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 launches new adventures option to expand its experiences offer
  • Blue Cube works to boost online adoption with new business travel product training for bookers
  • STR research highlights how holiday date shifts affect school-break calendars and hotel leisure demand in the US
  • Air France-KLM and RAI Amsterdam work to boost MICE activity in Amsterdam
  • St Petersburg’s air gateway signs up for SAP digital transformation
  • VisitBritain research shows power of Premier League in boosting tourism to Britain
  • CCRA Travel Commerce Network launches commissionable and private airfares on its TripSet booking engine

Airbnb launches new adventures option to expand its experiences offer

Airbnb is taking a significant further step in offering users more variety as it grows from its initial accommodation offering. Airbnb Adventures is an expansion of Airbnb Experiences, with hosts providing unique travel experiences offering lodging, meals, and activities. Described as a “collection of bucket list worthy multi-day experiences hosted by local experts” Airbnb Adventures will “take intimate groups to epic, off-the-beaten-path locations and immerse them in unique cultures and communities”. Airbnb Adventures are led by local experts and meet certain quality and safety standards through validation by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA). At its launch Airbnb says there are over 200 adventures to choose from that are either entirely exclusive to Airbnb, or provided by small, local operators that are not typically found on any other major booking platform. Examples cost from USD79 for an overnight trip up to USD5,000 for a once-in-a-lifetime 10-day trek, with a median price of USD588 for a three-day trip


Blue Cube works to boost online adoption with new business travel product training for bookers

Leading independent travel management company, Blue Cube Travel, has developed a bespoke training programme designed to boost the travel product knowledge of clients’ EAs, PAs and bookers in order to drive adoption of its online booking tool. The programme consists of eight one-hour modules which are delivered monthly by Blue Cube’s account managers to travel bookers at the client’s premises over the course of a year. The first two modules cover air travel and facts such as ticket types, fare classes, overview of different airline cabin products and the best options for the client’s specific travellers. Subsequent modules include: hotel booking basics with explanations of different hotel rates, bill-backs and best practice; UK and international rail ticket types; and itinerary planning. Training is not just classroom based as it includes the opportunity for hotel and airport site visits.


STR research highlights how holiday date shifts affect school-break calendars and hotel leisure demand in the US

The recently-released 2019-20 School Break Report from STR shows notable shifts in school calendar dates and subsequent periods of high hotel leisure demand, with weather and variability across school districts will play a role in peak family vacation periods. Findings from the report show that among holidays key to school-break calendars, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving and Easter will have an effect on hotel performance in 2019-20, due primarily to a shift in dates from 2018-19. The School Break Report, effectively a forward-looking tool utilised to plan for vacation hotel demand, includes information for 1,500-plus public school districts (60% of all students) and more than 1,000 four-year universities (73% of all students) in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.


Air France-KLM and RAI Amsterdam work to boost MICE activity in Amsterdam

Air France-KLM and RAI Amsterdam will continue to join forces to work to attract further international exhibitions, conferences and events into Amsterdam. The joint venture marks the continued collaboration between the parties. Through the Air France & KLM Global Meetings & Events online booking tool, organisers of events at RAI Amsterdam can earn free tickets, while visitors and exhibitors can benefit from a discount up to 15% on most published Air France and KLM fares.


St Petersburg’s air gateway signs up for SAP digital transformation

Northern Capital Gateway (NCG), the operator of St Petersburg’s Pulkovo International airport in Russia, aims to implement an intelligent digital enterprise management system (ERP system) with in-Memory technology and machine learning capabilities by May-2020. The new system will be based on the S/4HANA platform of digital solutions provider SAP, and will allow the airport to regulate accounting and management processes. A memorandum on cooperation between the companies was signed during the recent St Petersburg International Economic Forum 2019. Within the framework of the project, the airport operator will increase the degree of automation of financial and management accounting, supply processes, real estate management, HR management, maintenance and repairs of specialised machinery and equipment, optimise resource planning.


VisitBritain research shows power of Premier League in boosting tourism to Britain

We have already seen route development decisions being influenced by sports fan demand and now  new research from VisitBritain has highlighted the power of the Premier League in driving inbound tourism amongst overseas football fans, with more than three-quarters of those surveyed intending to visit the UK during the next two years. Chinese football fans surveyed showed the greatest intention with 92% intending to visit the UK within the next two years followed by India, 85% and the US, 80%. The research, carried out across Brazil, China, India, Norway, Sweden and the US, targeted football fans and also what VisitBritain terms as ‘buzzseekers,’ a segment of travellers who like action and excitement on their holidays, to understand the role that football plays in driving immediacy to visit Britain. The results echo additional research by VisitBritain into ‘dream activities’ for potential visitors across 17 international markets which showed that watching a Premier League game live was a dream activity for one in four, with a similar proportion keen to watch a Premier League football match in a pub with locals. Latest available research by VisitBritain showed that football is the number one sporting draw for international tourists to the UK with more than 800,000 international visitors going to a football match annually, spending GBP684 million during their time in the country.


CCRA Travel Commerce Network launches commissionable and private airfares on its TripSet booking engine

CCRA Travel Commerce Network has launched a range of commissionable and private airfares on its TripSet.com booking engine that allows travel advisers to use the platform to book and earn commissions on hotels, rental cars, and flights for their clients. The development is solution based on feedback from users that revealed comparing fares across sources in order to get the best price for clients was proving incredibly time-consuming, while tracking down commissions was a struggle and sometimes the commission payouts were so low that it was barely worth the time and energy in the first place. CCRA has partnered with airfare consolidator Sky Bird Travel & Tours to build this new way for travel advisers to earn revenue on flights.