Northstar Travel Group acquiring three premier U.K. events

Travel Weekly | April 10, 2019

Northstar is buying the Business Travel Show, The Meetings Show and Travel Technology Europe. The transaction is expected to close at the end of April. The Business Travel Show is Europe's largest corporate travel event with more than 9,000 attendees, including 220 exhibiting companies and 500 hosted corporate travel buyers. The Meetings Show is the U.K.'s top event for global meeting planners, bringing together approximately 5,000 attendees, including 640 exhibitors and approximately 1,000 hosted meeting buyers.For 17 years, Travel Technology Europe has been bringing together buyers of technology solutions with vendors selling software and services to the travel industry. Approximately 6,500 attendees, including 300 VIP travel technology buyers, participate in Travel Technology Europe each year.

Spotlight

With its diverse and rich cultural heritage, and the status as one of the hotbeds of entrepreneurship in this age, Europe is perhaps one of the must-visit locations for many travelers all around the world, especially for those with business purposes. It is the perfect melting point of leisure and business – with its bankable offerings of ancient history, timeless art and culture, and impossibly diverse, breathtaking landscapes.


Other News
AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

TripStack and Navitaire Announce Strategic Partnership to Bring Virtual Interline Technology to Airlines

TripStack and Navitaire | June 29, 2022

TripStack and Navitaire announced that the companies have entered into a strategic partnership that will enable Navitaire hosted carriers to sell Virtual Interline (also known as self-connect) itineraries powered by TripStack technology.The partnership will give the 60+ Navitaire hosted carriers the opportunity to expand their existing network and generate additional revenue without the cost and complexity associated with traditional interline agreements. Virtual Interlining combines flights between carriers without traditional interline agreements, with passengers being responsible for transferring their checked baggage between carriers at connecting airports. The benefits include access to lower fares and more flight connection options. Transfers are protected by the TripStack Self-Connect Guarantee which provides in-trip customer support in case of missed connections or schedule changes. “We have been working very hard to build our Self-Connect technology and are very excited to be partnering with a highly respected company such as Navitaire. We look forward to serving Navitaire customers and further expanding Self-Connect solutions together with Navitaire in the future. It is such an exciting time to be in the travel industry.” -Gabor Toth, CEO of TripStack We believe our partnership with TripStack, another leader focused on enabling true Virtual Interline capabilities, can provide groundbreaking opportunities for our airline customers,” said David P. Evans, Navitaire CEO. “Together, we’ll offer a flexible and less complex way for airlines to reach more customers using modern technology to streamline the Virtual Interline booking process. About TripStack TripStack (www.TripStack.com), founded in 2016, is a global leader in Virtual Interlining (VI) technology. Virtual Interlining combines carriers, without traditional interlining agreements, into a single itinerary. It allows airlines to expand their network and product offering while providing travellers with more connections at better prices. TripStack is based in Canada, India and Poland, and is part of the ETraveli Group of companies. About Navitaire Navitaire (www.navitaire.com), an Amadeus company, delivers industry-leading technology services supporting growth, profitability, and innovation to more than 60 airlines and rail companies worldwide, carrying a total of 819 million annual passengers in 2019, including many of the world’s most successful low-cost and hybrid airlines. Navitaire offers a full suite of proven solutions focused on revenue generation and streamlining costs in reservations, ancillary sales, loyalty, revenue accounting, and business intelligence. Navitaire has offices in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Amadeus Group. Learn more about Navitaire’s industry leadership in shaping the world of travel at www.navitaire.com.

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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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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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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Wix Relaunches its Solution for Hotels - Now Powered by HotelRunner, Providing a Comprehensive Platform Built for the Hospitality Industry

HotelRunner | June 08, 2022

Wix.com Ltd. (NASDAQ: WIX), a leading global SaaS platform to create, manage and grow an online presence, announced the relaunch of its new solution for the hotel industry. Wix has partnered with HotelRunner, a complete platform tailored to support all accommodation businesses, to redevelop Wix Hotels. The new platform is a major improvement to the existing solution and includes a full suite of professional tools for every touchpoint needed to launch, manage, and grow a hospitality business of any size and maximize revenue.Wix's comprehensive online platform combined with HotelRunner's end-to-end travel technology provides the ability for users to create a website, manage their property, guests, bookings, and sales channels all from one platform. Whether running a bed and breakfast, boutique hotel, chain hotel, vacation rental, resort, or unique accommodation, business owners are equipped with the operational tools they need to efficiently run their business online and on premise. Benefits for users of Wix Hotels by HotelRunner include: Connect to leading online sales channels and travel agencies such as Booking.com, Expedia, Hotelbeds, and Airbnb, which can help increase revenues Receive direct reservations and secure payments from their website Manage rates and availability with user-friendly calendars on a single reliable platform to manage reservations and keep all inventory in sync while implementing complex pricing and revenue management strategies Real-time inventory updates on all sales channels Manage front desk operations including check-in and outs Manage policies and taxes, offer extras, promotions, deals, and coupons, engage with guests, and promote their property on sales channels via the channel manager "We are constantly improving our offering to provide business owners with a complete solution for any type of business, and we're thrilled to relaunch our hotel solution for the hospitality and tourism industry, As travel has begun to increase in the post-pandemic era, we're seeing a rise in the demand for digitalization in the hotel and hospitality industry and we're proud that we have developed a strong solution for these businesses and grow the addressable market. Wix has invested resources into building out the proper infrastructure to support privately owned businesses and large franchises, both for restaurants and hotels, and this new partnership with HotelRunner is another step in creating the go-to solution for businesses to efficiently manage their operations and grow." -Ronny Elkayam, SVP Mobile, App Market and Strategic Products at Wix. HotelRunner has been introducing innovations for more than a decade to build a bigger travel economy. Wix Hotels by HotelRunner has been developed by leveraging both companies' deep expertise in both travel and technology and positioning our award-winning platform, recognized globally by the leading travel industry players, as its foundation," said Ali Beklen, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of HotelRunner. "Our unique partnership with Wix will be the driving force that will take the hospitality and tourism industries to the next level by accelerating the digital transformation. Thousands of accommodation properties from all over the world will benefit from an affordable and comprehensive set of products, thanks to the new Wix Hotels by HotelRunner, added Arden Agopyan, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of HotelRunner. Wix Hotels by HotelRunner is in beta with a gradual rollout in English first and then to other languages. Existing users of the Wix Hotels solution will move to the new solution after the beta. To sign up for the beta version click here. About Wix.com Ltd. Wix is a leading platform to create, manage and grow a digital presence. What began as a website builder in 2006 is now a complete platform providing users with enterprise-grade performance, security and a reliable infrastructure. Offering a wide range of commerce and business solutions, advanced SEO and marketing tools, Wix enables users to have full ownership of their brand, their data and their relationships with their customers. With a focus on continuous innovation and delivery of new features and products, anyone can build a powerful digital presence to fulfill their dreams on Wix. About HotelRunner HotelRunner is a SaaS-enabled unified sales, operations, and distribution management platform and B2B network for accommodations, travel agencies, and payment providers. HotelRunner has thousands of accommodation and travel agency partners globally. HotelRunner is a Booking.com Premier Connectivity Partner, Expedia Elite Connectivity Partner, Airbnb Software Partner, Agoda Innovative Supplier, Oracle Gold, Hotelbeds, and Google Hotel Ads strategic partner.

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Spotlight

With its diverse and rich cultural heritage, and the status as one of the hotbeds of entrepreneurship in this age, Europe is perhaps one of the must-visit locations for many travelers all around the world, especially for those with business purposes. It is the perfect melting point of leisure and business – with its bankable offerings of ancient history, timeless art and culture, and impossibly diverse, breathtaking landscapes.

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