CRUISE

Consumers Optimistic About Cruise Travel in 2022

arrivia | March 01, 2022

Consumers Optimistic About Cruise
Consumers are optimistic about their 2022 cruise travel plans. That's the overall sentiment from a recent survey conducted by arrivia, a leading travel loyalty and cruise booking technology platform that works with consumer-facing companies worldwide.

The company surveyed 1,453 Americans between November 3, 2021, and January 10, 2022, all of whom are members of a travel club or travel benefits program, about their attitudes and preferences around cruise travel. Initial responses were collected just a few weeks before the emergence of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, with responses also being recorded into January 2022 as it became the dominant strain worldwide.

The Ready to Board consumer cruise survey revealed that more than 80% of respondents have booked a cruise in the next two years or are planning or considering a cruise vacation. Of those consumers who have already booked a cruise, 37% aimed to travel in the spring, 22% in the summer and 31% in the fall.

While there was a slight shift in the data based on when the survey responses were recorded relative to the spread of Omicron, the number of respondents who had already booked or were actively planning a cruise consistent outweighed those who "might" book one or aren't considering booking by nearly 2 to 1.

Consumers, however, were very clear that they support cruise lines' efforts to make travel as safe as possible. Over 50% of respondents said they would want to see universal masking and vaccination on board and social distancing on cruise activities to feel comfortable cruising again.

Value is still a major factor in decision-making

Despite the pent-up travel demand accumulated over the past two years, 46% of consumers consider value for money the most important factor when booking a cruise — more than the double itineraries/destinations and COVID/safety protocols combined.

Better pricing and deals were also the second top reason (tied with travel restrictions) that travelers haven't booked a cruise in the past twelve months. The focus on value is illustrated by the sizeable percentage (18%) of respondents using loyalty or travel rewards points to defray some or all of the cost of a cruise.

"Points play an important role as travelers plan their journeys,Companies with loyalty or rewards programs should consider expanding their capabilities to include more of the travel booking and benefits options that consumers increasingly want, such as cruise travel."

-Jeff Zotara, arrivia Chief Marketing Officer.

Other findings from the survey:
  • Sixty-six percent of consumers are choosing luxury cruise travel over mega cruises or niche river cruises.
  • Travelers are choosing historically popular destinations with the desire for luxury cruise experiences. Almost half of the respondents who had booked or were planning to book a cruise had their eye on the Caribbean, with 17% zeroing in on the Bahamas as their next stop.
  • And they're not just testing the waters with three-day excursions; 54% said they were considering a six-to-nine-day cruise, while 11% said that ten days or more is the perfect trip length.
"It's no doubt that Omicron impacted some of the booking activity in the short-term," Zotara added. "But with the investment cruise lines have made in ensuring travelers' safety and in the new ships that promise to deliver even better experiences, more consumers will be setting sail over the next two years. We're excited to see the demand increasing and consumers' enthusiasm for cruise travel."

The consumer cruise survey, Ready to Board, is available for download here.

For more information about the survey or to speak with Jeff Zotara, Chief Marketing Officer of arrivia, please contact Vanessa Horwell at vhorwell@thinkinkpr.com.

About arrivia
Arrivia is a travel technology company that provides travel loyalty, booking and marketing solutions to consumer-facing companies that want to deliver exceptional value to their customers, uncover new revenue streams and drive growth through exciting travel rewards and member benefits. The company's Travel Privileges platform opens up the world of travel for companies like American Express, USAA and Marriott Vacations Worldwide by offering their customers more value through exclusive pricing and encouraging discovery with relevant and personalized options that inspire travel and consumer loyalty. To learn more about how arrivia helps companies drive growth, incentivize sales, boost affinity and reward high-value customers, visit www.arrivia.com.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Choice Hotels International to Acquire Radisson Hotel Group Americas

Choice Hotels International, Inc | June 14, 2022

Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) and Radisson Hotel Group announced that Choice Hotels has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the franchise business, operations and intellectual property of Radisson Hotel Group Americas for approximately $675 million. The addition of Radisson's nine hotel brands in the Americas is the latest chapter in Choice's successful strategy to expand its growth opportunities by bringing the company's best-in-class franchising platform to adjacent hotel segments and to a new set of hotel owners. The added 624 hotels with over 68,000 rooms expand Choice Hotels' presence in the upscale and core upper-midscale hospitality segments, particularly in the West Coast and Midwest of the United States.The acquisition of some of the industry's most recognized brands extends Choice Hotels' customer reach in the upscale segments, as well as to more business travelers and a broader demographic within Choice's core leisure segment. The combination strengthens Choice's ability to provide a more holistic product offering across segments and continue to capitalize on consumer trends expected to fuel future demand for travel such as remote work, increasing retirements and road trips. The transaction brings Choice's industry-leading RevPAR (revenue per available room) growth performance to a new set of franchisees and hotel investors and provides new growth opportunities to expand Choice Hotels' presence to additional locations in Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. Consistent with Choice Hotels' long-term strategy of growing in higher revenue segments, the Radisson brands typically have larger room counts and are located in higher RevPAR markets, driving higher royalty revenue per hotel. "Choice has a well-established history of smart acquisitions in new segments where our world-class franchising engine can spur future growth. This transaction brings together two highly complementary businesses, enhancing our guest offerings in the core upper-midscale hospitality segments, while extending our reach into the upper upscale and upscale full-service segments and in higher revenue geographic markets. We are confident that guests and franchisees will significantly benefit by combining these two exceptional sets of brands." -Patrick Pacious, President and Chief Executive Officer of Choice Hotels The transaction unlocks significant potential value for the Radisson brands in the Americas. Choice Hotels has a deep familiarity with the Americas franchisee community and will bring a strong commitment to driving the success of Radisson franchisees, many of whom already have franchise agreements with Choice Hotels. Pacious continued, "Our long track record of establishing mutually beneficial relationships with our franchisees has resulted in a best-in-class voluntary retention rate, and those franchisees are the source of a majority of our new hotel development. Our existing and new hotel owners will benefit from the improved business delivery capabilities of the combined companies, including our award-winning loyalty program, proprietary tools and emerging technologies that will enable them to capture more business, lower their hotel operating costs, reach new customers and respond to evolving industry trends." Federico J. González, CEO of Radisson Hotel Group, said, Since the introduction of our strategic transformation plan in 2017, Radisson Hotel Group has been committed to the global success of the Radisson brands and expanding the overall footprint of our global operations. We have achieved strong results, doubling the number of rooms signed per year in EMEA and APAC, confirming Radisson Blu as the largest upper-upscale brand for over 10 years and establishing Radisson as the upscale brand with the largest growth in EMEA. We are confident that Choice Hotels is the owner with the right long-term strategy, resources and management team to successfully accelerate the growth of the Radisson business in the Americas. Radisson Hotel Group will continue to leverage the strength of operational excellence to set our business in EMEA and APAC on a significant growth path with the aim of doubling the portfolio in those markets by 2025. Together with Choice, we will work to ensure that customers continue to experience the highest levels of service and a superior brand experience. "Our associates have been working hard to solidify the power of our brands, build a better commercial engine and offer best-in-class solutions to franchisees and customers. We are very pleased that the Radisson family of brands in the Americas will join Choice Hotels. We believe that this acquisition will drive growth in a highly competitive market and enable stronger performance for our franchisees."About Choice Hotels® -Tom Buoy, interim CEO of Radisson Hotel Group Americas Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) is one of the largest lodging franchisors in the world. With nearly 7,000 hotels, representing nearly 600,000 rooms, in 35 countries and territories as of March 31, 2022, the Choice® family of hotel brands provides business and leisure travelers with a range of high-quality lodging options from limited service to full-service hotels in the upscale, midscale, extended-stay and economy segments. The award-winning Choice Privileges® loyalty program offers members benefits ranging from everyday rewards to exceptional experiences. For more information, visit www.choicehotels.com. About Radisson Hotel Group Americas Radisson Hotel Group Americas represents Radisson Hotels operations and brands in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. The Radisson Hotel Group Americas portfolio of brands includes Radisson Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson RED, Radisson Individuals, Radisson Inn & Suites, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson and Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, brought together under the overarching Radisson Hotels Americas name. For more information visit www.radissonhotelsamericas.com About Radisson Hotel Group Radisson Hotel Group is one of the world's largest and most dynamic hotel groups with nine distinctive brands, more than 1,700 hotels in operation and under development, more than 260,000 rooms and a footprint spanning over 120 countries and territories. 100,000+ global team members work for the Radisson Hotel Group and at the hotels licensed to operate in its systems. The Group's overarching brand promise is Every Moment Matters with a signature Yes I Can! service ethos.

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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. 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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. 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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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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Trinity Investments Acquires Fifty Percent Interest in Omni San Diego Hotel

Trinity Investments | December 22, 2021

An investment fund managed by Trinity Fund Advisors LLC, an affiliate of Trinity Real Estate Investments LLC (“Trinity”), announced the acquisition of a 50 percent interest in Omni San Diego Hotel from JMI Realty, who originally developed the hotel in conjunction with Petco Park in 2004. Omni Hotels & Resorts (“Omni”) owns the remaining fifty percent interest in the hotel and will continue to manage it. The acquisition also includes more than 13,000 square feet of fully leased, street-level retail space, located across the street from the hotel.Situated in the heart of the historic Gaslamp Quarter, adjacent to Petco Park and across from the San Diego Convention Center, the 511-key, AAA 4-Diamond, award-winning Omni San Diego Hotel is located in a highly trafficked area and benefits from numerous demand generators. Trinity and Omni plan to take advantage of strategic opportunities, including a multimillion-dollar capital improvement plan involving a comprehensive renovation of guestrooms, a reimagination of the food and beverage offerings, and the enhancement of the hotel’s rooftop pool deck, fitness center and other amenities. “We are pleased to acquire, what we believe to be, one of the best-located hotels in San Diego, and to partner with Omni to unlock the hotel’s full potential,In partnership with Omni, our teams have identified numerous opportunities to drive higher revenues and position the hotel as the premier destination in the market for business and leisure travel.” -Sean Hehir, Managing Partner, President and CEO of Trinity Over the last 10 years, the San Diego lodging market has demonstrated robust growth as a top drive-to, leisure destination, and highly desirable locale for business gatherings. The downtown area is experiencing significant redevelopment, with several large office and life science development projects underway, as well as the anticipated future expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, all of which projected to drive increased demand for well-appointed hotels. In conjunction with their capital improvement plan, and factoring in the area’s redevelopment activity, Trinity and Omni plan to shift current demand segmentation to higher-rated transient and group business. “This is a mutually important and strategic business alignment between Omni Hotels & Resorts and Trinity,We are especially excited to partner with Trinity, given their current portfolio of premier assets, and their dedication to elevating the hotel’s presence and impact in the San Diego market.” -Omni Hotels & Resorts’ President Peter Strebel. The Omni San Diego Hotel represents Trinity’s third acquisition on behalf of Trinity GP Fund I L.P., Trinity’s inaugural U.S. commingled hospitality fund, following its acquisitions of the 352-key EAST Miami and the 305-key W Hollywood, earlier this year. About Trinity Real Estate Investments LLC Trinity is a private real estate investment firm with a 26-year history of specializing in value-add opportunities. Based in Honolulu, Hawaii, with an office in Beverly Hills, California, Trinity focuses on unique real estate investments in world-class markets and has invested more than $8 billion in the United States, Mexico, Europe, and Japan by leveraging its deep institutional knowledge and longstanding local relationships. Trinity is based in Honolulu, Hawaii, with an office in Beverly Hills, California. For additional information, please visit Trinity’s website at www.trinityinvestments.com. About Omni Hotels & Resorts Omni Hotels & Resorts creates genuine, authentic guest experiences at over 50 distinct luxury hotels and resorts in leading business and leisure destinations across North America. With more than 21 iconic golf courses and multiple short courses, 24 award-winning spas featured in dynamic locales nationwide, every Omni proudly opens its doors to share the true spirit of its destination. Reflected through local color, personalized service, unique wellness options, signature restaurants and creative culinary offerings, Omni leaves a lasting impression with every guest and a heightened level of recognition and rewards delivered through its Select Guest® loyalty program. Omni is committed to reducing hunger and is on a mission through its Say Goodnight to Hunger initiative to provide millions of meals each year for food banks to feed children, families, and seniors in communities in which it operates. Through its partnership with Shared Hope International, Omni is dedicated to the education and training of its associates to help combat human trafficking. Omni Hotels & Resorts is the official hotel of the PGA TOUR® and PGA TOUR Champions. For information or to book accommodations, visit www.omnihotels.com or call 1-800-The-Omni.

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Spotlight

However, creating infographics from scratch can turn out to be a lengthy task to accomplish, and not that you need to. Plenty of graphic designers and digital designers have shared their own travel-related graphic element for anyone to download for free. We saw a huge increase in the number of searches.

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