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.

Spotlight

Travel & Tourism is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing sectors, generating over US$2.3 trillion in direct contribution to global GDP in 2016. Together with the value of the supply chain in the form of indirect and induced impacts, the sector contributed 10.2% to world GDP in 2016.


Other News
TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Trasava Lets Travelers Book 5-Star Hotels at 2-Star Prices

Trasava | February 02, 2022

As travel returns and the demand for hotel rooms increases, Trasava introduces a new way of booking rooms that keeps prices low and hoteliers happy. Through a combination of superior technology and its unique approach to inventory, Trasava has managed to bridge the gap between business and leisure travel, making discounted travel rates—similar to those of corporate travel discounts—accessible to individual travelers. The problem in the hospitality industry is clear: nearly every OTA, online travel agency, pulls from the same inventory pool, causing prices across dozens of sites to be more or less the same. Trasava flips this model on its head, leveraging exclusive agreements with its suppliers to offer travel rates not available to the general public. This allows Trasava to get deep discounts on hotels of all types—from basic to luxury—all over the world. While other OTAs compete to sell unwanted last-minute rooms, Trasava offers lower prices from the outset, whether you're booking one day or one year in advance. Led by a passionate team of nomadic entrepreneurs, Trasava's founders are scratching their own itch by building a better booking platform. They offer over 1 million listings in 70+ countries, plus a 110% guarantee. If travelers can find a cheaper price elsewhere online available to the public, they will refund 110% of the difference. With its focus on making both hotels and travelers happy, Trasava has created a booking experience that's a win-win. Here are some of the savings travelers can expect from Trasava: $400 saved over a long weekend in a 4-star hotel in Manhattan in July $650 saved over a 5-day stay at a 5-star hotel in central Berlin in September $900 saved on a weeklong vacation at a 5-star resort in Cancún in February Travelers interested in learning more can try out Trasava for themselves at Trasava.com. AboutTrasava: Trasava is a new travel tech startup based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Launched in 2022, Trasava is making travel more affordable by bringing corporate hotel pricing to the masses.

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Despegar to Acquire 100% of Viajanet, an Online Travel Agency in Brazil

Despegar | May 09, 2022

Despegar.com, Corp. (NYSE: DESP) (“Despegar”), the leading online travel company in Latin America, announced that it has agreed to acquire TVLX Viagens e Turismo S.A (“Viajanet”), one of the leading online travel agencies in Brazil, for a total consideration of approximately US$15 million and subject to customary closing conditions. Under the terms of the agreement, 60% of the purchase price will be payable at closing, 20% in 24 months and the remaining 20% in 36 months.Viajanet recorded audited revenues of approximately US$30 million in 2019. During 2021, Viajanet’s online sales accounted for approximately 98% of total sales, with 88% of Gross Bookings originated in the B2C channel and the remainder via the B2B channel. In addition, 98% of Gross Bookings were within the Air segment of Brazil’s travel market, giving Despegar the opportunity to cross-sell its accommodation and other non-air product inventory to Viajanet’s existing customers. “The acquisition of Viajanet, our third in the last two years in Brazil, is another step in our regional consolidation strategy that will enable us to deploy more of Despegar’s higher-margin non-air inventory through a new brand and its customer base while bolstering our team in the country. We expect to capture other significant synergies by leveraging Despegar’s technology platform to enhance Viajanet’s conversion rates and performance marketing capabilities, among other benefits.” -Mr. Marcelo Grether, Chief M&A & New Business Officer of Despegar, Mr. Paulo Nascimento, Chief Executive Officer of Viajanet, added: We are thrilled to be joining the team at Despegar, a leading player in LatAm’s travel market. Becoming part of Despegar will give our customers access to a larger and more diverse inventory of travel products while also benefiting from the innovative technological capabilities behind its leading travel site. The closing of the transaction is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2022. About Despegar.com Despegar is the leading online travel company in Latin America. For over two decades, it has revolutionized the tourism industry through technology. With its continuous commitment to the development of the sector, Despegar today is comprised of a consolidated Group that includes Best Day, Viajes Falabella and Koin, (the Company’s fintech business) in turn becoming one of the most relevant companies in the region and able to offer a tailor-made experience for more than 29 million customers. Despegar operates in 20 countries in the region, accompanying Latin Americans from the moment they dream of traveling until they share their memories. With the purpose of improving people's lives and transforming the shopping experience, it has developed alternative payment methods and financing, democratizing access to consumption and bringing Latin Americans closer to their next travel experience. Despegar is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: DESP). For more information, please visit www.despegar.com.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Curator Hotel & Resort Collection Welcomes Six New Members, Offering Discerning Travelers Unique Experiences Across the U.S

Curator Hotel & Resort Collection | February 01, 2022

Curator Hotel & Resort Collection ("Curator") is kicking off the New Year by welcoming six new members to its growing portfolio of independent hotels and resorts. Spanning California, Vermont, Colorado, and Hawaii, these destinations offer unique experiences with nature as a backdrop, allowing guests to align mind, body, and spirit. "We are thrilled to jumpstart the New Year by welcoming these members to our growing portfolio of more than 85 hotels and resorts, The addition of these hotels, along with our first dining experience member, the Napa Valley Wine Train, is a testament to our offerings. We are proud to have these members in our collection as they all provide travelers with experiences that are shaping the new age of travel." -said Jennifer Barnwell, President of Curator Hotel & Resort Collection Curator is following up an immensely successful year by representing more than hotels and resorts. With the addition of the Napa Valley Wine Train, the collection creates a space for all independents in the hospitality industry who have distinct and unique offerings that travelers crave. "As a founding member of Curator with eighteen properties in the collection, we have experienced firsthand the incredible value and many benefits that it provides for independents,We are thrilled to be adding The Napa Valley Wine Train to Curator so it can also benefit from best-in-class technology and services, as well as the ability to tap into Curator's vendor expertise and negotiating power." -Jake Donoghue, CEO of Noble House Hotels & Resorts. The newest members of Curator Hotel & Resort Collection include: Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa (La Jolla, California) - Solo travelers, couples, and friends seeking an escape to reconnect will enjoy Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa. This hacienda-style resort is located between San Diego's seaside villages of La Jolla and Del Mar. It features 10 acres of beautiful green gardens, quiet courtyards, warm fireplaces, and world-class amenities. Guests can also experience the flavors of the West Coast at the hotel's dining venues, from breakfast delights at Greenfinch Restaurant & Bar to coastal-inspired dishes at Mustangs & Burros. Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa is managed by Noble House Hotels & Resorts. Gateway Canyons Resort (Gateway, Colorado) - Colorado's Gateway Canyons Resort is where luxury and adventure travel meet. Gateway Canyons offers breathtaking views of the high-desert landscape and is located right in the heart of red rock country, where endless outdoor adventures like off-road touring, horseback riding and mountain biking await travelers. The Resort is managed by Noble House Hotels & Resorts. Napa Valley Wine Train (Napa, California) - Travelers are invited to sip, savor, and enjoy an elegant, 36-mile roundtrip train ride through California's Wine Country. This vintage wine train has been operating since 1864 and features everything from gourmet meals to tours with sweeping views of Napa Valley; there are even hidden gems not located on traditional maps. Managed by Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Napa Valley Wine Train also offers hotel and train packages for travelers wanting to extend their stay. Maui Beach Hotel (Kahului, Hawaii) - Experience the beauty of Maui on the shores of Kahului Bay at Maui Beach Hotel. Located just five minutes away from the Kahului Airport, the hotel is at the heart of Maui. It gives travelers access to top attractions, including Iao Valley, Wailuku and the infamous Road to Hana. Travelers who choose Maui Beach Hotel are in for an unmatched and rejuvenating cultural experience. Springboard Hospitality Group manages Maui Beach Hotel. Villa Florence (San Francisco, California) - Welcoming travelers since 1908, Villa Florence is urban elegance nestled in the heart of the sights and sounds of San Francisco. Attractions like Union Square, The Embarcadero, Chinatown, and Museum of Modern Art are within walking distance of the hotel - perfect for travelers looking to explore a new destination. Spire Hospitality manages Villa Florence. Topnotch Resort (Stowe, Vermont) - Travelers seeking an 'off the grid' escape will enjoy Topnotch Resort's exclusive location nestled in New England's Green Mountains. This luxurious resort and spa offers suites, resort homes, a Topnotch Tennis Academy, custom spa treatments and a casual dining experience that encourages guests to create memories together. Nature lovers will also enjoy the great outdoors with activities like fishing for trout in the Lamoille River or riding a horse-drawn sleigh through Vermont's countryside. Spire Hospitality manages the Resort. For more information on Curator Hotel & Resort Collection, visit www.CuratorHotelsandResorts.com. About Curator Hotel & Resort Collection Curator Hotel & Resort Collection is a distinct collection of hand-selected small brands and independent lifestyle hotels and resorts, founded by Pebblebrook Hotel Trust and a group of industry-leading hotel operators. Curator provides lifestyle hotels the platform to come together and tap into cost saving agreements, new products, services and technologies, and benchmarking reports while allowing their members the freedom to retain what makes their hotels unique. In addition to Pebblebrook, the founding members of Curator include Davidson Hospitality Group, Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Provenance, Sage Hospitality Group, Springboard Hospitality, and Viceroy Hotels & Resorts. For more information, visit www.curatorhotelsandresorts.com and follow us at @CuratorHotelCollection. About Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Ltd. Built upon a philosophy that emphasizes location, distinction, and soul, Noble House Hotels & Resorts dedicates itself to creating and managing exceptional properties that celebrate their local communities and the adventures to be had within them. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington and continually growing, the Noble House portfolio features a luxury and upper upscale portfolio of 24 distinct and visually captivating hotel properties; over 66 restaurants, bars, and lounges; the Napa Valley Wine Train; and a collection of spas, marinas, and private residences throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. A range of beachfront resorts spanning California and Florida; luxury retreats in Jackson Hole, WY, British Columbia, and Colorado; and award-winning urban hotels in Seattle and San Francisco comprise the diverse collection. Centered within destinations worthy of every bucket list and layered with unique amenities that inspire adventure, the curated collection of one-of-a-kind hotels, resorts, and adventures are known for creating unforgettable travel experiences. For more information, visit www.noblehousehotels.com or call Noble House Hotels & Resorts at 877.NOBLE.TRIP. About Pebblebrook Hotel Trust Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (NYSE: PEB) is a publicly traded real estate investment trust ("REIT") and the largest owner of urban and resort lifestyle hotels and resorts in the United States. The Company owns 53 hotels and resorts, totaling approximately 13,200 guest rooms across 15 urban and resort markets. For more information, visit www.pebblebrookhotels.com and follow us at @PebblebrookPEB. About Spire Hospitality Spire Hospitality is a nationally recognized third-party hotel management company specializing in creating value for our hotel investors while delivering exceptional guest experiences and providing an outstanding place to work. The Irving, TX-based company's diverse portfolio of properties includes unique independent hotels and highly respected brands, including Marriott, Hilton and IHG. Spire is part of the AWH Partners family, which also includes AWH Development, a full-service real estate development company headquartered in New York. With more than 35 years of hotel operating experience, Spire is committed to preserving, protecting, and enhancing hotel real estate value.For more information, visit www.spirehotels.com. About Springboard Hospitality For more than 30 years, Springboard Hospitality, previously known as OLS Hotels & Resorts, has transformed people, properties, and communities as a leader in the hospitality industry managing and developing innovative boutique and branded properties throughout the U.S. With dual offices in Honolulu and Los Angeles, Springboard operates more than 38 properties across 10 states. Led by technology entrepreneur Ben Rafter, Springboard specializes in using analytics and technology with its Hospitality Intelligence (H.I.) to ensure properties are optimizing return on investment. The company offers a full spectrum of hotel services with expertise in creative management, marketing, sales, revenue management, food and beverage and more. The Springboard Hospitality team is committed to going above and beyond with high-touch, personalized service in every aspect of its operations, from its interactions with guests to its relationships with owners. For more information, visit www.springboardhospitality.com.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Manifest Announces Hospitality Partnerships, Expanding Trip Options for Members

Manifest | May 04, 2022

Manifest, the exclusive, lifestyle and travel club that provides custom-crafted getaways to unique destinations within the U.S. and abroad with the option of pairing trips with private plane service, announced several new hospitality partners that will expand access and trip options for its members including Canyon Ranch, Rothschild Safaris, Luxury Gold, Belmond Hotels and Classic Journeys. Manifest has secured unique access and benefits for its members with these new partners, ultimately adding even more value to membership. "We strive to bring our community of like-minded travelers a variety of unique experiences and these new partnerships expand our offerings in the areas of wellness, exotic adventure, and iconic summer destinations,” -Manifest CEO Jeff Potter At Canyon Ranch, the luxury wellness lifestyle brand that operates two destination health spa resorts (Tucson, Ariz., and Lenox, Mass.) and one retreat property (Woodside, Calif.), Manifest members gain exclusive access and receive a VIP welcome gift upon arrival and a room upgrade (pending availability). “Canyon Ranch is excited to partner with a celebrated travel partner like Manifest to provide our guests with seamless, world-class service and exclusive benefits while they travel to our destination resorts,” -Naomi Rose, Director of Partnership Accounts at Canyon Ranch. Manifest members will be able to book once-in-a-lifetime safaris in conjunction with Manifest partner, Rothschild Safaris, who frequently appears as a top Safari Outfitter on Travel + Leisure’s “World Best” list. Rothschild has custom-curated three different African safaris for Manifest members, a Three Country Luxury Safari Adventure in Southern Africa; a Classic South Africa Safari Adventure and Cape Town Wine Country; and The Great Migration – an Epic East Africa Luxury Safari. We are very excited to partner with Manifest to create extraordinary, custom safaris throughout Africa,” said Leora Rothschild, Owner of Rothschild Safaris. “Luxury travel to Africa has incredible momentum, and we believe this partnership with be beneficial for both companies. Manifest members will also gain new access to in-destination tours. Through a Luxury Gold partnership, Manifest members will be able to book Luxury Gold tours, both domestically and internationally, through the Manifest website and will receive the “best rate guarantee.” Through a similar partnership with Classic Journeys, Manifest members will be able to book the company’s classic walking tours through the Manifest website. Classic Journeys is thrilled to forge a partnership with Manifest, said Edward Piegza, Founder of Classic Journeys. “Their personal touches and authentic experiences are in perfect step with the Classic Journeys approach. Finally, Manifest has partnered with luxury boutique hotelier, Belmond Hotels, to offer Manifest members access at their Anguilla and St. Martin properties, which includes high-touch experiences in-destination such as private sailing and snorkeling trips, as well as complimentary Manifest flight desk support. The Manifest experience is seamless for members – from private car transportation to/from the airport both at home and in-destination to the ease of private air travel; from high-touch service on the ground to pre-planned activities that reflect the soul of the destination, in addition to plenty of free time to explore members’ own interests. Manifest designs, curates and manages logistical components of planned activities for each experience, which range from three to seven days in length and range in price depending on the activity, location, and length of stay. About Manifest Based in Denver, Colorado, and founded by Jeff Potter, the former CEO of Frontier Airlines, Exclusive Resorts and Surf Air, Manifest is an exclusive, lifestyle and travel club that provides custom-crafted getaways to unique destinations in the U.S. and abroad with the option of pairing trips with private plane service. For more information, visit www.manifestescapes.com.

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Spotlight

Travel & Tourism is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing sectors, generating over US$2.3 trillion in direct contribution to global GDP in 2016. Together with the value of the supply chain in the form of indirect and induced impacts, the sector contributed 10.2% to world GDP in 2016.

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