Do the Netherlands Really Want Fewer Tourists? Depends on Who You Ask

Skift | July 08, 2019

Amsterdam, and the Netherlands as a whole, has undoubtedly become one of the world’s hotspots when it comes to the list of destinations associated with overtourism.But international media scarcely noticed when, late last week, government plans were leaked that would allow for an increase in flights through the city’s hub, Schiphol. (They were later confirmed by reports from the Dutch national broadcaster NOS.) An agreement made in 2008 limited the number of flights at the European mega-hub to a maximum of 500,000 through 2020; the proposal would allow for a gradual increase to 540,000 starting the year after.

Spotlight

With an area of just over 40 square miles, San Marino is Europe’s third smallest country, after Vatican City and Monaco. Rising from the republic’s rolling hills, is Mount Titano, where the country’s founder, Saint Marinus, sought refuge in the 3rd Century. Over the centuries, three towers were built to ward off invaders; today these towers watch over a country overflowing with history, culture and beauty.


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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Collinson Group Uses Freshworks to Modernize its Customer Experience and Adapt to New Travel Requirements

collinson group | March 29, 2022

Freshworks Inc. (NASDAQ: FRSH), a software company empowering the people who power business, announced that its customer Collinson Group, a UK travel experiences and insurance company, is using Freshdesk™ to react to fast-changing business and travel requirements caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, servicing a 50% surge in new enquiries. Following the introduction of new travel requirements, Collinson Group pivoted its medical assistance division to offer COVID-19 testing at partner airports and clinics in the UK, USA and APAC regions, setting up facilities in just three weeks. Using Freshdesk, Collinson introduced chatbot-first support and automation into its customer communications to help manage the 50% surge in traffic and queries. The company set up over 120 automated workflows including email triage, automated ticket type routing, and chat bot self-service. Help articles were created to enable the global operation to manage backlogs effectively, run as efficiently as possible, and share work across customer service locations and teams. The Freshdesk ticketing dashboard also helped Collinson to better track customer interactions across disparate communications channels. Using Freshdesk, customer service agents can now view metrics on contact resolution, total time to service, and subject matter of enquiries, and track and respond proactively if a particular subject keeps arising in communications. As a result, Collinson now handles an average of 1,200 testing-related customer enquiries per day, rising to a daily peak of around 10,000 new tickets per day in 2021, 24/7 across multiple global testing locations and service customer teams in English and Indonesian languages. Speaking about the quick deployment, Sacha Puffett, Group Customer Service Director at Collinson Group said, "The Freshdesk implementation has helped to consolidate our customer communications, while ensuring that omnichannel sits at the heart of our strategy. For the first time, we have a unified view of customer interactions in nearly real time, meaning we can see trends emerging and work to mitigate issues quickly. It’s a win-win situation that’s more efficient for both the customer and us.” “Our work with Collinson Group, supported by AWS, enabled its rapid transition during a tumultuous year for the travel industry, The flexibility Freshdesk provided significantly reduced the time taken for major operational pivots, from weeks to days. Freshworks’ omnichannel engagement solution helps agents quickly resolve customer enquiries at a stressful time for travellers, providing visibility to leading companies in the travel industry across channels such as chat, email, and voice through a single unified interface.” -John Crossan, Vice President & General Manager of Europe at Freshworks Ms. Puffett added, "The project manager and technical subject matter expert from Freshworks’ onboarding team were very supportive of our changing needs. Thanks to their guidance, we were able to launch the first iteration of Freshdesk within just three weeks, which was just sensational." In 2019, Freshworks also helped Collinson pivot its business practices to ensure customer service levels were maintained. Through the work with Freshworks and Amazon Web Services (AWS), Collinson Group equipped customer service agents to work from home and migrated 120 phone lines to Amazon Connect, an easy-to-use, highly scalable, and cost-effective omnichannel cloud contact center solution. The migration was completed within a couple of weeks, and it included training time for call centre agents, which can often take months. About Collinson Group Collinson is a global leader in customer benefits and loyalty. We deliver exceptional travel, assistance and insurance products that differentiate value propositions, and loyalty solutions that win deeper, more valuable customer relationships.Our customer benefits products include the original and market-leading airport experiences programme, Priority Pass, as well as travel insurance, identity assistance, flight delay, international health and travel risk management solutions. Our loyalty expertise uniquely combines strategy, award-winning technology and programme management to create greater engagement and experiences for our clients’ customers.For over 30 years, we’ve been chosen by the world’s leading payment networks, 1,400+ banks, 90+ airlines and 20+ hotel groups to craft customer experiences that win competitive edge. This enables them to acquire, engage and retain the most profitable, but most demanding customers. Our clients include Air France KLM, American Express, Cathay Pacific, Chase, Hackett, Mastercard, RSA, Sephora, UnionPay, Vhi and Visa. About Freshworks Freshworks Inc., (NASDAQ: FRSH) makes business software people love to use. Purpose-built for IT, customer support, sales and marketing teams, our products empower the people who power business. Freshworks is fast to onboard, priced affordably, built to delight, yet powerful enough to deliver critical business outcomes. Headquartered in San Mateo, California, Freshworks operates around the world to serve more than 56,000 customers including Bridgestone, Chargebee, DeliveryHero, ITV, Klarna, Multichoice, OfficeMax, TaylorMade and Vice Media. For the freshest company news visit www.freshworks.com and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Curator Hotel & Resort Collection Welcomes Six New Members, Offering Discerning Travelers Unique Experiences Across the U.S

Curator Hotel & Resort Collection | February 01, 2022

Curator Hotel & Resort Collection ("Curator") is kicking off the New Year by welcoming six new members to its growing portfolio of independent hotels and resorts. Spanning California, Vermont, Colorado, and Hawaii, these destinations offer unique experiences with nature as a backdrop, allowing guests to align mind, body, and spirit. "We are thrilled to jumpstart the New Year by welcoming these members to our growing portfolio of more than 85 hotels and resorts, The addition of these hotels, along with our first dining experience member, the Napa Valley Wine Train, is a testament to our offerings. We are proud to have these members in our collection as they all provide travelers with experiences that are shaping the new age of travel." -said Jennifer Barnwell, President of Curator Hotel & Resort Collection Curator is following up an immensely successful year by representing more than hotels and resorts. With the addition of the Napa Valley Wine Train, the collection creates a space for all independents in the hospitality industry who have distinct and unique offerings that travelers crave. "As a founding member of Curator with eighteen properties in the collection, we have experienced firsthand the incredible value and many benefits that it provides for independents,We are thrilled to be adding The Napa Valley Wine Train to Curator so it can also benefit from best-in-class technology and services, as well as the ability to tap into Curator's vendor expertise and negotiating power." -Jake Donoghue, CEO of Noble House Hotels & Resorts. The newest members of Curator Hotel & Resort Collection include: Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa (La Jolla, California) - Solo travelers, couples, and friends seeking an escape to reconnect will enjoy Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa. This hacienda-style resort is located between San Diego's seaside villages of La Jolla and Del Mar. It features 10 acres of beautiful green gardens, quiet courtyards, warm fireplaces, and world-class amenities. Guests can also experience the flavors of the West Coast at the hotel's dining venues, from breakfast delights at Greenfinch Restaurant & Bar to coastal-inspired dishes at Mustangs & Burros. Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa is managed by Noble House Hotels & Resorts. Gateway Canyons Resort (Gateway, Colorado) - Colorado's Gateway Canyons Resort is where luxury and adventure travel meet. Gateway Canyons offers breathtaking views of the high-desert landscape and is located right in the heart of red rock country, where endless outdoor adventures like off-road touring, horseback riding and mountain biking await travelers. The Resort is managed by Noble House Hotels & Resorts. Napa Valley Wine Train (Napa, California) - Travelers are invited to sip, savor, and enjoy an elegant, 36-mile roundtrip train ride through California's Wine Country. This vintage wine train has been operating since 1864 and features everything from gourmet meals to tours with sweeping views of Napa Valley; there are even hidden gems not located on traditional maps. Managed by Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Napa Valley Wine Train also offers hotel and train packages for travelers wanting to extend their stay. Maui Beach Hotel (Kahului, Hawaii) - Experience the beauty of Maui on the shores of Kahului Bay at Maui Beach Hotel. Located just five minutes away from the Kahului Airport, the hotel is at the heart of Maui. It gives travelers access to top attractions, including Iao Valley, Wailuku and the infamous Road to Hana. Travelers who choose Maui Beach Hotel are in for an unmatched and rejuvenating cultural experience. Springboard Hospitality Group manages Maui Beach Hotel. Villa Florence (San Francisco, California) - Welcoming travelers since 1908, Villa Florence is urban elegance nestled in the heart of the sights and sounds of San Francisco. Attractions like Union Square, The Embarcadero, Chinatown, and Museum of Modern Art are within walking distance of the hotel - perfect for travelers looking to explore a new destination. Spire Hospitality manages Villa Florence. Topnotch Resort (Stowe, Vermont) - Travelers seeking an 'off the grid' escape will enjoy Topnotch Resort's exclusive location nestled in New England's Green Mountains. This luxurious resort and spa offers suites, resort homes, a Topnotch Tennis Academy, custom spa treatments and a casual dining experience that encourages guests to create memories together. Nature lovers will also enjoy the great outdoors with activities like fishing for trout in the Lamoille River or riding a horse-drawn sleigh through Vermont's countryside. Spire Hospitality manages the Resort. For more information on Curator Hotel & Resort Collection, visit www.CuratorHotelsandResorts.com. 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 Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Ltd. Built upon a philosophy that emphasizes location, distinction, and soul, Noble House Hotels & Resorts dedicates itself to creating and managing exceptional properties that celebrate their local communities and the adventures to be had within them. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington and continually growing, the Noble House portfolio features a luxury and upper upscale portfolio of 24 distinct and visually captivating hotel properties; over 66 restaurants, bars, and lounges; the Napa Valley Wine Train; and a collection of spas, marinas, and private residences throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. A range of beachfront resorts spanning California and Florida; luxury retreats in Jackson Hole, WY, British Columbia, and Colorado; and award-winning urban hotels in Seattle and San Francisco comprise the diverse collection. Centered within destinations worthy of every bucket list and layered with unique amenities that inspire adventure, the curated collection of one-of-a-kind hotels, resorts, and adventures are known for creating unforgettable travel experiences. For more information, visit www.noblehousehotels.com or call Noble House Hotels & Resorts at 877.NOBLE.TRIP. 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. About Spire Hospitality Spire Hospitality is a nationally recognized third-party hotel management company specializing in creating value for our hotel investors while delivering exceptional guest experiences and providing an outstanding place to work. The Irving, TX-based company's diverse portfolio of properties includes unique independent hotels and highly respected brands, including Marriott, Hilton and IHG. Spire is part of the AWH Partners family, which also includes AWH Development, a full-service real estate development company headquartered in New York. With more than 35 years of hotel operating experience, Spire is committed to preserving, protecting, and enhancing hotel real estate value.For more information, visit www.spirehotels.com. About Springboard Hospitality For more than 30 years, Springboard Hospitality, previously known as OLS Hotels & Resorts, has transformed people, properties, and communities as a leader in the hospitality industry managing and developing innovative boutique and branded properties throughout the U.S. With dual offices in Honolulu and Los Angeles, Springboard operates more than 38 properties across 10 states. Led by technology entrepreneur Ben Rafter, Springboard specializes in using analytics and technology with its Hospitality Intelligence (H.I.) to ensure properties are optimizing return on investment. The company offers a full spectrum of hotel services with expertise in creative management, marketing, sales, revenue management, food and beverage and more. The Springboard Hospitality team is committed to going above and beyond with high-touch, personalized service in every aspect of its operations, from its interactions with guests to its relationships with owners. For more information, visit www.springboardhospitality.com.

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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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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

XO and SXSW® Partner, Taking Ideas to New Heights

xo & sxsw | March 08, 2022

Leading private aviation provider XO, announced its partnership with South by Southwest®(SXSW®), the world-renowned conference and festival. Taking place on March 11 through Sunday, March 20 in Austin, Texas, SXSW attracts transformational thinkers, innovators, and doers who can now access XO for all their private aviation needs, including crowdfunded flights in and out of Austin. It's only fitting that XO's transformative platform, which leverages predictive analytics and crowdfunding technology, is available to those flying to SXSW, where so many innovations have been introduced. Joining or initiating a crowdfunded flight to conferences and other innovative gatherings around the globe can create moments of collaboration among like-minded people. Through XO's digital platform, entrepreneurs traveling to the festival can crowdfund flights from their local cities by tapping into their network of fellow founders and leaders to purchase individual seats on a private jet. This revolutionary option allows the existing supply base of private aircraft to be used more efficiently, increasing availability and reducing clients' costs. "We are proud to be a private aviation partner of SXSW, We are making traveling with your colleagues, your network, and other leaders you meet through our crowdfunded flights profoundly convenient and more affordable across a range of aircraft classes. Our technology-forward platform is aligned with the spirit and goals of SXSW, and we look forward to flying creators, technologists, and entrepreneurs to and from Austin this March and beyond." -Lynn Fischer, Chief Marketing Officer at XO The XO mobile app and website allow travelers to access guaranteed pricing across a range of aircraft and global routes, with the ability to search and book flights instantly, making private travel more accessible than ever before for leading companies and creators. After being fully online last year, SXSW will deliver a hybrid experience with unparalleled discovery, learning, professional development, and networking with creators and leaders from around the world. The event features conference sessions, film festival screenings, music festival showcases, world-class exhibitions, competitions, awards ceremonies, and much more. XO is committed to supporting and elevating creators to connect to drive business innovation, personal fulfillment, and the global economy. For more information on XO and crowdfunded flights to and from Austin, please visit: https://flyxo.com/shared-charter/sxsw/ About XO XO is part of Vista, the world's first private aviation ecosystem, integrating a unique portfolio of companies offering asset-light flying solutions to cover all key aspects of private aviation. With experience flying to 187 countries – representing 96% of the world – the Vista group of companies completes over 70,000 flights and serves over 150,000 passengers annually. Vista group owned and managed fleet of more than 200 aircraft is suited to diverse flight duration, trip, and passenger requirements, backed by the knowledge and expertise of an international team, delivering the best end-to-end service to any private aviation customer. In addition to the group-owned and managed fleet, the safety-vetted XO Alliance Network gives customers access to 2,100+ aircraft globally, covering the full spectrum of cabin classes. Shared flights are XO Global LLC Public Charters as defined by 14 CFR 380 and are subject to XO's Public Charter Operator Participant Agreement. XO Global LLC is not a direct air carrier and does not operate any aircraft. All flights will be operated by properly licensed US or foreign air carriers. All services are subject to the terms and conditions available at flyxo.com/legal/. Fla. Seller of Travel Ref. No. ST42114.

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Spotlight

With an area of just over 40 square miles, San Marino is Europe’s third smallest country, after Vatican City and Monaco. Rising from the republic’s rolling hills, is Mount Titano, where the country’s founder, Saint Marinus, sought refuge in the 3rd Century. Over the centuries, three towers were built to ward off invaders; today these towers watch over a country overflowing with history, culture and beauty.

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