U.S. Travel Association: Travel Recovery is Possible as Travelers Adhere to Safety Precautions

The U.S. Travel Association | July 15, 2020

U.S. Travel Association: Travel Recovery is Possible as Travelers Adhere to Safety Precautions
The U.S. Travel Association is confident that the industry can launch a safe and successful recovery this summer so long as travelers continue to wear masks and adhere to common-sense safety measures like physical distancing and frequent hand washing. Citing the latest information uncovered by medical experts, U.S. Travel came out in strong support of mask usage and other safety protocols in the fight against COVID-19 earlier this month.

Spotlight

EyeforTravel conducted a global survey amongst key travel executives in January to February 2011 with the aim of investigating distribution and marketing performance and perspectives for the quarter. This is the first edition of the Travel Distribution & Marketing Barometer.

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CRUISE

GM Brings Powerful New Compute Architecture to Ultra Cruise to Help Enable Door-to-Door Hands-Free Driving

Ultra Cruise | January 10, 2022

GM announced this week that its next-generation hands-free driver assist system, Ultra Cruise, will be powered by a scalable compute architecture featuring system-on-chips developed by American semiconductor company Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. GM will be the first company to use the Qualcomm Technologies' Snapdragon Ride™ Platform for advanced driver assistance technology, which features an industry leading 5-nanometer Snapdragon™ SA8540P SoC and SA9000P artificial intelligence accelerator. Ultra Cruise’s compute, which is about the size of two laptops stacked together, will be available in 2023 on vehicles including the ultra-luxury, fully-electric Cadillac CELESTIQ. With high performance sensor interfaces and memory bandwidth, it will, in combination with GM's homegrown Ultra Cruise software stack, be key to helping Ultra Cruise achieve an unmatched combination of capability, reliability, predictability and robust door-to-door hands-free driving in 95 percent of all driving scenarios. "Despite its relatively small size, Ultra Cruise's compute will have the processing capability of several hundred personal computers,It will take qualities that have distinguished GM's advanced driver assist systems since 2017 to the next level with door-to-door hands-free driving." -Ken Morris, GM vice president of Electric, Autonomous and Fuel Cell Vehicle Programs. The Ultra Cruise compute will help power GM-developed ADAS software and features, including perception, planning, localization and mapping. These Ultra Cruise capabilities were developed in-house at GM engineering facilities in Israel, the United States, Ireland and Canada. To ensure a robust and predictable system with minimal latency, GM integrated Ultra Cruise's software on an optimal hardware design, overlaying cameras, radar and lidar. This low-level, sensor fusion, which provides excellent detection and classification of data, and Ultra Cruise's software stack are proprietary to GM, not available on the automotive aftermarket. The Ultra Cruise compute is comprised of two Snapdragon SA8540P SoCs and one SA9000P AI accelerator to deliver key low-latency control functions on 16-core CPUs and high-performance AI compute of more than 300 Tera Operations Per Second for camera, radar and lidar processing. The Snapdragon SoCs are designed with 5 nm process technology, enabling superior performance and power efficiency. The Snapdragon SA8540P SoCs will provide the necessary bandwidth for Ultra Cruise's sensing, perception, planning, localization, mapping and driver monitoring. "We are very proud of our collaboration with General Motors on one of the industry's first uses of our Snapdragon SoCs in an automated driving system,Ultra Cruise powered by Snapdragon Ride on Cadillac vehicles will be an experiential and technological leap forward for the industry." -Nakul Duggal, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. senior vice president and GM, Automotive. Along with Snapdragon Ride SoCs, which are designed to meet automotive system safety standards with multiple redundancies built in, the compute includes an Infineon Aurix TC397 processor for system safety integrity. The Aurix TC397 is categorized ASIL-D – the highest Automotive Safety Integrity Level. GM minimized complexity within the compute, opting for an air-cooled instead of liquid-cooled system that avoids heavy and inefficient thermal cooling lines throughout the vehicle, made possible by Snapdragon Ride's high-performance, high-efficiency design. Ultra Cruise's compute will also have the capability to evolve over time by leveraging Snapdragon Ride's SoCs performance and high-speed interfaces for future expansion, as well as over-the-air software updates enabled through the Ultifi software platform and GM's Vehicle Intelligence Platform electrical architecture. About General Motors (NYSE:GM) It is a global company focused on advancing an all-electric future that is inclusive and accessible to all. At the heart of this strategy is the Ultium battery platform, which will power everything from mass-market to high-performance vehicles. General Motors, its subsidiaries and its joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Baojun and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety and security services, can be found at https://www.gm.com.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Ski Season’s Greetings! MCR Acquires Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa in Stowe, Vermont

MCR | January 03, 2022

Walking in a winter wonderland! MCR — the country’s 4th-largest hotel owner-operator — has acquired the 117-room Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa in Stowe, Vermont. Just downslope from Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak, Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa is your home base for four seasons of outdoor adventure. Come for the mountain biking, leaf-peeping, hiking and snowshoeing; stay for the spacious guestrooms (with fireplaces!), 50,000-square-foot spa, two pools and outdoor jacuzzi. Want to link up with friends and family? We’ve got a nine-hole golf course and 32 townhomes, too! Before catching the lifts at Stowe Mountain Resort this winter, carb up with a hearty breakfast at Charlie B’s, our on-site restaurant and pub serving a delicious buffet of eggs, home fries and oatmeal. We’ll be waiting for you at dinnertime with steaming French onion soup and lemon pepper-crusted salmon. Not a snow bunny? At Stoweflake, it’s always a spa day! The world-class spa offers 120 therapeutic treatments in 30 rooms plus a fully equipped salon. The true highlight is the Aqua Solarium, a 12-foot Hungarian mineral soaking pool with a cascading waterfall inspired by the area’s famous Bingham Falls! Get moving again at the sports and wellness center, which has Cybex fitness equipment, spinning and Pilates studios, tennis courts and a racquetball/squash court! Schedule a class with an instructor or splash in the indoor and outdoor pools (with a bubbling jacuzzi). With so much to do on the grounds, Stoweflake is the perfect place for an event. Gather your guests for a conference, wedding or family reunion — we have 25,000 square feet of meeting space in 17 rooms and outdoor terrain bordered by the Green Mountains. If you need more space than the resort’s guestrooms, opt for one of our 32 townhomes, each equipped with a full kitchen and private deck for cocoa-sipping and stargazing. Stoweflake’s location means off-property outings couldn’t be more convenient. Visit the Von Trapp family home (yes, the real-life Sound of Music clan, who settled in Stowe after leaving Germany!) or Alchemist Brewery. Take a short drive into town, where 80 boutiques, country stores and galleries — all twinkling with holiday lights — await. Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa is located at 1746 Mountain Road and features: 117 guestrooms and suites 32 one-, two- or three-bedroom townhome rentals A 50,000-square-foot spa and sports center with a waterfall and meditative garden Two tennis courts A racquetball and squash court An executive nine-hole, par-3 golf course Indoor and outdoor pools with a jacuzzi A 25,000-square-foot conference center with 17 meeting rooms Charlie B’s Restaurant & Pub Fast Wi-Fi On-site parking Reserve rooms by phone at (802) 253-2322 or online at stoweflake.com. About MCR 4th-largest hotel owner-operator in the United States $4.0 billion portfolio of 140 premium-branded hotels MCR operates 8 Marriott brands, 6 Hilton brands and a number of unflagged independent hotels 20,000 guestrooms across 37 states and 100 cities Founded in 2006 Offices in New York City, Dallas, Chicago and Richmond, Virginia 4,000 team members across the country Three-time recipient of the Marriott Partnership Circle Award, the highest honor Marriott presents to its owner and franchise partners Recipient of the Hilton Legacy Award for Top Performer For the TWA Hotel at New York’s JFK Airport, MCR won the Development of the Year (Full Service) Award at The Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS), the Urban Land Institute New York Excellence in Hotel Development Award and the American Institute of Architects national Architecture Award, the highest honor given by the AIA Named one of Fast Company’s 10 Most Innovative Travel Companies of 2020 For more information, please visit mcrhotels.com

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

New Travel Startup Upaway Launches First On-Demand Travel Support Concierge to Tackle Trip Chaos for Holiday Travelers

Upaway | December 24, 2021

New travel company Upaway is setting out to tackle Trip Chaos with the official launch of its on-demand support in time to service holiday travelers. Founded by Twitter alumna and DE&I thought leader Kayla Glanville, Upaway aims to disrupt the outdated consumer travel industry and make typically out-of-reach, premium travel support accessible and affordable to tackle travel stress. To help people navigate today's uncertain travel landscape and avoid Trip Chaos, the company offers free travel advice and on-demand (human) trip support — without the high prices or hidden fees — available directly via +1 (213) 545-0903 (text or call) or Direct Message (DM) on Twitter and Instagram. App (iOS) is expected to launch in early 2022. Upaway Concierge is a team of travel professionals who go above and beyond traditional booking services to make every trip a stress-free experience. From assisting travelers with bulky items (like gifts and carseats) and temperature-sensitive items (like medications or breast milk) to handling flight cancellations or re-bookings, Upaway Concierge offers travelers an on-demand alternative to waiting on hold with their hotels' or airlines' customer service lines. Upaway saves travelers time, money, and energy by tackling the Trip Chaos facing so many travelers every day — and securing credits and refunds for things like flights and accommodations when things go awry. With an uptick in impacted holiday travel and COVID-19 variants on the rise, Upaway is supporting travelers who have historically been stuck to handle issues on their own and provides them with peace of mind as well as real-time Travel Risk Intelligence data for their destination, powered by Riskline. "Between being a mom and working full time, planning a family trip wasn't in the cards. With one text, Upaway stepped in and took the stress of planning off my plate and now we have two family trips booked for 2022," -Upaway customer Katie P. of Portland, Oregon Upaway's goal is to revolutionize the consumer travel industry by providing genuine, helpful customer service that large travel corporations have lacked for years. "While working on a consumer product like Twitter and helping airlines, hotels, and destination marketing organizations (DMOs) create relationships with their customers, it became clear that stellar service is often reserved for frequent business travelers," founder Kayla Glanville says of her time working at Twitter with the world's largest travel brands. She was particularly struck by the stark inequity between the business and everyday traveler experiences. "The result is dismal service, stress, and chaos for everyday folks. With Upaway, we're aiming to change that. About Upaway Upaway is travel app and SaaS platform based in California, founded by a queer woman, with an intersectional team working remotely around the world. Founded by former tech executive Kayla Glanville, Upaway offers free travel organization tools and connects travelers with on-demand (human!) travel concierge when they need it. It is currently in service via phone and text at +1 (213) 545-0903 and through Direct Message on Twitter and Instagram with a projected general launch of early 2021.

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Spotlight

EyeforTravel conducted a global survey amongst key travel executives in January to February 2011 with the aim of investigating distribution and marketing performance and perspectives for the quarter. This is the first edition of the Travel Distribution & Marketing Barometer.