DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Tourism Thailand and Avanti Partner on 2021 Campaign for FIT travel

FIT | October 22, 2020

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and independent travel specialist Avanti Destinations have launched a joint campaign to help advisors inspire FIT clients to plan a 2021 getaway in Thailand. The joint promotion consists of a 38-page downloadable “future travel lookbook," a savings of $250 for every land booking worth a minimum of $3,000 made by December 31, 2020, for travel anytime in 2021. As part of the promotion, no deposit is required on the land portion, and there are no fees for changes made 21 or more days prior to departure.

Spotlight

Comprised of 50 states, the USA occupies an area that’s only just marginally smaller than Europe. It’s in this vast country that you will find an unbelievably diverse array of natural landscapes, cityscapes, people and cultures. From the tropical islands of Hawaii to the desert landscape of the Grand Canyon, as well as the multicultural cities such as Chicago and New York City, you’ll never be stuck for destinations to discover. Here’s a look at the best places to visit in the USA:


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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

Trinity Investments Acquires Fifty Percent Interest in Omni San Diego Hotel

Trinity Investments | December 22, 2021

An investment fund managed by Trinity Fund Advisors LLC, an affiliate of Trinity Real Estate Investments LLC (“Trinity”), announced the acquisition of a 50 percent interest in Omni San Diego Hotel from JMI Realty, who originally developed the hotel in conjunction with Petco Park in 2004. Omni Hotels & Resorts (“Omni”) owns the remaining fifty percent interest in the hotel and will continue to manage it. The acquisition also includes more than 13,000 square feet of fully leased, street-level retail space, located across the street from the hotel.Situated in the heart of the historic Gaslamp Quarter, adjacent to Petco Park and across from the San Diego Convention Center, the 511-key, AAA 4-Diamond, award-winning Omni San Diego Hotel is located in a highly trafficked area and benefits from numerous demand generators. Trinity and Omni plan to take advantage of strategic opportunities, including a multimillion-dollar capital improvement plan involving a comprehensive renovation of guestrooms, a reimagination of the food and beverage offerings, and the enhancement of the hotel’s rooftop pool deck, fitness center and other amenities. “We are pleased to acquire, what we believe to be, one of the best-located hotels in San Diego, and to partner with Omni to unlock the hotel’s full potential,In partnership with Omni, our teams have identified numerous opportunities to drive higher revenues and position the hotel as the premier destination in the market for business and leisure travel.” -Sean Hehir, Managing Partner, President and CEO of Trinity Over the last 10 years, the San Diego lodging market has demonstrated robust growth as a top drive-to, leisure destination, and highly desirable locale for business gatherings. The downtown area is experiencing significant redevelopment, with several large office and life science development projects underway, as well as the anticipated future expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, all of which projected to drive increased demand for well-appointed hotels. In conjunction with their capital improvement plan, and factoring in the area’s redevelopment activity, Trinity and Omni plan to shift current demand segmentation to higher-rated transient and group business. “This is a mutually important and strategic business alignment between Omni Hotels & Resorts and Trinity,We are especially excited to partner with Trinity, given their current portfolio of premier assets, and their dedication to elevating the hotel’s presence and impact in the San Diego market.” -Omni Hotels & Resorts’ President Peter Strebel. The Omni San Diego Hotel represents Trinity’s third acquisition on behalf of Trinity GP Fund I L.P., Trinity’s inaugural U.S. commingled hospitality fund, following its acquisitions of the 352-key EAST Miami and the 305-key W Hollywood, earlier this year. About Trinity Real Estate Investments LLC Trinity is a private real estate investment firm with a 26-year history of specializing in value-add opportunities. Based in Honolulu, Hawaii, with an office in Beverly Hills, California, Trinity focuses on unique real estate investments in world-class markets and has invested more than $8 billion in the United States, Mexico, Europe, and Japan by leveraging its deep institutional knowledge and longstanding local relationships. Trinity is based in Honolulu, Hawaii, with an office in Beverly Hills, California. For additional information, please visit Trinity’s website at www.trinityinvestments.com. About Omni Hotels & Resorts Omni Hotels & Resorts creates genuine, authentic guest experiences at over 50 distinct luxury hotels and resorts in leading business and leisure destinations across North America. With more than 21 iconic golf courses and multiple short courses, 24 award-winning spas featured in dynamic locales nationwide, every Omni proudly opens its doors to share the true spirit of its destination. Reflected through local color, personalized service, unique wellness options, signature restaurants and creative culinary offerings, Omni leaves a lasting impression with every guest and a heightened level of recognition and rewards delivered through its Select Guest® loyalty program. Omni is committed to reducing hunger and is on a mission through its Say Goodnight to Hunger initiative to provide millions of meals each year for food banks to feed children, families, and seniors in communities in which it operates. Through its partnership with Shared Hope International, Omni is dedicated to the education and training of its associates to help combat human trafficking. Omni Hotels & Resorts is the official hotel of the PGA TOUR® and PGA TOUR Champions. For information or to book accommodations, visit www.omnihotels.com or call 1-800-The-Omni.

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INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

TRAVEL LEADERS CORPORATE ANTICIPATES STRONGER BUSINESS MARKET IN 2022

Travel Leaders Corporate | December 21, 2021

While the demand for business travel is growing, and should continue to recover in 2022, changes brought on by the pandemic will affect many aspects of trip planning, according to Travel Leaders Corporate's leadership team. Travel Leaders Corporate is an innovative business travel solutions firm with a focus on customized Travel Fulfillment, Meetings Management and Data & Analytics. Business travelers will face reduced airline schedules, fewer options for hotel rooms and higher prices. Border closures and lockdowns around the world will slow international travel. And there is still much uncertainty regarding the impact of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. "Traveling amid a constantly changing environment will continue to challenge even the most experienced road warriors,Travelers will place a premium on the expertise of seasoned travel consultants to help them plan, execute and navigate through each business trip. This is especially true for international travel, where regulations evolve on an almost dynamic basis." -Michael Boult, president of Travel Leaders Corporate. Despite those challenges, Boult said, "Getting business travelers back on the road is critical for both company health and economic prosperity." Here are some of the Travel Leaders Corporate insights for 2022: Consolidation is coming for travel management companies and travel suppliers. Many of the vulnerable players will fall prey to stronger players or potentially exit the marketplace entirely. Inflation caused by ongoing labor shortages will result in higher prices for airline tickets and hotel rooms. All suppliers will seek to recapture lost market share, revenue and profit as they look to a full recovery in 2023. With leisure travel returning at a faster pace, airlines are focusing on "fun and sun" markets, leading to fewer flights between predominantly business routes. And with real estate prices at record levels, some hotel owners may be tempted to convert their properties to condominiums. Senior-level travelers will make increasing use of VIP services. Corporations will move toward implementing employee vaccine mandates, speeding the process of returning workers to physical offices. This is a critical step for business travelers, whose success depends on being willing and able to visit colleagues, clients and potential clients. Stricter vaccine requirements are anticipated for non-remote workers, business travelers and office/facility visitors, as well as safety protocols for employees attending physical meetings and events. Travel requests and policy compliance will face increased scrutiny as companies continue to closely manage costs. To ensure maximum spend visibility and heightened employee duty of care, employees will no longer have the flexibility to book travel outside of their organization's preferred vendors. Sustainability and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will be key drivers in travel policy and the selection of suppliers. Organizations must be prepared to measure their impact on society and the environment. Corporations are eager to return to live or hybrid events in 2022. More than three-quarters of event planners say that they will hold their next face-to-face event late in the first quarter of the year. Planners still strongly consider face-to-face meetings as vital. Many event sponsors say that their companies value in-person meetings more than before the pandemic. Many companies are moving to smaller regional events with less than 200 attendees. Planners have found a lack of availability of large meeting venues in the first two quarters of 2022, as many first-tier cities are already booked. Uneven rates of COVID cases, border closures, changes in the airline market and potential lockdowns will combine to limit the recovery of international travel in 2022. As we enter a third year of pandemic disruption, companies have begun to adapt and normalize their activities through virtual meetings and the use of local staff and partners. While international business travel will return, it is possible that some activity will be permanently eliminated. For more information or to take advantage of Travel Leaders Corporate's personalized service and cutting-edge corporate business travel solutions that provide a complete travel enrichment experience, email sales@tlcorporate.com or call 844.485.2677. About Travel Leaders Corporate Travel Leaders Corporate is an innovative business travel solutions firm with a focus on customized Travel Fulfillment, Meetings Management and Data & Analytics. Travel Leaders Corporate, founded in 2008, is born out of the digital age and shaped around the three technology trends impacting every industry: mobile, data, and the cloud. This enables Travel Leaders Corporate to offer a flexible suite of services customized to a client's needs. Travel Leaders Corporate is part of Internova Travel Group, which is the highest-ranking American corporate travel management company, according to Business Travel News. About Internova Travel Group Internova Travel Group is one of the largest travel services companies in the world with a collection of leading brands delivering high-touch, personal travel expertise to leisure and corporate clients. Internova manages leisure, business and franchise firms through a portfolio of distinctive divisions. Internova represents more than 62,000 travel advisors in over 6,000 company-owned and affiliated locations predominantly in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, with a presence in more than 80 countries.

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BUSINESS TRAVEL

Mystifly Joins UATP Network

UATP | April 22, 2022

UATP and Mystifly announced a strategic partnership in which UATP will be integrated into MystiPay, an airline payment solution from Mystifly. The partnership focuses on reducing the cost of acceptance for travel payments. "We recognize that the airline distribution and payments landscape is complex, Through MystiPay, and with UATP as the scheme, we want to offer a profitable and secure payment solution that unlocks new revenue streams and better rebates, while lowering the cost of acceptance. We take great pride in partnering with UATP as both businesses share a common vision to provide a better payment opportunity for all. We look forward to maximizing the value of this partnership." -Rajeev Kumar, CEO and MD, Mystifly Today, Mystifly is one of the largest global B2B airfare aggregators backed by its strong travel technology vision. Mystifly offers search and retailing, order management, revenue and channel management, ancillary sales, multi-currency payment wallet , "Mystify continues to grow as a travel tech leader. Becoming an Issuer will enhance supplier relations and increase spending power. Mystifly will help save the industry money by utilizing UATP in its supplier relationships." -UATP President and CEO Ralph Kaiser For more information, visit UATP.com or Mystifly.com. ABOUT UATP UATP is a global payment solution owned and operated by the world's airlines and accepted by thousands of merchants for air, rail and travel agency payments. UATP connects airlines to Alternative Forms of Payment which can expand reach and generate incremental sales globally. UATP offers easy-to-use data tools, DataStream℠ and DataMine℠, which provide comprehensive account details to Issuers and Corporate Subscribers for accurate travel management. Accepted as a form of payment for corporate business travel worldwide by airlines, travel agencies and Amtrak®; UATP accounts are issued by: Aeromexico; Air Canada (TSE: AC); Air China; Air New Zealand (ANZFF.PK); Air Niugini; Air Serbia; American Airlines (NASDAQ: AAL); APG Airlines; Austrian Airlines; BCD Travel; China Eastern Airlines (NYSE: CEA); Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL); EL AL Israel Airlines; Etihad Airways; Fareportal; Frontier Airlines; GOL Linhas aereas inteligentes S.A. (NYSE: GOL and Bovespa: GOLL4); Hahn Air; Hight Point Travel; Japan Airlines (9201:JP); JetBlue Airways; Qantas Airways (QUBSF.PK); Shandong Airlines; Sichuan Airlines; Southwest Airlines; Sun Country Airlines; TUIfly GmbH; Turkish Airlines (ISE:THYAO); United Airlines (NYSE: UAL) and WestJet. AirPlus International issues the UATP-based Company Account for Lufthansa German Airlines. About Mystifly: Mystifly is a travel tech leader in airline retailing envisioned to bring a positive difference in the experience of the travelers and how air travel is sold. Mystifly is the new operating system for existing or new businesses to start or grow their travel business globally. Certified by IATA as a NDC Level 4 Aggregator, Mystifly offers NDC-aligned tech stacks for businesses of every size. Founded in 2009, Mystifly unifies distribution, fulfilment and payments on a single platform that allows search, ticket, ancillary sales, post-booking services and payment for over 700 airlines including 180 LCCs, NDC and Non-NDC Airlines. Mystifly's suite of products empowers over 3000 clients globally.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Collinson Group Uses Freshworks to Modernize its Customer Experience and Adapt to New Travel Requirements

collinson group | March 29, 2022

Freshworks Inc. (NASDAQ: FRSH), a software company empowering the people who power business, announced that its customer Collinson Group, a UK travel experiences and insurance company, is using Freshdesk™ to react to fast-changing business and travel requirements caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, servicing a 50% surge in new enquiries. Following the introduction of new travel requirements, Collinson Group pivoted its medical assistance division to offer COVID-19 testing at partner airports and clinics in the UK, USA and APAC regions, setting up facilities in just three weeks. Using Freshdesk, Collinson introduced chatbot-first support and automation into its customer communications to help manage the 50% surge in traffic and queries. The company set up over 120 automated workflows including email triage, automated ticket type routing, and chat bot self-service. Help articles were created to enable the global operation to manage backlogs effectively, run as efficiently as possible, and share work across customer service locations and teams. The Freshdesk ticketing dashboard also helped Collinson to better track customer interactions across disparate communications channels. Using Freshdesk, customer service agents can now view metrics on contact resolution, total time to service, and subject matter of enquiries, and track and respond proactively if a particular subject keeps arising in communications. As a result, Collinson now handles an average of 1,200 testing-related customer enquiries per day, rising to a daily peak of around 10,000 new tickets per day in 2021, 24/7 across multiple global testing locations and service customer teams in English and Indonesian languages. Speaking about the quick deployment, Sacha Puffett, Group Customer Service Director at Collinson Group said, "The Freshdesk implementation has helped to consolidate our customer communications, while ensuring that omnichannel sits at the heart of our strategy. For the first time, we have a unified view of customer interactions in nearly real time, meaning we can see trends emerging and work to mitigate issues quickly. It’s a win-win situation that’s more efficient for both the customer and us.” “Our work with Collinson Group, supported by AWS, enabled its rapid transition during a tumultuous year for the travel industry, The flexibility Freshdesk provided significantly reduced the time taken for major operational pivots, from weeks to days. Freshworks’ omnichannel engagement solution helps agents quickly resolve customer enquiries at a stressful time for travellers, providing visibility to leading companies in the travel industry across channels such as chat, email, and voice through a single unified interface.” -John Crossan, Vice President & General Manager of Europe at Freshworks Ms. Puffett added, "The project manager and technical subject matter expert from Freshworks’ onboarding team were very supportive of our changing needs. Thanks to their guidance, we were able to launch the first iteration of Freshdesk within just three weeks, which was just sensational." In 2019, Freshworks also helped Collinson pivot its business practices to ensure customer service levels were maintained. Through the work with Freshworks and Amazon Web Services (AWS), Collinson Group equipped customer service agents to work from home and migrated 120 phone lines to Amazon Connect, an easy-to-use, highly scalable, and cost-effective omnichannel cloud contact center solution. The migration was completed within a couple of weeks, and it included training time for call centre agents, which can often take months. About Collinson Group Collinson is a global leader in customer benefits and loyalty. We deliver exceptional travel, assistance and insurance products that differentiate value propositions, and loyalty solutions that win deeper, more valuable customer relationships.Our customer benefits products include the original and market-leading airport experiences programme, Priority Pass, as well as travel insurance, identity assistance, flight delay, international health and travel risk management solutions. Our loyalty expertise uniquely combines strategy, award-winning technology and programme management to create greater engagement and experiences for our clients’ customers.For over 30 years, we’ve been chosen by the world’s leading payment networks, 1,400+ banks, 90+ airlines and 20+ hotel groups to craft customer experiences that win competitive edge. This enables them to acquire, engage and retain the most profitable, but most demanding customers. Our clients include Air France KLM, American Express, Cathay Pacific, Chase, Hackett, Mastercard, RSA, Sephora, UnionPay, Vhi and Visa. About Freshworks Freshworks Inc., (NASDAQ: FRSH) makes business software people love to use. Purpose-built for IT, customer support, sales and marketing teams, our products empower the people who power business. Freshworks is fast to onboard, priced affordably, built to delight, yet powerful enough to deliver critical business outcomes. Headquartered in San Mateo, California, Freshworks operates around the world to serve more than 56,000 customers including Bridgestone, Chargebee, DeliveryHero, ITV, Klarna, Multichoice, OfficeMax, TaylorMade and Vice Media. For the freshest company news visit www.freshworks.com and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Spotlight

Comprised of 50 states, the USA occupies an area that’s only just marginally smaller than Europe. It’s in this vast country that you will find an unbelievably diverse array of natural landscapes, cityscapes, people and cultures. From the tropical islands of Hawaii to the desert landscape of the Grand Canyon, as well as the multicultural cities such as Chicago and New York City, you’ll never be stuck for destinations to discover. Here’s a look at the best places to visit in the USA:

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