TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Amadeus and Microsoft Announces Strategic Partnership to Drive Future Innovation in Travel

Amadeus | March 01, 2021

Amadeus and Microsoft today report a worldwide key association that will tackle cloud innovation to improve and investigate new items and arrangements and make smoother travel encounters later on.

The organization will consolidate Microsoft trusted, secure cloud stages and industry-driving joint effort and endeavor advancements with Amadeus' demonstrated skill and development in movement innovation.

Groups from both Microsoft and Amadeus will team up to empower quicker conveyance of new cloud-based arrangements, prompting more consistent travel encounters, for instance in the aircrafts and neighborliness organizations. The two organizations will use the full estimation of Azure and Microsoft's answers (Microsoft Teams, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform) to convey all the more remarkable and modern end-client encounters and make custom arrangements customized to the exact necessities of the movement business. Starting endeavors are required to zero in on building up more integrated business travel travels and empowering nearer coordinated effort between travel and wellbeing specialists.

“Advances in digital technology are rapidly redefining every aspect of work and life, including how we travel,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Together with Amadeus, we will apply the power of Azure and its AI capabilities to create new frictionless experiences for travelers worldwide and reimagine the travel industry going forward.”

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Travelopia Takes Next Steps On Customer Experience Journey With Talkdesk

Talkdesk | December 18, 2021

Talkdesk®, Inc., the global customer experience leader for customer-obsessed companies, has been chosen by Travelopia, the world’s largest collection of specialist travel brands, as its contact centre solution provider. Talkdesk provided a flexible, scalable solution as this pioneer in specialty travel charted a new course to remote call center technology for its portfolio of independent brands operating across the globe.Travelopia - the only travel brand of its kind in the world - is at the forefront of global travel for those wanting a distinctive experience. With primary headquarters in Crawley, England, the company supports a global network of hospitality professionals representing 23 independent travel brands offering more than 70 destinations, spanning 10 countries across all seven continents. The Travelopia portfolio is exclusively focused on specialist travel, and the company strives to deliver unique experiences - from exploring Canada’s Rideau Canal by boat to joining the ranks of those rare travellers who cross the Antarctic Circle to see the South Pole. Whether travelling around the world by private jet or exploring closer to home on bicycle, Travelopia helps cultivate the passions and interests of its more than 750,000 guests each year. Talkdesk CX Cloud™, an end-to-end customer experience solution, made the transition from on premises to remote contact centre operations much easier for the geographically diverse Travelopia network of sales agents responsible for helping guests with highly customised travel itineraries and complex customer support enquiries. Agents across multiple geographies could better manage their time, which reduced the number of missed guest calls. The Talkdesk solution offered robust analytics, and those deeper insights into customer data enabled agents to proactively suggest new, customised travel experiences for returning guests. The flexibility and scalability of remote contact centre operations allowed Travelopia to efficiently adapt to the rapidly changing travel market conditions over the last year, as well as lowered operating costs during a volatile time for the travel industry as a whole. “One of the core values driving Travelopia forward is our constant pursuit of the ultimate customer experience for our guests to enrich their lives through travel. As part of that pursuit, we’re committed to reflect on and evolve our operational approach,” said Mark Beauchamp, technology director, Travelopia. “For our move to remote contact centre operations, we wanted an innovative, flexible solution with the best tools to delight our customers. The Talkdesk solution provides our global network of agents across the portfolio of Travelopia brands with the resources they need to provide a seamless customer journey for guests - from first contact with our sales team through to the conclusion of that world beating travel experience.” “Customer experience has never been more important to the success of travel and hospitality brands as it is now. Travellers worldwide are making up for lost time and missed opportunities, and they will choose to partner with those companies that can deliver not only that once-in-a-lifetime adventure, but also an unforgettable customer service experience before, during, and after,With the Talkdesk solution, Travelopia agents can provide customer experience as unique and meaningful as the extraordinary travel experiences they create. We’re proud to partner with Travelopia in achieving their customer experience goals.” -Kieran King, chief customer officer, Talkdesk. About Talkdesk® is a global cloud contact center leader for customer-obsessed companies. We believe that better customer experiences start with AI. Our automation-first customer experience solutions optimize our customers’ most critical customer service processes. Our speed of innovation, deep vertical expertise, and global footprint reflect our commitment to ensuring that businesses everywhere can deliver better customer experiences across any industry and through any channel, resulting in higher customer satisfaction and accelerated business outcomes. Over 1,800 innovative companies around the world, including Acxiom, Fujitsu, Hunter Douglas, IBM, Trivago, Tuft & Needle, YMCA, and 2U partner with Talkdesk to deliver a better way to great customer experience. Learn more and request a demo at www.talkdesk.com.Talkdesk is a registered trademark of Talkdesk, Inc. All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered ® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation or endorsement by them.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Iconic Luxury Hazelton Hotel Retains Trip Advisor's #1 Spot in Canada

Hazelton Hotel | December 20, 2021

For the 5th consecutive year, Trip Advisor has named The Hazelton as the #1 hotel in Toronto, Canada. For 2021, the hotel ranked among the top 1% of hotels worldwide and received Traveler's Choice Best of the Best award the highest honour by Trip Advisor. In addition, the hotel also received the 2021 Traveller's Choice award. Despite the recent challenges the hospitality industry has faced, The Hazelton is honoured once again to be recognized as a leader in hospitality by providing an unparalleled level of excellence to local and international guests, upholding the highest standard in the industry. "I am honoured to lead a team of hospitality experts who continue to excel at the highest level. The Hazelton is committed to providing outstanding customer service across the property, whether that be a dining experience, spa treatment, or a luxurious stay in one of our newly renovated suites. The Trip Advisor awards we have earned are a testament to our dedicated team, as well as our guests – both new and returning – who have taken valuable time to share their experiences and support by rating us after their stay," - Gaurav Dutta, General Manager of The Hazelton Hotel. The Hazelton Hotel, Toronto's first luxury boutique hotel situated in the heart of Yorkville – the epicentre of fashion, art, celebrity, and lifestyle in Canada – is also proud to announce its five-year renewal with Leading Hotels of the World. This elite partnership positions the hotel – one of only two in Canada – amongst the most exclusive, luxury boutique accommodations across the globe. In anticipation of the hotel's 15th anniversary in 2022, The Hazelton Hotel is pleased to announce the completion of an extensive renovation and the introduction of the new Presidential Bellair Suite. Designed by award-winning firm Yabu Pushelberg, the 1860 square-foot suite features an open concept living room, an exquisite dining area, and a private wet bar offering guests a lavish home away from home. Renovations also include ONE restaurant's indoor dining room and bar, multiple meeting spaces throughout the hotel, and the private Silver Screening Room. In celebration of the Trip Advisor Awards and the new Presidential Bellair Suite, The Hazelton Hotel announces a social media contest on Instagram beginning on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021. To enter, follow The Hazelton Hotel @hazeltonto on Instagram, tag a friend, and comment by sharing what part of the prize you would be most excited to win. Entrants who share the post to their stories and tag @hazeltonto receive a bonus entry. The Prize includes a one (1) night stay in the Presidential Bellair Suite, a $500 hotel dining card for ONE Restaurant, a $500 spa gift card for the Valmont Spa, and a private screening in the Silver Screening Room (prize value $10000.00 CND). About The Hazelton Hotel, Spa by Valmont and ONE Restaurant Since 2008, the hotel is an iconic landmark and Toronto's only member of The Leading Hotels of The World. With 77 opulent guest suites designed by internationally renowned design firm Yabu Pushelberg, The Hazelton Hotel is also home to a private Silver Screening Room and Spa by Valmont, one of the city's most exclusive spa sanctuaries. The hotel's ONE Restaurant is celebrity chef Mark McEwan's signature dining experience that offers world-class cuisine and boasts one of Toronto's finest patios. A Forbes Health Verified hotel, The Hazelton Hotel continues to ensure the health and safety of guests, residents, and team members, through their 8-point safety plan that is aligned with the provincial public health authorities' guidelines.http://www.thehazeltonhotel.com

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Aggressor Adventures Consumer Travel Index Indicates a Longing for Discovery

Aggressor Adventures | February 04, 2022

Aggressor Adventures®, the leader in luxury adventure travel, announces the results of its latest Consumer Travel Index, which tracks consumer sentiments on a bi-monthly basis. In the last 18 months, scientists have made thousands of exciting new discoveries of new species in the ocean and artifacts at historic sites around the world. As such, Aggressor’s February Index puts a spotlight on discovery.Discovering the Unknown Traveling is about venturing into the great unknown. It helps eradicate any fears you may have of what you can’t control, and you are better able to embrace the unfamiliar with an open mind. Aggressor’s first question asks travelers for their feelings towards new animal species and their willingness to visit sites home to discoveries. Nearly 45 percent of respondents say they would love to be the first human to discover a new species. Furthermore, only 10 percent of respondents would be frightened to come across something previously undiscovered. “As we travel, we are constantly stepping outside of our comfort zones, pushing ourselves to immerse ourselves in the many unique destinations we visit all around the world, Our latest survey results prove it's one thing to learn about a new discovery online or on television, but nothing beats actually setting foot where the discoveries are made and being a part of history.” -Wayne Brown, CEO of Aggressor Adventures. Curious at Heart A recent study from Curio Collection by Hilton reveals what drives curiosity as it relates to the modern traveler. The findings show 91 percent of the population considers themselves to be curious and 73 percent of people say that traveling is their go-to outlet to express their curiosity. Furthermore, 57 percent of travelers wish they could spend more time exploring the things they are most curious about, such as visiting ancient ruins, eating dinner at a well-regarded restaurant or experiencing a safari. Aggressor’s second Index question asks respondents their first reaction to a new scientific discovery being made and the level of curiosity is evident. Nearly 60 percent of respondents say their curiosity leads them to research the discovery for more information and more than 15 percent will research the location of where the discovery is made to learn how they can visit the site. Aggressor Adventures’ customer base is filled with curious travelers who long for the opportunity to not only discover but explore, adds Brown. We encourage curious travelers to follow us on social media this year as we share and uncover incredible finds of the natural world. We’ve already seen a handful of remarkable discoveries made this year and are excited to share them with you in real-time. About Aggressor Adventures Since 1984, Aggressor Adventures® has offered travelers liveaboard scuba and snorkeling charters, luxury river cruises and exotic wildlife safaris. Worldwide locations the company explores include Bahamas, Belize, Cayman Islands, Cocos Island, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Galapagos, Hawaii, Indonesia, Maldives, Mexico, Philippines, Palau, Red Sea, Roatan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Turks and Caicos. The company’s Clean, Refresh, Sanitize safety standards are industry leading. For more information, visit www.aggressor.com or call (800) 348-2628 or (706) 993-2531.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Frommer's Names the Best Hotel Booking Engines for Summer Travel in 2022

frommer | March 30, 2022

With travelers eager to hit the road again for summer vacation after the disruptions caused by the pandemic, Frommers—the trusted travel media company and guidebook publisher celebrating its 65th year in 2022—has released the latest edition of its Best and Worst Hotel Booking Sites. The ranking names the top online travel agencies and aggregators for finding lodgings on the road in 2022. The top 10 has been shaken up considerably since the previous ranking in 2020. Using a complex, weighted system involving 60 different room reservation scenarios, travel expert and analyst Reid Bramblett put booking engines through the wringer to determine which sites deliver the lowest rates, the most options, and the easiest user experience.For the first time, Google tops the list, but the search giant only narrowly edged out previous winner HotelsCombined, with both showing a keen ability to find the most affordable rooms. Other heavy hitters, including Tripadvisor and Kayak, only managed middling scores when put to the Frommer's test, ranking 5th and 7th respectively. After falling out of the top 10 five years ago, Hotels.com clawed its way to the 10th slot, displacing Hotwire from the list entirely. The complete top 10, along with detailed analysis, a rundown of each site's pros and cons, and money-saving warnings about sneaky tactics and outright rip-offs, can be found at Frommers.com/BestHotelSites. And coming soon: Frommer's latest ranking of the top sites for finding affordable airfare—fully updated for 2022. About Frommer's One of the most venerable brands in travel, Frommer's has been in continuous publication since the 1957 debut of Arthur Frommer's Europe on 5 Dollars a Day, which changed the way the world traveled. The Frommer's collection of travel products has expanded to include nearly 100 award-winning guidebooks, a popular podcast, and Frommers.com, winner of the 2021 silver medal for best travel journalism website in the prestigious Lowell Thomas Awards from the Society of American Travel Writers.

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