Amadeus and Seera Group strengthen partnership

TTN Worldwide | January 29, 2020

Amadeus and Seera Group, the Middle East region’s leading provider of travel and tourism services, have strengthened their partnership to drive technology innovation in the region’s tourism sector. This follows a year of successful partnership between the two leading entities that led to significant digital transformation of travel and tourism services offered by Seera Group and helped enhance its all-round business efficiency. With the renewed partnership, Seera Group works closely with Amadeus to strengthen its online business further, integrating digital touch-points across all its operations, including its flagship corporate and government travel business, elaa. As the travel tech provider across Seera’s diverse portfolio of services, Amadeus brings cutting edge innovation and state-of-the-art tech tools that enhance customer service standards and bring higher operational efficiency across the group.

Spotlight

Australia is a huge country. People usually think that it is best to travel the country by plane. But what is so great about Australia, if not the outback and the wonderful nature? Do something different, take a road trip and enjoy what the Australian nature has to offer. But where to go in Australia?


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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Travelers Want High-Tech, Low-Touch Hotel Stays Shows New Oracle Survey

Oracle | June 02, 2022

A new study by Oracle Hospitality and Skift shows that 95% of people plan to travel in the next six months – with 29% taking an epic 'revenge travel' trip – however, many want to eliminate the 'touch' from the high touch industry they once knew. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of travelers want to use their mobile device to manage their hotel experience, including checking in and out, paying, ordering food, and more. This is good news for hoteliers looking to tech to manage through the staffing shortage without hurting guest engagement and service. Over the next few years, travelers are also looking to personalize their journey even more by picking their exact room and floor and paying for only the amenities they want – and even wanting to pre-screen properties in the metaverse (68%). Moreover, 74% are interested in hotels using AI to better tailor services and offers, such as room pricing or food suggestions and discounts. Nearly 40% of hotel executives see this 'unbundled' model as the future of hotel revenue management. "The pandemic has established technology's role in the guest and associate journey, and the industry is never going back, Whether a hotel organization has two properties or 2,000, guests are looking for the highly digital, self-service experience they have come to expect in other parts of their lives, from banking to ordering food. For hoteliers to meet these demands, especially with constrained property staffing, they need systems that will enable them to quickly adapt, 'plug in' new services, and better and more efficiently serve a diverse group of travelers." -Alex Alt, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Hospitality. The "Hospitality in 2025: Automated, Intelligent… and More Personal" study surveyed 5,266 consumers and 633 hotel executives across the world in the spring of 2022 to better understand how guest expectations have changed and how hotels are adapting. Consumers and executives were surveyed in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Brazil, and Mexico. Check-out the report at: https://bit.ly/3MPgGXa. Travelers want people to 'get away' while on their getaway Two years of restrictions created a pent-up desire to travel, with 29% of people planning a larger, pricier "revenge travel" trip. But the pandemic has also left jetsetters feeling antisocial with many desiring contactless and self-service technology: 92% of travelers don't miss being around other people while staying on a hotel property. 73% agree that they're more likely to stay at a hotel that offers self-service technology to minimize contact with the staff and other guests. 38% want a fully self-service model, with staff only available upon request. 39% want to order room service from their phone or a chatbot. 49% are also looking for contactless payments (only 5% want to pay in crypto). Staff remains slim, tech is helping The labor shortage remains a top issue in the hotel industry, but hoteliers are working hard to onboard new tech to ease the strain on guests and staff: 65% of hoteliers said incorporating new technologies for staff best describes their strategy to weather labor shortages and attract new talent. 96% are investing in contactless technology, with 62% noting "a fully contactless experience" is likely to be the most widely adopted tech in the industry in the next three years. 54% added that their highest priority is to adopt tech that improves or eliminates the need for the front desk experience between now and 2025. Travelers are mixed on how patient they are willing to be in this transition: 39% said they want a fully contactless experience for all basic hotel transactions (check-in/out, food & beverage, room keys, etc.). 34% said a staff shortage, and resulting slow service, would be their #1 deterrent to rebooking a hotel. However, just 23% noted that a lack of daily room cleaning is an issue, showing consumers have accepted (and 17% welcomed!) that this pre-pandemic mainstay is never coming back. People looking for the comfort of home, even when away from home Whether ordering room service or signing onto Netflix, travelers want the ease and convenience of home while traveling: 45% said on-demand entertainment access that seamlessly connects to their personal streaming or gaming accounts is their #1 must-have during their stay. Likewise, 45% of hotel executives said this in-room entertainment set-up is what they're most likely to implement by 2025. 77% of travelers are interested in using automated messaging or chatbots for customer service requests at hotels. 43% want voice-activated controls for all amenities in their rooms (lights, curtains, door locks, etc.). 25% want room controls that auto-adjust temperature, lighting, and even digital art based on pre-shared preferences. A la carte-based hotel pricing Consumers are interested in a hotel model that lets them pay for just what they use. Hoteliers, in tandem, are looking at new service models that upsell everything from amenities to adventures: 81% of hoteliers expect a big service model shift between now and 2025. 49% strongly agreed that "special amenities and upgrades" are critical to their revenue strategy. 36% predict that the future of hotel revenue management will be underpinned by unbundling room rates, like a "basic economy" vs. "economy plus" model on airlines. For travelers: 87% said they would be likely to book a hotel that allowed them to pay only for amenities that they use. 54% are willing to pay more to choose their view; 38% to choose their room; 37% to check in early/check out late; 33% to use the spa, wellness, or fitness services; 32% to choose their room floor; and more. About Oracle Oracle offers integrated suites of applications plus secure, autonomous infrastructure in the Oracle Cloud. For more information about Oracle (NYSE: ORCL), please visit us at oracle.com.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

GCommerce Launches Metadesk to Empower Hoteliers to Take Control of their Metasearch Channels

GCommerce | July 07, 2022

Officials of GCommerce, a leading, hospitality digital marketing agency, announced the launch of a new metasearch platform, Metadesk.Metadesk is a software-driven experience designed to address known pain points and frustrations experienced by hoteliers regarding the management of their metasearch channels while leveraging GCommerce’s world class media management and optimization skills. “Metasearch is quickly being categorized as a revenue management tool, and Metadesk is here to challenge that notion , Metasearch advertising should be continually managed and optimized for top performance. The industry is desperate for new players; the technology should be easy and less cumbersome while utilizing performance based media techniques. Why can’t hoteliers expect both? With Metadesk, they can.” -Lindley Cotton, president & partner, GCommerce. GCommerce Solutions, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary in June 2022, has been managing media channels on behalf of hotels, resorts and casinos and is employing its firsthand knowledge of media management, customer service and hospitality technology to deliver a better metasearch experience. With Metadesk, hoteliers can: Participate in a pay-per-stay model that is based on a sliding scale so the commission aligns with the property’s metasearch performance Manage and optimize metasearch advertising campaigns for performance Communicate directly with campaign specialists via the Metadesk portal Leverage first party data to deploy custom audiences on Google Hotel Ads Access real-time reporting data including metasearch channel performance Monitor metasearch channel disparities For more information about Metadesk, visit Metadesk.pro. About Metadesk Metadesk is the hospitality industry’s leading metasearch marketing platform combining programmatic and AI technology with human-powered media expertise. Created by GCommerce to make metasearch easier and transparent for engaged hoteliers, MetaDesk is an easy to use platform that equips hoteliers with the data and access they need to align their metasearch efforts with the needs of their hotels in real time. With metadesk, hoteliers can take control of their metasearch channels to generate direct bookings and effectively compete with the OTAs. For more information, visit metadesk.pro or contact sales@metadesk.pro. About GCommerce Built on the belief that one-size-fits-none, GCommerce strives to eliminate the cookie-cutter approach to digital marketing. Catering to a wide variety of clients in the hospitality and tourism industry, GCommerce provides a customized, strategic, and client-focused approach to digital marketing. Services provided include but are not limited to search engine optimization and marketing, website design and development, display advertising, email marketing, content marketing, and social media advertising and consultation. Boasting a robust and diverse clientele including industry-leading hotel management groups, luxury and boutique hotel brands, resorts and casinos, franchises and independents, and more. For more information, visit www.gcommercesolutions.com or reach out to sales@gcommercesolutions.com.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

New Travel Loyalty Survey Finds Awareness Gap in Travel Rewards' Perceived Value

arrivia | June 16, 2022

American consumers are ready for travel, ready to redeem and ready to earn travel rewards, according to a new survey report released this week by arrivia, a leading travel loyalty and booking technology platform that serves consumer-facing companies worldwide. The report, Where travel meets loyalty, reveals that U.S. consumers are looking for value when it comes to travel and that travel rewards have the potential to deliver that value. The report also shows a significant gap between what customers expect from their rewards and what loyalty providers offer. Between December 2021 and January 2022, arrivia surveyed 2,150 American consumers and 204 industry decision-makers about the role of travel rewards in the post-pandemic travel resurgence. Almost 50% of the consumer respondents said the ability to earn points on travel is important. In comparison, 42% have redeemed points to lower the cost of their trip and one-third expected to use their loyalty points to cover the entire cost of their journey. These findings suggest that loyalty programs that enable members to earn and redeem travel rewards can leverage the recent surge in travel demand to capture more of their members' spend, incentivize new sign-ups and better engage with existing members. Travel rewards are key but are often lacking. While travel rewards programs can be effective loyalty engines, they often fall short of expectations. Both industry decision-makers and consumers agree as to why. Almost a quarter of travelers said their rewards don't seem valuable enough, while nearly a third are frustrated by the lack of redemption options, and roughly the same amount say it's difficult or complex to earn and redeem points. Industry leaders recognize that their loyalty programs are lacking, with 27% admitting they fail to offer enough variety when it comes to travel options, and 28% report that they struggle to demonstrate the value of their rewards. What's even more worrying for loyalty administrators is the number of respondents who say that none of their loyalty programs offer travel rewards (54%), compared to 65% of industry leaders who say these redemption options are available. This apparent disconnect means loyalty providers should emphasize marketing their travel rewards and better communicate their value. "Loyalty providers that want to use their travel rewards program to help grow their business must give members what they want. As our survey results indicate, that means delivering the right rewards and offers to the right people at the right time, Expanding travel options, making it easier to redeem travel and providing a seamless booking experience backed by flexible technology are all important to increasing the real and perceived value of travel loyalty programs." -Jeff Zotara, arrivia Chief Marketing Officer Technological capability remains a barrier to closing the value gap for many loyalty program providers; 39% of loyalty programs don't allow members to book travel directly through their platform. Another 31% say booking conversion rates would improve if they could offer more exclusive discounts. Other findings from the survey include: 63% of industry respondents plan on offering new travel rewards or benefits in 2022, including exclusive travel options, deeper discounts and experiences or activities. 30% say attracting new members to their loyalty programs is their biggest challenge 26% of travelers turn to their loyalty program platforms first when travel planning signaling that deals can influence decisions 59% of millennials say it's either extremely or very important to be able to redeem points or miles when planning a trip. Focus on travel loyalty programs for financial services brands Though the survey included respondents from different industries, including hospitality, travel and education, the report reveals that financial services companies have the most to gain by upping the value proposition of their travel rewards programs. More than half of credit cardholders belong to a loyalty program that includes travel benefits, and roughly 80% belong to five or more loyalty programs. That means they are more likely to be familiar with various reward structures and more attuned to the relative value of rewards, while loyalty providers in this sector must stand out from the crowd to differentiate their programs from traditional types of travel rewards. Offering travel rewards is a good first step; we know they resonate with cardholders and consumers, added Zotara. But if credit card companies and financial institutions want to become their customers' go-to for everyday purchases and capture more of their travel spend, they need to get to the next level by providing exceptional, exclusive discounts combined with streamlined redemption and whole-trip booking capabilities. That's how brands can not only meet the expectations established by online travel providers but exceed them and become their customers' first thought when planning to travel. The Where travel meets loyalty survey report can be downloaded here. For more information about the survey or to speak with Jeff Zotara, Chief Marketing Officer at arrivia, please contact Sylvia Kindlain at skindlain@thinkinkpr.com. About arrivia Arrivia is a travel technology company that provides travel loyalty, booking and marketing solutions to consumer-facing companies that want to deliver exceptional value to their customers, uncover new revenue streams and drive growth through exciting travel rewards and member benefits. The company's Travel Privileges platform opens up the world of travel for companies like American Express, USAA and Marriott Vacation Club by offering their customers more value through exclusive pricing and encouraging discovery with relevant and personalized options that inspire travel and consumer loyalty. To learn more about how arrivia helps companies drive growth, incentivize sales, boost affinity and reward high-value customers, visit www.arrivia.com.

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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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Spotlight

Australia is a huge country. People usually think that it is best to travel the country by plane. But what is so great about Australia, if not the outback and the wonderful nature? Do something different, take a road trip and enjoy what the Australian nature has to offer. But where to go in Australia?

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