Flight Centre Travel boosts tech platform with TPConnects investment

TravelDailyNews International | March 04, 2020

Flight Centre Travel boosts tech platform with TPConnects investment
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.

Spotlight

Modern air travel gives us almost unlimited possibilities for getting around.Whether you are acting on your wanderlust to explore new and exotic destinations, hopping to a familiar island for a well-deserved vacation, or jetsetting to London in the comfort of business class, the modern airline industry can get you almost anywhere you need to go.But while flying allows us to have unique experiences, it’s often the case that we are all coming and going from many of the same popular destinations. As a result, the world’s busiest air routes have hundreds of flights per day connecting important city pairs together.


Other News
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.

Read More

TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Rêv & Visit Mexico Establish Payments & Loyalty Innovations Partnership Focused On Strengthening Cross Border Travel Engagement

Rêv | January 07, 2022

Rêv Worldwide, Inc. (“Rêv”), a global payments & loyalty product innovations company, and Visit Mexico, Mexico’s official tourism marketing agency, announced a multi-year strategic partnership aimed at fostering cross border tourism by leveraging innovative digital products and services that facilitate engagement, convenience and value for the travel sector.With the introduction of the X World Wallet, a multi-currency debit account accessible by downloading a mobile app, linked to physical and digital Visa cards, and integrated loyalty program, Rêv and Visit Mexico take a first step in offering a suite of products and services with a mission to promote tourism activity for one of the world’s most important travel corridors. The X World Wallet, now available nationwide, puts in the hands of its users a powerful tool that facilitates international transactions, discounts on travel bookings, and a points based loyalty program that helps maximize value for the user. While there are a variety of branded and co-branded credit products targeting the travel market, the availability of a mobile-first debit product that combines payments, foreign currency exchange, loyalty, and bookings is part of a recent wave of innovation that is giving consumers an alternative from credit cards with application requirements, high annual fees, interest rates and restrictive loyalty programs. “We are proud to be working side by side with Visit Mexico to put our technology to work so that travelers can access relevant and hassle free tools to facilitate their journey,” -Bertrand Sosa, President & Chief Marketing Officer, Rêv Worldwide. Given continued pandemic impacts globally across the travel industry, consumers and industry players alike are seeing how digital solutions play an even more important role in helping to reduce friction as well as open the opportunity to enhance key aspects of the travel experience. While the pandemic has decimated the travel industry globally, Mexico is one of the few countries who kept air travel open throughout the challenging times. The World Tourism Organization (WHO) estimates Mexico was the third most-visited country in the world in 2020. “As we continue to establish Mexico as the best destination for travelers from around the world, we are excited to collaborate with Rêv on the development of useful products that help us connect with travelers and help make their travel experience better - beginning with making it easier, cheaper and safer for Americans to transact in our country,” -Carlos Gonzalez Gonzalez, Chief Executive Officer, Visit Mexico. In a recent report citing travel recovery trends, Ryan Felipe, Visa’s Head of North America Cross Border Business noted, “Travelers continue to seek digital-first experiences throughout their journeys – from planning and booking to paying for dining and shopping while on the road. This provides an opportunity for financial service providers and businesses to drive increased engagement with their customers via trigger-based offers and messaging to drive loyalty. The X World Wallet offers users access to person-to-person payment transfers, tap-and-go purchase convenience, virtual and digital pay card functionalities, block/unblock account security features, and an integrated support platform to automatically contribute to climate change initiatives. The no credit check, low fees, no application reloadable X World Wallet™ Visa Debit cards available on the X account are issued by Texas First Bank, pursuant to a license by Visa Inc., and subject to cardholder Terms & Conditions. There are no offline or online purchase transaction fees, or foreign conversion fees when using the X World Wallet Visa card(s). Standard ATM fees and applicable FX rates do apply. For more information on the X World Wallet, visit xworldwallet.com. Rêv and Visit Mexico are also collaborating on making available the X World Wallet in Mexico in early 2022 so Mexicans traveling abroad may also enjoy the benefits US tourists have access to now. About Rêv Rêv is a fintech company, founded by prepaid debit industry pioneers Roy Sosa and Bertrand Sosa, dedicated to delivering innovative payment experiences to consumers worldwide. Its solutions are powered by the company’s proprietary multi-currency and multi-language payments processing platform. With vast experience developing payment industry innovations, Rêv is focused on the general, international banking & travel sectors. Rêv has partnered with companies across the globe to launch products in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. Learn more at revworldwide.com. About Visit Mexico Visit Mexico, the official brand under which Mexico’s Tourism Board has promoted domestic and international travel within-and-to Mexico for years, is now a private-government collaboration operating as the official marketing agency in charge of developing tourism campaigns, partnerships, and innovative operating models to further tourism activity for the country around the world. For more information visit visitmexico.com.

Read More

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.

Read More

INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Backroads Announces 2022 Travel Trends and Gears Up for Busiest Year Ever

Backroads | December 28, 2021

Backroads, the leader in active travel, announced their forecast for top travel destinations in 2022 based on advance bookings and inquiries. Europe is at the top of many travelers’ lists next year, with huge demand for trips in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Greece and Iceland. Many newcomers to active travel are booking adventures already, especially easygoing Dolce Tempo tours, and e-bikes are continuing to become more popular with guests of all ages. Backroads is anticipating that most of their North American trips will sell out once again, in line with the 2021 trend of strong interest in US National Parks and luxurious domestic adventures. As this eventful year comes to a close, Backroads is finishing strong and poised to have their biggest year ever in 2022. Backroads’ 2021 year-end highlights include: Backroads had its best year of all time in the US in 2021. Domestic bookings were up 45% compared to 2019, the last pre-pandemic benchmark year, and virtually all US departures sold out. The number of first-time travelers with Backroads nearly doubled over 2019, as people incorporated their newfound passions for walking, hiking and biking into their vacations. Top-selling trips in 2021 included Canyonlands, Yellowstone, Maine, San Juan Islands, Alaska, California Wine Country, Hawaii, Santa Barbara & Ojai, Crater Lake, Vermont and Yosemite in the US, and Croatia, Iceland, Greece, France, Portugal and Spain in Europe. Luxury experiences close to home saw a surge in popularity. Backroads' new Aspen tour (which includes three nights at the iconic Hotel Jerome) sold out immediately, as did the company’s Newfoundland adventure, which features lodging at the famed Fogo Island Inn, and its California Wine Country Walking trip with lodging at luxurious hideaways Montage and Solage. Popular with travelers around the world were Backroads' Dolce Tempo tours. These easygoing walking, multi-adventure and e-biking trips completely sold out in 2021 and are booking quickly in 2022. Adventure travel featuring invigorating activity in wide-open, natural spaces was hugely popular with travelers of all types, including families, couples and solo travelers. Based on advance guest booking and inquiries, Backroads is anticipating the following trends for 2022: More than 30% of guests on multi-adventure and biking trips will opt for e-bikes, which are custom-built for Backroads and included in the trip price. Europe will continue to see pent-up demand manifesting in sky-high bookings, with all the European countries that opened early and were popular in 2021 seeing strong traveler interest. Top-selling countries include Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Greece and Iceland. North America, which had its biggest year ever in 2021, will continue to be popular with travelers looking to stick close to home. US National Park trips will again completely sell out. Demand for travel in all parts of Canada from Banff to Newfoundland is skyrocketing. Family travel is up across all family segments: Teens & Kids, Older Teens & 20s and 20s & Beyond. Bookings for easygoing Dolce Tempo adventures will maintain their threefold increase compared to 2021, as travelers of all fitness levels look to spend active time outdoors. Active River Cruises will book up quickly with Bordeaux, Danube and Portugal’s Douro leading the way. Working in active, outdoor travel continues to appeal, with more than 450 Backroads Trip Leaders and Field Staff returning next season for a 90% retention rate. The company expects to hire close to another 350 additional Trip Leaders from 6,000 applicants for jobs in 2022. “If there’s one thing we’ve learned during our two years of operating trips during the pandemic, it’s that things change rapidly, Spring, summer, and fall are a long time away when it comes to COVID-19. We’re monitoring government responses to the latest surge and keeping a close eye on border reopenings and local policies.” -Tom Hale, Backroads Founder and President. Regardless of what happens this winter, 2022 is shaping up to be an incredible year for adventure travel. Based on what we saw in the summer 2021 season, we expect travel in Europe to come back strong, with France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Croatia topping the list of travelers everywhere,” said Hale. “People are eager to get back out exploring, and active travel is the way they want to go. Whether it’s on a bike or an e-bike, hiking or walking, with family, friends or solo, we anticipate next year to be Backroads' biggest year ever.”     About Backroads      Backroads was founded in 1979 by Tom Hale and has been a leading innovator in active and adventure travel for over 40 years. The company offers biking, walking & hiking and multi-adventure tours, small ship active cruises, private trips and family trips designed for three distinct age groups: Teens & Kids (typically 9-16), Older Teens & 20s (17+) and 20s & Beyond (adult kids through their late 20s). Backroads hosts thousands of guests each year—75% of whom are repeat guests or referrals from past guests—in hundreds of locations across the globe. For more information, please visit backroads.com, or call 800-462-2848.For more Backroads information, visit: backroads.com

Read More

Spotlight

Modern air travel gives us almost unlimited possibilities for getting around.Whether you are acting on your wanderlust to explore new and exotic destinations, hopping to a familiar island for a well-deserved vacation, or jetsetting to London in the comfort of business class, the modern airline industry can get you almost anywhere you need to go.But while flying allows us to have unique experiences, it’s often the case that we are all coming and going from many of the same popular destinations. As a result, the world’s busiest air routes have hundreds of flights per day connecting important city pairs together.

Resources