World tourism faces worst crisis since records began, says UNWTO

UNWTO | May 07, 2020

International tourism faces its worst crisis since records began, with up to 1.1bn fewer people taking trips globally in 2020. The scale of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact is outlined in a report by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), which predicts a decline in international arrivals of between 58% and 80% this year.

This is due to widespread travel restrictions and the closure of airports and borders worldwide. The prediction of a 58% decline is based on the gradual reopening of international borders and easing of travel restrictions in early July; the 80% figure is based on early December.

Spotlight

American Express has acquired artificial intelligence-powered assistant Mezi, which co-founder and CEO Swapnil Shinde says upends the current “DIY” trend of travel search and booking into a “do-it-for-me” model. “We use Uber to have someone drive us around, we use Door Dash so someone can get our favorite food and deliver it to us.

Spotlight

American Express has acquired artificial intelligence-powered assistant Mezi, which co-founder and CEO Swapnil Shinde says upends the current “DIY” trend of travel search and booking into a “do-it-for-me” model. “We use Uber to have someone drive us around, we use Door Dash so someone can get our favorite food and deliver it to us.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Agilysys Introduces 13 Hospitality Solution Studios

Agilysys | June 29, 2022

At the HITECH Orlando 2022, Agilysys, Inc. introduced 13 Hospitality Solution Studios. Each of these studios is tailored to improve Return on Experience (ROE) in a defined type of venue. ROE is a metric to measure how technology creates more engaged and empowered staff members and returning guests that spend more, and leave detailed reviews. “Businesses are disappointed when they force-fit generically designed technology into their unique operations. On the other hand, if they build proprietary solutions they sacrifice scale, evolutionary pace and interoperability as surrounding systems advance. Our Hospitality Solution Studios circumvent this challenge by combining our core solutions with the right Experience Enhancers – which address specific and finite tasks such as guest-controlled mobile ordering – for each type of venue. The technology is modular and integrated, so it is much easier to manage and evolve than tailored solutions cobbled together from different vendors.” -Don DeMarinis, senior vice president of Agilysys, Agilysys now offers these 13 Hospitality Solution Studios to maximize ROE: Hotel Studio for the priorities of owners, managers, and property management companies operating portfolios of branded properties across multiple locations. Resort Solution Studio for understanding and optimizing experiences for guests and staff across all property venues and amenity touchpoints and across the complete time horizon of each guest relationship and staff member relationship. Casino Solution Studio to accommodate complexities at properties that host both casino guests and non-casino guests, as well as heightened cybersecurity stringency and multi-layered approaches to earning and redeeming loyalty points and rewards. Cruise Solution Studio to accommodate the unique timeframe, capacity, and international monetary requirements of optimizing experiences on cruise ships. Independent Property Solution Studio for the priorities of non-branded property owners and managers. Management Company Solution Studio to deliver the data-driven insights and operational efficiencies required to optimize property performance and accommodates the unique requirements of combining condominium ownership, rental and management workflows and reports with non-owned unit rentals and management. Campus Solution Studio to cater to the food and beverage ordering process, payment and delivery management requirements across students, guests, and staff. Hospital Solution Studio to address the food and beverage operations and nutrition management in hospitals and across care networks. Lifestyle Community Solution Studio to address unit ownership and management needs, food and beverage operations and resort-like amenity management. Senior Living Solution Studio for providing hospitality experiences to an aging population of guests and skill-credentialed staff. Theme Park Solution Studio for managing dispersed hospitality touchpoints, delivering ubiquitous mobility, and optimizing highly varied food and beverage operations. Stadium Solution Studio to handle periods of intense demand and high transaction volume, mobile food and beverage ordering and delivery, and secure contactless payments. Corporate Dining Solution Studio to offer food and beverage ordering and delivery options across corporate campus venues with varying operating hours, item selections and direct-to-office delivery options, as well as to accommodate company-specific payment plans and methods. “Delivering hospitality experiences exceptionally well can be a game-changer for businesses outside the realm of traditional hospitality, Meeting demand smoothly and flawlessly can create a strong bond between guests and venues, and between employees and employers. Conversely, hospitality disappointments can strain loyalty and break bonds. We enjoy helping a wide variety of businesses and operations get hospitality right so that it serves as an important business lever,” -Don DeMarinis, senior vice president of Agilysys

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

HRS Offering Advanced Procurement Consulting and Technology to Hotels to Support Expedited RFP Response for Returning Corporate Volume

HRS | August 01, 2022

HRS, the leading global corporate travel and payment technology platform, announced the offering of its full range of consulting services to the hotel community in the coming months to support a revitalized corporate lodging ecosystem. Beyond data-driven consultation that reflects the hotel priorities of its corporate clients, HRS automation gives hotel sales teams the ability to access and more efficiently bid for corporate volume – all at a time when more corporate programs are using the RFP process to negotiate not only rates, but other elements vital to business travelers as they get back on the road.HRS, playing its part to facilitate corporate lodging’s recovery, is offering this unique package of localized consulting, unlimited bid refinement and RFP support at no charge to the hotel community. Among its growing client base, HRS works with 35 percent of Fortune 500 companies on their hotel programs. “It’s a new time for hotel corporate sales leaders. Travel patterns and dynamics are different, as are the definitions of 'travel' and 'workspace' for corporations, With volume rebounding and companies honing in on regional and national projections, married with the reality of diminished resources at many hotels, HRS is stepping up to help facilitate more opportunities for hotels to bid. Our unbiased RFP technology, data-driven analysis, and experts on the ground in key markets stand ready to help relevant hoteliers compete for these room nights.” -Lukasz Dabrowski, HRS’ senior vice president of global supplier relations. Optimized Tools Help Hoteliers Analyze & Refine Corporate Volume Bids HRS technology – with elements built specifically to aid hotels as they contend for corporate volume – is especially helpful for hoteliers at a time when companies are increasing their submission of RFPs and hotel sales teams are being re-built in the wake of the pandemic. In this fluid environment, it allows hoteliers 24x7 access to refine, revise and re-submit bid terms – all at no cost – as appropriate during the negotiation window. Other time-saving highlights include: Optimized bid submission processes that illustrate the progress towards completion of the submission, mandatory elements, and more Ability to anonymously view elements of competing hotel bids Multiple pre-filled fields in RFPs, reducing the time it takes for hoteliers to respond Simplified user-flow that addresses evolving corporate requests Efficient avenues to address the convergence of RFPs for different segments Transformative Attribute-Based Lodging Procurement, as Priorities and Process Have Evolved As new patterns come to light in the nascent post-pandemic corporate lodging arena, HRS is combining the buying concepts for transient, group, meetings and new Longstay segments to showcase the totality of anticipated client spend. Reflecting the new priorities of corporations – ranging beyond simple rates and amenities – HRS is helping hoteliers align with the most important elements of modern corporate hotel programs. This is particularly vital given the unforeseen elements impacting corporate travel procurement in varying locations, including items such as pandemic outbreaks, political instability, environmental changes and weather-related catastrophes. The “5S framework,” introduced by HRS in 2021, has proven effective in capturing the evolving scope of new requirements from the vast majority of corporate hotel programs. HRS is educating its hotel partners about the 5S framework and how addressing these elements on an ongoing basis can help hoteliers win more recurring volume. The 5S framework covers: Safety Satisfaction Savings Sustainability Security HRS is committed to working transparently with corporations and hotels to drive more automated, expedient negotiations, concludes Dabrowski. There is no longer a 'RFP Season' per se. Instead, automation is driving shortened four-week cycles that allow corporations to be nimbler and more targeted in their procurement activities all year long. Mix that in with prioritized hygiene and sustainability requirements, and hotels are competing in a totally transformed procurement process. 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

Agilysis Becomes a Visa Ready Certified Partner

Agilysys | June 27, 2022

On June 23, Agilysys, a leading provider of next-generation SaaS and on-premise hospitality software solutions and services, announced that it was a Visa Ready certified partner. This partnership will give Agilysys hospitality clients, and their guests, a secure technology solution for payments. Visa’s ‘tap to pay’ payments for cardholders with a contactless chip card for mobile payment-enabled device is secure, touch-free and convenient. Visa Tap to Pay technology needs strict EMV requirements which Agilysys will follow for all its property management system (PMS) and point-of-sale (POS) applications that accept payments. "As a Visa Ready for Tap to Pay certified partner, our merchant partners are able to provide their guests with a fast and convenient method of payment, greatly enhancing the guest experience, While Agilysys provides a comprehensive suite of innovative hospitality solutions, we remain focused on keeping pace with evolving payment needs of our hospitality partners and providing our merchant partners with secure payment solutions." -Rohith Kori, Vice President Product and Corporate Strategy for Agilysys We are proud to work alongside such an esteemed leader in digital payments," added Kori. "Our ability to offer fast, convenient and secure payment options will allow our clients to accept more transactions, and ultimately increase revenue in these outlets. Tradition POS devices and mobile POS and PMS terminals, can easily process payments. Agilysys Pay supports all Visa contactless EMV requirements. Consequently, all Agilysys PMS and POS applications that accept payments will support these requirements.

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