From Aug 1st, Sri Lanka to provide free visas for Chinese tourists

Travel And Tour World | July 25, 2019

The cabinet of ministers of Sri Lanka has sanctioned a proposal from the Sri Lanka Tourism Ministry to incorporate China in its free visa policy. It will be introduced from Aug. 1, Minister of Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga explained on Tuesday.Addressing a media briefing organized at the conclusion of a trip by visiting Chinese journalists to Sri Lanka, Amaratunga explained that for Sri Lanka tourism, China was the second largest market and the free visa policy for the Chinese market would boost up Chinese tourist arrivals.“We are aware that China is one of our main markets. Despite the set back from the Easter Sunday attacks, I am sure this year we will be able to achieve our targets. From August 1, Chinese tourists can come to Sri Lanka without a visa fee and we see this as a landmark decision for the tourism industry,” Amaratunga said.

Spotlight

Although it covers less than 3 square miles, Gibraltar’s strategic location has made it one of the most fought over places in Europe. For centuries, it has withstood political maneuvering, sieges and battles and today, with its red call boxes, Union Jacks and high street shops, Gibraltar staunchly stands as a small pocket of England in the heart of the Mediterranean.


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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

The Indigo Road Hospitality Group Leverages Stayntouch's Easy & Powerful PMS to Deliver Memorable Experiences

Stayntouch | May 13, 2022

Stayntouch, a global leader in cloud hotel property management systems (PMS) and guest-centric technology, has partnered with The Indigo Road Hospitality Group, a full-service hospitality management company, to power two boutique properties, Historic Park Inn Hotel in Mason City, Iowa, and The Skyline Lodge in Highlands, N.C., with a flexible mobile PMS.The Indigo Road Hospitality Group is an award-winning hotel and restaurant management group focusing on boutique properties that deliver authentic experiences for discriminating lifestyle travelers. Indigo Road chose Stayntouch's flexible and easy-to-use PMS to facilitate seamless integrations across their tech stack, providing a warm and organic hospitality experience for guests. They also benefit from a platform that empowers guests with a choice at check-in: from fully mobile and contactless, to a high-touch experience with an agent untethered from the front desk. "If we do our jobs well, all of our guests should leave the property feeling genuinely welcomed, appreciated, and understood. But for that to happen, our technology has to work seamlessly in the background to support our staff and promote these positive interactions. Here, Stayntouch really excels. The user interface is super clean and very easy-to-use, and allows our staff to keep their focus on their guests rather than buried in a screen. Additionally, one of the unknowns when starting a new relationship with a tech vendor is support. With Stayntouch, the people supporting the product, from implementation onward, are absolutely fantastic, and have taken our specific business goals as their own." -Scott Neslage, Director of Lodging Operations at The Indigo Road Hospitality Group Michael Helfin, Chief Revenue Officer of Stayntouch, replied, "It's been exciting to embark on a partnership with a hospitality company whose philosophy on service aligns so closely with our own. Our role is to be more than just a tech vendor, but to be a strategic partner: We're excited to provide The Indigo Road with flexible technology and seamless integrations to help their properties deliver a memorable guest experience and reinforce the commitment to service that has helped them establish an award-winning business. About The Indigo Road Hospitality Group Founded in 2009 by Steve Palmer, The Indigo Road Hospitality Group owns, operates, and manages restaurants and boutique hotels throughout the country. Based in the Southeast, The Indigo Road is founded upon the core principle of serving with love and creating memorable experiences for all. In 2019, The Indigo Road marked its tenth anniversary by being named a Forbes Small Giant and appearing on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies list, and in 2020 announced that hotelier Larry Spelts joined The Indigo Road as a partner and president of its new venture into lodging with a focus on food & beverage driven boutique hotels. The Indigo Road's dedication to excellence in food & beverage has been recognized by Palmer being named a semi-finalist by the James Beard Foundation's award for Outstanding Restaurateur-US in 2018, 2019 and 2020. For more information on the portfolio, team, core values and services, visit theindigoroad.com. About Stayntouch Stayntouch provides a cloud-native, guest-centric, and fully mobile hotel property management system (PMS) and over 1100+ integrations, enabling hotels to raise service levels, drive revenues, reduce costs, and ultimately captivate their guests. Backed by a team of professionals with deep roots in the hospitality industry, Stayntouch is a trusted partner to many forward-thinking hotels and resorts, including the TWA Hotel, First Hotels, Conscious Hotels, Margaritaville, Valencia Hotel Group, and Modus Hotels. Stayntouch is also a preferred PMS partner to some of the leading independent hotel collections around the world including; Design Hotels, an Independent Marriott Brand, and Curator Hotel & Resort Collection. Visit Stayntouch at www.stayntouch.com.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Trinity Investments Acquires Fifty Percent Interest in Omni San Diego Hotel

Trinity Investments | December 22, 2021

An investment fund managed by Trinity Fund Advisors LLC, an affiliate of Trinity Real Estate Investments LLC (“Trinity”), announced the acquisition of a 50 percent interest in Omni San Diego Hotel from JMI Realty, who originally developed the hotel in conjunction with Petco Park in 2004. Omni Hotels & Resorts (“Omni”) owns the remaining fifty percent interest in the hotel and will continue to manage it. The acquisition also includes more than 13,000 square feet of fully leased, street-level retail space, located across the street from the hotel.Situated in the heart of the historic Gaslamp Quarter, adjacent to Petco Park and across from the San Diego Convention Center, the 511-key, AAA 4-Diamond, award-winning Omni San Diego Hotel is located in a highly trafficked area and benefits from numerous demand generators. Trinity and Omni plan to take advantage of strategic opportunities, including a multimillion-dollar capital improvement plan involving a comprehensive renovation of guestrooms, a reimagination of the food and beverage offerings, and the enhancement of the hotel’s rooftop pool deck, fitness center and other amenities. “We are pleased to acquire, what we believe to be, one of the best-located hotels in San Diego, and to partner with Omni to unlock the hotel’s full potential,In partnership with Omni, our teams have identified numerous opportunities to drive higher revenues and position the hotel as the premier destination in the market for business and leisure travel.” -Sean Hehir, Managing Partner, President and CEO of Trinity Over the last 10 years, the San Diego lodging market has demonstrated robust growth as a top drive-to, leisure destination, and highly desirable locale for business gatherings. The downtown area is experiencing significant redevelopment, with several large office and life science development projects underway, as well as the anticipated future expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, all of which projected to drive increased demand for well-appointed hotels. In conjunction with their capital improvement plan, and factoring in the area’s redevelopment activity, Trinity and Omni plan to shift current demand segmentation to higher-rated transient and group business. “This is a mutually important and strategic business alignment between Omni Hotels & Resorts and Trinity,We are especially excited to partner with Trinity, given their current portfolio of premier assets, and their dedication to elevating the hotel’s presence and impact in the San Diego market.” -Omni Hotels & Resorts’ President Peter Strebel. The Omni San Diego Hotel represents Trinity’s third acquisition on behalf of Trinity GP Fund I L.P., Trinity’s inaugural U.S. commingled hospitality fund, following its acquisitions of the 352-key EAST Miami and the 305-key W Hollywood, earlier this year. About Trinity Real Estate Investments LLC Trinity is a private real estate investment firm with a 26-year history of specializing in value-add opportunities. Based in Honolulu, Hawaii, with an office in Beverly Hills, California, Trinity focuses on unique real estate investments in world-class markets and has invested more than $8 billion in the United States, Mexico, Europe, and Japan by leveraging its deep institutional knowledge and longstanding local relationships. Trinity is based in Honolulu, Hawaii, with an office in Beverly Hills, California. For additional information, please visit Trinity’s website at www.trinityinvestments.com. About Omni Hotels & Resorts Omni Hotels & Resorts creates genuine, authentic guest experiences at over 50 distinct luxury hotels and resorts in leading business and leisure destinations across North America. With more than 21 iconic golf courses and multiple short courses, 24 award-winning spas featured in dynamic locales nationwide, every Omni proudly opens its doors to share the true spirit of its destination. Reflected through local color, personalized service, unique wellness options, signature restaurants and creative culinary offerings, Omni leaves a lasting impression with every guest and a heightened level of recognition and rewards delivered through its Select Guest® loyalty program. Omni is committed to reducing hunger and is on a mission through its Say Goodnight to Hunger initiative to provide millions of meals each year for food banks to feed children, families, and seniors in communities in which it operates. Through its partnership with Shared Hope International, Omni is dedicated to the education and training of its associates to help combat human trafficking. Omni Hotels & Resorts is the official hotel of the PGA TOUR® and PGA TOUR Champions. For information or to book accommodations, visit www.omnihotels.com or call 1-800-The-Omni.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Trasava Lets Travelers Book 5-Star Hotels at 2-Star Prices

Trasava | February 02, 2022

As travel returns and the demand for hotel rooms increases, Trasava introduces a new way of booking rooms that keeps prices low and hoteliers happy. Through a combination of superior technology and its unique approach to inventory, Trasava has managed to bridge the gap between business and leisure travel, making discounted travel rates—similar to those of corporate travel discounts—accessible to individual travelers. The problem in the hospitality industry is clear: nearly every OTA, online travel agency, pulls from the same inventory pool, causing prices across dozens of sites to be more or less the same. Trasava flips this model on its head, leveraging exclusive agreements with its suppliers to offer travel rates not available to the general public. This allows Trasava to get deep discounts on hotels of all types—from basic to luxury—all over the world. While other OTAs compete to sell unwanted last-minute rooms, Trasava offers lower prices from the outset, whether you're booking one day or one year in advance. Led by a passionate team of nomadic entrepreneurs, Trasava's founders are scratching their own itch by building a better booking platform. They offer over 1 million listings in 70+ countries, plus a 110% guarantee. If travelers can find a cheaper price elsewhere online available to the public, they will refund 110% of the difference. With its focus on making both hotels and travelers happy, Trasava has created a booking experience that's a win-win. Here are some of the savings travelers can expect from Trasava: $400 saved over a long weekend in a 4-star hotel in Manhattan in July $650 saved over a 5-day stay at a 5-star hotel in central Berlin in September $900 saved on a weeklong vacation at a 5-star resort in Cancún in February Travelers interested in learning more can try out Trasava for themselves at Trasava.com. AboutTrasava: Trasava is a new travel tech startup based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Launched in 2022, Trasava is making travel more affordable by bringing corporate hotel pricing to the masses.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Aggressor Adventures Dives into the New Year with Optimism Following a Successful 2021

Aggressor Adventures | December 23, 2021

Aggressor Adventures® is celebrating the end of a successful 2021 and looking back on the past 12 months with pride while looking forward with optimism and excitement. In 2021, the company launched its Consumer Travel Index, won numerous awards, reopened its Sri Lanka Safari Lodge and announced plans to offer new adventures to customers in 2022. Return to Travel Aggressor saw an increase in bookings for operating destinations of 123% in 2021 over 2020. “I am incredibly proud of how our staff has persevered through the many changes in requirements from governments worldwide, updating protocols, destination reopenings, and more. The quality of our service never wavered; in fact, I’d say the past few years have made us even better than we were before Even through it all, we still saw tremendous growth this year compared to last. I believe that people were ready to make up for lost time and rebook the trips they had to cancel in 2020.” -Wayne Brown, CEO of Aggressor Adventures. Aggressor provided an adventure of a lifetime to more than 12,000 guests in 2021. The company’s top three most popular destinations were Socorro, which saw 240% growth in bookings, Red Sea RE, which saw 230% growth in bookings and Belize, which saw 182% growth in bookings. Exciting for Aggressor, the future looks just as bright: “We are confident we can plan double digit growth in 2022,” Brown added. Consumer Travel Index Aggressor’s Consumer Travel Index provided insightful findings from a series of national surveys to track consumer sentiments. Topics from 2021 included interest and comfortability in traveling, motivations for traveling, how long consumers are planning trips for, what their budgets are, how remote working has impacted travel plans, and much more. Award Wins In 2021 Aggressor earned many awards, including Top Liveaboard Company in the World with 69 Readers Choice Awards from Scuba Diving Magazine, a Gold Travel Weekly Magellan Award for Cruise Safety for the company’s industry-leading Clean, Refresh, Sanitize program, and a Silver Travel Weekly Magellan Award for Cruise Podcast for the company’s Inspired by Adventure podcast. New Adventures 2021 saw the reopening of the Aggressor Safari Lodge in Sri Lanka® and the announcement of a new liveaboard, the Red Sea Royal Evolution (RE) Aggressor, which will set sail in February 2022. In addition to these new destinations and reopenings, the brand also has major plans for several exciting new destinations for customers in 2022. Brown and his team have visited numerous adventure sites and are actively exploring new trips in Belize, the British Virgin Islands and several other exciting destinations. About Aggressor Adventures Since 1984, Aggressor Adventures® has offered travelers liveaboard scuba and snorkeling charters, luxury river cruises and exotic wildlife safaris. Worldwide locations the company explores include Bahamas, Belize, Cayman Islands, Cocos Island, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Galapagos, Hawaii, Indonesia, Maldives, Mexico, Philippines, Palau, Red Sea, Roatan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Turks and Caicos. The company’s Clean, Refresh, Sanitize safety standards are industry leading. For more information, visit www.aggressor.com

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Spotlight

Although it covers less than 3 square miles, Gibraltar’s strategic location has made it one of the most fought over places in Europe. For centuries, it has withstood political maneuvering, sieges and battles and today, with its red call boxes, Union Jacks and high street shops, Gibraltar staunchly stands as a small pocket of England in the heart of the Mediterranean.

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