Americans will need a travel document to enter New Zealand, starting Oct. 1

Chicago Tribune | June 27, 2019

Previously, Americans visiting New Zealand could simply show up, passport in hand, and enter the country. However, starting this fall - or spring, for Southern Hemisphere dwellers - the island nation will require some extra minutes of pre-departure planning.Though the United States is one of 60 visa-waiver countries, Americans and other nationals from this group will need to apply for a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) for travel starting Oct. 1. The new requirement applies to visitors arriving by plane or cruise ship who plan to stay in the country for a maximum of three months; passengers in transit must also obtain an NZeTA.

Spotlight

Ira Gershkoff is the Principal Consultant at T2RL. He has more than 35 years’ experience with strategic and operational information systems in the airline industry. At T2RL, he is responsible for market analysis of operations systems used by airlines around the world. He is a recognised expert in analysing disruption problems and has written more than 20 technical papers and trade magazine articles. Prior to joining T2RL, he was the Chief Information Officer at Polar Air Cargo, a $350 million international air freight company. He also held executive positions at Sabre, United Airlines and American Airlines.


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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Collinson Valuedynamx Announces Travel Offerings Through New travel.win Partnership

Collinson Valuedynamx | April 01, 2022

Collinson Valuedynamx, the leading provider of global loyalty commerce and personalized offer networks, announced a new partnership with online travel loyalty services provider travel.win, which will provide travel-related cash back offers to financial institution (FI) customers through the Valuedynamx marketplaceThe Valuedynamx marketplace is provided through an Application Programming Interface (API) or white labelled, allowing bank customers to shop directly through their banking site or mobile app to take advantage of discounts they can trust, including discounts from large national retailers. With the Valuedynamx marketplace, brands become more relevant to customers by delivering curated offers and rewards in their preferred channels, media, and platforms. This innovative approach to delivering relevant solutions to customers makes this a timely partnership, facilitating the delivery of relevant travel offers as consumers are looking to travel again. Through the new partnership, travel.win enables consumers to access unprecedented savings not available to the public, inclusive of access to over 800,000 hotels worldwide. “Today’s small to medium-sized financial institutions are looking for ways to stand out in a very crowded space,” said Ted Mooney, Founder and CEO of travel.win. “At the same time, consumers are looking to get back to travel after staying close to home during the pandemic. By providing up to 20% cash back on travel to members, FIs are able to surprise and delight their members with cash back when they travel.” Reducing travel costs As part of the Valuedynamx marketplace offering, travel.win offers will retain the look and feel of a retail bank’s brand, and will allow end-users to enjoy a seamless online experience. Financial institutions will have flexibility to determine how much cash back to provide customers on travel transactions, while travel.win and Valuedynamx handle all operations including booking, customer support, payment processing, cancellations and refunds, reconciliation, payment of the cash back portion of booking, and performance reporting. Hotel focused offers, similar to those on popular booking sites like Travelocity and Expedia, will be available on the Valuedynamx marketplace beginning April 2022. “Our strategic goal for the Valuedynamx marketplace is to create the most relevant consumer experience via a seamlessly integrated one-stop-shop for savings,We are excited to be partnering with travel.win and applying their innovative approach to delivering travel-related value. With a strong return to travel bookings, and consumers desire to travel again, this partnership is more relevant than ever as consumers plan reward-based bookings, including future travel. Ultimately, retail banking customers will have access to significant savings on travel related expenses, with funds put directly back into their accounts.” -Ed Wogan, Chief Merchant Officer, Collinson Valuedynamx. About Collinson Valuedynamx Collinson Valuedynamx helps financial institutions, travel loyalty programs, merchants and retailers drive higher commercial growth by connecting them with the right partners while incentivizing customer spend and engage through points earning and redemption, tailored offers and rewards across a wide range of categories. This delivers mutually valuable, long-term relationships, improving loyalty program and currency engagement, driving card preference for financial institutions, and increasing sales for retailers and merchants. These sustainable commerce networks expand brand reach and visibility, driving up the value and relevance of customer programs and increasing partners’ share of wallet. About travel.win Travel.win is a travel loyalty platform service provider that makes it easy for companies to increase revenue and customer engagement by offering a white-label Travel solution. With simple integration options, partners can be up and running within 30 days on the travel.win platform. Consumers can earn up to 20% cash back on their hotel bookings. travel.win will be launching car rental and activities in Q3 2022. It’s a WIN-WIN-WIN.

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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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BUSINESS TRAVEL

Radisson Hotel Group Partners with Plug and Play

Radisson Hotel Group | May 06, 2022

One of the world's leading hotel groups, Radisson Hotel Group, announced its partnership with Plug and Play's Travel & Hospitality program, located in the heart of Silicon Valley. Plug and Play is a global innovation platform that brings together the best startups with the world's largest corporations. Through this partnership, Radisson Hotel Group will strengthen its connections with selected startups, enabling the company to accelerate its innovation capabilities for future travel technologies and solutions. "We are thrilled to be partnering with Plug and Play, the largest startup ecosystem in the World, as part of our Radisson Innovation Roadmap. This partnership is vital to connect us with a large network of startups and potential partners at different maturity levels, improve our innovation ecosystem to maximize business opportunities, and develop outside-of-the-box pioneering solutions when it comes to technology and digital innovation. We see this collaboration as a way to boost our Business Transformation Plan quickly and accelerate our five-year strategic plan," -Gonzalo Carpintero, Senior Vice President Operations & Head of Business Transformation (BTO), Radisson Hotel Group. Plug and Play Travel & Hospitality launched in 2016 and has since expanded to six locations around the world. Since its inception, the travel program has accelerated over 250 startups and worked with the most innovative corporations in the industry. By working with Plug and Play, Radisson Hotel Group will gain access to top industry startups, networking opportunities with peers, and exclusive events surrounding the latest travel and hospitality technology trends. "We're thrilled to welcome Radisson Hotel Group to our ecosystem. It really speaks to their innovation culture and leadership's strategic vision to prioritize innovation during these difficult times. Hospitality technology has been a focus for our group for many years and we can't wait to help them engage with the startup community, Our main mission is to supercharge the Pilot/POC sourcing and implementation of new technologies for the group which will ultimately take their already amazing portfolio of hotels and customer-centric services to a new level." -Jordan Bray, VP of Corporate Partnerships at Plug and Play. To learn more about Plug and Play, apply here to speak with one of our experts: https://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com/join/ About Radisson Hotel Group Radisson Hotel Group is one of the world's largest hotel groups with nine distinctive hotel brands, and more than 1,700 hotels in operation and under development in 120 countries. The Group's overarching brand promise is Every Moment Matters with a signature Yes I Can! service ethos. The Radisson Hotel Group portfolio includes Radisson Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson RED, Radisson Individuals, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson, Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, and prizeotel brought together under one commercial umbrella brand Radisson Hotels. Radisson Rewards is our international rewards program that delivers unique and personalized ways to create memorable moments that matter to our guests. Radisson Rewards offers an exceptional experience for our guests, meeting planners, and travel agents at over 660 hotels in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Radisson Meetings provides tailored solutions for any event or meeting, including hybrid solutions placing guests and their needs at the heart of its offer. Radisson Meetings is built around three strong service commitments: Personal, Professional and Memorable, while delivering on the brilliant basics and being uniquely 100% Carbon Neutral. The health and safety of guests and team members remain a top priority for Radisson Hotel Group. All properties across the Group's portfolio are subject to stringent health and safety requirements, as outlined in the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol. The in-depth cleanliness and disinfection protocols were developed in partnership with SGS, the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, and are designed to ensure guest safety and peace of mind from check-in to check-out. The Safety Protocol is an integral part of Radisson Hotel Group's Safety and Security program ensuring we always care for our guests and team members. More than 100,000 team members work at Radisson Hotel Group and at the hotels licensed to operate in its systems. For more information, visit our corporate website. Or connect with Radisson Hotels on: About Plug and Play Plug and Play is a global innovation platform. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, we have built accelerator programs, corporate innovation services, and an in-house VC to make technological advancement progress faster than ever before. Since inception in 2006, our programs have expanded worldwide to include a presence in over 40 locations globally, giving startups the necessary resources to succeed in Silicon Valley and beyond. With 40,000 startups and 500 official corporate partners, we have created the ultimate startup ecosystem in many industries, including Travel & Hospitality, with offices in Silicon Valley, Geneva, Singapore, Shanghai, and Vienna, etc. We currently work with Airbus, Accor Hotels, Flight Centre Travel Group, CWT, IATA, JetBlue Technology Ventures, Marriott International, Star Alliance, Fraport, Vienna International Airport, and many more. Companies in our community have raised over $9 billion in funding, with successful portfolio exits including Danger, Dropbox, Honey, Lending Club and PayPal. For more information, visit www.pnptc.com

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

WTTC launches new cyber resilience report for the global Travel & Tourism sector

The World Travel & Tourism Council | April 23, 2022

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) launched a major new report at its Global Summit in Manila today, to help the sector's stakeholders understand how cyber resilience is shaping the Travel & Tourism sector and plan for a safer and more robust future. The report, 'Codes to resilience,' in joint efforts with Microsoft, draws on comprehensive research and in-depth interviews with cyber security experts in leading Travel & Tourism organizations such as Mastercard, JTB, and Carnival Corporation, among others. The report shows that whilst the COVID-19 pandemic has propelled the world and the sector into a more digital future, with the opportunities provided by digitalization, new challenges have emerged, especially in cybercrime. The inaugural report focuses on three key areas considered critical for the sector: cyber resilience, key issues and six best practices based on the lessons learnt prior to and during the pandemic. The report goes on to show how digitalization has become a strong enabler of business within Travel & Tourism, and given the international nature of the sector, it looks at the role of legislation around individual data protection. According to the report, more than seven out of 10 (72%) SMEs in the UK, the U.S., and Europe, have fallen victim to at least one cyberattack, and with SMEs representing 80% of all Travel & Tourism businesses, mitigating cyber risk must remain a priority for the sector. "Technology and digitalization play a key role in making the whole travel experience more seamless, from booking a holiday, to checking in for a flight or embarking on a cruise. -Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO But the impact of cyberattacks carries enormous financial, reputational and regulatory risk. This critical report reveals four key issues to address in order to improve cyber protection and enhance resilience: securing identity data, securing business operations, understanding the impact of COVID-19 and managing global legislation. According to the report, certain actions can help businesses better prepare to repel an attack, while laying the foundation to support long-term cyber resilience. Educating and training all staff, expanding risk security beyond the physical workplace, employing a zero-trust approach to cyber security, and transparency, among others, have been recommended by industry experts as good practices. Cyber resilience is a crucial element to the future of Travel & Tourism, as cyber systems continue to facilitate and enhance activities between the sector's stakeholders. During a panel session at the tourism body's Global Summit event being held in Manila today, industry leaders heard that cybercrime has cost the global economy $1 trillion and could reach a staggering $90 trillion by 2030. According to the WTTC Economic Impact Report, in 2019, before the pandemic stopped travel in its tracks, the Travel & Tourism sector generated more than $9.6 trillion to the global economy. However, in 2020, the pandemic brought the sector to an almost complete standstill, causing a massive 50% drop, representing a severe loss of nearly $4.5 trillion. Digitization has played and will continue to play a pivotal role in Travel & Tourism's growth and recovery from COVID-19. It is therefore essential for the sector to integrate cyber security and cyber resilience to continue its recovery from the pandemic while supporting its growth in the future.

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Spotlight

Ira Gershkoff is the Principal Consultant at T2RL. He has more than 35 years’ experience with strategic and operational information systems in the airline industry. At T2RL, he is responsible for market analysis of operations systems used by airlines around the world. He is a recognised expert in analysing disruption problems and has written more than 20 technical papers and trade magazine articles. Prior to joining T2RL, he was the Chief Information Officer at Polar Air Cargo, a $350 million international air freight company. He also held executive positions at Sabre, United Airlines and American Airlines.

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