Largest Travel Management Firm in UK Accepts Bitcoin

Cointelegraph | April 16, 2019

Corporate Traveller, the largest travel management firm in the United Kingdom, is now accepting Bitcoin (BTC) for payments, according to a press release on April 15.A newly announced partnership with crypto payments company BitPay will allow Corporate Traveller — which provides business travel management services to SME companies — to accept bitcoins. Andy Hegley, U.K. General Manager at Corporate Traveller said:

Spotlight

While it's common for travellers to book a tour or activity offline in your office or at your destination's visitor information center, the ability to book and pay for a trip online, one day in advance, via mobile, is relatively new. Previously, last-minute bookings have mostly revolved around bed nights sold by hotels and other types of accommodation providers. But that trend is slowly, and surely, seeping into the tours and activities sector as more tour and activity operators invest in a professional website with online booking and payment capabilities.


Other News
COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Manifest Expands Nationally, Adds International Trip Destinations

Manifest | January 15, 2022

Manifest, the exclusive, lifestyle and travel club that provides custom-crafted getaways to unique destinations within the U.S. and abroad with the option of pairing trips with private plane service, announced that the company will be expanding nationally, welcoming members from every corner of the country. With the expansion, Manifest will now be offering its entire collection of curated trips to members in all states – and will be expanding these trips to include international destinations such as the Caribbean and Mexico, with Central America and further abroad to be added in the future. "Travel is beginning to return and people are ready to embark upon unique journeys and begin exploring the world again,As we head into 2022, we see incredible potential for growth and are ready to bring both Manifest membership and our curated trips to every corner of the country.” -Jeff Potter, CEO of Manifest. Manifest is also adding more flexibility to membership, with the option of booking pre-curated trips directly through the website, or if members have specific needs, working with a travel specialist to customize their trip. In addition, while flying private remains a Manifest differentiator, allowing members to avoid the stress of long lines and the hassle of checking bags as well as offering less exposure to crowds and a better experience for travelers, Manifest will be adding a commercial air option for first-class and business class service in the coming months as well. We want to make both booking and experiencing travel as easy as possible for Manifest members and in some cases, private air travel is not the best option, so we plan to offer alternatives to ensure the ultimate flexibility when booking with us,said Potter. The Manifest experience is seamless for members – from private car transportation to/from the airport both at home and in-destination to the ease of private air travel; from high-touch service on the ground to pre-planned activities that reflect the soul of the destination, in addition to plenty of free time to explore members’ own interests. Examples of recently added trips include: Explore Historic New England in Newport, Rhode Island – 5 days/4 nights with accommodations at The Cliffside Inn with activities including a private helicopter tour and a two-hour cruise aboard an America’s Cup yacht. Bourbon-friendly Weekend in Louisville, Kentucky – 3 days/2 nights with accommodations at The Brown Hotel with activities including themed progressive dinner with cocktail pairings and a full-day bourbon distillery tour. Find Your Way to Paradise on the Beautiful Caribbean Island of Anguilla – 8 days/7 nights with accommodations at Belmond’s Cap Juluca Resort with plenty of beach time as well as a day on the water exploring Prickly Pear Cays. Manifest designs, curates and manages logistical components of planned activities for each experience, which range from three to seven days in length and range in price depending on the activity, location, and length of stay. A full list of Manifest experiences is available here. In celebration of national expansion and for a limited time, Manifest is allowing anyone to join its community of travelers without paying annual dues. In addition, members can save 10% on their first trip with Manifest when they book by March 31, 2022, for travel by December 31, 2022. More information on Manifest membership is available here. About Manifest Based in Denver, Colorado, and founded by Jeff Potter, the former CEO of Frontier Airlines, Exclusive Resorts and Surf Air, Manifest is an exclusive, lifestyle and travel club that provides custom-crafted getaways to unique destinations in the U.S. and abroad with the option of pairing trips with private plane service. For more information, visit www.manifestescapes.com.

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AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

Hawaiian Airlines to Offer Free, High-Speed Starlink Internet Connectivity on Transpacific Fleet

Hawaiian Airlines | April 26, 2022

Hawaiian Airlines became the first major airline to announce an agreement with Starlink to provide complimentary high-speed, low-latency broadband internet access to every guest onboard flights between the islands and the continental U.S, Asia and Oceania. Hawai'i's largest and longest-serving carrier will equip its Airbus A330 and A321neo aircraft, as well as an incoming fleet of Boeing 787-9s, with Starlink's industry leading satellite internet connectivity service."When we launch with Starlink we will have the best connectivity experience available in the air," said Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Peter Ingram. "We waited until technology caught up with our high standards for guest experience, but it will be worth the wait. Our guests can look forward to fast, seamless and free Wi-Fi to complement our award-winning onboard Hawaiian hospitality." "Hawaiian Airlines is ensuring its passengers will experience high-speed internet the way we expect it in the 21st century, making hassles like downloading movies before takeoff a relic of the past, With Starlink, the inflight experience is greatly simplified so that once passengers step onboard the plane the internet works seamlessly throughout their flight. Soon, passengers will enjoy all the benefits of having the world's best inflight internet connectivity from the comfort of their seats." -SpaceX Vice President of Starlink Commercial Sales Jonathan Hofeller. In Starlink's low-Earth orbit constellation of advanced satellites, the latest of which utilize a revolutionary laser mesh network, Hawaiian found an ideal solution to ensure reliable, high-speed, low-latency connectivity on transpacific flights. Guests will be able to stream content, play games live with friends on the ground, work and collaborate in real-time, plan their Hawai'i vacation, or share their special island moments on social media. Connecting to the internet will be seamless when guests walk on board, without registration pages or payment portals. Hawaiian and Starlink are in the initial stages of implementation and expect to begin installing the product on select aircraft next year. Hawaiian is not currently planning to deploy the service on its Boeing 717 aircraft that operate short flights between the Hawaiian Islands. About Hawaiian Airlines Hawaiian® has led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past 18 years (2004-2021) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation and was named No. 1 U.S. airline by Condé Nast Traveler's 2021 Readers Choice Awards. Consumer surveys by Travel + Leisure and TripAdvisor have placed Hawaiian among the top of all domestic airlines serving Hawaiʻi. Now in its 93rd year of continuous service, Hawaiian is Hawaiʻi's biggest and longest-serving airline. Hawaiian offers approximately 130 daily flights within the Hawaiian Islands, daily nonstop flights between Hawaiʻi and 16 U.S. gateway cities – more than any other airline – as well as service connecting Honolulu and American Samoa, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Tahiti. The airline is committed to connecting people with aloha by offering complimentary meals for all guests on transpacific routes and the convenience of no change fees on Main Cabin and Premium Cabin seats. HawaiianMiles members also enjoy flexibility with miles that never expire. As Hawai'i's hometown airline, Hawaiian encourages guests to Travel Pono and experience the islands safely and respectfully. Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HA). Additional information is available at HawaiianAirlines.com. Follow Hawaiian's Twitter updates (@HawaiianAir), become a fan on Facebook (Hawaiian Airlines), and follow us on Instagram (hawaiianairlines). For career postings and updates, follow Hawaiian's LinkedIn page.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Denver ranks among most popular holiday travel destinations

Business Journal | December 15, 2021

Denver is one of the top 10 most popular destinations by flight this holiday season, according to a new online travel agency survey. Among those planning to fly between Dec. 17 and Jan. 1, Denver is one of the most popular destinations — and one of the most affordable for booking hotels — according to a survey by RetailMeNot and Priceline. Denver ranks among other popular cities such as New York City, Orlando, Florida, and Las Vegas for flight destinations. However, the survey found that most travelers are taking to the road for holiday travel, at 75% compared to 41% who said they're traveling by plane. The survey also found that hotels in Denver are among the most affordable, at an $151 average nightly rate. That put Denver among relatively affordable hotels in Las Vegas, Pigeon Forge, Tennesee, Washington, D.C., and Kissimmee, Florida, Hotels in the Denver metro area are still struggling to recover decreased visitors from the pandemic. Statewide hotel occupancy climbed from 15.7% in April 2020 to 77.2% occupancy in July, according to the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association. However, since then, occupancy has dropped again, particularly among downtown hotels. Meanwhile, Colorado is getting used to high air traveler volume, with Denver International Airport becoming the third-busiest airport in the world this year. DIA predicted about 2 million travelers to pass through the airport over the Thanksgiving holiday. AAA predicts more than 109 million people — an almost 34% increase from 2020 — will travel over the end-of-year holidays (between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2) in 2021. That includes people driving and flying, among other transportation. According to an AAA spokesperson, that number includes 851,900 predicted travelers from the Mountain region — including Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming — this holiday season.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Travelers Want High-Tech, Low-Touch Hotel Stays Shows New Oracle Survey

Oracle | June 02, 2022

A new study by Oracle Hospitality and Skift shows that 95% of people plan to travel in the next six months – with 29% taking an epic 'revenge travel' trip – however, many want to eliminate the 'touch' from the high touch industry they once knew. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of travelers want to use their mobile device to manage their hotel experience, including checking in and out, paying, ordering food, and more. This is good news for hoteliers looking to tech to manage through the staffing shortage without hurting guest engagement and service. Over the next few years, travelers are also looking to personalize their journey even more by picking their exact room and floor and paying for only the amenities they want – and even wanting to pre-screen properties in the metaverse (68%). Moreover, 74% are interested in hotels using AI to better tailor services and offers, such as room pricing or food suggestions and discounts. Nearly 40% of hotel executives see this 'unbundled' model as the future of hotel revenue management. "The pandemic has established technology's role in the guest and associate journey, and the industry is never going back, Whether a hotel organization has two properties or 2,000, guests are looking for the highly digital, self-service experience they have come to expect in other parts of their lives, from banking to ordering food. For hoteliers to meet these demands, especially with constrained property staffing, they need systems that will enable them to quickly adapt, 'plug in' new services, and better and more efficiently serve a diverse group of travelers." -Alex Alt, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Hospitality. The "Hospitality in 2025: Automated, Intelligent… and More Personal" study surveyed 5,266 consumers and 633 hotel executives across the world in the spring of 2022 to better understand how guest expectations have changed and how hotels are adapting. Consumers and executives were surveyed in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Brazil, and Mexico. Check-out the report at: https://bit.ly/3MPgGXa. Travelers want people to 'get away' while on their getaway Two years of restrictions created a pent-up desire to travel, with 29% of people planning a larger, pricier "revenge travel" trip. But the pandemic has also left jetsetters feeling antisocial with many desiring contactless and self-service technology: 92% of travelers don't miss being around other people while staying on a hotel property. 73% agree that they're more likely to stay at a hotel that offers self-service technology to minimize contact with the staff and other guests. 38% want a fully self-service model, with staff only available upon request. 39% want to order room service from their phone or a chatbot. 49% are also looking for contactless payments (only 5% want to pay in crypto). Staff remains slim, tech is helping The labor shortage remains a top issue in the hotel industry, but hoteliers are working hard to onboard new tech to ease the strain on guests and staff: 65% of hoteliers said incorporating new technologies for staff best describes their strategy to weather labor shortages and attract new talent. 96% are investing in contactless technology, with 62% noting "a fully contactless experience" is likely to be the most widely adopted tech in the industry in the next three years. 54% added that their highest priority is to adopt tech that improves or eliminates the need for the front desk experience between now and 2025. Travelers are mixed on how patient they are willing to be in this transition: 39% said they want a fully contactless experience for all basic hotel transactions (check-in/out, food & beverage, room keys, etc.). 34% said a staff shortage, and resulting slow service, would be their #1 deterrent to rebooking a hotel. However, just 23% noted that a lack of daily room cleaning is an issue, showing consumers have accepted (and 17% welcomed!) that this pre-pandemic mainstay is never coming back. People looking for the comfort of home, even when away from home Whether ordering room service or signing onto Netflix, travelers want the ease and convenience of home while traveling: 45% said on-demand entertainment access that seamlessly connects to their personal streaming or gaming accounts is their #1 must-have during their stay. Likewise, 45% of hotel executives said this in-room entertainment set-up is what they're most likely to implement by 2025. 77% of travelers are interested in using automated messaging or chatbots for customer service requests at hotels. 43% want voice-activated controls for all amenities in their rooms (lights, curtains, door locks, etc.). 25% want room controls that auto-adjust temperature, lighting, and even digital art based on pre-shared preferences. A la carte-based hotel pricing Consumers are interested in a hotel model that lets them pay for just what they use. Hoteliers, in tandem, are looking at new service models that upsell everything from amenities to adventures: 81% of hoteliers expect a big service model shift between now and 2025. 49% strongly agreed that "special amenities and upgrades" are critical to their revenue strategy. 36% predict that the future of hotel revenue management will be underpinned by unbundling room rates, like a "basic economy" vs. "economy plus" model on airlines. For travelers: 87% said they would be likely to book a hotel that allowed them to pay only for amenities that they use. 54% are willing to pay more to choose their view; 38% to choose their room; 37% to check in early/check out late; 33% to use the spa, wellness, or fitness services; 32% to choose their room floor; and more. About Oracle Oracle offers integrated suites of applications plus secure, autonomous infrastructure in the Oracle Cloud. For more information about Oracle (NYSE: ORCL), please visit us at oracle.com.

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Spotlight

While it's common for travellers to book a tour or activity offline in your office or at your destination's visitor information center, the ability to book and pay for a trip online, one day in advance, via mobile, is relatively new. Previously, last-minute bookings have mostly revolved around bed nights sold by hotels and other types of accommodation providers. But that trend is slowly, and surely, seeping into the tours and activities sector as more tour and activity operators invest in a professional website with online booking and payment capabilities.

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