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.

  • Airbnb is taking off as an accommodation network, but is it a friendly neighbour?
  • Dubai retains the top spot for meetings across the Middle East and Africa
  • TravelPerk boosts investment as existing shareholders add USD60 million in funding
  • New research suggests less than a quarter of US travellers are loyal to a certain airline
  • Carnival Panorama completes sea trials in the Adriatic Sea; ready for Long Beach debut in Dec-2019
  • Cheval Collection moves into luxury apartments on to the Cloud

Airbnb is taking off as an accommodation network, but is it a friendly neighbour?

Airbnb rentals are on the rise and while they are convenient for property owners and guests, next door neighbours may not be so supportive and many have serious concerns about its impact on the neighbourhood. A survey of nearly 1,000 people by Porch, a free home network, has highlighted some of the concerns about having Airbnb renters in their neighbourhood. Heading that list and a concern for two in three people is the fear it would disrupt the peace, cause safety issues, and allow unvetted strangers into the neighbourhood. Two in five respondents believe their home values would decrease if their neighbour turned their home into a short-term rental, while half would feel less safe. Regardless if they approved or disapproved of short-term rentals in their neighbourhood, nearly half of respondents were concerned they would cause more noise while a third were concerned about additional traffic.


Dubai retains the top spot for meetings across the Middle East and Africa

Dubai has retain its position as the top meeting destination across the Middle East and Africa this year, according to latest insight from Cvent, a market -leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) metropolis is one of the world’s leading MICE destinations and its Dubai World Trade Centre venue hosted nearly 400 major MICE and business events last year welcoming nearly 3.4 million delegates – a new record in its history. The UAE dominance in this marketplace saw Abu Dhabi ranked second, up from fourth last year, and Ras Al Khaimah make the top ten for the first time. The list was compiled based on meeting and event booking activity through Cvent’s venue sourcing sites, including the Cvent Supplier Network. Alongside Ras Al Khaimah, Beirut in Lebanon also made its list debut at number seven. The full top ten was: #1 – Dubai, UAE; #2 – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; #3 – Cape Town, South Africa; #4 – Johannesburg, South Africa; #5 – Marrakesh, Morocco; #6 – Cairo, Egypt; #7 – Beirut, Lebanon; #8 – Doha, Qatar; #9 – Nairobi, Kenya; #10 – Ras Al Khaimah, UAE.


TravelPerk boosts investment as existing shareholders add USD60 million in funding

Global business travel platform TravelPerk has closed its series C round at USD104 million by adding an additional USD60 million from existing investors. The investment will be used to further accelerate the company’s product innovation with the goal of giving business travellers real freedom and flexibility while providing companies with control over their travel spend. As well as continuing its European expansion, the company is expected to announce some major product additions in the coming weeks and months that sources suggest will bring a new level of disruption to the pricing structure of the travel expense industry.


New research suggests less than a quarter of US travellers are loyal to a certain airline

Less than one in four respondents to a recent survey from signage platform, Signs.com, said they were dedicated to certain airlines. Using data from Google Trends to determine search volume frequency on a state-by-state level and then surveying 1,000 respondents about their true loyalty to some of the top brands they found just 23.7% of those questioned were loyal to one airline, with the majority influenced by price. In a head-to-head, American Airlines was overall the most searched airline (56%), with the largest representation from residents in Delaware, meanwhile 44% of Google searches were directed toward United Airlines and they were most common in Montana. When on the hunt for car rental companies, Enterprise took the lead as a reliable option.


Carnival Panorama completes sea trials in the Adriatic Sea; ready for Long Beach debut in Dec-2019

Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, Carnival Panorama, has successfully completed its sea trials in the Adriatic Sea in anticipation of its inaugural cruise from Long Beach, California, USA, on 11-Dec-2019. Currently in the final stages of construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Marghera, Italy, Carnival Panorama had a full contingent of officers, technicians and engineers on board who thoroughly tested the ship’s sophisticated technical, mechanical and navigation systems. . It will be Carnival Cruise Line’s first new ship on the US west coast in 20 years. Following an inaugural three-day voyage to Ensenada, Carnival Panorama will launch year-round seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises from Long Beach on 14-Dec-2019 visiting the likes of Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlan.


Cheval Collection moves into luxury apartments on to the Cloud

Luxury apartment operator Cheval Collection is upgrading its property management system, entering into a technology partnership with RMS Cloud. Its CEO George Westwell describes the decision as being made “with an eye on the future”. The company currently operates eight Cheval Residences in central London and recently won a management contract for a development in Dubai featuring 280 serviced and residential apartments under its new Cheval Maison brand.