DESTINATION AND TOURISM,INDUSTRY OUTLOOK
Trip.com | November 14, 2022
Booking data from international one-stop travel service provider, Trip.com, shows how transatlantic travel has taken off in the last year.
In the year since the US re-opened its borders to international global travellers, Trip.com has seen a travel boom, when comparing booking stats from October 2021 to October 2022.
US hotel bookings made by British travellers have increased by 382% during the 12 months, while European hotel bookings by US travellers have increased by 111%.
Meanwhile, flight bookings from Europe to the US have increased by 67%, indicating the enduring appeal of the US, despite the pandemic, as well as revived demand for long-haul travel.
"The US has bounced back to resume its place as one of the most popular destinations for UK travellers according to analysis of Trip.com data"
-Andy Washington, Trip.com Group EMEA General Manager
Despite the drop in the value of the pound compared to the US dollar, America continues to attract Brits in large numbers eager to explore North America and reunite with friends and families.
Rich Sun, Trip.com Group General Manager for the Americas, said: "Americans have once again returned to Europe, as evidenced by Trip.com data which shows a 111% surge in European hotel bookings from the US.
European destinations have become attractive for US holidaymakers and business travellers looking to cash-in on favourable exchange rates.
In addition to the jump in flight bookings, the average booking value of flights from Europe to the US has increased by 20% since October 2021.
Regarding routes from Europe to the US, New York was a top-performing destination, with flights from London, Paris, Milan, Madrid, and Barcelona ranked as the top five, and Manchester-New York as the sixth most popular booked flight route between Europe and the US.
Over a third of travellers booking flights from Europe to the US came from the UK (39%), followed by Spain in second place (17%), Italy in third place (14%), followed in fourth place by France (12%) and Germany in fifth (11%).
The most popular US cities for European flyers were New York, followed by Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Orlando.
On average, each month in the last year has seen an 18% rise in Brits booking US hotels.
New York was the most popular city for booking British travellers, followed by Las Vegas in second place, Los Angeles in third, Orlando in fourth and Miami in fifth position.
The average booking value of Americans on European hotels has increased by nearly a quarter (23%) in the last year.
The UK was the most popular European country for hotel and flight bookings by US travellers.
Paris was the most popular European destination for hotel bookings by US travellers, followed by London and Rome.
Trip.com is an international one-stop travel service provider, available in 20 languages across 27 countries and regions in 31 local currencies and sites. Trip.com has an extensive hotel and flight network consisting of more than 1.2 million hotels and flights from over 480 airlines covering 2,600 airports in 200 countries and regions around the globe. Trip.com's world-class 24/7 multilingual customer service as well as additional centres in Edinburgh, Tokyo and Seoul, help to 'create the best travel experience' for its millions of customers worldwide. To book your next trip, visit trip.com
TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,COMMERCIAL TRAVEL
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.
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.
DESTINATION AND TOURISM
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.