WTTC implores G20 leaders to save tourism sector

Travel Daily Media | March 31, 2020

WTTC implores G20 leaders to save tourism sector
World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has urged the G20 leaders to execute crucial measures to save the travel and tourism sector following COVID-19, in a virtual meeting hosted by Saudi Arabia. According to the global tourism leaders, around 75 million jobs are at immediate risk. The association implored the G20 leaders to assign resources and coordinate efforts to rescue major travel businesses such as airlines, cruises, hotels, GDS and technology companies, as well as the SME’s, such as travel agents, tour operators, restaurants, independent workers and the entire supply chain, in order to save the jobs of the 330 million people who rely on travel and tourism for their livelihoods.

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To optimize travel spend and make data-driven decisions about your travel program and policy, you need to be able to easily access and understand the metrics that highlight savings opportunities, pinpoint your organization’s biggest corporate travel cost centers, and offer valuable insights into your travelers’ experience. How t

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Artificial Intelligence for True Cruise Opinion

Cruisewatch | April 30, 2021

We've always heard that the internet is filled with cruise reviews and ship ratings. Cruisewatch, a tech company, is using artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor online comments and customer ratings for the benefit of travel advisors and cruise lines worldwide. With its latest review intelligence, the firm will show travel experts how cruise brands are placed in the industry and compared to other products - all from the traveler's truthful viewpoint. Big Data Brings Big Insights The travel consumer, like almost every other industry, enjoys ratings and word of mouth. Travel experts must keep up to date on the opinions of their potential clients as well as the types of experiences that each ship can have. Since no travel agency has time to read through millions of reviews every day, the travel industry needs a more intelligent solution. Cruisewatch, a startup, has been dealing with this very problem, developing technology capable of processing massive volumes of textual online reviews at once. Their strategy is focused on artificial intelligence and big data. As a result, they will automatically interpret and contextualize the written word of a customer review and assess the worth of a cruise. Cruise Ratings and Customer Clustering Behind the tech buzzwords of machine learning and natural language processing is machinery that offers deep insights into consumer satisfaction and emotions. Cruisewatch's technology contextualizes feedback, groups it into categories, and recognizes the most positive and negative aspects of a cruise ship and brand. It then summarises the gathered data, showing all ranking aspects at a glance. Simultaneously, the intelligence collects demographic data from customers and correlates it with their statements: "There are no two similar customers. We segment the data based on the type of customer so that travel experts can make high-quality recommendations to their clients "Markus Stumpe, CEO of Cruisewatch, says. Cruisewatch intends to develop more smart cruise platforms to provide more useful insights into target groups and needs. To aid the industry's recovery from the Corona crisis, the company offers attractive offers to pilot customers. About Cruisewatch Cruisewatch.ai is a cruise startup funded by investors. They have been working to innovate the travel industry since 2016. The company's current goal is to digitize travel agents and experts all over the world. The company's data-driven and AI-powered cruise technology enhances cruise advice and enhances the sales workflow. Their product portfolio includes everything from market transparency tools including pricing alerts to customer insights and matchmaking tools. All are designed in modules that can be consumed separately.

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CRUISE

Carnival Cruise Line: Unvaccinated Floridians must have Travel Insurance to Sail

Carnival Cruise Line | July 14, 2021

Carnival Cruise Line has introduced a new requirement for unvaccinated Floridians who wish to go on vacation cruises. Those above the age of 12 who are not vaccinated will be required to purchase travel insurance for cruises departing from Florida homeports beginning July 31. When checking in, each visitor will be required to show proof of an insurance policy with a minimum of $10,000 in coverage. The insurance must also include $30,000 in coverage for emergency medical evacuation and must not include COVID-19 exclusions. On the proof of insurance, a guest can be named as either a policyholder or a beneficiary. If a guest does not have insurance, they will not be admitted and will not be refunded. According to Carnival, the coverage could be bought through Carnival Vacation Protection or any other travel insurance provider. Carnival Vacation Protection, on the other hand, is only accessible until 14 days before sailing for individuals who live in the following areas: The United States of America (excluding New York and Puerto Rico) Canada (excluding Quebec) The Virgin Islands of the United States (St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix) American Samoa. Guests who have been fully vaccinated do not need to purchase travel insurance but must provide proof of vaccination in the form of a vaccine card, digital COVID-19 certificate, and a record of immunization from a healthcare provider's health record or government immunization information system record. Carnival said that vaccinated guests might need the contact details of the clinic that issued the certificate in the case that the cruise ship has to verify it. Guests who have been vaccinated and those who have not been vaccinated may be tested. If the test is positive, the guest and their companions will not sail and will be quarantined locally. Those that need quarantine will get a future cruise credit.

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

United Airlines and Virgin Australia Group Announce New Partnership

United Airlines & Virgin Australia Group | December 14, 2021

United and Virgin Australia Group announced today a new partnership that will enhance the travel experience between Australia and the Americas. This partnership will add more benefits for both MileagePlus and Velocity Frequent Flyer members as well as access to more one-stop connections to cities across the United States, Australia, Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America. The agreement, which is subject to government approval, is set to roll out starting in early 2022.Australia has always been a key part of United's network as demonstrated by United being the only carrier to maintain passenger service between the U.S. and Australia throughout the pandemic. In addition, United offers more flights to Australia than any other U.S. carrier and now extends its presence by adding Virgin Australia Group's comprehensive network. "The United States and Australia share a special bond and I'm especially proud that United was the only airline to maintain a vital link between these two countries throughout the pandemic,Looking ahead, Virgin Australia is the perfect partner for United. Our partnership provides considerable commercial value for both airlines and a shared commitment to offer the best travel experience for our customers." -United CEO Scott Kirby. United currently offers daily direct flights from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Sydney, while other services including flights from Houston and direct services to Melbourne are expected to resume later in 2022. Under this new partnership, United's customers will now have access to top Australian destinations including Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. In addition to the ability to redeem and earn points/miles, eligible premier MileagePlus and Velocity members will also receive the following benefits when flying on United and Virgin Australia worldwide: Priority check-in Priority boarding Priority baggage delivery and additional baggage check allowance Priority security clearance Lounge access The partnership will also triple Virgin Australia's reach into the U.S., with customers accessing United's vast domestic and international network, connecting at United's multiple Australian gateways. The partnership is another significant customer enhancement for the relaunched Virgin Australia, that will also see the airline resume the sale of codeshare flights at virginaustralia.com, starting with United services in early 2022, followed by the airline's other international partners. Virgin Australia first paused the sale of codeshare flights on its website at the height of the pandemic, and today's announcement will open a new gateway for travel between Australia and the U.S. and beyond. "We are grateful to have such a strong partner in United,They have proudly been one of Australia's most loyal and long serving aviation partners and their market strength both to Australia and in the United States brings great value to our guests. We look forward to innovating together on behalf of our guests to ensure they have the very best travel experiences to over 90 destinations in the U.S." -Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka. Committed to Ensuring a Safe Journey United is committed to putting health and safety at the forefront of every customer's journey, with the goal of delivering an industry-leading standard of cleanliness through its United CleanPlus SM program. United has teamed up with Clorox and Cleveland Clinic to redefine cleaning and health safety procedures from check-in to landing and has implemented more than a dozen new policies, protocols and innovations designed with the safety of customers and employees in mind. To manage entry requirements in different destinations, and find places to get tests, customer can visit United's Travel Ready Center. United Next United is more focused than ever on its commitment to customers and employees. In addition to today's announcement, United has recently: Launched an ambitious plan to transform the United customer experience by adding and upgrading hundreds of aircraft as well as investing in features like larger overhead bins, seatback entertainment in every seat and the industry's fastest available Wi-Fi. Announced a goal to create 25,000 unionized jobs by 2026 that includes careers as pilots, flight attendants, agents, technicians, and dispatchers. Announced that United will train at least 5,000 pilots by 2030 through the United Aviate Academy, with the plan of at least half being women and people of color. Required all U.S. employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Became the first airline to offer customers the ability to check their destination's travel requirements, schedule COVID-19 tests and more on its mobile app and website. Invested in emerging technologies that are designed to decarbonize air travel, like an agreement to work with urban air mobility company Archer, an investment in aircraft startup Heart Aerospace and a purchase agreement with Boom Supersonic. Committed to going 100% green by 2050 by reducing 100% of our greenhouse gas emissions without relying on traditional carbon offsets, including a recent agreement to purchase one and a half times the amount of all of the rest of the world's airlines' publicly announced Sustainable Aviation Fuel commitments combined. Eliminated change fees for all economy and premium cabin tickets for travel within the U.S. About United United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." In 2019, United and United Express® carriers operated more than 1.7 million flights carrying more than 162 million customers. United has the most comprehensive route network among North American carriers, including U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. For more about how to join the United team, please visit united.com/careers and more information about the company is at united.com. United Airlines Holdings, Inc. is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL". About Virgin Australia Virgin Australia Group is a major Australian airline operating scheduled domestic and short-haul international flights, charter and cargo services, and the award-winning loyalty program Velocity Frequent Flyer.The Group has been a competitor in the Australian aviation landscape for more than 20 years, carrying tens of millions of passengers in that time and operates three seating choices; Economy, Economy X (extra leg room Economy) and Business Class.Virgin Australia is now embarking on an exciting new chapter. In September 2020, US private equity firm Bain Capital acquired Virgin Australia and relaunched it as a mid-market carrier with a renewed focus on its heartland customer. Since that time the airline has simplified its fleet structure to an all-Boeing 737 fleet and has made significant investments in technology and customer experience. Virgin Australia is focussed on creating great experiences and has won many awards over the years including Best Cabin Crew, Best Domestic Airline and Best Economy Class. Velocity Frequent Flyer has also scooped a wealth of prestigious gongs including the Freddie Awards Best Program of the Year and Best Redemption Ability for Asia/Middle East and Oceania.+

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Spotlight

To optimize travel spend and make data-driven decisions about your travel program and policy, you need to be able to easily access and understand the metrics that highlight savings opportunities, pinpoint your organization’s biggest corporate travel cost centers, and offer valuable insights into your travelers’ experience. How t