TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Google Travel Now Includes Vacation Rentals in its Search Results Alongside Hotels

Google Travel | June 01, 2021

Google is making moves that further blur the line between hotels and private accommodations.

The search giant says searches for “beach rentals” and “staycations” grew by more than 100% globally in the last year. It wants to better serve that interest by combining vacation rentals and hotels in one comprehensive search result for a destination.

The “vacation rentals” filter – launched in 2019 – remains for users that want to limit results to only non-hotel properties. Still, without that filter, the default display will show both types of accommodations.

Google says results are ranked organically based on relevance to the user’s query. The company would not provide a list of current supply partners, but searches on the site show listings from Tripadvisor, Vacasa, Red Awning, Sonder, Rentals United, and others.

Vrbo listings had been on the site for nearly two years but in its earnings call in February, Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern announced the company had pulled them, saying, “We didn’t find investment in the Google vacation rental product particularly incremental, we didn’t think the customer experience was precious, and we are of course also having a period where we see great direct traffic for Vrbo. So we found other ways, and I’d argue more profitable ways, to drive traffic.”

It’s unclear at this stage whether properties from Booking.com and Airbnb are participating in the vacation rental search.

Google announced the new combined hotels and vacation rental search product Thursday morning during its Google Marketing Live online event.

“We’ve seen growing and sustained interest in vacation rentals since the start of the pandemic and have evolved our product accordingly to meet those user preferences. This launch is the first time that we’re showing results that combine both hotels and vacation rentals when a user is trying to find a place to stay,” says a company spokesperson via email.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Motorola Solutions’ Safe Hospitality Solution Improves Safety and Guest Experience

Motorola Solutions’ | April 20, 2022

Motorola Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MSI) announced its Safe Hospitality solution, a unified technology ecosystem that combines video security, access control, data and communications technologies. The Safe Hospitality solution integrates these technologies via a simple cloud-based platform to support the specific operational, security and safety requirements of this industry. For example, video security analytics can send alerts to radios when unusual activity is detected, and access control can identify the security risk of a door propped open. Data from cameras and sensors can trigger staff to address guest needs or safety threats, while voice communications can dynamically connect teams to support everyday operations or emergency response. The ability to automate and streamline the flow of information to the right people across departments allows hospitality organizations to best direct their resources to support safety, productivity and delivery of an exceptional guest experience. “Video cameras with embedded analytics allow our team to monitor an entire pool area and spot unexpected events and activity, We’ve integrated our video security and radio systems so real-time automatic alerts are sent directly to our staff, allowing us to respond in moments. Using this technology with our world-recognized ‘Ellis’ safety standards has not only helped us to deal with the day-to-day, but to keep our guests as safe as possible.” -Jeffrey Ellis, CEO for Jeff Ellis Management, a worldwide leader in the management of aquatic facilities “Spanning seven acres of the Atlantic coast, our beachfront resort is a destination our guests choose for relaxation, privacy and solitude, and they expect a safe environment for the entire family,” said Dan Sims, director of loss prevention at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa. “We have the technology resources in place to give us greater insight into what’s happening across our entire resort, including the spa, restaurants, pools, meeting and event spaces and beach, so we can respond quickly to events and the needs of visitors without compromising the guest experience.” At the very core of every successful event is the ability to communicate quickly and reliably to avoid event disruption, said Ron Skotarczak, executive vice president, chief sales & marketing officer, Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. “Our work with Motorola’s technology solutions not only help us to prevent issues, but also contribute to the smooth running of all events - from sports to concerts - and at any capacity. The efficiencies gained by automating processes, streamlining workflows and sharing information more easily is also particularly valuable as restaurants, hotels, resorts, casinos, stadiums and theme parks continue to address challenges brought on by industry-wide staffing shortages. “Today’s hospitality businesses are highly focused on service and safety, especially as they recover from the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, A Safe Hospitality solution allows hospitality businesses to simplify everyday tasks for greater productivity. It allows them to stay focused on what matters most in their highly competitive industry, delivering a high-quality, customized and safe guest experience.” -Sharon Hong, vice president, enterprise technology, Motorola Solutions About Motorola Solutions Motorola Solutions is a global leader in public safety and enterprise security. Our solutions in land mobile radio communications, video security & access control and command center software, bolstered by managed & support services, create an integrated technology ecosystem to help make communities safer and businesses stay productive and secure. At Motorola Solutions, we’re ushering in a new era in public safety and security. Learn more at www.motorolasolutions.com.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

TransPerfect Selected by Finnair as Main Language Services Provider

TransPerfect | April 19, 2022

TransPerfect, the world’s largest provider of language and technology solutions for global business,announced that it has been chosen by Finnair as its main supplier for translation services and globalization management technology.Finnair is using TransPerfect’s GlobalLink® technology and AI solutions combined with a CoreMedia CMS connector to manage its multilingual digital touchpoints and content in 15 languages. As a result of the GlobalLink’s integration capabilities and TransPerfect’s experienced travel solutions team, the initial content deployment went live ahead of schedule and three times faster than a standard launch timeline for a full-scale multilingual content solution. One of the oldest continuously operating airlines in the world and part of the oneworld alliance, Finnair is offering convenient and efficient connections through its Helsinki and Arlanda hubs. Finnair chose TransPerfect’s GlobalLink solution due to its seamless integration with Finnair’s existing CMS, which allows for consolidating processes and greater consistency. With an eye on cost control, Finnair strategically introduced machine translation with human post-editing (MTPE) into its workflows in order to maximize its reach under the budgetary and resource constraints in play. GlobalLink is a modular suite of tools specifically designed to manage the complex demands of creating, deploying, and maintaining multilingual content, drastically reducing the time and effort required throughout the localization process. “Our direct digital channels are vital in engaging with customers and meeting their needs, so we want to create and update content to our key markets in an effective and agile way. It’s incredibly important to us—and the whole travel industry—to have partners like TransPerfect who can provide services and solutions that are not only scalable but flexible enough to enable our business to be nimble and achieve our goals.” -Anna Suntio, Digital Content Lead at Finnair TransPerfect President and CEO Phil Shawe commented, As Finnair adopts new online customer engagement strategies, we’re pleased that our GlobalLink suite of technologies is helping them achieve their global business goals. About TransPerfect TransPerfect is the world’s largest provider of language and technology solutions for global business. From offices in over 100 cities on six continents, TransPerfect offers a full range of services in 170+ languages to clients worldwide. More than 6,000 global organizations employ TransPerfect’s GlobalLink® technology to simplify management of multilingual content. With an unparalleled commitment to quality and client service, TransPerfect is fully ISO 9001 and ISO 17100 certified. TransPerfect has global headquarters in New York, with regional headquarters in London and Hong Kong. For more information, please visit our website at www.transperfect.com.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

Emburse Launches the Ultimate Business Travel Companion Tool to Enhance the Entire Trip Experience

Emburse | April 06, 2022

Emburse, a global leader in spend management solutions, has announced the launch of Emburse Go: a mobile travel companion that delivers the best possible business travel experience by managing every aspect of a trip - from end to end. Emburse Go extends well beyond typical flight and hotel itinerary information, providing valuable location-based content to keep travelers safe, comfortable and productive. Traditionally, business travelers have had to navigate every aspect of a trip themselves, beyond basic transit and accommodation. Emburse Go allows employers to easily curate destination information and deliver contextual messaging that not only meets growing employee expectations, but also helps reduce spend leakage and minimize risks. It even allows companies to track the carbon footprint of each trip and across their travel program. Designed for small and medium-sized businesses, Emburse Go is based on the Emburse Go Premier (formerly Roadmap) award-winning corporate travel app used by millions of travelers at large enterprises including Nike, Microsoft and Merck. Notable features include: Consumer-like app delivers a curated experience at every stage of the trip Emburse Go differs from most business travel apps by providing much more than flight notifications and itinerary information, such as company-selected city guides and preferred supplier links for easy access to the corporate booking tool, corporate TMC, corporate card and expense solution. It focuses on supporting travelers holistically throughout their trip, including the entire time they’re at their destination. Once a trip is booked (whether via a corporate booking tool or online booking site), the app can be automatically pre-populated with the itinerary, any subsequent itinerary changes and all relevant destination information. This includes local transport tips, tipping recommendations, risk and safety information, and local music and points of interest. As employees use the app, employers can learn from their experiences via travel data that relies on machine learning best practices and traveler reviews given through the app. This helps improve future trip recommendations and measures performance against travel program goals. Emphasizes traveler safety, helping employers prioritize duty of care Travelers can access essential safety information about their destination within the app. Emburse Go provides the latest COVID testing requirements, travel advisories, and visa requirements, and links to request assistance during the trip. Corporate travel managers can reduce risk by easily communicating safety information to travelers via the app. Tracks carbon footprint and informs sustainable decision-making More than 70% of business travelers are concerned about their company’s carbon footprint, according to Statista. Emburse Go leverages data from Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GGP) to allow employees to manage their footprint and companies to get an overview of their impact. Travelers can view the carbon footprint of their entire trip, including flights, ground transportation and hotel choices, in the Emburse Go app. Data from all employee trips is gathered in a central dashboard, enabling organizations to measure and analyze their overall carbon footprint and benchmark it against their ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) commitments. “Optimizing the business traveler experience has long been overlooked as a nice-to-have. But not any more. The pause in business travel and the overall increased focus on employee wellbeing has made companies reassess how to treat their employees while on the road. All organizations, no matter their size, have to rise to the challenge with curated experiences, easy-to-use mobile apps, and clear commitment to comfort, safety and sustainability. Business trips are an opportunity to live up to your organization’s values and promises. Companies that fail to do so will feel the impact in the form of higher travel costs, employee churn and reputational pressure,” -Eric Friedrichsen, CEO of Emburse. Emburse Go is available as an iPhone or Android app, to existing Emburse customers. It comes with a desktop self-service portal for travel managers, enabling them to create targeted and custom messaging for travelers. Emburse Go Premier is available to existing customers or as a standalone solution. Emburse Go Premier customers also receive monthly reports and insights for their entire travel program. The app is available in seven languages. About Emburse Emburse is a modern spend management company offering solutions that revolutionize the way organizations manage employee expenses, process invoices and make payments. Emburse humanizes work by empowering business travelers, finance professionals, and CFOs to eliminate manual, time-consuming tasks, so they can focus on what matters most. Its innovative offerings, which are tailored to meet the unique business needs of specific industries, company sizes, and geographies, are trusted by more than 9 million users in more than 120 countries. Over 16,000 customers, from start-ups to global enterprises, including Bosch, Grant Thornton, Telefónica, Lufthansa Systems, and Toyota, rely on Emburse to make faster, smarter decisions, improve compliance, and optimize spend -- making corporate spend deliver meaningful value for the organization. Emburse is recognized as a leader in expense management and accounts payable automation by analyst firm IDC, and has received multiple awards for innovation and its high levels of customer satisfaction. For more information on Emburse, visit emburse.com, call 877-EMBURSE, or follow the organization’s social channels at @emburse.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Backroads Announces 2022 Travel Trends and Gears Up for Busiest Year Ever

Backroads | December 28, 2021

Backroads, the leader in active travel, announced their forecast for top travel destinations in 2022 based on advance bookings and inquiries. Europe is at the top of many travelers’ lists next year, with huge demand for trips in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Greece and Iceland. Many newcomers to active travel are booking adventures already, especially easygoing Dolce Tempo tours, and e-bikes are continuing to become more popular with guests of all ages. Backroads is anticipating that most of their North American trips will sell out once again, in line with the 2021 trend of strong interest in US National Parks and luxurious domestic adventures. As this eventful year comes to a close, Backroads is finishing strong and poised to have their biggest year ever in 2022. Backroads’ 2021 year-end highlights include: Backroads had its best year of all time in the US in 2021. Domestic bookings were up 45% compared to 2019, the last pre-pandemic benchmark year, and virtually all US departures sold out. The number of first-time travelers with Backroads nearly doubled over 2019, as people incorporated their newfound passions for walking, hiking and biking into their vacations. Top-selling trips in 2021 included Canyonlands, Yellowstone, Maine, San Juan Islands, Alaska, California Wine Country, Hawaii, Santa Barbara & Ojai, Crater Lake, Vermont and Yosemite in the US, and Croatia, Iceland, Greece, France, Portugal and Spain in Europe. Luxury experiences close to home saw a surge in popularity. Backroads' new Aspen tour (which includes three nights at the iconic Hotel Jerome) sold out immediately, as did the company’s Newfoundland adventure, which features lodging at the famed Fogo Island Inn, and its California Wine Country Walking trip with lodging at luxurious hideaways Montage and Solage. Popular with travelers around the world were Backroads' Dolce Tempo tours. These easygoing walking, multi-adventure and e-biking trips completely sold out in 2021 and are booking quickly in 2022. Adventure travel featuring invigorating activity in wide-open, natural spaces was hugely popular with travelers of all types, including families, couples and solo travelers. Based on advance guest booking and inquiries, Backroads is anticipating the following trends for 2022: More than 30% of guests on multi-adventure and biking trips will opt for e-bikes, which are custom-built for Backroads and included in the trip price. Europe will continue to see pent-up demand manifesting in sky-high bookings, with all the European countries that opened early and were popular in 2021 seeing strong traveler interest. Top-selling countries include Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Greece and Iceland. North America, which had its biggest year ever in 2021, will continue to be popular with travelers looking to stick close to home. US National Park trips will again completely sell out. Demand for travel in all parts of Canada from Banff to Newfoundland is skyrocketing. Family travel is up across all family segments: Teens & Kids, Older Teens & 20s and 20s & Beyond. Bookings for easygoing Dolce Tempo adventures will maintain their threefold increase compared to 2021, as travelers of all fitness levels look to spend active time outdoors. Active River Cruises will book up quickly with Bordeaux, Danube and Portugal’s Douro leading the way. Working in active, outdoor travel continues to appeal, with more than 450 Backroads Trip Leaders and Field Staff returning next season for a 90% retention rate. The company expects to hire close to another 350 additional Trip Leaders from 6,000 applicants for jobs in 2022. “If there’s one thing we’ve learned during our two years of operating trips during the pandemic, it’s that things change rapidly, Spring, summer, and fall are a long time away when it comes to COVID-19. We’re monitoring government responses to the latest surge and keeping a close eye on border reopenings and local policies.” -Tom Hale, Backroads Founder and President. Regardless of what happens this winter, 2022 is shaping up to be an incredible year for adventure travel. Based on what we saw in the summer 2021 season, we expect travel in Europe to come back strong, with France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Croatia topping the list of travelers everywhere,” said Hale. “People are eager to get back out exploring, and active travel is the way they want to go. Whether it’s on a bike or an e-bike, hiking or walking, with family, friends or solo, we anticipate next year to be Backroads' biggest year ever.”     About Backroads      Backroads was founded in 1979 by Tom Hale and has been a leading innovator in active and adventure travel for over 40 years. The company offers biking, walking & hiking and multi-adventure tours, small ship active cruises, private trips and family trips designed for three distinct age groups: Teens & Kids (typically 9-16), Older Teens & 20s (17+) and 20s & Beyond (adult kids through their late 20s). Backroads hosts thousands of guests each year—75% of whom are repeat guests or referrals from past guests—in hundreds of locations across the globe. For more information, please visit backroads.com, or call 800-462-2848.For more Backroads information, visit: backroads.com

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The Plane Facts. Bringing out the geek in us and hopefully in you too! The FHR team have put on their intellectual but trendy goggles to bring you some of the most interesting and fun facts about planes. Let us know what you think, and remember, we won’t mind if you share it with your friends, family or even the world! Enjoy.

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