BUSINESS TRAVEL

Uplift Adds New Credit Line of $68 Million for Travel Payments Service

Uplift | January 13, 2021

Uplift has finished another credit line of $68 million for its travel payments service.

Financing for the purchase currently pay-later brand was given by Atalaya Capital Management.

Travel is as of now returning, as per California-based Uplift, with the organization anticipating fast development amid pent-up demand for booking travel for the summer and autumn.

Uplift has now brought about $695 million up in value and obligation including a $250 million credit line in December 2019, which came ahead top of $123 million in subsidizing in January of the very year.

Uplift affirmed the new financing on LinkedIn and in a Crunchbase meet, with Brian Barth, CEO of Uplift saying the organization intends to move past travel in 2020.

Uplift hopes to surpass $1 billion in exchanges throughout the next 18 months.

Different organizations offering a comparative assistance including Fly Now Pay Later are likewise foreseeing the pent-up demand.

The London-based organization landed $47 million in Series A financing in May and is getting ready for a $135 million subsidizing bundle in the second half of 2021 as indicated by Jasper Dykes, its chief executive.

He adds that the Uplift credit line shows the proceeded with obligation to the area and says Fly Now Pay Later, which as of late launched its buyer beta in the U.S., has seen "ferocious appetite for the product."

Spotlight

In the hospitality business, it’s a given that turnover is generally high. In fact, Deloitte puts employee turnover in the sector at around 30% - nearly twice the average. This is expensive - the combined costs of continual recruitment and the effects this churn has on productivity cost about £270m annually, according to People 1st.


Other News
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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HOSPITALITY TRENDS

ZentrumHub Announces Strategic Partnership With WIHP, A Leading hotel marketing Company

ZentrumHub | May 31, 2022

ZentrumHub, a leading Hotel aggregator API specialist, and WIHP, the Hotel marketing specialists, announced a strategic partnership that will enable ZentrumHub' customers to get an easy access to metasearch channels and engines like Google Hotel Ads, TripAdvisor, Trivago, Bing Hotel Ads, etc. With WIHP's Meta I/O solution, ZentrumHub customers will now be able to better monitor and control their Metasearch distribution. ZentrumHub, as a start-up, is trying to make an impact in this space by providing its customers more and additional access to technologies that will add value to its clients business. This partnership is a great testimony of this core belief of the company and as next steps, will continue to add more partnerships in its kitty. ZentrumHub now offers more than 900,000 hotel inventory API to its customers with unique properties across the world, enabling their clients to provide a wide choice of hotels to their customers. "With the ever-growing demand for hotels, today's travellers want hotel searches to be quick and painless. With this partnership travel agencies using ZentrumHub Hotel API will be able to position their ads in metasearch engines and increase traffic to their reservation system driving more business." -ZentrumHub CEO Sachin Singh Julio Selva, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at WIHP, said, "Metasearch plays an important role in distributing hotels since 70% of users connect to them during a purchase journey. With Meta I/O, ZentrumHub can help their clients sell more on metasearch." About ZentrumHub: ZentrumHub turned its dream into reality in 2021 by accelerating its travel-tech venture and on a mission to be the fastest and smartest travel API hub in the world. ZentrumHub offers pre-integrated hotel booking API to over 50 leading hotel content suppliers. About WIHP: World Independent Hotels Promotion (WIHP) is a leading hotel marketing agency drawing on more than 20 years of experience and tracking. Having built over 5000 hotel websites and tracked the most efficient ones. With high-end marketing campaigns, WIHP provides global marketing services to the hospitality industry. To learn more, visit wihphotels.com

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM

Denver ranks among most popular holiday travel destinations

Business Journal | December 15, 2021

Denver is one of the top 10 most popular destinations by flight this holiday season, according to a new online travel agency survey. Among those planning to fly between Dec. 17 and Jan. 1, Denver is one of the most popular destinations — and one of the most affordable for booking hotels — according to a survey by RetailMeNot and Priceline. Denver ranks among other popular cities such as New York City, Orlando, Florida, and Las Vegas for flight destinations. However, the survey found that most travelers are taking to the road for holiday travel, at 75% compared to 41% who said they're traveling by plane. The survey also found that hotels in Denver are among the most affordable, at an $151 average nightly rate. That put Denver among relatively affordable hotels in Las Vegas, Pigeon Forge, Tennesee, Washington, D.C., and Kissimmee, Florida, Hotels in the Denver metro area are still struggling to recover decreased visitors from the pandemic. Statewide hotel occupancy climbed from 15.7% in April 2020 to 77.2% occupancy in July, according to the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association. However, since then, occupancy has dropped again, particularly among downtown hotels. Meanwhile, Colorado is getting used to high air traveler volume, with Denver International Airport becoming the third-busiest airport in the world this year. DIA predicted about 2 million travelers to pass through the airport over the Thanksgiving holiday. AAA predicts more than 109 million people — an almost 34% increase from 2020 — will travel over the end-of-year holidays (between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2) in 2021. That includes people driving and flying, among other transportation. According to an AAA spokesperson, that number includes 851,900 predicted travelers from the Mountain region — including Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming — this holiday season.

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Spotlight

In the hospitality business, it’s a given that turnover is generally high. In fact, Deloitte puts employee turnover in the sector at around 30% - nearly twice the average. This is expensive - the combined costs of continual recruitment and the effects this churn has on productivity cost about £270m annually, according to People 1st.

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