Wyndham Hotels & Resorts announces major overhaul of brands, new tech initiatives

Business Traveller | October 01, 2019

Business travellers to the United States staying in hotel brands under the Wyndham Hotels & Resorts umbrella can expect to see some changes to their travel experience in the near future, and travellers around the Asia-Pacific region can look forward to seeing several new openings from the company.The US-based company has used the occasion of its 2019 Global Conference in Las Vegas this week to announce a slew of upgrades to several of its brands, which it says will help meet the needs of today’s travellers.

Spotlight

Ohrid and the lake of the same name are situated in the south west of Macedonia and the ‘pearl’ of all Macedonian towns has a long and colourful history. It became the centre of Orthodox Christianity in the Balkans and a large number of churches and monasteries were built. The Sveta Bogorodica Perivlepta Church is situated on a hill in the old town and missionaries Kliment and Naum came to Ohrid in 885 A.D. Kliment became bishop of Ohrid and founded the first Slav academy. Next to the church is Ohrid’s famous icon gallery that contains exhibits from the 11th to the 19th century including valuable images of Saint Kliment and Saint Naum. The splendour of the frescos makes it easy to understand why this area has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This treasure trove of Byzantine art and architecture is the birthplace of Slav Christianity. The churches and monasteries of Ohrid look like something straight out of a fairy tale kingdom yet they are the original witnesses of Orthodox Christianity in the Balkans.

Spotlight

Ohrid and the lake of the same name are situated in the south west of Macedonia and the ‘pearl’ of all Macedonian towns has a long and colourful history. It became the centre of Orthodox Christianity in the Balkans and a large number of churches and monasteries were built. The Sveta Bogorodica Perivlepta Church is situated on a hill in the old town and missionaries Kliment and Naum came to Ohrid in 885 A.D. Kliment became bishop of Ohrid and founded the first Slav academy. Next to the church is Ohrid’s famous icon gallery that contains exhibits from the 11th to the 19th century including valuable images of Saint Kliment and Saint Naum. The splendour of the frescos makes it easy to understand why this area has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This treasure trove of Byzantine art and architecture is the birthplace of Slav Christianity. The churches and monasteries of Ohrid look like something straight out of a fairy tale kingdom yet they are the original witnesses of Orthodox Christianity in the Balkans.

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Travel + Leisure Launches New Branded Products For At Home And The Road

Travel + Leisure Group, Sobel Westex | August 27, 2021

The growing suite of consumer products and services developed by Travel + Leisure will soon include at-home luxury inspired by the world’s best destinations and resorts. Travel + Leisure Group has signed a licensing agreement with Sobel Westex – the leading provider of luxury hotel bedding, pillows and linens for the home that offer all of the comfort of a deluxe hotel room – to produce an exclusive collection of luxury linens and accessories. The company’s new product line also includes the Travelpro® x Travel + Leisure luggage collection, which recently extended its retail footprint into several Bloomingdale’s flagship locations, as well as the luxury retailer’s online store. “Travel + Leisure has been the tastemaker authority on travel and lifestyle for 50 years,” said Noah Brodsky, president of Travel + Leisure Group and chief brand officer for Travel + Leisure Co. “We are incredibly excited for our experts to collaborate with Sobel Westex and other trusted partners to help people live the Travel + Leisure lifestyle with their favorite goods, whether on a dream vacation or relaxing at home.” Travel + Leisure has partnered with Travelpro, the most trusted luggage brand, to craft the perfect luggage collection — sleek, but with every bit of the functionality for the discerning traveler. From the spacious interior pockets that zip to enclose each side of the suitcase to the deceptively lightweight hard shell exterior, every product detail in the collection is considered with avid leisure travelers in mind. The Travelpro x Travel + Leisure luggage collection is available for purchase online and exclusively at several flagship Bloomingdale’s retail locations through 2021, with plans to expand into additional stores by the fall. Travelpro x Travel + Leisure luggage can be found in Bloomingdale’s stores at 59th Street in New York City; Aventura Mall in Miami, FL; South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, CA; Tysons Corner in Tysons, VA; and Bergen Shops at Riverside in Hackensack, NJ. Consumers can expect to see the Travel + Leisure linens collection from Sobel Westex available for purchase next year. The new retail offerings are a part of the group’s larger mission to take the Travel + Leisure brand beyond inspirational content and bring it to life through a curated suite of consumer products and services. In less than a year, the company has already launched an online travel gateway and will soon offer a new subscription travel club, among other new product offerings. About Travel + Leisure Group Travel + Leisure Group offers travelers a way to turn vacation inspiration into exceptional experiences through the top online and print travel content, online travel subscription and booking services, and branded consumer products all together in one place. About Sobel Westex Sobel Westex is the leading textile supplier in both US and Global textile markets with capabilities that extend beyond the ordinary. Sobel Westex is known for its designs, manufacturing and distribution globally, while being a trusted supplier to world class brands and strategic partners for over 30+ years.

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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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Expedia Group and Bilt Rewards Launch Exclusive Travel Portal

Expedia Group | July 01, 2022

On June 30, Expedia Group, the leading travel technology platform, announced the launch of the new Bilt Travel Portal in collaboration with Bilt Rewards. It will be available exclusively to Bilt Rewards members. Members of Bilt Rewards can use their Bilt points to cover all or a portion of the cost of their next vacation and can book every aspect of their trip directly through the Bilt Rewards app, from flights to hotels and even theme park or Broadway show tickets. Bilt members can access more than 700,000 properties, 500 airlines, 120 car rental companies, and thousands of activities worldwide, thanks to Expedia Group's White Label Template technology. 1 White Label Template includes all of the functionality of the Expedia.com site, as well as tools and customer support to assist Bilt members with questions or bookings. Expedia Group's expert knowledge of the travel industry is combined with a nearly $2 billion annual investment in new technology innovation to meet the changing needs and demands of both partners and travelers. Travel is among the most important experiences to our members, who don’t want to be limited when it comes to using their hard-earned loyalty points, said Bilt Rewards Founder and CEO Ankur Jain. Partnering with Expedia Group enables us to give members a one-stop-shop with access to endless travel options, along with the easy integration to create a seamless booking experience. “We’re excited to power the Bilt Travel Portal, and to help the Bilt Rewards members build the vacation of their dreams simply by paying rent,Our innovative solutions provide Bilt Rewards with technology they need to build a wonderful experience and offer an unparalleled amount of travel options to their members.” -Christian Gerron, senior vice president, Media & Brand Partnerships, Expedia Group. Bilt Rewards members can access the Bilt Travel Portal powered by Expedia Group by logging into the Bilt Rewards app or visiting travel.biltrewards.com and entering their Bilt Rewards login credentials to view available travel supply and booking options. When booking in real-time, members will be able to see the value of their Bilt points, with 10,000 Bilt points equaling $125 in travel credits. Members will also earn 2x points for bookings made through the Bilt Travel Portal with their Bilt Mastercard, and 1x point for bookings made with another form of payment. Bilt Rewards, which will be available in June 2021, is the first-ever loyalty program and co-brand credit card for renters, allowing 109 million renters in the United States to earn points on their largest monthly expense with no fees. Renters can access the free Bilt Rewards loyalty program by living within the Bilt Rewards Alliance, a network of over 2 million rental units in the United States, or by using the Bilt Mastercard, the first credit card that can be used to pay rent with no transaction fees at any rental unit in the United States. In addition, Bilt members have access to one of the most valuable rewards programs available, with the ability to redeem points for travel, boutique fitness classes, limited-edition art, and home décor, as well as rent credits and even a down payment on a future home. Members now have access to thousands of new options for redeeming their points thanks to the addition of the Bilt Travel Portal powered by Expedia Group, further increasing the value of Bilt's

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