Corporate Travel Booker TravelPerk Raises an Extra $60 Million

Skift | July 18, 2019

TravelPerk has raised $60 million in further Series C funding, bringing the total amount raised to $104 million for this round. Existing investors Kinnevik, Partners of DST Global, Target Global, Felix Capital, Sunstone, and LocalGlobe led both the first and second tranches of Series C funding, which was first announced in October.Overall, the Barcelona-based startup travel booker and management company has raised $133.4 million since it was founded in 2015.

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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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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Levarté Travel Celebrates First Anniversary with Industry Awards

Levarté Travel, | March 04, 2022

DFW-based host agency, Levarté Travel, celebrated its first anniversary with major achievements. Despite the challenging era of its founding, Levarté was recently awarded Elite Sapphire Status with ALG Vacations, and Delta Diamond Medallion Status with Delta Vacations. These significant milestones are just the beginning for the new agency. "Levarté is the product of 40-plus years of industry expertise—we live and breathe travel, like our members, Our mission, lifting professionals up through a career in travel, powers us to think bigger. That starts with expanding our sponsorships, building up our extensive training programs, and providing more tools for our members of every level to succeed in their business." -founder and CEO, Lori Speers. In addition to the award statuses earlier this year, Levarté has been recognized as a Premier Agency Member by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), making it one of only 30 host agencies out of 8,000 in North America to earn this distinction. With this membership, Levarté can offer exclusive benefits to its travel advisors, including customized training, access to member-only events, and reduced pricing on CLIA's Individual Agent Membership. Levarté specializes in training both new advisors and supporting experienced travel business owners with higher education certifications, competitive membership benefits, and a community of passionate travel professionals. With three levels of memberships to choose from, Levarté travel advisors have a robust set of tools to help them start or continue their career. Looking ahead to 2022, Levarté will focus on building its personalized business support for members, and offering additional marketing tools and training certifications to help members grow their travel advisor brands. I'm so proud of our members' success and their dedication to making dreams come true for clients," said Speers. "I wake up every day excited about where we're headed. Levarté Travel helps individuals who dream of turning their passion for travel into a successful career. Learn more and join Levarté Travel by visiting www.levartetravel.com. About Levarté Travel Levarté Travel provides resources for travel enthusiasts to turn their passion into a thriving business. Led by travel industry veteran and CEO, Lori Speers, Levarté Travel enables independent advisors to achieve financial freedom, explore the world through fun and unique experiences, and create unforgettable memories for clients.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Manifest Announces Hospitality Partnerships, Expanding Trip Options for Members

Manifest | May 04, 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 several new hospitality partners that will expand access and trip options for its members including Canyon Ranch, Rothschild Safaris, Luxury Gold, Belmond Hotels and Classic Journeys. Manifest has secured unique access and benefits for its members with these new partners, ultimately adding even more value to membership. "We strive to bring our community of like-minded travelers a variety of unique experiences and these new partnerships expand our offerings in the areas of wellness, exotic adventure, and iconic summer destinations,” -Manifest CEO Jeff Potter At Canyon Ranch, the luxury wellness lifestyle brand that operates two destination health spa resorts (Tucson, Ariz., and Lenox, Mass.) and one retreat property (Woodside, Calif.), Manifest members gain exclusive access and receive a VIP welcome gift upon arrival and a room upgrade (pending availability). “Canyon Ranch is excited to partner with a celebrated travel partner like Manifest to provide our guests with seamless, world-class service and exclusive benefits while they travel to our destination resorts,” -Naomi Rose, Director of Partnership Accounts at Canyon Ranch. Manifest members will be able to book once-in-a-lifetime safaris in conjunction with Manifest partner, Rothschild Safaris, who frequently appears as a top Safari Outfitter on Travel + Leisure’s “World Best” list. Rothschild has custom-curated three different African safaris for Manifest members, a Three Country Luxury Safari Adventure in Southern Africa; a Classic South Africa Safari Adventure and Cape Town Wine Country; and The Great Migration – an Epic East Africa Luxury Safari. We are very excited to partner with Manifest to create extraordinary, custom safaris throughout Africa,” said Leora Rothschild, Owner of Rothschild Safaris. “Luxury travel to Africa has incredible momentum, and we believe this partnership with be beneficial for both companies. Manifest members will also gain new access to in-destination tours. Through a Luxury Gold partnership, Manifest members will be able to book Luxury Gold tours, both domestically and internationally, through the Manifest website and will receive the “best rate guarantee.” Through a similar partnership with Classic Journeys, Manifest members will be able to book the company’s classic walking tours through the Manifest website. Classic Journeys is thrilled to forge a partnership with Manifest, said Edward Piegza, Founder of Classic Journeys. “Their personal touches and authentic experiences are in perfect step with the Classic Journeys approach. Finally, Manifest has partnered with luxury boutique hotelier, Belmond Hotels, to offer Manifest members access at their Anguilla and St. Martin properties, which includes high-touch experiences in-destination such as private sailing and snorkeling trips, as well as complimentary Manifest flight desk support. 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. 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. 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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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

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

curator hotel & resort | March 09, 2022

Curator Hotel & Resort Collection (“Curator”) has selected Optii Solutions (“Optii”), a leading hotel management software for hotel operations and housekeeping teams, to offer its member hotels the technology to have complete visibility of their operations.Curator member hotels can now leverage Optii’s data-driven technology to streamline their housekeeping operations and provide a dynamic connection between front and back of house. It will furnish independent hotels with AI-powered technology to optimize labor and cleaning sequences, resulting in an estimated 25% increase in productivity. This increased productivity and optimization will also help independent hoteliers’ become more profitable. Optii Housekeeping centralizes operations for full visibility and improved team performance, managing room attendant routes and room status so that rooms can be turned around faster and more efficiently and eliminate ineffective manual communications. Optii’s tools are critical in the current challenging labor environment. “This partnership with Curator Hotels & Resorts and Optii Solutions is an exciting part of our continued expansion in the US to support hotels and provide access to technology that will provide the ultimate guest experience. Through this partnership, Curator independent hotels will access Optii’s Housekeeping solution to help hotels optimize labor and run their daily operations efficiently. We look forward to working closely with these hotels to help lift the independent hotel industry.” -Katherine Grass, CEO of Optii Solutions Curator selected Optii Solutions as a preferred partner due to the data-driven insights the platform can provide hoteliers. The insights lead to greater overall efficiency and productivity for hotel management teams, and provide guidance on where resources need to be allocated and how much time is being spent on tasks. “As independent hotels continue to adjust to and implement necessary operational changes in order to better service guests, Curator remains focused on adding preferred technologies that can have an immediate and meaningful impact on both operational efficiency and costs,Optii Solutions is a great example of a service provider well-positioned to unlock value for our hotel owners by providing faster and more efficient housekeeping operations and insights into the performance of their housekeeping teams. Over time, technology like this will allow our members to do more with less.” -Austin Segal, Vice President of Curator Hotel & Resort Collection. About Curator Hotel & Resort Collection Curator Hotel & Resort Collection is a distinct collection of hand-selected small brands and independent lifestyle hotels and resorts, founded by Pebblebrook Hotel Trust and a group of industry-leading hotel operators. Curator provides lifestyle hotels the platform to come together and tap into cost saving agreements, new products, services and technologies, and benchmarking reports while allowing their members the freedom to retain what makes their hotels unique. In addition to Pebblebrook, the founding members of Curator include Davidson Hospitality Group, Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Provenance, Sage Hospitality Group, Springboard Hospitality, and Viceroy Hotels & Resorts. For more information, visit www.curatorhotelsandresorts.com and follow us at @CuratorHotelCollection. About Optii Solutions Optii Solutions, headquartered in Austin, TX and with offices in London and Brisbane, is a hotel operations technology that optimizes labor, streamlines operations, and empowers teams across housekeeping, service delivery, internal communication, and preventative maintenance. Optii is an MCR portfolio company and is used by hotels and resorts around the world including La Cantera Resort & Spa (Benchmark), The Don Cesar (Host), Okada Manilla Resort & Casino, Le Meridien, Doma Hotels, IHG and more. For further information about Optii, please visit www.optiisolutions.com. About Pebblebrook Hotel Trust Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (NYSE: PEB) is a publicly traded real estate investment trust (“REIT”) and the largest owner of urban and resort lifestyle hotels and resorts in the United States. The Company owns 53 hotels and resorts, totaling approximately 13,200 guest rooms across 15 urban and resort markets. For more information, visit www.pebblebrookhotels.com and follow us at @PebblebrookPEB.

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