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 and Aeromexico extend and expand their strategic, long-term relationship
  • ICAO study on the Dominican Republic highlights the economic value of aviation modernisation
  • Living next door to ALICE – Nordic Choice Hotels boosts partnership with operations platform
  • Out of Africa – Travelstart completes acquisition of Club Travel Group
  • EyeWide and Helix Imageworks are raising the 3D rendering bar for hoteliers
  • Opterra Capital and the HADA Group align to create HOBI Solutions
  • Operto and Direct integrate to bring Smart Stay technology to short-term and vacation rentals

Sabre and Aeromexico extend and expand their strategic, long-term relationship

Sabre Corporation has announced that it has extended its long-term relationship with Aeromexico that will see the Mexican flag carrier continue utilising its passenger service system (PSS), expand its use of the Sabre Commercial Platform and enhance its utilisation of Sabre’s global distribution system. Aeromexico and Sabre have partnered since 2011, when the carrier implemented the SabreSonic passenger services system. The technology partnership has enabled the carrier to develop its airport, product and in-flight experiences, and helped align across partner and alliance networks globally. The expanded agreement will see Aeromexico adopt Sabre’s Digital Workspace – a recently launched solution that enables airport agents to deliver a personalised airport experience to customers via mobile devices. Additional upgraded solutions will allow the airline to improve its personalized offer management, passenger self-service interface and data and analytics reporting.


ICAO study on the Dominican Republic highlights the economic value of aviation modernisation

A new study conducted by the UN’s specialised agency for civil aviation, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) demonstrates strong evidence that enhancements to the Dominican Republic’s implementation of its own guidance has resulted in a +15.5% increase in GDP per capita over 2006-2012. This equates to an increase of USD607 per capita of income, and a net effect on the GDP of USD 5.5 billion over 7 years (2006-2012). The study was conducted with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank and launched concurrently with the 40th Assembly of ICAO’s Member States. It reflects the vision set forth by ICAO’s Member States in the Declaration they adopted at the Fourth ICAO World Aviation Forum.


Living next door to ALICE – Nordic Choice Hotels boosts partnership with operations platform

Hotel operations and guest experiences platform ALICE has expanded its relationship with Nordic Choice Hotels to 130 hotels after a successful first year and a half of collaboration. Nordic Choice Hotels has also designated ALICE the brand standard operations tool for four Nordic Choice brands- Comfort Hotel, Quality Hotel, Clarion Hotel, and Clarion Collection. Nordic Choice Hotels is the Nordic and Baltic region master franchisee of Choice Hotels International. Nordic Choice has strategically selected specific hotels to launch the software in first, so that these properties can develop best practices for using the software across Nordic Choice’s different brands. All Quality Hotel, Clarion Hotel, and Clarion Collection hotel properties will be using both ALICE Suite and ALICE Housekeeping to unify guest and staff communication on a single platform. Since ALICE’s initial launch with Nordic Choice Hotels in May-2018, ALICE’s SMS and in-app chat have allowed several Nordic Choice Hotels to modernise and remove phones from guest rooms. ALICE has also helped improve staff to staff communication. Since Jan-2019, across 40 Nordic Choice hotels, it says 25% of tickets included internal notes – “information that would have otherwise been undocumented, easy to forget radio chatter”. Internal notes stay in the system, can be viewed by managers, and provide insight into the specifics of a request.


Out of Africa – Travelstart completes acquisition of Club Travel Group

Travelstart has completed its acquisition of Southern Africa’s Club Travel Group for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition, which sees Travelstart wholly acquiring the Club Travel Group and its subsidiaries, was first announced in Jun- 2019 and the deal and had remained subject to the approval of South Africa’s Competition Commission. The transaction has now been formally been closed after that approval was confirmed. The acquisition will boost Travelstart’s offering by adding Club Travel’s established complementary corporate and franchise divisions to create one of Africa’s largest, full-service travel groups. Club Travel will continue as a standalone company within the Travelstart portfolio. Africa’s travel and tourism industry is worth an estimated USD194 billion and digitisation among consumers is still growing.


EyeWide and Helix Imageworks are raising the 3D rendering bar for hoteliers

EyeWide Digital Marketing Agency and Helix Imageworks signed a strategic partnership to provide essential audience engagement for future hotel clients. The two companies will focus on offering a complete range of services to new hotels and hotels being rebuilt or renovated, to reach audiences for sales and marketing promotion. Helix Imageworks is a creative company that offers three-dimensional property and venue presentations and renderings. The 3D rendering market in 2018 was over USD1.5 billion and is expected to exceed USD6 billion by 2025, according to a 2019 Global Market Insights report. As technology advances and more hospitality organisations move toward digitalisation, the partners believe hotels “will demand more sophisticated, faster, and real-time solutions”.


Opterra Capital and the HADA Group align to create HOBI Solutions

A new joint venture aims to deliver distinctive, enterprise-level business intelligence solutions for the hospitality industry. Opterra Capital, a leading real estate investment sponsor, operating partner and asset manager with expertise in the hotel and lodging industry and The HADA Group have entered into a strategic partnership to launching HOBI Solutions. It will be responsible for marketing and implementing the Hospitality Operations Business Intelligence (HOBI) programme designed for owners of multiple hotels and resorts, managed by multiple management companies and operated under different hotel flags and brands.  HOBI is said to deliver integrated business intelligence to companies that own, operate and/or manage all types of hotels and resorts with tailored software to provide clients customised reporting, analytics and decision support.


Operto and Direct integrate to bring Smart Stay technology to short-term and vacation rentals

Operto Guest Technologies, a purpose-built software for managing connected devices in guest accommodation, has announced an integration partnership with Direct, the property management system. The integration will allow Direct property management customers to access the Operto in-property automation software and solution for Smart Stays. Operto aims to elevate guest experience through a curated range of smart home technology with its keyless entry among the popular options in the short-term and rentals markets.