HOSPITALITY TRENDS

SendSquared Partners with Resort Data Processing, an Award-Winning Provider of Property Management Software

SendSquared & Resort Data Processing | November 30, 2021

SendSquared Partners with Resort Data Processing, an Award-Winning Provider of Property Management Software
SendSquared (sendsquared.com), a data and marketing communications platform for the hospitality industry, announced  it has partnered with Resort Data Processing (RDP), a leading provider of property management software. The collaboration will integrate SendSquared with RDP’s property management software to provide resorts, hotels and vacation rentals the tools to power all guest communications including email, text and voice services.

“RDP is a respected industry standard that brings decades of experience in the hospitality industry to this collaboration,SendSquared is absolutely thrilled to join forces with a company we so deeply admire, and together offer added value to our current and future customers.” 

-Nicolas Wegener, CEO of SendSquared.

With the SendSquared integration, properties using RDP software can now leverage valuable guest data to power meaningful communications and sales efforts. At every touchpoint along the customer journey–from pre-booking to post-stay–users can deliver personalized, timely messages that delight guests and allow them to relax and focus on enjoying their stay.

“At RDP, we create solutions that meet the unique needs of each customer,Our partnership with SendSquared will provide our customers with best-in-class marketing solutions to help grow their businesses and generate more revenue.”

-RDP President Barry Biegler

About SendSquared
Founded in 2018 and based in the Twin Cities, SendSquared provides an all-in-one communication platform for the hospitality industry that facilitates email marketing, SMS, voice services, CRM and more to help resorts and hospitality organizations grow by building strong customer relationships and increasing direct bookings. SendSquared is trusted by more than 100 leading resorts, hoteliers, and VRMCs. For more information or to demo SendSquared, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and our blog.

About Resort Data Processing
Resort Data Processing (RDP) has long been considered one of the pioneers of the property management software industry, and currently supports over 1000 installations worldwide. RDP specializes in providing a customized solution for each client. We cater to properties of all sizes, from small luxury vacation rental companies, to 1500 room resort properties. Our software solutions offer an endless feature set that has evolved over 35 years from customer input and real world application.

Spotlight

State legislation approved in April allows Transportation Network Companies (ride-sourcing agencies such as Uber and Lyft) to operate anywhere in New York State (outside NYC) with state oversight beginning 90 days from enactment. By June 29, these companies are expected to begin operations in upstate cities and counties and in the NYC suburbs, under rules being developed by NYSDMV and NYSDFS.


Other News
DESTINATION AND TOURISM

How to Plan Safe and Fun Travel Get-Aways in 2022

Worldwide Rescue & Security, Inc. | December 29, 2021

Domestic and international bookings are on the rise, especially for the second half of 2022. Hospitality vendors are welcoming guests with promises of increased cleanliness and contactless transactions. But much remains uncertain about upcoming getaways. COVID-19 is still impacting travel. Labor and supply shortages are affecting restaurants, airlines, hotels, and rental car agencies. So what's the best way to plan a trip now? Here are some tips:Be flexible and make your reservations earlier. Airlines and other travel vendors have consolidated services, so have a back-up plan in case your schedule needs to change. Also, some hotels have reduced amenities, such as daily housekeeping and in-house restaurant hours. Verify your destination's status before leaving home. Consider a trip focused on the outdoors. Popular destinations include beach and ski resorts, plus trips to national and state parks. Our prediction is national park visits will continue to stay strong for several years to come. Explore digital travel planning tools, which can offer more choices, including pet-friendly hotels, all-inclusive resorts, vacation rental homes, and enhanced options for those working remotely. And you might also want to consider purchasing a travel assistance program for longer getaways. For a reasonable fee, Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+) provides extra protection and security on every trip taken away from home during a full year, whether domestic or abroad. EA+ is part of a global network that offers customized medical, travel, and security services across six continents to ensure members get the medical care they need and are returned home safely. EA+ is offered by Worldwide Rescue & Security, Inc., a division of AGIA Affinity Services, a leading provider of emergency travel protection and rescue and security products. Each year, Worldwide Rescue & Security protects hundreds of thousands of customers in the event of medical emergencies or security situations. For more information, please visit www.emergencyassistanceplus.com.

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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Iconic Luxury Hazelton Hotel Retains Trip Advisor's #1 Spot in Canada

Hazelton Hotel | December 20, 2021

For the 5th consecutive year, Trip Advisor has named The Hazelton as the #1 hotel in Toronto, Canada. For 2021, the hotel ranked among the top 1% of hotels worldwide and received Traveler's Choice Best of the Best award the highest honour by Trip Advisor. In addition, the hotel also received the 2021 Traveller's Choice award. Despite the recent challenges the hospitality industry has faced, The Hazelton is honoured once again to be recognized as a leader in hospitality by providing an unparalleled level of excellence to local and international guests, upholding the highest standard in the industry. "I am honoured to lead a team of hospitality experts who continue to excel at the highest level. The Hazelton is committed to providing outstanding customer service across the property, whether that be a dining experience, spa treatment, or a luxurious stay in one of our newly renovated suites. The Trip Advisor awards we have earned are a testament to our dedicated team, as well as our guests – both new and returning – who have taken valuable time to share their experiences and support by rating us after their stay," - Gaurav Dutta, General Manager of The Hazelton Hotel. The Hazelton Hotel, Toronto's first luxury boutique hotel situated in the heart of Yorkville – the epicentre of fashion, art, celebrity, and lifestyle in Canada – is also proud to announce its five-year renewal with Leading Hotels of the World. This elite partnership positions the hotel – one of only two in Canada – amongst the most exclusive, luxury boutique accommodations across the globe. In anticipation of the hotel's 15th anniversary in 2022, The Hazelton Hotel is pleased to announce the completion of an extensive renovation and the introduction of the new Presidential Bellair Suite. Designed by award-winning firm Yabu Pushelberg, the 1860 square-foot suite features an open concept living room, an exquisite dining area, and a private wet bar offering guests a lavish home away from home. Renovations also include ONE restaurant's indoor dining room and bar, multiple meeting spaces throughout the hotel, and the private Silver Screening Room. In celebration of the Trip Advisor Awards and the new Presidential Bellair Suite, The Hazelton Hotel announces a social media contest on Instagram beginning on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021. To enter, follow The Hazelton Hotel @hazeltonto on Instagram, tag a friend, and comment by sharing what part of the prize you would be most excited to win. Entrants who share the post to their stories and tag @hazeltonto receive a bonus entry. The Prize includes a one (1) night stay in the Presidential Bellair Suite, a $500 hotel dining card for ONE Restaurant, a $500 spa gift card for the Valmont Spa, and a private screening in the Silver Screening Room (prize value $10000.00 CND). About The Hazelton Hotel, Spa by Valmont and ONE Restaurant Since 2008, the hotel is an iconic landmark and Toronto's only member of The Leading Hotels of The World. With 77 opulent guest suites designed by internationally renowned design firm Yabu Pushelberg, The Hazelton Hotel is also home to a private Silver Screening Room and Spa by Valmont, one of the city's most exclusive spa sanctuaries. The hotel's ONE Restaurant is celebrity chef Mark McEwan's signature dining experience that offers world-class cuisine and boasts one of Toronto's finest patios. A Forbes Health Verified hotel, The Hazelton Hotel continues to ensure the health and safety of guests, residents, and team members, through their 8-point safety plan that is aligned with the provincial public health authorities' guidelines.http://www.thehazeltonhotel.com

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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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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

Backroads Announces 2022 Travel Trends and Gears Up for Busiest Year Ever

Backroads | December 28, 2021

Backroads, the leader in active travel, announced their forecast for top travel destinations in 2022 based on advance bookings and inquiries. Europe is at the top of many travelers’ lists next year, with huge demand for trips in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Greece and Iceland. Many newcomers to active travel are booking adventures already, especially easygoing Dolce Tempo tours, and e-bikes are continuing to become more popular with guests of all ages. Backroads is anticipating that most of their North American trips will sell out once again, in line with the 2021 trend of strong interest in US National Parks and luxurious domestic adventures. As this eventful year comes to a close, Backroads is finishing strong and poised to have their biggest year ever in 2022. Backroads’ 2021 year-end highlights include: Backroads had its best year of all time in the US in 2021. Domestic bookings were up 45% compared to 2019, the last pre-pandemic benchmark year, and virtually all US departures sold out. The number of first-time travelers with Backroads nearly doubled over 2019, as people incorporated their newfound passions for walking, hiking and biking into their vacations. Top-selling trips in 2021 included Canyonlands, Yellowstone, Maine, San Juan Islands, Alaska, California Wine Country, Hawaii, Santa Barbara & Ojai, Crater Lake, Vermont and Yosemite in the US, and Croatia, Iceland, Greece, France, Portugal and Spain in Europe. Luxury experiences close to home saw a surge in popularity. Backroads' new Aspen tour (which includes three nights at the iconic Hotel Jerome) sold out immediately, as did the company’s Newfoundland adventure, which features lodging at the famed Fogo Island Inn, and its California Wine Country Walking trip with lodging at luxurious hideaways Montage and Solage. Popular with travelers around the world were Backroads' Dolce Tempo tours. These easygoing walking, multi-adventure and e-biking trips completely sold out in 2021 and are booking quickly in 2022. Adventure travel featuring invigorating activity in wide-open, natural spaces was hugely popular with travelers of all types, including families, couples and solo travelers. Based on advance guest booking and inquiries, Backroads is anticipating the following trends for 2022: More than 30% of guests on multi-adventure and biking trips will opt for e-bikes, which are custom-built for Backroads and included in the trip price. Europe will continue to see pent-up demand manifesting in sky-high bookings, with all the European countries that opened early and were popular in 2021 seeing strong traveler interest. Top-selling countries include Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Greece and Iceland. North America, which had its biggest year ever in 2021, will continue to be popular with travelers looking to stick close to home. US National Park trips will again completely sell out. Demand for travel in all parts of Canada from Banff to Newfoundland is skyrocketing. Family travel is up across all family segments: Teens & Kids, Older Teens & 20s and 20s & Beyond. Bookings for easygoing Dolce Tempo adventures will maintain their threefold increase compared to 2021, as travelers of all fitness levels look to spend active time outdoors. Active River Cruises will book up quickly with Bordeaux, Danube and Portugal’s Douro leading the way. Working in active, outdoor travel continues to appeal, with more than 450 Backroads Trip Leaders and Field Staff returning next season for a 90% retention rate. The company expects to hire close to another 350 additional Trip Leaders from 6,000 applicants for jobs in 2022. “If there’s one thing we’ve learned during our two years of operating trips during the pandemic, it’s that things change rapidly, Spring, summer, and fall are a long time away when it comes to COVID-19. We’re monitoring government responses to the latest surge and keeping a close eye on border reopenings and local policies.” -Tom Hale, Backroads Founder and President. Regardless of what happens this winter, 2022 is shaping up to be an incredible year for adventure travel. Based on what we saw in the summer 2021 season, we expect travel in Europe to come back strong, with France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Croatia topping the list of travelers everywhere,” said Hale. “People are eager to get back out exploring, and active travel is the way they want to go. Whether it’s on a bike or an e-bike, hiking or walking, with family, friends or solo, we anticipate next year to be Backroads' biggest year ever.”     About Backroads      Backroads was founded in 1979 by Tom Hale and has been a leading innovator in active and adventure travel for over 40 years. The company offers biking, walking & hiking and multi-adventure tours, small ship active cruises, private trips and family trips designed for three distinct age groups: Teens & Kids (typically 9-16), Older Teens & 20s (17+) and 20s & Beyond (adult kids through their late 20s). Backroads hosts thousands of guests each year—75% of whom are repeat guests or referrals from past guests—in hundreds of locations across the globe. For more information, please visit backroads.com, or call 800-462-2848.For more Backroads information, visit: backroads.com

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Spotlight

State legislation approved in April allows Transportation Network Companies (ride-sourcing agencies such as Uber and Lyft) to operate anywhere in New York State (outside NYC) with state oversight beginning 90 days from enactment. By June 29, these companies are expected to begin operations in upstate cities and counties and in the NYC suburbs, under rules being developed by NYSDMV and NYSDFS.

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