Wedding tourism representatives have started promoting China & Indonesia

Travel and Tour World | May 16, 2019

The representatives of Turkish tourism have started endorsing the country globally to take part in more of the $1 trillion weddings and meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) markets, which have made prominent development in recent years.Arranged for the fourth time in 2019, the International MICE & Wedding Forum (IMWF2019) brought together decision-makers directing the international destination weddings and MICE sector in Antalya.Inventum Global Managing Partner Bünyat Özpak informed Anadolu Agency (AA) that in the history of tourism they had their top season in 2018 in terms of Indian weddings.Özpak explained that they anticipated reaching twice as much as last year’s figure in wedding organizations this year. “India leads the way in the number of wedding organizations in the world,” he said. “The Indian market has started to grow slowly in Turkey, and we are now pursuing new countries. We have been concentrating on diverse and exotic markets such as China, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and South America.”

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Spotlight

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is a joint venture that is not wholly owned by American Express Company or any of its subsidiaries (American Express). “American Express Global Business Travel,” “American Express,” and the American Express logo are trademarks of American Express and are used under limited license.

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Mastercard Launches Tourism Innovation Hub in Spain

Mastercard | January 21, 2022

Mastercard announced the establishment of a new Tourism Innovation Hub in Spain, with the support of the Spanish Government. The Hub, based in Madrid and which will open in the second quarter of 2022, will develop solutions to support a sustainable and inclusive recovery for the global tourism sector through innovation, research and collaboration across the ecosystem. The initiative was ratified today, at the FITUR International Tourism Fair, between Reyes Maroto, Spain’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, and Mark Barnett, President of Mastercard Europe.In 2019, travel and tourism represented 10.4% of global GDP but nearly halved to 5.5% in 2020 - similarly international visitors spent US$1,691.5 billion in 2019 and the amount dropped to US$517.6 billion in 20201. And according to its latest forecast, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates that international tourist arrivals remained 70 to 75 percent below 2019 levels last year2. The impact also goes beyond GDP figures, with the industry playing a vital role in generating jobs and creating opportunities for micro and small businesses around the world. But despite the clear challenges, Mastercard data shows that there are opportunities for a robust recovery in the relatively near future. Many consumers are looking at how to spend their share of the extra US$5 trillion saved since the onset of COVID-193, and travel ranks second only to eating out as the out-of-home activity most missed during lockdowns4. There has been a clear willingness to travel that has been determined by pandemic-related restrictions. “There has been a multi-trillion dollar impact on the global tourism industry over the past couple of years, but Mastercard is committed to enabling innovation and ensuring that technology is harnessed for a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable recovery, The Tourism Innovation Hub will foster programs and build partnerships which will help the industry recover and drive more inclusive and sustainable tourism growth. Being located in Spain will allow us to leverage the expertise of a country intrinsically linked to tourism and the second most visited destination in the world." -Mark Barnett, President of Mastercard Europe. According to the Spanish Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto: "The Spanish Government believes that now is the time for us to work together to build the future of our post-pandemic tourism model. We are going to stop measuring the success of the Spanish tourism model exclusively by the increase in the number of tourists - we must now go beyond this and focus on quality, profitability, innovation and sustainability, as well as social inclusion and territorial cohesion. There is no time to lose in taking up this challenge. And we all need to work together - the institutions and the private sector - strengthening our alliances and bringing other partners on board so that the Spanish tourism sector maintains its international leadership." UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili added: “Tourism’s future will be driven by new ideas, new business methods and through joined-up solutions to overcome challenges and fulfil our sector’s enormous potential. UNWTO warmly welcomed the creation of a new Tourism Innovation Hub and looks forward to working closely with Mastercard to harness the power of data and creativity to build a more inclusive and sustainable sector.” The Tourism Innovation Hub will act as a global platform for industry research, tourism strategy development and the co-creation of tailored products and solutions, through partnerships and initiatives such as: Thought Leadership: leveraging data insights and capturing target consumer insights to identify trends and inform policy decision-making. Development Center: co-creating new products and services, codifying best practices and serving as a platform to bring together public and private sector partners to innovate together. Labs As A Service: designing, developing and testing new products and platforms that deliver digital first, sustainable and inclusive solutions for the industry, which address common business and consumer priorities. Supporting the Global Tourism Industry. Mastercard’s trusted network and leading technology stands at the heart of the global tourism industry: Facilitating payments so tourists can spend safely, securely and easily when they travel abroad Enabling digital payments acceptance for small businesses to allow them to benefit from the tourism economy Working with travel agents, airlines, hospitality providers and many others across the ecosystem Building loyalty through engagement programs and Priceless Experiences, giving tourists tailored access to the best and most exciting opportunities when they explore or return to preferred destinations Partnering with tourism agencies to supporting businesses in the tourism industry and encouraging inbound tourism through digital vouchers and incentive schemes Providing data insights to governments and tourism agencies to identify trends and inform strategies, including through the Mastercard Economics Institute Insights Reports, as well as executing inbound tourism campaigns. Sustainable tourism will be a key focus, and there will be close collaboration between the Tourism Innovation Hub and Mastercard’s Sustainability Innovation Lab, to help empower governments, businesses and consumers to transform how they adapt and create new sustainable tourism innovations in destination, travel, accommodation, experience, rewards and incentives and other services. Alongside this, Mastercard is working with the UNWTO, headquartered in Madrid, across a range of initiatives. For example, last year the company supported the UNWTO SDGs Global Startup Competition, providing mentorship to innovative small businesses that are enabling sustainable and responsible tourism around the world. In Spain, Mastercard has a well-established track record of supporting the tourism industry, as part of the broader work with governments and cities around the world adapt their tourism strategies. In 2020, Mastercard's data intelligence tools helped the City Councils of Madrid and Barcelona identify how the flow of tourists were being impacted, helping them draw a roadmap to recover post-pandemic tourism. Additionally, in May last year, together with Turespaña, Mastercard announced the first Security Perception Index, which measures the level of confidence shown by visitors in Spain’s health-measures. The Tourism Innovation Hub becomes part of Mastercard's network of global centers of excellence around the world, including the Intelligence and Cyber Centre in Canada, the Fintech-Cyber Innovation Lab in Israel, the Mastercard Lab for Financial Inclusion in Kenya, and the Sustainability Innovation Lab in Sweden, as well as Tech Hubs in Dublin and New York City. About Mastercard 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. www.mastercard.com

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

Two New Pebblebrook Hotels Onboard with Optii Solutions

Optii Solutions | June 13, 2022

On June 8, Optii Solutions, a market leader in hotel operations software, announced the onboarding of two hotels in the Pebblebrook Hotel Trust; Hotel Chamberlain West Hollywood and Hotel Ziggy, in their hotel operations solution. Optii will help them maximize their housekeeping efficiencies and comply with the new West Hollywood Ordinance that governs workers’ rights. Optii has a contract with another Pebblebrook group hotel- Montrose West Hollywood. It has successfully helped Montrose streamline its operations with limited staff and adapt to the Ordinance. Springboard Hospitality manages all the three hotels that are members of the Curator Hotels & Resorts Collection. The West Hollywood Ordinance came into force on January 1 and imposed limits on square footage cleaned and the number of checkouts completed by each room attendant during an eight-hour workday. If these limits exceed, the hoteliers must pay their staff twice their pay for every hour worked. This doubles housekeeping costs for hotels that do not comply with these restrictions. Optii’s housekeeping platform uses AI to allocate rooms to room attendants based on square footage efficiently. It also set limits for each attendant so that no team member exceeds the Ordinance guidelines. Optii’s platform also offers reporting on both the square footage and number of rooms that an attendant cleans to ensure compliance. A breakdown of departure cleans for each workday, as well as archived boards and data for customer life, is also provided. “Housekeeping departments represent the largest cost for hoteliers and failure to comply with the West Hollywood Ordinance can mean that these costs skyrocket. We are pleased to be expanding our relationship with Pebblebrook Hotel Trust and helping this group of hotels comply simply and easily.” -Katherine Grass, CEO, Optii Solutions Andrew Maffei, Area General Manager, Chamberlain or Hotel Ziggy, said: Our staff are our most important asset and making best use of their time is one of our top priorities. We are excited to be implementing Optii’s technology to ensure our housekeeping team is working efficiently and that we are always fully compliant with the new Ordinance requirements.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

iProov and Eurostar Launch Trial to Provide Contactless Travel at London St Pancras International

iProov & Eurostar | December 06, 2021

iProov, the world leader in biometric face authentication technology, and Eurostar, the high-speed passenger rail service linking the UK with mainland Europe, have announced that their trial of a contactless fast-track service, SmartCheck, is now live. SmartCheck enables passengers to complete secure ticket verification and UK exit check on their mobile devices prior to travel. As part of the trial, Business Premier and Carte Blanche ticket holders will be able to scan their identity documentation using their iPhones before arriving at the station, completing a brief biometric face scan to verify that they are the genuine holder of the identity document. The biometric face verification, which uses iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance technology, is then linked to their e-ticket, with confirmation sent to the passenger. On arrival at St Pancras International station, passengers proceed through a dedicated SmartCheck lane. A brief face scan at the ticket gate verifies that the customer has completed the ticket check, with no sharing of paper or electronic tickets needed. A second face scan at the UK Exit Check allows Eurostar to verify that the passenger has completed their passport information, again replacing the need for travelers to hand over documentation. SmartCheck aims to revolutionize the travel experience by making it completely effortless for the passenger, while maximizing privacy and increasing reassurance through improved security. The aim is to eliminate queues and expedite the boarding process to further improve customer satisfaction, especially for frequent travelers. The concept is being brought to train travel as part of the First of a Kind 2020 competition run by Innovate UK, funded by the Department for Transport (DfT). The initiative supports research, development and innovation in the UK rail industry. At this time, the trial involves a limited number of invited passengers and is focused on the check-in and exit control processes operated by Eurostar at St Pancras Station and not the UK or Schengen Entry controls. “This secure, convenient and privacy-protecting technology will make life easier and safer for travelers around the world,The days of rooting around in your bag for your passport or hoping that your phone battery doesn’t run out before you show your e-ticket at the gate are over. It’s effortless and convenient while also delivering the reassurance and security that travelers expect.” Andrew Bud, Founder and CEO, iProov. We are committed to working closely with governments to introduce new tools and technology that streamline the check in and border process,” said Gareth Williams, Strategy Director and Company Secretary, Eurostar. “Face biometric technology, which we start trialling today, is a fast and contactless solution which will enable secure passenger checks to take place more efficiently and provide a seamless start to the Eurostar customer journey. Our investment into the First of a Kind competition, supporting ingenious inventions on our rail network, is driving real-world innovations as we build the railway of tomorrow,” said Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary. “The brand new contactless travel technology from iProov and Eurostar is a window into the future of border control, of smoother, more seamless and convenient journeys. iProov’s Genuine Presence Assurance technology enables organizations to securely verify the identity of consenting online individuals in a way that is completely effortless for the user. A brief, multi-dimensional biometric face scan combines light, time and space to verify that a remote user is the right person, a real person, and that they are authenticating in real time. This highly secure process, supported by iProov’s active threat management system, protects against spoof attacks and can be used on any smartphone, tablet or computer with a user-facing camera. The trial was developed in close partnership with Eurostar and WorldReach Software, now part of global identity and data security company, Entrust. All personal data is processed in compliance with GDPR law, with full passenger consent. It is not shared with any party outside the trial and is deleted within six hours of the user travelling. iProov technology is in use throughout the world, with customers including the US Department of Homeland Security, the UK Home Office, the NHS, the Australian Taxation Office, the Singapore Government and many banks and enterprises. About iProov Launched in 2013, iProov is the world leader in online facial biometric authentication, working with governments, banks and other enterprises to securely verify customer identity. Used for effortless onboarding and authentication, customers include the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the UK Home Office, the UK National Health Service (NHS), the Australian Taxation Office, GovTech Singapore, Rabobank, ING, and others. iProov’s technologies include Liveness Assurance and Genuine Presence Assurance, which ensures that an online customer is the right person, a real person, and is authenticating right now. This protects against spoof attacks from photos, videos, masks and digital injection attacks and the emerging threat of deepfakes. iProov was recognized as a Gartner Cool Vendor 2020 in Identity Access Management & Fraud Detection. For more information, please see www.iproov.com or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter. About Eurostar Eurostar is the high-speed passenger service linking London St. Pancras International with city centre stations in mainland Europe, via the Channel Tunnel. Eurostar was established in 1994 as a partnership between three railway companies: SNCF, SNCB and LCR (London and Continental Railways). On 1 September 2010, Eurostar became a single, unified corporate entity owned by three shareholders: SNCF, SNCB and LCR. LCR’s holding was transferred to the Treasury in 2014 and sold by the UK government to a consortium comprising Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec (CDPQ) and Hermes Infrastructure in May 2015.For more information, please contact press.office@eurostar.com

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