Melbourne expects to attract 600,000 cultural tourists

Travel And Tour World | August 19, 2019

The eyes of the world will be on Melbourne when the city hosts a blockbuster collection of major cultural and sporting events that are expected to draw more than 600,000 people into the CBD between Thursday and Sunday.White Night Reimagined will showcase art across the city, transforming Birrarung Marr, Treasury Gardens and Carlton Gardens into themed precincts featuring live performances and art installations.

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Fareportal Shares Holiday Season Good Works to Encourage Giving

Fareportal | December 24, 2021

2021 is coming to a close, and the holidays are upon us. In this traditional season of giving, Fareportal, the travel technology company behind leading online travel agencies CheapOair and OneTravel, is changing the narrative on what has been a very challenging year by sharing with others. Continuing what has been a tradition of giving that spans more than a decade, and as an expression of goodwill, the company has donated to The Ali Forney Center, which supports LGBTQIA+ individuals and organizations; New York Cares, which addresses needs in the New York City area through year-round volunteer opportunities; Covenant House, which provides shelter, food, immediate crisis care, and other services to homeless and runaway youth; Tourism Cares, dedicated to support of the travel & tourism industry; The Travis Roy Foundation, dedicated to supporting those suffering from spinal cord injuries; Berkshire South, supporting the health and well-being of residents of the Southern Berkshires; Digital Undivided, supporting the creation of economic opportunity for Black and Latinx women entrepreneurs; Children's Hope India, serving the needs of the children of India, and Amigos de los Animales Puerto Rico, which rescues, rehabilitates, and rehomes abused and abandoned animals. “Philanthropy has always been a foundational concept for Fareportal. Since the company’s inception, our Founder & Executive Chairman, Sam S. Jain, ensured that we prioritize giving back to the local and global community. This year presented unprecedented challenges to so many individuals that we felt it only right to step up our efforts to shine a light of hope as we enter the New Year,” -Werner Kunz-Cho, CEO of Fareportal. The company hopes that sharing this information will remind others there is still time to brighten someone’s holiday by making a charitable donation. About CheapOair CheapOair is an online travel agency that specializes in providing cheap flights and great last-minute flight deals for travelers worldwide. Consumers can book online, on mobile apps for iOS and Android, by phone, or live chat. Part of Fareportal’s family of travel brands, CheapOair bridges the gap between an online travel agency and a traditional agency with travel agents available worldwide to help find great deals on flights to global destinations on over 600 airlines, a million lodgings, and 100s of car rental companies. Follow CheapOair on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for travel inspiration and helpful travel tips.  About Fareportal   Fareportal is a travel technology company powering a next generation travel concierge service. Utilizing its innovative technology and company-owned and operated global contact centers, Fareportal has built strong industry partnerships providing customers access to over 600 airlines, a million hotels, and hundreds of car rental companies around the globe. With a portfolio of consumer travel brands including CheapOair and One Travel, Fareportal enables consumers to book online, on mobile apps for iOS and Android, by phone, or live chat. Fareportal provides its airline partners with access to a broad customer base that books high-yielding international and domestic flight, hotel, and other travel and add-on ancillaries.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Rêv & Visit Mexico Establish Payments & Loyalty Innovations Partnership Focused On Strengthening Cross Border Travel Engagement

Rêv | January 07, 2022

Rêv Worldwide, Inc. (“Rêv”), a global payments & loyalty product innovations company, and Visit Mexico, Mexico’s official tourism marketing agency, announced a multi-year strategic partnership aimed at fostering cross border tourism by leveraging innovative digital products and services that facilitate engagement, convenience and value for the travel sector.With the introduction of the X World Wallet, a multi-currency debit account accessible by downloading a mobile app, linked to physical and digital Visa cards, and integrated loyalty program, Rêv and Visit Mexico take a first step in offering a suite of products and services with a mission to promote tourism activity for one of the world’s most important travel corridors. The X World Wallet, now available nationwide, puts in the hands of its users a powerful tool that facilitates international transactions, discounts on travel bookings, and a points based loyalty program that helps maximize value for the user. While there are a variety of branded and co-branded credit products targeting the travel market, the availability of a mobile-first debit product that combines payments, foreign currency exchange, loyalty, and bookings is part of a recent wave of innovation that is giving consumers an alternative from credit cards with application requirements, high annual fees, interest rates and restrictive loyalty programs. “We are proud to be working side by side with Visit Mexico to put our technology to work so that travelers can access relevant and hassle free tools to facilitate their journey,” -Bertrand Sosa, President & Chief Marketing Officer, Rêv Worldwide. Given continued pandemic impacts globally across the travel industry, consumers and industry players alike are seeing how digital solutions play an even more important role in helping to reduce friction as well as open the opportunity to enhance key aspects of the travel experience. While the pandemic has decimated the travel industry globally, Mexico is one of the few countries who kept air travel open throughout the challenging times. The World Tourism Organization (WHO) estimates Mexico was the third most-visited country in the world in 2020. “As we continue to establish Mexico as the best destination for travelers from around the world, we are excited to collaborate with Rêv on the development of useful products that help us connect with travelers and help make their travel experience better - beginning with making it easier, cheaper and safer for Americans to transact in our country,” -Carlos Gonzalez Gonzalez, Chief Executive Officer, Visit Mexico. In a recent report citing travel recovery trends, Ryan Felipe, Visa’s Head of North America Cross Border Business noted, “Travelers continue to seek digital-first experiences throughout their journeys – from planning and booking to paying for dining and shopping while on the road. This provides an opportunity for financial service providers and businesses to drive increased engagement with their customers via trigger-based offers and messaging to drive loyalty. The X World Wallet offers users access to person-to-person payment transfers, tap-and-go purchase convenience, virtual and digital pay card functionalities, block/unblock account security features, and an integrated support platform to automatically contribute to climate change initiatives. The no credit check, low fees, no application reloadable X World Wallet™ Visa Debit cards available on the X account are issued by Texas First Bank, pursuant to a license by Visa Inc., and subject to cardholder Terms & Conditions. There are no offline or online purchase transaction fees, or foreign conversion fees when using the X World Wallet Visa card(s). Standard ATM fees and applicable FX rates do apply. For more information on the X World Wallet, visit xworldwallet.com. Rêv and Visit Mexico are also collaborating on making available the X World Wallet in Mexico in early 2022 so Mexicans traveling abroad may also enjoy the benefits US tourists have access to now. About Rêv Rêv is a fintech company, founded by prepaid debit industry pioneers Roy Sosa and Bertrand Sosa, dedicated to delivering innovative payment experiences to consumers worldwide. Its solutions are powered by the company’s proprietary multi-currency and multi-language payments processing platform. With vast experience developing payment industry innovations, Rêv is focused on the general, international banking & travel sectors. Rêv has partnered with companies across the globe to launch products in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. Learn more at revworldwide.com. About Visit Mexico Visit Mexico, the official brand under which Mexico’s Tourism Board has promoted domestic and international travel within-and-to Mexico for years, is now a private-government collaboration operating as the official marketing agency in charge of developing tourism campaigns, partnerships, and innovative operating models to further tourism activity for the country around the world. For more information visit visitmexico.com.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Travel Super App Innovator, TRZMO Announces Launch of 'Moments' Feature

TRZMO | June 28, 2022

TRZMO has launched version 2.0 of its travel super-app at Phocuswright Europe 2022, the leading global travel conference. A highlight of the new version of the TRZMO app is the new 'Moments' feature which allows users to capture images with GPS data and share memories in their travel diary within the app. These Moments can be shared in the future on the TRZMO app and other social platforms.The app is free on Apple App store and Google Play store for a limited time to celebrate the exciting new 'Moments' feature. Moments helps to capture images of destinations and experiences to include in the TRZMO trip timeline. For each trip, users can add 'Moments' to look back on or share amazing discoveries made on a trip – from a hidden gem of a restaurant to a little known beach or a local shop that doesn't have a website, but deserves to be shared. The 'Moments' feature is also valuable for business travelers to record business expenses. This new feature makes the TRZMO app more engaging, and makes travel more interactive amongst people along for the trip, or looking for travel inspiration, recommendations or ideas of what to do, eat or experience. 'Moments' on TRZMO allow a traveler to record treasured experiences with a personal note or reflection right in the app which places it thoughtfully in the context of a trip, rather than just having photos lost in the shuffle of a smartphone album. "Since the launch of our strategic advisory board and funding of $1.2 million in Q1 2022, TRZMO has been committed to evolving our free flagship app into a true travel super-app. It replaces multiple apps with one dashboard to manage flight updates, gate changes, ground transport, loyalty programs and a myriad of travel logistics from duty-free shopping to dining, weather and time-zones coupled with AI-driven, real-time recommendations and special offers. The new Moments feature is a game-changer, making the app more personalized, inspiring and engaging," -Myank Jain, Founder and CEO of TRZMO.AI Advisory Board members include Josh Wiess, an angel investor focusing on early stage tech start-ups and Conor O'Mahoney, a proven travel industry entrepreneur and innovator, and a member of Hub Angel Investment Group. TRZMO is a consumer travel super app with robust functionality. At the Phocuswright Europe 2022 conference, the company is focused on growth, adoption and mutually-beneficial partnerships. About TRZMO TRZMO is the ultimate travel super-app, available free for a limited time on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. It presents flight itineraries, ground transportation recommendations and logistics, local weather, time, currency, and duty-free shopping recommendations on your route in one dashboard. TRZMO automatically pulls flight itineraries from your calendar, facilitating trip management without data entry like first-generation apps, and notifying you of real-time flight changes. It displays the best duty-free prices and offers along your route to be sure you get what you want at the best place, time and price with one search. TRZMO also manages loyalty cards so you can earn points, maximize value, and spend time enjoying travel instead of navigating a myriad of single-function apps. TRZMO also captures moments from travels, to save in your journey's timeline in the app or share on other platforms. Follow TRZMO on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Choice Hotels International to Acquire Radisson Hotel Group Americas

Choice Hotels International, Inc | June 14, 2022

Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) and Radisson Hotel Group announced that Choice Hotels has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the franchise business, operations and intellectual property of Radisson Hotel Group Americas for approximately $675 million. The addition of Radisson's nine hotel brands in the Americas is the latest chapter in Choice's successful strategy to expand its growth opportunities by bringing the company's best-in-class franchising platform to adjacent hotel segments and to a new set of hotel owners. The added 624 hotels with over 68,000 rooms expand Choice Hotels' presence in the upscale and core upper-midscale hospitality segments, particularly in the West Coast and Midwest of the United States.The acquisition of some of the industry's most recognized brands extends Choice Hotels' customer reach in the upscale segments, as well as to more business travelers and a broader demographic within Choice's core leisure segment. The combination strengthens Choice's ability to provide a more holistic product offering across segments and continue to capitalize on consumer trends expected to fuel future demand for travel such as remote work, increasing retirements and road trips. The transaction brings Choice's industry-leading RevPAR (revenue per available room) growth performance to a new set of franchisees and hotel investors and provides new growth opportunities to expand Choice Hotels' presence to additional locations in Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. Consistent with Choice Hotels' long-term strategy of growing in higher revenue segments, the Radisson brands typically have larger room counts and are located in higher RevPAR markets, driving higher royalty revenue per hotel. "Choice has a well-established history of smart acquisitions in new segments where our world-class franchising engine can spur future growth. This transaction brings together two highly complementary businesses, enhancing our guest offerings in the core upper-midscale hospitality segments, while extending our reach into the upper upscale and upscale full-service segments and in higher revenue geographic markets. We are confident that guests and franchisees will significantly benefit by combining these two exceptional sets of brands." -Patrick Pacious, President and Chief Executive Officer of Choice Hotels The transaction unlocks significant potential value for the Radisson brands in the Americas. Choice Hotels has a deep familiarity with the Americas franchisee community and will bring a strong commitment to driving the success of Radisson franchisees, many of whom already have franchise agreements with Choice Hotels. Pacious continued, "Our long track record of establishing mutually beneficial relationships with our franchisees has resulted in a best-in-class voluntary retention rate, and those franchisees are the source of a majority of our new hotel development. Our existing and new hotel owners will benefit from the improved business delivery capabilities of the combined companies, including our award-winning loyalty program, proprietary tools and emerging technologies that will enable them to capture more business, lower their hotel operating costs, reach new customers and respond to evolving industry trends." Federico J. González, CEO of Radisson Hotel Group, said, Since the introduction of our strategic transformation plan in 2017, Radisson Hotel Group has been committed to the global success of the Radisson brands and expanding the overall footprint of our global operations. We have achieved strong results, doubling the number of rooms signed per year in EMEA and APAC, confirming Radisson Blu as the largest upper-upscale brand for over 10 years and establishing Radisson as the upscale brand with the largest growth in EMEA. We are confident that Choice Hotels is the owner with the right long-term strategy, resources and management team to successfully accelerate the growth of the Radisson business in the Americas. Radisson Hotel Group will continue to leverage the strength of operational excellence to set our business in EMEA and APAC on a significant growth path with the aim of doubling the portfolio in those markets by 2025. Together with Choice, we will work to ensure that customers continue to experience the highest levels of service and a superior brand experience. "Our associates have been working hard to solidify the power of our brands, build a better commercial engine and offer best-in-class solutions to franchisees and customers. We are very pleased that the Radisson family of brands in the Americas will join Choice Hotels. We believe that this acquisition will drive growth in a highly competitive market and enable stronger performance for our franchisees."About Choice Hotels® -Tom Buoy, interim CEO of Radisson Hotel Group Americas Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH) is one of the largest lodging franchisors in the world. With nearly 7,000 hotels, representing nearly 600,000 rooms, in 35 countries and territories as of March 31, 2022, the Choice® family of hotel brands provides business and leisure travelers with a range of high-quality lodging options from limited service to full-service hotels in the upscale, midscale, extended-stay and economy segments. The award-winning Choice Privileges® loyalty program offers members benefits ranging from everyday rewards to exceptional experiences. For more information, visit www.choicehotels.com. About Radisson Hotel Group Americas Radisson Hotel Group Americas represents Radisson Hotels operations and brands in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. The Radisson Hotel Group Americas portfolio of brands includes Radisson Collection, Radisson Blu, Radisson, Radisson RED, Radisson Individuals, Radisson Inn & Suites, Park Plaza, Park Inn by Radisson and Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, brought together under the overarching Radisson Hotels Americas name. For more information visit www.radissonhotelsamericas.com About Radisson Hotel Group Radisson Hotel Group is one of the world's largest and most dynamic hotel groups with nine distinctive brands, more than 1,700 hotels in operation and under development, more than 260,000 rooms and a footprint spanning over 120 countries and territories. 100,000+ global team members work for the Radisson Hotel Group and at the hotels licensed to operate in its systems. The Group's overarching brand promise is Every Moment Matters with a signature Yes I Can! service ethos.

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