INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

ALLIANZ PARTNERS SWEEPS BOTH TRAVEL INSURANCE CATEGORIES AT THE TRAVELAGE WEST "WAVE" AWARDS

Allianz Partners | June 17, 2022

ALLIANZ PARTNERS SWEEPS BOTH
Travel insurance and assistance company Allianz Partners took home wins in both travel insurance categories at the 2022 TravelAge West WAVE (Western Advisors' Votes of Excellence) Awards, including Travel Insurance Company Providing the Best Travel Advisor Support and Travel Insurance Company Providing the Highest Client Satisfaction. This is the sixth consecutive year that Allianz Partners has been named a top travel insurance provider in the prestigious WAVE Awards.

Now in its 17th year, the goal of TravelAge West's WAVE Awards is to give travel advisors in the West the opportunity to recognize the outstanding qualities and services of their travel-supplier partners. The Editor's Picks were chosen by Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Ken Shapiro and the entire editorial team of TravelAge West. Review methods included product analysis, on-site visits and a survey of a select group of travel advisors and industry experts.


"As the travel industry starts to regain its footing, we want to help our readers celebrate the companies that have continued to serve travel advisors and their clients throughout the darkest days of the pandemic, The WAVE Awards are a pillar of the travel industry in the West, and we know many in the industry look forward to them each year, so we are very happy that we can once again bring this program to our partners."

-Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Ken Shapiro

During a black-tie dinner at The Ritz-Carlton, Marina Del Rey on June 9, Editor's Pick recipients were honored for their achievements and TravelAge West will feature a special WAVE Awards section in the July 11 issue, highlighting award winners.

"We are elated to continue our winning streak at the TravelAge West WAVE Awards and are incredibly thankful to everyone who helped us achieve this milestone," said Richard Aquino, Vice President, Head of Sales at Allianz Partners USA. "It means the world to us to once again be recognized in both client satisfaction and travel advisor support, and it's a true testament to how deeply our team cares about our customers evolving needs."

For a full list of this year's WAVE Award recipients, visit: https://www.travelagewest.com/Wave/Winners

About TravelAge West
TravelAge West is the leading trade media outlet for travel advisors and the travel industry in the 15 Western U.S. states. Serving more than 21,000 readers for 53 years, the brand is a main source of news and product information for the region's agents and travel executives. TravelAgeWest.com is a two-time winner of a Gold Award from the North American Travel Journalists Association for Best Travel Journalism Website. TravelAge West is a part of Northstar Travel Group LLC, a worldwide provider of information, news and data for the travel and hospitality industry. Northstar Travel Group is based in Secaucus, N.J.

About Allianz Partners
In the United States, Allianz Partners USA (AGA Service Company) offers Allianz Travel-branded travel protection plans and serves millions of customers each year. In addition to travel protection, the company offers event ticket protection, registration protection for endurance events and unique travel assistance services such as international medical assistance and concierge services. AGA Service Company is doing business as Allianz Global Assistance Insurance Agency in California (License # 0B01400) and Massachusetts. Allianz Partners USA is part of the Allianz Partners group. Allianz Partners is a world leader in B2B2C insurance and assistance, offering global solutions that span international health and life, travel insurance, mobility and assistance. Customer driven, our innovative experts are redefining insurance services by delivering future-ready, high-tech, high-touch products and solutions that go beyond traditional insurance. Present in over 75 countries, our 19,400 employees speak 70 languages, handle over 58 million cases each year, and are motivated to go the extra mile to offer peace of mind to our customers around the world.

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Other News
AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

Oman Air transforms staff travel with IBS Software partnership

Oman Air & IBS Software | May 16, 2022

Oman Air has partnered with IBS Software to fully digitalize its staff travel program, delivering a highly configurable, self-service platform for employees to book and manage complex leisure travel, annual leave travel and duty travel policies.Award-winning Oman Air overhauled its on-premise legacy system with IBS Software's SaaS-based iFly Staff platform to enable self-service for its employees to easily manage their travel needs. The system has also significantly extended usability, allowing users access via any browser or any Android or iOS device, replacing the legacy desktop-only service. iFly Staff now handles all Oman Air active and retired employee's ID travel, supplementary ticketing, and annual leave ticketing, as well as the staff ticketing of partner companies TRANSOM Catering, TRANSOM Handling and TRANSOM SATS Cargo. The platform's highly configurable business rules engine means Oman Air gains the ability to dynamically update its policies, create and roll out new policies and processes, thus reducing the lead-time to implement policy changes. This has resulted in significant gains on operational efficiency over the last six months since the system went live. "Our partnership with IBS Software has transformed the staff travel experience, simplifying processes to make it far easier for our employees to manage their personal and corporate travel, Navigating the intricacies of constantly updating travel policies represents a major win for the whole airline – from both an employee satisfaction and operational efficiency perspective." -Dr. Khalid Al Zadjali, Senior Vice President Digital, Oman Air The new staff travel system comes as part of Oman Air's ongoing efforts to enhance the benefits and facilities presented to employees, said Hilal Al Siyabi, Senior Vice President, People, Oman Air. "Self-service and mobile capabilities have significantly improved our employees' travel experience while reducing the workload associated with providing facilities. "It has been a privilege to work with the teams at Oman Air, who are constantly striving to deliver new, innovative services to staff and passengers alike, Fully digitalizing processes has allowed them the ability to not only provide superior staff travel functionality and ease of use for users, but also considerably improve Oman Air's internal operations. We're also proud that the deployment of iFly Staff was managed remotely due to Covid-19 travel restrictions." -Vijay Chakravarthy, Vice President and Head of Staff Travel, IBS Software About IBS Software IBS Software is a leading SaaS solutions provider to the travel industry globally, managing mission-critical operations for customers in the aviation, tour & cruise and hospitality industries. IBS Software's solutions for the aviation industry cover fleet & crew operations, aircraft maintenance, passenger services, loyalty programs, staff travel and air-cargo management. IBS Software also runs a real time B2B and B2C distribution platform providing hotel room inventory, rates and availability to a global network of hospitality companies and channels. For the tour and cruise industry, IBS provides a comprehensive, customer-centric, digital platform that covers onshore, online and on-board solutions. IBS Software is a Blackstone portfolio company and operates from 15 offices across the world. Further information can be found at https://www.ibsplc.com/. About Oman Air Oman Air (WY), the national airline of the Sultanate of Oman, began its operations in 1993. Initially founded to serve key domestic routes, it has since undergone rapid growth and is today recognized as a major international carrier connecting cities around the world to Oman's spectacular natural beauty, captivating charm and genuine openness. A Five-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating from Skytrax and two consecutive (2021 and 2022) Five-Star Major Airline Ratings from the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) are among its many industry accolades. The airline has played a vital role in transforming Muscat into an important traffic hub in the Middle East, supporting adjacent commercial, industrial and tourism activities. With a fleet comprising ultra-modern, fuel-efficient aircraft that feature luxuriously appointed interiors, Oman Air is renowned for its exceptional products and services, both in the air and on the ground, and for the signature Omani hospitality available to guests on every flight. Ongoing investments in new technologies, innovative products and enhanced guest services have solidified its position as a premium, multi-award-winning airline of outstanding repute. Both Oman Air and Oman Air Holidays proudly display the Safe Travels stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) for best practices relating to standardized global health and hygiene protocols.

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

SAMSONITE INTRODUCES DYNAMIC NEW ELEVATION PLUS COLLECTION

Samsonite | June 09, 2022

Samsonite, a worldwide leader in superior travel bags, luggage, and accessories, announces the launch of their latest collection, Elevation Plus. Comprised of four styles and three colorways, the Elevation Plus collection boasts a timeless design and proprietary capabilities, raising the bar for future travel.With traveler-friendly details like the new QuickEntry™ pocket for easy access to your essentials by the simple push of a button, Elevation Plus cases allow you to conveniently keep grab-and-go items such as your laptop, phone, or hand sanitizer within reach without having to open your luggage. The pocket also locks for added security during travel. Other attributes on both carry-on styles include the TecFolio™ removable pouch, for secure transportation of electronic chargers, cables, make-up brushes, or any other miscellaneous item that needs to be stowed away during a trip. The wireframe removable garment divider with dual compression straps, and expandable packing features allow the user to organize the luggage to their liking, without worrying about wrinkles or space. The design forward collection also features a WetPak™ pocket, a spill-safe pocket for stress-free traveling with TSA approved liquids. Offered in two carry-on sizes as well as a Medium Glider and Large Spinner, the Elevation Plus collection has something for any level of travel. The Medium Glider cases offer higher packing volume than traditional medium size spinners, for added storage of any items picked up during travel. Utility patented off-set wheels, a lower center of gravity, and extended handle system provide smooth movement during transport. This newest collection continues the Samsonite legacy of innovation and industry design leadership. Each piece is thoughtfully crafted to create a seamless packing experience. The result is a group of easy, approachable, and adaptable luggage with the sleek aesthetic and high-quality details that Samsonite is known for. In keeping with the Samsonite commitment to sustainability, the interior lining of the Elevation Plus Collection is crafted using Recyclex™ material technology and made from 100% post-consumer recycled PET (rPET) bottles. Since 2018, Samsonite has launched over 50 products using Recyclex™ fabric, made from 100% post-consumer recycled PET (rPET) bottles, recycling approximately 52 million 500ml PET bottles and resulting in longer-lasting luggage. The Elevation Collection is available in a 22x14x9 Carry-On Spinner ($209.99), Carry-On Spinner ($219.99), Medium Glider ($249.99), and Large Spinner ($279.99) and comes in Triple Black, Cypress Green, or Midnight Blue. The collection is available to purchase on shop.samsonite.com or through retailers including Macy's, Kohl's, and Belk. To learn more about the full range of Samsonite products, please visit shop.samsonite.com or Instagram at @samsoniteusa. About Samsonite: Samsonite is the world leader in superior travel bags, luggage and accessories combining notable style with the latest design technology. Renowned for breakthrough research, development and its commitment to both innovation and sustainability, Samsonite has cemented its prominence with a number of industry firsts while continuing to leverage its rich design heritage to create unparalleled products. For more information visit www.samsonite.com.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

LBA Hospitality Acquires Management Contract for the Best Western New Smyrna Beach Hotel & Suites

LBA Hospitality | June 13, 2022

LBA Hospitality, an Alabama–based hotel management company, announced that it has recently taken over the management contract for the 101-suite Best Western New Smyrna Beach Hotel & Suites. The beachfront hotel located at 1401 South Atlantic Avenue is owned by Key International.The eight-story property is situated 15 miles from Daytona Beach International Airport, and just a short drive from Disneyland and Cape Canaveral and the Cape Canaveral National Seashore. The hotel offers guests convenient access to Turtle Mound, Ponce Inlet, Daytona Racetrack and numerous activities in and around the idyllic waters and sandy beaches of New Smyrna Beach. "I fell in love with New Smyrna Beach when we opened our first hotel here in 2012. It has that small beach town charm, great food, a nationally recognized arts scene, and the amazing white sand beach and blue water of the Atlantic Ocean, I am excited that we have added a one-of-a-kind accommodation that literally offers a toes-in-the-sand experience for visitors from around the world." -Beau Benton, president of LBA Hospitality. The Best Western New Smyrna Beach Hotel & Suites guestrooms feature luxury bedding, kitchenettes, as well as balconies with unobstructed views of the gorgeous blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Amenities include an outdoor swimming pool with a sundeck, a fitness center and onsite dining. About LBA Hospitality Established in 1973, LBA Hospitality is one of the leading hotel management, development, and consulting companies in the US. With an extensive portfolio of hotels located in the Southeast and Southwest, the company is a recognized leader developing and operating the most respected brands under franchise licenses of Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, and InterContinental Hotel Group. For more than four decades, LBA Hospitality has continued to set a higher standard in hotel development, management, and guest satisfaction, resulting in sustained, profitable growth for owners. For more information, visit www.lbahospitality.com. About Key International Key International is a full-service real estate firm bringing over 30 years of leadership and success in global investments and developments, with offices in Miami and Madrid. With a proven track record in generating excellent returns for partners, the firm specializes in real estate projects that improve customers' lifestyles through great locations and quality product. This includes forward-thinking considerations for everyday life, work, convenience, entertainment, and leisure. Following these principles, Key International is one of the few real estate firms with the demonstrated ability to deliver success across multiple real estate classes – including condominium, hospitality, multifamily, and office. Such diversification is a cornerstone of its approach and serves to maximize future development and investment opportunities.  With over 10 million square feet in residential developments, notable projects include Eden Roc Resort Miami Beach, Marriott Stanton Hotel South Beach, 400 Sunny Isles, 1010 Brickell, and the master plan of Riverfront Community (a 13.5-acre gated community in Downtown Miami). Additionally, Key International manages over $1.5 billion in assets under its current hotel portfolio comprised of over 3,000 hotel units. Please see keyint.com for more information on the company and its portfolio.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

Nobu Hospitality Continues Strategic European Expansion with Announcement of Nobu Hotel Madrid

Nobu Hospitality | May 25, 2022

Nobu Hospitality, the leading luxury lifestyle and iconic hotel and dining brand, announces its fifth Spanish hotel and restaurant in the elegant capital city of MadridCentrally positioned in the heart of the Spanish capital's Cortes District, Nobu Hotel Madrid will see the transformation of an existing office building, located at 26 Calle Alcalá, between Plaza de Cibeles and Puerta del Sol. The hotel will offer a tri-level Nobu restaurant and bar, an expansive rooftop bar, and a lounge with views over the skyline together with a state-of-the-art fitness centre and spa. The restaurant will be reimagined by the renowned Californian architectural/design group, Studio PCH, led by Severine Tatangelo. Studio PCH has designed multiple Nobu properties including the highly acclaimed Nobu Malibu and the Nobu Hotel San Sebastián, opening in 2023. Nobu Hospitality is entering into a long-term agreement with Millenium Hospitality Real Estate SOCIMI ("MHRE") to develop Nobu Hotel Madrid, their second project following the recent announcement of Nobu Hotel and Restaurant San Sebastián. MHRE has an impressive collection of five-star hotels spread throughout Spain and Portugal. "We are absolutely thrilled to finally launch in the magnificent city of Madrid. A bustling mecca of art, culture, and cuisine, the Spanish capital is an important destination for us. This will be our fifth hotel in Spain, and we look forward to further expanding our Spanish footprint to create a truly memorable hospitality experience for local residents as well as our international Nobu guests." -Trevor Horwell, Chief Executive Officer Nobu Hospitality Javier Illán Plaza, President, and CEO of Millenium Hospitality Real Estate comments, I'm so pleased to be announcing our second project with Nobu Hospitality, and the launch of Nobu Hotel Madrid. We are so proud to continue our great relationship with such a successful luxury international brand and bring to the City of Madrid the Nobu experience and the exciting restaurant and rooftop bar which we're sure will be well received by local residents and travellers alike. Adding to Nobu Hospitality's European portfolio, the launch of Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Madrid marks the brand's 11th hotel in the European continent, with properties in London, Barcelona, Ibiza, Marbella, Warsaw with Rome, San Sebastián, Santorini, Hamburg also in development

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Spotlight

Need a tropical getaway? A warm vacation? The Caribbean and North Atlantic is for you. Today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Caribbean and North Atlantic Islands to Visit in 2019.

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