Inflight VR looks to fresh funding to bring more travel companies on board

PhocusWire | August 21, 2019

Inflight VR has brought in €2.5 million in funding, bringing the total raised to more than €4 million.The Germany-based startup plans to use the injection to bring its technology to further customers in travel as well as generate data around content performance and user behavior.The funding comes from existing shareholders Motu Investors and CBC Investments while two new investors also came on board including Stefan Lauer, a former executive board member of Lufthansa. Inflight VR says its technology provides a number of different avenues for travel companies to get a return on their investment including, it claims, a lower cost of operation than other inflight entertainment solutions and the potential to earn ancillary revenue via rental fees, advertising and product placement.

Spotlight

At Intrepid, we offer more than just small group trips. Our travellers choose to see the world in a way that builds human connection, supports local communities, respects the environment and draws us all a bit closer together. As the world's leading operator of sustainable, ethical travel experiences, Intrepid puts responsible travel at the core of our entire business. And with more than 1,000 itineraries in over 120 countries, there’s an adventure for everyone.


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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Meliá Hotels International Accelerates Digital Transformation with Dynatrace During Global Travel Resurgence

Dynatrace | April 29, 2022

Software intelligence company Dynatrace (NYSE: DT) announced Meliá, the international luxury hotel chain, is using the Dynatrace® platform to deliver frictionless guest experiences as the demand for travel hits record levels. In anticipation of this industry shift, and to meet guests on the mobile and online platforms where they prefer to interact, Meliá accelerated its digital transformation by migrating its critical applications, including those supporting its online reservation and contact center services, to a cloud-native environment running on Kubernetes in AWS. This provided the agility Meliá needed to release better digital functionality faster, so its guests could access more of its hotel services via mobile and web platforms. The Dynatrace® platform’s broad and deep observability and advanced AIOps capabilities have allowed Meliá to ensure its digital services deliver the same quality experience as in-person interactions with hotel staff. “The cloud and Dynatrace have transformed the way our business operates and how our teams work in this modern era, Before Dynatrace, we used to spend hours manually searching through metrics, logs, and traces to piece together insights about user experience. Now, this takes minutes or seconds. If guests experience a problem using any of our digital services, our contact center teams know precisely what’s causing the issue and are empowered to provide faster, more personalized resolutions, and ultimately deliver a greater standard of care. This has enabled our teams to focus more time on driving business and customer value, and to ensure our ongoing success during what has been a challenging time in our industry.” -Christian Palomino, Vice President of Global IT, Meliá Hotels International. With Dynatrace, Meliá’s teams are rededicating their focus to optimizing digital services and finding new ways to accommodate the rapidly evolving preferences of the modern traveler. This has helped the hotel chain reduce the reliance on in-person interactions, which has led to an increase in the volume of transactions handled through its digital channels from around 40% at the end of 2019, to more than 80% during the pandemic, which was a major asset through those difficult times. We developed our Stay Safe with Meliá Program to achieve our goal of maintaining frictionless relationships between staff and guests, while also reducing in-person contact, continued Palomino. Dynatrace has been critical to this effort, enabling our teams to accelerate the delivery of new digital services that allow our guests to do things like check-in or book a table in our restaurants via our mobile app, reducing the need for person-to-person contact across our hotels. Dynatrace delivers the precise, AI-powered insights we need to understand exactly how our customers interact with our applications, and how their experiences impact our business. This has helped our teams discover where our guests are struggling, and what we need to do to improve our digital services, so they have a great experience and can fully relax during their stay with us. Visit our Customer Stories page for more details on how Meliá is accelerating digital innovation and delivering frictionless guest experiences across its hotels with Dynatrace. About Dynatrace Dynatrace (NYSE: DT) exists to make the world’s software work perfectly. Our unified software intelligence platform combines broad and deep observability and continuous runtime application security with the most advanced AIOps to provide answers and intelligent automation from data at an enormous scale. This enables innovators to modernize and automate cloud operations, deliver software faster and more securely, and ensure flawless digital experiences. That’s why the world’s largest organizations trust the Dynatrace® platform to accelerate digital transformation. Curious to see how you can simplify your cloud and maximize the impact of your digital teams? Let us show you. Sign up for a free 15-day Dynatrace trial.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Travel-Friendly KODAK STEP Slim Instant Mobile Photo Printer Debuts at Pepcom

Kodak | June 24, 2022

Kodak brand licensee, C+A Global, announced the availability of the KODAK STEP Slim Instant Mobile Photo Printer at Pepcom’s Digital Experience in New York City. Sporting a more compact design, this newest addition to the STEP Instant Print Line is the perfect summer accessory. Its easy-to-use, travel-friendly design won’t take up unnecessary space, meaning it can go anywhere with you so that you never miss the chance to capture the moment on the spot. Other STEP instant print products include the KODAK STEP Instant Mobile Photo Printer, KODAK STEP Instant Print Digital Camera, and KODAK STEP Touch Instant Print Digital Camera.The new STEP Slim Instant Mobile Photo Printer still retains the characteristics that make the STEP Instant Print Line so popular, just packaged into a more compact design – at just three quarters of an inch. It prints out each 2” x 3” photo in under 60 seconds on sticky-backed Zink paper, eliminating the need to swap out ink cartridges. “Today, more than ever, people are constantly on-the-go. Consumers want products that fit into their more flexible lifestyles. They want quick, compact, and efficient. We created the STEP Slim Mobile Photo Printer to give users instant print action without sacrificing space or portability,” -Jessica Bitran, public relations director at C+A Global. Through the free KODAK STEP Prints App, you can connect the Slim Printer to your phone and gain instant access to the editing suite. In the app you can easily edit, brighten, add frames, and customize all your favorites from your camera roll before bringing them to life. The STEP Slim Instant Mobile Printer is available now on Amazon for $79.99. If you are attending Pepcom’s Digital Experience at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City today, stop by our stand to check out the STEP Slim Printer and the vast product portfolio on display, which includes Kodak-licensed instant print products, projectors, and film converters. About Kodak Kodak is a technology company focused on imaging. We provide – directly and through partnerships with other innovative companies – hardware, software, consumables and services to customers in graphic arts, commercial print, publishing, packaging, entertainment and commercial films, and consumer products markets. With our innovative solutions portfolio and highly trusted brand, Kodak is helping customers around the globe to sustainably grow their own businesses and enjoy their lives. For additional information on Kodak, visit us at kodak.com, follow us on Twitter @Kodak, or like us on Facebook at Kodak. About C+A Global C&A Marketing, Inc., doing business as C+A Global, is a leading manufacturer, distributor and online reseller of consumer products, electronics, cameras and photographic equipment. Headquartered in Edison, N.J, C+A Global operates with over 50+ years of industry experience in its management team. The depth and breadth of C+A Global's inventory is constantly expanding, as is its presence and reputation in the consumer products marketplace. For additional information on these Kodak products, visit us at kodakphotoplus.com, follow us on Twitter @KodakPlus, like us on Facebook at Kodak Plus, and follow @KodakPlus on Instagram.

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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.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

Emburse Launches the Ultimate Business Travel Companion Tool to Enhance the Entire Trip Experience

Emburse | April 06, 2022

Emburse, a global leader in spend management solutions, has announced the launch of Emburse Go: a mobile travel companion that delivers the best possible business travel experience by managing every aspect of a trip - from end to end. Emburse Go extends well beyond typical flight and hotel itinerary information, providing valuable location-based content to keep travelers safe, comfortable and productive. Traditionally, business travelers have had to navigate every aspect of a trip themselves, beyond basic transit and accommodation. Emburse Go allows employers to easily curate destination information and deliver contextual messaging that not only meets growing employee expectations, but also helps reduce spend leakage and minimize risks. It even allows companies to track the carbon footprint of each trip and across their travel program. Designed for small and medium-sized businesses, Emburse Go is based on the Emburse Go Premier (formerly Roadmap) award-winning corporate travel app used by millions of travelers at large enterprises including Nike, Microsoft and Merck. Notable features include: Consumer-like app delivers a curated experience at every stage of the trip Emburse Go differs from most business travel apps by providing much more than flight notifications and itinerary information, such as company-selected city guides and preferred supplier links for easy access to the corporate booking tool, corporate TMC, corporate card and expense solution. It focuses on supporting travelers holistically throughout their trip, including the entire time they’re at their destination. Once a trip is booked (whether via a corporate booking tool or online booking site), the app can be automatically pre-populated with the itinerary, any subsequent itinerary changes and all relevant destination information. This includes local transport tips, tipping recommendations, risk and safety information, and local music and points of interest. As employees use the app, employers can learn from their experiences via travel data that relies on machine learning best practices and traveler reviews given through the app. This helps improve future trip recommendations and measures performance against travel program goals. Emphasizes traveler safety, helping employers prioritize duty of care Travelers can access essential safety information about their destination within the app. Emburse Go provides the latest COVID testing requirements, travel advisories, and visa requirements, and links to request assistance during the trip. Corporate travel managers can reduce risk by easily communicating safety information to travelers via the app. Tracks carbon footprint and informs sustainable decision-making More than 70% of business travelers are concerned about their company’s carbon footprint, according to Statista. Emburse Go leverages data from Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GGP) to allow employees to manage their footprint and companies to get an overview of their impact. Travelers can view the carbon footprint of their entire trip, including flights, ground transportation and hotel choices, in the Emburse Go app. Data from all employee trips is gathered in a central dashboard, enabling organizations to measure and analyze their overall carbon footprint and benchmark it against their ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) commitments. “Optimizing the business traveler experience has long been overlooked as a nice-to-have. But not any more. The pause in business travel and the overall increased focus on employee wellbeing has made companies reassess how to treat their employees while on the road. All organizations, no matter their size, have to rise to the challenge with curated experiences, easy-to-use mobile apps, and clear commitment to comfort, safety and sustainability. Business trips are an opportunity to live up to your organization’s values and promises. Companies that fail to do so will feel the impact in the form of higher travel costs, employee churn and reputational pressure,” -Eric Friedrichsen, CEO of Emburse. Emburse Go is available as an iPhone or Android app, to existing Emburse customers. It comes with a desktop self-service portal for travel managers, enabling them to create targeted and custom messaging for travelers. Emburse Go Premier is available to existing customers or as a standalone solution. Emburse Go Premier customers also receive monthly reports and insights for their entire travel program. The app is available in seven languages. About Emburse Emburse is a modern spend management company offering solutions that revolutionize the way organizations manage employee expenses, process invoices and make payments. Emburse humanizes work by empowering business travelers, finance professionals, and CFOs to eliminate manual, time-consuming tasks, so they can focus on what matters most. Its innovative offerings, which are tailored to meet the unique business needs of specific industries, company sizes, and geographies, are trusted by more than 9 million users in more than 120 countries. Over 16,000 customers, from start-ups to global enterprises, including Bosch, Grant Thornton, Telefónica, Lufthansa Systems, and Toyota, rely on Emburse to make faster, smarter decisions, improve compliance, and optimize spend -- making corporate spend deliver meaningful value for the organization. Emburse is recognized as a leader in expense management and accounts payable automation by analyst firm IDC, and has received multiple awards for innovation and its high levels of customer satisfaction. For more information on Emburse, visit emburse.com, call 877-EMBURSE, or follow the organization’s social channels at @emburse.

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Spotlight

At Intrepid, we offer more than just small group trips. Our travellers choose to see the world in a way that builds human connection, supports local communities, respects the environment and draws us all a bit closer together. As the world's leading operator of sustainable, ethical travel experiences, Intrepid puts responsible travel at the core of our entire business. And with more than 1,000 itineraries in over 120 countries, there’s an adventure for everyone.

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