FCM strengthens financial position in response to covid-19

TravelDailyNews International | April 09, 2020

FCM Travel Solutions’ parent company Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) has announced a comprehensive package of initiatives to strengthen its balance sheet and liquidity position. These initiatives mean that FCTG has secured a total AUD $900 million through a mix of capital raising and new debt facilities. They complement previously announced cost reduction and cash preservation initiatives implemented by FCTG to help overcome the unprecedented travel and trading restrictions imposed by governments in response to the covid-19 pandemic. This will enable FCM Travel Solutions to increase its focus on key investments and to support all customers even during prolonged challenging business travel trading conditions. The move also allows the global TMC to execute its long-term strategy, expand its capabilities and service a significant number of new clients. The additional funding means the group’s total liquidity position now amounts to over AUD $2.3 billion.

Spotlight

Custom ICM solutions are built for you, not auditors, so they typically don’t offer visibility into actions performed over time. Auditors may lack confidence in your homegrown system, especially if they find errors or omissions. In fact, audit risk from errors and overpayments is often the most compelling reason we see customers switch from build to buy. New regulations place additional burdens on your commissions system.


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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Smart approach to travel retailing puts Sabre on IATA's Airline Retailing Maturity index

Sabre Corporation | May 17, 2022

Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, has been recognized as a system provider for both airlines and travel sellers in the International Air Transport Association's (IATA's) Airline Retailing Maturity (ARM) index. This recognition is a testament to Sabre's focus on developing scalable capabilities to power more personalized travel retailing that benefits the travel ecosystem. "Airline retailing means placing the customer at the center of the air travel shop/order/pay ecosystem. We are excited to see Sabre's strong alignment with this vision as a recognized System Provider in the ARM index" -Yanik Hoyles, IATA's Director Distribution Designed to assess the maturity of industry players in the journey to airline retailing, the ARM index replaces the previous IATA New Distribution Capability (NDC) and ONE Order certifications and expands the scope of the program beyond technical standards to recognize the benefits of value chain collaboration and value creation. Introduced in November 2021, the program is built on three pillars: Capabilities Verification to measure the technical abilities for shop, order, pay, settle, account, and set up; Partnerships Deployment to determine the scalability of NDC-enabled offers across the value chain; and Value Capture Compass to track potential value captured along the retail transformation journey. "We are very proud of Sabre's inclusion in the ARM index and we wholeheartedly welcome IATA's move toward a more layered and multi-faceted view of airline retailing From its early days, we've approached NDC as a technical basis to deliver a more personalized traveler experience. We named our program "Beyond NDC" to signal a focus not only on ticking boxes on a technical capability checklist, but also on a longer-term retailing vision. Sitting at the crossroads of travel, we seek to listen to our customers on both the supply and demand sides of our travel marketplace, integrate their feedback, and innovate across our portfolio so that our products scale end-to-end, not just for individual players in the ecosystem." -Kathy Morgan, Vice President, Channel Delivery, Sabre Travel Solutions. Sabre has a busy NDC roadmap laid out for the remainder of 2022 to continue to advance our capabilities. Dynamic air pricing for NDC offers will become available with the recently launched Air Price IQ ™ product within the Sabre Retail Intelligence suite, enabling airlines to optimize offers in real-time with leading machine learning and data analytics capabilities. Support for exchanges will be added to the current cancel, void and refund capabilities, providing robust servicing functionality. Radixx, which provides solutions for low-cost carrier airlines, is expected to also become certified under the ARM index later this year as an airline IT provider. Sabre is in discussions with more than 25 leading airlines about selling their NDC offers through its marketplace. In addition to Singapore Airlines and Qantas – which combined are active in 50 countries and are starting to roll out their NDC content across North and South America – Sabre is actively engaged many other airlines. NDC offers from these airlines will be available in the coming months through Sabre's Offer and Order APIs, agency point of sale, Sabre Red 360, and online booking tool, GetThere. 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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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

CARILLON MIAMI WELLNESS RESORT JOINS AMERICAN EXPRESS FINE HOTELS + RESORTS PROGRAM

Carillon Miami Wellness Resort | March 22, 2022

Carillon Miami Wellness Resort is pleased to announce it has been awarded distinguished membership in American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts® (FHR), offering Amex consumer, business, and corporate Platinum Card holders and Centurion members unmatched value and access to exclusive benefits. "This is a major accomplishment for our team, residents, and owners, and we are excited and appreciative to now join American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts®, one of the leading luxury lodging programs for affluent travelers,This milestone is yet another award and recognition for our resort and we look forward to achieving even greater heights in wellness-luxury with FHR. As the travel industry continues to recover and hotels and resorts get more creative, we are looking for every opportunity to dazzle new guests with our refined luxury, amenities, and services, as well as the natural beauty of our location in the heart of Florida's Gold Coast." -Patrick Fernandes, Executive Managing Director of Carillon Miami Wellness Resort. Along with exclusive access to the resort's spa, recognized as the largest spa and wellness facility on the Eastern Seaboard (70,000 square feet), Amex Card and Centurion members can receive special perks such as early check-in, $150 experience credit to use toward spa services, room upgrades upon availability, and a personalized welcome, among other benefits. Additionally, members will find other new amenities when visiting Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, including a new dining destination in partnership with Michelin-starred chef, Tristan Brandt. Chef Brandt, whose signature modern French cuisine with Asian influences can best be described as "artwork on the plate," will oversee the culinary concept for a new destination restaurant at the resort, which will open to guests this spring. Members can also experience the resort's latest wellness programming, such as new personalized health services through the property's partnership with the biostation, which offers a curated menu of cutting-edge therapies and tailored wellness retreats. For more information about Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, please visit https://www.carillonhotel.com/en. About Carillon Miami Wellness Resort Located along the white sand shores of Miami Beach, Carillon Miami Wellness Resort presents an authentic and specialized approach to health, wellness, and complete well-being. Exuding the "luxury of wellness," the resort focuses on aligning physical, mental, and spiritual health by offering a comprehensive retreat, the largest spa & wellness center on the Eastern Seaboard (70,000 sq. ft.), a one-of-a-kind Thermal Experience and a medical wellness division, personalized health retreats and services through the biostation at Carillon Miami, and more. The resort features 150 spacious one- and two-bedroom luxury apartments, ranging in size from 720 – 1,200 sq. ft. An array of recreational activities are at guests' fingertips, access to the resort's two-story indoor rock wall and resort pools located throughout the property: the oceanfront Cabana Pool and the adult-only rooftop Atlantic Pool. Carillon Miami Wellness Resort promotes a path to discovery and provides tools for a healthier lifestyle extending beyond each guest's stay. In 2021, Carillon Miami Wellness Resort ranked within Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards as one of the "Top 15 Domestic Destination Spas," the only property in Florida, and was also named one of the "Top 30 Destination Spa Resorts in the United States" in Condé Nast Traveler's 34th annual 2021 Readers' Choice Awards. The resort is committed to upholding the highest standards in health and safety and is a Sharecare Health Security VERIFIED® with Forbes Travel Guide destination. For more information, please visit www.carillonhotel.com.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Frommer's Names the Best Hotel Booking Engines for Summer Travel in 2022

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. About Frommer's 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.

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Spotlight

Custom ICM solutions are built for you, not auditors, so they typically don’t offer visibility into actions performed over time. Auditors may lack confidence in your homegrown system, especially if they find errors or omissions. In fact, audit risk from errors and overpayments is often the most compelling reason we see customers switch from build to buy. New regulations place additional burdens on your commissions system.

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