TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Avoya Travel Launches New Communication Technology

Avoya Travel | January 12, 2021

Avoya Travel as of late launched new communication technology as a component of the Avoya platform named Avoya Conversations. Avoya Conversations offers Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network the alternative to speak with clients by means of instant message through a simple to-utilize framework that is coordinated into Avoya's protected SaaS technology, Agent Power.

The initial rollout of the new technology highlights text messaging, while future phases will incorporate different completely coordinated correspondence choices including live chat, third-party applications like WhatsApp and more.

Avoya Conversations is intended to be a traveler-driven help pointed toward offering communication alternatives dependent on every traveler's individual communication preferences (for example text, email, phone, etc.) The combination of the technology into Avoya's foundation considers constant communication through the Agent Power CRM, where travelers and Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network can connect directly.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Hudson Becomes First Travel Retailer To Deploy Amazon One

Hudson | December 16, 2021

Hudson, a Dufry company and travel experience leader with more than 1,000 stores in airports, commuter hubs, landmarks and tourist destinations across North America, announced it is the first retailer in the travel industry to offer Amazon’s palm recognition service, Amazon One, strengthening the company’s position as an innovative, digitally-powered retailer. Amazon One is now available at Hudson Nonstop – powered by Just Walk Out technology – at Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL).Hudson continues to expand its digital offerings to enhance customer service and reimagine the shopping journey. Now with the addition of Amazon One, Hudson is providing travelers with even more convenient and contactless ways to enter, shop, and pay – delivering greater choice and flexibility throughout their travels. “The integration of Amazon One into our technology portfolio demonstrates Hudson’s unique ability to continually redefine and elevate the travel experience,With consumers increasingly demanding greater convenience and speed, we look forward to leading the charge in introducing new innovative solutions and retail concepts that are designed to meet and exceed the expectations of our travelers and partners.” -Jordi Martin-Consuegra, Chief Executive Officer of Hudson. As the first-ever Just Walk Out technology-enabled store in an airport to deploy Amazon One, Hudson Nonstop at DAL now offers travelers two different options to enter and pay – either by inserting their credit or debit card, or by hovering their palm over the Amazon One device at the store’s entry gate. First-time Amazon One users can sign up at the dedicated Amazon One enrollment kiosk located outside of Hudson Nonstop to securely associate a credit or debit card with their unique palm signature before entering the store. If a traveler has previously enrolled in Amazon One at select Amazon Go, Amazon Books, Amazon 4-star, Amazon Fresh, Amazon Pop Up, or Whole Foods Market stores, they will not need to visit the enrollment kiosk – they can simply hover their palm over the Amazon One device at the entry gates to enter this Hudson Nonstop. Once travelers have completed their shopping, the card linked to their Amazon One ID will be charged for the items they selected and left the store with. “The introduction of Amazon One to the Hudson Nonstop store at the Dallas Love Field Airport brings another convenient way for travelers to quickly shop and be on their way, We’re thrilled Hudson is offering travelers in Dallas the ability to shop quickly and effortlessly using a combination of Just Walk Out technology and Amazon One so they can get what they need without having to wait in line, stopping to checkout, or even taking out their wallet.” -Dilip Kumar, Vice President of Physical Retail & Technology at Amazon Hudson currently has two Hudson Nonstop stores powered by Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology, including its most recent location at Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW). The deployment of Amazon One at Hudson Nonstop at DAL expands on the successful collaboration between the two industry-leading retailers while building on Hudson’s continued investments in its digital offerings. This includes launching automated specialty retail, introducing additional checkout options such as mobile point of sale (POS), offering 24x7 duty free omnichannel shopping, and adding new payment methods like “Tap To Pay” and now Amazon One. About Hudson Hudson, a Dufry Company, is a travel experience company turning the world of travel into a world of opportunity by being the Traveler’s Best Friend in more than 1,000 stores in airports, commuter hubs, landmarks, and tourist locations. Our team members care for travelers as friends at our travel convenience, specialty retail, duty free and food and beverage destinations. At the intersection of travel and retail, we partner with landlords and vendors, and take innovative, commercial approaches to deliver exceptional value. To learn more about how we can make your location a travel destination, please visit us at hudsongrou

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Curator Hotel & Resort Collection and Optii Solutions Announce Partnership to Provide Unique Hotel Operations Technology to Independent Hotels

curator hotel & resort | March 09, 2022

Curator Hotel & Resort Collection (“Curator”) has selected Optii Solutions (“Optii”), a leading hotel management software for hotel operations and housekeeping teams, to offer its member hotels the technology to have complete visibility of their operations.Curator member hotels can now leverage Optii’s data-driven technology to streamline their housekeeping operations and provide a dynamic connection between front and back of house. It will furnish independent hotels with AI-powered technology to optimize labor and cleaning sequences, resulting in an estimated 25% increase in productivity. This increased productivity and optimization will also help independent hoteliers’ become more profitable. Optii Housekeeping centralizes operations for full visibility and improved team performance, managing room attendant routes and room status so that rooms can be turned around faster and more efficiently and eliminate ineffective manual communications. Optii’s tools are critical in the current challenging labor environment. “This partnership with Curator Hotels & Resorts and Optii Solutions is an exciting part of our continued expansion in the US to support hotels and provide access to technology that will provide the ultimate guest experience. Through this partnership, Curator independent hotels will access Optii’s Housekeeping solution to help hotels optimize labor and run their daily operations efficiently. We look forward to working closely with these hotels to help lift the independent hotel industry.” -Katherine Grass, CEO of Optii Solutions Curator selected Optii Solutions as a preferred partner due to the data-driven insights the platform can provide hoteliers. The insights lead to greater overall efficiency and productivity for hotel management teams, and provide guidance on where resources need to be allocated and how much time is being spent on tasks. “As independent hotels continue to adjust to and implement necessary operational changes in order to better service guests, Curator remains focused on adding preferred technologies that can have an immediate and meaningful impact on both operational efficiency and costs,Optii Solutions is a great example of a service provider well-positioned to unlock value for our hotel owners by providing faster and more efficient housekeeping operations and insights into the performance of their housekeeping teams. Over time, technology like this will allow our members to do more with less.” -Austin Segal, Vice President of Curator Hotel & Resort Collection. 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 Optii Solutions Optii Solutions, headquartered in Austin, TX and with offices in London and Brisbane, is a hotel operations technology that optimizes labor, streamlines operations, and empowers teams across housekeeping, service delivery, internal communication, and preventative maintenance. Optii is an MCR portfolio company and is used by hotels and resorts around the world including La Cantera Resort & Spa (Benchmark), The Don Cesar (Host), Okada Manilla Resort & Casino, Le Meridien, Doma Hotels, IHG and more. For further information about Optii, please visit www.optiisolutions.com. 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.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Select Registry Distinguished Inns of North America Celebrates 50 Years of Excellence in Travel

select registry | March 03, 2022

For 50 years, Select Registry Distinguished Inns of North America's network of distinguished, independent properties has offered outstanding accommodations and one-of-a-kind experiences to travelers. Select Registry was established in 1972 by travel writer Norman T. Simpson. He was the recognized authority on country inns of his time and traveled the roads and wrote of the unique inns he visited. He identified places that offered what he referred to as, "good honest lodging, good honest food, and good honest feeling." From there, his book, Country Inns and Back Roads was born. Country Inns and Back Roads started with just 16 pages and eventually evolved into a yearly guidebook, reflecting the growth of inns at the time.Today, Select Registry continues in the spirit of Norman Simpson with more than 250 member properties throughout the United States, a semi-annually published travel and lifestyle magazine, Inn Scene, and a robust website intended to provide travel inspiration and unique experiences. Select Registry properties represent the gold standard of independently owned inns, bed and breakfasts, and boutique hotels. Our quality assurance program is the most comprehensive in the industry, giving travelers assurance of consistent quality and comfort at each property. "We are proud to celebrate this milestone anniversary, Our diverse collection of properties share a passion for exceptional hospitality which has carried our organization through the last 50 years. We look forward to continuing to inspire travelers for the next 50 years and beyond." -Mark Reichle, CEO of Select Registry Discover the Select Registry difference and learn why we have been trusted by travelers and serving innkeepers for over 50 years. Watch a video commemorating the 50th anniversary of this distinguished collection of inns. About Select Registry: For 50 years, Select Registry Distinguished Inns of North America has set the standard for excellence in personal hospitality at independently owned inns and bed and breakfasts. Today, our upscale properties include over 250 boutique properties. They're located everywhere from backcountry roads to big-city neighborhoods, along coastlines, and in heartlands across the United States. Learn more at www.SelectRegistry.com.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Backroads Announces 2022 Travel Trends and Gears Up for Busiest Year Ever

Backroads | December 28, 2021

Backroads, the leader in active travel, announced their forecast for top travel destinations in 2022 based on advance bookings and inquiries. Europe is at the top of many travelers’ lists next year, with huge demand for trips in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Greece and Iceland. Many newcomers to active travel are booking adventures already, especially easygoing Dolce Tempo tours, and e-bikes are continuing to become more popular with guests of all ages. Backroads is anticipating that most of their North American trips will sell out once again, in line with the 2021 trend of strong interest in US National Parks and luxurious domestic adventures. As this eventful year comes to a close, Backroads is finishing strong and poised to have their biggest year ever in 2022. Backroads’ 2021 year-end highlights include: Backroads had its best year of all time in the US in 2021. Domestic bookings were up 45% compared to 2019, the last pre-pandemic benchmark year, and virtually all US departures sold out. The number of first-time travelers with Backroads nearly doubled over 2019, as people incorporated their newfound passions for walking, hiking and biking into their vacations. Top-selling trips in 2021 included Canyonlands, Yellowstone, Maine, San Juan Islands, Alaska, California Wine Country, Hawaii, Santa Barbara & Ojai, Crater Lake, Vermont and Yosemite in the US, and Croatia, Iceland, Greece, France, Portugal and Spain in Europe. Luxury experiences close to home saw a surge in popularity. Backroads' new Aspen tour (which includes three nights at the iconic Hotel Jerome) sold out immediately, as did the company’s Newfoundland adventure, which features lodging at the famed Fogo Island Inn, and its California Wine Country Walking trip with lodging at luxurious hideaways Montage and Solage. Popular with travelers around the world were Backroads' Dolce Tempo tours. These easygoing walking, multi-adventure and e-biking trips completely sold out in 2021 and are booking quickly in 2022. Adventure travel featuring invigorating activity in wide-open, natural spaces was hugely popular with travelers of all types, including families, couples and solo travelers. Based on advance guest booking and inquiries, Backroads is anticipating the following trends for 2022: More than 30% of guests on multi-adventure and biking trips will opt for e-bikes, which are custom-built for Backroads and included in the trip price. Europe will continue to see pent-up demand manifesting in sky-high bookings, with all the European countries that opened early and were popular in 2021 seeing strong traveler interest. Top-selling countries include Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Greece and Iceland. North America, which had its biggest year ever in 2021, will continue to be popular with travelers looking to stick close to home. US National Park trips will again completely sell out. Demand for travel in all parts of Canada from Banff to Newfoundland is skyrocketing. Family travel is up across all family segments: Teens & Kids, Older Teens & 20s and 20s & Beyond. Bookings for easygoing Dolce Tempo adventures will maintain their threefold increase compared to 2021, as travelers of all fitness levels look to spend active time outdoors. Active River Cruises will book up quickly with Bordeaux, Danube and Portugal’s Douro leading the way. Working in active, outdoor travel continues to appeal, with more than 450 Backroads Trip Leaders and Field Staff returning next season for a 90% retention rate. The company expects to hire close to another 350 additional Trip Leaders from 6,000 applicants for jobs in 2022. “If there’s one thing we’ve learned during our two years of operating trips during the pandemic, it’s that things change rapidly, Spring, summer, and fall are a long time away when it comes to COVID-19. We’re monitoring government responses to the latest surge and keeping a close eye on border reopenings and local policies.” -Tom Hale, Backroads Founder and President. Regardless of what happens this winter, 2022 is shaping up to be an incredible year for adventure travel. Based on what we saw in the summer 2021 season, we expect travel in Europe to come back strong, with France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Croatia topping the list of travelers everywhere,” said Hale. “People are eager to get back out exploring, and active travel is the way they want to go. Whether it’s on a bike or an e-bike, hiking or walking, with family, friends or solo, we anticipate next year to be Backroads' biggest year ever.”     About Backroads      Backroads was founded in 1979 by Tom Hale and has been a leading innovator in active and adventure travel for over 40 years. The company offers biking, walking & hiking and multi-adventure tours, small ship active cruises, private trips and family trips designed for three distinct age groups: Teens & Kids (typically 9-16), Older Teens & 20s (17+) and 20s & Beyond (adult kids through their late 20s). Backroads hosts thousands of guests each year—75% of whom are repeat guests or referrals from past guests—in hundreds of locations across the globe. For more information, please visit backroads.com, or call 800-462-2848.For more Backroads information, visit: backroads.com

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