For Zimbabwe, the famous tourism global brands have lined up estimated US$20 million projects

Travel And Tour World | July 19, 2019

For Zimbabwe, the famous global brands related to tourism have lined up estimated US$20 million projects that should perk up room capacity by over 1 000 in Harare, Victoria Falls and Bulawayo as investor appetite keeps on growing.The model of development for the projects will feature conversion of current infrastructure to hospitality amenities as well as development of new infrastructure.This comes as Zimbabwe has low supply in hotels, lower than what is available in Sandton, Johannesburg, alone.South African tourism consultancy firm, HTI Consulting’s chief executive officer Waynne Troughton mentioned that Zimbabwe has churned out a lot of interest from investors worldwide in tourism.

Spotlight

Asian sourced cruise passenger numbers hit another record high in 2017 with 4.052M taking an ocean cruise (up 20.6%). While mainland China posted a much slower growth than in previous years, it maintained its dominance in 2017, accounting for 59% of all Asian passengers. Its slowdown can be attributed to a mix of regulatory issues, and some reductions in ship deployment in East Asia as the demand for those ships was strong elsewhere in the world. In 2018, overall cruise capacity deployed in Asia will show a small decline of 2% versus the planned ship calls in the prior year. However, the outlook for Asia remains positive for future growth, as many cruise lines continue to deploy significant capacity in the region, including brand new, large cruise ships purpose-built for Asian consumers. Consequently, government authorities, cruise lines, destinations and industry stakeholders need to closely monitor the trends, to understand the overall potential for cruise tourism growth, to prepare for the associated infrastructure needs and to cater for the increasingly aware and responsive guest source markets


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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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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,DESTINATION AND TOURISM

lastminute.com Selects Thoughtworks to Drive Engineering Excellence in a Growing and Complex Technology Landscape

lastminute.com | July 01, 2022

a global technology consultancy that integrates strategy, design and engineering to drive digital innovation, announced a strategic collaboration with lastminute.com, the European Travel-Tech leader in dynamic holiday packages. lastminute.com will partner with Thoughtworks at a time when its business is rapidly resuming after the pandemic, and it is now back at full speed in delivering on its ambitious growth plans. To achieve this, its developer teams are evolving and growing in numbers, all in a very short timeframe and in a dynamic and complex technology landscape. Thoughtworks will support lastminute.com in this exciting transformation phase, to continue to meet the rapid pace of change in the travel industry most effectively and create even more customer-centric experiences. “At lastminute.com, we see ourselves as a tech company that travels. Every month we reach 60 million users via our websites and app and for us it is a business imperative to always make sure our clients have the best customer experience. The travel industry is continuously evolving and the global move to digitalization means we’ll increasingly grow our traffic, as more and more users search for and book their travel experiences online, The purpose of Thoughtworks, as stated on their website, is ‘To create an extraordinary impact on the world through our culture and technology excellence’. This is very much in line with my vision for our technology department, and I cannot wait to harness their thought leadership in software engineering to bring us one step closer to technology excellence.” -Corrado Casto, chief technology officer at lastminute.com The lastminute.com and Thoughtworks engineering teams will work side-by-side in a co-delivery setup on the most business-critical technologies and architectural challenges. The co-delivery work will be supported by coaching, training and mentoring sessions aimed at boosting lastminute.com’s ability to deliver engineering excellence and their ways of working. “In the face of unpredictability and constant change, modern digital businesses such as lastminute.com have an advantage. They have learned to demand new levels of business agility and to continuously innovate, We’re excited to partner with lastminute.com as they continue to drive technology excellence and help people fulfill their aspirations as they return to traveling.” -Gautam Srusti, managing director at Thoughtworks Italy About lastminute.com lastminute.com is the European Travel-Tech leader in dynamic holiday packages. The company operates a portfolio of well-known brands such as lastminute.com, Volagratis, Rumbo, weg.de, Bravofly, Jetcost, Crocierissime and Hotelscan, with a vision to design the future of travel & tourism using digital technology as an enabler. The business is run in 17 languages and 40 countries, with more than 1,500 employees spread worldwide developing owned products and services aimed at powering the entire traveler journey for millions of people. lastminute.com N.V. is a publicly traded company listed under the ticker symbol LMN on SIX Swiss Exchange. About Thoughtworks Thoughtworks is a global technology consultancy that integrates strategy, design and engineering to drive digital innovation. We are 11,000+ people strong across 49 offices in 17 countries. Over the last 25+ years, we’ve delivered extraordinary impact together with our clients by helping them solve complex business problems with technology as the differentiator.

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

SAMSONITE INTRODUCES DYNAMIC NEW ELEVATION PLUS COLLECTION

Samsonite | June 09, 2022

Samsonite, a worldwide leader in superior travel bags, luggage, and accessories, announces the launch of their latest collection, Elevation Plus. Comprised of four styles and three colorways, the Elevation Plus collection boasts a timeless design and proprietary capabilities, raising the bar for future travel.With traveler-friendly details like the new QuickEntry™ pocket for easy access to your essentials by the simple push of a button, Elevation Plus cases allow you to conveniently keep grab-and-go items such as your laptop, phone, or hand sanitizer within reach without having to open your luggage. The pocket also locks for added security during travel. Other attributes on both carry-on styles include the TecFolio™ removable pouch, for secure transportation of electronic chargers, cables, make-up brushes, or any other miscellaneous item that needs to be stowed away during a trip. The wireframe removable garment divider with dual compression straps, and expandable packing features allow the user to organize the luggage to their liking, without worrying about wrinkles or space. The design forward collection also features a WetPak™ pocket, a spill-safe pocket for stress-free traveling with TSA approved liquids. Offered in two carry-on sizes as well as a Medium Glider and Large Spinner, the Elevation Plus collection has something for any level of travel. The Medium Glider cases offer higher packing volume than traditional medium size spinners, for added storage of any items picked up during travel. Utility patented off-set wheels, a lower center of gravity, and extended handle system provide smooth movement during transport. This newest collection continues the Samsonite legacy of innovation and industry design leadership. Each piece is thoughtfully crafted to create a seamless packing experience. The result is a group of easy, approachable, and adaptable luggage with the sleek aesthetic and high-quality details that Samsonite is known for. In keeping with the Samsonite commitment to sustainability, the interior lining of the Elevation Plus Collection is crafted using Recyclex™ material technology and made from 100% post-consumer recycled PET (rPET) bottles. Since 2018, Samsonite has launched over 50 products using Recyclex™ fabric, made from 100% post-consumer recycled PET (rPET) bottles, recycling approximately 52 million 500ml PET bottles and resulting in longer-lasting luggage. The Elevation Collection is available in a 22x14x9 Carry-On Spinner ($209.99), Carry-On Spinner ($219.99), Medium Glider ($249.99), and Large Spinner ($279.99) and comes in Triple Black, Cypress Green, or Midnight Blue. The collection is available to purchase on shop.samsonite.com or through retailers including Macy's, Kohl's, and Belk. To learn more about the full range of Samsonite products, please visit shop.samsonite.com or Instagram at @samsoniteusa. About Samsonite: Samsonite is the world leader in superior travel bags, luggage and accessories combining notable style with the latest design technology. Renowned for breakthrough research, development and its commitment to both innovation and sustainability, Samsonite has cemented its prominence with a number of industry firsts while continuing to leverage its rich design heritage to create unparalleled products. For more information visit www.samsonite.com.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

388 Ventures and Life House Announce Opening of The Lenox Collection in the Berkshires

388 Venture | May 27, 2022

Following extensive renovations, three storied boutique properties located in downtown Lenox are reopening together as part of The Lenox Collection, a newly reimagined family of inns connected by their deep historical roots in the town and elevated contextual design. As part of the reopening is Ophelia's, a 66-seat restaurant and bar offering farm-to-table comfort food in an intimate indoor-outdoor setting, with locally sourced ingredients and curated cocktail list. New York-based firm 388 Ventures acquired the properties in 2021 and brought on independent hotel management company, Life House, to lead design and branding, as well as oversee all hotel and F&B operations leveraging their tech-enabled management platform. At the heart of the collection is the Whitlock - formally The Church Street Inn - built in 1771 by John Whitlock, a local farmer who turned his two-room farmhouse into an inn for stagecoach travelers. The property now takes cues from its natural surroundings with a rustic and warm feel reminiscent of its farmhouse origins. The Whitlock’s bar and restaurant, Ophelia’s, pays homage to the ingredients and labors of the hotel’s namesake. With locally-inspired farm-to-table cuisine with dishes featuring herbs & garnishes from local purveyors, Ophelia’s is already becoming a favorite among locals, guests, and downtown passerbys. Located in the historic center of town is The Constance - formally the Rookwood Inn - which was built in 1825 as The Williams Tavern. In the 1880s it was purchased by Frederick Constance Peters, a businessman from England, who turned the property into ancillary lodging for owners of Lenox’s famed Gilded Age estates. The inn has been completely reimagined with an extensive renovation to restore and enhance the elegant charm and whimsical character of the storied property with the benefit of modern guest amenities. On the north side of town is The Dewey - formally the Birchwood Inn - which was originally built by Israel Dewey, a founding member of Lenox’s Continental Congress Committee when the town was incorporated in 1767. Over the years, the site has taken on many lives, owned by various influential figures in the Berkshires. Today, the newly-reappointed inn carries on its rich tradition of hospitality with elevated guest room interiors and stately common areas. About Life House Life House is a vertically integrated hotel software & operations platform focused on increasing profitability and reliability for independent hoteliers. Life House was founded in 2017 as one of the only vertically integrated asset-light hotel companies backed by institutional venture and private equity investors. The company is ambitiously investing in operational systems to make it far more profitable, predictable, and seamless for owners while making the guest experience more reliable for travelers. Today the company has nearly 60 hotels in its portfolio across North America. For more information visit www.life-house.com. About 388 Ventures 388 Ventures is a real estate investment firm focused on regional leisure destinations across the United States, with an emphasis on hospitality assets with differentiated market positioning. 388 Ventures invests primarily in lifestyle boutique product in the upper-upscale and luxury segment, with in-house development capabilities to take on transformative renovations. www.388ventures.com.

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Spotlight

Asian sourced cruise passenger numbers hit another record high in 2017 with 4.052M taking an ocean cruise (up 20.6%). While mainland China posted a much slower growth than in previous years, it maintained its dominance in 2017, accounting for 59% of all Asian passengers. Its slowdown can be attributed to a mix of regulatory issues, and some reductions in ship deployment in East Asia as the demand for those ships was strong elsewhere in the world. In 2018, overall cruise capacity deployed in Asia will show a small decline of 2% versus the planned ship calls in the prior year. However, the outlook for Asia remains positive for future growth, as many cruise lines continue to deploy significant capacity in the region, including brand new, large cruise ships purpose-built for Asian consumers. Consequently, government authorities, cruise lines, destinations and industry stakeholders need to closely monitor the trends, to understand the overall potential for cruise tourism growth, to prepare for the associated infrastructure needs and to cater for the increasingly aware and responsive guest source markets

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