Flywire rolls out adventure travel payment solution

Verdict | October 23, 2019

Payment solutions provider Flywire has announced a general roll-out of its new payment solution for the adventure travel industry. The new solution seeks to address various payment complexities faced by online travel agents (OTAs) while conducting adventure tours. Such difficulties include managing multi-currency disbursements to tour operators, currency fluctuations and offering payment-related support services. The Flywire solution offers OTAs and tour operators key capabilities that include round-the-clock tracking of guest payments and operator disbursements.

Spotlight

Australia is a huge country. People usually think that it is best to travel the country by plane. But what is so great about Australia, if not the outback and the wonderful nature? Do something different, take a road trip and enjoy what the Australian nature has to offer. But where to go in Australia?


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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

ZentrumHub Announces Strategic Partnership With WIHP, A Leading hotel marketing Company

ZentrumHub | May 31, 2022

ZentrumHub, a leading Hotel aggregator API specialist, and WIHP, the Hotel marketing specialists, announced a strategic partnership that will enable ZentrumHub' customers to get an easy access to metasearch channels and engines like Google Hotel Ads, TripAdvisor, Trivago, Bing Hotel Ads, etc. With WIHP's Meta I/O solution, ZentrumHub customers will now be able to better monitor and control their Metasearch distribution. ZentrumHub, as a start-up, is trying to make an impact in this space by providing its customers more and additional access to technologies that will add value to its clients business. This partnership is a great testimony of this core belief of the company and as next steps, will continue to add more partnerships in its kitty. ZentrumHub now offers more than 900,000 hotel inventory API to its customers with unique properties across the world, enabling their clients to provide a wide choice of hotels to their customers. "With the ever-growing demand for hotels, today's travellers want hotel searches to be quick and painless. With this partnership travel agencies using ZentrumHub Hotel API will be able to position their ads in metasearch engines and increase traffic to their reservation system driving more business." -ZentrumHub CEO Sachin Singh Julio Selva, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at WIHP, said, "Metasearch plays an important role in distributing hotels since 70% of users connect to them during a purchase journey. With Meta I/O, ZentrumHub can help their clients sell more on metasearch." About ZentrumHub: ZentrumHub turned its dream into reality in 2021 by accelerating its travel-tech venture and on a mission to be the fastest and smartest travel API hub in the world. ZentrumHub offers pre-integrated hotel booking API to over 50 leading hotel content suppliers. About WIHP: World Independent Hotels Promotion (WIHP) is a leading hotel marketing agency drawing on more than 20 years of experience and tracking. Having built over 5000 hotel websites and tracked the most efficient ones. With high-end marketing campaigns, WIHP provides global marketing services to the hospitality industry. To learn more, visit wihphotels.com

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

New Travel Loyalty Survey Finds Awareness Gap in Travel Rewards' Perceived Value

arrivia | June 16, 2022

American consumers are ready for travel, ready to redeem and ready to earn travel rewards, according to a new survey report released this week by arrivia, a leading travel loyalty and booking technology platform that serves consumer-facing companies worldwide. The report, Where travel meets loyalty, reveals that U.S. consumers are looking for value when it comes to travel and that travel rewards have the potential to deliver that value. The report also shows a significant gap between what customers expect from their rewards and what loyalty providers offer. Between December 2021 and January 2022, arrivia surveyed 2,150 American consumers and 204 industry decision-makers about the role of travel rewards in the post-pandemic travel resurgence. Almost 50% of the consumer respondents said the ability to earn points on travel is important. In comparison, 42% have redeemed points to lower the cost of their trip and one-third expected to use their loyalty points to cover the entire cost of their journey. These findings suggest that loyalty programs that enable members to earn and redeem travel rewards can leverage the recent surge in travel demand to capture more of their members' spend, incentivize new sign-ups and better engage with existing members. Travel rewards are key but are often lacking. While travel rewards programs can be effective loyalty engines, they often fall short of expectations. Both industry decision-makers and consumers agree as to why. Almost a quarter of travelers said their rewards don't seem valuable enough, while nearly a third are frustrated by the lack of redemption options, and roughly the same amount say it's difficult or complex to earn and redeem points. Industry leaders recognize that their loyalty programs are lacking, with 27% admitting they fail to offer enough variety when it comes to travel options, and 28% report that they struggle to demonstrate the value of their rewards. What's even more worrying for loyalty administrators is the number of respondents who say that none of their loyalty programs offer travel rewards (54%), compared to 65% of industry leaders who say these redemption options are available. This apparent disconnect means loyalty providers should emphasize marketing their travel rewards and better communicate their value. "Loyalty providers that want to use their travel rewards program to help grow their business must give members what they want. As our survey results indicate, that means delivering the right rewards and offers to the right people at the right time, Expanding travel options, making it easier to redeem travel and providing a seamless booking experience backed by flexible technology are all important to increasing the real and perceived value of travel loyalty programs." -Jeff Zotara, arrivia Chief Marketing Officer Technological capability remains a barrier to closing the value gap for many loyalty program providers; 39% of loyalty programs don't allow members to book travel directly through their platform. Another 31% say booking conversion rates would improve if they could offer more exclusive discounts. Other findings from the survey include: 63% of industry respondents plan on offering new travel rewards or benefits in 2022, including exclusive travel options, deeper discounts and experiences or activities. 30% say attracting new members to their loyalty programs is their biggest challenge 26% of travelers turn to their loyalty program platforms first when travel planning signaling that deals can influence decisions 59% of millennials say it's either extremely or very important to be able to redeem points or miles when planning a trip. Focus on travel loyalty programs for financial services brands Though the survey included respondents from different industries, including hospitality, travel and education, the report reveals that financial services companies have the most to gain by upping the value proposition of their travel rewards programs. More than half of credit cardholders belong to a loyalty program that includes travel benefits, and roughly 80% belong to five or more loyalty programs. That means they are more likely to be familiar with various reward structures and more attuned to the relative value of rewards, while loyalty providers in this sector must stand out from the crowd to differentiate their programs from traditional types of travel rewards. Offering travel rewards is a good first step; we know they resonate with cardholders and consumers, added Zotara. But if credit card companies and financial institutions want to become their customers' go-to for everyday purchases and capture more of their travel spend, they need to get to the next level by providing exceptional, exclusive discounts combined with streamlined redemption and whole-trip booking capabilities. That's how brands can not only meet the expectations established by online travel providers but exceed them and become their customers' first thought when planning to travel. The Where travel meets loyalty survey report can be downloaded here. For more information about the survey or to speak with Jeff Zotara, Chief Marketing Officer at arrivia, please contact Sylvia Kindlain at skindlain@thinkinkpr.com. About arrivia Arrivia is a travel technology company that provides travel loyalty, booking and marketing solutions to consumer-facing companies that want to deliver exceptional value to their customers, uncover new revenue streams and drive growth through exciting travel rewards and member benefits. The company's Travel Privileges platform opens up the world of travel for companies like American Express, USAA and Marriott Vacation Club by offering their customers more value through exclusive pricing and encouraging discovery with relevant and personalized options that inspire travel and consumer loyalty. To learn more about how arrivia helps companies drive growth, incentivize sales, boost affinity and reward high-value customers, visit www.arrivia.com.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Propst Development and Chartwell Hospitality Complete Hilton's Conrad Luxury Hotel in Nashville

Chartwell Hospitality | June 23, 2022

Propst Development and Chartwell Hospitality announced they have finalized development of the Conrad Nashville hotel, located in the Broadwest city block in Midtown. The Conrad Nashville is Hilton’s first luxury branded hotel in Nashville and is scheduled to open on June 29, 2022. Additionally, the co-developers have completed the sale of the 234-room property to Northwood Investors, LLC, a premier owner and manager of luxury hotels around the world. “Our goal for Broadwest was to create a property that all Nashvillians are proud of, and we believe the Conrad raises the bar as one of the most luxurious hotel properties in America, Projects like this draw investment into local neighborhoods and bring new economic stimulus and opportunities to local residents and businesses – the Conrad Nashville alone will employ more than 200 people. We are thrilled with the execution of this development and to see it welcome its first guests in the coming days.” -Bill Propst, Chairman of the Propst Companies We had a vision to develop the nicest Conrad in the Hilton system as well as position this hotel to be the nicest luxury hotel in Nashville. I believe we have accomplished that goal,said Rob Schaedle, Founder and President of Chartwell Hospitality. Javier Rosenberg, president of Northwood Hospitality LLC stated, We are delighted to add the Conrad Nashville to our portfolio. Nashville is quickly becoming one of the top destinations in the country for leisure and corporate travel along with meetings and events. The Conrad Nashville is set to inspire and redefine the luxury hotel landscape, offering some of the best accommodations and experiences the market has to offer. The Conrad Nashville is part of Broadwest, a $540 million, 1.3 million square foot mixed use project master developed by Propst Development and consists of 630,000 square feet of Class A office space, 196 luxury condominiums, and the Conrad Hotel. Broadwest encompasses a full city block and has transformed Midtown into one of the most active areas for development in Nashville. Conrad Hotels and Resorts are known for offering guests a seamless connection between contemporary design, leading innovation, and authentic local culture. The Nashville property features 234 guest rooms and suites, 11,000+ square feet of meeting space, a third level outdoor terrace pool, and distinct food and beverage offerings, including locally-sourced Blue Aster restaurant and Thistle and Rye whiskey bar. Northwood Investors LLC is a privately held, real estate private equity firm that owns and operates real estate across the U.S. and Europe. The firm currently manages approximately $8 billion of investor capital. Northwood’s flagship fund seeks to opportunistically acquire well-located real estate with a plan to create value through hands-on asset management. Northwood is vertically integrated with in-house operating teams across the office, multifamily, retail, hospitality, and urban logistics sectors. Please visit northwoodinvestors.com for more information. For further information contact John Hughey, President of Propst Properties at Hughey@Propst.com. About Chartwell Hospitality Chartwell Hospitality is a fully integrated real estate company based in Nashville, Tennessee. We specialize in the acquisition, development, and management of high-quality, branded, limited- and full-service hotels. Founded in 2003, Chartwell consistently surpasses competition in occupancy and market rates. Simply, our mission is to be the best in the business. For more information, visit www.chartwellhospitality.com.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

Monarch Alternative Capital Grows Orlando Hospitality Portfolio through Multiple Acquisitions

Hersha Hospitality Management (HHM) | July 14, 2022

Monarch Alternative Capital LP, a leading investment firm with approximately $9.4 billion of assets under management, announced the purchase of three hotels in Orlando, Florida. Given the firm's established reputation within the market, Monarch was able to acquire the newly-built, high quality properties located in Orlando submarkets adjacent to Monarch's existing hotels at a discount to replacement cost in off-market transactions. With these acquisitions, Monarch's hospitality portfolio in Orlando now totals approximately 2,000 keys across seven properties. As the Orlando market continues to show encouraging signs of economic recovery, these hotel purchases exemplify Monarch's ability to identify and invest in premium properties in an attractive and dynamic market that is poised to outperform as the business cycle evolves. Monarch purchased the Aloft Orlando ("Aloft") and the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Orlando ("Holiday Inn Express"), both located in the Lake Buena Vista submarket within close proximity to Disney World. In addition, the firm acquired the TownePlace Suites Orlando ("TownePlace Suites") located in the Universal Studios submarket. In aggregate, the three properties represent over 430 keys. Relative to other limited-service hotels, each asset offers a high-end room product, multiple food and beverage options, an outdoor swimming pool, and an on-site fitness center. In addition, the Aloft and Holiday Inn Express combined have over 2,700 square feet of meeting and banquet space, which can be used for additional events, special occasions, and business needs. The three newly acquired properties are located near or along International Drive providing guests with easy access to nearby major attractions, including Disney World theme parks, the Orange County Convention Center, SeaWorld and Universal Studios. Bo­th the Aloft and Holiday Inn Express are affiliated with the Walt Disney World Good Neighbor Hotel program, and the TownePlace Suites is a Preferred Universal Partner hotel, which permit the hotels to extend additional benefits to guests at Disney World and Universal theme parks, respectively. Monarch believes these acquisitions will further enhance its Orlando portfolio given the properties' locations in desirable submarkets and elevated product offering. "We remain very excited about the opportunity set in the Orlando market, and these recent hotel additions reflect our conviction in Orlando as a market that is well-positioned for recovery and continued growth. Furthermore, this clustering of assets allows us to leverage our existing presence and drive supplemental revenue and cost synergies as we continue to scale our portfolio in the market." -Ian Glastein, Managing Principal and Co-Head of Real Estate at Monarch Monarch has partnered with HHM, an industry-leading hospitality management, investment, and development firm with over 185 hotels across 30 states, to operate and manage the portfolio. About Monarch Alternative Capital LP Monarch Alternative Capital LP is a global investment firm founded in 2002 with approximately $9.4 billion in assets under management. Monarch focuses primarily on opportunistic and distressed situations across corporate debt, real estate, special situations, and other market segments. Monarch draws on the skills and experience of its employees across its offices in New York and London. For more information, please visit www.monarchlp.com. About Hersha Hospitality Management (HHM) HHM is an award-winning hotel management and investment company that operates over 185 full-service and select-service hotels across 30 states and in virtually every major hospitality market from coast to coast. HHM is a leading manager of Marriott and Hilton hotels, while also operating over 30 independent hotels ranging from The Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia to The Joule Hotel in Dallas to The Whitney Hotel in Boston. HHM's highly experienced and stable operating team is known for being nimble, accountable, and entrepreneurial in how they drive market-leading results for owners including publicly traded companies, private equity firms, and family office investors. Additional information on HHM can be found at www.hhmhospitality.com and www.independentcollection.com.

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Spotlight

Australia is a huge country. People usually think that it is best to travel the country by plane. But what is so great about Australia, if not the outback and the wonderful nature? Do something different, take a road trip and enjoy what the Australian nature has to offer. But where to go in Australia?

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