Hospitality Trends

IHG Hotels & Resorts Unveils a New Vision for Loyalty

When the world hit pause on travel, IHG Hotels & Resorts saw an opportunity to reconnect and learn from its guests and owners. The company made big, bold investments, transforming its portfolio with exciting brands and creating richer experiences – all under a fresh IHG Hotels & Resorts masterbrand.

As guests embark on a new era of travel and the industry continues to recover, the company turns to its pioneering loyalty program and is making one of its most significant investments to date.Over the last few years, IHG Rewards has continued to evolve to meet the needs of current and future members. World-class partnerships, such as exclusive stays with Mr & Mrs Smith, a growing brand portfolio, and dynamic Reward Night pricing have given guests greater value and flexibility.

Today, IHG Rewards, the industry's first and one of world's largest hotel loyalty programs, is sharing the first of many changes that will be introduced in the coming months. The new tier and bonus point earning structure – which will go live during March – is designed to help members earn more points faster and have more ways to use them than ever before. These changes, the first in a series of enhancements, include:

  • Introducing a new Gold Elite tier starting at 20 nights, with an industry-leading 40% bonus point structure
  • Renaming of the 'Spire Elite' tier to 'Diamond Elite' to simplify member recognition and understanding of our highest tier, which will retain our best-in-class 100% bonus point structure 
  • Improving bonus point earn levels across all other Elite tiers

 "If there's anything that has united the world in the last two years, it's the realization that no virtual platform can replicate the value of travel and making memories with those we love. Travel is its own biggest reward, and that's really at the heart of what we're doing with our loyalty program. Each time our members choose to stay at our hotels, we are increasing their opportunity to travel more, experience more, and reap benefits they won't get anywhere else. Our distinct portfolio of brands recognizes no two travelers are the same, helping guests and members make the right decision for all their travel needs."

-Keith Barr, Chief Executive Officer, IHG Hotels & Resorts

We've made a lot of developments in the loyalty space over the years, but travel and hospitality have evolved considerably, and our guests' needs are changing. These changes are just the start as we prepare to fully relaunch a truly transformed program later this year. We'll continue elevating and enhancing our loyalty offerings with iconic brand partnerships and extensions, tailored experiences for our customers, enhanced benefits and so much more."

IHG Rewards members' stays beginning January 1, 2022 will count toward the new-and-improved status when the program launches. To learn more, please visit ihg.com/newrewards.

About IHG Hotels & Resorts
IHG Hotels & Resorts [LON:IHG,NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global hospitality company, with a purpose to provide True Hospitality for Good.With a family of 17 hotel brands and IHG Rewards, one of the world's largest hotel loyalty programmes, IHG has over 6,000 open hotels in more than 100 countries, and a further 1,800 in the development pipeline.Luxury & Lifestyle: Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, Regent Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Vignette Collection, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Hotel Indigo Premium: voco Hotels, HUALUXE Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, EVEN Hotels Essentials: Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express, avid hotelsSuites: Atwell Suites, Staybridge Suites,  Holiday Inn Club Vacations, Candlewood Suites InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated and registered in England and Wales. Approximately 350,000 people work across IHG's hotels and corporate offices globally. Visit us online for more about our hotels and reservations and IHG Rewards. For our latest news, visit our Newsroom and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

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Travel Technology, Destination and Tourism

Exodus Adventure Travels Announces New Trips in Partnership with Royal Canadian Geographic Society

PR Newswire | January 23, 2024

Exodus Adventure Travels, the international award-winning leader in adventure travel, today announced its new 2024 RCGS Quests trips, a series of expert-led tours developed in partnership with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. These limited edition, small group trips are what travel legends are made of – adventures that are designed to offer travelers unparalleled opportunities to explore some of the planet's most awe-inspiring destinations and led by noted hosts in their respective fields. This year's line-up features such noted hosts as World Elephant Day co-founder, Patricia Sims; bestselling author, Robin Esrock; Indigenous education advocate, Charlene Bearhead, and others. "We are honored to partner with The Royal Canadian Geographical Society on these highly anticipated adventures," said Sam Seward, President at Exodus Adventure Travels. "This is our third year operating our RCGS Quests program, with continued demand to explore further and experience more, pushing these trips to new heights and featuring another stellar line-up of hosts to add even more depth to each itinerary." Exodus' 2024 RCGS Quests Series features the following six adventures: RCGS: Highlights of the Amalfi Coast with Scott Forsyth Discover the land of la dolce vita for a wondrous week on the Amalfi Coast led by an expert local guide and hosted by professional photographer and fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Scott Forsyth. Explore one of Europe's most dramatic stretches of coastline and be spellbound by this land's natural beauty and cultural treasures. The Host: Scott Forsyth is an award-winning photographer who specializes in Canadian landscapes. Devoted to exploring Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific and Arctic Ocean coastlines, Scott is a Fellow of both the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and the Explorer's Club and is Canadian Geographic's Photographer-In-Residence. Eight-day itinerary priced from $2,240 USD. Departing April 6, 2024 RCGS: Classic Kenya 4WD Safari with Patricia Sims No country, perhaps, is more synonymous with a classic African safari than Kenya. Step into scenes from 'Out of Africa' as you explore Kenya's best safari sites led by an expert local safari guide and hosted by award-winning Canadian filmmaker, Royal Canadian Geographical Society fellow and World Elephant Day co-founder, Patricia Sims. The Host: Patricia Sims is the co-founder of the annual World Elephant Day (Aug. 12), a global awareness campaign that brings attention to the critical threats facing elephants. From swimming with wild dolphins and whales in oceans around the world to getting up close and personal with monkeys in the jungles of Borneo and elephants of Thailand, Patricia is also an award-winning filmmaker who always has a passionate eye on conservation. Patricia is a Fellow International of The Explorers Club and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Seven-day itinerary priced from US$4,649 Departing August 10, 2024 RCGS: A Week in Jordan with Sarah Legault Explore the wondrous historical and archaeological highlights of Jordan on this week-long adventure. From the incredible history of the Wadi Rum Desert to strolling through ancient Roman cities and floating in the Dead Sea, this Jordanian adventure contains all the highlights of this fascinating country. It is led by an expert local guide and hosted by Vice President of Philanthropy for the RCGS, Sarah Legault. The Host: Sarah Legault has been the head of advancement at the Royal Canadian Geographical Society since 2018 and has worked at charitable organizations throughout her career. Her vast understanding of the Society, Canadian Geographic and all associated programs is extraordinary. As the current Vice President of Philanthropy and Fellow of the RCGS, Sarah's mission-aligned values of environment, people, culture, and geographical literacy support engaging and forward-thinking initiatives which she always is keen to share and discuss. Seven-day itinerary priced from US$2,550 Departing October 19, 2024 RCGS: Rome, Assisi & Magical Umbria – Premium Adventure with Robin Esrock Explore Rome and Assisi's historic landmarks and classical ruins. Walk through Italy's unspoiled countryside staying in a picturesque four-star resort in the hills of Umbria, led by an expert local guide and hosted by bestselling author, TV host, public speaker and Royal Canadian Geographical Society Fellow Robin Esrock. The Host: Dubbed "King of the Bucket List" by Travel + Leisure, Robin Esrock's success as a global adventurer, travel writer, bestselling author and international TV personality started with a one-year solo round-the-world backpacking adventure to 24 countries. During this year, Robin uploaded weekly reports, photography, videos, reviews, and interviews with every person he met. In doing so, he ushered in a new era of multi-platform, switched-on wired-in travel journalism, leading to adventures beyond his wildest dreams. Robin's stories have been published in noted publications worldwide, including National Geographic Traveler, The Guardian, Chicago Tribune, Toronto Star, Reader's Digest, and more. Eight-day itinerary priced from US$4,050 Departing October 19, 2024 RCGS: Egypt Nile Cruise with Charlene Bearhead Follow in the footsteps of the ancient pharaohs and ride the sands of time back thousands of years on this classic Egypt Nile cruise led by an expert local guide and hosted by Indigenous education advocate, author, Vice President of Learning and Reconciliation at Canadian Geographic, and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Charlene Bearhead. With ancient tombs and mysteries around every bend, unrivaled legacy and mind-blowing history await. The Host: Charlene Bearhead is an Indigenous education advocate and author with over 30 years of regional, national and international experience. Previously Charlene served as education days coordinator for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, education coordinator for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, education advisor for the Canadian Geographic Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada, a member of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights Indigenous Education working group, and the first education lead for both the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba and the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre at UBC. She is also the co-author of the children's book series Siha Tooskin Knows. Eight-day itinerary priced from US$2,380 Departing November 16, 2024 RCGS: Highlights of Vietnam with Lynn Moorman Discover the complex culture and history of Vietnam on this intoxicating exploration of Vietnamese life highlighted by superb landscapes and amazing cuisine. Led by an expert local guide and hosted by Lynn Moorman, a lifelong geographer with a love for exploring remote landscapes and environments. The Host: Lynn Moorman is a prominent geographer and a professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Mount Royal University, in Calgary, Canada. Lynn's teaching and research interests lie at the intersection of geography, learning sciences and applied visualization technologies, including virtual and augmented reality. Her work has taken her to the highlands of northern Vietnam, to map agricultural productivity, to the frozen Arctic Ocean where she works with Inuit in Canadian Arctic communities to use near-real time satellite imagery to keep ice travel safe. Lynn is a Fellow, former Board member and current Chair of the Research Committee of the RCGS. 10-day itinerary priced from US$2,170 Departing November 17, 2024

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Travel Technology, Airlines and Airports

Trip.com Group and LATAM Airlines Group Partner to Enhance Travel Experience Through NDC Technology

PR Newswire | January 22, 2024

Trip.com Group, a leading travel service provider, announced today the signing of a new NDC agreement with LATAM Airlines Group. This agreement between the two companies aims to provide a contemporary and streamlined ticketing experience for global travellers. It also offers unparalleled connectivity to over 144 destinations covered by LATAM Airlines across 22 countries and regions, including Latin America, the Caribbean, North America, Europe, Africa, and Oceania. The key benefit of this agreement is the adoption of NDC standard technology. This technology gives customers access to a complete and more comprehensive selection of airline offerings and the option to buy additional products, services, and add-ons such as baggage allowance and seats. Moreover, customers can access a broader range of ancillary services and more detailed information by browsing the change and cancellation policy section during checkout, leading to improved Trip.com Group and LATAM Airlines Group's after-sales services. Juan Villanova, Sales Manager of Trip.com for Spain and Latin America, comments: "Trip.com is a cutting-edge online travel company that leads the way in technology. Our commitment is to improve our product offerings to guarantee the highest customer satisfaction. With this tech solution, our passengers will have access to an improved and more competitive selection of flights and products." The agreement will include integrating a shopping engine for ticket sales via some of Trip.com Group's leading brands, offering a cost advantage to both suppliers and customers. Henk Van der Velde, Regional Director for Southern Europe and Latin America for Trip.com Group's flight Department, adds: "We are delighted to collaborate with LATAM Airlines Group in the implementation of an NDC standard, and offer solutions for everyone via a shopping engine, which has yielded excellent results. I look forward to continuing this collaboration and bringing new features that positively impact our customer's travel experience." Andreas Schek, Vice President of Sales and Branding of LATAM Airlines Group, adds: "We are proud of this collaboration with Trip.com Group on the implementation of the NDC standard, as it allows us to explore ways to enhance its efficiency further. This is a significant milestone in the future of distribution that will benefit our global customers."

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Travel Technology, Hospitality Management

OsaBus Seeks Dynamic Partnership with US-Based Tour Operator to Offer Exclusive European Tours

Business Wire | January 30, 2024

OsaBus, a distinguished charter bus rental company in Europe, is thrilled to announce its quest for a strategic partnership with a US-based tour operator. Specializing in passenger transportation services across more than 60 premier destinations in Europe, OsaBus has earned its reputation as a leader in the industry. As a licensed tour operator, the company crafts and operates its own tours, providing unforgettable experiences for travelers exploring the diverse landscapes of Europe. The primary focus of OsaBus's expansion strategy is to introduce exclusive European tours tailored specifically for US travelers. With a commitment to delivering high-quality and immersive journeys, the company is actively seeking a dynamic US-based tour operator as a strategic partner. This collaboration aims to bring the richness of European travel experiences to a wider audience in the United States. "We believe there is immense potential in offering European tours to US travelers, and we are actively seeking a partner who shares our vision and passion for creating extraordinary travel experiences," says Oskars Lusis, CEO at OsaBus. "Our goal is to establish a collaborative relationship with a US-based tour operator who can effectively distribute our tours and other services, enhancing accessibility for American travelers seeking authentic European adventres." OsaBus is actively seeking affiliate partners throughout the entire United States, with a primary emphasis on identifying a dynamic and forward-thinking American tour operator as a key collaborator. The company is open to exploring various partnership models that leverage the strengths and expertise of both entities to provide unparalleled travel experiences for customers. Potential partners are invited to engage in discussions with OsaBus to explore the vast possibilities and benefits of this strategic collaboration. The company is committed to fostering a partnership that not only expands market reach but also enhances the overall travel experience for US customers.

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Travel Technology, Destination and Tourism, Commercial Travel

CheckMyBus and redBus partner in international markets to simplify Bus Travel experience

Business Wire | January 29, 2024

CheckMyBus, the world’s leading metasearch engine for intercity bus, and redBus, the world’s largest online bus ticketing platform, have announced their partnership for Southeast Asia and the LATAM markets. redBus offers online bus booking services in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as the LATAM markets of Peru and Colombia. With this partnership, redBus will provide comprehensive inventory and ease of online bus booking options for both domestic and international travellers through the CheckMyBus platform. Travellers can discover best bus trips on CheckMyBus, the world’s most comprehensive long-distance bus content platform with millions of connections across more than 90 countries. After the rebound of the travel industry, there has been a surge in both domestic and international travel. However, as a result of these changes, flights and other modes of private transportation have become more expensive, leaving budget-conscious travellers in search of cost-effective alternatives. Buses have consistently remained an affordable and budget-friendly option. Through this collaboration, CheckMyBus and redBus are committed to providing the best and most affordable bus booking experience for their users. In addition to domestic users, it is now much easier for international travellers to find the right buses to exciting destinations in South America and Southeast Asia having access to the largest bus inventory in these regions. Marc Hofmann, CEO of CheckMyBus, said: “Our mission is to make bus travel simple. By providing access to the extensive redBus inventory to our global audience, we are taking a significant step toward promoting bus travel in Southeast Asia and LATAM, making it more accessible. We are excited to contribute to the growth of the travel industry by assisting both domestic and international travellers in the region in collaboration with a strong partner like redBus.” Krishnan Ramaswami, Chief Business Officer - International Businesses, redBus, said: “Through this one partnership, we can offer extensive bus ticketing options to the international traveller. Global travellers can book a ticket & discover a range of services in Southeast Asian and Latin American markets as conveniently as locals. We expect this will improve our discoverability in newer markets and provide better accessibility to a larger customer base. We look forward to working with CheckMyBus to improve the ease & convenience of bus bookings.”

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