Inside Travel: Understanding the latest technology and industry trend insights

Find it hard to keep track with all the latest insights into business trends, new products and technology advancements in the travel sector? The Blue Swan Daily provides you with an update on some of the key stories from the past week.

  • Sabre opens Boston Innovation Lab
  • Daily delegate rates and enquiry levels in the UK rise despite Brexit uncertainty
  • PriestmanGoode announces ‘Get Onboard’ exhibition at London’s Design Museum that explores waste in the travel industry
  • Procaccianti Companies boosts its upper upscale portfolio with acquisition of two San Francisco Bay Area lifestyle hotels
  • Central and South American hotels report mixed performance in Jul-2019
  • Madrid, Prague and Berlin are the top European locations for Stag and Hen activities

Sabre opens Boston Innovation Lab

Sabre Corporation hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony last week to mark the grand opening of its Boston Innovation Lab. The Innovation Lab will serve as the headquarters for Sabre Labs, Sabre’s global research and development arm that explores novel uses of big data, machine learning, AI and other emerging technologies to shape the future of travel. Sabre strategically selected Boston’s popular Seaport District and plans to draw upon the City’s innovation economy powered by its world-renowned research institutions and community of leading technology companies. “Boston was an obvious choice for the location of our Innovation Hub,” says Sundar Narasimhan, president of Sabre Labs and Product Strategy. “It has a vibrant technology community and access to talent from the nation’s foremost technical universities.


Daily delegate rates and enquiry levels in the UK rise despite Brexit uncertainty

Average daily delegate rates (DDR) rose +3% from Jan-2019 to Jul-2019, compared to the same period in 2018, according to the Meetings Industry Association (MIA). But, while results from the latest miaTouchstone quarterly report show a positive start for many members during the first half of 2019, there are fears of a slowdown as we approach the latest Brexit deadline of 31-Oct-2019. According to the latest report, which studies the enquiry levels, number of meetings, average daily and 24-hour residential rates of MIA members, the average number of meetings held in the first six months of 2019 fell by -15% compared to the same period in 2018. Enquiry levels continue to grow by +5% but with a decline in the number of meetings actually taking place, MIA is advising venues to be more innovative to ensure better conversion rates, especially against a challenging economy.


PriestmanGoode announces ‘Get Onboard’ exhibition at London’s Design Museum that explores waste in the travel industry

Each year, an estimated 5.7 million tonnes of cabin waste is generated on passenger flights, ranging from single-use plastic to amenity kits, earphones and food waste. In ‘Get Onboard: Reduce. Reuse. Rethink’, leading travel and transport design studio PriestmanGoode looks at ways in which we can use design thinking and material innovation to address the vast issue of waste, looking at opportunities to rethink personal behaviour patterns and the products and infrastructure that make up our journeys, in order to move towards a more conscious way to travel. The exhibition will run at the Design Museum in London from 12-Sep-2019 to Jan-2020.


Procaccianti Companies boosts its upper upscale portfolio with acquisition of two San Francisco Bay Area lifestyle hotels

Private real estate investment and hospitality services organisation Procaccianti Companies has expanded its portfolio of upper upscale independent hotels with the acquisition of The Lodge at Tiburon and Toll House Hotel located in Los Gatos. Together, the hotels comprise 228 guest rooms and suites, approximately 6,500 square feet of meeting space and multiple food and beverage offerings. Built in 1977 and renovated in 2013, The Lodge at Tiburon offers 103 guest rooms, including two spacious suites, in a location overlooking the San Francisco Bay in the affluent hamlet of Tiburon. Built in 1983 and renovated in 2012, the 115-room Toll House Hotel offers a scenic location in historic Los Gatos at the base of the scenic Santa Cruz Mountains, a gateway city to Silicon Valley. The hotel also features eight spacious suites. The acquisition is described as “an extremely unique opportunity to acquire a collection of well- positioned assets in high-barrier-to-entry markets that are supported by their superior locations, recent capital investments, stable operating performance and a strong mix of high calibre demand drivers,” by James Procaccianti, president and chief executive officer, Procaccianti Companies.


Central and South American hotels report mixed performance in Jul-2019

Hotels in the Central and South America region reported mixed performance results during Jul-2019, according to latest data from benchmarking specialist STR. Strong demand continues to push occupancy levels higher, up +4.2% year-on-year to 60.1%, but currency fluctuations have significantly impacted average daily rate (ADR), down -70.9% to USD92.16 and revenue per available room (RevPAR): -69.7% to USD55.36. Bogota and Sao Paulo were specifically highlighted for their monthly performance by STR. In the Colombian capital, double-digit increase in demand (+10.9%), pushed occupancy levels up +6.1% to 59.9%, their highest July level since 2013. In other metrics, ADR was up +2.7% to COP264,017.33 and RevPAR: +8.9% to COP158,213.52. In Sao Paulo, the absolute occupancy level was the highest for a July in the city since 2012, while the ADR level was the highest for the month since 2012. Occupancy levels were up +2.2% to 63.9%, ADR up +11.0% to BRL358.27 and RevPAR up +13.5% to BRL228.97.


Madrid, Prague and Berlin are the top European locations for Stag and Hen activities

They may draw fear from regular travellers when they are spotted in the airport terminal building, but travellers on stag and hen do’s are an important part of the travel and hospitality sector. Alpha Travel Insurance has ranked Europe’s top Stag and Hen do destinations and indexed them based on factors including the cost of flights and hotel, the cost of a pint and the number of bars and activities available to find out which city comes out on top. Surprisingly for many, Madrid comes out on top, ahead of Prague and Berlin. Bratislava, Hamburg, Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Warsaw and Benidorm make up the top ten. “With an impressive 183 bars to choose from and 147 activities to keep you busy, it’s not hard to see why Madrid is a great destination for your send-off into married life.  But there’s more. Madrid is also the cheapest destination overall, with flights and 2 nights in a hotel costing around GBP181 and a pint of beer coming in at GBP1.35,” highlights the Alpha Travel Insurance research.