Travelstart takes over rival Jumia Travel, plans to tap new customers

PhocusWire | December 10, 2019

Nigerian-based digital retailer Jumia is offloading its fledgling travel business to South African online travel agency Travelstart. Under the conditions of the distribution and commercial agreement, Travelstart will manage the operations of Jumia Travel’s online booking websites – including sales, fulfillment and customer service. Financial terms were not disclosed. “Twelve thousand customers travel with us daily,” says Stephan Ekbergh, CEO of Travelstart. “Being Jumia’s exclusive distribution partner will help even more travelers in Africa unlock high-quality online travel services.” The new “partnership” is effective immediately, with visitors to Jumia Travel’s website redirected to Travelstart.

Spotlight

The Travel & Tourism sector, which accounts for 10.4% of global GDP, is a cornerstone of the global economy; creating jobs, driving exports, and generating prosperity across the globe. As the world urbanises and cities cement their roles as global economic hubs that catalyse innovation and business growth, so the share of city Travel & Tourism rises. Nearly half of the 1.4 billion international visitors today, and many billions more domestic travellers, visit cities every year.

Spotlight

The Travel & Tourism sector, which accounts for 10.4% of global GDP, is a cornerstone of the global economy; creating jobs, driving exports, and generating prosperity across the globe. As the world urbanises and cities cement their roles as global economic hubs that catalyse innovation and business growth, so the share of city Travel & Tourism rises. Nearly half of the 1.4 billion international visitors today, and many billions more domestic travellers, visit cities every year.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Global hotel tech leader SiteMinder expands hotel commerce platform with acquisition of GuestJoy

SiteMinder | August 23, 2022

SiteMinder, the world's leading open hotel commerce platform, has announced it will acquire industry acclaimed hotel guest engagement suite GuestJoy, a cloud-based app that allows hoteliers to automate personalised, direct, contactless guest communications before, during and after their stay. The acquisition, to be completed this year, follows the launch of SiteMinder's next generation platform in April - an all-in-one hotel commerce platform that unifies SiteMinder's channel management, distribution and booking engine products with real-time market insights, automated payments, website-building capabilities and more than 1500 partner integrations for accommodation providers to grow their businesses online. GuestJoy will further expand SiteMinder's robust hotel commerce offering, allowing hoteliers to automate and digitise their guest communication, drive upsell revenues, and strengthen direct guest acquisition. Sankar Narayan, CEO and MD of SiteMinder, said the agreement to acquire GuestJoy builds on a year of strong organic growth following the company's IPO in 2021. We are thrilled to announce SiteMinder's acquisition of GuestJoy this year. Great technology powers human connection, and this couldn't be truer for hotel tech. GuestJoy is highly regarded within the hotel tech industry for its simple user experience, seamless guest communication functionalities and integration capabilities, which are essential for the modern hotelier to deliver a winning and profitable guest experience, while also optimising their booking and ancillary revenues. GuestJoy's capability to automate and personalise guest communications will allow SiteMinder to offer a fully integrated user experience for our hoteliers, as we continue to deliver on our hotel commerce platform vision, Sankar Narayan said. Since 2014, GuestJoy has gained a strong reputation in the industry for its innovative, easy-to-use technology and for delivering high ROI for its customers. Founded by hospitality tech innovators Alar Ülem and Annika Ülem, GuestJoy was created to solve a key unmet need - to make it simpler and faster for hoteliers to communicate directly with their guests and increase customer value via their property management system. We know firsthand how distracting and cumbersome unfit technology can be while you are working hard to deliver an impeccable, memorable guest experience. It's why we set ourselves the mission of designing GuestJoy to be very easy to use, using data-driven intelligence and automation. We also know that seamless, unified technology can transform hotel businesses, and this is why we are so proud that GuestJoy will become a SiteMinder company,said GuestJoy Co-founder Alar Ülem. "SiteMinder is unrivalled in its deep feature capabilities in hotel technology, and for its scale of connectivity in the hotel tech market. We can't wait to join SiteMinder's vision to bring every hotel into the new era of hotel commerce, by helping hoteliers connect meaningfully with their guests along every step of their accommodation journey," -GuestJoy Co-founder Annika Ülem. A SiteMinder Partner since 2017, GuestJoy is already a part of the SiteMinder ecosystem and will be fully integrated into the SiteMinder hotel commerce platform following the completion of the acquisition this year. About GuestJoy GuestJoy has been helping hoteliers seamlessly digitise, personalise and automate their guest engagement throughout the entire guest journey since 2014. In 2021, GuestJoy was named a finalist in Hotel Tech Report's Best Upselling Software, and that same year, 70% of GuestJoy customers across 23 countries were named in TripAdvisor's Travellers' Choice Awards. GuestJoy has been a SiteMinder partner since 2017, with customers across the UK and Europe. About SiteMinder SiteMinder Limited (ASX:SDR) is the world's leading open hotel commerce platform, ranked among technology pioneers for opening up every hotel's access to online commerce. It's this central role that has earned SiteMinder the trust of tens of thousands of hotels, across 150 countries, to sell, market, manage and grow their business. The global company, headquartered in Sydney with offices in Bangkok, Berlin, Dallas, Galway, London and Manila, generated more than 100 million reservations worth over US$35 billion in revenue for hotels in the last year prior to the start of the pandemic. For more information, visit siteminder.com.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

VeriFLY by Daon Expands Capabilities to Streamline Access to Travel Documents

Daon | September 28, 2022

Daon, the Digital Identity Trust Company, announced expanded usage of its VeriFLY™ digital travel app to allow users to save required travel or event documents directly to their digital itinerary, providing one-point access for retrieval. VeriFLY is the world’s first widely adopted digital travel app to help travelers and event attendees quickly and safely meet their destination’s and event’s health and identity requirements.VeriFLY is the first mobile app service of its kind to support multiple airlines (codeshare, interline) and any number of countries’ travel requirements. It applies health certificates and related documents to multiple travel legs with similar entry/transit requirements. Its newest capability is now available in over 65 countries. “Daon VeriFLY continues to provide customers with the best user experience while traveling due to its ability to adapt quickly and effectively to the travel industry’s changing requirements, This new expanded capability removes the added stress of travel restrictions, providing travelers with health document credentials throughout their entire travel journey, including multiple leg trips, outbound and inbound travel, codeshares, interline and more.” -Tom Grissen, CEO of Daon Previously, VeriFLY users could only access necessary documents for point-to-point travel, but this new capability allows customers to use VeriFLY for multi-leg travel, even if there are different airlines within the complete itinerary to help federate across the VeriFLY ecosystem. This creates a seamless user experience more aligned to the airline web and app experience that travelers expect. VeriFLY gives travelers the benefits of a faster, smoother process – while enabling the carriers to deliver more on-time flights, faster boarding times, less counter transaction time, lower ground handling costs, fewer inadmissible passengers and related fines, better audit trails, all while promoting higher passenger usage of online check-in and self-service. Travelers worldwide have widely adopted VeriFLY and continue to utilize the mobile app for their ongoing travel experiences. VeriFLY is used by major airlines, cruise lines, hotels, and other businesses, including American Airlines, British Airways, Aer Lingus, Japan Airlines, Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Viking Cruises, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, and many others. VeriFLY recently reached the milestone of more than 12M travelers serviced, and recently over 1 million Carnival Cruise guests have used VeriFLY for a seamless travel experience. The VeriFLY travel app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Users can create a secure profile and input flight information, upload crucial travel related documents, and any other essential identity and health documentation. Visit Daon at World Aviation Festival in Amsterdam (booth 12.561) on October 4-6, 2022, to learn how VeriFLY is defining the future of seamless travel. About Daon Daon, the Digital Identity Trust company, enables market-leading organizations worldwide to easily and accurately proof, verify, authenticate and secure customer identities at every trust point across the entire customer lifecycle. With industry-leading identity proofing and biometric authentication technologies at its core, Daon’s technology ensures that customer identities are accurately verified, easily asserted and safely recovered. By mitigating fraud, reducing friction, and ensuring regulatory compliance, Daon help businesses deliver a seamless customer experience, increase customer satisfaction and reduce cost. Daon delivers these solutions through its AI and ML-powered IdentityX® platform, chosen by leading companies in financial services, telcos, travel & hospitality and other industries to secure and process hundreds of millions of digital identity transactions daily. Learn more at www.daon.com.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Coty and Ant Group Reach Strategic partnership to Deploy Alipay+ Solution in Global Travel Retail Industry

Coty Inc | August 03, 2022

Coty Inc. (NYSE: COTY) ("Coty"), one of the world’s leading beauty companies and global leaders in fragrance, has officially signed the Global Travel Retail Joint Business Partnership with Ant Group to enhance the cooperation in digitalization. The agreement means that Coty will be the first beauty company to reach the strategic partnership in travel retail to support digital platforms like Alipay and other digital payment methods at a global level through Alipay+, a suite of global cross-border mobile payments and marketing solutions operated by Ant Group.Based on the partnership, Coty will continue expanding the travel retail business through the digital operation powered by Alipay+, by creating comprehensive and diversified brand campaigns via Alipay and other payment platforms, and offering more customized consumer experience with higher quality and efficiency. This strategic partnership will extend from China to a wider area of APAC, and furtherly to Coty’s global travel retail market. In the past year, Coty's travel retail business saw an outstanding performance. The traffic and sales of brick & mortar retail stores in Hainan saw strong growth with the help of digital operation, and the duty-free business in China achieved a triple-digit growth. Digital operation is a clear strategic focus for Coty Travel Retail to innovate online and offline shopping experiences with a traveler-centric approach. Alipay, as a leading digital open platform leveraged by over 80 million businesses serving more than 1 billion consumers, is a valuable partner of Coty to co-create the future of beauty by innovative marketing capabilities and digital payment solutions. Since 2021, Coty has partnered with Alipay together on a series of travel retail activations, including Lancaster Super Brand Day, fragrance annual award, and had “Travel Around World” campaign debut in June. "The cooperation with Ant Group in digitalization will help us serve our customers better In the future, Coty and Ant will continue to work together to explore more possibilities of digital channels to improve consumer experience. We will also aim to deliver better services and products to more consumers around the world on their travel journey, and let them enjoy a better, more convenient and sustainable future." -Caroline Andreotti, Executive Vice President of Coty's Global Travel Retail Business, remarked at the signing ceremony. With the signing of this agreement, Coty will go forward hand in hand with Ant Group to boost the development of digital service as well as the travel retail business, and will continue to develop more in-depth cooperation in an all-round way, across precision marketing, omni channel activations, and digital payment solution. Coty's travel retail department is bringing the global iconic brands and tourists’ most favorable regional brands to travel retail channels, covering prestige and consumer brands, to build a matrix that include three product categories – fragrance, makeup, and skincare. At the present, the brands that Coty’s travel retail department is operating in Asia Pacific market include: 2-axis beauty brands (covering makeup and fragrance) -- Gucci beauty and Burberry beauty; the fragrance category -- Chloe, Tiffany, Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein; and the skincare category, of which, Lancaster, founded in Monaco in 1946, is a representative among the iconic high-end skincare brands. The skincare category, in particular, has grown exponentially in Asia and represents a huge growth opportunity for Coty Travel Retail. By launching Lancaster with an Asia-focused product line-up, Coty targets to become an even stronger global player in skincare. It features new merchandising designs and offers the Asian consumers effective, sophisticated, safe, and sustainable personal care products customized to fit their regional needs. The key markets for this new product line-up are China, Korea, Thailand, and India focusing on the key markets for the category in the travel retail industry and a strategic vector of growth for the company . Till now, Lancaster has set up four brick & mortar retail stores in Hainan and launched an official mini program on the Alipay platform, injecting a booster into the skincare business expansion of Coty in APAC. With innovative technologies and solutions, Alipay+ brings an easy way to capture digital-first customers and makes it more convenient for merchants to serve hundreds of millions of users of leading digital payment service providers. Especially, through a one-stop integration and simple technical adaption, merchants can access all existing and later-onboarded digital payment methods brought by Alipay+. Moreover, Alipay+ can help merchants further extend the reach of potential users through its rich marketing campaign solutions. Facing the impact and challenge caused by the COVID-19, Alipay+ has been working with brands since 2020, to find a way out for the travel retail industry in the post-pandemic era. With the comprehensive understanding of brand business, Alipay+ is making efforts to empower digital operation and transformation of business partners, and to improve consumers’ shopping experience with its payment and marketing solutions. About Coty, Inc. Founded in Paris in 1904, Coty is one of the world’s largest beauty companies with a portfolio of iconic brands across fragrance, color cosmetics, and skin and body care. Coty serves consumers around the world, selling prestige and mass market products in more than 130 countries and territories. Coty and our brands empower people to express themselves freely, creating their own visions of beauty; and, we are committed to creating our own positive impact on the planet. Learn more at coty.com or on LinkedIn and Instagram. About Ant Group and Alipay+ Ant Group aims to create the infrastructure and platform to support the digital transformation of the service industry. It strives to enable all consumers and small and micro businesses to have equal access to financial and other services that are inclusive, green and sustainable. Ant Group is the owner and operator of Alipay, the leading digital platform in China serving hundreds of millions of users, and connecting them with merchants and partner financial institutions that offer inclusive financial services and digital daily life services such as food delivery, transport, entertainment, and healthcare. Ant Group has further introduced Alipay+, a suite of global cross-border mobile payments and marketing solutions which enables merchants, especially small and medium-sized businesses, to better serve consumers from all over the world by collaborating with global partners.

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