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.

Spotlight

Don’t forget the marshmallows.Today we’ll be counting down our picks for Best Places to Go Camping in the US (2019). For this list, we’re looking at national parks, preserves and forests across the United States that offer the perfect combination of beauty, adventure and tranquility for your camping trips in 2019.


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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK, HOSPITALITY TRENDS

LIGHTSTONE'S FOUR MOXY HOTELS AWARDED AS TOP 20 HOTELS IN NYC AND MIAMI BY CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER

MOXY HOTELS | October 20, 2022

Condé Nast Traveler has announced the results of its annual Readers' Choice Awards with Lightstone's Moxy Hotels awarded as top hotels in New York City and Miami. Moxy East Village, Moxy Times Square, and Moxy Chelsea were recognized as the 14th, 15th, and 16th best hotels in the city, respectively. Moxy South Beach was named the 9th best hotel in Miami. This represents the third consecutive year that Moxy Chelsea and Moxy Times Square have been recognized among the top 20 hotels in New York City.More than 240,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers submitted responses rating their travel experiences across the globe to provide a full snapshot of the top places they enjoyed this year and can't wait to return to next. The Readers' Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry and the full list of winners can be found here. "We are honored to be recognized by our guests who share an appreciation for Moxy's immersive and playful experiences, award-winning design, and unmatched service, We are particularly honored to be the only brand and owner to have all of our New York City hotels within the city's top 20 list." -Mitchell Hochberg, President of Lightstone. Lightstone's Moxy hotels are uniquely responsive to today's travelers who are cost-conscious, but with a higher level of discernment and greater expectations. By partnering with leading interior designers to create cozy, adaptable guestrooms coupled with activated public spaces, each hotel is designed to foster memorable experiences and meaningful social interactions, not just a place to sleep. The pioneer and flagship was Moxy Times Square in 2017, followed in 2019 by Moxy Chelsea, the Flower District's refined yet playful "secret garden," and Moxy East Village, whose design reflects the neighborhood's historically rebellious spirit. 2021 brought Moxy South Beach, the brand's first resort-style hotel, while Moxy Lower East Side will debut in October 2022. Moxy Downtown Los Angeles and AC Hotel Downtown Los Angeles as well as New York's Moxy Williamsburg are all slated to open in the coming months. About Moxy Hotels Moxy Hotels is Marriott International's new millennial-focused brand that debuted in September 2014 with the opening of the Moxy Milan. A boutique-hotel concept for the next-Gen traveler, Moxy is a fresh and innovative brand combining stylish design and approachable service at an affordable price point. With tech-enabled rooms, vibrant lobby spaces and warm, modern service, Moxy aims to surprise travelers with a thoughtful, spirited and fun guest experience. Moxy Hotels is proud to participate in Marriott Bonvoy, the new name of Marriott's travel program replacing Marriott Rewards®, The Ritz- Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG). The program offers members an extraordinary portfolio of global brands, experiences on Marriott Bonvoy Moments and unparalleled benefits including earning points toward free hotel stays and nights toward Elite status recognition. To enroll for free or for more information about the program, visit MarriottBonvoy.marriott.com. To learn more about Moxy Hotels, visit www.MoxyHotels.com.  About Lightstone Lightstone, founded by David Lichtenstein, is one of the most diversified privately held real estate companies in the United States. Headquartered in New York City, Lightstone is active in 25 states across the country, developing, managing, and investing in all sectors of the real estate market, including residential, hospitality, commercial, and retail. With 169 existing properties, Lightstone's over $7.5 billion portfolio currently includes over 7.7 million square feet of industrial, logistics, life sciences, and commercial properties; over 22,800 residential units; and over 4,000 hotel keys. Lightstone's development portfolio includes over $3.5 billion currently under development in the residential and hospitality sectors spread across New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami. Following the award-winning openings of Moxy Times Square, Moxy Chelsea, and Moxy East Village, Lightstone opened Moxy Miami South Beach in 2021 and Moxy Lower East Side in 2022. Moxy Downtown Los Angeles and AC Hotel Downtown Los Angeles as well as New York's Moxy Williamsburg are all slated to open in the coming months.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM, HOSPITALITY TRENDS

XTM Inc. Joins Hospitality Experts to Address Compliance on Gratuity Payout

XTM Inc. | November 03, 2022

XTM Inc. (“XTM” or the “Company”) (QB: XTMIF / CSE:PAID / FSE:7XT), a Miami and Toronto-based Fintech creator of disruptive payment innovations specifically for service industries including hospitality, personal care and service staff, is partnering with Restaurants Canada, an industry-leading non-profit association representing over 30,000 foodservice professionals to provide practical solutions that will ensure restaurants are protected when it comes to payouts of gratuities.This webinar comes on the heels of a recent court case involving a restaurant in downtown Halifax. Nova Scotia and the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA), which has received national media coverage and the attention of the entire industry across the country, with operators on-edge about how to protect their own business from a similar fate. During the webinar, operators will learn about the important distinctions between direct versus controlled tips, the recent Federal Court of Appeal case on electronic gratuities and actionable solutions that restaurant owners can implement to ensure tip compliance, today. XTM is committed to helping restaurants across Canada protect their businesses against liability related to tip allocations and disbursements. As a leading tech company working to solve payment pains for service operators and frontline workers, it is a top priority that the company remains proactive in developing solutions to help the ever-changing complexities of the hospitality industry. “We know that restaurants across Canada have been seeking resolute answers regarding their payout operations, As part of our enduring commitment to being the compliant payment platform in North America, we’ve collaborated with Restaurants Canada and industry expert, James Rhodes, to provide a webinar for our clients that covers legal context, a tangible action plan and next steps for getting onside with gratuity compliance.” -Marilyn Schaffer CEO, XTM Inc. XTM recently rebranded its #1 payment solution, called ‘Today’ as well as their mobile app ‘Today Financial’. Over the past 12 months, XTM has added many new establishments to its Today program reporting year over year growth at end of Q2 2022 of 224% for Revenue and 405% for Gross Dollar Value loads. The Today platform offers an integrated suite of products that enables instant and secure payouts to staff, with less friction and with less discrepancies, leading to happier and more motivated employees. On the operator side, it offers more efficiency, transparency and improves staff recruitment and retention. Most importantly, Today offers a means to become fully compliant with payouts of gratuities, and not just for the hospitality industry. The Today solution could have far-reaching benefits for many other beauty, wellness and grooming industries and any other business owner who employs individuals that receive electronic tips from their customers. About XTM XTM, www.xtminc.com, is a Miami and Toronto-based fintech innovator helping businesses disseminate and their workers access earned wages and gratuities instantly. XTM's Today™ Solution, comprised of a free mobile app and a Visa or Mastercard debit card with free banking features, is used by thousands of employees in restaurants, salons and service positions across Canada and the United States. XTM is a global card issuer and real-time payment specialist and our payment platform is used at no charge by businesses to automate and expedite worker payouts and eliminate cash from their ecosystems. XTM's Today solution drives enterprise value with efficiency, helps attract and retain a workforce with a bespoke user experience designed specifically for employees, contract staff and workers in restaurants and personal care services.

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AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

Vietravel Airlines Named Asia's Leading New Airline at the World Travel Awards Asia and Oceania 2022

Vietravel Airlines | September 12, 2022

Vietnamese Vietravel Airlines has been accoladed with Asia's Leading New Airline award at the recent World Travel Awards (WTA) Asia and Oceania Gala Ceremony 2022 held in Vietnam on September 7. Vietravel Airlines's product and service excellence within the first year of operation led to the airline's success at the award while surpassing two other nominees from Asia in the same category. "This is the first award for Vietravel Airlines and a milestone in our history, marking the recognition and trust of customers and partners of our offerings and dedication. This is also an important premise for us to continue carrying out our mission in connecting and conquering farther and higher destinations across the globe" -Vu Duc Bien, President and CEO of Vietravel Airlines. Graham Cooke, Founder WTA, at the award ceremony while congratulating Vietravel Airlines added, This will be the driving force for the youngest airline making new strides in the journey of realizing its mission of connecting, bringing international friends to the beauty of Vietnam, and conquering new lands with the people of Vietnam. The award, dubbed "the Oscar of the travel industry", is a prestigious organization that acknowledges, rewards, and celebrates excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries. As the fifth commercial airline in Vietnam and the first travel airline in Southeast Asia, the company promotes Vietnamese culture, people, history, and regions through unique experiences on board a modern fleet of A321 aircrafts. Aside to in-flight experiences, including exclusive guides, local flavor inspired snacks and beverages equivalent to 4-star airlines, personalized wireless entertainment system, and a nearly 100% flight safety index, Vietravel Airlines is among the top three on time performance (OTP) in the Vietnamese aviation industry. Vietravel Airlines in Numbers Over 8000 flight-hours made 100% safe 1,500,000 passengers with >92% load factor (flight occupancy rate) 94.2% average OTP take-off rate in the first seven months of 2022 Connecting two major hubs, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, to popular tourist destinations throughout Vietnam: Phu Quoc, Quy Nhon, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Hue, and Da Lat in 2021. After focusing on promoting Vietnam's key tourist destinations in the first year, Vietravel Airlines is expanding its flight routes from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi to Bangkok (Thailand), Busan & Incheon (Korea), Singapore, Taipei (Taiwan) at the end of 2022. About Vietravel Airlines Vietravel Airlines (IATA code: VU) offers a multi-dimensional tourism ecosystem with a multimodal transport combining aviation and tourism. Backed by the largest travel group in Asia, Vietravel Corporation (UPCOM stock market: VTR), the airline operated its first commercial flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi in January 2021. Vietravel Airlines flies on domestic and international routes in Asia mainly Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore while doubling its A321 fleet in the next year.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Guardforce AI Partners with Riversoft Inc. to Co-Develop and Launch a Robotic Travel Concierge Solution for the Tourism Industry

Guardforce AI | September 26, 2022

Guardforce AI Co., Limited (“Guardforce AI” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ:GFAI, GFAIW), an integrated security solutions provider, announced that it has entered into a partnership agreement with Riversoft Inc. (“Riversoft”), a Peakwork Company who is specialized in travel management software, to co-develop and co-launch contactless travel services with its existing GFAI’s Concierge robots. Guardforce AI and Riversoft plan to co-develop these contactless travel services in a new robotic solution to be known as Robot Travel Agency (“RTA”). The RTA will be an e-commerce portal where travelers can purchase itineraries, transportation, accommodations, tours and more. The RTA platform will be linked to Riversoft’s’ booking engine which connects to major travel suppliers for hotel booking, flight booking, ticketing, and travel agencies. RTA’s platform can bundle travel packages and recommend the best local deals possible to travelers. RTA’s platform can also be linked to social media and instant messaging applications such as Line and WeChat, to provide seamless payment and instant recommendations to customers’ smartphones. "We are excited about our partnership with Riversoft and our joint plans to launch the RTA. According to the Global Business Travel Association's latest Business Travel Index, global business travel activity will continue to recover in 2023 and is headed towards a full recovery to 2019 pre-pandemic spending levels of USD $1.4 trillion. Our strategic objective of the RTA is to launch in the hospitality industry to help travelers find exclusive local promotions for restaurants, events, and stores. The hotel industry is one of our important and major markets for our robotic solutions and we are working with Riversoft to further expands our services, enabling us to provide more efficient, and convenient experiences to our customers and clients.” -Olivia Wang, Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer of Guardforce AI Alex Kuo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Riversoft, commented, “Tourism is continuing to recover, and according to the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, international tourism saw a 182% year-over-year increase in January-March 2022. As travel restrictions continue to ease and as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, the tourism industry is expected to continue to recuperate throughout 2022. However, the hotel industry is still struggling to hire enough staff to serve customers. We believe our RTA contactless solution effectively provides a safe and easy to use concierge service that will serve customers as they travel to new destinations around the world.” About Riversoft Inc. Riversoft Inc, a Peakwork Company, founded in 2008 and based in Taiwan, focuses on providing digital solutions in the tourism industry. Based on its wide network and partnership with travel agencies, solid application and framework development abilities, and strong booking engine packaging capabilities, Riversoft is integrating Artificial Intelligent interaction to provide robotic travel agent services for customers. About Guardforce AI Co., Ltd. Guardforce AI Co., Ltd. (NASDAQ:GFAI, GFAIW) is a global integrated security solutions provider that is focused on developing robotic solutions and information security services that complement its well-established secured logistics business. With more than 40 years of professional experience, Guardforce AI is a trusted brand name that protects and transports high-value assets belonging to public and private sector organizations. Guardforce AI develops and provides innovative technologies and services that enhance safety and protection. For more information, visit www.guardforceai.com.

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Spotlight

Don’t forget the marshmallows.Today we’ll be counting down our picks for Best Places to Go Camping in the US (2019). For this list, we’re looking at national parks, preserves and forests across the United States that offer the perfect combination of beauty, adventure and tranquility for your camping trips in 2019.

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