Expedia CEO Admits Tours Business Is Underfunded

Skift | August 01, 2019

Expedia Group has operated concierge desks in popular tourism destinations such as Hawaii and Orlando, and has sold tours and activities for around 15 years, but the company hasn’t prioritized the sector, and is far behind industry leader TripAdvisor.In a fairly candid assessment during Expedia’s recent second quarter earnings call, CEO Mark Okerstrom conceded that his company’s tours and activities business has been under-funded because of Expedia’s traditional focus on its lodging business.This is one of these products that just has a lot of potential, but in a big business like ours, where lodging ends up really in the roof, sometimes these things get underfunded, Okerstrom said in response to an analysts question. We are putting more capital into it right now and we’re optimistic that it can be a bigger driver going forward.”

Spotlight

Help your employees avoid everyday travel disruptions by ensuring they take the time to plan-a key ingredient for safe travel. CWT and International SOS teamed up to create this ‘Top 10 Tips for safe travel’ infographic you can share with your traveling employees. These tips can be used as a guide to help your employees prepare for their business trips effectively, helping them stay safer and your company reduces risk.


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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

GO Airport Shuttle Rebrands as GOWithUs.com with NewWebsite, Services, and Locations

GO Airport Shuttle | March 23, 2022

GO Airport Shuttle has launched a new website, GOWithUs.com to announce its expansion into a comprehensive travel company providing services beyond airport transportation. The site features a new streamlined reservation system for faster, easier booking and discounts to tours and attractions in popular tourist cities.Leveraging its expertise in logistics and operations, GO now provides ground transportation to tourist sites, restaurants, and other entertainment destinations within its most popular service areas. Customers also will be able to purchase discounted tickets to attractions and tours in a number of cities directly on the site. "We've made it easier for travelers to find relevant information about our services and fares as well as tours and attractions in their destination cities, Our new technology allows us to offer our customers a seamless, intuitive user experience and one-stop shopping for multiple products and services." -John McCarthy, president, The GO Group. GO also is expanding its presence by partnering with other quality, professional providers to offer transportation options in new areas with a goal of serving more than 1500 locations worldwide. The GO Group LLC is one of the world's largest airport transportation providers, offering shared rides, private vehicles, charters, and tours; serving airports and cities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Australia, and Europe. Under GOWithUs.com, travelers can book ground transportation to and from both departure and destination airports, around town travel, tours, and attractions.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

TransPerfect Selected by Finnair as Main Language Services Provider

TransPerfect | April 19, 2022

TransPerfect, the world’s largest provider of language and technology solutions for global business,announced that it has been chosen by Finnair as its main supplier for translation services and globalization management technology.Finnair is using TransPerfect’s GlobalLink® technology and AI solutions combined with a CoreMedia CMS connector to manage its multilingual digital touchpoints and content in 15 languages. As a result of the GlobalLink’s integration capabilities and TransPerfect’s experienced travel solutions team, the initial content deployment went live ahead of schedule and three times faster than a standard launch timeline for a full-scale multilingual content solution. One of the oldest continuously operating airlines in the world and part of the oneworld alliance, Finnair is offering convenient and efficient connections through its Helsinki and Arlanda hubs. Finnair chose TransPerfect’s GlobalLink solution due to its seamless integration with Finnair’s existing CMS, which allows for consolidating processes and greater consistency. With an eye on cost control, Finnair strategically introduced machine translation with human post-editing (MTPE) into its workflows in order to maximize its reach under the budgetary and resource constraints in play. GlobalLink is a modular suite of tools specifically designed to manage the complex demands of creating, deploying, and maintaining multilingual content, drastically reducing the time and effort required throughout the localization process. “Our direct digital channels are vital in engaging with customers and meeting their needs, so we want to create and update content to our key markets in an effective and agile way. It’s incredibly important to us—and the whole travel industry—to have partners like TransPerfect who can provide services and solutions that are not only scalable but flexible enough to enable our business to be nimble and achieve our goals.” -Anna Suntio, Digital Content Lead at Finnair TransPerfect President and CEO Phil Shawe commented, As Finnair adopts new online customer engagement strategies, we’re pleased that our GlobalLink suite of technologies is helping them achieve their global business goals. About TransPerfect TransPerfect is the world’s largest provider of language and technology solutions for global business. From offices in over 100 cities on six continents, TransPerfect offers a full range of services in 170+ languages to clients worldwide. More than 6,000 global organizations employ TransPerfect’s GlobalLink® technology to simplify management of multilingual content. With an unparalleled commitment to quality and client service, TransPerfect is fully ISO 9001 and ISO 17100 certified. TransPerfect has global headquarters in New York, with regional headquarters in London and Hong Kong. For more information, please visit our website at www.transperfect.com.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Kasada Acquires Iconic Cape Grace Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa

kasada | March 26, 2022

Funds advised by Kasada Capital Management (“Kasada”) announced the acquisition of the 120-key Cape Grace hotel in Cape Town, South Africa. This acquisition marks Kasada's entry into the South African hospitality market and the continued fulfilment of the platform’s strategy to expand its presence in key cities across Sub-Saharan Africa. Kasada will now deploy its expertise in Cape Town with an asset voted one of the “Top Luxury Hotels” in the continent. Originally opened in 1996, the Cape Grace is located in Cape Town’s Victoria & Albert Waterfront district and is one of Africa’s most iconic hotels. This acquisition will mark a new chapter in the property’s history. With high ambitions for this Cape Town landmark, Kasada will renovate the hotel with the view of obtaining the EDGE green-building certification while keeping its legacy, unrivalled quality, and exceptional service which have been the essence of this exceptional property. "This acquisition marks our entry into the South African hospitality market, the largest in Africa. The Cape Grace is a great addition to our existing hotel portfolio and we look forward to bringing our knowledge and expertise to this iconic asset. Our value creation strategy will be driven by our sustainability values and highest ESG standards for the benefit of our guests, employees and local communities." -Olivier Granet, Kasada's Managing Partner and CEO David Damiba, Kasada’s Managing Partner and CIO added: We are delighted to have completed this important acquisition in Cape Town. It demonstrates our continued ability to structure and execute transactions across hotel segments and geographies. With the acquisition of the Cape Grace and our subsequent capex commitment, we continue to believe in the resilience of the African hospitality market and confirm our positioning as a leading investor and solution provider in the hospitality sector on the continent. About Kasada Kasada Capital Management is part of the Kasada group, an independent investment platform dedicated to hospitality in Sub-Saharan Africa. The firm was launched in 2018 with the backing of Qatar Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar, and Accor, a world leading hospitality group. The Kasada group’s strategy spans all segments from economy to luxury and targets both greenfield and brownfield projects. The Kasada group’s hotels are operated under the banner of Accor’s wide range of internationally renowned brands. By investing in a region which offers robust growth opportunities, the Kasada group aims to deliver both attractive risk-adjusted returns to investors, and a long-term positive impact on local economies. In April 2019, the Kasada group held a close on its maiden fund, Kasada Hospitality Fund L.P., with equity commitments of over USD 500 million. For more information, visit www.kasada.com and follow us on LinkedIn.

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Spotlight

Help your employees avoid everyday travel disruptions by ensuring they take the time to plan-a key ingredient for safe travel. CWT and International SOS teamed up to create this ‘Top 10 Tips for safe travel’ infographic you can share with your traveling employees. These tips can be used as a guide to help your employees prepare for their business trips effectively, helping them stay safer and your company reduces risk.

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