Wings buys US energy sector specialist

Buying Business Travel | October 09, 2019

Wings Travel Management has announced the acquisition of the energy and corporate travel business of Associated Travel in Louisiana, marking an expansion of its footprint in the market.The agreement with the Lafeyette-based company takes effect on 1 November and gives Wings a presence in a second major energy sector hub in addition to its existing operation in Houston.Founded in 1967, Associated Travel provides online and offline business travel management to Louisiana-based energy sector companies as well as other corporate clients. It also offers leisure, film and group travel services. Following the sale, Associated Travel will continue serving its leisure and group travel clientele from its current office in Lafayette and CEO Robbie Bush (pictured, left) will retain ownership and management of these areas of the business.

Spotlight

While traveling in a foreign land, you may encounter a sudden sickness or accident generating huge amounts of medical expenses. Travel medical insurance provides you protection against any such contingency and ensures that your trip is safe. However, travel medical insurance differs from standard travel insurance policies. This infographic is useful to understand why travel medical insurance is a good idea and how it can protect you.

Spotlight

While traveling in a foreign land, you may encounter a sudden sickness or accident generating huge amounts of medical expenses. Travel medical insurance provides you protection against any such contingency and ensures that your trip is safe. However, travel medical insurance differs from standard travel insurance policies. This infographic is useful to understand why travel medical insurance is a good idea and how it can protect you.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

KAYAK and Babbel Team Up to Help Travelers Learn a Language for their Next Trip

KAYAK and Babbel | November 11, 2021

Travel ranks among the top three reasons Americans want to learn another language, according to a recent survey from KAYAK, the world's leading travel search engine. One quarter (almost 24%) said they simply feel more comfortable visiting a country where they can speak the local language, while nearly the same (23%) want to avoid the embarrassment of mispronouncing a word. To help Americans travel like a local while speaking like one too, KAYAK and Babbel are teaming up to launch linGO - a one-stop-shop for travel planning and language learning. Focused on where to go, when to book, and top phrases to consider as restrictions ease (like how to ask for directions or for the check at dinner), linGO pulls together both travel and language hacks to make the most of your next trip. As more countries open up their borders to travelers, KAYAK data reveals the best time to book an international trip for a good price is five months in advance - more than enough time to get conversational in a new language. And, with international travel searches over the last two months continuing to increase weekly, now is the best time to get that trip on the books. To help get you started, KAYAK curated travel hacks for its top trending destinations, based on Babbel's most popular languages (Spanish, French and Italian), to provide data-driven pricing insights for flights, stays and rental cars so you can easily plan and budget for your next trip. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, is seeing a 170% increase in search share compared to 2019; the best time to l book your flight is three months in advance Consider traveling to Nice, France, in January when median flight prices hover around $472 - a 36% decrease from flight prices in December - and average rental car prices are around only $36 per day! Celebrate the holidays in Florence, Italy, where you can snag a stay in December for as little as $133 per night - the cheapest stay of KAYAK's top- trending italian destinations Budget conscious travelers looking for an international getaway should consider Cancun, Mexico, where flight prices come in under $500 roundtrip "KAYAK's survey revealed nearly half of Gen Z (46%) have attempted to learn a language in preparation for an upcoming trip,By teaming up with Babbel, KAYAK is giving travelers access to even more tools to personalize and uplevel their travel experience with language content tailored for transit, dining and connecting with locals." - Matt Clarke, VP of NA Marketing at KAYAK When traveling wasn't an option, we still saw that one of the biggest reasons for Americans to learn a new language was preparing to travel," said Julie Hansen, US CEO, Babbel. "This shows that being able to communicate when visiting another country plays a big role in planning a trip. This is why we're partnering up with KAYAK to give travelers the best experience possible, from the time they decide on a destination to the adventures they have in their new language while away. Nearly half of Americans (46%) revealed that learning a language would positively impact their travel experience by making them more confident when traveling. So, KAYAK and Babbel are giving travelers the extra confidence boost they need by giving away 15 lifetime language subscriptions to Babbel via a holiday sweepstakes. And, three of those lucky few winners will receive the ultimate vacation experience which includes one lifetime subscription to Babbel and a $2,800 gift card to be used for a 7-night vacation to one of KAYAK's top trending destinations. About KAYAK KAYAK, part of Booking Holdings (NASDAQ: BKNG), is the world's leading travel search engine. With billions of queries across our platforms, we help people find their perfect flight, stay, rental car, cruise, vacation package. We also support business travelers with KAYAK for Business, our free corporate travel solution and are transforming the in-travel experience with our app and new hotel and accommodation software. For more information, visit www.KAYAK.com. About Babbel Boilerplate Babbel is driven by a purpose: Creating mutual understanding through language. This means building an ecosystem of language learning offerings that helps people connect across cultures. Babbel, Babbel Live and Babbel for Business provide users with the most effective solution to be able to communicate with real people, in real situations. The key is a blend of humanity and technology. More than 60,000 lessons across 15 languages are hand-crafted by 180+ linguists, with user behaviours continuously analysed to shape and tweak the learner experience. And it works: Studies with Yale University, City University of New York and Michigan State University prove its effectiveness. From headquarters in Berlin and New York, 750 people from more than 65 nationalities represent all the differences that make humans unique. Babbel is the most profitable language learning app worldwide, with more than 10 million subscriptions sold. For more information, visit www.babbel.com or download the apps in the App Store or Play Store. About YouGov Methodology This survey has been conducted using an online interview administered to members of the YouGov Plc panel of individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1190 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 27th - 28th October 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Etihad and Sabre announce long-term partnership with key technology renewals

Sabre Corporation | September 17, 2021

Sabre Corporation, a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, announced a renewed technology agreement with Etihad. Under the new agreement, Etihad will continue leveraging a suite of Sabre's industry-leading IT solutions to aid recovery, help drive post-pandemic growth and enhance the passenger experience. "As we focus on our recovery, it is imperative that we have the right technology in place" said Frank Meyer, Chief Digital Officer, Etihad Aviation Group. "Our strong relationship with Sabre and this renewed agreement means that we can continue to optimize our day-to-day operations." Etihad and Sabre have a successful and long-standing relationship, with the carrier already having seen tangible benefits from a suite of Sabre's network planning and scheduling, pricing and revenue management and cargo technology. Under the new multi-year agreement, the following products will be among an important suite of technology for Etihad as it focuses on optimizing its operations to fuel its recovery: Fares Optimizer – Uses near real-time responses to provide dynamic price recommendations for Etihad's fares. The solution will be crucial in helping Etihad improve its revenue. Network Planning and Optimization – this industry-leading planning and scheduling suite is able to scale to the largest airlines in the world. Powering more than 60% of the world's top airlines, Sabre's Schedule Manager will continue to help Etihad build and deliver robust, accurate and operationally feasible schedules across its network. Inflight – In previous years of using Sabre's Inflight solutions, Etihad has been able to achieve significant savings, while continuing to provide a world-class and award-winning guest experience onboard "Our renewed technology agreement with Etihad is testament to the airline's confidence in Sabre to deliver the advanced solutions needed to help secure its recovery, and help it to power future growth," said Roshan Mendis, Chief Commercial Officer, Travel Solutions, Sabre. "It is essential now more than ever that airlines like Etihad employ the most advanced technology to help stimulate demand, recover lost income and position themselves for future growth." About Sabre Corporation Sabre Corporation is a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, serving a wide range of travel companies including airlines, hoteliers, travel agencies and other suppliers. The company provides retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, drive revenue and offer personalized traveler experiences.

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FEATURES AND ADVICE

RoomRaccoon - The World's Number One Hotel Management System Now Available Across United States

RoomRaccoon | December 01, 2021

RoomRaccoon has expanded to the United States, offering accommodation property owners even greater opportunities to grow their business. Independent hotels in the U.S. will now have the chance to experience the full power of RoomRaccoon, the award-winning Hotel Management System (HMS). With the North American hotel market estimated to be worth $30.66 billion in 2020, RoomRaccoon can play a vital role in helping American hoteliers maximize their share of the market and navigate the new normal with virtual tools like contactless check-in. The Netherlands-based HMS provider has been available in Europe and Africa since 2017 and quickly became the preferred hotel tech solution for over 1,500 properties. In the months leading up to the full North American release, the company recruited and trained a team of local representatives who can offer hotel managers free online demos throughout the northern states and Canadian provinces. "This is a very important moment in the history of RoomRaccoon,Our mission is to empower hoteliers around the world, and this is a big step in that direction. We are excited about the opportunity to partner with hoteliers in North America." -Tymen Van Dyl, CEO, and co-founder of RoomRaccoon. RoomRaccoon is the most complete cloud hotel management system in the world that is designed to be easy to use and fully automated, offering hoteliers a simple, yet comprehensive solution that does the job of multiple hotel tech stacks. RoomRaccoon comes fully integrated with a Property Management System (PMS), Booking Engine, and Channel Manager, meaning you can manage everything from guest check-ins and check-outs, capture, and process direct bookings to instant rate and availability updates across multiple distribution channels in a snap. Other important tools and features that hoteliers benefit from include: Payment processing and card machine Revenue and Yield management Upsell functionality Guest ID scanner Financial reports Automated pre-stay, post-stay, and confirmation emails Online check-in Website builder With RoomRaccoon hoteliers can increase their occupancy rates, control their inventory, maximize their revenue and improve the overall guest experience. RoomRaccoon’s real power lies in the fact that it’s the most complete solution for the modern-day hotelier, said Van Dyl. Unlike legacy technology, RoomRaccoon is made to be compatible with over 138 third-party integrations. “North America opens up the opportunity to partner with even more innovative, fast-paced, and trend-setting companies. RoomRaccoon looks forward to expanding with our existing partners including Event Temple, Lightspeed, Expedia, and Ivvy. We’re excited to discover new opportunities where together we can make a real difference,” said Nick Kleynhans, Head of Partnerships at RoomRaccoon. Hoteliers can also keep an eye out for the RoomRaccoon team at hospitality expos and events next year. “We will be attending different events throughout North America. We believe in the power of events, meeting each other face-to-face, and getting to know the market,” said RoomRaccoon’s Event Planner Marit Hoencamp, who was behind the successful hospitality summit, Check-In 2021, hosted by RoomRaccoon where keynote speakers from Booking.com among others addressed important topics in the industry. What do RoomRaccoon clients think? Training on RoomRaccoon is a breeze compared to some other systems. As a team, we really understand the RoomRaccoon system," said Aimee Lawson, Assistant General Manager of Cloud Estate Boutique Hotel in Stellenbosch, South Africa. “RoomRaccoon has helped us improve our operations with the simplicity of the operating system from the front end and even from the back end. RoomRaccoon is the secret weapon to successful hotel management,” -Jayson Van Noordwyk, General Manager of O’Two Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa. What makes RoomRaccoon stand out in the crowded hotel tech space is the fact it is more than just a hotel tech company, RoomRaccoon is the brainchild of a hotelier who has first-hand experience of the daily operations and pain points involved in running a hotel. Nadja Buckenberger, the product owner at RoomRaccoon, faced many challenges when she first opened the doors of her own independent hotel, the Bliss Boutique Hotel in Breda, Netherlands. The crux was that she couldn’t find a single affordable solution that could manage all aspects of her property. That’s when she decided to join forces with Tymen to create one that could. About RoomRaccoon it was voted the best Hotel Management System in 2020 and 2021 by hotel managers and industry experts on Hotel Tech Report. The company was also nominated as the Netherlands’ fifth most successful software company in 2021 by Techleap.

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