Flight Centre Travel boosts tech platform with TPConnects investment

TravelDailyNews International | March 04, 2020

The Flight Centre Travel Group has strengthened its technology roadmap via a strategic investment in a business that is enhancing airline-travel agent connectivity. The company has secured a 22.47% interest in TPConnects Technologies LLC, a Dubai-based business with a next generation New Distribution Capability (NDC), Global Distribution System (GDS) and ONE Order based travel technology platform and software development resources. FLT has also entered into a commercial agreement with TPConnects to access Software as a Service (SaaS) functions and use its International Air Transport Association (IATA) NDC Certified Travel Aggregator platform, which aggregates NDC and GDS content.

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The summer travel frenzy has begun. John Townsend with AAA Mid-Atlantic says 100 million people will travel this summer.


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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Denver ranks among most popular holiday travel destinations

Business Journal | December 15, 2021

Denver is one of the top 10 most popular destinations by flight this holiday season, according to a new online travel agency survey. Among those planning to fly between Dec. 17 and Jan. 1, Denver is one of the most popular destinations — and one of the most affordable for booking hotels — according to a survey by RetailMeNot and Priceline. Denver ranks among other popular cities such as New York City, Orlando, Florida, and Las Vegas for flight destinations. However, the survey found that most travelers are taking to the road for holiday travel, at 75% compared to 41% who said they're traveling by plane. The survey also found that hotels in Denver are among the most affordable, at an $151 average nightly rate. That put Denver among relatively affordable hotels in Las Vegas, Pigeon Forge, Tennesee, Washington, D.C., and Kissimmee, Florida, Hotels in the Denver metro area are still struggling to recover decreased visitors from the pandemic. Statewide hotel occupancy climbed from 15.7% in April 2020 to 77.2% occupancy in July, according to the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association. However, since then, occupancy has dropped again, particularly among downtown hotels. Meanwhile, Colorado is getting used to high air traveler volume, with Denver International Airport becoming the third-busiest airport in the world this year. DIA predicted about 2 million travelers to pass through the airport over the Thanksgiving holiday. AAA predicts more than 109 million people — an almost 34% increase from 2020 — will travel over the end-of-year holidays (between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2) in 2021. That includes people driving and flying, among other transportation. According to an AAA spokesperson, that number includes 851,900 predicted travelers from the Mountain region — including Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming — this holiday season.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

LBA Hospitality Acquires Management Contract for the Best Western New Smyrna Beach Hotel & Suites

LBA Hospitality | June 13, 2022

LBA Hospitality, an Alabama–based hotel management company, announced that it has recently taken over the management contract for the 101-suite Best Western New Smyrna Beach Hotel & Suites. The beachfront hotel located at 1401 South Atlantic Avenue is owned by Key International.The eight-story property is situated 15 miles from Daytona Beach International Airport, and just a short drive from Disneyland and Cape Canaveral and the Cape Canaveral National Seashore. The hotel offers guests convenient access to Turtle Mound, Ponce Inlet, Daytona Racetrack and numerous activities in and around the idyllic waters and sandy beaches of New Smyrna Beach. "I fell in love with New Smyrna Beach when we opened our first hotel here in 2012. It has that small beach town charm, great food, a nationally recognized arts scene, and the amazing white sand beach and blue water of the Atlantic Ocean, I am excited that we have added a one-of-a-kind accommodation that literally offers a toes-in-the-sand experience for visitors from around the world." -Beau Benton, president of LBA Hospitality. The Best Western New Smyrna Beach Hotel & Suites guestrooms feature luxury bedding, kitchenettes, as well as balconies with unobstructed views of the gorgeous blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Amenities include an outdoor swimming pool with a sundeck, a fitness center and onsite dining. About LBA Hospitality Established in 1973, LBA Hospitality is one of the leading hotel management, development, and consulting companies in the US. With an extensive portfolio of hotels located in the Southeast and Southwest, the company is a recognized leader developing and operating the most respected brands under franchise licenses of Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, and InterContinental Hotel Group. For more than four decades, LBA Hospitality has continued to set a higher standard in hotel development, management, and guest satisfaction, resulting in sustained, profitable growth for owners. For more information, visit www.lbahospitality.com. About Key International Key International is a full-service real estate firm bringing over 30 years of leadership and success in global investments and developments, with offices in Miami and Madrid. With a proven track record in generating excellent returns for partners, the firm specializes in real estate projects that improve customers' lifestyles through great locations and quality product. This includes forward-thinking considerations for everyday life, work, convenience, entertainment, and leisure. Following these principles, Key International is one of the few real estate firms with the demonstrated ability to deliver success across multiple real estate classes – including condominium, hospitality, multifamily, and office. Such diversification is a cornerstone of its approach and serves to maximize future development and investment opportunities.  With over 10 million square feet in residential developments, notable projects include Eden Roc Resort Miami Beach, Marriott Stanton Hotel South Beach, 400 Sunny Isles, 1010 Brickell, and the master plan of Riverfront Community (a 13.5-acre gated community in Downtown Miami). Additionally, Key International manages over $1.5 billion in assets under its current hotel portfolio comprised of over 3,000 hotel units. Please see keyint.com for more information on the company and its portfolio.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Travelers Want High-Tech, Low-Touch Hotel Stays Shows New Oracle Survey

Oracle | June 02, 2022

A new study by Oracle Hospitality and Skift shows that 95% of people plan to travel in the next six months – with 29% taking an epic 'revenge travel' trip – however, many want to eliminate the 'touch' from the high touch industry they once knew. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of travelers want to use their mobile device to manage their hotel experience, including checking in and out, paying, ordering food, and more. This is good news for hoteliers looking to tech to manage through the staffing shortage without hurting guest engagement and service. Over the next few years, travelers are also looking to personalize their journey even more by picking their exact room and floor and paying for only the amenities they want – and even wanting to pre-screen properties in the metaverse (68%). Moreover, 74% are interested in hotels using AI to better tailor services and offers, such as room pricing or food suggestions and discounts. Nearly 40% of hotel executives see this 'unbundled' model as the future of hotel revenue management. "The pandemic has established technology's role in the guest and associate journey, and the industry is never going back, Whether a hotel organization has two properties or 2,000, guests are looking for the highly digital, self-service experience they have come to expect in other parts of their lives, from banking to ordering food. For hoteliers to meet these demands, especially with constrained property staffing, they need systems that will enable them to quickly adapt, 'plug in' new services, and better and more efficiently serve a diverse group of travelers." -Alex Alt, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Hospitality. The "Hospitality in 2025: Automated, Intelligent… and More Personal" study surveyed 5,266 consumers and 633 hotel executives across the world in the spring of 2022 to better understand how guest expectations have changed and how hotels are adapting. Consumers and executives were surveyed in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Brazil, and Mexico. Check-out the report at: https://bit.ly/3MPgGXa. Travelers want people to 'get away' while on their getaway Two years of restrictions created a pent-up desire to travel, with 29% of people planning a larger, pricier "revenge travel" trip. But the pandemic has also left jetsetters feeling antisocial with many desiring contactless and self-service technology: 92% of travelers don't miss being around other people while staying on a hotel property. 73% agree that they're more likely to stay at a hotel that offers self-service technology to minimize contact with the staff and other guests. 38% want a fully self-service model, with staff only available upon request. 39% want to order room service from their phone or a chatbot. 49% are also looking for contactless payments (only 5% want to pay in crypto). Staff remains slim, tech is helping The labor shortage remains a top issue in the hotel industry, but hoteliers are working hard to onboard new tech to ease the strain on guests and staff: 65% of hoteliers said incorporating new technologies for staff best describes their strategy to weather labor shortages and attract new talent. 96% are investing in contactless technology, with 62% noting "a fully contactless experience" is likely to be the most widely adopted tech in the industry in the next three years. 54% added that their highest priority is to adopt tech that improves or eliminates the need for the front desk experience between now and 2025. Travelers are mixed on how patient they are willing to be in this transition: 39% said they want a fully contactless experience for all basic hotel transactions (check-in/out, food & beverage, room keys, etc.). 34% said a staff shortage, and resulting slow service, would be their #1 deterrent to rebooking a hotel. However, just 23% noted that a lack of daily room cleaning is an issue, showing consumers have accepted (and 17% welcomed!) that this pre-pandemic mainstay is never coming back. People looking for the comfort of home, even when away from home Whether ordering room service or signing onto Netflix, travelers want the ease and convenience of home while traveling: 45% said on-demand entertainment access that seamlessly connects to their personal streaming or gaming accounts is their #1 must-have during their stay. Likewise, 45% of hotel executives said this in-room entertainment set-up is what they're most likely to implement by 2025. 77% of travelers are interested in using automated messaging or chatbots for customer service requests at hotels. 43% want voice-activated controls for all amenities in their rooms (lights, curtains, door locks, etc.). 25% want room controls that auto-adjust temperature, lighting, and even digital art based on pre-shared preferences. A la carte-based hotel pricing Consumers are interested in a hotel model that lets them pay for just what they use. Hoteliers, in tandem, are looking at new service models that upsell everything from amenities to adventures: 81% of hoteliers expect a big service model shift between now and 2025. 49% strongly agreed that "special amenities and upgrades" are critical to their revenue strategy. 36% predict that the future of hotel revenue management will be underpinned by unbundling room rates, like a "basic economy" vs. "economy plus" model on airlines. For travelers: 87% said they would be likely to book a hotel that allowed them to pay only for amenities that they use. 54% are willing to pay more to choose their view; 38% to choose their room; 37% to check in early/check out late; 33% to use the spa, wellness, or fitness services; 32% to choose their room floor; and more. About Oracle Oracle offers integrated suites of applications plus secure, autonomous infrastructure in the Oracle Cloud. For more information about Oracle (NYSE: ORCL), please visit us at oracle.com.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Trasava Lets Travelers Book 5-Star Hotels at 2-Star Prices

Trasava | February 02, 2022

As travel returns and the demand for hotel rooms increases, Trasava introduces a new way of booking rooms that keeps prices low and hoteliers happy. Through a combination of superior technology and its unique approach to inventory, Trasava has managed to bridge the gap between business and leisure travel, making discounted travel rates—similar to those of corporate travel discounts—accessible to individual travelers. The problem in the hospitality industry is clear: nearly every OTA, online travel agency, pulls from the same inventory pool, causing prices across dozens of sites to be more or less the same. Trasava flips this model on its head, leveraging exclusive agreements with its suppliers to offer travel rates not available to the general public. This allows Trasava to get deep discounts on hotels of all types—from basic to luxury—all over the world. While other OTAs compete to sell unwanted last-minute rooms, Trasava offers lower prices from the outset, whether you're booking one day or one year in advance. Led by a passionate team of nomadic entrepreneurs, Trasava's founders are scratching their own itch by building a better booking platform. They offer over 1 million listings in 70+ countries, plus a 110% guarantee. If travelers can find a cheaper price elsewhere online available to the public, they will refund 110% of the difference. With its focus on making both hotels and travelers happy, Trasava has created a booking experience that's a win-win. Here are some of the savings travelers can expect from Trasava: $400 saved over a long weekend in a 4-star hotel in Manhattan in July $650 saved over a 5-day stay at a 5-star hotel in central Berlin in September $900 saved on a weeklong vacation at a 5-star resort in Cancún in February Travelers interested in learning more can try out Trasava for themselves at Trasava.com. AboutTrasava: Trasava is a new travel tech startup based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Launched in 2022, Trasava is making travel more affordable by bringing corporate hotel pricing to the masses.

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