Yucatan Continues to Push Toward Tourism Reopening

Travelpulse | July 27, 2020

A hotel opening and an increase in air connectivity are driving the tourism reopening in the Yucatan. These are the two latest developments in the state tourism board’s activation of its three-phase Tourism Recovery Plan, which includes health care, preservation of tourism operations with more than $1.3 million in loans granted to sector workers and market reactivation.

Spotlight

For over 20 years, Sagittarius has worked with many travel clients, supporting them on their journey to improved customer experience and digital greatness. One thing that has become apparent in recent years is that while they all have their own individual business and digital challenges, there are a number of constant themes running through the industry. After some reflection and discussion, we asked ourselves what were these challenges facing travel brands in the next 12-18 months?

Spotlight

For over 20 years, Sagittarius has worked with many travel clients, supporting them on their journey to improved customer experience and digital greatness. One thing that has become apparent in recent years is that while they all have their own individual business and digital challenges, there are a number of constant themes running through the industry. After some reflection and discussion, we asked ourselves what were these challenges facing travel brands in the next 12-18 months?

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AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

Fareportal and Air Carrier aha! Join Forces to Serve US Regional Air Travelers

Fareportal | December 08, 2021

Fareportal, the travel technology company behind leading online travel agencies CheapOair and OneTravel has announced the addition of aha! to the over 600 air carriers already available via the company's online websites. The brands were the first of the major OTA's to be selected as a preferred partner and reach an agreement with the new airline. aha! went live on CheapOair and OneTravel in late November of this year. aha! is a leisure airline brand of Expressjet Airlines, and provides service to smaller communities with convenient, short, nonstop flights to in-demand destinations such as Reno-Lake Tahoe. "Air service to smaller communities has reduced over the last decade, and yet consumer demand for regional travel options continues. Our company's focus on innovative technology to enhance the travel experience led aha! to CheapOair and OneTravel. We are extremely pleased to partner with aha! to provide this needed service to the traveling public." -Werner Kunz-Cho, CEO of Fareportal Subodh Karnik, Chairman and CEO of Expressjet states, Fareportal is a travel technology innovator, and we appreciate Cheapoair & OneTravel's ability to provide travelers with easy-to-book, customized air travel solutions. We are pleased to partner with Fareportal to market aha!'s reasonably priced, nonstop flights between Reno-Tahoe and cities in the western United States. Domestic air travel in the United States has been strong in the last half of 2020, and experts expect US travel volume to continue to increase in 2022. To service this demand, aha! has an aggressive route expansion strategy planned for the year. About CheapOair CheapOair is an online travel agency that specializes in providing cheap flights and great last-minute flight deals for travelers worldwide. Consumers can book online, on mobile apps for iOS and Android, by phone or live chat. Part of Fareportal's family of travel brands, CheapOair bridges the gap between an online travel agency and a traditional agency with travel agents available worldwide to help find great deals on flights to global destinations on over 600 airlines, a million lodgings, and 100s of car rental companies. Follow CheapOair on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for travel inspiration and helpful travel tips.  About Fareportal   Fareportal is a travel technology company powering a next-generation travel concierge service. Utilizing its innovative technology and company owned and operated global contact centers, Fareportal has built strong industry partnerships providing customers access to over 600 airlines, a million hotels, and hundreds of car rental companies around the globe. With a portfolio of consumer travel brands including CheapOair and One Travel, Fareportal enables consumers to book online, on mobile apps for iOS and Android, by phone, or live chat. Fareportal provides its airline partners with access to a broad customer base that books high-yielding international and domestic flight, hotel and other travel and add-on ancillaries.  About aha! aha! is a leisure brand of ExpressJet Airlines. aha! seeks to provide travelers in smaller communities, many who have seen air service reduced over the past decade through airline mergers, with convenient, short, nonstop flights to high-quality destinations like the Reno-Lake Tahoe region. In addition to offering value-priced, nonstop flights, aha! will soon partner with resorts, casinos, and attractions to "bundle" value-priced vacation packages. About ExpressJet Airlines ExpressJet Airlines is the union of Atlantic Southeast Airlines and Continental Express and operates Embraer ERJ145 regional jet aircraft. Over its 35-year history, ExpressJet has flown most Embraer, Bombardier, and ATR aircraft from cities across the continental United States into airports in the USA, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. ExpressJet is majority owned by KAir Enterprises with United Airlines holding a minority interest.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Avoya Travel Launches New Communication Technology

Avoya Travel | January 12, 2021

Avoya Travel as of late launched new communication technology as a component of the Avoya platform named Avoya Conversations. Avoya Conversations offers Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network the alternative to speak with clients by means of instant message through a simple to-utilize framework that is coordinated into Avoya's protected SaaS technology, Agent Power. The initial rollout of the new technology highlights text messaging, while future phases will incorporate different completely coordinated correspondence choices including live chat, third-party applications like WhatsApp and more. Avoya Conversations is intended to be a traveler-driven help pointed toward offering communication alternatives dependent on every traveler's individual communication preferences (for example text, email, phone, etc.) The combination of the technology into Avoya's foundation considers constant communication through the Agent Power CRM, where travelers and Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network can connect directly.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Spirit Airlines Overhauls Dallas Fort Worth with New Check-In Technology Designed to Streamline the Travel Experience

Spirit Airlines: | December 09, 2021

Guests are now checking out the latest evolution in check-in technology at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). Spirit Airlines (NYSE:SAVE) unveiled its automated self-bag drop experience with biometric photo-matching system, which represents a new paradigm for the U.S. airline industry. The redesigned ticket lobby is packed with industry-leading technology designed to limit face-to-face interaction, streamline flight check-ins and get Guests from the curb to the brightest planes in the sky quicker than ever.Spirit's self-bag drop system is now currently operating at New York's LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and Chicago O'Hare, and it was recently recognized for two prestigious awards. The "2021 Best Airport Innovation" by the APEX/IFSA Awards, and also a Gold Stevie® Award winner for The Best New Transportation Product or Service in The 2021 American Business Awards®. The airline began developing the nation's first biometric photo-matching solution for domestic air travel in 2019 with its partner Materna Intelligent Passenger Solutions (IPS) North America. Spirit was also the first to pursue combining it with automated self-bag drop capabilities to reduce face-to-face interaction. Following an initial testing period at DFW with both manual ID check and biometric opt-in, the biometric photo-matching solution will eliminate the need to stop and hand government-issued identification to an agent when checking baggage. Here's how biometric photo-matching works: Guests start by tagging their own checked bags after checking in at the kiosk and then proceed to the automated self-bag drops. Guests are advised of the biometric option after scanning their boarding pass at the self-bag drop unit. They may either opt in and continue unassisted or opt out for agent-assisted service. Once the Guest opts in, the unit instructs them to scan their ID on the built-in hardware. The unit compares its scan of the photo on the ID with a facial scan captured by its on-board camera, along with comparing identification information with the Guest's reservation details. None of the data is transmitted to any government agency. A successful match initiates the rest of the automated bag check-in process. Guests are instructed to place their bags on the conveyor belt attached to the unit, which then scans the bags, weighs them, accepts payment for any additional optional services, and sends them straight into their airport's checked baggage system without any further action from the Guest. "We've been on a mission to find opportunities to continue improving every facet of the Guest experience, to include investing in automation and self-service to streamline the travel journey so Guests spend less time in lobbies,Our Guests are tech-savvy, and they appreciate options. Also, limiting touchpoints and unnecessary face-to-face interactions is currently changing the way airports operate." -Mike Byrom, Vice President of Airport Services for Spirit Airlines. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport is committed to identifying and testing innovative solutions that deliver secure, efficient and frictionless customer experiences," said DFW Airport Vice President of Innovation Jodie Brinkerhoff. "We are excited to support our partner Spirit Airlines as it introduces a self-directed, biometrically enabled check-in and bag drop process—which ultimately provide the customer with greater control and fewer requirements for face-to-face processing and document exchanges. Spirit Guests currently check between 400–500 bags daily at DFW and growing, and each of which represents a face-to-face interaction that can be streamlined. Testing data shows the new procedure drops average processing time to just 70 seconds per Guest, reducing time spent at bag check by 30 percent. Additionally, Guests can take advantage of the time savings and reduction in face-to-face interactions whether they're travelling domestically or internationally. The self-bag drop system uses software capable of analyzing key physical features on more than 50,000 forms of ID from nearly 200 countries that a Guest could potentially use when travelling in the United States. Combined with the units' scanning hardware, the software confirms the authenticity of an ID and rejects fraudulent documents. About Spirit Airlines:  Spirit Airlines (NYSE: SAVE) is committed to delivering the best value in the sky. We are the leader in providing customizable travel options starting with an unbundled fare. This allows our Guests to pay only for the options they choose — like bags, seat assignments and refreshments something we call Á La Smarte. We make it possible for our Guests to venture further and discover more than ever before. Our Fit Fleet® is one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient in the U.S. We serve destinations throughout the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean, and are dedicated to giving back and improving those communities. Come save with us at spirit.com.

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