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.
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.
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.
DESTINATION AND TOURISM
Odigoo Travel | April 12, 2022
Odigoo Travel announced the launching of its brand new environmentally conscious website OdigooTravel.com. Odigoo Travel is a company focused on offering extraordinary experiences and authentic human encounters to their customers, as well as activities that reconnect them with nature while traveling.
Odigo means "guide" in Greek, and that's what Odigoo Travel ultimately is for their customers, a guiding light that helps conscious travelers to find a new way to travel the world.
When Odigoo was conceived as a brand, its founders thought immediately about achieving sustainability. They strongly believe that brands should be focused on giving back more than they took from society. In the travel industry, sustainability must be a core value since the most important assets are those provided by nature.
"Odigoo is the wish to take care of our destinations and the customers who trust us; having top quality service providers and business partners who also share our values; and working with local communities to support and enhance their development," says Our team of travel enthusiasts have decided to embark on the ambitious project of showing our customers another dimension of your favorite travel destinations, rediscovering them in a different way, a greener way!"
-Florence Sutra, CEO at Odigoo Travel
Odigoo Travel helps travelers to:
Discover the adventure inside them by taking them to breathtaking places with exciting activities.
Reconnect with nature, highlighting the extraordinary biodiversity of our destinations.
Get closer to a variety of animal species in the wild, with enriching activities such as birdwatching and whale watching.
Get closer to the local culture, promoting a more conscious tourism.
Find the best information, advice and products to make the most of their traveling time.
Odigoo Travel started operations in 2021, offering a greener way of traveling to all its customers. For more information, visit OdigooTravel.com.
About Odigoo Travel
Odigoo Travel is a team of international tourism professionals based in Cancun, Mexico. Odigoo Travel has built a network of travel services that allows it to offer a new, environmentally conscious way of traveling. Odigoo Travel offers its services in English, Spanish, and French to all its customers from day one.
DESTINATION AND TOURISM
frommer | March 30, 2022
With travelers eager to hit the road again for summer vacation after the disruptions caused by the pandemic, Frommers—the trusted travel media company and guidebook publisher celebrating its 65th year in 2022—has released the latest edition of its Best and Worst Hotel Booking Sites. The ranking names the top online travel agencies and aggregators for finding lodgings on the road in 2022.
The top 10 has been shaken up considerably since the previous ranking in 2020. Using a complex, weighted system involving 60 different room reservation scenarios, travel expert and analyst Reid Bramblett put booking engines through the wringer to determine which sites deliver the lowest rates, the most options, and the easiest user experience.For the first time, Google tops the list, but the search giant only narrowly edged out previous winner HotelsCombined, with both showing a keen ability to find the most affordable rooms.
Other heavy hitters, including Tripadvisor and Kayak, only managed middling scores when put to the Frommer's test, ranking 5th and 7th respectively. After falling out of the top 10 five years ago, Hotels.com clawed its way to the 10th slot, displacing Hotwire from the list entirely.
The complete top 10, along with detailed analysis, a rundown of each site's pros and cons, and money-saving warnings about sneaky tactics and outright rip-offs, can be found at Frommers.com/BestHotelSites.
And coming soon: Frommer's latest ranking of the top sites for finding affordable airfare—fully updated for 2022.
One of the most venerable brands in travel, Frommer's has been in continuous publication since the 1957 debut of Arthur Frommer's Europe on 5 Dollars a Day, which changed the way the world traveled. The Frommer's collection of travel products has expanded to include nearly 100 award-winning guidebooks, a popular podcast, and Frommers.com, winner of the 2021 silver medal for best travel journalism website in the prestigious Lowell Thomas Awards from the Society of American Travel Writers.