ITE HCMC surpasses record with 350 exhibitors & 30,000 expected visitors for its 15th year

Travel Daily Media | August 01, 2019

To celebrate its 15th-year milestone, the International Travel Expo, Ho Chi Minh City (ITE HCMC) is introducing a bundle of new features and special highlights to make the annual event an even more spectacular one for the expected record-high attendance.ITE HCMC held its first show in 2005 with two international pavilions from Thailand and Cambodia, 43 buyers, and 86 booths. Most of the exhibitors were local enterprises.Today, it has grown to become the largest and most established travel event in Vietnam and the Mekong sub-region. This year, more than 350 exhibitors and 30,000 visitors are expected, with 250 international buyers, 50 outbound Vietnamese buyers, and a record number of 40 hosted media.

Spotlight

The Whitsundays: An Australian island group nestled in the calm waters between the Great Barrier Reef and the Central Queensland Coast. When Captain James Cook first sailed through this island chain in 1770, he marvelled at the calmness of the waters. If you’ve been searching for a place to #calm your 21st-century nerves, the Whitsundays could be just the vacation destination for you.


Other News
HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Chatham Lodging Trust Acquires Beachside Hilton Garden Inn

chatham lodging trust | March 10, 2022

Chatham Lodging Trust (NYSE: CLDT), a hotel real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on investing in upscale, extended-stay hotels and premium-branded, select-service hotels, announced that the company has acquired the beachside 111-room Hilton Garden Inn Destin Miramar Beach, Fla., in an off-market transaction for $31 million, or approximately $279,000 per room. Recently opened in 2020, the hotel is within walking distance of the pristine white sands of the Gulf of Mexico. The hotel’s location in Miramar Beach is well situated in relation to the thriving Santa Rosa Beach and Destin markets. The acquisition should generate an estimated stabilized NOI yield of 8.0% to 8.5%. “As discussed on our 2021 year-end conference call, we emerged from the pandemic with a stronger balance sheet, as well as the capacity to make accretive acquisitions in terms of both earnings and asset value This hotel will generate strong cash flow from the outset, represent our third youngest hotel and generate a 2022 RevPAR premium of approximately 50 percent over our current portfolio. Additionally, the hotel diversifies further Chatham’s portfolio by adding a predominantly leisure hotel and also expands our presence in the Sunbelt, which we believe will continue to benefit from population growth. In fact, three out of every four travelers to the Destin area come from the Sunbelt, and many of Destin’s feeder markets, such as Atlanta, Dallas, Nashville and Houston, are experiencing strong population growth.” -Jeffrey H. Fisher, Chatham’s chief executive officer and president. The Hilton Garden Inn Destin Miramar Beach is a high-quality hotel with rooms that include a microwave and small refrigerator, 27 of which are enhanced with Gulf-view balconies. The hotel also features an expansive public space that includes a state-of-the-art meeting room and/or event space with approximately 900 square feet, a modern fitness center and a gorgeous bar that uniquely offers over 60 different whiskies and other premium spirits. Although the hotel will primarily serve leisure travelers, the property sits across the street from the Silver Sands Outlet stores and benefits from corporate demand. The Hilton Garden Inn also receives a strong amount of military demand related to Eglin Air Force Base, the country’s largest air force base and home to 38,000 personnel, as well Hurlburt Field, which employs 8,000 and is home to the Air Force Special Operations Command Center. We are excited to add this great hotel to our portfolio, and we will continue to recycle capital out of older assets into newer hotels with higher growth prospects, Fisher concluded. Chatham funded the purchase using available cash and borrowings under its credit facility. The hotel will be managed by Island Hospitality Management, which is owned by Fisher. About Chatham Lodging Trust Chatham Lodging Trust is a self-advised, publicly traded real estate investment trust focused primarily on investing in upscale, extended-stay hotels and premium-branded, select-service hotels. The company owns 43 hotels with 6,451 rooms/suites in 16 states and the District of Columbia. Additional information about Chatham may be found at chathamlodgingtrust.com. Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 Statements about the company's business that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements." Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations. You should not rely on our forward-looking statements because the matters they describe are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause the company's future results, performance, or achievements to differ significantly from the results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. Such risks are set forth under the captions "Item 1A. Risk Factors" and "Forward-Looking Statements" in our annual report on Form 10-K and under the caption "Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" (or similar captions) in our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and as described in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the dates on which they are made, and the company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any guidance or other forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments, or otherwise, unless required by law.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Barceló Hotel Group Chooses Talkdesk Contact Center Solution

Barceló Hotel Group | June 20, 2022

Talkdesk®, Inc., a global cloud contact center leader for customer-obsessed companies, has been chosen by Barceló Hotel Group to provide a cloud-based destination to centralize the hospitality brand’s contact center operations and improve customer experience (CX) for their clientsBarceló Hotel Group is the hotel division of the Barceló Group, a Spanish tourism leader. Founded in 1931 by Simón Barceló, the hospitality company has continued to flourish under the leadership of three generations of the Barceló family. Barceló Hotel Group manages 60,000 guest rooms in more than 270 four- and five-star urban and leisure hotel properties across 24 countries. Their company philosophy of “forward hoteligence” inspires the brand to continue elevating the benchmark for guest experience – earning them recognition as one of the 30 largest hotel brands in the world. Talkdesk CX Cloud™, an end-to-end customer experience solution, helped Barceló achieve digital transformation within their contact center. The flexibility and scalability of the Talkdesk platform eased the brand through a critical pivot from geographically siloed contact centers to one centralized virtual hub for managing all customer interactions. Previously, Barceló Hotel Group contact center agents – working from various locations across the globe – were only able to focus on customer inquiries within their own geographic areas. With the Talkdesk solution, every Barceló Hotel Group agent can assist any customer at any time. Talkdesk for Salesforce™ provides agents with real-time access to key customer details, ensuring guest needs are anticipated and met. Individual agents can also access all of their communication channels, tools, and customer data on a single screen, resulting in streamlined workflows and increased efficiency. AI-powered features like Talkdesk Interaction Analytics™ and Talkdesk QM Assist™ offer valuable, real-time coaching opportunities to help agents mine every interaction for the customer insights that lead to outstanding guest experiences. “The Barceló commitment to excellent guest service is one of the main strategic objectives of the company. It’s not just our vocation, it’s the passion that drives us forward, We also believe that delivering excellent guest experiences, and offering additional value during the reservation process through our contact centers, begins with giving our employees access to the best tools integrated into an omnichannel experience with Barceló.com. The Talkdesk solution presents our contact center agents with a simpler way to leverage complex data and provide a more personalized, seamless guest experience – before, during, and after staying at any one of the hotels managed by Barceló Hotel Group.” -Iñigo Onieva, global digital business director, Barceló Hotel Group. In hospitality and tourism, the customer journey extends beyond those moments spent enjoying five-star hotel accommodation. The brands who strive to also provide five-star guest experiences – from first inquiry to those thoughtful post-visit touchpoints – will be recognised as pioneers in the quest for guest loyalty,” said Kathie Johnson, chief marketing officer, Talkdesk. “With the Talkdesk solution, Barceló agents will have the capabilities and support needed to guide guests on that complete journey. We’re proud to partner with Barceló in achieving their customer experience goals.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

LBA Hospitality Acquires Management Contract for the Best Western New Smyrna Beach Hotel & Suites

LBA Hospitality | June 13, 2022

LBA Hospitality, an Alabama–based hotel management company, announced that it has recently taken over the management contract for the 101-suite Best Western New Smyrna Beach Hotel & Suites. The beachfront hotel located at 1401 South Atlantic Avenue is owned by Key International.The eight-story property is situated 15 miles from Daytona Beach International Airport, and just a short drive from Disneyland and Cape Canaveral and the Cape Canaveral National Seashore. The hotel offers guests convenient access to Turtle Mound, Ponce Inlet, Daytona Racetrack and numerous activities in and around the idyllic waters and sandy beaches of New Smyrna Beach. "I fell in love with New Smyrna Beach when we opened our first hotel here in 2012. It has that small beach town charm, great food, a nationally recognized arts scene, and the amazing white sand beach and blue water of the Atlantic Ocean, I am excited that we have added a one-of-a-kind accommodation that literally offers a toes-in-the-sand experience for visitors from around the world." -Beau Benton, president of LBA Hospitality. The Best Western New Smyrna Beach Hotel & Suites guestrooms feature luxury bedding, kitchenettes, as well as balconies with unobstructed views of the gorgeous blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Amenities include an outdoor swimming pool with a sundeck, a fitness center and onsite dining. About LBA Hospitality Established in 1973, LBA Hospitality is one of the leading hotel management, development, and consulting companies in the US. With an extensive portfolio of hotels located in the Southeast and Southwest, the company is a recognized leader developing and operating the most respected brands under franchise licenses of Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, and InterContinental Hotel Group. For more than four decades, LBA Hospitality has continued to set a higher standard in hotel development, management, and guest satisfaction, resulting in sustained, profitable growth for owners. For more information, visit www.lbahospitality.com. About Key International Key International is a full-service real estate firm bringing over 30 years of leadership and success in global investments and developments, with offices in Miami and Madrid. With a proven track record in generating excellent returns for partners, the firm specializes in real estate projects that improve customers' lifestyles through great locations and quality product. This includes forward-thinking considerations for everyday life, work, convenience, entertainment, and leisure. Following these principles, Key International is one of the few real estate firms with the demonstrated ability to deliver success across multiple real estate classes – including condominium, hospitality, multifamily, and office. Such diversification is a cornerstone of its approach and serves to maximize future development and investment opportunities.  With over 10 million square feet in residential developments, notable projects include Eden Roc Resort Miami Beach, Marriott Stanton Hotel South Beach, 400 Sunny Isles, 1010 Brickell, and the master plan of Riverfront Community (a 13.5-acre gated community in Downtown Miami). Additionally, Key International manages over $1.5 billion in assets under its current hotel portfolio comprised of over 3,000 hotel units. Please see keyint.com for more information on the company and its portfolio.

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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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Spotlight

The Whitsundays: An Australian island group nestled in the calm waters between the Great Barrier Reef and the Central Queensland Coast. When Captain James Cook first sailed through this island chain in 1770, he marvelled at the calmness of the waters. If you’ve been searching for a place to #calm your 21st-century nerves, the Whitsundays could be just the vacation destination for you.

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