Google Vacation Rental Partners Diverge on Whether to Name Guests in Reviews

Skift | January 13, 2020

Airbnb, TripAdvisor, and Holiday Lettings are active participants in Google’s year-old vacation rentals feature, but they have a curious approach to guest reviews on the platform — no usernames. If you read a guest review of an Airbnb-provided vacation rental listing on Google’s travel pages in Chicago, London, or Bangkok, all of the reviews seemingly come from what is labeled as an “Airbnb.com reviewer” instead of Hazel P. or Betty M., for instance. That’s a sterile approach to user-generated content, but perhaps it is a strategic move. Why hand Google the more personalized experience with reviewers that guests might enjoy on Airbnb or TripAdvisor?

Spotlight

For the first time, SITA has surveyed airline plans for emerging tech such as robots and virtual reality to improve the passenger journey over the next ten years.


Other News
HOSPITALITY TRENDS

CARILLON MIAMI WELLNESS RESORT JOINS AMERICAN EXPRESS FINE HOTELS + RESORTS PROGRAM

Carillon Miami Wellness Resort | March 22, 2022

Carillon Miami Wellness Resort is pleased to announce it has been awarded distinguished membership in American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts® (FHR), offering Amex consumer, business, and corporate Platinum Card holders and Centurion members unmatched value and access to exclusive benefits. "This is a major accomplishment for our team, residents, and owners, and we are excited and appreciative to now join American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts®, one of the leading luxury lodging programs for affluent travelers,This milestone is yet another award and recognition for our resort and we look forward to achieving even greater heights in wellness-luxury with FHR. As the travel industry continues to recover and hotels and resorts get more creative, we are looking for every opportunity to dazzle new guests with our refined luxury, amenities, and services, as well as the natural beauty of our location in the heart of Florida's Gold Coast." -Patrick Fernandes, Executive Managing Director of Carillon Miami Wellness Resort. Along with exclusive access to the resort's spa, recognized as the largest spa and wellness facility on the Eastern Seaboard (70,000 square feet), Amex Card and Centurion members can receive special perks such as early check-in, $150 experience credit to use toward spa services, room upgrades upon availability, and a personalized welcome, among other benefits. Additionally, members will find other new amenities when visiting Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, including a new dining destination in partnership with Michelin-starred chef, Tristan Brandt. Chef Brandt, whose signature modern French cuisine with Asian influences can best be described as "artwork on the plate," will oversee the culinary concept for a new destination restaurant at the resort, which will open to guests this spring. Members can also experience the resort's latest wellness programming, such as new personalized health services through the property's partnership with the biostation, which offers a curated menu of cutting-edge therapies and tailored wellness retreats. For more information about Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, please visit https://www.carillonhotel.com/en. About Carillon Miami Wellness Resort Located along the white sand shores of Miami Beach, Carillon Miami Wellness Resort presents an authentic and specialized approach to health, wellness, and complete well-being. Exuding the "luxury of wellness," the resort focuses on aligning physical, mental, and spiritual health by offering a comprehensive retreat, the largest spa & wellness center on the Eastern Seaboard (70,000 sq. ft.), a one-of-a-kind Thermal Experience and a medical wellness division, personalized health retreats and services through the biostation at Carillon Miami, and more. The resort features 150 spacious one- and two-bedroom luxury apartments, ranging in size from 720 – 1,200 sq. ft. An array of recreational activities are at guests' fingertips, access to the resort's two-story indoor rock wall and resort pools located throughout the property: the oceanfront Cabana Pool and the adult-only rooftop Atlantic Pool. Carillon Miami Wellness Resort promotes a path to discovery and provides tools for a healthier lifestyle extending beyond each guest's stay. In 2021, Carillon Miami Wellness Resort ranked within Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards as one of the "Top 15 Domestic Destination Spas," the only property in Florida, and was also named one of the "Top 30 Destination Spa Resorts in the United States" in Condé Nast Traveler's 34th annual 2021 Readers' Choice Awards. The resort is committed to upholding the highest standards in health and safety and is a Sharecare Health Security VERIFIED® with Forbes Travel Guide destination. For more information, please visit www.carillonhotel.com.

Read More

COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Manifest Expands Nationally, Adds International Trip Destinations

Manifest | January 15, 2022

Manifest, the exclusive, lifestyle and travel club that provides custom-crafted getaways to unique destinations within the U.S. and abroad with the option of pairing trips with private plane service, announced that the company will be expanding nationally, welcoming members from every corner of the country. With the expansion, Manifest will now be offering its entire collection of curated trips to members in all states – and will be expanding these trips to include international destinations such as the Caribbean and Mexico, with Central America and further abroad to be added in the future. "Travel is beginning to return and people are ready to embark upon unique journeys and begin exploring the world again,As we head into 2022, we see incredible potential for growth and are ready to bring both Manifest membership and our curated trips to every corner of the country.” -Jeff Potter, CEO of Manifest. Manifest is also adding more flexibility to membership, with the option of booking pre-curated trips directly through the website, or if members have specific needs, working with a travel specialist to customize their trip. In addition, while flying private remains a Manifest differentiator, allowing members to avoid the stress of long lines and the hassle of checking bags as well as offering less exposure to crowds and a better experience for travelers, Manifest will be adding a commercial air option for first-class and business class service in the coming months as well. We want to make both booking and experiencing travel as easy as possible for Manifest members and in some cases, private air travel is not the best option, so we plan to offer alternatives to ensure the ultimate flexibility when booking with us,said Potter. The Manifest experience is seamless for members – from private car transportation to/from the airport both at home and in-destination to the ease of private air travel; from high-touch service on the ground to pre-planned activities that reflect the soul of the destination, in addition to plenty of free time to explore members’ own interests. Examples of recently added trips include: Explore Historic New England in Newport, Rhode Island – 5 days/4 nights with accommodations at The Cliffside Inn with activities including a private helicopter tour and a two-hour cruise aboard an America’s Cup yacht. Bourbon-friendly Weekend in Louisville, Kentucky – 3 days/2 nights with accommodations at The Brown Hotel with activities including themed progressive dinner with cocktail pairings and a full-day bourbon distillery tour. Find Your Way to Paradise on the Beautiful Caribbean Island of Anguilla – 8 days/7 nights with accommodations at Belmond’s Cap Juluca Resort with plenty of beach time as well as a day on the water exploring Prickly Pear Cays. Manifest designs, curates and manages logistical components of planned activities for each experience, which range from three to seven days in length and range in price depending on the activity, location, and length of stay. A full list of Manifest experiences is available here. In celebration of national expansion and for a limited time, Manifest is allowing anyone to join its community of travelers without paying annual dues. In addition, members can save 10% on their first trip with Manifest when they book by March 31, 2022, for travel by December 31, 2022. More information on Manifest membership is available here. About Manifest Based in Denver, Colorado, and founded by Jeff Potter, the former CEO of Frontier Airlines, Exclusive Resorts and Surf Air, Manifest is an exclusive, lifestyle and travel club that provides custom-crafted getaways to unique destinations in the U.S. and abroad with the option of pairing trips with private plane service. For more information, visit www.manifestescapes.com.

Read More

CRUISE

Consumers Optimistic About Cruise Travel in 2022

arrivia | March 01, 2022

Consumers are optimistic about their 2022 cruise travel plans. That's the overall sentiment from a recent survey conducted by arrivia, a leading travel loyalty and cruise booking technology platform that works with consumer-facing companies worldwide. The company surveyed 1,453 Americans between November 3, 2021, and January 10, 2022, all of whom are members of a travel club or travel benefits program, about their attitudes and preferences around cruise travel. Initial responses were collected just a few weeks before the emergence of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, with responses also being recorded into January 2022 as it became the dominant strain worldwide. The Ready to Board consumer cruise survey revealed that more than 80% of respondents have booked a cruise in the next two years or are planning or considering a cruise vacation. Of those consumers who have already booked a cruise, 37% aimed to travel in the spring, 22% in the summer and 31% in the fall. While there was a slight shift in the data based on when the survey responses were recorded relative to the spread of Omicron, the number of respondents who had already booked or were actively planning a cruise consistent outweighed those who "might" book one or aren't considering booking by nearly 2 to 1. Consumers, however, were very clear that they support cruise lines' efforts to make travel as safe as possible. Over 50% of respondents said they would want to see universal masking and vaccination on board and social distancing on cruise activities to feel comfortable cruising again. Value is still a major factor in decision-making Despite the pent-up travel demand accumulated over the past two years, 46% of consumers consider value for money the most important factor when booking a cruise — more than the double itineraries/destinations and COVID/safety protocols combined. Better pricing and deals were also the second top reason (tied with travel restrictions) that travelers haven't booked a cruise in the past twelve months. The focus on value is illustrated by the sizeable percentage (18%) of respondents using loyalty or travel rewards points to defray some or all of the cost of a cruise. "Points play an important role as travelers plan their journeys,Companies with loyalty or rewards programs should consider expanding their capabilities to include more of the travel booking and benefits options that consumers increasingly want, such as cruise travel." -Jeff Zotara, arrivia Chief Marketing Officer. Other findings from the survey: Sixty-six percent of consumers are choosing luxury cruise travel over mega cruises or niche river cruises. Travelers are choosing historically popular destinations with the desire for luxury cruise experiences. Almost half of the respondents who had booked or were planning to book a cruise had their eye on the Caribbean, with 17% zeroing in on the Bahamas as their next stop. And they're not just testing the waters with three-day excursions; 54% said they were considering a six-to-nine-day cruise, while 11% said that ten days or more is the perfect trip length. "It's no doubt that Omicron impacted some of the booking activity in the short-term," Zotara added. "But with the investment cruise lines have made in ensuring travelers' safety and in the new ships that promise to deliver even better experiences, more consumers will be setting sail over the next two years. We're excited to see the demand increasing and consumers' enthusiasm for cruise travel." The consumer cruise survey, Ready to Board, is available for download here. For more information about the survey or to speak with Jeff Zotara, Chief Marketing Officer of arrivia, please contact Vanessa Horwell at vhorwell@thinkinkpr.com. About arrivia Arrivia is a travel technology company that provides travel loyalty, booking and marketing solutions to consumer-facing companies that want to deliver exceptional value to their customers, uncover new revenue streams and drive growth through exciting travel rewards and member benefits. The company's Travel Privileges platform opens up the world of travel for companies like American Express, USAA and Marriott Vacations Worldwide by offering their customers more value through exclusive pricing and encouraging discovery with relevant and personalized options that inspire travel and consumer loyalty. To learn more about how arrivia helps companies drive growth, incentivize sales, boost affinity and reward high-value customers, visit www.arrivia.com.

Read More

TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Rêv & Visit Mexico Establish Payments & Loyalty Innovations Partnership Focused On Strengthening Cross Border Travel Engagement

Rêv | January 07, 2022

Rêv Worldwide, Inc. (“Rêv”), a global payments & loyalty product innovations company, and Visit Mexico, Mexico’s official tourism marketing agency, announced a multi-year strategic partnership aimed at fostering cross border tourism by leveraging innovative digital products and services that facilitate engagement, convenience and value for the travel sector.With the introduction of the X World Wallet, a multi-currency debit account accessible by downloading a mobile app, linked to physical and digital Visa cards, and integrated loyalty program, Rêv and Visit Mexico take a first step in offering a suite of products and services with a mission to promote tourism activity for one of the world’s most important travel corridors. The X World Wallet, now available nationwide, puts in the hands of its users a powerful tool that facilitates international transactions, discounts on travel bookings, and a points based loyalty program that helps maximize value for the user. While there are a variety of branded and co-branded credit products targeting the travel market, the availability of a mobile-first debit product that combines payments, foreign currency exchange, loyalty, and bookings is part of a recent wave of innovation that is giving consumers an alternative from credit cards with application requirements, high annual fees, interest rates and restrictive loyalty programs. “We are proud to be working side by side with Visit Mexico to put our technology to work so that travelers can access relevant and hassle free tools to facilitate their journey,” -Bertrand Sosa, President & Chief Marketing Officer, Rêv Worldwide. Given continued pandemic impacts globally across the travel industry, consumers and industry players alike are seeing how digital solutions play an even more important role in helping to reduce friction as well as open the opportunity to enhance key aspects of the travel experience. While the pandemic has decimated the travel industry globally, Mexico is one of the few countries who kept air travel open throughout the challenging times. The World Tourism Organization (WHO) estimates Mexico was the third most-visited country in the world in 2020. “As we continue to establish Mexico as the best destination for travelers from around the world, we are excited to collaborate with Rêv on the development of useful products that help us connect with travelers and help make their travel experience better - beginning with making it easier, cheaper and safer for Americans to transact in our country,” -Carlos Gonzalez Gonzalez, Chief Executive Officer, Visit Mexico. In a recent report citing travel recovery trends, Ryan Felipe, Visa’s Head of North America Cross Border Business noted, “Travelers continue to seek digital-first experiences throughout their journeys – from planning and booking to paying for dining and shopping while on the road. This provides an opportunity for financial service providers and businesses to drive increased engagement with their customers via trigger-based offers and messaging to drive loyalty. The X World Wallet offers users access to person-to-person payment transfers, tap-and-go purchase convenience, virtual and digital pay card functionalities, block/unblock account security features, and an integrated support platform to automatically contribute to climate change initiatives. The no credit check, low fees, no application reloadable X World Wallet™ Visa Debit cards available on the X account are issued by Texas First Bank, pursuant to a license by Visa Inc., and subject to cardholder Terms & Conditions. There are no offline or online purchase transaction fees, or foreign conversion fees when using the X World Wallet Visa card(s). Standard ATM fees and applicable FX rates do apply. For more information on the X World Wallet, visit xworldwallet.com. Rêv and Visit Mexico are also collaborating on making available the X World Wallet in Mexico in early 2022 so Mexicans traveling abroad may also enjoy the benefits US tourists have access to now. About Rêv Rêv is a fintech company, founded by prepaid debit industry pioneers Roy Sosa and Bertrand Sosa, dedicated to delivering innovative payment experiences to consumers worldwide. Its solutions are powered by the company’s proprietary multi-currency and multi-language payments processing platform. With vast experience developing payment industry innovations, Rêv is focused on the general, international banking & travel sectors. Rêv has partnered with companies across the globe to launch products in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. Learn more at revworldwide.com. About Visit Mexico Visit Mexico, the official brand under which Mexico’s Tourism Board has promoted domestic and international travel within-and-to Mexico for years, is now a private-government collaboration operating as the official marketing agency in charge of developing tourism campaigns, partnerships, and innovative operating models to further tourism activity for the country around the world. For more information visit visitmexico.com.

Read More