Japan tourism flourish as cherry trees attract visitors worldwide

Travel and Tour World | April 12, 2019

In Japanese, there’s a popular saying: dumplings over blossoms – which means substance is better than beauty.However, that might sell short the phenomenon of cherry-blossom season in Japan. In the course of couple of weeks, cherry trees all over the country break open and bloom, painting the country in shades of pink and white. It has become a type of national obsession with rising global appeal – and it’s a blessing to the economy of Japan.

Spotlight

The traditional travel buying process faces assault from a barrage of disruptors, including shifts to open-booking, emerging “sharing economy” platforms and new tools that can track both traveler behaviors and preferences as well as pricing volatility. Fortunately, as many buyers report both diminishing returns and increasing complexity to the traditional request-for-proposal process, some of these disruptors stand to bring a welcome change to what can be an increasingly frustrating exercise.


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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Swire Hotels Teams Up With Agilysys to Provide Smarter, Faster, Greener Guest Experiences

Swire Hotels | April 08, 2022

Agilysys, Inc. (Nasdaq: AGYS), a leading global provider of next-generation end-to-end SaaS and on-prem ready hospitality software solutions, announced that Hong Kong-based Swire Hotels has activated Agilysys solutions in all its Hong Kong properties and plans to extend these across its entire property portfolio.The comprehensive suite from Agilysys includes Agilysys Seat, an online seat reservation, wait-list and venue management system that optimizes both revenue and guest satisfaction; InfoGenesis POS using the IG 12UX client, the leading hospitality market POS system; and IG OnDemand, a guest-facing contactless food and beverage ordering for guest delivery or pick up across venues. Swire Hotels is a group of seven properties under The House Collective and EAST brands, with locations in Hong Kong, Chinese Mainland and the United States. The hotel group is known for personalized service and unique guest experiences and is dedicated to enhancing sustainability across its properties. In our search to provide guests with a smarter, faster and greener experience, we were consistently impressed with the solutions from Agilysys, IG OnDemand is a great fit for our properties, enabling team members with the technology we need to enhance our operational efficiency thereby elevating guest experiences. -Dean Winter, Managing Director for Swire Hotels. With IG OnDemand, guests can place and pay for food and beverage (F&B) orders using their mobile devices rather than having to call a service line. A simple scan of a QR code in the guestroom leads to a user-friendly interface displaying pictures, descriptions and prices of food and beverage choices. Guests can choose to have their orders delivered to them or can opt to pick them up. In addition to enabling the contactless service experience guests increasingly desire, replacing printed menus with QR codes in guestrooms contributes to sustainability by reducing paper waste. Agilysys Seat enables properties to maximize revenue from seating options and venue space while enabling guests to view and select seats and track their waitlist status at various venues through an online experience. As the foundation for these experiences, the IG 12UX client for the comprehensive InfoGenesis POS system enables hoteliers to present point-of-sale experiences to guests in a variety of ways using equipment that reflects guest preferences, whether through mobile devices or at fixed-place terminals. “It was important for us to choose a technology partner that understood our focus on sustainability, ease of use, and guest experience,Through Agilysys, we have seen that the platforms are gaining popularity with our guests from the decreasing phone call volume in the first two months after launch and around 60 percent of in-room dining orders now come from guests using IG OnDemand.” -Clement Durand, Senior Operations Manager at Swire Hotels. We are proud to partner with Swire Hotels, a hospitality group known for its extraordinary service excellence,” said Andrew Cox, Managing Director APAC at Agilysys. “With Agilysys Seat, IG OnDemand and IG 12UX, Swire Hotels can enhance the food and beverage experience for guests and staff alike and elevate the personalized service that they have come to enjoy. We look forward to implementing our solutions throughout the Swire Hotels portfolio, helping them increase revenue and meet growing expectations for frictionless and contactless guest experiences. Solutions In Use InfoGenesis® POS provides an award-winning enterprise-class point-of-sale solution that processes transactions in the highest volume, most demanding hospitality industry environments worldwide. Its modern, flexible client, IG 12UX, allows customers to choose devices that match the style and needs of their venues. From traditional POS terminals to iPads, Android tablets and mobile phones, the IG 12UX client enables customers to seamlessly deliver a variety of POS experiences based upon guest preferences and server requirements. In addition, InfoGenesis offers robust reporting and analysis features, extensive enterprise-grade menu and item configuration capabilities, and multi-language support to help drive service flexibility and increased operational efficiency. The result is improved F&B operations and increased revenue across venues. IG OnDemand provides a complete cloud-native contactless self-service food & beverage ordering solution that offers an intuitive guest-facing order and pay experience. IG OnDemand enables guests to place and pay for orders using their own devices – phone, tablet, laptop – for pick-up or delivery. The result is dramatically increased revenue opportunities and more chances to enhance guest service. Agilysys Seat provides a complete online seat reservation, wait-list and venue management system that displays and manages seat availability for a wide range of venues including restaurants, pool cabanas, stadiums and arenas, gaming table seats and more. The solution enables guests to choose their preferred location or server while optimizing venue usage and enabling social distancing protocols through mobile messaging communication. In addition, its table/venue layout management capabilities ensure the most efficient use of space based on the type of venue and event. The result is improved guest service with shorter, predictable wait times, increased table turnovers and increased venue revenue. About Agilysys Agilysys has been a leader in hospitality software for more than 40 years, delivering innovative cloud-native SaaS and on-prem ready guest-centric technology solutions for gaming, hotels, resorts and cruise, corporate foodservice management, restaurants, universities, stadia and healthcare. Agilysys offers the most comprehensive software solutions in the hospitality industry, including point-of-sale (POS), property management (PMS), inventory and procurement, payments, and related applications, to manage the entire guest journey. Agilysys is also known for its world class customer-centric service. During recent years, Agilysys has made major investments in R&D and has successfully modernized virtually all its longstanding trusted software solutions. Some of the largest hospitality companies around the world use Agilysys solutions to help improve guest loyalty, drive revenue growth and increase operational efficiencies. Agilysys operates across North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and India with headquarters located in Alpharetta, GA. For more information visit Agilysys.com. About Swire Hotels Swire Hotels creates and manages distinctive hotels in Hong Kong, Chinese Mainland and the United States under two brands, The House Collective and EAST, providing unscripted and authentic experiences for individually minded travellers who seek originality, style and personalised service. The House Collective, a group of Houses each uniquely imagined and inspired by their locations, began with The Opposite House in Beijing, which opened in 2008, followed by The Upper House in Hong Kong, The Temple House in Chengdu and the latest addition, The Middle House in Shanghai, which opened in 2018. While EAST, designed for today’s go-getters, takes personal life balance to a whole new level and includes EAST, Hong Kong; EAST, Beijing and EAST, Miami.

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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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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Levarté Travel Celebrates First Anniversary with Industry Awards

Levarté Travel, | March 04, 2022

DFW-based host agency, Levarté Travel, celebrated its first anniversary with major achievements. Despite the challenging era of its founding, Levarté was recently awarded Elite Sapphire Status with ALG Vacations, and Delta Diamond Medallion Status with Delta Vacations. These significant milestones are just the beginning for the new agency. "Levarté is the product of 40-plus years of industry expertise—we live and breathe travel, like our members, Our mission, lifting professionals up through a career in travel, powers us to think bigger. That starts with expanding our sponsorships, building up our extensive training programs, and providing more tools for our members of every level to succeed in their business." -founder and CEO, Lori Speers. In addition to the award statuses earlier this year, Levarté has been recognized as a Premier Agency Member by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), making it one of only 30 host agencies out of 8,000 in North America to earn this distinction. With this membership, Levarté can offer exclusive benefits to its travel advisors, including customized training, access to member-only events, and reduced pricing on CLIA's Individual Agent Membership. Levarté specializes in training both new advisors and supporting experienced travel business owners with higher education certifications, competitive membership benefits, and a community of passionate travel professionals. With three levels of memberships to choose from, Levarté travel advisors have a robust set of tools to help them start or continue their career. Looking ahead to 2022, Levarté will focus on building its personalized business support for members, and offering additional marketing tools and training certifications to help members grow their travel advisor brands. I'm so proud of our members' success and their dedication to making dreams come true for clients," said Speers. "I wake up every day excited about where we're headed. Levarté Travel helps individuals who dream of turning their passion for travel into a successful career. Learn more and join Levarté Travel by visiting www.levartetravel.com. About Levarté Travel Levarté Travel provides resources for travel enthusiasts to turn their passion into a thriving business. Led by travel industry veteran and CEO, Lori Speers, Levarté Travel enables independent advisors to achieve financial freedom, explore the world through fun and unique experiences, and create unforgettable memories for clients.

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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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Spotlight

The traditional travel buying process faces assault from a barrage of disruptors, including shifts to open-booking, emerging “sharing economy” platforms and new tools that can track both traveler behaviors and preferences as well as pricing volatility. Fortunately, as many buyers report both diminishing returns and increasing complexity to the traditional request-for-proposal process, some of these disruptors stand to bring a welcome change to what can be an increasingly frustrating exercise.

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