TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

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

Internova Travel Group | April 07, 2022

Internova Travel Group Enhances
 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.

Spotlight

In recent years, bots were heralded as critical to the future of the travel industry, but only 4 percent of our survey respondents anticipate booking a trip through a travel bot or chat bot in 2018, and only 22 percent say they’re even aware of the existence of travel bots. Instead of bots, WEX anticipates that the next big thing in travel tech will be booking by voice.


Other News
TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

ENEL X AND OK2CHARGE MODERNIZE VACATION RENTALS WITH SMART EV CHARGING SOLUTIONS TO SUPPORT MORE SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL

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. About Ok2Charge 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.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Trasava Lets Travelers Book 5-Star Hotels at 2-Star Prices

Trasava | February 02, 2022

As travel returns and the demand for hotel rooms increases, Trasava introduces a new way of booking rooms that keeps prices low and hoteliers happy. Through a combination of superior technology and its unique approach to inventory, Trasava has managed to bridge the gap between business and leisure travel, making discounted travel rates—similar to those of corporate travel discounts—accessible to individual travelers. The problem in the hospitality industry is clear: nearly every OTA, online travel agency, pulls from the same inventory pool, causing prices across dozens of sites to be more or less the same. Trasava flips this model on its head, leveraging exclusive agreements with its suppliers to offer travel rates not available to the general public. This allows Trasava to get deep discounts on hotels of all types—from basic to luxury—all over the world. While other OTAs compete to sell unwanted last-minute rooms, Trasava offers lower prices from the outset, whether you're booking one day or one year in advance. Led by a passionate team of nomadic entrepreneurs, Trasava's founders are scratching their own itch by building a better booking platform. They offer over 1 million listings in 70+ countries, plus a 110% guarantee. If travelers can find a cheaper price elsewhere online available to the public, they will refund 110% of the difference. With its focus on making both hotels and travelers happy, Trasava has created a booking experience that's a win-win. Here are some of the savings travelers can expect from Trasava: $400 saved over a long weekend in a 4-star hotel in Manhattan in July $650 saved over a 5-day stay at a 5-star hotel in central Berlin in September $900 saved on a weeklong vacation at a 5-star resort in Cancún in February Travelers interested in learning more can try out Trasava for themselves at Trasava.com. AboutTrasava: Trasava is a new travel tech startup based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Launched in 2022, Trasava is making travel more affordable by bringing corporate hotel pricing to the masses.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket teams with renowned local partners to offer a 'Simply Amazing' stay experience

Dusit International, Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket | March 31, 2022

Themed evening parties, a wide range of watersports activities, and a choice of stylish BMW or Peugeot cars await guests this April. BANGKOK, Mar 30, 2022 - (ACN Newswire) - Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket, a luxurious beachfront resort owned and operated by Dusit International, one of Thailand's leading hotel and property development companies, is turning collaborations into exceptional value with a 'Simply Amazing' stay experience featuring an enticing room offer and many opportunities to create lasting memories this month. Available for booking between 1-23 April 2022 for stay dates between 7-30 April 2022, the 'Simply Amazing' room offer applies to Club rooms, Suites, and Villas and starts at only THB 9,000 net per night, inclusive of daily breakfast for two. To elevate the stay experience, Dusit has also teamed up with esteemed local partners to create a wide range of special experiences, memorable activities, and unique services throughout April. Thanks to collaborations with authorised BMW dealer Millennium Auto and car rental company SIXT, guests staying in a Club room or above will have 24-hour access to BMW Series 5 or Peugeot 5008 cars, available to pick up at the resort on a first-come, first-served basis, at no additional charge during their stay.[1] Highlighting local musical talent, each weekend the resort will host nightly theme parties featuring live music, top local DJs, and creative drinks at a pop-up beach bar. The programme will start on Friday 8 April with "Sunset Chill Out & Retro Beats" - a celebration of the '60s, followed by the '80s and '90s on Saturday 9 April, and a multi-generation celebration on Sunday 10 April. Each party will start with a complimentary sunset cocktail. The resort has also teamed up with ZAK Extreme, Jet Board Thailand and Phuket Water Sports Club to offer very special rates on jet surf, surfboard, surf lessons, and other exciting watersports activities every Friday to Sunday throughout the month. Alongside occasional pop-up dining experiences with guest chefs - including, on Songkran (Wednesday 13 April), a special eight-course feast of Basque cuisine by globe-trotting Chef Inaki Bolumburu, for only THB 2,500++ - the resort will also offer its own exclusive Amore Dinner on the Beach for the special price of THB 4,000 per couple, inclusive of two glasses of wine. Set on the sands and illuminated by candles, this romantic dining experience is normally priced at THB 6,000 and is ideal for celebrating any special occasion. "The 'Simply Amazing' experience at Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket is part of our group-wide vision to transform our hotels into dynamic and vibrant spaces that meet the lifestyle needs of all generations of travellers," said Ms Prachoom Tantiprasertsuk, VP - Operations (Southern Thailand), Dusit International. "With this in mind, we are delighted to collaborate with Millennium Auto, SIXT, and other local partners to enhance our stay, dining, and activities experiences in meaningful and exciting ways - all while delivering additional convenience and value. "With a wide range of special activities, and the unique opportunity to explore the island in BMW or Peugeot cars, our international and domestic guests have everything they need to experience the best of Phuket while staying with utmost peace of mind. And we are sure they will find it 'Simply Amazing.'" Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket is located next to the white sands of Bang Tao beach overlooking the azure waters of the Andaman Sea in the heart of Laguna Phuket, an integrated destination resort on the west coast of Phuket island. Alongside SHA Plus certified standards of hygiene and cleanliness, Dusit's carefully crafted 'Dusit Care' services, such as flexible check-in and mobile payment methods, are also in place to deliver additional convenience while maximising guest safety. For more information about the 'Simply Amazing' offer, or to make a booking, please visit www.dusit.com or call (076) 362 999 (local fixed number). [1] Terms and conditions apply About Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket Located next to the white sands of Bang Tao beach overlooking the Andaman Sea and surrounded by lush tropical gardens, Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket comprises 253 elegant rooms, suites and villas. Amongst other facilities, it offers five dining outlets, a fully equipped gym, tennis and sports courts, a luxurious spa, an outdoor swimming pool, a watersports centre, a children's play area, and easy access to the neighbouring 18-hole Laguna Phuket Golf Course. Guests can also enjoy a range of complimentary activities reflecting responsible tourism practices. Among some of the options offered are sustainable crafts workshops such as upcycled tie-dye and bag painting; cooking classes featuring locally sourced ingredients; and Thai cultural workshops where guests can learn more about the history of Phuket and the island's unique traditions and customs. Dusit's new group-wide wellness concept, Devarana Wellness, also offers complimentary activities that enhance emotional and physical resilience, such as yoga, meditation, and breathwork. A Family Retreat Programme, meanwhile, features a mini-farm workshop, educational kids camp, stand up paddleboarding, and other entertaining and enriching experiences for adults and children alike. About Dusit International Established in 1948, Dusit International or Dusit Thani Public Company Limited (DUSIT) is a leading hospitality group listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. Its operations comprise five distinct yet complementary business units: hotels and resorts, hospitality education, food, property development, and hospitality-related services. The group's portfolio of hotels, resorts and luxury villas includes more than 300 properties operating under a total of six brands (Dusit Thani, Dusit Devarana, dusitD2, Dusit Princess, ASAI Hotels, and Elite Havens) across 16 countries worldwide. The group also operates culinary schools and hospitality colleges in Thailand, plus catering companies for the education sector in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Dusit International's diversified investments in real estate development, hospitality-related services, and the food sector are part of its long-term strategy for sustainable growth, which focuses on three key areas: balance, expansion and diversification. For more information, please visit dusit-international.com.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Wix Relaunches its Solution for Hotels - Now Powered by HotelRunner, Providing a Comprehensive Platform Built for the Hospitality Industry

HotelRunner | June 08, 2022

Wix.com Ltd. (NASDAQ: WIX), a leading global SaaS platform to create, manage and grow an online presence, announced the relaunch of its new solution for the hotel industry. Wix has partnered with HotelRunner, a complete platform tailored to support all accommodation businesses, to redevelop Wix Hotels. The new platform is a major improvement to the existing solution and includes a full suite of professional tools for every touchpoint needed to launch, manage, and grow a hospitality business of any size and maximize revenue.Wix's comprehensive online platform combined with HotelRunner's end-to-end travel technology provides the ability for users to create a website, manage their property, guests, bookings, and sales channels all from one platform. Whether running a bed and breakfast, boutique hotel, chain hotel, vacation rental, resort, or unique accommodation, business owners are equipped with the operational tools they need to efficiently run their business online and on premise. Benefits for users of Wix Hotels by HotelRunner include: Connect to leading online sales channels and travel agencies such as Booking.com, Expedia, Hotelbeds, and Airbnb, which can help increase revenues Receive direct reservations and secure payments from their website Manage rates and availability with user-friendly calendars on a single reliable platform to manage reservations and keep all inventory in sync while implementing complex pricing and revenue management strategies Real-time inventory updates on all sales channels Manage front desk operations including check-in and outs Manage policies and taxes, offer extras, promotions, deals, and coupons, engage with guests, and promote their property on sales channels via the channel manager "We are constantly improving our offering to provide business owners with a complete solution for any type of business, and we're thrilled to relaunch our hotel solution for the hospitality and tourism industry, As travel has begun to increase in the post-pandemic era, we're seeing a rise in the demand for digitalization in the hotel and hospitality industry and we're proud that we have developed a strong solution for these businesses and grow the addressable market. Wix has invested resources into building out the proper infrastructure to support privately owned businesses and large franchises, both for restaurants and hotels, and this new partnership with HotelRunner is another step in creating the go-to solution for businesses to efficiently manage their operations and grow." -Ronny Elkayam, SVP Mobile, App Market and Strategic Products at Wix. HotelRunner has been introducing innovations for more than a decade to build a bigger travel economy. Wix Hotels by HotelRunner has been developed by leveraging both companies' deep expertise in both travel and technology and positioning our award-winning platform, recognized globally by the leading travel industry players, as its foundation," said Ali Beklen, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of HotelRunner. "Our unique partnership with Wix will be the driving force that will take the hospitality and tourism industries to the next level by accelerating the digital transformation. Thousands of accommodation properties from all over the world will benefit from an affordable and comprehensive set of products, thanks to the new Wix Hotels by HotelRunner, added Arden Agopyan, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of HotelRunner. Wix Hotels by HotelRunner is in beta with a gradual rollout in English first and then to other languages. Existing users of the Wix Hotels solution will move to the new solution after the beta. To sign up for the beta version click here. About Wix.com Ltd. Wix is a leading platform to create, manage and grow a digital presence. What began as a website builder in 2006 is now a complete platform providing users with enterprise-grade performance, security and a reliable infrastructure. Offering a wide range of commerce and business solutions, advanced SEO and marketing tools, Wix enables users to have full ownership of their brand, their data and their relationships with their customers. With a focus on continuous innovation and delivery of new features and products, anyone can build a powerful digital presence to fulfill their dreams on Wix. About HotelRunner HotelRunner is a SaaS-enabled unified sales, operations, and distribution management platform and B2B network for accommodations, travel agencies, and payment providers. HotelRunner has thousands of accommodation and travel agency partners globally. HotelRunner is a Booking.com Premier Connectivity Partner, Expedia Elite Connectivity Partner, Airbnb Software Partner, Agoda Innovative Supplier, Oracle Gold, Hotelbeds, and Google Hotel Ads strategic partner.

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Spotlight

In recent years, bots were heralded as critical to the future of the travel industry, but only 4 percent of our survey respondents anticipate booking a trip through a travel bot or chat bot in 2018, and only 22 percent say they’re even aware of the existence of travel bots. Instead of bots, WEX anticipates that the next big thing in travel tech will be booking by voice.

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