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.

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Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) is a non-profit association with a mission to foster, through collaboration and partnership, the development of next-generation systems and solutions that will enable hoteliers and their technology vendors to do business globally in the 21st century. HTNG is recognized as the leading voice of the global hotel community, articulating the technology requirements of hotel companies of all sizes to the vendor community. HTNG facilitate the development of technology models for hospitality that will foster innovation, improve the guest experience, increase the effectiveness and efficiency of hotels, and create a healthy ecosystem for technology suppliers.


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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Internova Travel Group Enhances BookHuman.Travel Site to Foster Human Connection

Internova Travel Group | April 07, 2022

Internova Travel Group, one of the industry's largest travel services companies, is rolling out an enhanced version of its website BookHuman.Travel that harnesses the power of storytelling to reinforce the value of using a human travel advisor. Through individual profiles, you can get to know some of the more than 62,000 Internova travel advisors in over 6,000 company-owned and affiliated locations worldwide and learn what makes them experts in all types of leisure and corporate travel.You'll find out why they're passionate travelers, and how they use their background, expertise and experience to take care of every last detail for their clients. They share what it takes to create those "wow" moments that make a trip memorable, as well as the times when they saved the day for their clients. If you're searching for inspiration, you can read about some of their amazing travels around the world, accompanied by stunning photos. "It amazes me how little consumers know about the benefits of using a travel advisor, Arguably, the least important thing a travel advisor does is book your travel. What surrounds the actual booking – the planning, anticipating, troubleshooting, negotiating, resolving, and communicating – is where you will find the real value of an advisor. That's what we want to feature on BookHuman.Travel, which has evolved to become an advocacy site for our travel advisors. Here, they can share their firsthand experiences as well as tell stories of how they've helped clients before, during and after their trips." -Brent Rivard, Chief Marketing Officer at Internova Travel Group BookHuman.Travel demonstrates the many benefits of a human connection that you simply can't get from booking a trip online. For example, a family taking a trip to Japan put a visit with one of the country's few remaining samurai swordsmiths at the top of their wish list. When an emergency forced the swordsmith to cancel, "after a few anxious days and sleepless nights due to the time difference, my team and I were able to rearrange everything. A client wanted to throw a surprise dinner party at a restaurant in Paris for his wife's 65th birthday. His travel advisor suggested that he bring everyone on the Bustronome, a double-decker bus where diners enjoy a gourmet meal as they drive by the city's landmarks, discovering the beauty of Paris at night. A travel advisor who has taken trips with her husband and toddler knows what goes into a successful family vacation, from ensuring that the hotel room is ready when her clients arrive to planning sightseeing around naps and mealtimes. "I can open the door to experiences you might never have thought possible." The daughter of a client booked her own hotel in Germany and it turned out to be a nightmare. After a call from her frantic mother, the travel advisor booked the daughter into a great hotel that she was familiar with, and sent a car at midnight to pick her up. "Her daughter will never travel without me again and tells all her friends the same. BookHuman.Travel makes it easy to connect with a travel advisor. You can search for a specialist by destination or choose from a wide variety of interests, ranging from adventure travel to arts and culture, cruises, family vacations, honeymoons, LGBT travel, wellness trips and more. A green dot on an advisor's profile means that they're online. You can connect with them through a live chat, over the phone or by email. If the travel advisor is offline, you can leave a message or schedule a time to talk to them. Browse through BookHuman.Travel to meet our travel advisors," continued Rivard. "You'll love their enthusiasm for discovering new places and be impressed by the countless ways in which they deliver unmatched, customized experiences for their leisure and corporate clients at every budget level. They are knowledgeable, well-traveled professionals who take the time to develop a personal relationship with their clients, and that makes all the difference. To learn more, please visit BookHuman.Travel. About Internova Travel Group Internova Travel Group is one of the largest travel services companies in the world with a collection of leading brands delivering high-touch, personal travel expertise to leisure and corporate clients. Internova manages leisure, business and franchise firms through a portfolio of distinctive divisions. Internova represents more than 62,000 travel advisors in over 6,000 company-owned and affiliated locations predominantly in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, with a presence in more than 80 countries.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Swire Hotels Teams Up With Agilysys to Provide Smarter, Faster, Greener Guest Experiences

Swire Hotels | April 08, 2022

Agilysys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AGYS), a leading global provider of next-generation end-to-end SaaS and on-prem ready hospitality software solutions, announced that Hong Kong-based Swire Hotels has activated Agilysys solutions in all its Hong Kong properties and plans to extend these across its entire property portfolio.The comprehensive suite from Agilysys includes Agilysys Seat, an online seat reservation, wait-list and venue management system that optimizes both revenue and guest satisfaction; InfoGenesis POS using the IG 12UX client, the leading hospitality market POS system; and IG OnDemand, a guest-facing contactless food and beverage ordering for guest delivery or pick up across venues. Swire Hotels is a group of seven properties under The House Collective and EAST brands, with locations in Hong Kong, Chinese Mainland and the United States. The hotel group is known for personalized service and unique guest experiences and is dedicated to enhancing sustainability across its properties. In our search to provide guests with a smarter, faster and greener experience, we were consistently impressed with the solutions from Agilysys, IG OnDemand is a great fit for our properties, enabling team members with the technology we need to enhance our operational efficiency thereby elevating guest experiences. -Dean Winter, Managing Director for Swire Hotels. With IG OnDemand, guests can place and pay for food and beverage (F&B) orders using their mobile devices rather than having to call a service line. A simple scan of a QR code in the guestroom leads to a user-friendly interface displaying pictures, descriptions and prices of food and beverage choices. Guests can choose to have their orders delivered to them or can opt to pick them up. In addition to enabling the contactless service experience guests increasingly desire, replacing printed menus with QR codes in guestrooms contributes to sustainability by reducing paper waste. Agilysys Seat enables properties to maximize revenue from seating options and venue space while enabling guests to view and select seats and track their waitlist status at various venues through an online experience. As the foundation for these experiences, the IG 12UX client for the comprehensive InfoGenesis POS system enables hoteliers to present point-of-sale experiences to guests in a variety of ways using equipment that reflects guest preferences, whether through mobile devices or at fixed-place terminals. “It was important for us to choose a technology partner that understood our focus on sustainability, ease of use, and guest experience,Through Agilysys, we have seen that the platforms are gaining popularity with our guests from the decreasing phone call volume in the first two months after launch and around 60 percent of in-room dining orders now come from guests using IG OnDemand.” -Clement Durand, Senior Operations Manager at Swire Hotels. We are proud to partner with Swire Hotels, a hospitality group known for its extraordinary service excellence,” said Andrew Cox, Managing Director APAC at Agilysys. “With Agilysys Seat, IG OnDemand and IG 12UX, Swire Hotels can enhance the food and beverage experience for guests and staff alike and elevate the personalized service that they have come to enjoy. We look forward to implementing our solutions throughout the Swire Hotels portfolio, helping them increase revenue and meet growing expectations for frictionless and contactless guest experiences. Solutions In Use InfoGenesis® POS provides an award-winning enterprise-class point-of-sale solution that processes transactions in the highest volume, most demanding hospitality industry environments worldwide. Its modern, flexible client, IG 12UX, allows customers to choose devices that match the style and needs of their venues. From traditional POS terminals to iPads, Android tablets and mobile phones, the IG 12UX client enables customers to seamlessly deliver a variety of POS experiences based upon guest preferences and server requirements. In addition, InfoGenesis offers robust reporting and analysis features, extensive enterprise-grade menu and item configuration capabilities, and multi-language support to help drive service flexibility and increased operational efficiency. The result is improved F&B operations and increased revenue across venues. IG OnDemand provides a complete cloud-native contactless self-service food & beverage ordering solution that offers an intuitive guest-facing order and pay experience. IG OnDemand enables guests to place and pay for orders using their own devices – phone, tablet, laptop – for pick-up or delivery. The result is dramatically increased revenue opportunities and more chances to enhance guest service. Agilysys Seat provides a complete online seat reservation, wait-list and venue management system that displays and manages seat availability for a wide range of venues including restaurants, pool cabanas, stadiums and arenas, gaming table seats and more. The solution enables guests to choose their preferred location or server while optimizing venue usage and enabling social distancing protocols through mobile messaging communication. In addition, its table/venue layout management capabilities ensure the most efficient use of space based on the type of venue and event. The result is improved guest service with shorter, predictable wait times, increased table turnovers and increased venue revenue. About Agilysys Agilysys has been a leader in hospitality software for more than 40 years, delivering innovative cloud-native SaaS and on-prem ready guest-centric technology solutions for gaming, hotels, resorts and cruise, corporate foodservice management, restaurants, universities, stadia and healthcare. Agilysys offers the most comprehensive software solutions in the hospitality industry, including point-of-sale (POS), property management (PMS), inventory and procurement, payments, and related applications, to manage the entire guest journey. Agilysys is also known for its world class customer-centric service. During recent years, Agilysys has made major investments in R&D and has successfully modernized virtually all its longstanding trusted software solutions. Some of the largest hospitality companies around the world use Agilysys solutions to help improve guest loyalty, drive revenue growth and increase operational efficiencies. Agilysys operates across North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and India with headquarters located in Alpharetta, GA. For more information visit Agilysys.com. About Swire Hotels Swire Hotels creates and manages distinctive hotels in Hong Kong, Chinese Mainland and the United States under two brands, The House Collective and EAST, providing unscripted and authentic experiences for individually minded travellers who seek originality, style and personalised service. The House Collective, a group of Houses each uniquely imagined and inspired by their locations, began with The Opposite House in Beijing, which opened in 2008, followed by The Upper House in Hong Kong, The Temple House in Chengdu and the latest addition, The Middle House in Shanghai, which opened in 2018. While EAST, designed for today’s go-getters, takes personal life balance to a whole new level and includes EAST, Hong Kong; EAST, Beijing and EAST, Miami.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Iconic Luxury Hazelton Hotel Retains Trip Advisor's #1 Spot in Canada

Hazelton Hotel | December 20, 2021

For the 5th consecutive year, Trip Advisor has named The Hazelton as the #1 hotel in Toronto, Canada. For 2021, the hotel ranked among the top 1% of hotels worldwide and received Traveler's Choice Best of the Best award the highest honour by Trip Advisor. In addition, the hotel also received the 2021 Traveller's Choice award. Despite the recent challenges the hospitality industry has faced, The Hazelton is honoured once again to be recognized as a leader in hospitality by providing an unparalleled level of excellence to local and international guests, upholding the highest standard in the industry. "I am honoured to lead a team of hospitality experts who continue to excel at the highest level. The Hazelton is committed to providing outstanding customer service across the property, whether that be a dining experience, spa treatment, or a luxurious stay in one of our newly renovated suites. The Trip Advisor awards we have earned are a testament to our dedicated team, as well as our guests – both new and returning – who have taken valuable time to share their experiences and support by rating us after their stay," - Gaurav Dutta, General Manager of The Hazelton Hotel. The Hazelton Hotel, Toronto's first luxury boutique hotel situated in the heart of Yorkville – the epicentre of fashion, art, celebrity, and lifestyle in Canada – is also proud to announce its five-year renewal with Leading Hotels of the World. This elite partnership positions the hotel – one of only two in Canada – amongst the most exclusive, luxury boutique accommodations across the globe. In anticipation of the hotel's 15th anniversary in 2022, The Hazelton Hotel is pleased to announce the completion of an extensive renovation and the introduction of the new Presidential Bellair Suite. Designed by award-winning firm Yabu Pushelberg, the 1860 square-foot suite features an open concept living room, an exquisite dining area, and a private wet bar offering guests a lavish home away from home. Renovations also include ONE restaurant's indoor dining room and bar, multiple meeting spaces throughout the hotel, and the private Silver Screening Room. In celebration of the Trip Advisor Awards and the new Presidential Bellair Suite, The Hazelton Hotel announces a social media contest on Instagram beginning on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021. To enter, follow The Hazelton Hotel @hazeltonto on Instagram, tag a friend, and comment by sharing what part of the prize you would be most excited to win. Entrants who share the post to their stories and tag @hazeltonto receive a bonus entry. The Prize includes a one (1) night stay in the Presidential Bellair Suite, a $500 hotel dining card for ONE Restaurant, a $500 spa gift card for the Valmont Spa, and a private screening in the Silver Screening Room (prize value $10000.00 CND). About The Hazelton Hotel, Spa by Valmont and ONE Restaurant Since 2008, the hotel is an iconic landmark and Toronto's only member of The Leading Hotels of The World. With 77 opulent guest suites designed by internationally renowned design firm Yabu Pushelberg, The Hazelton Hotel is also home to a private Silver Screening Room and Spa by Valmont, one of the city's most exclusive spa sanctuaries. The hotel's ONE Restaurant is celebrity chef Mark McEwan's signature dining experience that offers world-class cuisine and boasts one of Toronto's finest patios. A Forbes Health Verified hotel, The Hazelton Hotel continues to ensure the health and safety of guests, residents, and team members, through their 8-point safety plan that is aligned with the provincial public health authorities' guidelines.http://www.thehazeltonhotel.com

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Sabre SafePoint adds travel restriction tracking capability

Sabre | January 13, 2022

Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), the leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, announces the expansion of SafePoint, a travel risk management product, to include global travel restriction tracking. Whilst the solution is not limited to a singular event, it provides information regarding the spread of COVID 19 and new variants as well as destination entry restrictions imposed by countries including masks, vaccinations, health documentation and quarantine requirements. SafePoint monitors world events in near real-time, 24/7. It utilizes hundreds of data sources for events and restrictions that may impact travel arrangements and/or traveler safety. It helps Sabre's travel agencies and corporate customers make more informed decisions and enhance the safety of their travelers by alerting them to restrictions that may impact their itinerary. Travelers will then be able to use the information to take action at any stage of their trip. the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been signs of recovery in the travel industry. Sabre is committed to support this safe return of travel by providing our customers solutions that allow duty-of-care and traveler safety now and into the future. "As travel rebounds, we believe a duty-of-care and crisis alerting solution is imperative to any travel business, especially in a world where travel advisories can change rapidly. SafePoint is designed to keep travelers and corporate travel managers apprised of critical events in a fast-moving world, We are delighted to work with customers to provide them duty-of-care products to better service their travelers". -Saunvit Pandya, Senior Director of Product Management, Sabre In the current travel landscape, having instant access to travel restriction information is critical to making the right travel-related decisions. Sabre's SafePoint provides us timely information to help us better serve our customers. It is a trusted source of information from a trusted partner," said Anna McGurk, Operations Director, Norad Travel UK.While travel has been significantly impacted by About Sabre Corporation Sabre Corporation is a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, serving a wide range of travel companies including airlines, hoteliers, travel agencies and other suppliers. The company provides retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, drive revenue and offer personalized traveler experiences. Through its leading travel marketplace, Sabre connects travel suppliers with buyers from around the globe. Sabre's technology platform manages more than $260B worth of global travel spend annually. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world. For more information visit www.sabre.com.

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Spotlight

Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) is a non-profit association with a mission to foster, through collaboration and partnership, the development of next-generation systems and solutions that will enable hoteliers and their technology vendors to do business globally in the 21st century. HTNG is recognized as the leading voice of the global hotel community, articulating the technology requirements of hotel companies of all sizes to the vendor community. HTNG facilitate the development of technology models for hospitality that will foster innovation, improve the guest experience, increase the effectiveness and efficiency of hotels, and create a healthy ecosystem for technology suppliers.

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