Tripadvisor begins brand transformation with new course for Viator, executive shakeup

PhocusWire | January 23, 2020

As it prepares to mark 20 years in business next month, Tripadvisor is embarking on a dramatic realignment aimed at helping the company preserve profitability and spur new growth as it deals with competition from Google and others and with evolving preferences from travelers. The Viator brand, which Tripadvisor acquired for $200 million in 2014, will now operate independent of Tripadvisor Experiences, with its own marketing, product and engineering teams. In a memo sent to employees after markets closed today, co-founder and CEO Steve Kaufer says this will “give Viator the opportunity to grow its brand and business offerings as a leading Experiences OTA.”

Spotlight

Most legacy corporate travel solutions don’t take into account factors such as past searches and bookings, loyalty club memberships, or coworkers’ activities, and often display the same results for anyone traveling from one place to another. With better, AI-powered tools, HR teams can better understand who their road warriors ar

Spotlight

Most legacy corporate travel solutions don’t take into account factors such as past searches and bookings, loyalty club memberships, or coworkers’ activities, and often display the same results for anyone traveling from one place to another. With better, AI-powered tools, HR teams can better understand who their road warriors ar

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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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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,BUSINESS TRAVEL

HRS Acquires Paypense, Enabling Widescale Digitized Payment Technology for Corporations and Employees

HRS | August 08, 2022

HRS, the leading Gobal corporate travel and payment technology platform, announced the acquisition of Germany-based Paypense, enhancing HRS’ growing compilation of efficient corporate payment offerings. Only two years since launch, Paypense’s open platform has already made inroads with a broad range of corporations, enabling employees to use digital payment technology to pay for all work-related purchases. This smarter solution ensures compliance to budgets while also capturing relevant data for auditing, steering and even sustainability metrics. “HRS Pay, reinforced by years of proprietary investments and our 2021 purchase of Itelya to propel the digital transformation of payment, is taking the next step in delivering an exceptional 'in destination experience' for corporate employees, Paypense provides intelligent spend management services for managers and employees alike, whether they are on the road for weeks at a time or supporting a one-day, off-site event that doesn’t require travel. This acquisition represents a new milestone for HRS Pay as we continue to focus on elevating employee satisfaction.” -Tobias Ragge, HRS CEO The employee satisfaction component is critical to driving the successful deployment and ongoing use of spend management technology. Recent research from the Global Business Travel Association, inclusive of feedback from 600+ procurement executives and nearly 2,500 business travelers, found that 85 percent of respondents said that the ease of completing expense reports, ease of expense approval process and speed of reimbursement are important to spend management.. Paypense’s Broad Array of Controls and Efficiencies Redefine Spend Management Leveraging automated intelligence and auto-approved, in-policy purchasing, Paypense dramatically reduces concerns about what items an employee may acquire. This elegant solution appeals to accounting and procurement managers, as Paypense effectively ensures the right amounts are spent on the right kind of purchases, every single time. The under-the-hood approach to managing virtual technology and secure connections to a company’s preferred banking institutions makes this seamless to employees who crave simplicity in all expense-related processes. Other Paypense highlights include: The provision of pre-approved budgets in real time to individual employees, groups, or job candidates via Paypense’s patented "matrix approval engine.” Functionality also allows for the approval and dispensing of increased allocations for emergency scenarios; Mobile app capabilities that facilitate tracked purchases by the employees, without him/her ever having to use their own funds; Automated receipt acquisition for common online portals used by employees, including air, rail, hotel, auto, ridesharing, phone and other prominent suppliers; and Leveraging supplier and localized data, Paypense captures the CO2 emissions of individual expenses, a vital element for companies taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint. “With our open platform, we’ve introduced a unique differentiator for the provision of virtual credit cards for pre-approved expenses, It’s clear from our industry engagement that there is an appreciation for our approach. We’re working in concert with expense providers and financial institutions, not competing with them as we transition from expense management to spend management. And with all parties squarely focusing on enhancing the employee experience, we’re increasing satisfaction even as we uncover new avenues of payment efficiency.” -Christopher Hecht, founder and CEO of Paypense Complemented by this acquisition, HRS Pay now offers truly holistic spend management solutions covering not only travel-related spend, but also non-travel, localized spend that accounts for significant expenses,” said Kurt Knackstedt, Chief Growth Officer for HRS Pay. “With the full integration of Paypense, our complete end-to-end spend management platform provides unmatched visibility of level-3 data, multi-category invoice digitization, and superior VAT reclaim automation – all available globally via any payment provider. Given these cumulative capabilities, HRS Pay is uniquely positioned to deliver the consummate payment solution for Fortune 500 multi-national companies. Paypense’s employees will officially become HRS Pay employees when the acquisition formally closes in August. Christopher Hecht will join the HRS Pay team as Chief Product Officer, overseeing development and working collaboratively with clients, partners and employees to enrich HRS Pay solutions moving forward. HRS Pay solutions will be featured at the upcoming Global Business Travel Association conference in San Diego on August 14-17 at the HRS booth (# 3229). Paypense is also one of an exclusive few new technologies to be selected for the Innovate event in New York City on October 24. About HRS HRS is reinventing the way businesses and governments work, stay and pay in today’s dynamic global marketplace. HRS’ advanced platform technology is extending its reach beyond hospitality to meetings, office space management, payment efficiency and crisis recovery. Beyond cost savings in the global post-pandemic economy, HRS clients gain from an unrivaled focus on essential aspects including safety, security and satisfaction. HRS is also recognized for its award-winning Green Stay Initiative, technology that helps corporate hotel programs achieve their NetZero targets, and its groundbreaking Crew & Passengers Solution, which leverages automation to elevate experiences for air and rail operations. Founded in 1972, HRS works with 35 percent of the global Fortune 500, as well as the world’s leading hotel chains, regional hospitality groups and payment providers. More information at www.hrs.com/enterprise.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY, HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Infor Continues to Have a Steep Growth Graph

Infor | June 23, 2022

On June 22, leading industry cloud company Infor announced its continued momentum and innovation over the past twelve months in the hospitality business. The announcement was made at HITEC 2022. Infor Hospitality specializes in delivering end-to-end functionality in the cloud, serving every tier of the industry, right from hotels of all sizes to casinos and specialty resorts. It provides ways for revenue optimization, property management, event and food service management, business intelligence, social collaboration, and mobility. In addition, the suite enables users to easily share data in real time, such as revenue management recommendations, scheduling, and customer information, allowing employees to focus on improving guest service and increasing the bottom line Updates in the Infor HMS include: Improving the online guest experience – Hoteliers can allow guests to use their mobile devices to request digital keys, update their contact, passport, and ID information, and complete the entire check-in and check-out process. Putting a greater emphasis on education and training – Infor HMS has also been enhanced with the addition of new e-learning courses via Infor Campus. These new courses can be accessed on any device at any time. Teams can work the way they live and interact with technology. Faster access to Infor support – Infor released a new in-app chat feature that allows users to chat live directly with HMS support experts in their preferred language from any page in HMS to get immediate help. When assistance is required, customers can pull up a virtual stool and speak with a support analyst. The ability to play a larger role in future product releases – The Enhancement Request System (ERS), which is part of the Infor Concierge customer support center, provides a portal through which users can easily log enhancements and new feature and design change requests for Infor Product Management review. Infor sales and catering, kiosk technology also received updates that include event room diagramming and a new food service POS kiosk. "Infor is a top choice for the hospitality industry because we are constantly investing and innovating in our suite of solutions to mirror and anticipate ever-evolving guest expectations, From sales to service to product to leadership, we are a dedicated team of subject matter experts that truly understands what a hotelier needs from a technology standpoint to operate in a complicated market. Infor's cloud-based hospitality solutions are built to connect and seamlessly integrate, empowering staff to deliver superior services and help foster long-lasting relationships with guests." -Jason Floyd, Infor Hospitality general manager.

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