Omega Launches New Travel Network for Travel Agencies and Independent Advisors

Omega World Travel | August 25, 2020

Omega World Travel announced today that it would offer a new program designed to assist Independent Travel Agencies and Independent Travel Advisors with their corporate and leisure customers. The program offers a full suite of technology and services to support agencies of any size, including independent travel advisors. Advisors will be able to choose from the most basic needs of transacting a booking to a full-service support network available 24/7. "We realize that one size does not fit all within the travel industry which is why we have the ability to customize a program that meets any size agency, business model, or budget," said Gloria Bohan, CEO and owner of Omega World Travel and Cruise.com.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Meliá Hotels International Accelerates Digital Transformation with Dynatrace During Global Travel Resurgence

Dynatrace | April 29, 2022

Software intelligence company Dynatrace (NYSE: DT) announced Meliá, the international luxury hotel chain, is using the Dynatrace® platform to deliver frictionless guest experiences as the demand for travel hits record levels. In anticipation of this industry shift, and to meet guests on the mobile and online platforms where they prefer to interact, Meliá accelerated its digital transformation by migrating its critical applications, including those supporting its online reservation and contact center services, to a cloud-native environment running on Kubernetes in AWS. This provided the agility Meliá needed to release better digital functionality faster, so its guests could access more of its hotel services via mobile and web platforms. The Dynatrace® platform’s broad and deep observability and advanced AIOps capabilities have allowed Meliá to ensure its digital services deliver the same quality experience as in-person interactions with hotel staff. “The cloud and Dynatrace have transformed the way our business operates and how our teams work in this modern era, Before Dynatrace, we used to spend hours manually searching through metrics, logs, and traces to piece together insights about user experience. Now, this takes minutes or seconds. If guests experience a problem using any of our digital services, our contact center teams know precisely what’s causing the issue and are empowered to provide faster, more personalized resolutions, and ultimately deliver a greater standard of care. This has enabled our teams to focus more time on driving business and customer value, and to ensure our ongoing success during what has been a challenging time in our industry.” -Christian Palomino, Vice President of Global IT, Meliá Hotels International. With Dynatrace, Meliá’s teams are rededicating their focus to optimizing digital services and finding new ways to accommodate the rapidly evolving preferences of the modern traveler. This has helped the hotel chain reduce the reliance on in-person interactions, which has led to an increase in the volume of transactions handled through its digital channels from around 40% at the end of 2019, to more than 80% during the pandemic, which was a major asset through those difficult times. We developed our Stay Safe with Meliá Program to achieve our goal of maintaining frictionless relationships between staff and guests, while also reducing in-person contact, continued Palomino. Dynatrace has been critical to this effort, enabling our teams to accelerate the delivery of new digital services that allow our guests to do things like check-in or book a table in our restaurants via our mobile app, reducing the need for person-to-person contact across our hotels. Dynatrace delivers the precise, AI-powered insights we need to understand exactly how our customers interact with our applications, and how their experiences impact our business. This has helped our teams discover where our guests are struggling, and what we need to do to improve our digital services, so they have a great experience and can fully relax during their stay with us. Visit our Customer Stories page for more details on how Meliá is accelerating digital innovation and delivering frictionless guest experiences across its hotels with Dynatrace. About Dynatrace Dynatrace (NYSE: DT) exists to make the world’s software work perfectly. Our unified software intelligence platform combines broad and deep observability and continuous runtime application security with the most advanced AIOps to provide answers and intelligent automation from data at an enormous scale. This enables innovators to modernize and automate cloud operations, deliver software faster and more securely, and ensure flawless digital experiences. That’s why the world’s largest organizations trust the Dynatrace® platform to accelerate digital transformation. Curious to see how you can simplify your cloud and maximize the impact of your digital teams? Let us show you. Sign up for a free 15-day Dynatrace trial.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Kasada Acquires Iconic Cape Grace Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa

kasada | March 26, 2022

Funds advised by Kasada Capital Management (“Kasada”) announced the acquisition of the 120-key Cape Grace hotel in Cape Town, South Africa. This acquisition marks Kasada's entry into the South African hospitality market and the continued fulfilment of the platform’s strategy to expand its presence in key cities across Sub-Saharan Africa. Kasada will now deploy its expertise in Cape Town with an asset voted one of the “Top Luxury Hotels” in the continent. Originally opened in 1996, the Cape Grace is located in Cape Town’s Victoria & Albert Waterfront district and is one of Africa’s most iconic hotels. This acquisition will mark a new chapter in the property’s history. With high ambitions for this Cape Town landmark, Kasada will renovate the hotel with the view of obtaining the EDGE green-building certification while keeping its legacy, unrivalled quality, and exceptional service which have been the essence of this exceptional property. "This acquisition marks our entry into the South African hospitality market, the largest in Africa. The Cape Grace is a great addition to our existing hotel portfolio and we look forward to bringing our knowledge and expertise to this iconic asset. Our value creation strategy will be driven by our sustainability values and highest ESG standards for the benefit of our guests, employees and local communities." -Olivier Granet, Kasada's Managing Partner and CEO David Damiba, Kasada’s Managing Partner and CIO added: We are delighted to have completed this important acquisition in Cape Town. It demonstrates our continued ability to structure and execute transactions across hotel segments and geographies. With the acquisition of the Cape Grace and our subsequent capex commitment, we continue to believe in the resilience of the African hospitality market and confirm our positioning as a leading investor and solution provider in the hospitality sector on the continent. About Kasada Kasada Capital Management is part of the Kasada group, an independent investment platform dedicated to hospitality in Sub-Saharan Africa. The firm was launched in 2018 with the backing of Qatar Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar, and Accor, a world leading hospitality group. The Kasada group’s strategy spans all segments from economy to luxury and targets both greenfield and brownfield projects. The Kasada group’s hotels are operated under the banner of Accor’s wide range of internationally renowned brands. By investing in a region which offers robust growth opportunities, the Kasada group aims to deliver both attractive risk-adjusted returns to investors, and a long-term positive impact on local economies. In April 2019, the Kasada group held a close on its maiden fund, Kasada Hospitality Fund L.P., with equity commitments of over USD 500 million. For more information, visit www.kasada.com and follow us on LinkedIn.

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COMMERCIAL TRAVEL

Travelopia Takes Next Steps On Customer Experience Journey With Talkdesk

Talkdesk | December 18, 2021

Talkdesk®, Inc., the global customer experience leader for customer-obsessed companies, has been chosen by Travelopia, the world’s largest collection of specialist travel brands, as its contact centre solution provider. Talkdesk provided a flexible, scalable solution as this pioneer in specialty travel charted a new course to remote call center technology for its portfolio of independent brands operating across the globe.Travelopia - the only travel brand of its kind in the world - is at the forefront of global travel for those wanting a distinctive experience. With primary headquarters in Crawley, England, the company supports a global network of hospitality professionals representing 23 independent travel brands offering more than 70 destinations, spanning 10 countries across all seven continents. The Travelopia portfolio is exclusively focused on specialist travel, and the company strives to deliver unique experiences - from exploring Canada’s Rideau Canal by boat to joining the ranks of those rare travellers who cross the Antarctic Circle to see the South Pole. Whether travelling around the world by private jet or exploring closer to home on bicycle, Travelopia helps cultivate the passions and interests of its more than 750,000 guests each year. Talkdesk CX Cloud™, an end-to-end customer experience solution, made the transition from on premises to remote contact centre operations much easier for the geographically diverse Travelopia network of sales agents responsible for helping guests with highly customised travel itineraries and complex customer support enquiries. Agents across multiple geographies could better manage their time, which reduced the number of missed guest calls. The Talkdesk solution offered robust analytics, and those deeper insights into customer data enabled agents to proactively suggest new, customised travel experiences for returning guests. The flexibility and scalability of remote contact centre operations allowed Travelopia to efficiently adapt to the rapidly changing travel market conditions over the last year, as well as lowered operating costs during a volatile time for the travel industry as a whole. “One of the core values driving Travelopia forward is our constant pursuit of the ultimate customer experience for our guests to enrich their lives through travel. As part of that pursuit, we’re committed to reflect on and evolve our operational approach,” said Mark Beauchamp, technology director, Travelopia. “For our move to remote contact centre operations, we wanted an innovative, flexible solution with the best tools to delight our customers. The Talkdesk solution provides our global network of agents across the portfolio of Travelopia brands with the resources they need to provide a seamless customer journey for guests - from first contact with our sales team through to the conclusion of that world beating travel experience.” “Customer experience has never been more important to the success of travel and hospitality brands as it is now. Travellers worldwide are making up for lost time and missed opportunities, and they will choose to partner with those companies that can deliver not only that once-in-a-lifetime adventure, but also an unforgettable customer service experience before, during, and after,With the Talkdesk solution, Travelopia agents can provide customer experience as unique and meaningful as the extraordinary travel experiences they create. We’re proud to partner with Travelopia in achieving their customer experience goals.” -Kieran King, chief customer officer, Talkdesk. About Talkdesk® is a global cloud contact center leader for customer-obsessed companies. We believe that better customer experiences start with AI. Our automation-first customer experience solutions optimize our customers’ most critical customer service processes. Our speed of innovation, deep vertical expertise, and global footprint reflect our commitment to ensuring that businesses everywhere can deliver better customer experiences across any industry and through any channel, resulting in higher customer satisfaction and accelerated business outcomes. Over 1,800 innovative companies around the world, including Acxiom, Fujitsu, Hunter Douglas, IBM, Trivago, Tuft & Needle, YMCA, and 2U partner with Talkdesk to deliver a better way to great customer experience. Learn more and request a demo at www.talkdesk.com.Talkdesk is a registered trademark of Talkdesk, Inc. All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered ® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation or endorsement by them.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

Emburse Launches the Ultimate Business Travel Companion Tool to Enhance the Entire Trip Experience

Emburse | April 06, 2022

Emburse, a global leader in spend management solutions, has announced the launch of Emburse Go: a mobile travel companion that delivers the best possible business travel experience by managing every aspect of a trip - from end to end. Emburse Go extends well beyond typical flight and hotel itinerary information, providing valuable location-based content to keep travelers safe, comfortable and productive. Traditionally, business travelers have had to navigate every aspect of a trip themselves, beyond basic transit and accommodation. Emburse Go allows employers to easily curate destination information and deliver contextual messaging that not only meets growing employee expectations, but also helps reduce spend leakage and minimize risks. It even allows companies to track the carbon footprint of each trip and across their travel program. Designed for small and medium-sized businesses, Emburse Go is based on the Emburse Go Premier (formerly Roadmap) award-winning corporate travel app used by millions of travelers at large enterprises including Nike, Microsoft and Merck. Notable features include: Consumer-like app delivers a curated experience at every stage of the trip Emburse Go differs from most business travel apps by providing much more than flight notifications and itinerary information, such as company-selected city guides and preferred supplier links for easy access to the corporate booking tool, corporate TMC, corporate card and expense solution. It focuses on supporting travelers holistically throughout their trip, including the entire time they’re at their destination. Once a trip is booked (whether via a corporate booking tool or online booking site), the app can be automatically pre-populated with the itinerary, any subsequent itinerary changes and all relevant destination information. This includes local transport tips, tipping recommendations, risk and safety information, and local music and points of interest. As employees use the app, employers can learn from their experiences via travel data that relies on machine learning best practices and traveler reviews given through the app. This helps improve future trip recommendations and measures performance against travel program goals. Emphasizes traveler safety, helping employers prioritize duty of care Travelers can access essential safety information about their destination within the app. Emburse Go provides the latest COVID testing requirements, travel advisories, and visa requirements, and links to request assistance during the trip. Corporate travel managers can reduce risk by easily communicating safety information to travelers via the app. Tracks carbon footprint and informs sustainable decision-making More than 70% of business travelers are concerned about their company’s carbon footprint, according to Statista. Emburse Go leverages data from Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GGP) to allow employees to manage their footprint and companies to get an overview of their impact. Travelers can view the carbon footprint of their entire trip, including flights, ground transportation and hotel choices, in the Emburse Go app. Data from all employee trips is gathered in a central dashboard, enabling organizations to measure and analyze their overall carbon footprint and benchmark it against their ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) commitments. “Optimizing the business traveler experience has long been overlooked as a nice-to-have. But not any more. The pause in business travel and the overall increased focus on employee wellbeing has made companies reassess how to treat their employees while on the road. All organizations, no matter their size, have to rise to the challenge with curated experiences, easy-to-use mobile apps, and clear commitment to comfort, safety and sustainability. Business trips are an opportunity to live up to your organization’s values and promises. Companies that fail to do so will feel the impact in the form of higher travel costs, employee churn and reputational pressure,” -Eric Friedrichsen, CEO of Emburse. Emburse Go is available as an iPhone or Android app, to existing Emburse customers. It comes with a desktop self-service portal for travel managers, enabling them to create targeted and custom messaging for travelers. Emburse Go Premier is available to existing customers or as a standalone solution. Emburse Go Premier customers also receive monthly reports and insights for their entire travel program. The app is available in seven languages. About Emburse Emburse is a modern spend management company offering solutions that revolutionize the way organizations manage employee expenses, process invoices and make payments. Emburse humanizes work by empowering business travelers, finance professionals, and CFOs to eliminate manual, time-consuming tasks, so they can focus on what matters most. Its innovative offerings, which are tailored to meet the unique business needs of specific industries, company sizes, and geographies, are trusted by more than 9 million users in more than 120 countries. Over 16,000 customers, from start-ups to global enterprises, including Bosch, Grant Thornton, Telefónica, Lufthansa Systems, and Toyota, rely on Emburse to make faster, smarter decisions, improve compliance, and optimize spend -- making corporate spend deliver meaningful value for the organization. Emburse is recognized as a leader in expense management and accounts payable automation by analyst firm IDC, and has received multiple awards for innovation and its high levels of customer satisfaction. For more information on Emburse, visit emburse.com, call 877-EMBURSE, or follow the organization’s social channels at @emburse.

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