics, within the Cvent Transient solution. Hotel chains can also work with their properties to collect and import the information to their profiles. “The speed at which we developed these questions reflects the significance of this work, and they are already being used by our hotel clients. This initiative benefits the entire corporate travel supply chain by facilitating the sharing and reporting of important topics that impact every organization,” says Brian Sullivan, senior director of product management at Cvent.

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