CMA raises Sabre-Farelogix competition fears

Buying Business Travel | February 07, 2020

The Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) has raised concerns over the proposed acquisition of Farelogix by Sabre, saying that blocking the merger “may be the only way” of addressing competition issues. In June 2019, the CMA launched an investigation into the acquisition, which was announced in 2018, to determine whether the merger would limit competition in the airline distribution market and therefore ‘reduce innovation’ in the industry. The watchdog later slammed Sabre with a £20,000 fine in the second phase of its inquiry for failing to provide certain documentation before a deadline. At the time, the CMA claimed the company had submitted redacted versions of the documents, but later admitted they did not contain sensitive information.

Spotlight

When it comes to marketing your offer, you may have thought there were only two stages of travel to worry about: the research stage and the booking stage. However, Google has released an interactive infographic that identifies five stages of travel: dreaming, planning, booking, experiencing and sharing. It’s important for online marketers to target their audience at each one of these stages to maximise your reach.


Other News
COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Manifest Expands Nationally, Adds International Trip Destinations

Manifest | January 15, 2022

Manifest, the exclusive, lifestyle and travel club that provides custom-crafted getaways to unique destinations within the U.S. and abroad with the option of pairing trips with private plane service, announced that the company will be expanding nationally, welcoming members from every corner of the country. With the expansion, Manifest will now be offering its entire collection of curated trips to members in all states – and will be expanding these trips to include international destinations such as the Caribbean and Mexico, with Central America and further abroad to be added in the future. "Travel is beginning to return and people are ready to embark upon unique journeys and begin exploring the world again,As we head into 2022, we see incredible potential for growth and are ready to bring both Manifest membership and our curated trips to every corner of the country.” -Jeff Potter, CEO of Manifest. Manifest is also adding more flexibility to membership, with the option of booking pre-curated trips directly through the website, or if members have specific needs, working with a travel specialist to customize their trip. In addition, while flying private remains a Manifest differentiator, allowing members to avoid the stress of long lines and the hassle of checking bags as well as offering less exposure to crowds and a better experience for travelers, Manifest will be adding a commercial air option for first-class and business class service in the coming months as well. We want to make both booking and experiencing travel as easy as possible for Manifest members and in some cases, private air travel is not the best option, so we plan to offer alternatives to ensure the ultimate flexibility when booking with us,said Potter. The Manifest experience is seamless for members – from private car transportation to/from the airport both at home and in-destination to the ease of private air travel; from high-touch service on the ground to pre-planned activities that reflect the soul of the destination, in addition to plenty of free time to explore members’ own interests. Examples of recently added trips include: Explore Historic New England in Newport, Rhode Island – 5 days/4 nights with accommodations at The Cliffside Inn with activities including a private helicopter tour and a two-hour cruise aboard an America’s Cup yacht. Bourbon-friendly Weekend in Louisville, Kentucky – 3 days/2 nights with accommodations at The Brown Hotel with activities including themed progressive dinner with cocktail pairings and a full-day bourbon distillery tour. Find Your Way to Paradise on the Beautiful Caribbean Island of Anguilla – 8 days/7 nights with accommodations at Belmond’s Cap Juluca Resort with plenty of beach time as well as a day on the water exploring Prickly Pear Cays. Manifest designs, curates and manages logistical components of planned activities for each experience, which range from three to seven days in length and range in price depending on the activity, location, and length of stay. A full list of Manifest experiences is available here. In celebration of national expansion and for a limited time, Manifest is allowing anyone to join its community of travelers without paying annual dues. In addition, members can save 10% on their first trip with Manifest when they book by March 31, 2022, for travel by December 31, 2022. More information on Manifest membership is available here. About Manifest Based in Denver, Colorado, and founded by Jeff Potter, the former CEO of Frontier Airlines, Exclusive Resorts and Surf Air, Manifest is an exclusive, lifestyle and travel club that provides custom-crafted getaways to unique destinations in the U.S. and abroad with the option of pairing trips with private plane service. For more information, visit www.manifestescapes.com.

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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

TRAVEL LEADERS CORPORATE ANTICIPATES STRONGER BUSINESS MARKET IN 2022

Travel Leaders Corporate | December 21, 2021

While the demand for business travel is growing, and should continue to recover in 2022, changes brought on by the pandemic will affect many aspects of trip planning, according to Travel Leaders Corporate's leadership team. Travel Leaders Corporate is an innovative business travel solutions firm with a focus on customized Travel Fulfillment, Meetings Management and Data & Analytics. Business travelers will face reduced airline schedules, fewer options for hotel rooms and higher prices. Border closures and lockdowns around the world will slow international travel. And there is still much uncertainty regarding the impact of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. "Traveling amid a constantly changing environment will continue to challenge even the most experienced road warriors,Travelers will place a premium on the expertise of seasoned travel consultants to help them plan, execute and navigate through each business trip. This is especially true for international travel, where regulations evolve on an almost dynamic basis." -Michael Boult, president of Travel Leaders Corporate. Despite those challenges, Boult said, "Getting business travelers back on the road is critical for both company health and economic prosperity." Here are some of the Travel Leaders Corporate insights for 2022: Consolidation is coming for travel management companies and travel suppliers. Many of the vulnerable players will fall prey to stronger players or potentially exit the marketplace entirely. Inflation caused by ongoing labor shortages will result in higher prices for airline tickets and hotel rooms. All suppliers will seek to recapture lost market share, revenue and profit as they look to a full recovery in 2023. With leisure travel returning at a faster pace, airlines are focusing on "fun and sun" markets, leading to fewer flights between predominantly business routes. And with real estate prices at record levels, some hotel owners may be tempted to convert their properties to condominiums. Senior-level travelers will make increasing use of VIP services. Corporations will move toward implementing employee vaccine mandates, speeding the process of returning workers to physical offices. This is a critical step for business travelers, whose success depends on being willing and able to visit colleagues, clients and potential clients. Stricter vaccine requirements are anticipated for non-remote workers, business travelers and office/facility visitors, as well as safety protocols for employees attending physical meetings and events. Travel requests and policy compliance will face increased scrutiny as companies continue to closely manage costs. To ensure maximum spend visibility and heightened employee duty of care, employees will no longer have the flexibility to book travel outside of their organization's preferred vendors. Sustainability and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will be key drivers in travel policy and the selection of suppliers. Organizations must be prepared to measure their impact on society and the environment. Corporations are eager to return to live or hybrid events in 2022. More than three-quarters of event planners say that they will hold their next face-to-face event late in the first quarter of the year. Planners still strongly consider face-to-face meetings as vital. Many event sponsors say that their companies value in-person meetings more than before the pandemic. Many companies are moving to smaller regional events with less than 200 attendees. Planners have found a lack of availability of large meeting venues in the first two quarters of 2022, as many first-tier cities are already booked. Uneven rates of COVID cases, border closures, changes in the airline market and potential lockdowns will combine to limit the recovery of international travel in 2022. As we enter a third year of pandemic disruption, companies have begun to adapt and normalize their activities through virtual meetings and the use of local staff and partners. While international business travel will return, it is possible that some activity will be permanently eliminated. For more information or to take advantage of Travel Leaders Corporate's personalized service and cutting-edge corporate business travel solutions that provide a complete travel enrichment experience, email sales@tlcorporate.com or call 844.485.2677. About Travel Leaders Corporate Travel Leaders Corporate is an innovative business travel solutions firm with a focus on customized Travel Fulfillment, Meetings Management and Data & Analytics. Travel Leaders Corporate, founded in 2008, is born out of the digital age and shaped around the three technology trends impacting every industry: mobile, data, and the cloud. This enables Travel Leaders Corporate to offer a flexible suite of services customized to a client's needs. Travel Leaders Corporate is part of Internova Travel Group, which is the highest-ranking American corporate travel management company, according to Business Travel News. About Internova Travel Group Internova Travel Group is one of the largest travel services companies in the world with a collection of leading brands delivering high-touch, personal travel expertise to leisure and corporate clients. Internova manages leisure, business and franchise firms through a portfolio of distinctive divisions. Internova represents more than 62,000 travel advisors in over 6,000 company-owned and affiliated locations predominantly in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, with a presence in more than 80 countries.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

American Airlines and Expedia Group Offer Travelers More Choice via Scalable Direct NDC Connection

American Airlines | April 13, 2022

Travelers booking American Airlines flights on Expedia Group sites1 now have more options to customize their travel and choose elevated offers like Main Plus, following a renewed partnership between the two companies. The fare products are now available thanks to a direct connection through New Distribution Capability (NDC) technology, making all of American’s offers available to travelers on Expedia Group sites.The integration scales up the collaboration between American and Expedia Group, which is the airline’s largest third-party agency. The addition of North American points of sale builds upon several years of successful flight bookings thanks to an existing connection through NDC technology between the two companies on certain European points of sale. The collaboration will result in two of travel’s biggest players being able to offer travelers around the world more opportunities to customize their travel experience. “We’re proud to expand on our strong relationship with Expedia Group to bring customers more choice, NDC technology creates opportunities for travelers to customize their travel experiences, including premium travel options. We’re eager to hear about their positive experiences made possible through this integration.” -Neil Geurin, Managing Director of Commercial Partnerships for American Airlines More options for travelers Millions of travelers who shop and book flights on American with Expedia Group today will now enjoy more options to customize their travel with ease. Travelers are able to purchase elevated offers like Main Plus, which is exclusive to NDC and aa.com. The offer includes complimentary access to Main Cabin Extra, preferred seats, preferred boarding and a free checked bag in addition to the Main Cabin baggage allowance. In the future, the collaboration will also result in the ability to offer additional elevated offers and ancillary options such as carbon offsetting. "We're excited to bring our travelers the best range of content possible via this NDC capability with American Airlines, Expedia Group is uniquely positioned to be able to offer this because of our scale, in order to better serve the end traveler. This move is a significant milestone in the industry's general adoption of NDC-enabled connections between suppliers and sellers, and we look forward to continuing to work with our travel partners to determine the best connectivity options.” -Julie Kyse, Vice President of Global Air Partnerships for Expedia Group. About American Airlines Group To care for people on life’s journey. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AAL and the company’s stock is included in the S&P 500. Learn more about what’s happening at American by visiting news.aa.com and connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir and at Facebook.com/AmericanAirlines. About Expedia Group Expedia Group, Inc. companies power travel for everyone, everywhere through our global platform. Driven by the core belief that travel is a force for good, we help people experience the world in new ways and build lasting connections. We provide industry-leading technology solutions to fuel partner growth and success, while facilitating memorable experiences for travelers. Our organization is made up of four pillars: Expedia Services, focused on the group’s platform and technical strategy; Expedia Marketplace, centered on product and technology offerings across the organization; Expedia Brands, housing all our consumer brands; and Expedia for Business, consisting of business-to-business solutions and relationships throughout the travel ecosystem. The Expedia Group family of brands includes: Expedia®, Hotels.com®, Expedia® Partner Solutions, Vrbo®, trivago®, Orbitz®, Travelocity®, Hotwire®, Wotif®, ebookers®, CheapTickets®, Expedia Group™ Media Solutions, CarRentals.com™, and Expedia Cruises™.

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Spotlight

When it comes to marketing your offer, you may have thought there were only two stages of travel to worry about: the research stage and the booking stage. However, Google has released an interactive infographic that identifies five stages of travel: dreaming, planning, booking, experiencing and sharing. It’s important for online marketers to target their audience at each one of these stages to maximise your reach.

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