TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Barceló Hotel Group Chooses Talkdesk Contact Center Solution

Barceló Hotel Group | June 20, 2022

Barceló Hotel Group Chooses
Talkdesk®, Inc., a global cloud contact center leader for customer-obsessed companies, has been chosen by Barceló Hotel Group to provide a cloud-based destination to centralize the hospitality brand’s contact center operations and improve customer experience (CX) for their clientsBarceló Hotel Group is the hotel division of the Barceló Group, a Spanish tourism leader. Founded in 1931 by Simón Barceló, the hospitality company has continued to flourish under the leadership of three generations of the Barceló family. Barceló Hotel Group manages 60,000 guest rooms in more than 270 four- and five-star urban and leisure hotel properties across 24 countries. Their company philosophy of “forward hoteligence” inspires the brand to continue elevating the benchmark for guest experience – earning them recognition as one of the 30 largest hotel brands in the world.

Talkdesk CX Cloud™, an end-to-end customer experience solution, helped Barceló achieve digital transformation within their contact center. The flexibility and scalability of the Talkdesk platform eased the brand through a critical pivot from geographically siloed contact centers to one centralized virtual hub for managing all customer interactions. Previously, Barceló Hotel Group contact center agents – working from various locations across the globe – were only able to focus on customer inquiries within their own geographic areas. With the Talkdesk solution, every Barceló Hotel Group agent can assist any customer at any time. Talkdesk for Salesforce™ provides agents with real-time access to key customer details, ensuring guest needs are anticipated and met. Individual agents can also access all of their communication channels, tools, and customer data on a single screen, resulting in streamlined workflows and increased efficiency. AI-powered features like Talkdesk Interaction Analytics™ and Talkdesk QM Assist™ offer valuable, real-time coaching opportunities to help agents mine every interaction for the customer insights that lead to outstanding guest experiences.

“The Barceló commitment to excellent guest service is one of the main strategic objectives of the company. It’s not just our vocation, it’s the passion that drives us forward, We also believe that delivering excellent guest experiences, and offering additional value during the reservation process through our contact centers, begins with giving our employees access to the best tools integrated into an omnichannel experience with Barceló.com. The Talkdesk solution presents our contact center agents with a simpler way to leverage complex data and provide a more personalized, seamless guest experience – before, during, and after staying at any one of the hotels managed by Barceló Hotel Group.”

-Iñigo Onieva, global digital business director, Barceló Hotel Group.

In hospitality and tourism, the customer journey extends beyond those moments spent enjoying five-star hotel accommodation. The brands who strive to also provide five-star guest experiences – from first inquiry to those thoughtful post-visit touchpoints – will be recognised as pioneers in the quest for guest loyalty,” said Kathie Johnson, chief marketing officer, Talkdesk. “With the Talkdesk solution, Barceló agents will have the capabilities and support needed to guide guests on that complete journey. We’re proud to partner with Barceló in achieving their customer experience goals.

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Worldwide GDP created through the travel and tourism industry will reach $11 trillion by 2027.


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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

ROSEWOOD HOTELS & RESORTS ANNOUNCES ROSEWOOD RESIDENCES BEVERLY HILLS

ROSEWOOD HOTELS | August 08, 2022

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts® continues to grow its portfolio of exceptional residences with the announcement of Rosewood Residences Beverly Hills, the brand's first standalone residential condominium development in California. Located on Santa Monica Boulevard neighboring world-renowned landmarks and timeless Beverly Hills icons, the boutique development, comprised of 17 ultra-luxury residences, will serve as a model for enriched living in Southern California. Developed by Nahla Capital and GPI Companies, Rosewood Residences Beverly Hills is scheduled for completion in 2024, with sales to officially commence in 2023.Situated in the heart of Beverly Hills, Rosewood Residences Beverly Hills features exterior architecture and interiors designed by Thomas Juul-Hansen, known internationally for his excellence in craftsmanship and design of residential developments, custom residences, and elegant restaurants. Evoking Rosewood's guiding A Sense of Place® philosophy, wherein each property reflects the texture and typology of its location, the residences will feature custom interiors and exquisite finishes that epitomize California's timeless and casual sophistication. Ranging from 3,000 to over 7,000 square feet, every private home comprises a vast array of truly unique amenities including private elevator access, large entry foyers, indoor and outdoor living areas, expansive chefs' kitchens with double islands, and mudroom/laundry rooms accessed by a discrete service elevator. Private swimming pools in nearly half the residences will create a focal point for their large terraces. Additional al-fresco features and amenities scattered across select residences include fully equipped outdoor kitchens, wet bars, and firepits, lending to exceptional living and entertaining. "As the popularity of standalone branded residences continues to grow, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts is thrilled to present this opportunity to enjoy the height of living in the prominent market of Beverly Hills, Thoughtfully conceived to extend the utmost in design, service, and experience, Rosewood Residences Beverly Hills is poised to emerge as one of the most desirable destinations not only in California but across the country. We are proud to bring this incredible project to life alongside our partners and to further reinforce our commitment to delivering exceptional residential experiences in the most sought-after locations around the world." -Brad Berry, vice president of Global Residential Development at Rosewood Hotel Group Rosewood Residences Beverly Hills will be exclusively managed by a dedicated Rosewood Residential Team who oversee every aspect of the property's luxury service offerings. Coveted amenities will be available to its intimate group of homeowners, including a beautiful resort-like rooftop retreat featuring a pool, whirlpool spa, fitness center, and outdoor relaxation areas boasting breathtaking views of the city. Residents will also enjoy a communal rooftop lounge and dining spaces affording them the ability to host gatherings small or large. "Nahla Capital and GPI Companies are proud to work alongside Rosewood Hotels & Resorts to introduce Rosewood Residences to the iconic Beverly Hills community, Rosewood Residences Beverly Hills will consist of one-of-a-kind homes with many exquisite amenities, and we are excited to collaborate with Rosewood, Compass Development Marketing group, and best-in-class firms including Thomas Juul-Hansen and executive architect MVE Architects to bring this project to life." -Genghis Hadi, co-founder and managing principal of Nahla Capital. About Rosewood Hotels & Resorts Rosewood Hotels & Resorts® manages a global collection of 30 one-of-a-kind luxury hotels, resorts and residences in 18 countries. Each Rosewood property embraces the brand's A Sense of Place® philosophy to reflect the individual location's history, culture and sensibilities. The Rosewood collection includes some of the world's most legendary hotels and resorts, including The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel in New York, Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas and Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel in Paris, as well as new classics such as Rosewood Hong Kong and Rosewood São Paulo. For those who wish to stay a little longer, Rosewood Residences offer a distinct opportunity for the ownership or rental of properties co-located with a Rosewood hotel or resort and of standalone for-sale residences. Rosewood Residences are defined by the brand's commitment to Enriched Living through thoughtful details and experiences that enhance the quality of life while evoking a sense of discovery and inspiration.About Nahla Capital Nahla Capital is a New York based Real Estate Private Equity firm that manages and invests capital for institutional and global private clients in core urban markets in the United States. We invest in urban markets that are major gateway cities in the United States including New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin and Chicago, which have positive economic growth factors, compelling supply and demand dynamics, and strong employment sectors. At Nahla Capital we create a risk-adjusted investment strategy for our investors. We focus on delivering superior returns while actively managing exposure to risk and market fluctuations. We invest in core-plus, value add and opportunistic and mezzanine transactions. To date, Nahla Capital has invested in excess of $400 million in equity for a total AUM of $1.85 billion. Lean more about Nahla Capital at https://www.nahlacapital.com About GPI Companies Founded in 2008 as Goldstein Planting Investments, GPI Companies is managed by Cliff Goldstein, Drew Planting, and Lee Wagman. GPI Companies is a real estate investment and development firm that pursues a targeted range of properties where value can be enhanced through repositioning, redevelopment, or increased operational efficiency. The company and its principals have a history of delivering superior returns to their investors by successfully identifying and exploiting mispriced assets while at the same time minimizing volatility. GPI has the expertise and experience to execute projects of various sizes and complexity. With a team of seasoned real estate executives, the company's real estate investments are managed and operated directly by GPI Companies. Capital partners include prominent private equity funds, public pension plans, offshore investors, and family offices. The three partners of GPI Companies have more than 100 years of combined experience and have acquired or developed over $6 billion in award-winning urban real estate assets and leased and managed more than 20 million square feet of commercial space. Learn more about GPI at https://www.gpicompanies.com. About Compass Development Marketing Group From project inception to building sellout, Compass Development Marketing Group partners with the world's most forward-thinking developers and innovative architects through the lifespan of a project. Leveraging tenured expertise and the industry's most powerful technological resources, we provide strategic advice for record-breaking results. The company offers a comprehensive range of developer services, including research and analysis, planning and design, marketing and sales for luxury real estate. With nationwide representation in over 200 Compass offices, CDMG empowers residential developers with an unparalleled sales footprint in the United States. Licensed as Compass. CDMG is a subsidiary of Compass, a Fortune 500 company and the leading real estate brokerage in the United States by sales volume.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

Cirium Moves Towards Becoming the Standard for Airline CO2 Emissions Reporting

Cirium | June 21, 2022

Cirium, the aviation analytics company, has developed an advanced methodology to provide a standard and accurate picture of CO2 emissions and fuel burn calculations per flight and aircraft seat.Jeremy Bowen, CEO at Cirium said: “The level of precision and accuracy of Cirium’s CO2 emissions calculations far exceeds estimates generally available today.” American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic Airways each have independently commended Cirium for the superior approach and accuracy of Cirium’s fuel burn estimations through their own extensive analysis. “Virgin Atlantic operates one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets across the Atlantic. Accurate measuring, monitoring, and forecasting of CO2 emissions is critical as we target and monitor progress to Net Zero 2050, allowing us to better understand our environmental impact. Importantly, it also provides a tool to empower our customers to track and choose airlines with the lowest carbon footprint. Cirium is leading the way in this field, building data and forecasting capabilities that are the most accurate we have seen to date, as verified against our own historical fuel burn and emissions data.” -Holly Boyd-Boland, Vice President, Corporate Development at Virgin Atlantic Jill Blickstein, Head of ESG, at American Airlines said: To reduce our emissions and reach Net Zero by 2050, we’re taking action to run a more fuel-efficient operation with more fuel-efficient aircraft powered increasingly by low-carbon fuel. And we’re holding ourselves accountable by becoming the first airline in the world with a 2035 target validated by the Science Based Targets initiative. Reducing aviation’s emissions will require partnership among the airlines, our suppliers and our customers – and it’s important to build those partnerships on sound emissions data and calculations. Cirium brings deep aviation expertise to the table on this important topic, and the approach they’ve taken considers numerous variables of an aircraft and its operations. Cirium has fused numerous data elements including but not limited to, aircraft and engine specifications, airline schedules, and actual flight operations to create a holistic view of the actual emissions footprint. This enables Cirium clients to view the emissions by operator, aircraft type or geographical region and on a historical, or predictive basis, solving a variety of use cases. Our mission is to establish the standard for accurate fuel burn and carbon emissions data to empower the aviation industry to deliver on its sustainability targets. For the industry to achieve their goals of halving CO2 emissions by 2050 compared with 2005, a clear methodology is needed,” said Bowen. “We are thrilled to have our model corroborated by leading carriers around the globe. The emissions data can also be merged with passenger booking information to provide corporations with their carbon footprint. This enables corporations to gain more insight into their emissions and uncover where opportunities exist to reduce their emissions, and help travelers understand their own carbon footprint associated with the flights they choose. Cirium’s unrivaled emissions data is being used by leading corporate travel departments, including organizations such as Zurich Insurance, a global insurance firm. Zurich is using Cirium’s calculations to measure their corporate travel emissions, explore opportunities to reduce emissions, and empower their employees to make better travel decisions. Kara Brayton, Assistant Vice President, Head of Corporate Travel Management at Zurich said: “It’s been exciting to collaborate with Cirium under a proof-of-concept, utilizing data to help provide Zurich with insight to better inform our employees around the carbon impact of their decisions when booking airfare.” “With travel being such a large category of emissions, these types of relationships are key to leading sustainable business travel programs of the future. I am thankful for Cirium’s willingness to engage and explore a personalized solution with us.” Cirium’s CO2 emissions calculations are being made available through existing products in Cirium’s portfolio and in new products, to meet the evolving market needs. About Cirium Cirium brings together powerful data and analytics to keep the world moving. Delivering insight, built from decades of experience in the sector, enabling travel companies, aircraft manufacturers, airports, airlines and financial institutions, among others, to make logical and informed decisions which shape the future of travel, growing revenues and enhancing customer experiences. Cirium is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. The shares of RELX PLC are traded on the London, Amsterdam and New York Stock Exchanges using the following ticker symbols: London: REL; Amsterdam: REN; New York: RELX.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

Viva Aerobus joins Sabre's global distribution system to help accelerate growth and propel increased agency sales

Sabre Corporation and Viva Aerobus | May 20, 2022

Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, announced a new distribution agreement with Viva Aerobus, Mexico´s ultra-low-cost carrier, which will help enable the airline to power future revenue growth through agency sales. Viva Aerobus can now distribute its flights and services through Sabre's global distribution system (GDS), providing more content and choices through a single source for greater convenience, agility and efficiency. With this agreement, Sabre-connected agencies will enjoy e-ticketing and enhanced merchandising capabilities, allowing travel agents to easily view, compare, and sell Viva Aerobus' flights across the network. With the implementation of Sabre's branded fares technology, Viva Aerobus will now be able to provide their customers greater flexibility to choose the products and services that best fit their needs. "Viva Aerobus is an airline in constant expansion with solid plans for growth in fleet, routes and flights. Partnering with a trustworthy and innovative technology company like Sabre is key to both achieve our growth plans, as well as to increase operational efficiencies, We are confident that Sabre is the right partner to support our long-term goal, which is to provide travelers with the lowest fares and a personalized experience where they only pay for what they really need." -Andrea Rodríguez, Sales Director at Viva Aerobus With more than 15 years of experience, more than 80 million passengers transported and more than 3,500 employees, Viva Aerobus operates over 130 domestic routes within Mexico and international routes to destinations in Colombia, Cuba and the United States. Its value proposition combines customer-oriented service, flexibility and low fares. As a result of this service, Viva Aerobus has positioned itself as one of the three main airlines in Mexico. Currently, Viva has the newest fleet in Mexico and the third youngest in all North America, offering the highest standards in terms of safety, efficiency and reliability. "We are thrilled to partner with Viva Aerobus to help them reach their growth goals as the industry continues to recover, We are committed to partnering with airlines and agencies in creative ways to deliver the retailing and distribution solutions that meet our customers' needs on both sides of the travel marketplace." -Gary Stone, Vice President Select Airline Accounts, Sabre Travel Solutions Sabre's broad suite of flexible and scalable software solutions helps airlines to operate how they want to and adapt their business to changing needs and requirements. Sabre's solutions optimize day-to-day airline operations and ultimately help carriers solve their biggest challenges – helping drive increased revenue and reduced costs, while delivering better travel experiences. About Sabre Corporation Sabre Corporation is a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, serving a wide range of travel companies including airlines, hoteliers, travel agencies and other suppliers. The company provides retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, drive revenue and offer personalized traveler experiences. Through its leading travel marketplace, Sabre connects travel suppliers with buyers from around the globe. Sabre's technology platform manages more than $260B worth of global travel spend annually. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world. For more information visit www.sabre.com. About Viva Aerobus Viva Aerobus is Mexico's ultra-low-cost airline. It started operations in 2006 and today it operates the youngest Latin American fleet with 56 Airbus: 40 Airbus A320 and 16 Airbus A321. With a clear vision to give all people the opportunity to fly, Viva Aerobus has democratized the airline industry with the lowest fares in Mexico and the lowest cost structure in America, making their flights the best value offer. For more information please visit: www.vivaaerobus.com/en

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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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