TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

FocusPoint International Launches Global Consumer Travel Plan

FocusPoint International | June 16, 2022

FocusPoint International Launches
On June 15, FocusPoint International, a market-leading global assistance company, announced launch of its CAP Tripside Assistance (CAP) service plan at their recent ribbon-cutting ceremony inaugurating their new 22, 000 square foot South Florida headquarters and Crisis Response Center (CRC) located in Plantation, Fla.

The launch of this domestic travel protection package under CAP for vacations and excursions for Americans traveling within the USA is a result of the success of their international service plan. CAP offers advanced, international and domestic travel assistance and immediate response to stranded, in-crisis travelers
or those encountering merely the threat of crisis.

“Our goal is simple: to encourage international and domestic travel, and give peace of mind and security that allows our customers to enjoy the moment, create memories, and connect with the cultures and places they’ve planned for, We’ve long enjoyed success in servicing corporations and are now in a position to expand our market share by reaching leisure consumers all around the globe.”

-Greg Pearson, founder and CEO of FocusPoint International and CAP

CAP is fully indemnified by Lloyd’s of London. It is a full-service international and domestic travel protection for Americans traveling within the USA. It provides medical, and security assistance plans to cover different situations, either for short or extended periods, including, but not limited to:
  • 24/7 unlimited live assistance with the Crisis Response Center (CRC) Assistance Hotline
  • Destination-based health, safety and security information via the CAP Advantage app
  • Home hospital of choice medical evacuations
  • Referrals to medical and legal experts, language interpreters, legal services, and prescription advice and assistance
  • Security evacuation services due to riots, strikes, civil commotion and more
  • Vehicle return for those requiring immediate evacuation back to their country of origin
  • Support for lost luggage or critical documents such as passports or visas
  • Hospital-to-hospital transfers and mandatory quarantine expense coverage due to COVID-19
  • Mortal remains repatriation services to your country of origin
FocusPoint was founded in 2011 and has served over 13 million customers across its network. It has been the choice of corporations, their C-suites, government dignitaries and other entities. They have 19 offices on five different continents and over 5, 000 proprietary and affiliate personnel in medical, security and crisis services.

Spotlight

For organizations considering amending their travel policy to include sharing services such as Uber and Airbnb, it is quite clear that in terms of Duty of Care and Data, that bookings made through the TMC using established suppliers are the most logical choice. However, both Uber and Airbnb offer some compelling value-adds; particularly due to the nimble nature of the technology platforms, thus enabling travelers to make quick and informed decisions about travel.


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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Everspan Partners with Centrex Underwriters on Hospitality-Focused Liability Programs

Everspan Group | September 14, 2022

Everspan Group, Rated A- (Excellent) by AM Best, announced it has launched a program partnership with Centrex Underwriters, Inc., a managing general agency specializing in liquor liability and general liability insurance for the hospitality industry. Centrex operates in 38 states and the District of Columbia and serves a wide range of businesses, including bars/taverns, wineries, liquor stores, caterers, dance halls, golf courses and bowling alleys. “Centrex is a family-owned business with deep roots in the hospitality industry, having profitably underwritten liquor liability for more than 30 years,” said Steve Dresner, Everspan’s Chief Underwriting and Reinsurance Officer. “Everspan is excited to diversify into this sector and thrilled to partner with an underwriter as experienced as Centrex.” Centrex has been providing liquor liability insurance coverage since 1988, making it one of the longest-running hospitality programs. In 2012, it began writing a general liability line of business to complement the ongoing liquor liability line of business. “Centrex is excited to bring its 34 years of experience and knowledge of the hospitality industry to Everspan,” said Erik Carlson, Senior Vice President at Centrex. “With Everspan's experience and guidance, we anticipate an enduring relationship that will allow Centrex and Everspan to grow, profit, and service the needs of our wholesale brokers.” About Everspan Group Everspan Group is a specialty property and casualty insurance platform that operates nationwide on an admitted and non-admitted basis. The companies which comprise the Everspan Group are wholly owned subsidiaries of Ambac Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE: AMBC), a financial services holding company. For more information, please refer to www.everspangroup.com. About Centrex Underwriters, Inc. Headquartered in a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee, Centrex Underwriters, Inc,. is a family owned and operated independent Managing General Agency specializing in Liquor Liability and General Liability insurance. Writing a broad range of hospitality business in 38 states plus Washington, D.C., Centrex offers affordable insurance products through a select group of Wholesale Excess and Surplus Lines brokers. For more information, please visit www.centrexuw.com.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Trip.com reveals the latest summer trends, highlighting traveller confidence has returned with city breaks and short-haul travel dominating

Tripcom | July 13, 2022

As consumers around the world plan a summer of 'revenge travel' in the wake of easing restrictions, Trip.com data reflects the global travel recovery trend. Trip.com analysed data from their booking sites across Europe and Asia and the results show that users are more confident to book further ahead this summer, and the appetite for city breaks, staycations and short-haul trips still holds firm in a post-pandemic world. For more in-depth analysis on the European and Asian markets, read on.Wednesday is the most popular day to plan a trip For summer 2022, midweek is the most popular time to plan a holiday. Trip.com data shows that, among their users, Tuesday through Thursday are the peak days for browsing flights and hotels. Wednesday is the most popular day overall for flight searches, with Saturday being the quietest. Deciding when to take a holiday over the summer is often a tricky task for consumers, with price fluctuations, school holidays and, in Europe, the threat of cancelled flights and strikes to consider. When looking at the summer period (June-September) across many of Trip.com's major global markets (UK, South Korea, Japan and Thailand), 1 July was the most popular day for flight departures. It was also the most popular hotel check-in date that users searched for on Trip.com's sites in the UK and Thailand. With more popular dates expected across July, August and September, Trip.com looks forward to reviewing this data in the coming weeks and months. Hotel booking window extended by up to a week As Covid-19 began to affect travel in 2020, uncertainty and travel restrictions spread across the industry, customers - as expected - adapted their booking habits and moved to last-minute reservations. Trip.com data shows that by June 2020, the booking window for hotel stays had fallen from 20.3 days (June 2019 data) to 6.1 days in Asia - highlighting the rising appetite for last-minute breaks. Flights saw a similar trend, with the booking window on Trip.com's European sites falling to 13.4 days in June 2021 - from close to double that - 22.2 - just two years prior. However, this summer, Trip.com's data signals a return to pre-pandemic trends, with booking windows once again rising. In Europe, the window for hotel reservations in June 2022 matches the level seen in 2019 - 14.2 days; booking windows for flights extended to 14.2 days from 6.4 days of June 2021. Similar trends are evident across Asia, with booking windows for flights rising to 16.4 days in June 2022 from 6.1 days in June 2020. This interesting finding has reflected the returning confidence of travellers to make their travel decisions earlier than when the pandemic had just started. However, it is important to note that booking windows still remain shorter than pre-pandemic in the region, as restrictions remain across many nations and districts. Europe: city-centric summer holidays are high on the agenda Airlines and hotel chains have reported bookings and occupancy levels rising to pre-pandemic numbers for the first time this spring, so there is plenty of cause for celebration across the travel sector. Trip.com's European data echoes this uplift in demand. Its European sites saw an average monthly growth in traffic of around 10% between April and July, further underlining the increased demand for summer getaways. Interestingly, where many travellers are opting for beach holidays over city breaks this year, the data shows that city-centric summer holidays are still high on the agenda for Europeans, with must-visit sites, culture, food and new experiences tempting customers to take trips to some of Europe's most enticing cities. Trip.com's European data also reflects the vast increase in short-haul travel demand for 1 June - 31 August 2022 versus the same period in 2021. This year, although European long-haul demand is also up incredibly, short-haul trips are 27 times more popular than long haul. This proves that when it comes to summer getaways, most travellers still appear to prefer to stay closer to home when they go away. Customers book longer trips post-pandemic With many consumers looking to book more lavish summer holidays after two years of pent-up demand, when it comes to trip length, the figures reveal some surprising insights. Interestingly, European customers travelled for longer during 2020 than they did previously, with the average trip length in June 2019 being 6.2 days, rising to 8.8 in 2020 and back down to 6.6 in June 2022. Asian travellers, on the other hand, are travelling for an average of 7.6 days in 2022, an increase on the average of 6.6 days in June 2019 - but a decrease on 2021's average of 8.7 days. Local travel rebounds well in Asia In Asia, countries and regions that have relaxed their travel restrictions have seen an impressive market performance, particularly those in southeast Asia. Overall in the APAC region, bookings increased by 21% in May and by a further 7.8% in June. As the most popular destination among APAC users, it's no surprise that Singapore's hotel bookings saw a 42% year-on-year increase in June. Thailand's continued popularity is a pleasant surprise. The summer months tend to be the country's low season, yet despite a slight dip in April following the Songkran Festival, bookings continue to grow throughout the season. Overall bookings have tripled when compared to June 2021, with a 17% rise in bookings compared with May this year. Though Thailand continues to attract customers from the UK and APAC, the country's recovery has mainly been driven by domestic travel, with domestic flights in June increasing 2.6 times year-on-year. Japan and South Korea saw sharp growth in Q2, with South Korean outbound flights increasing by 16 times year on year and June outbound flight bookings up 31% compared to May. South Korea eased travel restrictions in early June, so expect this upward trajectory in bookings to continue. Japan also eased its border restrictions in June, with a large spike in bookings following the news. In May, flight searches to Japan on Trip.com's global sites were 7.5 times as popular when compared to the same period in 2021. Summary This summer, as travel recovery gains momentum, travellers' confidence to book their trips further ahead have gradually returned, while short-haul travel remains the global holiday king. Despite the enduring summer holiday beach travel trend, city breaks continue to attract customers from around the world. As airport strikes and travel chaos in Europe continues to impact customers' ability to get away, Trip.com plans to further analyse the sector at the end of this popular travel period. Watch this space. About Trip.com Trip.com is a rapidly growing international one-stop travel service provider, available in 24 languages across 39 countries and regions. Trip.com has an extensive hotel and flight network consisting of more than 1.2 million hotels in 200 countries and regions and over 2 million individual flight routes connecting more than 5,000 cities around the globe. Trip.com's world-class 24/7 English language customer service as well as additional centres in Edinburgh, Tokyo and Seoul, help to 'create the best travel experience' for its millions of customers worldwide.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

INTELITY and Incode Technologies Announce Strategic Partnership

INTELITY | July 05, 2022

INTELITY®, provider of hospitality’s leading guest experience and staff management platform, announced at HITEC Orlando 2022 the strategic partnership with Incode Technologies, the industry leader in identity verification and authentication for global enterprises. To further enhance a hotel’s operations encompassing a safe, secure, and reliable check-in workflow process, the integration partnership with Incode fulfills a hotel's requirements for full ID verification and enables guest ID verification during the check-in stage, either at a single property or brand level, through any INTELITY mobile app.“The partnership with Incode furthers our strong commitment to servicing our hotelier, residential, casino, and other customers with the most advanced guest experience platform available,” said Robert Stevenson, CEO of INTELITY. Hotel guests requiring an advanced identification check will experience a more fluid mobile check-in process. Before guests arrive on property, they are prompted to verify their identity through INTELITY’s mobile application and Incode’s powerful platform. Hotels are able to automate the process of validating a guest’s identification with Incode to confirm the legitimacy of the presented guest ID, virtually eliminating human error. The process can confirm requirements, such as age, during the check-in process to ensure the hotel is in compliance with any requirements. Incode also provides an automated digital ID creation for a guest’s profile to interact with the hotel property and process payment sources, continuing INTELITY’s goal to provide the industry with a full contactless workflow. “We’re excited to partner with INTELITY, the leader in guest-facing technologies, to reimagine the future of hospitality experiences. Guests can skip the check-in line and seamlessly access experience – all powered by an omni-channel identity layer that will be integrated into any INTELITY app, Together, we have created an experience that brings guests to their room and vacation faster than ever before. Our partnership will give the hotel staff what they need, where they need it, and the hotel guest the easability to enjoy their stay before they set foot in the door.” -Ricardo Amper, Founder & CEO, Incode Technologies. We have ID capture on the INTELITY platform, but a richer verification process is a vital element for our clients, said Matthew Lynch, VP of Product Management at INTELITY. Being the hospitality tech leader in mobile application platforms, we knew we only wanted to address this challenge with the leaders in identity verification and authentication. We quickly saw that Incode was the perfect partner. At INTELITY, we know Incode offers the best of breed in verification solutions. This partnership is a natural and evident fit to service both of our customers, Stevenson continued. We are excited for the future of hospitality technology and thrilled to be sharing this news during the 50th HITEC trade show celebration. It truly is the best venue to announce this new partnership. To experience the INTELITY platform and learn more about the Incode partnership at HITEC Orlando 2022 firsthand, visit booth #1129. For more information about the INTELITY platform or to request a demo, please visit intelity.com/demo. For more information about Incode, please visit www.incode.com. About INTELITY INTELITY is the global leader in contactless guest experience technology, uniting mobile, in-room, and operational tools into one fully-integrated hospitality platform. INTELITY has won numerous awards including becoming the “Official Guest Engagement and Staff Management Platform Provider” of the distinguished Forbes Travel Guide. The INTELITY platform is used at boutique hotels, casino-resorts, luxury residences, global hotel brands and more in over 60 countries across 6 continents. For more information, visit www.intelity.com. About Incode Incode is a leading identity company that is reinventing the way humans verify their identity and interact with the world’s largest companies with a highly secure and delightful AI-based experience. Incode’s end-to-end fully automated orchestration platform enables seamless access across multiple channels with products focused on onboarding, authentication and payment verification that increase conversion and reduce fraud. With its mission to power a world of trust, Incode works with a number of the world’s biggest banks, fintechs, hotels, governments and marketplaces. Incode is based in San Francisco with offices in Europe and Latin America. To learn more about Incode, visit www.incode.com

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Caption by Hyatt Beale Street Memphis Officially Opens, Debuting New Hyatt Lifestyle Brand

Hyatt Hotels Corporation | July 06, 2022

Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE:H) is proud to announce Caption by Hyatt Beale Street Memphis opened its doors marking the launch of Hyatt’s new lifestyle brand, Caption by Hyatt. Located on the corner of world-famous Beale Street and Front Street, the 136-room hotel offers guests a select-service neighborhood experience that sparks conversation and grounded by the people and place of one of Memphis’ most sought-after areas. With spectacular views of the Mississippi River and city skyline, the hotel is a centrally located hub near signature Memphis experiences like the Orpheum Theater, the Memphis Rock n’ Soul Museum, FedEx Forum, and Sun Studios. Using upcycled and community-inspired design, the property weaves eclectic contemporary aesthetics into the urban industrial history of the area. The hotel is integrated into the historic William C Ellis & Sons Ironworks and Machine Shop as part of the One Beale mixed-use development, preserving the existing riverside brick and cast-iron façade that dates back to 1879. This commitment to sustainability is reflected in the property’s layering of colors, textures, recycled materials, and emphasis on community. The hotel highlights the culturally resonant artwork of local artists with an intriguing and inspiring interior mural by Frances Berry and a momentous exterior mural by Juan Rojo. “Caption by Hyatt Beale Street Memphis is a first-of-its-kind property that offers conscientious travelers a true Memphian lifestyle experience, By creating a welcoming space for both locals and travelers to be themselves and feel connected to the community, we are proud to create a space that shares a taste of all the local culture and cuisine there is to savor.” -Sarah Titus, area general manager, Hyatt. Community Connections: Talk Shop at Ellis & Beer Garden A signature marquee on Front Street welcomes guests into Talk Shop at Ellis, serving as the Caption by Hyatt brand’s remixed and reimagined hotel lobby experience. The inviting space with floor to ceiling windows creates a lively, bright and versatile all-day lounge and workspace for locals and guests to enjoy craft coffee or cocktails, work remotely, or casually meet up for an impromptu hangout with friends. This intentional culinary and social space highlights regional favorites through an all-day menu, the Hearth Bar’s assortment of freshly baked breads and tasty spreads, and the locally sourced 24-hour grab-and-go market. The indoor lounge area spills out into a 1,500-square-foot patio and beer garden adorned with open fire pits and exposed brick. A living plant wall with bench seating offer picturesque hangout moments. Exclusively at the beer garden, guests can get a taste of the Wm C. Pilsner, an exclusive beer locally crafted in collaboration with Grind City Brewing. Together with other Memphian beverage purveyors like Mempops, Wrapzody, Muddys and Raw Girls, Talk Shop at Ellis delivers an unmistakably Memphian neighborhood experience to both travelers and local Memphians. A rotating events calendar at the welcome area serves as a space for travelers and locals alike to discover and share their own experiences be it a gallery opening, open-mic night, book clubs, or spoken word happening in the area. Guests can connect with the emcee, who is the all-encompassing host and guide to the Caption by Hyatt experience. Flexible Meetings & Events Spaces The Gathering Space, which is a 350-square-foot glass-enclosed space that lives inside Talk Shop at Ellis, serves as a first-come, first-serve private meeting or event space with a large community table. When the space is not booked for private use, the meeting table turns into a billiards table for guests to enjoy. Through the back doors of Talk Shop at Ellis, guests are welcomed by a 1,000-square-foot courtyard area filled with greenery, where wooden benches offer an outdoor lounge space to enjoy the local provisions offered inside. The area is surrounded by beautifully preserved façades of the historic William C. Ellis Building, and includes an elevated soundstage met with a large screen on the backdrop, doubling as a community event space for live performances, movie nights, and more. Seamless Amenities To cater to today’s guests who crave seamless, instantaneous access, the Caption by Hyatt Beale Street Memphis experience features a streamlined check-in, mobile key, and mobile-order food service. Guests can access their rooms with Room Keys in Apple Wallet, which allows World of Hyatt members to easily and securely tap their iPhone or Apple Watch to unlock guestrooms and key card-protected common areas without having to open an app or handle a traditional plastic room key. Powered by modern technology with an emphasis on the conscious traveler, any additional information, features, and experiences can be found in the World of Hyatt app or via QR codes. Vibrant Design and Accommodations The functionally designed guestrooms at Caption by Hyatt Beale Street Memphis display bold, irreverent interiors that reflect the culture of urban street-art with soothing hues of blues and bold yellows, bringing to life the spirit of Memphis. Guests enter thoughtfully designed living spaces with repurposed materials, unpretentious comforts, and an in-room work/play lounge with a worktable, task lighting, and power outlets that is separated from the sleeping area. Industrial barn-inspired doors slide open to reveal the spacious, well-lit bathrooms treated with custom Memphis-themed wallcoverings, enclosed walk-in rain showers, large vanities, and plenty of counter space. Eight riverfront suites present guests with double vanities and offer a large living area with a pullout couch that lead to step-out balconies with expansive views of the Mississippi River and iconic M Bridge. Fitness Center Located on the second floor, the sun-kissed fitness facilities open to floor-to-ceiling windows facing Front Street, overlooking the beer garden below. The expansive gym is fitted with modern and updated equipment for a full body workout, including a cable machine, free weights, a row machine, cycling machines and treadmills. The space is covered in colorful green wall coverings highlighted by pops of color, leading into a soothing functional movement studio ideal for yoga, barre, or Pilates. Access to Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis Guests staying at Caption by Hyatt Beale Street Memphis have access to the neighboring Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis’ amenities and meeting spaces, including the full-service restaurant, CIMAS, and Beck & Call, the rooftop bar that overlooks the Mississippi River and M Bridge. For more information or to book a reservation, visit http://captionbyhyattmemphis.com. Following the opening of Caption by Hyatt Beale Street Memphis, the Caption by Hyatt brand is expected to make its debut in additional metropolitan and downtown markets including Shanghai, Osaka, Tokyo and Saigon. For more information on Caption by Hyatt, visit captionbyhyatt.com. The term “Hyatt” is used in this release for convenience to refer to Hyatt Hotels Corporation and/or one or more of its affiliates. About Caption by Hyatt The Caption by Hyatt brand redefines what hospitality looks like in the modern world. Designed to be truly of the community—not just in it—the people make the place throughout each Caption by Hyatt hotel. Caption by Hyatt hotels hire local, buy local, and vibe local. Be it an open-mic night or a pop-up art installation, each space within Caption by Hyatt hotels is programmed to reflect each destination and its community. At the heart of each Caption by Hyatt hotel is Talk Shop: an all-day spot where guests can eat, drink, get some work done, hang with friends, or just chill. Caption by Hyatt hotels offer guests a place where "you can do you and be you,” with a tech-forward mindset offering digital check-in, digital keys, mobile-order food service, Staycast streaming technology and more. About Hyatt Hotels Corporation Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company guided by its purpose – to care for people so they can be their best. As of March 31, 2022, the Company’s portfolio included more than 1,150 hotels and all-inclusive properties in 71 countries across six continents. The Company's offering includes the Park Hyatt®, Miraval®, Grand Hyatt®, Alila®, Andaz®, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt®, Destination by Hyatt™, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt®, Hyatt Ziva™, Hyatt Zilara™, Thompson Hotels®, Hyatt Centric®, Caption by Hyatt, JdV by Hyatt™, Hyatt House®, Hyatt Place®, UrCove, and Hyatt Residence Club® brands, as well as resort and hotel brands under the AMR™ Collection, including Secrets® Resorts & Spas, Dreams® Resorts & Spas, Breathless Resorts & Spas®, Zoëtry® Wellness & Spa Resorts, Vivid Hotels & Resorts®, Alua Hotels & Resorts®, and Sunscape® Resorts & Spas. Subsidiaries of the Company operate the World of Hyatt® loyalty program, ALG Vacations®, Unlimited Vacation Club®, Amstar DMC destination management services, and Trisept Solutions® technology services. For more information, please visit www.hyatt.com.

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Spotlight

For organizations considering amending their travel policy to include sharing services such as Uber and Airbnb, it is quite clear that in terms of Duty of Care and Data, that bookings made through the TMC using established suppliers are the most logical choice. However, both Uber and Airbnb offer some compelling value-adds; particularly due to the nimble nature of the technology platforms, thus enabling travelers to make quick and informed decisions about travel.

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