Internova Travel Group | April 07, 2022
Internova Travel Group, one of the industry's largest travel services companies, is rolling out an enhanced version of its website BookHuman.Travel that harnesses the power of storytelling to reinforce the value of using a human travel advisor.
Through individual profiles, you can get to know some of the more than 62,000 Internova travel advisors in over 6,000 company-owned and affiliated locations worldwide and learn what makes them experts in all types of leisure and corporate travel.You'll find out why they're passionate travelers, and how they use their background, expertise and experience to take care of every last detail for their clients. They share what it takes to create those "wow" moments that make a trip memorable, as well as the times when they saved the day for their clients. If you're searching for inspiration, you can read about some of their amazing travels around the world, accompanied by stunning photos.
"It amazes me how little consumers know about the benefits of using a travel advisor, Arguably, the least important thing a travel advisor does is book your travel. What surrounds the actual booking – the planning, anticipating, troubleshooting, negotiating, resolving, and communicating – is where you will find the real value of an advisor. That's what we want to feature on BookHuman.Travel, which has evolved to become an advocacy site for our travel advisors. Here, they can share their firsthand experiences as well as tell stories of how they've helped clients before, during and after their trips."
-Brent Rivard, Chief Marketing Officer at Internova Travel Group
BookHuman.Travel demonstrates the many benefits of a human connection that you simply can't get from booking a trip online.
For example, a family taking a trip to Japan put a visit with one of the country's few remaining samurai swordsmiths at the top of their wish list. When an emergency forced the swordsmith to cancel, "after a few anxious days and sleepless nights due to the time difference, my team and I were able to rearrange everything.
A client wanted to throw a surprise dinner party at a restaurant in Paris for his wife's 65th birthday. His travel advisor suggested that he bring everyone on the Bustronome, a double-decker bus where diners enjoy a gourmet meal as they drive by the city's landmarks, discovering the beauty of Paris at night.
A travel advisor who has taken trips with her husband and toddler knows what goes into a successful family vacation, from ensuring that the hotel room is ready when her clients arrive to planning sightseeing around naps and mealtimes. "I can open the door to experiences you might never have thought possible."
The daughter of a client booked her own hotel in Germany and it turned out to be a nightmare. After a call from her frantic mother, the travel advisor booked the daughter into a great hotel that she was familiar with, and sent a car at midnight to pick her up. "Her daughter will never travel without me again and tells all her friends the same.
BookHuman.Travel makes it easy to connect with a travel advisor. You can search for a specialist by destination or choose from a wide variety of interests, ranging from adventure travel to arts and culture, cruises, family vacations, honeymoons, LGBT travel, wellness trips and more.
A green dot on an advisor's profile means that they're online. You can connect with them through a live chat, over the phone or by email. If the travel advisor is offline, you can leave a message or schedule a time to talk to them.
Browse through BookHuman.Travel to meet our travel advisors," continued Rivard. "You'll love their enthusiasm for discovering new places and be impressed by the countless ways in which they deliver unmatched, customized experiences for their leisure and corporate clients at every budget level. They are knowledgeable, well-traveled professionals who take the time to develop a personal relationship with their clients, and that makes all the difference.
To learn more, please visit BookHuman.Travel.
About Internova Travel Group
Internova Travel Group is one of the largest travel services companies in the world with a collection of leading brands delivering high-touch, personal travel expertise to leisure and corporate clients. Internova manages leisure, business and franchise firms through a portfolio of distinctive divisions. Internova represents more than 62,000 travel advisors in over 6,000 company-owned and affiliated locations predominantly in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, with a presence in more than 80 countries.
Xeni | March 16, 2022
Xeni is modern infrastructure for travel built using blockchain. The platform allows clients to launch their own web-based travel agency with a custom booking engine, traveler interface, CRM, and payment settlement engine. It offers smaller travel resellers full control over their commissions and an online experience that is currently only available to the largest organizations.
Through their partnership, Xeni will leverage Techspian’s travel technology and industry experience as they build their Web 3.0 travel ecosystem.
“We are very pleased with this agreement. Xeni’s solutions and Techspian’s travel technology expertise put together enables us to set a new standard for our cooperation and deliver a unique offering for travel retailers and wholesalers across the globe, Furthermore, this partnership underscores our belief that future growth in the industry will come from companies that continually invest in improving the user experience.”
-Sameer Lodha, CEO & Co-founder of Techspian.
Rachel Obenshain, President & Co-founder of Xeni, said, Travel platform development is complex and requires a great deal of technical and industry knowledge. By leveraging Techspian’s travel domain expertise, we can build an ecosystem that democratizes access to reselling travel online.
The travel technology business Xeni, Inc. is based in New York City. Founders: Sachin Narode and Rachel Obenshain
Techspian, is a global IT service provider proficient in building software solutions using emerging technologies like AI and Data Science. Their software development efforts provide a seamless customer experience through its four center of excellence – Platform Engineering, Mobility, AI/ML Development, and Cloud Services. As a part of a software service offering, Techspian continues to share guidance, insights, and best practices with their readers via blogs, case studies, and webinars. Visit www.techspian.com to learn more.
enel x & ok2charge | March 15, 2022
Enel X, the advanced energy services arm of the Enel Group, and Ok2Charge announce a partnership under which Enel X provides Ok2Charge with co-branded smart electric vehicle charging stations to be installed across vacation rental properties worldwide, enabling guests to charge at the property rather than spending time searching for a charger. As the first solution designed specifically for the vacation rental market, the Ok2Charge smart EV charging platform integrates with major property management systems to provide an industry-first fully automated EV charging solution as a property amenity that can be deployed across a portfolio of managed properties.
The agreement delivers a turnkey charging solution for managers and owners of vacation rental properties who want to meet the needs of the rapidly increasing number of EV drivers."With demand for EVs continuing to grow, confidence with longer range battery electric vehicles, and the popularity of vacation destinations within driving distance, EV drivers want to know that they will have easy access to smart charging throughout their journey," said Giovanni Bertolino, Head of e-Mobility, Enel X North America. "Through our partnership with Ok2Charge, we're enabling EV drivers to travel on their own terms and providing them with peace of mind that they'll be able to charge at their destination.
The vacation rental market continues to expand as major rental companies like Airbnb report record growth. Recently, Airbnb reported that more than 850,000 listings include chargers among their amenities and more than 500,000 unique searches for EV chargers between June and December of that year were counted in 2021. In a recent Enel X survey, over 1500 JuiceBox customer participants shared their electric vehicle and charging preferences for driving-distance travel. Over 52% of respondents use Airbnb for their vacation rental plans, and additional findings include:
If rental properties could guarantee a Level 2 charge for their guests, 74% of respondents would drive their EV on more road trips.
81% of respondents shared that access to Level 2 charging influences their travel plans.
More than 67% of respondents stated that access to a DC fast charging station on route was very important for road travel that is more than 200 miles.
44% of respondents shared they drive their electric vehicle on road trips and 22% of respondents shared they sometimes drive their electric vehicles on road trips.
More than 76% of participants took up to 4 vacation road trips in the last year.
Ok2Charge selected Enel X due to Enel X's best-in-class EV charging hardware and open standards software to integrate with Ok2Charge's software platform. The Ok2Charge platform provides charging based on guest and reservation data to fully automate access and control. User-friendly reports can be exported for each location or portfolio wide, enabling property managers to monitor usage, energy consumption, and financial performance.
"We are pleased to partner with Enel X to offer smart EV charging as an amenity so our clients will be able to stand out from the competition in the crowded vacation rental market,This not only enables EV drivers to seamlessly charge their vehicles while on vacation, but it also reduces the environmental impact of tourism, a win/win."
-Ward Prickett, COO and co-founder of Ok2Charge
The Ok2Charge platform enables guests to select EV charging as an optional add-on amenity and provides an additional revenue stream for property owners and rental managers with remote visibility into real-time statistics in a centralized location – their property management system. The platform also ensures that only those guests who have selected the amenity will be authorized to charge their vehicles through a flexible payment structure paid through the Ok2Charge app, preventing unwanted use and unexpected energy costs. In certain markets, property owners can optimize energy demand to reduce costs and carbon emissions.
Property management software platforms such as Escapia, Guesty LiveRez, LMPM, Streamline, Track and VRM integrate Ok2Charge as their smart EV charging solution. This integration enables EV charging as an amenity to professional host and management companies that utilize these platforms across major booking OTA channels such as Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, Tripadvisor, Expedia, Agoda, direct booking websites and more.
"We're seeing an increase in travelers visiting from distances that can be travelled to by car that spend more time at our properties. Also, more people are driving electric vehicles, so partnering with OK2Charge and adding smart EV chargers to our properties was a no brainer," said Bob Hawkins, Vacation Company. "We've already experienced positive guest comments regarding the convenience of smart charging at the rental property."
With this agreement, Enel X and Ok2Charge, through partners which together manage thousands of rental properties across single-family, multi-family, and vacation rentals, are providing a comprehensive smart charging solution that provides drivers with accessible charging and property owners with a property management system to seamlessly integrate EV charging into the rental process and stand out in the competitive vacation rental market.
"We are excited to have provided this cutting-edge service to homeowners and vacation rental guests on the Gulf Coast at our Ocean Edge community last year, We look forward to offering smart solutions and services to more clients and customers in both real estate sales and vacation rentals as the market continues to grow."
-Glen Kaiser, with Kaiser Vacation Rentals.
About Enel X
Enel X is the Enel group's global business line that offers services to accelerate innovation and drive the energy transition. A world leader in the sector of advanced energy solutions, the brand Enel X manages services such as demand response with 7.7 GW of total capacity globally and 195 MW of storage capacity installed worldwide. In January 2022, a new Global Business Line fully dedicated to electric mobility was created, managing approximately 250,000 public and private charging ports for electric vehicles available all over the world, promoting and developing projects and solutions for the spread of e-Mobility in the countries in which Enel Group operates. For more information on Enel X eMobility please visit https://evcharging.enelx.com.
Ok2Charge provides a network of smart electric vehicle (EV) charging stations that bring clean energy to the last mile of vacation travel. OK2's platform integrates seamlessly with leading property management systems, while the charging stations can also work as standalone units, creating a brand-new revenue stream for properties and portfolios of every size. Plus, by making EV travel easier, OK2 encourages more drivers to switch to zero-emission vehicles — helping create a future in which long-distance vacation travel will be 100% carbon-neutral. Learn more about OK2's leading-edge technology at https://www.ok2charge.com.
388 Venture | May 27, 2022
Following extensive renovations, three storied boutique properties located in downtown Lenox are reopening together as part of The Lenox Collection, a newly reimagined family of inns connected by their deep historical roots in the town and elevated contextual design. As part of the reopening is Ophelia's, a 66-seat restaurant and bar offering farm-to-table comfort food in an intimate indoor-outdoor setting, with locally sourced ingredients and curated cocktail list. New York-based firm 388 Ventures acquired the properties in 2021 and brought on independent hotel management company, Life House, to lead design and branding, as well as oversee all hotel and F&B operations leveraging their tech-enabled management platform.
At the heart of the collection is the Whitlock - formally The Church Street Inn - built in 1771 by John Whitlock, a local farmer who turned his two-room farmhouse into an inn for stagecoach travelers. The property now takes cues from its natural surroundings with a rustic and warm feel reminiscent of its farmhouse origins. The Whitlock’s bar and restaurant, Ophelia’s, pays homage to the ingredients and labors of the hotel’s namesake. With locally-inspired farm-to-table cuisine with dishes featuring herbs & garnishes from local purveyors, Ophelia’s is already becoming a favorite among locals, guests, and downtown passerbys.
Located in the historic center of town is The Constance - formally the Rookwood Inn - which was built in 1825 as The Williams Tavern. In the 1880s it was purchased by Frederick Constance Peters, a businessman from England, who turned the property into ancillary lodging for owners of Lenox’s famed Gilded Age estates. The inn has been completely reimagined with an extensive renovation to restore and enhance the elegant charm and whimsical character of the storied property with the benefit of modern guest amenities.
On the north side of town is The Dewey - formally the Birchwood Inn - which was originally built by Israel Dewey, a founding member of Lenox’s Continental Congress Committee when the town was incorporated in 1767. Over the years, the site has taken on many lives, owned by various influential figures in the Berkshires. Today, the newly-reappointed inn carries on its rich tradition of hospitality with elevated guest room interiors and stately common areas.
About Life House
Life House is a vertically integrated hotel software & operations platform focused on increasing profitability and reliability for independent hoteliers. Life House was founded in 2017 as one of the only vertically integrated asset-light hotel companies backed by institutional venture and private equity investors. The company is ambitiously investing in operational systems to make it far more profitable, predictable, and seamless for owners while making the guest experience more reliable for travelers. Today the company has nearly 60 hotels in its portfolio across North America. For more information visit www.life-house.com.
About 388 Ventures
388 Ventures is a real estate investment firm focused on regional leisure destinations across the United States, with an emphasis on hospitality assets with differentiated market positioning. 388 Ventures invests primarily in lifestyle boutique product in the upper-upscale and luxury segment, with in-house development capabilities to take on transformative renovations. www.388ventures.com.