World Travel Market: South Africa expects to attract 21 million tourists by 2030

Travel and Tour World | April 12, 2019

World Travel Market: South Africa expects to attract 21 million tourists by 2030
The Tourism Business Council of South Africa expects that the country expects 21 million tourists by 2030.  At, Cape Town International Convention Centre, the tourism council leaders said that hundreds of millions worth of currency would change hands in the coming days.The World Travel Market (WTM) Africa began in Cape Town and focuses on promoting and networking the tourism industry in Africa. In 2017, $365m (about R5.1bn) was exchanged in business transactions at the three-day event. Nearly 6,000 industry professionals are expected to attend.

Spotlight

A new generation of Millennial employees (21 to 30-year-olds) is poised to become a stronghold in the workforce and they are bringing their intensive technology habits with them. A proliferation of consumer and business-focused mobile travel apps and websites designed to meet the needs of this new generation is taking its place alongside traditional corporate online booking tools and consumer travel websites.

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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 Sojern Report Shows Travel Marketers' 2021 Plans for Digital Advertising

Sojern | August 25, 2021

Sojern, a leading provider of digital travel marketing solutions, today published a new report titled, “How Travel Marketers Are Activating Digital Advertising in 2021.” Worldwide Business Research (WBR) Insights surveyed senior decision makers in Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America, and Middle East and Africa who own the marketing budget for a hotel, attraction or tourism brand. These 300 travel marketers shared key challenges faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led them to test new solutions, innovate with new messaging, and generally do more with less. “The last 18-months have been quite the rollercoaster for travel marketers navigating the global pandemic, but one thing is clear: travel marketers are more focused than ever before on effectively and efficiently spending precious resources to drive a business return,” said Noreen Henry, Chief Revenue Officer, Sojern. “In this environment you need to be agile, data-driven and optimistic—travel is coming back and it’s a great time to take part in that recovery.” Key findings of travel marketers surveyed include: 56 percent agree that the current environment is ideal for direct response campaigns. Travellers are booking directly because of clearer cancelation or refund policies, coupled with their frustrating experiences navigating online travel agency (OTA) reimbursements for cancelled trips. 88 percent have increased or kept their digital advertising strategy budget the same since COVID-19. 87 percent tightened spending on brand campaigns and increased spending on performance campaigns in 2020. 84 percent rated machine learning and artificial intelligence as top priority for personalisation across channels. Consumers are eager to travel, and with the increasingly widespread administration of COVID-19 vaccines, the hard hit travel, media, and entertainment industries are all expected to rebound in 2021. The upward swing is already under way, with a surge in domestic and regional tourism, as newly vaccinated consumers exercise the option to travel within their own borders.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

A Global Travel Agency Discovers a Side Hustle Selling Its Own Technology

ATPI | July 06, 2021

When faced with a crisis, the travel industry reacts in a variety of ways. ATPI’s solution to the pandemic is to join the other mega-agencies that offer technology to other travel agencies. What ATPI may discover: licensing may be a complicated process. ATPI’s track record with technology companies works to its advantage. For example, it recently invested $1.4 million in TapTrip and almost $350,000 in Singapore’s Greywing platform. According to its CEO, it now wants to “liberate” its platform and generate money by licensing it to other companies that may not have the means to create their own. “The technology stacks that we’ve developed, we’re going to move into a different division so that, in addition to a travel management business arm, we’ll have our technology arm,” Ian Sinderson said. ATPI has fared quite well in comparison to many of its rivals due to rising ties with the robust marine and cargo transport industries. It had a profit of $15 million last year, although that number was 50% lower than in 2019. Selling software could compensate for income lost. When it formally launches in the coming months, its new technology arm, TripStax, will be a semi-autonomous company. TripStax was founded in August of last year, although ATPI experimented with various names, registering Travelstax and Lemonstack with the UK’s Companies House along the way. TripStax will provide a full suite of platforms, including a booking tool, profile manager, analytics, duty of care, and traveler tracking platforms – key elements of technology that the agency has spent significant time developing internally, according to Sinderson. GETTING THE BEST DEAL ATPI is not the only agency to license a software-as-a-service travel platform to third parties; several of the industry’s larger players do as well. With their vast resources, they have greater opportunities to develop, or even buy, specialized platforms. For example, American Express Global Business Travel has over 200 agencies signed up for its GBT Partnership Solutions section. They may, for example, utilize its booking tool, Neo, which assists the agency in filling gaps in its footprint. In addition, this premise collaborates with companies such as Kanoo in the Middle East and Tourvest in South Africa. But what does it think of ATPI’s venture into software licensing? If Amex GBT’s acquisition of Egencia goes through, it may be able to expand this segment of its company. “Teaming Egencia with GBT’s Supply MarketPlace, one of the most extensive sources for information and experiences for business travelers,” it said in a statement. It is now seeking a vice president for its GBT Partnership Solutions business. However, one expert has warned that any agency selling its technology must guarantee that it is mature and flexible. “There is always a gap between utilizing a system inside one business and then providing it to a wider audience,” said Guy Sneglar, senior vice president, global travel technology integration, Partnership Travel Consulting. Amex GBT’s Ahluwalia noted many legal, compliance, data privacy, and regulatory concerns to address before in-house solutions could compete with a third party. Then there are concerns about the content that comes with the technological product and other business structures. Branching out has proven beneficial over the years, with some spin-offs taking on a life of their own. For example, Atriis, a managed travel technology platform, was founded in 2013 as a joint venture between Amsalem Travel in Israel and Portman Travel (acquired by Clarity Travel) in the United Kingdom. HRG also found success with developing its expense tool Fraedom, while the UK corporate train booking site Evolvi was initially developed by Harry Weeks Travel, a 1954 agency.

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Spotlight

A new generation of Millennial employees (21 to 30-year-olds) is poised to become a stronghold in the workforce and they are bringing their intensive technology habits with them. A proliferation of consumer and business-focused mobile travel apps and websites designed to meet the needs of this new generation is taking its place alongside traditional corporate online booking tools and consumer travel websites.