Underperforming Philippines Extends Tax Breaks to Attract Tourism Investors

Skift | July 08, 2019

Underperforming Philippines Extends Tax Breaks to Attract Tourism Investors
The Philippines is extending tax incentives for another decade to help stimulate investments in its tourism enterprise zones to help it achieve an ambitious goal of luring 12 million foreign arrivals by 2022.The incentives were to have expired by the end of this year. The zones are designated and supervised by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority. They include sites in destinations such as Cebu, Palawan, Manila, Bataan, Bohol, and Surigao del Norte.

Spotlight

But before lapping up the entire gamut of splendid experiences waiting for you in the Maldives, it is important that tourists learn as much as possible about this island nation which lies southwest of Sri Lanka and India in the Indian Ocean.

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Snowfall launches Junction - the travel platform for a new generation

Snowfall | December 03, 2021

Snowfall, the travel technology company, has announced the launch of Junction – the next-generation travel platform that enables suppliers, resellers and partners to deliver the next generation of travel. Junction provides travellers with more control, choice and confidence, making it possible to book multiple modes of travel door-to-door in a single ticket and supports the traveller throughout the entire journey. By offering a wide range of content, services and enhancements, the platform introduces a new way of connecting all the participants in the ecosystem and disrupts the way to book and experience travel. Junction arrives at a time when outdated infrastructures and legacy systems are leaving major gaps in the consumer experience. The online research and booking process for travellers has become a maze, difficult to navigate. With an increasing focus on sustainability - Booking.com's 2021 Sustainable Travel Report found 81% of travellers want to stay in sustainable accommodation - Junction simplifies the complexities of booking and leads the way to more sustainable modes of travel, empowering conscious choices every day. Junction empowers suppliers, resellers and partners to offer more choice to the traveller, by incorporating all modes of travel in a single operating system and removing legacy complexity. Junction is powered by four cloud-based modules: Exchange, Pay, Boost and Plus. These technologies ensure: Cost effective distribution (Exchange) An open architecture app store for ecosystem collaboration (Boost) Seamless payments (Pay) Revolutionising industry workflows and traveller experience (Plus) These four modules modernise the way to connect, interact and increase value across the ecosystem, creating a new standard for the industry. "We created Junction because when it comes to travel, we believe there's a better way. Junction unlocks the power of technology and delivers travel that is accessible, flexible and straightforward. By incorporating all modes of travel in a single, dynamic operating system, we are bringing simplicity to the complex travel industry and empowering suppliers, resellers and partners to change the way people experience travel for good. Connected to Junction, suppliers and resellers can provide their customers with a new generation of offers through the channels their customers prefer." -Stefan Cars, Snowfall CEO and Founder About Snowfall the company behind Junction, is a UK-based travel technology company delivering products, services and partnerships. Snowfall is leveraging its experience from all major multimodal travel verticals, one of the few companies who can bring this extensive expertise. While partnering with over 40 top tier travel companies, Snowfall's solutions, such as ticketless travel, have consistently led the way for travel innovation on a global scale.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Xeniapp Inc. Announces Partnership With CTW

Xeniapp Inc | November 16, 2021

Xeniapp, Inc., the travel technology company, announced that it has partnered with CTW to build the most sophisticated flight shopping engine in the world for Xeniapp's unique travel operating system. Xeniapp is transforming the travel industry with its web 3.0 operating system built on a blockchain network. Today, corporate and leisure travel professionals can launch their full-service, web-based travel agency complete with custom booking engine, traveler web portal, CRM, and payment settlement engine. Xeniapp offers a full suite of bookable wholesale travel inventory, including flights, hotels, car rentals, airport transfers, and activities. "Flight booking is the most complex issue in travel today, with heavy regulation and millions of potential booking configurations. Servicing cancellations and rescheduling of flights is the most time-consuming, costly, and complex problem that the industry faces. By partnering with CTW, our operating system can automate flight reshopping, resolving one of the key pain points for travelers and travel professionals," -Sachin Narode, CEO of Xeniapp. The CTW platform is the most accurate airline pricing system on the market as evidenced by ATPCo's ratings. It is also the only platform to offer customers two years of historical flight schedules and fares with up-to-the-minute accuracy, a crucial necessity for post-ticketing servicing. CTW offers cost-effective technology, ticket exchange and refund management. CTW enables Xeniapp to automate even the most complex transactions and itineraries that previously required painstaking manual calculations and long customer service calls. "Partnering with Xeniapp - one of the most innovative travel companies in the world - is extremely rewarding for us. It demonstrates the value that the CTW platform can add for clients who are willing to innovate around the powerful functionalities that we offer. This partnership underscores our belief that future growth in the industry will come from companies that invest in continually improving the user experience and simplifying self-management of even the most complex trips," -Andrew Cuomo, Chief Commercial Officer of CTW. About Xeniapp, Inc. Xeniapp, Inc., the travel technology company, is based in New York City. Xeniapp's mission is to transform the travel industry by bringing travel software into the 21st century. The company was co-founded by Sachin Narode and Rachel Obenshain.Xeniapp Contact: Rachel Obenshain, President, Xeniapp; email: rachel@xeniapp.com.For more information about Xeniapp, visit https://xeniapp.com. About CTW CTW has developed several generations of airline shopping and pricing systems. The CTW Platform provides complete shopping, fares and pricing, reshopping, and ancillaries. CTW connects content providers and retailers worldwide. CTW Platform provides final pricing and repricing for 20% of all ARC/BSP-issued airline tickets in the world and has operations in Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania.For more information about CTW, visit https://ctw.travel.

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Hawaii Officials to Tighten Travel Rules for Visitors' Safety

Hawaii Tourism Authority | May 19, 2020

Hawaii officials are implementing new measures, from the airport to accommodations, to crack down on scofflaws. The Hawaii Tourism Authority launched a media campaign telling prospective visitors to stay home until the Islands are ready for them. According to an HTA report submitted to the Hawaii Senate Committee on Covid-19, roughly 70% of the hotels contacted agreed to participate in the initiative. On March 15, Gov. David Ige publicly pleaded for visitors to postpone their Hawaii vacations and business trips and followed up a few days later with the quarantine measure. Since mid-March, the majority of hotels have closed, vacation rentals have been ordered to halt operations, beach activities have been extremely limited, and all but essential businesses have shuttered. The Hawaii Tourism Authority launched a media campaign telling prospective visitors to stay home until the Islands are ready for them, and the agency, through the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii, has been funding return flights for visitors who are not able to quarantine. Still, like party guests who can't read the room and overstay their welcome, people keep arriving in Hawaii despite the quarantine order and the best efforts of multiple state agencies to discourage travel to the Aloha State. From March 26, when the quarantine went into effect, through April 30, an average of 125 visitors arrived in Hawaii airports each day -- a far cry from the 30,000 daily arrivals at normal times, but concerning for state officials, who would prefer zero arrivals. Although Ige has extended the quarantine order through June 30, visitation ticked up when the calendar turned from April to May. Through the first 10 days of the month, an average of 233 visitors have landed daily. Reports of quarantine violators are flooding in, and now the state is looking to bolster its methods to guarantee compliance, including a newly launched system designed to help monitor the movement of hotel guests. Despite these efforts at the airports, we have been receiving consistent reports from members of the public ~ Mayor Kirk Caldwell the Hawaii Senate Special Committee on Covid-19 "They have observed, through social media or in person, travelers blatantly violating the quarantine orders. "This is particularly frustrating for members of the public who are complying with the stay-at-home/stay-safe declarations imposed by the state and county in good faith. All the while, watching others flaunt their noncompliance with complete disregard for not only our laws but the health concerns behind these laws. Disturbingly, we have also received reports the City and County of Honolulu have avoided addressing these public concerns of noncompliance with regularity." Spurred by demands for tighter enforcement, the HTA has been contacting the 91 hotels that have remained open during the crisis, some of which are housing medical personnel, National Guard and other essential workers, to sign them up for a "single-use key" program. Hotel guests would be given room keys that work only once. If they leave the room after entry, they would need to contact the front desk to access the room again. According to an HTA report submitted to the Hawaii Senate Committee on Covid-19, roughly 70% of the hotels contacted agreed to participate in the initiative, with more than 20 properties yet to be reached. Four hotels had declined to participate as of May 9, at least one because it uses hard keys that cannot be programmed. One gave no explanation and another argued that its "apartment-style" accommodations precluded it from participating. Management at the Grand Naniloa Hotel on Hawaii Island said it could not currently comply with the program because state officials are failing to notify them of guests subject to quarantine prior to their check-in and they are short-staffed while housing National Guard members and local residents. The state attorney general's office told the Senate committee on April 24 that it is also examining the legality and viability of other enforcement methods, including designated quarantine sites, ankle bracelets, facial recognition and GPS tracking. The Department of Transportation and HTA have been working together to monitor arrivals, but the process has proven challenging. After deplaning, passengers' contact information and address while in Hawaii is verified while they also undergo a medical screening including temperature check. Recently, the state has added new questions to an agricultural form all arrivals fill out to glean more information about each passenger, including nature of the visit and expected departure date. In a two-week period from mid-April to the end of the month, after the DOT stepped up enforcement, 27 visitors were forced to leave Hawaii for quarantine violations or lacking proper lodging and 330 arrivals were referred to law enforcement, according to a May 2 update to the Senate committee. The hotels are notified of guests subject to quarantine, and both at the airport and the hotel, visitors are asked to fill out forms in which they acknowledge they are aware of the quarantine, which means they can only leave their room for "medical emergencies or to seek medical care" with no access to fitness centers, restaurants or other public areas. State employees have been calling new arrivals to do spot check-ins to confirm compliance with the quarantine, but during a May 7 meeting of the Senate Covid-19 committee, officials acknowledged most of the contact numbers are for mobile phones and physical checks may be needed. Quarantine violators are subject to arrest, a $5,000 fine and imprisonment for up to a year. While some visitors have been arrested, brought before a judge and sent home, the flow of arrivals continues. Learn More: DIGITAL MARKETING IN THE AGE OF CORONAVIRUS - WHAT TRAVEL BRANDS NEED TO KNOW

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Spotlight

But before lapping up the entire gamut of splendid experiences waiting for you in the Maldives, it is important that tourists learn as much as possible about this island nation which lies southwest of Sri Lanka and India in the Indian Ocean.