Freedom Travel Group joins Atas

Travel Weekly | July 25, 2019

The Freedom Travel Group has joined the Association of Touring and Adventure Suppliers (Atas) to take advantage of the sectors expansion.The Thomas Cook-owned agency group said it will support its members and homeworkers to make the most of touring and adventure holidays, and develop marketing materials for shops, social media and online.Joining Atas means Freedom members will gain priority access to fam trips, educationals and events. There will also be Atas endorsement on marketing collateral, and dedicated training and accreditation.

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When planning for your next holiday abroad, its important to consider the safety of your travel money and belongings you take with you. Here are our top 5 tips to help prepare.


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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Curator Hotel & Resort Collection and Optii Solutions Announce Partnership to Provide Unique Hotel Operations Technology to Independent Hotels

curator hotel & resort | March 09, 2022

Curator Hotel & Resort Collection (“Curator”) has selected Optii Solutions (“Optii”), a leading hotel management software for hotel operations and housekeeping teams, to offer its member hotels the technology to have complete visibility of their operations.Curator member hotels can now leverage Optii’s data-driven technology to streamline their housekeeping operations and provide a dynamic connection between front and back of house. It will furnish independent hotels with AI-powered technology to optimize labor and cleaning sequences, resulting in an estimated 25% increase in productivity. This increased productivity and optimization will also help independent hoteliers’ become more profitable. Optii Housekeeping centralizes operations for full visibility and improved team performance, managing room attendant routes and room status so that rooms can be turned around faster and more efficiently and eliminate ineffective manual communications. Optii’s tools are critical in the current challenging labor environment. “This partnership with Curator Hotels & Resorts and Optii Solutions is an exciting part of our continued expansion in the US to support hotels and provide access to technology that will provide the ultimate guest experience. Through this partnership, Curator independent hotels will access Optii’s Housekeeping solution to help hotels optimize labor and run their daily operations efficiently. We look forward to working closely with these hotels to help lift the independent hotel industry.” -Katherine Grass, CEO of Optii Solutions Curator selected Optii Solutions as a preferred partner due to the data-driven insights the platform can provide hoteliers. The insights lead to greater overall efficiency and productivity for hotel management teams, and provide guidance on where resources need to be allocated and how much time is being spent on tasks. “As independent hotels continue to adjust to and implement necessary operational changes in order to better service guests, Curator remains focused on adding preferred technologies that can have an immediate and meaningful impact on both operational efficiency and costs,Optii Solutions is a great example of a service provider well-positioned to unlock value for our hotel owners by providing faster and more efficient housekeeping operations and insights into the performance of their housekeeping teams. Over time, technology like this will allow our members to do more with less.” -Austin Segal, Vice President of Curator Hotel & Resort Collection. About Curator Hotel & Resort Collection Curator Hotel & Resort Collection is a distinct collection of hand-selected small brands and independent lifestyle hotels and resorts, founded by Pebblebrook Hotel Trust and a group of industry-leading hotel operators. Curator provides lifestyle hotels the platform to come together and tap into cost saving agreements, new products, services and technologies, and benchmarking reports while allowing their members the freedom to retain what makes their hotels unique. In addition to Pebblebrook, the founding members of Curator include Davidson Hospitality Group, Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Provenance, Sage Hospitality Group, Springboard Hospitality, and Viceroy Hotels & Resorts. For more information, visit www.curatorhotelsandresorts.com and follow us at @CuratorHotelCollection. About Optii Solutions Optii Solutions, headquartered in Austin, TX and with offices in London and Brisbane, is a hotel operations technology that optimizes labor, streamlines operations, and empowers teams across housekeeping, service delivery, internal communication, and preventative maintenance. Optii is an MCR portfolio company and is used by hotels and resorts around the world including La Cantera Resort & Spa (Benchmark), The Don Cesar (Host), Okada Manilla Resort & Casino, Le Meridien, Doma Hotels, IHG and more. For further information about Optii, please visit www.optiisolutions.com. About Pebblebrook Hotel Trust Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (NYSE: PEB) is a publicly traded real estate investment trust (“REIT”) and the largest owner of urban and resort lifestyle hotels and resorts in the United States. The Company owns 53 hotels and resorts, totaling approximately 13,200 guest rooms across 15 urban and resort markets. For more information, visit www.pebblebrookhotels.com and follow us at @PebblebrookPEB.

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AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

NEO Exchange Expands Reach in Travel Industry With Uplisting of Global Crossing Airlines

neo exchange | March 17, 2022

The NEO Exchange is proud to welcome low-cost charter airline, Global Crossing Airlines Group Inc. (“GlobalX” or the “Company”), following a voluntary delisting from the TSX Venture Exchange. GlobalX begins trading on the NEO Exchange under the symbols JET and JET.B.Led by Ed Wegel, an industry veteran with over 30 years of commercial aviation experience, GlobalX is a US 121 flag and supplemental airline flying the Airbus A320 family of aircraft. The Company flies as a passenger ACMI and charter airline serving the US, Caribbean, and Latin American markets. “Within 18 months, we have taken GlobalX from a start-up to now operating six aircraft and the completion of a listing on NEO’s senior stock exchange, As we continue our rapid growth, we are convinced that listing on the NEO Exchange raises our profile among retail and institutional investors and provides a platform from which to expand our shareholder base." -Mr. Wegel, Chairman and CEO of GlobalX. Investors can trade shares of JET and JET.B through their usual investment channels, including discount brokerage platforms and full-service dealers. Today’s launch marks the continuation of NEO’s expansion into the travel industry – our second airline listing, and yet another graduation from a venture exchange to NEO, a mainboard Tier 1 stock exchange,” commented Jos Schmitt, President and CEO of NEO. “GlobalX has progressed from a fledgling company to a growth-focused airline on a flight path to continued success, uniquely positioned to benefit from the pent-up travel demand following the pandemic. We are proud to be the platform of choice for the next phase of their capital markets journey, and look forward to providing increased quality of trading, enhanced access to investors, and a solutions-oriented focus that is unique to the NEO Exchange. The NEO Exchange is home to well over 200 unique listings, including some of the most innovative Canadian and international growth companies, and ETFs from Canada’s largest ETF issuers. NEO consistently facilitates close to 15% of all Canadian trading volume. Click here for a complete view of all NEO-listed securities. About the NEO Exchange The NEO Exchange is Canada’s Tier 1 stock exchange for the innovation economy, bringing together investors and capital raisers within a fair, liquid, efficient, and service-oriented environment. Fully operational since June 2015, NEO puts investors first and provides access to trading across all Canadian-listed securities on a level playing field. NEO lists companies and investment products seeking an internationally recognized stock exchange that enables investor trust, quality liquidity, and broad awareness including unfettered access to market data. Connect with NEO: Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook About Global Crossing Airlines Group Inc. GlobalX is a US 121 domestic flag and supplemental Airline flying the Airbus A320 family aircraft. GlobalX flies as a passenger ACMI and charter airline serving the US, Caribbean, and Latin American markets.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

LNER Launches International Website Making Travel Simpler for Overseas Tourists

LNER | February 14, 2022

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) is proud to announce the launch of its new international website, making travel simpler and smarter for overseas customers. The new website coincides with the removal of pre-departure testing and quarantine rules for vaccinated people arriving in England or Scotland from 11 February 2022. In a move that expands LNER’s global market, customers in 10 countries, including China, Japan, Spain, South Korea and Italy, are among the first to benefit when booking directly online. LNER’s new search and booking engine offers international customers in those countries an option to purchase train tickets using their language and currency. The LNER.co.uk website will automatically detect those customers who are searching outside of the UK and will redirect them to the customised site to improve their online booking experience. The website launch comes as LNER reintroduces its full timetable, excluding pre-planned engineering works, meaning customers can discover destinations across the full 956-miles of East Coast route. LNER has been working with travel tech company and rail retailer, Omio, to develop the site, which has the capability to operate in up to 20 languages and 26 currencies, including Euros, Korean Won and Japanese Yen or by using a payment method recognised in the home country. “Our mission is to transform rail travel, inspiring more people to explore the beauty of England and Scotland with our world-class Azuma trains. The launch of our international website means we are offering our customers the best possible experience throughout their journey from the moment they look to make a reservation, to their journey onboard to the time they arrive at their destination." -David Horne, Managing Director at LNER We are continuing to see strong demand for customers travelling with LNER for leisure, which is contributing to a strong recovery from the pandemic. Our new international website will now make it easier for even more visitors from overseas to travel with LNER and explore our fantastic destinations. Data from the Office for National Statistics show there were 40.9 million visits to the UK in 2019, with overseas visitors spending £28.4 billion, when almost a quarter travelled by rail during their stay. Many of the top tourist destinations feature on LNER’s East Coast route, including London, Edinburgh, Leeds, York, Newcastle and Inverness. The LNER route is also home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the country, from the Scottish Highlands to the Northumberland coastline and the many towns and cities along the way. Figures from the Office of Rail and Road further showed that LNER customer numbers in July to September 2021 recovered to 89.6 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, nearly 20 percentage points higher than any other operator, with LNER working hard to build on that success. Sally Balcombe, Chief Executive at VisitBritain said: This new initiative will help to boost future bookings by making it much easier for international visitors to plan their trips. Removing barriers to travel also promotes a message of welcome and will encourage visitors to explore more, travel further and stay longer, helping to drive tourism across more of the country, boosting local economies. VisitScotland is also welcoming the move. Data from 2019, pre-pandemic, shows there were 3.4 million overnight international trips to Scotland, of which around a third came from Europe, with a £2.5bn spend from overnight international trips of which 36 per cent was from Europe. “We welcome the launch of LNER’s new international website to make it easier for visitors to book and travel by rail. Train travel is a central part of creating a sustainable tourism destination in Scotland and we support any moves which will encourage its use, while helping to boost Scottish tourism as it recovers from the impact of COVID-19.” -Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland LNER is welcoming even more customers back to rail in many ways. ‘Seat Sure’ enables customers to travel reassured they have the comfort of a seat for the duration of their journey. Once onboard, they’ll enjoy the very best in LNER hospitality and customer service, with a wide range of food and drink, sourced locally along the route, served to their seat in both First Class and Standard. For visitors and customers looking for inspiration to make eco-friendly choices, LNER has launched a ‘Green Guide’ showcasing the best places to stay, eat and drink during trips to London, Newcastle or Edinburgh. https://www.lner.co.uk/our-destinations/travel-inspiration/green-guides/ LNER’s new Azuma fleet is delivering significant environmental benefits with trains running using overhead electric wires along the majority of the East Coast route, delivering the greenest form of motorised public transport. To ensure customers can travel with confidence, enhanced levels of cleaning continue to be carried out at LNER managed stations and onboard trains. About LNER London North Eastern Railway (LNER) is on a mission to transform rail travel for the customers and communities we serve. Our new modern Azuma fleet of trains will continue the LNER tradition of setting new, higher standards in comfort, reliability and customer experience. LNER calls at more than 50 stations along the East Coast route, totalling 956 miles including major towns and cities between London, the East Midlands, Yorkshire, North East of England and Scotland.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Swire Hotels Teams Up With Agilysys to Provide Smarter, Faster, Greener Guest Experiences

Swire Hotels | April 08, 2022

Agilysys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AGYS), a leading global provider of next-generation end-to-end SaaS and on-prem ready hospitality software solutions, announced that Hong Kong-based Swire Hotels has activated Agilysys solutions in all its Hong Kong properties and plans to extend these across its entire property portfolio.The comprehensive suite from Agilysys includes Agilysys Seat, an online seat reservation, wait-list and venue management system that optimizes both revenue and guest satisfaction; InfoGenesis POS using the IG 12UX client, the leading hospitality market POS system; and IG OnDemand, a guest-facing contactless food and beverage ordering for guest delivery or pick up across venues. Swire Hotels is a group of seven properties under The House Collective and EAST brands, with locations in Hong Kong, Chinese Mainland and the United States. The hotel group is known for personalized service and unique guest experiences and is dedicated to enhancing sustainability across its properties. In our search to provide guests with a smarter, faster and greener experience, we were consistently impressed with the solutions from Agilysys, IG OnDemand is a great fit for our properties, enabling team members with the technology we need to enhance our operational efficiency thereby elevating guest experiences. -Dean Winter, Managing Director for Swire Hotels. With IG OnDemand, guests can place and pay for food and beverage (F&B) orders using their mobile devices rather than having to call a service line. A simple scan of a QR code in the guestroom leads to a user-friendly interface displaying pictures, descriptions and prices of food and beverage choices. Guests can choose to have their orders delivered to them or can opt to pick them up. In addition to enabling the contactless service experience guests increasingly desire, replacing printed menus with QR codes in guestrooms contributes to sustainability by reducing paper waste. Agilysys Seat enables properties to maximize revenue from seating options and venue space while enabling guests to view and select seats and track their waitlist status at various venues through an online experience. As the foundation for these experiences, the IG 12UX client for the comprehensive InfoGenesis POS system enables hoteliers to present point-of-sale experiences to guests in a variety of ways using equipment that reflects guest preferences, whether through mobile devices or at fixed-place terminals. “It was important for us to choose a technology partner that understood our focus on sustainability, ease of use, and guest experience,Through Agilysys, we have seen that the platforms are gaining popularity with our guests from the decreasing phone call volume in the first two months after launch and around 60 percent of in-room dining orders now come from guests using IG OnDemand.” -Clement Durand, Senior Operations Manager at Swire Hotels. We are proud to partner with Swire Hotels, a hospitality group known for its extraordinary service excellence,” said Andrew Cox, Managing Director APAC at Agilysys. “With Agilysys Seat, IG OnDemand and IG 12UX, Swire Hotels can enhance the food and beverage experience for guests and staff alike and elevate the personalized service that they have come to enjoy. We look forward to implementing our solutions throughout the Swire Hotels portfolio, helping them increase revenue and meet growing expectations for frictionless and contactless guest experiences. Solutions In Use InfoGenesis® POS provides an award-winning enterprise-class point-of-sale solution that processes transactions in the highest volume, most demanding hospitality industry environments worldwide. Its modern, flexible client, IG 12UX, allows customers to choose devices that match the style and needs of their venues. From traditional POS terminals to iPads, Android tablets and mobile phones, the IG 12UX client enables customers to seamlessly deliver a variety of POS experiences based upon guest preferences and server requirements. In addition, InfoGenesis offers robust reporting and analysis features, extensive enterprise-grade menu and item configuration capabilities, and multi-language support to help drive service flexibility and increased operational efficiency. The result is improved F&B operations and increased revenue across venues. IG OnDemand provides a complete cloud-native contactless self-service food & beverage ordering solution that offers an intuitive guest-facing order and pay experience. IG OnDemand enables guests to place and pay for orders using their own devices – phone, tablet, laptop – for pick-up or delivery. The result is dramatically increased revenue opportunities and more chances to enhance guest service. Agilysys Seat provides a complete online seat reservation, wait-list and venue management system that displays and manages seat availability for a wide range of venues including restaurants, pool cabanas, stadiums and arenas, gaming table seats and more. The solution enables guests to choose their preferred location or server while optimizing venue usage and enabling social distancing protocols through mobile messaging communication. In addition, its table/venue layout management capabilities ensure the most efficient use of space based on the type of venue and event. The result is improved guest service with shorter, predictable wait times, increased table turnovers and increased venue revenue. About Agilysys Agilysys has been a leader in hospitality software for more than 40 years, delivering innovative cloud-native SaaS and on-prem ready guest-centric technology solutions for gaming, hotels, resorts and cruise, corporate foodservice management, restaurants, universities, stadia and healthcare. Agilysys offers the most comprehensive software solutions in the hospitality industry, including point-of-sale (POS), property management (PMS), inventory and procurement, payments, and related applications, to manage the entire guest journey. Agilysys is also known for its world class customer-centric service. During recent years, Agilysys has made major investments in R&D and has successfully modernized virtually all its longstanding trusted software solutions. Some of the largest hospitality companies around the world use Agilysys solutions to help improve guest loyalty, drive revenue growth and increase operational efficiencies. Agilysys operates across North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and India with headquarters located in Alpharetta, GA. For more information visit Agilysys.com. About Swire Hotels Swire Hotels creates and manages distinctive hotels in Hong Kong, Chinese Mainland and the United States under two brands, The House Collective and EAST, providing unscripted and authentic experiences for individually minded travellers who seek originality, style and personalised service. The House Collective, a group of Houses each uniquely imagined and inspired by their locations, began with The Opposite House in Beijing, which opened in 2008, followed by The Upper House in Hong Kong, The Temple House in Chengdu and the latest addition, The Middle House in Shanghai, which opened in 2018. While EAST, designed for today’s go-getters, takes personal life balance to a whole new level and includes EAST, Hong Kong; EAST, Beijing and EAST, Miami.

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Spotlight

When planning for your next holiday abroad, its important to consider the safety of your travel money and belongings you take with you. Here are our top 5 tips to help prepare.

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