Azerbaijan Tourism Association provides modernization of its beaches

Travel and Tour World | June 14, 2019

In the first place, “Blue Flag” system existing in several countries will be initiated in Azerbaijan for enhancing beach tourism, Adviser to Chairman of the Azerbaijan Tourism Association Muzaffar Agakarimov informed Trend on June 12th.While speaking about the system in Turkey, where beach tourism is quite popular, Agakarimov further added that on the beaches a blue flag is hoisted of several European countries that meet safety requirements as well as sanitary standards.“Tourists from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and other CIS countries visit Turkey to rest on its beaches in summer. Beach tourism, which has a great potential in Azerbaijan, may become a driving force for the development of mass tourism,” Agakarimov added. “Therefore, monitoring should be conducted on the beaches, sanitary standards should be observed and safety measures should be taken.”

Spotlight

The reduction or removal of airline commission continues to challenge travel agencies' profitability. It is crucial to understand what trends travel agencies need to be aware of to ensure that they stay ahead of the game and one step ahead of their competitors. This paper will focus on how to optimise profitability and increase travel agencies’ revenues with service-fee models.


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AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

Jaunt Air Mobility Partnering with L&T Technology Services for Advanced Air Mobility Program

jaunt air mobility | March 11, 2022

Jaunt Air Mobility ("Jaunt") announced the company would be working with L&T Technology Services Limited ("LTTS") (BSE: 540115, NSE: LTTS) as an essential engineering partner. Working in concert with Jaunt, Jaunt Canada, and the Canadian government, LTTS will offer end-to-end engineering support in structural design analysis and certification to develop the Jaunt Journey all-electric VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft. LTTS is a global leading pure-play engineering services company. LTTS has a track record of developing high-performance engineering solutions for global Aerospace and Defense companies for over a decade and has supported critical defense programs. With offices worldwide, including Toronto, Canada, LTTS anticipates opening R&D offices in Montréal to advance Jaunt in the design, development, and production of the Jaunt Journey. Jaunt Air Mobility is rolling out a new generation of aircraft to meet faster urban and regional travel demand. The Jaunt Journey takes off like a helicopter and transitions to flying like a fixed-wing plane using patented Slowed-Rotor Compound (SRC) Technology. This new air transport makes it possible to travel approximately 70 miles in the air in 25 minutes or less, with trip costs affordable to the public. The Jaunt Journey, single-pilot aircraft, will carry four passengers. The vehicle will offer urban air mobility, cargo delivery, military missions, and medical transport. "At Jaunt, our vision is to usher in a range of new-age aircraft-driven urban commuting that is fast, safe, and convenient. This new clean, sustainable aircraft will reduce carbon emissions worldwide. Strategically, we are continuing to grow our Tier 1 partnerships and recognize LTTS as a best-fit engineering partner, and together we are confident of pushing the mass-scale commercialization". -Martin Peryea, CEO & CTO Jaunt Amit Chadha, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director, L&T Technology Services, commented, "This partnership marks an important step for team LTTS, given the tremendous opportunities opening up in Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) and drone services which are emerging as alternatives to the increasingly congested on-ground mobility in cities. We believe this program will set the benchmark for future AAM projects, and our team is excited to build on this important engagement with Jaunt, with the eventual aim to make urban commuting safer, greener, efficient, and reliable About Jaunt Jaunt Air Mobility is a transformative aerospace company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with design and manufacturing located in Montreal, Canada. Jaunt is building the next generation of eVTOL (electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing) and hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft for faster, quieter, and safer travel over urban areas, moving people and packages. Jaunt is the global leader in developing Slowed-Rotor Compound (SRC) technology. The Jaunt Journey is the world's first electric aircraft combining helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft flight capabilities. Jaunt has teamed with Tier 1 aviation partners to develop the Journey and work with global operators to provide this new form of travel. Jaunt offers the most operationally efficient aircraft with a zero-carbon footprint. For more information, visit www.jauntairmobility.com.On October 6, 2021, Jaunt entered into a merger agreement with AIRO Group Holdings, Inc. (AIRO Group) and certain of its affiliates, pursuant to which Jaunt will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of AIRO Group. The AIRO Group will bring together decades of industry-leading technology with its group companies to provide best-in-class products and services uniquely capable of addressing a wide spectrum of aerospace markets. AIRO Group leverages technologies that span data systems, resupply package delivery, military aerospace training, military and commercial manned/unmanned aircraft systems, and avionics technologies.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

Emburse Launches the Ultimate Business Travel Companion Tool to Enhance the Entire Trip Experience

Emburse | April 06, 2022

Emburse, a global leader in spend management solutions, has announced the launch of Emburse Go: a mobile travel companion that delivers the best possible business travel experience by managing every aspect of a trip - from end to end. Emburse Go extends well beyond typical flight and hotel itinerary information, providing valuable location-based content to keep travelers safe, comfortable and productive. Traditionally, business travelers have had to navigate every aspect of a trip themselves, beyond basic transit and accommodation. Emburse Go allows employers to easily curate destination information and deliver contextual messaging that not only meets growing employee expectations, but also helps reduce spend leakage and minimize risks. It even allows companies to track the carbon footprint of each trip and across their travel program. Designed for small and medium-sized businesses, Emburse Go is based on the Emburse Go Premier (formerly Roadmap) award-winning corporate travel app used by millions of travelers at large enterprises including Nike, Microsoft and Merck. Notable features include: Consumer-like app delivers a curated experience at every stage of the trip Emburse Go differs from most business travel apps by providing much more than flight notifications and itinerary information, such as company-selected city guides and preferred supplier links for easy access to the corporate booking tool, corporate TMC, corporate card and expense solution. It focuses on supporting travelers holistically throughout their trip, including the entire time they’re at their destination. Once a trip is booked (whether via a corporate booking tool or online booking site), the app can be automatically pre-populated with the itinerary, any subsequent itinerary changes and all relevant destination information. This includes local transport tips, tipping recommendations, risk and safety information, and local music and points of interest. As employees use the app, employers can learn from their experiences via travel data that relies on machine learning best practices and traveler reviews given through the app. This helps improve future trip recommendations and measures performance against travel program goals. Emphasizes traveler safety, helping employers prioritize duty of care Travelers can access essential safety information about their destination within the app. Emburse Go provides the latest COVID testing requirements, travel advisories, and visa requirements, and links to request assistance during the trip. Corporate travel managers can reduce risk by easily communicating safety information to travelers via the app. Tracks carbon footprint and informs sustainable decision-making More than 70% of business travelers are concerned about their company’s carbon footprint, according to Statista. Emburse Go leverages data from Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GGP) to allow employees to manage their footprint and companies to get an overview of their impact. Travelers can view the carbon footprint of their entire trip, including flights, ground transportation and hotel choices, in the Emburse Go app. Data from all employee trips is gathered in a central dashboard, enabling organizations to measure and analyze their overall carbon footprint and benchmark it against their ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) commitments. “Optimizing the business traveler experience has long been overlooked as a nice-to-have. But not any more. The pause in business travel and the overall increased focus on employee wellbeing has made companies reassess how to treat their employees while on the road. All organizations, no matter their size, have to rise to the challenge with curated experiences, easy-to-use mobile apps, and clear commitment to comfort, safety and sustainability. Business trips are an opportunity to live up to your organization’s values and promises. Companies that fail to do so will feel the impact in the form of higher travel costs, employee churn and reputational pressure,” -Eric Friedrichsen, CEO of Emburse. Emburse Go is available as an iPhone or Android app, to existing Emburse customers. It comes with a desktop self-service portal for travel managers, enabling them to create targeted and custom messaging for travelers. Emburse Go Premier is available to existing customers or as a standalone solution. Emburse Go Premier customers also receive monthly reports and insights for their entire travel program. The app is available in seven languages. About Emburse Emburse is a modern spend management company offering solutions that revolutionize the way organizations manage employee expenses, process invoices and make payments. Emburse humanizes work by empowering business travelers, finance professionals, and CFOs to eliminate manual, time-consuming tasks, so they can focus on what matters most. Its innovative offerings, which are tailored to meet the unique business needs of specific industries, company sizes, and geographies, are trusted by more than 9 million users in more than 120 countries. Over 16,000 customers, from start-ups to global enterprises, including Bosch, Grant Thornton, Telefónica, Lufthansa Systems, and Toyota, rely on Emburse to make faster, smarter decisions, improve compliance, and optimize spend -- making corporate spend deliver meaningful value for the organization. Emburse is recognized as a leader in expense management and accounts payable automation by analyst firm IDC, and has received multiple awards for innovation and its high levels of customer satisfaction. For more information on Emburse, visit emburse.com, call 877-EMBURSE, or follow the organization’s social channels at @emburse.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Rêv & Visit Mexico Establish Payments & Loyalty Innovations Partnership Focused On Strengthening Cross Border Travel Engagement

Rêv | January 07, 2022

Rêv Worldwide, Inc. (“Rêv”), a global payments & loyalty product innovations company, and Visit Mexico, Mexico’s official tourism marketing agency, announced a multi-year strategic partnership aimed at fostering cross border tourism by leveraging innovative digital products and services that facilitate engagement, convenience and value for the travel sector.With the introduction of the X World Wallet, a multi-currency debit account accessible by downloading a mobile app, linked to physical and digital Visa cards, and integrated loyalty program, Rêv and Visit Mexico take a first step in offering a suite of products and services with a mission to promote tourism activity for one of the world’s most important travel corridors. The X World Wallet, now available nationwide, puts in the hands of its users a powerful tool that facilitates international transactions, discounts on travel bookings, and a points based loyalty program that helps maximize value for the user. While there are a variety of branded and co-branded credit products targeting the travel market, the availability of a mobile-first debit product that combines payments, foreign currency exchange, loyalty, and bookings is part of a recent wave of innovation that is giving consumers an alternative from credit cards with application requirements, high annual fees, interest rates and restrictive loyalty programs. “We are proud to be working side by side with Visit Mexico to put our technology to work so that travelers can access relevant and hassle free tools to facilitate their journey,” -Bertrand Sosa, President & Chief Marketing Officer, Rêv Worldwide. Given continued pandemic impacts globally across the travel industry, consumers and industry players alike are seeing how digital solutions play an even more important role in helping to reduce friction as well as open the opportunity to enhance key aspects of the travel experience. While the pandemic has decimated the travel industry globally, Mexico is one of the few countries who kept air travel open throughout the challenging times. The World Tourism Organization (WHO) estimates Mexico was the third most-visited country in the world in 2020. “As we continue to establish Mexico as the best destination for travelers from around the world, we are excited to collaborate with Rêv on the development of useful products that help us connect with travelers and help make their travel experience better - beginning with making it easier, cheaper and safer for Americans to transact in our country,” -Carlos Gonzalez Gonzalez, Chief Executive Officer, Visit Mexico. In a recent report citing travel recovery trends, Ryan Felipe, Visa’s Head of North America Cross Border Business noted, “Travelers continue to seek digital-first experiences throughout their journeys – from planning and booking to paying for dining and shopping while on the road. This provides an opportunity for financial service providers and businesses to drive increased engagement with their customers via trigger-based offers and messaging to drive loyalty. The X World Wallet offers users access to person-to-person payment transfers, tap-and-go purchase convenience, virtual and digital pay card functionalities, block/unblock account security features, and an integrated support platform to automatically contribute to climate change initiatives. The no credit check, low fees, no application reloadable X World Wallet™ Visa Debit cards available on the X account are issued by Texas First Bank, pursuant to a license by Visa Inc., and subject to cardholder Terms & Conditions. There are no offline or online purchase transaction fees, or foreign conversion fees when using the X World Wallet Visa card(s). Standard ATM fees and applicable FX rates do apply. For more information on the X World Wallet, visit xworldwallet.com. Rêv and Visit Mexico are also collaborating on making available the X World Wallet in Mexico in early 2022 so Mexicans traveling abroad may also enjoy the benefits US tourists have access to now. About Rêv Rêv is a fintech company, founded by prepaid debit industry pioneers Roy Sosa and Bertrand Sosa, dedicated to delivering innovative payment experiences to consumers worldwide. Its solutions are powered by the company’s proprietary multi-currency and multi-language payments processing platform. With vast experience developing payment industry innovations, Rêv is focused on the general, international banking & travel sectors. Rêv has partnered with companies across the globe to launch products in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. Learn more at revworldwide.com. About Visit Mexico Visit Mexico, the official brand under which Mexico’s Tourism Board has promoted domestic and international travel within-and-to Mexico for years, is now a private-government collaboration operating as the official marketing agency in charge of developing tourism campaigns, partnerships, and innovative operating models to further tourism activity for the country around the world. For more information visit visitmexico.com.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

ENEL X AND OK2CHARGE MODERNIZE VACATION RENTALS WITH SMART EV CHARGING SOLUTIONS TO SUPPORT MORE SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL

enel x & ok2charge | March 15, 2022

Enel X, the advanced energy services arm of the Enel Group, and Ok2Charge announce a partnership under which Enel X provides Ok2Charge with co-branded smart electric vehicle charging stations to be installed across vacation rental properties worldwide, enabling guests to charge at the property rather than spending time searching for a charger. As the first solution designed specifically for the vacation rental market, the Ok2Charge smart EV charging platform integrates with major property management systems to provide an industry-first fully automated EV charging solution as a property amenity that can be deployed across a portfolio of managed properties. The agreement delivers a turnkey charging solution for managers and owners of vacation rental properties who want to meet the needs of the rapidly increasing number of EV drivers."With demand for EVs continuing to grow, confidence with longer range battery electric vehicles, and the popularity of vacation destinations within driving distance, EV drivers want to know that they will have easy access to smart charging throughout their journey," said Giovanni Bertolino, Head of e-Mobility, Enel X North America. "Through our partnership with Ok2Charge, we're enabling EV drivers to travel on their own terms and providing them with peace of mind that they'll be able to charge at their destination. The vacation rental market continues to expand as major rental companies like Airbnb report record growth. Recently, Airbnb reported that more than 850,000 listings include chargers among their amenities and more than 500,000 unique searches for EV chargers between June and December of that year were counted in 2021. In a recent Enel X survey, over 1500 JuiceBox customer participants shared their electric vehicle and charging preferences for driving-distance travel. Over 52% of respondents use Airbnb for their vacation rental plans, and additional findings include: If rental properties could guarantee a Level 2 charge for their guests, 74% of respondents would drive their EV on more road trips. 81% of respondents shared that access to Level 2 charging influences their travel plans. More than 67% of respondents stated that access to a DC fast charging station on route was very important for road travel that is more than 200 miles. 44% of respondents shared they drive their electric vehicle on road trips and 22% of respondents shared they sometimes drive their electric vehicles on road trips. More than 76% of participants took up to 4 vacation road trips in the last year. Ok2Charge selected Enel X due to Enel X's best-in-class EV charging hardware and open standards software to integrate with Ok2Charge's software platform. The Ok2Charge platform provides charging based on guest and reservation data to fully automate access and control. User-friendly reports can be exported for each location or portfolio wide, enabling property managers to monitor usage, energy consumption, and financial performance. "We are pleased to partner with Enel X to offer smart EV charging as an amenity so our clients will be able to stand out from the competition in the crowded vacation rental market,This not only enables EV drivers to seamlessly charge their vehicles while on vacation, but it also reduces the environmental impact of tourism, a win/win." -Ward Prickett, COO and co-founder of Ok2Charge The Ok2Charge platform enables guests to select EV charging as an optional add-on amenity and provides an additional revenue stream for property owners and rental managers with remote visibility into real-time statistics in a centralized location – their property management system. The platform also ensures that only those guests who have selected the amenity will be authorized to charge their vehicles through a flexible payment structure paid through the Ok2Charge app, preventing unwanted use and unexpected energy costs. In certain markets, property owners can optimize energy demand to reduce costs and carbon emissions. Property management software platforms such as Escapia, Guesty LiveRez, LMPM, Streamline, Track and VRM integrate Ok2Charge as their smart EV charging solution. This integration enables EV charging as an amenity to professional host and management companies that utilize these platforms across major booking OTA channels such as Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, Tripadvisor, Expedia, Agoda, direct booking websites and more. "We're seeing an increase in travelers visiting from distances that can be travelled to by car that spend more time at our properties. Also, more people are driving electric vehicles, so partnering with OK2Charge and adding smart EV chargers to our properties was a no brainer," said Bob Hawkins, Vacation Company. "We've already experienced positive guest comments regarding the convenience of smart charging at the rental property." With this agreement, Enel X and Ok2Charge, through partners which together manage thousands of rental properties across single-family, multi-family, and vacation rentals, are providing a comprehensive smart charging solution that provides drivers with accessible charging and property owners with a property management system to seamlessly integrate EV charging into the rental process and stand out in the competitive vacation rental market. "We are excited to have provided this cutting-edge service to homeowners and vacation rental guests on the Gulf Coast at our Ocean Edge community last year, We look forward to offering smart solutions and services to more clients and customers in both real estate sales and vacation rentals as the market continues to grow." -Glen Kaiser, with Kaiser Vacation Rentals. About Enel X Enel X is the Enel group's global business line that offers services to accelerate innovation and drive the energy transition. A world leader in the sector of advanced energy solutions, the brand Enel X manages services such as demand response with 7.7 GW of total capacity globally and 195 MW of storage capacity installed worldwide. In January 2022, a new Global Business Line fully dedicated to electric mobility was created, managing approximately 250,000 public and private charging ports for electric vehicles available all over the world, promoting and developing projects and solutions for the spread of e-Mobility in the countries in which Enel Group operates. For more information on Enel X eMobility please visit https://evcharging.enelx.com. About Ok2Charge Ok2Charge provides a network of smart electric vehicle (EV) charging stations that bring clean energy to the last mile of vacation travel. OK2's platform integrates seamlessly with leading property management systems, while the charging stations can also work as standalone units, creating a brand-new revenue stream for properties and portfolios of every size. Plus, by making EV travel easier, OK2 encourages more drivers to switch to zero-emission vehicles — helping create a future in which long-distance vacation travel will be 100% carbon-neutral. Learn more about OK2's leading-edge technology at https://www.ok2charge.com.

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Spotlight

The reduction or removal of airline commission continues to challenge travel agencies' profitability. It is crucial to understand what trends travel agencies need to be aware of to ensure that they stay ahead of the game and one step ahead of their competitors. This paper will focus on how to optimise profitability and increase travel agencies’ revenues with service-fee models.

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