Kenya domestic tourism boosts with Chinese built railway system

Travel and Tour World | April 23, 2019

Chinese built railway system is boosting Kenya’s domestic tourism, therefore increasing Keneya’s revenue.Over the years, the domestic transportation system had been a major hindrance for many would-be domestic tourists. But now, with the help of China, the hindrance is removed. For those who thought of flying, this was too expensive because airlines charge up to 15,000 shillings (150 U.S. dollars) return ticket per person.Driving was another option for families, but this came with many risks on the road with the Mombasa-Nairobi highway recording one of the highest numbers of road accidents.Going by bus was another route, but sometimes it takes up to 10 hours to reach the coastal city from Nairobi due to traffic jams.The auditor Jane Wamalwa, who travelled to Mombasa, then further down to Malindi said that the train is a perfect service and it is the reason why he travelled to the Coast because they are assured of your journey. Among popular spots domestic tourists visited in Kenya’s coastal region during this Easter were the beaches, which were mainly populated by ordinary Kenyans this time round unlike the past where international tourists dominate.

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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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AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

TICO Board Approves Canada Jetlines as a Registered Travel Retailer and Travel Wholesaler Under the Travel Industry Act

Canada Jetlines Operations Ltd | June 27, 2022

Canada Jetlines Operations Ltd. (NEO: CJET) (“Canada Jetlines”) the new all-Canadian, leisure airline, is proud to announce the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (“TICO”) has provided approval to the carrier’s subsidiary Canada Jetlines Vacations Ltd. as a travel retailer and travel wholesaler under the Travel Industry Act, 2022.TICO is mandated by the Ontario government to administer the Ontario Travel Industry Act, 2002 and Ontario Regulation 26/05 which governs approximately 2,100 travel retailers and travel wholesalers registered in Ontario – providing Canadian travelers with confidence from their stamp of approval. A recent survey of Ontario consumers found that 82% of respondents think it’s important that the travel agency or website they are booking with is regulated. TICO ensures all registered agencies and websites are safe, reliable, and provide customer protections and benefits. “Canada Jetlines Vacations is thrilled to officially receive approval from the highly respected TICO organization, We look forward to offering our passengers the resources, and consumer protection benefits to create a safe and efficient travel experience as a TICO-registered company.” -Duncan Bureau, CCO, Canada Jetlines. Formed in 1997, TICO is a not-for-profit corporation wholly financed by Ontario-registered travel agents and wholesalers. It administers the Travel Industry Act, 2002 and the Ontario Travel Industry Compensation Fund. Please visit TICO’s website at www.tico.ca for more information. Visit www.jetlines.com to learn more, sign up for email updates, and follow on all social media platforms to join the Canada Jetlines family. About Canada Jetlines Canada Jetlines is a well-capitalized leisure focused air carrier, utilizing a growing fleet of Airbus 320 aircraft targeting launch in the summer of 2022, subject to Transport Canada approval. The air carrier was created to provide Canadians with value vacation choices and convenient travel options to fly to fantastic leisure destinations within Canada, the U.S.A., Cuba, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Antigua, Bahamas, and other Caribbean nations. Canada Jetlines will provide exciting vacation packages to iconic Canadian destinations and beyond via strong partnerships with airports, CVB’s, tourism entities, hotels, hospitality brands, and attractions. With a projected growth of 15 aircrafts by 2025, Canada Jetlines aims to offer the best-in-class operating economics, customer comfort and fly-by-wire technology, providing an elevated guest centric experience from the first touchpoint. The efficient aircraft design merged with the experience of the all-Canadian management team, allows for accessible flight options without sacrificing quality or convenience. The carrier will use a state-of-the-art web booking platform, making the turnkey solution available to consumers, travel agents, and tour operators, with the capability of generating revenue on reservations and ancillary sales with the aim to provide more revenue opportunities to current and future agent partners and all the work that they do. We look forward to working with you to create memorable travel experiences for consumers. To learn more, please visit www.jetlines.com and follow on all social media platforms for news and updates.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Leisure Hotels & Resorts Selects Stayntouch to Deploy its Flexible Cloud-Native PMS Across 4 Upscale Independent Properties

Leisure Hotels & Resorts | February 03, 2022

Stayntouch, a global leader in guest-centric cloud hotel property management systems (PMS) and contactless technology, announced a partnership with Leisure Hotels & Resorts, a leading comprehensive hospitality management company that specializes in upscale destination markets and unique independent brands. Stayntouch will now deliver their flexible PMS solution to four of Leisure Hotels' Midwest and Mountain properties, totaling 469 rooms.Representing a combined 175 years of hospitality experience, Leisure Hotels & Resorts is a proven leader in hospitality management, with 24 hotels, resorts and restaurants currently under management. Prior to Stayntouch, Leisure deployed a traditional desktop-based PMS, which was difficult to use and tied staff to the front desk. Leisure chose Stayntouch because they needed a flexible platform that delivered a digital welcome experience for guests, as well as an intuitive and mobile user interface to streamline operations and allow staff to engage guests anywhere on property. Our previous platform was constrained by a lack of flexibility and we are pleased to add Stayntouch, which provides us flexibility, ease-of-use, and mobile accessibility," said Chrissy Marz, General Manager at Leisure Hotels & Resorts. "The PMS integrated seamlessly with our CRS, and the mobile design allows our guests to check-in using their smartphone, while delivering remote access to our staff both on and off property. Stayntouch's intuitive interface is also a major asset: We have a diverse team that includes people who are new to the business, as well as veteran hoteliers who spent their entire career with older systems. The fact that we can train everyone on a new module within a few hours allows our staff to execute across the board and maintain an elevated standard of service. "Leisure Hotels & Resorts embodies a culture of impeccable service and guest focus that compliments the core values of Stayntouch and drives our offerings. We are delighted to partner with Leisure Hotels to deliver technology solutions that unburden hotel staff and reimagine the guest experience. We're happy that our PMS is able to amplify the service experience across Leisure Hotels by streamlining employee training, facilitating seamless on and off-property management and enhancing the guest welcome and departure experience." -Michael Heflin, Chief Revenue Officer at Stayntouch About Leisure Hotels & Resorts Leisure Hotels & Resorts is an all encompassing hospitality management company; from hotel and resort management to distressed assets, homeowners associations, development, and restaurant management. We offer comprehensive management services for independent resort operations, proven management success across the country for major franchised hotel operations, professional receivership and OREO management services, specialized food & beverage management strategies, and guidance surrounding sophisticated EB-5 programs. We also leverage our extensive history in working with ownership groups that fund lodging operations along with our experience with a variety of outdoor recreation options, and the latest experiences with specialized RV resorts and glamping opportunities, to bring more value and success to our managed properties. About Stayntouch Stayntouch provides a cloud-native, guest-centric, and fully mobile hotel property management system (PMS) and over 1100+ integrations, enabling hotels to raise service levels, drive revenues, reduce costs, and ultimately captivate their guests. Backed by a team of professionals with deep roots in the hospitality industry, Stayntouch is a trusted partner to many forward-thinking hotels and resorts, including the TWA Hotel, First Hotels, Conscious Hotels, Margaritaville, Valencia Hotel Group, and Modus Hotels. Stayntouch is also a preferred PMS partner to some of the leading independent hotel collections around the world including; Design Hotels, an Independent Marriott Brand, and Curator Hotel & Resort Collection.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,DESTINATION AND TOURISM

lastminute.com Selects Thoughtworks to Drive Engineering Excellence in a Growing and Complex Technology Landscape

lastminute.com | July 01, 2022

a global technology consultancy that integrates strategy, design and engineering to drive digital innovation, announced a strategic collaboration with lastminute.com, the European Travel-Tech leader in dynamic holiday packages. lastminute.com will partner with Thoughtworks at a time when its business is rapidly resuming after the pandemic, and it is now back at full speed in delivering on its ambitious growth plans. To achieve this, its developer teams are evolving and growing in numbers, all in a very short timeframe and in a dynamic and complex technology landscape. Thoughtworks will support lastminute.com in this exciting transformation phase, to continue to meet the rapid pace of change in the travel industry most effectively and create even more customer-centric experiences. “At lastminute.com, we see ourselves as a tech company that travels. Every month we reach 60 million users via our websites and app and for us it is a business imperative to always make sure our clients have the best customer experience. The travel industry is continuously evolving and the global move to digitalization means we’ll increasingly grow our traffic, as more and more users search for and book their travel experiences online, The purpose of Thoughtworks, as stated on their website, is ‘To create an extraordinary impact on the world through our culture and technology excellence’. This is very much in line with my vision for our technology department, and I cannot wait to harness their thought leadership in software engineering to bring us one step closer to technology excellence.” -Corrado Casto, chief technology officer at lastminute.com The lastminute.com and Thoughtworks engineering teams will work side-by-side in a co-delivery setup on the most business-critical technologies and architectural challenges. The co-delivery work will be supported by coaching, training and mentoring sessions aimed at boosting lastminute.com’s ability to deliver engineering excellence and their ways of working. “In the face of unpredictability and constant change, modern digital businesses such as lastminute.com have an advantage. They have learned to demand new levels of business agility and to continuously innovate, We’re excited to partner with lastminute.com as they continue to drive technology excellence and help people fulfill their aspirations as they return to traveling.” -Gautam Srusti, managing director at Thoughtworks Italy About lastminute.com lastminute.com is the European Travel-Tech leader in dynamic holiday packages. The company operates a portfolio of well-known brands such as lastminute.com, Volagratis, Rumbo, weg.de, Bravofly, Jetcost, Crocierissime and Hotelscan, with a vision to design the future of travel & tourism using digital technology as an enabler. The business is run in 17 languages and 40 countries, with more than 1,500 employees spread worldwide developing owned products and services aimed at powering the entire traveler journey for millions of people. lastminute.com N.V. is a publicly traded company listed under the ticker symbol LMN on SIX Swiss Exchange. About Thoughtworks Thoughtworks is a global technology consultancy that integrates strategy, design and engineering to drive digital innovation. We are 11,000+ people strong across 49 offices in 17 countries. Over the last 25+ years, we’ve delivered extraordinary impact together with our clients by helping them solve complex business problems with technology as the differentiator.

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Spotlight

When you or your employees travel for business, duty of care is of the utmost importance. Not only should you have systems in place to ensure the safety of your team while they’re away, but make sure they know where to turn in the event that things do not go according to plan.

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