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.

  • BCD Travel achieves IATA Level 3 NDC certification
  • SiteMinder partners with HotelSwaps to enables boutique and luxury hotels to trade unsold inventory
  • Gray Dawes takes in Amber Road as it further strengthens its activities in the north of England
  • Prague boosts its lounge options to meet growing passenger demand
  • Caribbean hotels are uniting for online travel action to support the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian devastation
  • Hotelbeds and Selina sign strategic distribution agreement
  • Ottawa Tourism and The Hague Convention Bureau agree knowledge sharing and exchange collaboration
  • Men and millennials are reluctant tippers, but women and baby boomers are happy to share

BCD Travel achieves IATA Level 3 NDC certification

Global business travel management company BCD Travel has been designated NDC-Certified Level 3 by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). BCD’s NDC certification is the latest step in its drive to deliver the benefits of NDC to clients. BCD previously struck channel booking deals with Qantas, Air France/KLM and British Airways/Iberia, and was the first global TMC to sign an NDC agreement with Lufthansa Group. BCD also participates in Amadeus NDC-X, Sabre’s Beyond NDC and Travelport’s NDC programme.


SiteMinder partners with HotelSwaps to enables boutique and luxury hotels to trade unsold inventory

Hotel industry guest acquisition platform SiteMinder has launched a partnership with HotelSwaps, the world’s first hotel room exchange programme for independently-owned and operated boutique and luxury hotels. Under the partnership, hotels that use SiteMinder and meet HotelSwaps’ membership criteria can now trade their unsold rooms with other hotels using HotelCoins, HotelSwaps’ proprietary reservation system and digital currency. The partnership is an opportunity for hotels to create an alternative value from otherwise unused rooms. By sharing those rooms with the global hotel community, hotels can increase their ancillary revenues during periods of lower occupancy, save on their business travel expenses, and offer attractive incentive programmes to their executive staff.


Gray Dawes takes in Amber Road as it further strengthens its activities in the north of England

Gray Dawes is one of the most recognised names in the travel management business in the UK, with a history that dates back to 1865 when it was founded by Scottish entrepreneur Archibald Gray and partner Edwin Sandys Dawes. It has been on an acquisition trail in  recent years and has now continued that with the purchase of Amber Road Travel from private equity company Endless LLP. The latest piece in its strategic acquisition plan will push its group turnover beyond GBP200 million and increase the employee count close to 300. It will reinforce its presence in the north of England by integrating Amber Road Travel’s Manchester and Leeds offices. It reestablished its presence in this area following the deal to buy INC Travel Group nine months ago. Amber Road Travel is actually the ninth acquisition announced by Gray Dawes Group since 2015 following the purchase of The Business Travel Partnership, Travel Focus, Travel Management Group plc, Cambridge Business Travel, ctm Travel Management, Giles Travel, INC Travel Group and VIP Leisure. “Contrary to expectations we weren’t necessarily looking to make any acquisitions in 2019 but the opportunity to acquire a highly respected business such as Amber Road Travel was a prospect too tempting not to explore,” explains Suzanne Horner, CEO of Gray Dawes Group.


Prague boosts its lounge options to meet growing passenger demand

Prague’s Václav Havel airport has already renovated its Raiffeisenbank lounge, but has confirmed projects will now see capacity at two further locations will almost double their capacity. In Oct-2019, work will start the renovation of Erste Premier lounge at Terminal 2, which will be completed prior to the next summer season. It will be followed by the renovation of Mastercard lounge at Terminal 1. According to Jiri Petrzilka, executive director of non-aviation business at the airport, the number of clients using lounge services increased by almost a quarter+(24%) between 2017 and 2018.


Caribbean hotels are uniting for online travel action to support the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian devastation

Hotels and resorts across the Caribbean have joined with the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) to launch an online action to help support the long-term recovery of the northwestern islands of the Bahamas. The recent Hurricane Dorian unleashed unimaginable destruction to The Abacos and Grand Bahama, destroying critical infrastructure, thousands of homes and businesses, and uprooting the lives of tens of thousands of residents, who are now homeless. “The recovery will be long and painful,” explains Frank Comito, director general and CEO of CHTA, but as part of this initiative hoteliers are coming together to offer an array of accommodation options across the Caribbean- “all while helping to support people in need,” he adds.


Hotelbeds and Selina sign strategic distribution agreement

Hotelbeds has announced a strategic alliance with Selina, one of the fastest growing hotel brands in the world. This strategic agreement will give Selina access to Hotelbeds’ large high-value distribution network made up of more than 60,000 travel agents, airlines, tour operators and loyalty programs in more than 140 source markets worldwide. At the same time, Hotelbeds customers will have, from now on, access to the Selina hotel portfolio, consisting of more than 52 properties located mainly in Latin America, but also located across Europe, with properties in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Greece, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Portugal and the United Kingdom. The hotel chain plans to open more than 35 locations in 2019, including upcoming openings in the United States, United Kingdom, Portugal, Greece, Germany, Chile, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. By 2023 Selina expects to have more than 130,000 beds in more than 400 locations around the world.


Ottawa Tourism and The Hague Convention Bureau agree knowledge sharing and exchange collaboration

During a mission to the Netherlands this week, the Mayor of the City of Ottawa will meet with his counterpart from The Hague to sign an agreement at an event that will celebrate 75 years of friendship between the two nations. The collaboration between Ottawa Tourism and The Hague Convention Bureau will open doors for both cities to meet new clients through knowledge sharing and exchange. Key objectives from the first year of the partnership include the creation of joint sales activity and the creation of research and intelligence documents focused on the security, governance and defence sectors. The collaboration will also seek the identification of clients of interest to both cities as well as the creation of a joint proposal/bid highlighting synergies between the two destinations as well as legacy benefits of working together.


Men and millennials are reluctant tippers, but women and baby boomers are happy to share

When travelling abroad understanding tipping etiquette can be a struggle. While a general ‘when in doubt, tip’ will serve you well it appears that when tipping for certain services, some people are more generous than others and many aren’t giving tips at all. A new study from CreditCards.com finds that men and millennials (ages 23-38) are the most reluctant tippers, overall; women and Baby Boomers (ages 55-73) are most likely to tip. The findings show that while men and millennials do tip, and sometimes well, their tipping is far more inconsistent. Women are more likely than men to always tip their hair stylists (66% vs. 60%), waitstaff (80% vs. 74%) and food delivery people (66% vs. 59%). Generationally speaking, Baby Boomers are 23 percentage points more likely than millennials to always tip restaurant servers (89% vs. 66%) and taxi/rideshare drivers (63% vs. 40%), 20 percentage points more likely to always tip hair stylists (73% vs. 53%), 16 percentage points more likely to always tip for food delivery (72% vs. 56%) and 10 percentage points more likely to always tip hotel housekeepers (33% vs. 23%). When they do tip, millennials and men do leave a little extra at restaurants. Millennials tip an average of 22% vs. 17% for Baby Boomers, while men tip 19% and women tip 18%. Among all diners who leave tips, the average is 19%.