Expedia, AI Singapore join forces on AI to improve online searches for Asian travellers

TTG Asia | September 09, 2019

Expedia Group has announced a collaboration with AI Singapore (AISG) – an inter-agency unit tasked to catalyse and grow the country’s artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities – under its flagship 100 Experiments (100E) programme to develop an AI solution to transform the online search experience for Asian travellers.The first online travel platform to collaborate with AISG for 100E, Expedia Group will provide a team of experienced engineers, data scientists and marketers to work with the AISG’s project lead, project managers and AI apprentices to enhance travel search query understanding and improve the accuracy of search query resolution in Asian languages.

Spotlight

As the quest for travel program compliance and savings remains the focus at many companies, travel executives reported that quarterly, if not monthly reporting to senior management, chief financial officers, and business unit budget owners has become more important in the past year, according to results of a new survey conducted by The BTN Group and American Express Global Business Travel.


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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Marriott Bonvoy Launches "Travel by Design," a Design-focused Platform Introducing Untold Stories to At-Home Streaming

Marriott Bonvoy | October 27, 2022

Marriott Bonvoy® – Marriott International's extraordinary portfolio of 30 hotel brands, award-winning loyalty program, and endless experiences – announced the launch of Travel by Design, an integrated content platform showcasing never-before-told design stories that inspired some of the world's most extraordinary hotels. Marriott Bonvoy is collaborating with Samsung to create the first-ever exclusive branded destination within Samsung's free, ad-supported streaming service, Samsung TV Plus. Starting November 1, 2022, Samsung TV Plus viewers can simply select a tile on the service home screen to explore the on-demand library to immerse themselves in a curated collection of travel video content. "We are excited to launch our Travel by Design platform to introduce travelers to the design visionaries behind some of the world's most remarkable hotels, fusing them closer to destinations and cultures for a more immersive travel experience,We know travelers are rethinking how they want to see the world and we are proud to be able to offer them this one-of-a-kind, at-home experience to fill their bucket lists." -Annie Granatstein, Vice President, Content Marketing, Marriott International From a secluded overwater villa in the Maldives, to a reimagined royal palace in Budapest, or a trendy hotspot in downtown Los Angeles, Travel by Design brings tales of design and architecture to life from world-renowned creatives, such as Frank Gehry and Yabu Pushelberg, with articles, films, podcasts, and photography across multiple channels, including digital, editorial, and social platforms. Travel by Design features a collection of short films showcasing four fascinating stories, where iconic destinations meet design from beloved brands like W Hotels & Resorts, The Luxury Collection, Autograph Collection Hotels, and more. The transportive visual series will be available on streaming platforms, such as Samsung and Roku as well as YouTube, and featured in hotel rooms globally on Marriott Bonvoy TV. The Travel by Design podcast hosted by Hamish Kilburn, Editor at Hotel Designs, meets the architects, designers, and visionaries who dive deep into the craft and hear what sparked their concept, how their creative process changes throughout, and what it is like to enjoy the space as a traveler. Six audio episodes will be available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Marriott Bonvoy members can earn points for stays at hotels and resorts across Marriott Bonvoy's portfolio of 30 extraordinary brands, including all-inclusive resorts and premium home rentals, as well as through everyday purchases with co-branded credit cards. Members can redeem their points for experiences including future stays, Marriott Bonvoy Moments™, or through partners for luxurious products from Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques. For more information on these new openings and Marriott Bonvoy, enroll in the program for free, or to book directly, visit www.MarriottBonvoy.com. About Marriott Bonvoy Marriott Bonvoy®, Marriott International's award-winning travel program and marketplace, gives members access to transformative, eye-opening experiences around the corner and across the globe. Marriott Bonvoy's portfolio of 30 extraordinary brands offers renowned hospitality in the most memorable destinations in the world. Members can earn points for stays at hotels and resorts, including all-inclusive resorts and premium home rentals, as well as through everyday purchases with co-branded credit cards. Members can redeem their points for experiences including future stays, Marriott Bonvoy Moments, or through partners for luxurious products from Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques. With the Marriott Bonvoy app, members enjoy a level of personalization and contactless experience that allows them to travel with peace of mind. To enroll for free or for more information about Marriott Bonvoy, visit www.MarriottBonvoy.com. Download the Marriott app. Travelers can also connect with Marriott Bonvoy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

Canada Jetlines Partners with Sabre on Global Distribution Agreement

Canada Jetlines Operations Ltd. | September 21, 2022

Canada Jetlines Operations Ltd. (NEO: CJET) (“Canada Jetlines”) the new, all-Canadian, leisure airline, is proud to announce a worldwide distribution agreement with Sabre, the leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry.This new long-term agreement ensures that Sabre will distribute the carrier’s comprehensive content for travel agencies and corporations through the Sabre travel marketplace (GDS) -- supporting Canada Jetlines in powering future revenue growth while reaching key market segments associated with the GDS. Canada Jetlines will leverage Sabre’s ancillary services to provide travel agencies around the world with access to the airline’s complete range of travel products, including fares and seat availability. “We are pleased to have achieved this agreement with Sabre, which broadens Canada Jetlines’ distribution capabilities to meet our international growth objectives, This partnership aligns with our projected distribution strategy of providing the right content in the right channel. As a leisure airline, Canada Jetlines recognizes the key role that travel agencies play in our success.” -Duncan Bureau, Chief Commercial Officer of Canada Jetlines The Sabre travel marketplace is instrumental in facilitating the marketing, sale and servicing of airfares, hotel rooms, rental cars, rail tickets and other types of travel to buyers around the world who use it to shop, book and manage travel. Canada Jetlines will begin operations out of its travel hub at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), with its first scheduled route into YYC Calgary International Airport on September 22, 2022, with biweekly flights operating Thursdays and Sundays out of Toronto (YYZ) to Calgary (YYC) from 07:55am EST – 10:10am MST and returns from Calgary (YYC) to Toronto (YYZ) 11:40am MST – 17:20 EST. Frequency will increase to three flights per week, Thursdays through Sundays, starting later in the fall. Visit Jetlines.com to view the flight schedule and to learn more. Travellers can book reservations and vacation packages with preferred travel agents who can earn up to 10% commission on all base fares when contracted directly with the airline. Follow Canada Jetlines on all social media platforms and follow #CanadaJetlines for the latest news. About Canada Jetlines Canada Jetlines is a leisure focused air carrier, which will utilize a growing fleet of Airbus 320 aircraft to provide Canadians with value vacation choices and convenient travel options. Canada Jetlines will provide exciting vacation packages to iconic Canadian destinations and beyond via strong partnerships with airports, CVB’s, tourism entities, hotels, hospitality brands, and attractions. With a projected growth of 15 aircrafts by 2025, Canada Jetlines aims to offer the best-in-class operating economics, customer comfort and fly-by-wire technology, providing an elevated guest centric experience from the first touchpoint. To learn more, please visit www.jetlines.com and follow on all social media platforms for news and updates.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Fuji Speedway Hotel Debuts as the First Hotel in the Unbound Collection by Hyatt Brand in Japan

Hyatt Hotels Corporation | October 07, 2022

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced the opening of Fuji Speedway Hotel in Shizuoka, Japan, the first property within The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand in Japan, introducing the first of a planned compilation of one-of-a-kind, story-worthy hotels into the country. Flanked by the breathtaking vista of Mount Fuji and the adrenaline-fueled Fuji Speedway race circuit, the hotel—one of several attractions in the new Fuji Motorsports Forest project developed by the Toyota Group will offer a truly distinctive experience where motorsports meet luxury hospitality.Set against the stunning backdrop of Mount Fuji, about 80 minutes by car from Tokyo, the hotel is adjacent to the historic Fuji Speedway motor racing circuit, which hosts world-class racing events, and offers a unique opportunity to fully experience the excitement of motorsports. The hotel also houses the Fuji Motor Sports Museum, which showcases about 40 story-worthy and era-defining racing cars dating from the end of the 19th century – an exclusive space where guests can learn and be immersed in the history and culture of this exciting sport. Fuji Speedway Hotel features 120 stylish accommodations, including 21 spacious suites, all with private balconies offering breathtaking views of Fuji Speedway race circuit or Mount Fuji. They also include five dog-friendly villas that feature individual private garages with floor-to-ceiling windows on one side for proud owners to admire their vehicles while in residence. The interiors of all rooms are complemented by sophisticated finishes, from buttery leather to marble detailing, and the spa-like bathrooms include deep-soaking tubs. Tomohide Yamamura, President of Toyota Fudosan, commented, “Fuji Speedway Hotel epitomizes the brand’s hallmark for worldly, unforgettable memories, and I believe it is the brand that best encapsulates the appeal of the Fuji Motorsports Forest. We hope this hotel will become a place loved by people all over Japan and across the world.” " We are truly honored that Toyota Fudosan Co., Ltd., an affiliate of the Toyota Group, has chosen Hyatt and The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand as a key component of their Fuji Motorsports Forest project – the first hotel that Toyota has developed in collaboration with Hyatt. With the much-anticipated reopening of Japan's borders, Fuji Speedway Hotel will provide overseas visitors and local residents with a memorable, one-of-a-kind experience, blending the excitement of motorsports and the luxury of a boutique hotel in the beautiful countryside.” -David Udell, group president, Asia Pacific, Hyatt Hotels Corporation The hotel features two restaurants serving authentic local fare, a bar and an all-day dining lounge, all with stylish interiors celebrating the golden age of motorsports: TROFEO, an all-day Italian trattoria-style eatery with outdoor terraces and private rooms, and a casual lobby lounge with breathtaking views of Mount Fuji. Robata Oyama, offering an interactive Japanese dining experience where premium meat, fresh seafood, and seasonal vegetables are grilled to perfection at the central show kitchen. Bar 4563, an atmospheric, speakeasy-style bar with an outdoor terrace; motor enthusiasts will enjoy identifying the many model cars that line its walls. Its menu includes crafted cocktails and a range of premium Japanese whiskeys. Guests can also revitalize their mind, body and soul at Omika Wellness & Spa, a sanctuary dedicated to health and wellbeing that includes an indoor pool, a spa, indoor and outdoor hot spring onsens, and a spacious fitness center. In another nod to motorsports fans, the fitness center boasts a state-of-the-art driving simulator designed for professional race car drivers, but accessible for guests.  With its unique location adjacent to Fuji Speedway, inspiring interiors, and a diverse range of facilities, Fuji Speedway Hotel is an ideal choice for gatherings big or small, from a board meeting for eight, to a conference for up to 310 people. It offers two unique, pillar-less venues: a ballroom and function room with a show kitchen and VIP room, spanning over 5,597 square feet (520 square meters). Nearby, guests can enjoy a wide range of natural attractions and outdoor activities. The main attraction is undoubtedly Mount Fuji, an UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Site that is home to sacred venues of artistic inspiration over the centuries. These include the Fuji Sengen-jinja shrines, the Shiraito-no-taki waterfalls, and the Fujigoko five lakes that surround the foot of the mountain. Also close by is Mishima Skywalk, Japan’s longest suspension footbridge, and an open-air premium outlet shopping mall. World of Hyatt Gives Members 500 Reasons to Stay Somewhere New To provide World of Hyatt members even more ways to be rewarded, World of Hyatt is offering members the opportunity to earn 500 Bonus Points for qualifying nights at Fuji Speedway Hotel, from October 7, 2022 to January 31, 2023, as part of World of Hyatt’s new hotel member offer. Additional participating hotels and their offer stay periods can be found at worldofhyatt.com/newhotelbonus. No registration is required and members can earn on top of other offers.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Optii to Roll out Its Hotel Operations Platform at The Alexander

The Alexander and Optii Solutions | November 17, 2022

Optii Solutions, the leading hotel operations software, today announced that The Alexander, A Dolce Hotel in Indianapolis has selected Optii as its hotel operations platform. The Alexander has adopted the full Optii platform to support its hotel operations team to work more efficiently and effectively. The property features 209 rooms across two towers, with 157 hotel rooms, and 52 extended stay residences. This layout and room mix increases the operational complexity, especially for the housekeeping staff when it comes to turnaround times and cleaning sequences. Kevin Green, Director of Operations, The Alexander, said: “We are always looking at how we can improve both the efficiency of our operation and the guest experience we provide. Using Optii to automate our housekeeping teams’ cleaning routes has saved us a considerable amount of time, so that guests can have earlier access to their rooms. Overall, guest satisfaction has been high since Optii’s adoption, and less time is wasted between when a room attendant is finishing a room and starting the next clean. It’s a win-win. “We are thrilled to have The Alexander as a customer. The dedication to sharing arts and culture with guests, really drives home what exceptional hospitality and experiences is all about. We are glad that we can play a part in removing operational challenges, so that the staff can focus on sharing the beautiful property with their guests.” -Katherine Grass, CEO, Optii Solutions, About The Alexander Nestled in the CityWay area of downtown Indianapolis, The Alexander, A Dolce Hotel, pairs contemporary design with unparalleled hospitality. Blocks from both the Gainbridge Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil Stadium, the downtown Indianapolis hotel is only minutes from top attractions and local events, including museums, professional sports, and the Indiana Convention Center. About Optii Solutions Optii Solutions is a hotel operations solution that leverages smarter technologies such as artificial intelligence, analytics, messaging and mobility to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of housekeeping and service delivery departments. For further information about Optii, please visit: www.optiisolutions.com

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Spotlight

As the quest for travel program compliance and savings remains the focus at many companies, travel executives reported that quarterly, if not monthly reporting to senior management, chief financial officers, and business unit budget owners has become more important in the past year, according to results of a new survey conducted by The BTN Group and American Express Global Business Travel.

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