Hot air balloon tours in Cappadocia generate $43M

Daily Sabah | July 08, 2019

Hot air balloon tours, the most popular activity for tourists visiting Turkeys historical Cappadocia region, have generated about 43 million euros ($48.27 million) in the January-June period of this year. Tourists coming to Cappadocia, which has been on UNESCOs World Cultural Heritage List since 1985 with its fairy chimneys, natural rock formations, underground settlements, boutique hotels and rock-cut historical monasteries, have the opportunity to watch these eye-catching structures from the sky thanks to hot air balloon tours.The tours organized with hot air balloons taking off at sunrise every morning from the town of Göreme hosted 11,210 tourists in January this year, raising the number every month with 27,135 tourists in February, 30,972 in March, 41,171 in April, 53,365 in May and finally 68,256 tourists in June.

Spotlight

Many travelers tell us that the air travel industry feels vast and complicated; that it’s hard to feel informed, let alone empowered about making the right choice when navigating the open skies. In recent years the industry has seen carriers consolidate, air ticket prices fluctuate widely, and the choices of seat space multiply at a time when legroom has shrunk. All the while, fare unbundling has become the “norm.” Against the backdrop of all these changes, a number of interesting trends have emerged trends that can help travelers better understand when to purchase tickets, what the options include, and what prices they can expect for those tickets. We believe in helping our travelers feel informed and empowered to make great travel decisions for whatever their travel occasion may be.


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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Odigoo Launches A New Way To Travel The World

Odigoo Travel | April 12, 2022

Odigoo Travel announced the launching of its brand new environmentally conscious website OdigooTravel.com. Odigoo Travel is a company focused on offering extraordinary experiences and authentic human encounters to their customers, as well as activities that reconnect them with nature while traveling. Odigo means "guide" in Greek, and that's what Odigoo Travel ultimately is for their customers, a guiding light that helps conscious travelers to find a new way to travel the world. When Odigoo was conceived as a brand, its founders thought immediately about achieving sustainability. They strongly believe that brands should be focused on giving back more than they took from society. In the travel industry, sustainability must be a core value since the most important assets are those provided by nature. "Odigoo is the wish to take care of our destinations and the customers who trust us; having top quality service providers and business partners who also share our values; and working with local communities to support and enhance their development," says Our team of travel enthusiasts have decided to embark on the ambitious project of showing our customers another dimension of your favorite travel destinations, rediscovering them in a different way, a greener way!" -Florence Sutra, CEO at Odigoo Travel Odigoo Travel helps travelers to: Discover the adventure inside them by taking them to breathtaking places with exciting activities. Reconnect with nature, highlighting the extraordinary biodiversity of our destinations. Get closer to a variety of animal species in the wild, with enriching activities such as birdwatching and whale watching. Get closer to the local culture, promoting a more conscious tourism. Find the best information, advice and products to make the most of their traveling time. Odigoo Travel started operations in 2021, offering a greener way of traveling to all its customers. For more information, visit OdigooTravel.com. About Odigoo Travel Odigoo Travel is a team of international tourism professionals based in Cancun, Mexico. Odigoo Travel has built a network of travel services that allows it to offer a new, environmentally conscious way of traveling. Odigoo Travel offers its services in English, Spanish, and French to all its customers from day one.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

LNER Launches International Website Making Travel Simpler for Overseas Tourists

LNER | February 14, 2022

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) is proud to announce the launch of its new international website, making travel simpler and smarter for overseas customers. The new website coincides with the removal of pre-departure testing and quarantine rules for vaccinated people arriving in England or Scotland from 11 February 2022. In a move that expands LNER’s global market, customers in 10 countries, including China, Japan, Spain, South Korea and Italy, are among the first to benefit when booking directly online. LNER’s new search and booking engine offers international customers in those countries an option to purchase train tickets using their language and currency. The LNER.co.uk website will automatically detect those customers who are searching outside of the UK and will redirect them to the customised site to improve their online booking experience. The website launch comes as LNER reintroduces its full timetable, excluding pre-planned engineering works, meaning customers can discover destinations across the full 956-miles of East Coast route. LNER has been working with travel tech company and rail retailer, Omio, to develop the site, which has the capability to operate in up to 20 languages and 26 currencies, including Euros, Korean Won and Japanese Yen or by using a payment method recognised in the home country. “Our mission is to transform rail travel, inspiring more people to explore the beauty of England and Scotland with our world-class Azuma trains. The launch of our international website means we are offering our customers the best possible experience throughout their journey from the moment they look to make a reservation, to their journey onboard to the time they arrive at their destination." -David Horne, Managing Director at LNER We are continuing to see strong demand for customers travelling with LNER for leisure, which is contributing to a strong recovery from the pandemic. Our new international website will now make it easier for even more visitors from overseas to travel with LNER and explore our fantastic destinations. Data from the Office for National Statistics show there were 40.9 million visits to the UK in 2019, with overseas visitors spending £28.4 billion, when almost a quarter travelled by rail during their stay. Many of the top tourist destinations feature on LNER’s East Coast route, including London, Edinburgh, Leeds, York, Newcastle and Inverness. The LNER route is also home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the country, from the Scottish Highlands to the Northumberland coastline and the many towns and cities along the way. Figures from the Office of Rail and Road further showed that LNER customer numbers in July to September 2021 recovered to 89.6 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, nearly 20 percentage points higher than any other operator, with LNER working hard to build on that success. Sally Balcombe, Chief Executive at VisitBritain said: This new initiative will help to boost future bookings by making it much easier for international visitors to plan their trips. Removing barriers to travel also promotes a message of welcome and will encourage visitors to explore more, travel further and stay longer, helping to drive tourism across more of the country, boosting local economies. VisitScotland is also welcoming the move. Data from 2019, pre-pandemic, shows there were 3.4 million overnight international trips to Scotland, of which around a third came from Europe, with a £2.5bn spend from overnight international trips of which 36 per cent was from Europe. “We welcome the launch of LNER’s new international website to make it easier for visitors to book and travel by rail. Train travel is a central part of creating a sustainable tourism destination in Scotland and we support any moves which will encourage its use, while helping to boost Scottish tourism as it recovers from the impact of COVID-19.” -Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland LNER is welcoming even more customers back to rail in many ways. ‘Seat Sure’ enables customers to travel reassured they have the comfort of a seat for the duration of their journey. Once onboard, they’ll enjoy the very best in LNER hospitality and customer service, with a wide range of food and drink, sourced locally along the route, served to their seat in both First Class and Standard. For visitors and customers looking for inspiration to make eco-friendly choices, LNER has launched a ‘Green Guide’ showcasing the best places to stay, eat and drink during trips to London, Newcastle or Edinburgh. https://www.lner.co.uk/our-destinations/travel-inspiration/green-guides/ LNER’s new Azuma fleet is delivering significant environmental benefits with trains running using overhead electric wires along the majority of the East Coast route, delivering the greenest form of motorised public transport. To ensure customers can travel with confidence, enhanced levels of cleaning continue to be carried out at LNER managed stations and onboard trains. About LNER London North Eastern Railway (LNER) is on a mission to transform rail travel for the customers and communities we serve. Our new modern Azuma fleet of trains will continue the LNER tradition of setting new, higher standards in comfort, reliability and customer experience. LNER calls at more than 50 stations along the East Coast route, totalling 956 miles including major towns and cities between London, the East Midlands, Yorkshire, North East of England and Scotland.

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

TRAWICK INTERNATIONAL NAMED TOP TRAVEL INSURANCE PROVIDER OF 2021 BY SQUAREMOUTH

TRAWICK INTERNATIONAL | February 15, 2022

Trawick International (Trawick) has been named Top-Selling Travel Insurance Provider for 2021 by the popular travel insurance comparison site, Squaremouth. The announcement cites total premium sold, number of policies sold, overall customer rating, and percent of negative reviews to sales as key indicators. In 2021, the top-selling Trawick plan on Squaremouth was Safe Travels Voyager, designed for travelers wanting the highest available benefit limits. Trawick has been ranked number one on Squaremouth's monthly Top-Selling Travel Insurance Providers - Ranked by Premium Sold list for 17 consecutive months, beginning September 2020 through January 2022. Previously, Trawick held the third spot on the annual list for 2020. "We are thrilled to top the 2021 Squaremouth list. The Trawick team is passionate about designing and offering travel insurance plans at competitive rates with the most sought-after coverage. Moving up from the third spot in 2020 to the top spot in 2021 indicates that travelers around the world trust Trawick to be there for them when they need it most, and for that, we are grateful." -Daryl Trawick, Founder and President, Trawick International Bailey Foster, Vice President of Trip Insurance, Trawick International, added, This is an exciting time for Trawick. Holding the top spot is not something we take for granted. We will keep innovating and improving our offerings to provide travelers with industry-leading products and services. We are thankful for our partnership with Squaremouth and to everyone who put their trust in us. In addition to Safe Travels Voyager, Trawick offers a diverse portfolio of international and domestic travel insurance plans. In 2021, more than 650,000 travelers enrolled in a Trawick plan. About Trawick International Trawick International has been a leading provider of travel insurance and other assistance services for nearly 25 years. The Company offers a full suite of innovative travel, travel medical, and student insurance, as well as emergency assistance services. For more, visit www.trawickinternational.com. About Squaremouth Squaremouth.com has insured over two million travelers. Using Squaremouth's intuitive quoting and comparison engine, award-winning support team, and verified customer reviews, travelers can save time and money to find the best travel insurance policy for their trip. For more, visit www.squaremouth.com.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Xeni Partners with Techspian for Its Web 3.0 Travel Ecosystem

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. About Xeni The travel technology business Xeni, Inc. is based in New York City. Founders: Sachin Narode and Rachel Obenshain About Techspian 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.

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Spotlight

Many travelers tell us that the air travel industry feels vast and complicated; that it’s hard to feel informed, let alone empowered about making the right choice when navigating the open skies. In recent years the industry has seen carriers consolidate, air ticket prices fluctuate widely, and the choices of seat space multiply at a time when legroom has shrunk. All the while, fare unbundling has become the “norm.” Against the backdrop of all these changes, a number of interesting trends have emerged trends that can help travelers better understand when to purchase tickets, what the options include, and what prices they can expect for those tickets. We believe in helping our travelers feel informed and empowered to make great travel decisions for whatever their travel occasion may be.

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