Healthy demand for travel advisors

Travel Weekly | July 29, 2019

The annual portrait surveys American travelers defined as U.S. adults who have taken at least one overnight trip 75 miles or more from home in the previous 12 months and have a household income of $50,000 or more -- and tracks trends, intent to travel and more. Its in its 29th year.According to this year's survey, 16% of respondents used an advisor for at least one vacation in the past year, and 19% plan to use one in the next two years.Of those who have worked with an agent in the past year or plan to do so in the next two, most said they work with them for their knowledge of destinations and their ability to provide an extra level of service when things go wrong (85% of respondents identified each of those reasons). A close third was the ability to take the hassle out of booking travel (84%). Rounding out the top five at 81% each were knowledge of travel service providers within the destination and recommendations that assure high-quality travel experiences.

Spotlight

The French National Railway Corporation — the Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français, or SNCF RÉSEAU — is a state-owned company that operates France’s world class railway system. SNCF Réseau oversees the management and maintenance of 30,000 kilometers of railway line with 15,000 trains running daily. With ridership increa


Other News
COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Despegar to Acquire 100% of Viajanet, an Online Travel Agency in Brazil

Despegar | May 09, 2022

Despegar.com, Corp. (NYSE: DESP) (“Despegar”), the leading online travel company in Latin America, announced that it has agreed to acquire TVLX Viagens e Turismo S.A (“Viajanet”), one of the leading online travel agencies in Brazil, for a total consideration of approximately US$15 million and subject to customary closing conditions. Under the terms of the agreement, 60% of the purchase price will be payable at closing, 20% in 24 months and the remaining 20% in 36 months.Viajanet recorded audited revenues of approximately US$30 million in 2019. During 2021, Viajanet’s online sales accounted for approximately 98% of total sales, with 88% of Gross Bookings originated in the B2C channel and the remainder via the B2B channel. In addition, 98% of Gross Bookings were within the Air segment of Brazil’s travel market, giving Despegar the opportunity to cross-sell its accommodation and other non-air product inventory to Viajanet’s existing customers. “The acquisition of Viajanet, our third in the last two years in Brazil, is another step in our regional consolidation strategy that will enable us to deploy more of Despegar’s higher-margin non-air inventory through a new brand and its customer base while bolstering our team in the country. We expect to capture other significant synergies by leveraging Despegar’s technology platform to enhance Viajanet’s conversion rates and performance marketing capabilities, among other benefits.” -Mr. Marcelo Grether, Chief M&A & New Business Officer of Despegar, Mr. Paulo Nascimento, Chief Executive Officer of Viajanet, added: We are thrilled to be joining the team at Despegar, a leading player in LatAm’s travel market. Becoming part of Despegar will give our customers access to a larger and more diverse inventory of travel products while also benefiting from the innovative technological capabilities behind its leading travel site. The closing of the transaction is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2022. About Despegar.com Despegar is the leading online travel company in Latin America. For over two decades, it has revolutionized the tourism industry through technology. With its continuous commitment to the development of the sector, Despegar today is comprised of a consolidated Group that includes Best Day, Viajes Falabella and Koin, (the Company’s fintech business) in turn becoming one of the most relevant companies in the region and able to offer a tailor-made experience for more than 29 million customers. Despegar operates in 20 countries in the region, accompanying Latin Americans from the moment they dream of traveling until they share their memories. With the purpose of improving people's lives and transforming the shopping experience, it has developed alternative payment methods and financing, democratizing access to consumption and bringing Latin Americans closer to their next travel experience. Despegar is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: DESP). For more information, please visit www.despegar.com.

Read More

TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Internova Travel Group Enhances BookHuman.Travel Site to Foster Human Connection

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.

Read More

HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Curator Hotel & Resort Collection Welcomes Six New Members, Offering Discerning Travelers Unique Experiences Across the U.S

Curator Hotel & Resort Collection | February 01, 2022

Curator Hotel & Resort Collection ("Curator") is kicking off the New Year by welcoming six new members to its growing portfolio of independent hotels and resorts. Spanning California, Vermont, Colorado, and Hawaii, these destinations offer unique experiences with nature as a backdrop, allowing guests to align mind, body, and spirit. "We are thrilled to jumpstart the New Year by welcoming these members to our growing portfolio of more than 85 hotels and resorts, The addition of these hotels, along with our first dining experience member, the Napa Valley Wine Train, is a testament to our offerings. We are proud to have these members in our collection as they all provide travelers with experiences that are shaping the new age of travel." -said Jennifer Barnwell, President of Curator Hotel & Resort Collection Curator is following up an immensely successful year by representing more than hotels and resorts. With the addition of the Napa Valley Wine Train, the collection creates a space for all independents in the hospitality industry who have distinct and unique offerings that travelers crave. "As a founding member of Curator with eighteen properties in the collection, we have experienced firsthand the incredible value and many benefits that it provides for independents,We are thrilled to be adding The Napa Valley Wine Train to Curator so it can also benefit from best-in-class technology and services, as well as the ability to tap into Curator's vendor expertise and negotiating power." -Jake Donoghue, CEO of Noble House Hotels & Resorts. The newest members of Curator Hotel & Resort Collection include: Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa (La Jolla, California) - Solo travelers, couples, and friends seeking an escape to reconnect will enjoy Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa. This hacienda-style resort is located between San Diego's seaside villages of La Jolla and Del Mar. It features 10 acres of beautiful green gardens, quiet courtyards, warm fireplaces, and world-class amenities. Guests can also experience the flavors of the West Coast at the hotel's dining venues, from breakfast delights at Greenfinch Restaurant & Bar to coastal-inspired dishes at Mustangs & Burros. Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa is managed by Noble House Hotels & Resorts. Gateway Canyons Resort (Gateway, Colorado) - Colorado's Gateway Canyons Resort is where luxury and adventure travel meet. Gateway Canyons offers breathtaking views of the high-desert landscape and is located right in the heart of red rock country, where endless outdoor adventures like off-road touring, horseback riding and mountain biking await travelers. The Resort is managed by Noble House Hotels & Resorts. Napa Valley Wine Train (Napa, California) - Travelers are invited to sip, savor, and enjoy an elegant, 36-mile roundtrip train ride through California's Wine Country. This vintage wine train has been operating since 1864 and features everything from gourmet meals to tours with sweeping views of Napa Valley; there are even hidden gems not located on traditional maps. Managed by Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Napa Valley Wine Train also offers hotel and train packages for travelers wanting to extend their stay. Maui Beach Hotel (Kahului, Hawaii) - Experience the beauty of Maui on the shores of Kahului Bay at Maui Beach Hotel. Located just five minutes away from the Kahului Airport, the hotel is at the heart of Maui. It gives travelers access to top attractions, including Iao Valley, Wailuku and the infamous Road to Hana. Travelers who choose Maui Beach Hotel are in for an unmatched and rejuvenating cultural experience. Springboard Hospitality Group manages Maui Beach Hotel. Villa Florence (San Francisco, California) - Welcoming travelers since 1908, Villa Florence is urban elegance nestled in the heart of the sights and sounds of San Francisco. Attractions like Union Square, The Embarcadero, Chinatown, and Museum of Modern Art are within walking distance of the hotel - perfect for travelers looking to explore a new destination. Spire Hospitality manages Villa Florence. Topnotch Resort (Stowe, Vermont) - Travelers seeking an 'off the grid' escape will enjoy Topnotch Resort's exclusive location nestled in New England's Green Mountains. This luxurious resort and spa offers suites, resort homes, a Topnotch Tennis Academy, custom spa treatments and a casual dining experience that encourages guests to create memories together. Nature lovers will also enjoy the great outdoors with activities like fishing for trout in the Lamoille River or riding a horse-drawn sleigh through Vermont's countryside. Spire Hospitality manages the Resort. For more information on Curator Hotel & Resort Collection, visit www.CuratorHotelsandResorts.com. About Curator Hotel & Resort Collection Curator Hotel & Resort Collection is a distinct collection of hand-selected small brands and independent lifestyle hotels and resorts, founded by Pebblebrook Hotel Trust and a group of industry-leading hotel operators. Curator provides lifestyle hotels the platform to come together and tap into cost saving agreements, new products, services and technologies, and benchmarking reports while allowing their members the freedom to retain what makes their hotels unique. In addition to Pebblebrook, the founding members of Curator include Davidson Hospitality Group, Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Provenance, Sage Hospitality Group, Springboard Hospitality, and Viceroy Hotels & Resorts. For more information, visit www.curatorhotelsandresorts.com and follow us at @CuratorHotelCollection. About Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Ltd. Built upon a philosophy that emphasizes location, distinction, and soul, Noble House Hotels & Resorts dedicates itself to creating and managing exceptional properties that celebrate their local communities and the adventures to be had within them. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington and continually growing, the Noble House portfolio features a luxury and upper upscale portfolio of 24 distinct and visually captivating hotel properties; over 66 restaurants, bars, and lounges; the Napa Valley Wine Train; and a collection of spas, marinas, and private residences throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. A range of beachfront resorts spanning California and Florida; luxury retreats in Jackson Hole, WY, British Columbia, and Colorado; and award-winning urban hotels in Seattle and San Francisco comprise the diverse collection. Centered within destinations worthy of every bucket list and layered with unique amenities that inspire adventure, the curated collection of one-of-a-kind hotels, resorts, and adventures are known for creating unforgettable travel experiences. For more information, visit www.noblehousehotels.com or call Noble House Hotels & Resorts at 877.NOBLE.TRIP. About Pebblebrook Hotel Trust Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (NYSE: PEB) is a publicly traded real estate investment trust ("REIT") and the largest owner of urban and resort lifestyle hotels and resorts in the United States. The Company owns 53 hotels and resorts, totaling approximately 13,200 guest rooms across 15 urban and resort markets. For more information, visit www.pebblebrookhotels.com and follow us at @PebblebrookPEB. About Spire Hospitality Spire Hospitality is a nationally recognized third-party hotel management company specializing in creating value for our hotel investors while delivering exceptional guest experiences and providing an outstanding place to work. The Irving, TX-based company's diverse portfolio of properties includes unique independent hotels and highly respected brands, including Marriott, Hilton and IHG. Spire is part of the AWH Partners family, which also includes AWH Development, a full-service real estate development company headquartered in New York. With more than 35 years of hotel operating experience, Spire is committed to preserving, protecting, and enhancing hotel real estate value.For more information, visit www.spirehotels.com. About Springboard Hospitality For more than 30 years, Springboard Hospitality, previously known as OLS Hotels & Resorts, has transformed people, properties, and communities as a leader in the hospitality industry managing and developing innovative boutique and branded properties throughout the U.S. With dual offices in Honolulu and Los Angeles, Springboard operates more than 38 properties across 10 states. Led by technology entrepreneur Ben Rafter, Springboard specializes in using analytics and technology with its Hospitality Intelligence (H.I.) to ensure properties are optimizing return on investment. The company offers a full spectrum of hotel services with expertise in creative management, marketing, sales, revenue management, food and beverage and more. The Springboard Hospitality team is committed to going above and beyond with high-touch, personalized service in every aspect of its operations, from its interactions with guests to its relationships with owners. For more information, visit www.springboardhospitality.com.

Read More

HOSPITALITY TRENDS

BitNile Holdings, through Its Subsidiary Ault Alliance, Acquires a Portfolio of Four Marriott and Hilton Hotels for $69 Million

BitNile Holdings, Inc. | December 27, 2021

(NYSE American: NILE), a diversified holding company (“BitNile” or the “Company”), announced that its subsidiary, Ault Alliance, Inc. (“Ault Alliance”) has, through its subsidiary Ault Global Real Estate Equities, Inc. (“AGREE”), acquired three hotels located in Middleton, WI, a suburb of Madison, and one hotel in Rockford, IL. Consisting of an aggregate of 526 rooms, the acquisition includes two Marriott hotels (a Courtyard by Marriott and a Residence Inn by Marriott) and two Hilton Garden Inn hotels (collectively, the “Hotels”). Ault Alliance formed AGREE earlier in 2021 to invest in commercial real estate, including hospitality and multi-family housing properties, with a concentration in the middle-market segment. Christopher Wu is the President of Ault Alliance and the Chief Executive Officer of AGREE. This acquisition constitutes AGREE’s first commercial real estate investment, consisting of a 136-room Courtyard by Marriott, a 133-room Hilton Garden Inn and a 122-room Residence Inn by Marriott in Middleton, WI, as well as a 135-room Hilton Garden Inn in Rockford, IL. The Company paid $69 million for the Hotels, with $23.9 million paid by the Company at closing in cash; the balance of the purchase price was financed through construction loan agreements. Over the next 18 months, AGREE plans to renovate the Hotels through a $13.7 million property improvement plan. The Hotels will be managed by GF Hotels & Resorts, a leading hotel management company with a national footprint. AGREE has partnered with Joshua Caspi of Caspi Development, a real estate developer based in New York with expertise investing in hospitality, office, and multi-family experience developments. The Company has previously co-invested with Caspi Development in the Hotel Barrière Le Fouquet’s New York at 456 Greenwich Street, New York, NY. Mr. Wu stated, We are extremely pleased to acquire this premium-branded and stabilized portfolio of assets in an attractive and growing region of the country, set in a state capital and anchored by a major state university, as our first acquisition through AGREE. We believe these assets will provide AGREE and thereby the Company with attractive yields and potentially serve as a model for other commercial real estate transactions. We are also excited to partner with Joshua Caspi, a real estate developer and investor who brings considerable expertise, to help us manage and grow our real estate portfolio. “Bringing a team together like this has been my vision for 20 years and I am enthused and proud to say we have made this a reality today. We have a team of professionals to execute and bring these four hotels to their peak performance. We look forward to growing our hotel portfolio.” -The Company’s Founder and Executive Chairman, Milton “Todd” Ault, III The Company previously announced a plan to split into two public companies by distributing the equity of Ault Alliance to its stockholders. Following the spin-off of Ault Alliance, the Company, through its BitNile, Inc. subsidiary, will be a pure-play provider of Bitcoin mining and data center operations, pursuing DeFi-related initiatives. Ault Alliance will maintain its focus on the Company’s legacy businesses and more recently initiated operations, including lending and investing in the real estate and distressed asset spaces as well as, among others, defense, and power solutions, including electric vehicle charging products. For more information on BitNile Holdings and its subsidiaries, the Company recommends that stockholders, investors, and any other interested parties read the Company’s public filings and press releases available under the Investor Relations section at www.BitNile.com or available at www.sec.gov. About BitNile Holdings, Inc. BitNile Holdings, Inc. is a diversified holding company pursuing growth by acquiring undervalued businesses and disruptive technologies with a global impact. Through its wholly and majority-owned subsidiaries and strategic investments, the Company owns and operates a data center at which it mines Bitcoin and provides mission-critical products that support a diverse range of industries, including defense/aerospace, industrial, automotive, telecommunications, medical/biopharma, and textiles. In addition, the Company extends credit to select entrepreneurial businesses through a licensed lending subsidiary. BitNile Holdings’ headquarters are located at 11411 Southern Highlands Parkway, Suite 240, Las Vegas, NV 89141; www.BitNile.com.

Read More

Spotlight

The French National Railway Corporation — the Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français, or SNCF RÉSEAU — is a state-owned company that operates France’s world class railway system. SNCF Réseau oversees the management and maintenance of 30,000 kilometers of railway line with 15,000 trains running daily. With ridership increa

Resources