Trip.com Group anticipates revenue impact from coronavirus, hopes for quick domestic travel recovery

PhocusWire | March 19, 2020

Trip.com Group expects net revenue to decrease by 45% to 50% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2020 due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The Shanghai, China-based online travel agency disclosed its low expectations for the start of 2020 during its earnings call recapping its full-year 2019 results. “The beginning of 2020 has been challenging with the outbreak of the Coronavirus,” says CEO Jane Sun in the call to discuss earnings. Sun adds that its strong operations “have prepared us well for times like this.”

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The sharing economy has become a fact of life for managed travel. Ignoring it doesn’t make the issues go away. Moreover, strategic policies and precise use cases may benefit the program.


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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Leisure Hotels & Resorts Selects Stayntouch to Deploy its Flexible Cloud-Native PMS Across 4 Upscale Independent Properties

Leisure Hotels & Resorts | February 03, 2022

Stayntouch, a global leader in guest-centric cloud hotel property management systems (PMS) and contactless technology, announced a partnership with Leisure Hotels & Resorts, a leading comprehensive hospitality management company that specializes in upscale destination markets and unique independent brands. Stayntouch will now deliver their flexible PMS solution to four of Leisure Hotels' Midwest and Mountain properties, totaling 469 rooms.Representing a combined 175 years of hospitality experience, Leisure Hotels & Resorts is a proven leader in hospitality management, with 24 hotels, resorts and restaurants currently under management. Prior to Stayntouch, Leisure deployed a traditional desktop-based PMS, which was difficult to use and tied staff to the front desk. Leisure chose Stayntouch because they needed a flexible platform that delivered a digital welcome experience for guests, as well as an intuitive and mobile user interface to streamline operations and allow staff to engage guests anywhere on property. Our previous platform was constrained by a lack of flexibility and we are pleased to add Stayntouch, which provides us flexibility, ease-of-use, and mobile accessibility," said Chrissy Marz, General Manager at Leisure Hotels & Resorts. "The PMS integrated seamlessly with our CRS, and the mobile design allows our guests to check-in using their smartphone, while delivering remote access to our staff both on and off property. Stayntouch's intuitive interface is also a major asset: We have a diverse team that includes people who are new to the business, as well as veteran hoteliers who spent their entire career with older systems. The fact that we can train everyone on a new module within a few hours allows our staff to execute across the board and maintain an elevated standard of service. "Leisure Hotels & Resorts embodies a culture of impeccable service and guest focus that compliments the core values of Stayntouch and drives our offerings. We are delighted to partner with Leisure Hotels to deliver technology solutions that unburden hotel staff and reimagine the guest experience. We're happy that our PMS is able to amplify the service experience across Leisure Hotels by streamlining employee training, facilitating seamless on and off-property management and enhancing the guest welcome and departure experience." -Michael Heflin, Chief Revenue Officer at Stayntouch About Leisure Hotels & Resorts Leisure Hotels & Resorts is an all encompassing hospitality management company; from hotel and resort management to distressed assets, homeowners associations, development, and restaurant management. We offer comprehensive management services for independent resort operations, proven management success across the country for major franchised hotel operations, professional receivership and OREO management services, specialized food & beverage management strategies, and guidance surrounding sophisticated EB-5 programs. We also leverage our extensive history in working with ownership groups that fund lodging operations along with our experience with a variety of outdoor recreation options, and the latest experiences with specialized RV resorts and glamping opportunities, to bring more value and success to our managed properties. About Stayntouch Stayntouch provides a cloud-native, guest-centric, and fully mobile hotel property management system (PMS) and over 1100+ integrations, enabling hotels to raise service levels, drive revenues, reduce costs, and ultimately captivate their guests. Backed by a team of professionals with deep roots in the hospitality industry, Stayntouch is a trusted partner to many forward-thinking hotels and resorts, including the TWA Hotel, First Hotels, Conscious Hotels, Margaritaville, Valencia Hotel Group, and Modus Hotels. Stayntouch is also a preferred PMS partner to some of the leading independent hotel collections around the world including; Design Hotels, an Independent Marriott Brand, and Curator Hotel & Resort Collection.

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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

Smart approach to travel retailing puts Sabre on IATA's Airline Retailing Maturity index

Sabre Corporation | May 17, 2022

Sabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, has been recognized as a system provider for both airlines and travel sellers in the International Air Transport Association's (IATA's) Airline Retailing Maturity (ARM) index. This recognition is a testament to Sabre's focus on developing scalable capabilities to power more personalized travel retailing that benefits the travel ecosystem. "Airline retailing means placing the customer at the center of the air travel shop/order/pay ecosystem. We are excited to see Sabre's strong alignment with this vision as a recognized System Provider in the ARM index" -Yanik Hoyles, IATA's Director Distribution Designed to assess the maturity of industry players in the journey to airline retailing, the ARM index replaces the previous IATA New Distribution Capability (NDC) and ONE Order certifications and expands the scope of the program beyond technical standards to recognize the benefits of value chain collaboration and value creation. Introduced in November 2021, the program is built on three pillars: Capabilities Verification to measure the technical abilities for shop, order, pay, settle, account, and set up; Partnerships Deployment to determine the scalability of NDC-enabled offers across the value chain; and Value Capture Compass to track potential value captured along the retail transformation journey. "We are very proud of Sabre's inclusion in the ARM index and we wholeheartedly welcome IATA's move toward a more layered and multi-faceted view of airline retailing From its early days, we've approached NDC as a technical basis to deliver a more personalized traveler experience. We named our program "Beyond NDC" to signal a focus not only on ticking boxes on a technical capability checklist, but also on a longer-term retailing vision. Sitting at the crossroads of travel, we seek to listen to our customers on both the supply and demand sides of our travel marketplace, integrate their feedback, and innovate across our portfolio so that our products scale end-to-end, not just for individual players in the ecosystem." -Kathy Morgan, Vice President, Channel Delivery, Sabre Travel Solutions. Sabre has a busy NDC roadmap laid out for the remainder of 2022 to continue to advance our capabilities. Dynamic air pricing for NDC offers will become available with the recently launched Air Price IQ ™ product within the Sabre Retail Intelligence suite, enabling airlines to optimize offers in real-time with leading machine learning and data analytics capabilities. Support for exchanges will be added to the current cancel, void and refund capabilities, providing robust servicing functionality. Radixx, which provides solutions for low-cost carrier airlines, is expected to also become certified under the ARM index later this year as an airline IT provider. Sabre is in discussions with more than 25 leading airlines about selling their NDC offers through its marketplace. In addition to Singapore Airlines and Qantas – which combined are active in 50 countries and are starting to roll out their NDC content across North and South America – Sabre is actively engaged many other airlines. NDC offers from these airlines will be available in the coming months through Sabre's Offer and Order APIs, agency point of sale, Sabre Red 360, and online booking tool, GetThere. About Sabre Corporation Sabre Corporation is a leading software and technology company that powers the global travel industry, serving a wide range of travel companies including airlines, hoteliers, travel agencies and other suppliers. The company provides retailing, distribution and fulfilment solutions that help its customers operate more efficiently, drive revenue and offer personalized traveler experiences. Through its leading travel marketplace, Sabre connects travel suppliers with buyers from around the globe. Sabre's technology platform manages more than $260B worth of global travel spend annually. Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, USA, Sabre serves customers in more than 160 countries around the world. For more information visit www.sabre.com.

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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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