Category Archives: Incentives

Travelport introduces new cloud technology

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Travelport has unveiled new cloud technology for the onboarding and management of new car rental content, provided through Travelport’s new partnership with AutoEurope. Travelport’s cloud-based platform enables quicker content acquisition, with AutoEurope’s content available through Travelport’s commerce platform within six months of the agreement being made. This increased speed and partnership approach will become the benchmark for future content addition, as well as providing a model to enable Travelport to grow and evolve with its customers. Commenting on the use of cloud technology, Travelport’s Chief Architect, Mike Croucher, said, “Through using cloud-based management, we’ve significantly decreased the time-to-market for our new rental car content, bringing increased choice to our customers and their customers faster than before.” On Travelport’s partnership with AutoEurope, Steve Matise, VP and Global Head of Rental Car and Ground Transport Sourcing, said: “The growth of our car business is a key pillar of Travelport’s content strategy and we’re delighted to have partnered with AutoEurope, who are a global leader in supplying rental cars. The ability to pre-pay for rental cars is common in many parts of the world, meaning this new partnership offers real choice for our customers and their customers.” AutoEurope provides car rental services at over 20,000 locations in 180 countries, globalising Travelport’s bookable car content and increasing choice and flexibility for Travelport’s agency partners. Travelport’s XML solution for car enables the display of car providers content in the way they prefer to sell it.

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Indore Marriott Hotel introduces Club Marriott programme

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Indore Marriott hotel has launched the new Club Marriott programme, combining Club Marriott, eat drink & more, into one single paid membership programme. The newly combined Club Marriott will provide members with more choices and benefits whenever they dine out in the city or visit one of the 300 participating hotels with over 1,000 restaurants in 16 brands across Asia Pacific. Members can avail F&B certificates, accommodation certificates in which they can enjoy 30 to 40 per cent off on F&B, exclusive benefits on buffet lunch and dinners and best available room rates at more than 300 participating hotels in Asia Pacific. As the Club Marriott member you will have the world at your fingertips with special offers, select access to leisure facilities, more fun at exclusive member events, birthday rewards and kids’ surprises and more flavours with year-round savings on fine dining at restaurants across Asia Pacific. The new Club Marriott also provides the members with Banquet Referral Certificate which includes One (1) certificate entitling the Bearer to a Hotel credit certificate worth Rs. 15,000 for every Rs. 5, 00,000 of net banquet revenue referred. The membership is valid for 12 months from the date of issuance of the membership. The membership fee is Rs. 9,000 + 18% GST amounting to Rs.10, 620/- only. The upgraded membership with the additional certificates is available at a special price of Rs.12,000 + 18% GST amounting to Rs.14,160/- only.

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India to generate 2mn outbound MiCE tourists by 2020: Report

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According to a report, the Indian sub-continent is reaping positive growth trends for the its Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) segment. The India Outbound Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions Tourism Market Report: Country Outlook, Analysis, Size, Share and Forecast 2018 – 2025 states that the country’s outbound tourism market is expected to exceed US$ 45 Billion by 2025, the report also showcased that India shall generate more than two million outbound MiCE tourists by 2020. The report has used data and analysis to discuss potential lucrative opportunities and future trends related to India outbound MiCE travellers flow, revenue and main destination markets. A detailed country-wise analysis of the market is provided, covering a total of 15 countries, including  Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Dubai, Mauritius, Macau, South Korea, New Zealand, Indonesia, United States, Oman, Turkey, Taiwan, South Africa, Australia and more. Some of the findings of the report also included: India is poised to be the world’s fastest-growing outbound MiCE tourism market. India is the largest source market for Dubai and Singapore MiCE industry. Indian MiCE travellers are likely to become major spenders in the United States and Dubai.

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Emirates refurbishes premium offering in First and Business Class

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Emirates has revamped its premium offering with new luxury products in First and Business Class for a more comfortable travel experience for its travellers. The new products stem from collaborations with BYREDO skincare, Bowers & Wilkins and Emirates’ partnership with Bulgari for its refreshed amenity kits. Emirates First Class customers will find the BYREDO travel wellness range of skincare in their private suites. The allergen-free and Chamomile collections were exclusively created for Emirates for a relaxing and hydrating experience inflight. The collection by European luxury brand, BYREDO, was first introduced in Emirates’ new fully enclosed suites on the Boeing 777 last year and is now being rolled out across the fleet. All the products in the collection are manufactured using the best raw materials with a distinct focus on craft and quality. To amplify the viewing experience on ice, Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system, the airline is rolling out brand new Bowers & Wilkins Active Noise Cancelling E1 headphones in First Class. Customers can use the headphones to view up to 3,500 channels of on-demand entertainment on a 32-inch TV screen. The entertainment selection on ice across all classes includes up to 950 movies, 400 TV channels and 2,400 music and podcast channels.

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Thomas Cook introduces UAE Dirham to its Border Prepaid Card

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Thomas Cook (India), has launched the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED) as a key currency to its multi-currency Borderless Prepaid Card, thereby offering customers the convenience and flexibility of loading nine global currencies on a single card. Kailash Gupta, Senior Vice President & Head of Payment Solutions, Thomas Cook (India), said, “The introduction of the AED to our multi-currency Borderless Prepaid Card portfolio intends to capitalise on this growth momentum and offer our UAE bound travellers a simple, smooth and secure payment solution.” “Data reveals that Dubai witnessed a noteworthy 15 per cent YoY increase in 2017 with 2.1 Mn. visitors; India retaining the top spot as its largest source market. In addition, India is equally a leading source market for Abu Dhabi with an 11.4 per cent YoY increase in 2017,” he adds. The new prepaid card will now create a seamless payment experience for its customer base of over 500,000, offering convenience, ease and security in spending while travelling across the UAE. The multi-currency Borderless Prepaid Card’s features include: Global acceptance and access to 2 Mn ATMs, over 34 Mn merchant establishments and e-commerce websites Chip & pin security Comprehensive global support and free emergency cash disbursement & global card replacement Comprehensive fraud protection insurance Mubarak Al Nuaimi, Director of Promotion and Overseas Offices Department at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said: “India has a massive potential to expand the tourism inflow to Abu Dhabi and we are aiming to increase the share of Indian tourists from the overall target number of 5.5 million visitors by the end of 2018. Moving forward, we will keep leveraging our network of partners and stakeholders as to …

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Sabre unveils secure transaction tool for CTM Singapore

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Sabre Corporation has launched Sabre Virtual Payments for Corporate Travel Management (CTM) Singapore, in partnership with virtual card technology provider Conferma. The tool is an innovative solution that offers peace of mind to help make secure, corporate travel-related transactions. “In addition to supporting compliance, Sabre Virtual Payments is a tremendous asset for corporate travel management companies looking to optimise their reporting capabilities. The platform enables rich data capturing, helps to better manage revenue and facilitates compliance for all parties involved in the transaction,” said Eugene Tan, General Manager, Corporate Travel Management Singapore. “We improved our booking efficiency by 30 to 40 percent while driving revenue growth,” he added. Available through Sabre’s corporate booking tool GetThere and the new Sabre Red Workspace, Sabre Virtual Payments provides agents and travel management companies (TMCs) with the capacity to issue single-purpose virtual cards for air, hotel, and agency fee payments. The virtual cards are sent directly to the traveller’s mobile via TripCase and are attributed to a unique transaction. The technology generates a simple, single form of payment which is recorded in a safe, traceable and efficient manner through a protected distribution channel, helping to ensure secure transactions and reducing third party access to sensitive credit details. “With this solution, Sabre delivers an innovative tool that addresses the need for simple, safe and reliable transactions to take place between agents, travellers and suppliers,” said Jason Toothman, Vice President Global Accounts, Sabre Travel Network Asia Pacific. Rapidly adapting to the rise in mobile transactions across Asia Pacific, Sabre Virtual Payments enables agency and corporate subscribers to choose from over 30 banking partners. The solution is currently available to agents and TMCs in Australia, Hong Kong, …

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Kerala Tourism appoints Cleartrip as online booking partner

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Cleartrip has now tied up with the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) as its exclusive online booking partner for local tours and activities. Under the association, KTDC will sell all of its exclusive set of activities through the Cleartrip platform, including both existing and new inventory of conducted tours and boat trips. The partnership is also Cleartrip’s first with a government tourism board, marking a major milestone for the online travel agency. Among the most popular activities offered by KTDC is the boating in Periyar Lake at Thekkady. KTDC operates four boats with a seating capacity of 210 each and completes five trips in a day, with a total daily inventory of 1,050 seats. Despite maintaining 90 per cent occupancy throughout the year, these trips were only available for offline bookings till now. With 700 more seats expected to be added to these boating tours by September 2018, KTDC is looking to make it easier for prospective travellers to access and book its travel inventory through the association with Cleartrip. The government tourism board has also recently launched conducted tours in the historic towns of Trivandrum and Kochi. These activities will also be available for booking on the Cleartrip platform. Commenting on the association, Ankit Rastogi, VP- Experiences and Accommodation, Cleartrip, said, “Kerala holds a significant place in India’s tourism map. We are delighted to be chosen by the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation as its online booking partner. The biggest benefit of this tie-up will be to the travellers, who now can access and book all of KTDC’s inventory of tours and activities online on a single platform. We hope that this partnership will spur more such associations where Cleartrip …

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IHG to cut back sales commission for third-party intermediaries

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InterContinental Hotels Group shall cut back its sales commissions from 10 per cent to 7 per cent for all bookings made in the U.S. and Canada as of January 1, 2019.  “This move allows us to balance the needs of our guests and owners by reinvesting the savings into programmes and improvements that will benefit the guest experience,” Derek DeCross, SVP of Global Sales, IHG, said in a statement. He provided further comments on the policy change in a letter sent to third-party intermediaries for meetings and events: “Understanding the complexities of the groups and meetings industry and the nature of the business being booked by our customers is an integral part of our sales strategy and foundation to what we do,” his letter reads. “As part of this, IHG has assessed its group bookings commission structure and will be changing the group travel partner commission structure.” Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, which was acquired by IHG in 2014, will also be included in the policy change. The 10-percent rate will still be in place for IHG properties outside of the U.S. and Canada, including Puerto Rico. The shift in commissions structure is a symptom of the high levels of consolidation currently taking place in the industry. Marriott, Hilton and IHG are three of the largest hotel companies in the world, and they are now using their immense portfolios as tools to cut into commission structures. Meanwhile, last month two other hotel companies actually revealed plans to offer higher commissions for third parties. Warwick Hotels and Resorts is offering an additional 5-percent commission on food & beverage and room rentals for all meetings and incentives groups at its seven properties throughout the U.S. …

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Free WiFi at 400 Indian railway stations: Google

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After launching its first free Wi-Fi service from Mumbai Central station in January 2016, Google has announced the completion of the free service at 400 railway stations across India in collaboration with RailTel, the telecom arm of Indian Railways. Dibrugarh in Assam has become the 400th railway station to get the free WiFi service from Google, the company said. Indian Railways had signed an MoU with Google in December, 2015 to launch the service, which offers thirty minutes of free internet access. The average data consumption per user per session has been recorded around 350MB. The project has succeeded in its mission of bringing connectivity to millions of unconnected Indians, leveraging on the nationwide optic fiber network backbone created by RailTel. Within the first year of the project’s launch, 100 of the busiest railway stations across India were brought online, enabling 15,000 people to experience the internet for the first time every day, it said. “With over 8 million monthly unique users connecting to the network, this is a lighthouse project for India and every growing economy that is looking to bring the benefit of connectivity to everyone in their country,” Google India Director Partnership Next Billion Users, K Suri, said. K Manohar Raja, Executive Director (Enterprise Business) at RailTel, said the endeavour has been to bridge the experience divide by providing one of the fastest public WiFi networks in the world. Source: ET Online

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Elevated customer experiences through Thomas Cook

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Thomas Cook is now focusing on enhancing customer experience. Mahesh Iyer, Executive Director & CEO, Thomas Cook (India), at a media interaction said,  “As a channel we have seen decent growth coming in and we are clocking around 30 per cent CAGR year on year and are quite optimistic on the future of online business. Our focus in the long term is on customer experience. If we look at the current summers we are operating we have packed new experiences like curated food menu by Ranveer Brar, Boman Irani doing a red carpet night for our travellers. We have also launched Japan this year in terms of adding new destinations and have already crossed 1000 passengers.” In terms of forex, Thomas Cook is looking to bring more digital options for the customer. It is working on a premium product and will soon be launching a mobile card which will allow customers to use their prepaid card on the NFC platform. He further added, “There is lot of innovation and product development happening with an underline of technology. We launched our customer self-service app which allows the customer to keep tab on their bookings, visa status, itineraries etc.”

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