Google's playbook to become a Super App in travel

PhocusWire | December 02, 2019

Mid-November 2019, Google brought in 200 top ranked “Google local guides” from all over the world to its Connect Live 2019 conference in San Jose, California. The event went mostly unnoticed by the travel and retail industries, despite the fact that building this network of local experts is a cornerstone of Google Super App’s ambitions. If you think of Google Maps as an app helping you to move from A to B, think twice. The giant’s slow but unstoppable rise to travel and restaurant industry domination can not be explained without the more than one billion daily users of Google Maps.

Spotlight

The objective of the overall Tourism Marketing Plan and Visitor Experience Bundles is to promote the geographical area as a consistent brand, increase the socio-economic benefits of tourism in the area and provide an enhanced visitor experience whilst also ensuring a greater sense of understanding of the history, heritage, folklore and culture in the Munster Vales by connecting with and placing the local business and farming communities of the Munster Vales at the core of the Marketing Plan


Other News
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

FEATURES AND ADVICE

Creating a Contactless Travel Experience: Ottonomy Launches First Fully Autonomous Delivery Robots at CVG Airport

Ottonomy Inc. | December 17, 2021

Ottonomy announces that Ottobots, a fleet of fully autonomous delivery robots for food and retail, are now available at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG). This is the first autonomous robotic delivery of food, beverage and lifestyle products in an airport environment.Officially launched for the holiday travel season, passengers are now able to order contactless delivery directly to their location in Concourse B of the airport, delivered by an autonomous robot. Customers can select grab and go, beverage and travel items sold at select retail stores operated by Paradies Lagardere via orderatcvg.com on mobile devices. Customers receive status updates on their phone and a unique QR code, which can be scanned by the robot's top camera to open the secure compartment and retrieve their items. The entire delivery experience is contactless and fully autonomous, a first in the industry. "At CVG, we are redefining the travel experience by combining talent and tech to deliver innovative solutions,We've built a culture of innovation at the airport and are excited to partner with Ottonomy to test and advance this technology in a live, airport environment." -Candace McGraw, chief executive officer, CVG Airport The original pilot of Ottobots at CVG started running in late 2020. The partners gathered feedback from participating passengers including details on the experience, cost and desire to have autonomous delivery in airports. These live robot deliveries will gather additional research to further develop the program and user experience. Ritukar Vijay, Co-Founder and CEO of Ottonomy Inc, said, This launch is a testament to CVG's commitment to innovation and customer experience. We are able to provide a safe and secure experience through our Ottobots, executing automated contactless deliveries of food and beverage and retail products. COVID-19 has changed the way we all interact and relate to travel, making contactless delivery even more relevant and essential. Ottobots navigate autonomously through crowds and unpredictable environments using Ottonomy's proprietary Contextual Mobility navigation tech. The overall system is highly scalable and flexible utilizing a comprehensive suite of cloud tools that manages a fleet of robots deployed throughout different areas of an airport. To learn more about Ottonomy's Ottobots you can visit the website: https://ottonomy.io/ or download assets from the Ottonomy Press Kit. About Ottonomy Inc: Ottonomy is a deep tech startup, providing contactless deliveries using fully autonomous robots. Its primary focus is on helping retailers and restaurants automate indoor and outdoor contactless deliveries. Ottonomy was recognized as among the top 50 robotics companies worldwide in 2021 by Robotics Business Review and has won the Mobility Startup Award given by Plug & Play Accelerator and the Sustainability Product of the Year Award given by the Business Intelligence Group. The company is backed by Connetic Ventures and angel investors. For more information on Ottonomy, please visit ottonomy.io. About CVG Airport: CVG Airport welcomed more than 9.1 million passengers in 2019, serving a record number of local passengers. As the airport recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, it still offers the most nonstop destinations and the lowest average airfares in the Cincinnati region. CVG is diversified in both passenger and cargo operations with an annual economic impact of $6.8 billion. It is the 7th largest cargo airport in North America – home to Amazon Air's primary U.S. Hub and DHL Express Global Superhub. Learn more at CVGairport.com.

Read More

COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Levarté Travel Celebrates First Anniversary with Industry Awards

Levarté Travel, | March 04, 2022

DFW-based host agency, Levarté Travel, celebrated its first anniversary with major achievements. Despite the challenging era of its founding, Levarté was recently awarded Elite Sapphire Status with ALG Vacations, and Delta Diamond Medallion Status with Delta Vacations. These significant milestones are just the beginning for the new agency. "Levarté is the product of 40-plus years of industry expertise—we live and breathe travel, like our members, Our mission, lifting professionals up through a career in travel, powers us to think bigger. That starts with expanding our sponsorships, building up our extensive training programs, and providing more tools for our members of every level to succeed in their business." -founder and CEO, Lori Speers. In addition to the award statuses earlier this year, Levarté has been recognized as a Premier Agency Member by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), making it one of only 30 host agencies out of 8,000 in North America to earn this distinction. With this membership, Levarté can offer exclusive benefits to its travel advisors, including customized training, access to member-only events, and reduced pricing on CLIA's Individual Agent Membership. Levarté specializes in training both new advisors and supporting experienced travel business owners with higher education certifications, competitive membership benefits, and a community of passionate travel professionals. With three levels of memberships to choose from, Levarté travel advisors have a robust set of tools to help them start or continue their career. Looking ahead to 2022, Levarté will focus on building its personalized business support for members, and offering additional marketing tools and training certifications to help members grow their travel advisor brands. I'm so proud of our members' success and their dedication to making dreams come true for clients," said Speers. "I wake up every day excited about where we're headed. Levarté Travel helps individuals who dream of turning their passion for travel into a successful career. Learn more and join Levarté Travel by visiting www.levartetravel.com. About Levarté Travel Levarté Travel provides resources for travel enthusiasts to turn their passion into a thriving business. Led by travel industry veteran and CEO, Lori Speers, Levarté Travel enables independent advisors to achieve financial freedom, explore the world through fun and unique experiences, and create unforgettable memories for clients.

Read More

INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Consumers’ Shifting Behavior Continues Reshaping Travel Industry's Future

Travel Pulse | December 14, 2021

Data intelligence company Morning Consult has released its ‘State of Travel and Hospitality’ report for 2021’s fourth quarter. The objective of its analysis was to discover how consumers are changing the sector’s future amid the ongoing pandemic by surveying over 9,000 adults across the Americas, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. The firm found that that the travel industry is, indeed, rebounding, although slowly. Especially given the recent rise of fast-spreading strains, like the Omicron and Delta variants, COVID-related health concerns remain a factor for potential travelers; as do vaccination, testing and quarantine requirement at their intended destination, including confusion about what the actual regulations are at any given time.Sixty-four percent of U.S. adults said they’d traveled within the past year, more than 25 percent in the past month alone. It was discovered that younger generations—Millennials and Gen Zers—and high-income consumers were found to be more likely to travel than their older and poorer counterparts. One of the trends it examined is the pandemic-fueled increase in air rage. COVID-related airline (and federal) mandates, specifically when it comes to mask-wearing, prompted a steep rise in incidents of passengers refusing to follow the rules aboard their flights. From verbal rants and offensive language to physically assaulting crew members and fellow flyers, “unruly passengers” have become an all-too-common problem. According to Morning Consult’s survey, 41 percent of Americans have actually avoided domestic travel during the pandemic, due to concerns about how their fellow passengers might act aboard the plane. And, 63 percent are at least slightly concerned that an “air rage” incident will occur on their next flight, and 21 percent said they’re either “very” or “extremely” concerned.Just as with face masks, COVID-19 vaccines quickly became a highly politicized issue, with an already-polarized America split in their perceptions about COVID-related precautions and the virus itself. Consumer support for vaccination mandates, while polarized across party lines, is actually rather high when it comes to air travel. Sixty-three percent of Americans believe vaccination should be required when flying internationally, while 60 percent also said they should be required of passengers flying domestically. Travelers are also approaching travel planning differently and reorganizing some of their priorities. Leisure travelers have become accustomed to the idea that their plans may need to change at a moment’s notice. From consumers, the industry is seeing shorter booking windows, higher importance placed on flexibility and even a willingness to spend more money to ensure their plans are reschedulable. Price still remains the primary concern in booking travel, followed by brands’ safety measures.Then, there’s the business travel segment, which everyone foresaw would start rebounding only after the return of leisure travel. The fast rise and widespread adoption of remote-working and virtual-meeting technology prompted by the pandemic seem to have permanently displaced a portion of the business travel market. Now, 39 percent of regular U.S. business travelers say they’ll never go on another work trip again. Those who do travel for business are likely to do so closer to home, bound by tighter corporate policies and smaller budgets. The data actually revealed that one in every five business trips taken over the next year will just be day trips.

Read More

Spotlight

The objective of the overall Tourism Marketing Plan and Visitor Experience Bundles is to promote the geographical area as a consistent brand, increase the socio-economic benefits of tourism in the area and provide an enhanced visitor experience whilst also ensuring a greater sense of understanding of the history, heritage, folklore and culture in the Munster Vales by connecting with and placing the local business and farming communities of the Munster Vales at the core of the Marketing Plan

Resources