Tag Archives: Travel

Your Travel and Hospitality Reading List for Spring Break

Travel and Hosp 1 300x225 Your Travel and Hospitality Reading List for Spring Break

Spring is almost here! Which means spring break is right around the corner. If you’re hitting the beach for some well-deserved R&R, check out these eBooks and whitepapers from PowerObjects about digital transformation, trends in the travel and hospitality industry, and more.

In the age of the customer, the ultimate goal is to understand customers and give them the innovative experiences they want. For travel brands, the guest experience has never been so important. This is why the underlying trend for travel and hospitality needs to be making sure that any evolution in the customer journey is a positive one. Travel companies need to push the boundaries and adopt next-generation digital thinking, practices, and technical solutions.

Reclaim Direct, Profitable Relationships with Customers: A Special Report Brought to You by One Connected Community, Microsoft and PowerObjects

As innovative business models and mobile devices continue to disrupt and shape the way customers travel, one thing is clear – customer experience matters more than ever. In the age of the customer, the goal is to understand customers, give them the experiences they want and keep those experiences consistent across all touch points.

It’s an exciting time for the travel industry, but there are significant challenges associated with the innovation behind engaging customers across the entire journey. This whitepaper is the perfect resource to get organizations talking about these challenges.

To win in the customer-centric world and reclaim direct profitable relationships with customers, travel brands need to push the boundaries and adopt next-generation digital thinking, practices, and technical solutions. They need to move away from a traditional product approach, to a customer journey approach – it’s no longer about selling a room or a flight, but selling a personal service. READ THE EBOOK.

Travel and Hospitality in the Age of the Customer: A Special Report Brought to You by One Connected Community, Microsoft and PowerObjects

Travel brands that invest in creating innovative customer experiences will gain the upper-hand by showing a genuine understanding and interest of customers’ needs, wants, and desires. World-class customer experiences will be the defining trait of travel companies that thrive in coming years.

The underlying trend is to make sure that any evolution in the customer journey is a positive one. But to create distinctive customer experiences, travel companies need to push the boundaries and adopt next-generation digital thinking, practices, and technical solutions.

In this eBook, we explore eight core areas for all stakeholders looking to improve customer engagement in 2017, including interviews with Scott Crawford, VP ecommerce, Expedia and Lennart De Jong, CCO, CitizenM Hotels. READ THE EBOOK.

We hope you enjoy! Happy D365’ing!

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Alipay's Travel Tax Refund Service Arrives In Ten European Countries

Chinese Internet payment platform Alipay will launch a travel value-added tax refund service in ten countries in Europe to allow consumers to complete tax refunds by scanning codes with its app instead of waiting in line at the refund counters.

With this service, Chinese tourists will be able to realize tax refunds via code scanning and the refund money will be transferred to their Alipay accounts in Chinese Yuan.

Due to complicated procedures and slow payments into their accounts, some Chinese tourists in the past gave up their tax refund opportunities. Chinese media reports state that Chinese tourists lose nearly CNY1 billion in tax refunds in Europe annually.

According to Alipay, its new service may alleviate these problems. The service is jointly launched by Alipay and Global Blue, the world’s largest tax refund organization; and it is expected to expand into 23 countries in Europe.

At present, this service is available at Global Blue’s tax refund counters in Milan Malpensa Airport, Munich Airport, Berlin Tegel Airport, Rome Fiumicino Airport, and Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. It is expected to be available in Britain and France this summer.

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Four Days in April: The Definitive SuiteWorld17 Travel Guide

websitelogo Four Days in April: The Definitive SuiteWorld17 Travel Guide

Posted by Barney Beal, Content Director, NetSuite

SuiteWorld17 represents a slew of firsts for the #1 cloud ERP event of the year – the first time in Las Vegas, the first time as a business unit under Oracle and the biggest event yet.

With more than 6,000 people expected to descend on the Sands Expo & Convention Center to attend more than 200 sessions and nine keynote addresses, the challenge is not going to be how to fill the day, but how to fit it all in while still making time to enjoy the sights and sounds of Vegas. This guide offers some suggestions and advice for getting the most out of the event.

Key in on the Keynotes

Executive Vice President Jim McGeever kicks off the conference with the opening keynote on Tuesday, providing vision, strategy and details on NetSuite’s latest innovations. He’ll be followed by Executive Vice President of Development Evan Goldberg’s keynote on Wednesday with a deeper dive and a look at some of the features NetSuite is coming up with next. And this year there are seven industry-specific keynotes spread across the four days with the addition of Fintech and Advertising, Media and Publishing to last year’s slate, giving attendees insights into key trends in their industry and how NetSuite will help address them. Taking center stage throughout are NetSuite’s innovative customers like Ring, Smartsheet, Hortonworks, Blue Microphone, Lucky Brand Jeans, Avant and more. Customers will dominate the SuiteWorld breakout sessions as well, with more than 125 customer presenters.

Come Home Smarter

There are plenty of ways to learn how to get the most out of your NetSuite investment. Besides the more than 200 sessions (broken out by beginner, intermediate and advanced experience levels and by role), there’s a chance to meet with SuiteGurus for 30-minute appointments with experts from Professional Services, demos and best practices on the Expo Stage, and an area specifically for developers to exchange tips and ideas at Devland. Be sure to hit the show floor and see the products and services of the more than 100 partners on display.

Spotlight on Customer Innovation

SuiteWorld presents the opportunity to showcase more than just NetSuite. Some of the most innovative companies in their industry will be showing off what’s next at the event and attendees get a front row seat for those innovations.

  • Meet Brian Kelly, travel expert and founder of The Points Guy, to learn how to get the most out of your frequent flier miles and credit card points at 5:30 p.m. on Monday on the Expo stage.
  • Learn what goes on behind the scenes at Blue Apron, learning how they put together a different subscription box each day and walk away with a free recipe.
  • Learn how 23andMe is helping people learn about their health, traits and ancestry via DNA samples and get a discount on your own test.
  • Get a glimpse of what’s next in home décor by visiting the Jonathan Adler lounge.
  • Take a break from wandering the show floor and relax in the comfort of a Lovesac in the Lovesac Lounge.
  • Look into the future of home security at the Ring home environment and see how far the wifi video doorbell has come.
  • Bring all your SuiteWorld schwag home in style after stopping by the Trunki photo booth featuring Trunki’s menagerie of animal-themed suitcases.

Get up and Give Back

SuiteWorld17 again provides an opportunity to support organizations seeking to make the world a better place. Once again, SuiteWorld is hosting the Hackathon 4Good. Set for Monday, this year’s event will challenge teams to create innovative prototypes to help BrightPoint Health, a leading nonprofit provider of integrated health care and social support services to New Yorkers, especially those challenged by poverty, discrimination and lack of access to health care. This year’s event includes NetSuite’s Devland, where members of the NetSuite Product team will be on hand to help and support teams with the creation of their solutions and prototypes.

You can also take a break and do your part by packing activity kits for the Resource Area for Teachers (RAFT) a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring, engaging and educating children through the power of hands-on learning. The activity kits you pack will be donated to Bay Area organizations educating children and youth.

Meanwhile, T3 Expo, another NetSuite customer, is working with RAREFORM to reduce waste from conventions and tradeshows by recycling signage into one-of-a-kind bags and accessories and donating them to foster kids. Enter the raffle for a chance to win a commemorative bag made from recycled SuiteWorld17 signage.

Go Shopping and Relax

Stop by the SuiteStore, powered by the SuiteCommerce InStore POS system and get all your NetSuite gear along with items from our customers like ThinkGeek, Found My Animal, RuMe and Poppin. Then unwind on some of the coolest furniture around from Design Within Reach at the SuiteTunes Lounge. Log in to Spotify and subscribe to SuiteTunes.

Get Down

Be sure to get amped up for the conference at the Welcome Reception from 5-7 p.m. on Monday on the Expo Floor and Rock Out on Wednesday night at the NextFest Gala at the Hard Rock Hotel with the Royal Machines including special guests.

Share your plans before you even get there. Join the conversation on Twitter at #SuiteWorld17 and #NetSuite and follow us at @NetSuite.

Posted on Tue, April 18, 2017
by NetSuite filed under

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Big Gun Will Travel

Now that’s open carry!

rhPUIpn Big Gun Will Travel

“Goin skeet shootin.  Open carry in Texas.”
Image courtesy of http://imgur.com/gallery/rhPUIpn.

Amex Global Business Travel pools data lake to bolster ‘duty of care’

Business travel is seldom an unalloyed pleasure. Nor is it a trivial cost for corporate organisations. New American Express Global Travel (Amex GBT) president Philippe Chérèque, formerly the firm’s chief commercial and technology officer, says some customers are close to spending $ 1bn on travel each year.

Chérèque, who was American Express Global Travel’s CIO as well as its commercial head before becoming president, joined the firm two years ago. He has been putting $ 1bn into modernising the firm’s IT – in the direction of cloud computing, and capitalising on analytics.

“Traditionally, travel management companies have been satisfying the chief procurement officer rather than the business traveller,” he says.

Chérèque speaks of the need for more proactive care: “If there is fog at Heathrow, we call the passenger to say, ‘We have booked you on the Eurostar and you can fly from Paris.’

“The traveller is the key. If your engineer is stuck in the middle of India, that costs more to the company than saving 10% on the cost of the ticket.”

Chérèque says Amex GBT’s corporate customers are placing increasing importance on duty of care in the light of terrorist incidents and other misfortunes. When Brussels Airport was bombed in March 2016, Amex GBT could tell where travellers were because it had their Amex card data.

The company built an application that automatically sends an SMS text message to travellers when an incident happens: those who respond immediately show as green, then travellers not responding go orange then red. For example, it could immediately tell that there was one passenger on board the EgyptAir flight that crashed in May 2016.

The company is a joint venture between Amex and a private equity group headed by investment firm Certares. It has a treasure chest of $ 1bn in cash to put into IT, and has taken a comprehensively cloud approach.

“In the past two years, we have migrated not only from the data warehouse of Amex, but moved away from its HR system, its finance system and so on,” says Chérèque.

It is using Workday for HR, NetSuite for finance, and Coupa for procurement.

Data lake and visualisation

Christophe Tcheng, vice-president of core products and platform architecture, joined Chérèque from travel company Amadeus, which is the business alma mater for both men. Tcheng was head of research and development services at Amadeus, while Chérèque was executive vice-president. He was at the company for nearly 25 years.

Tcheng designed Amex GBT’s data architecture. He confirms it has 300 data people, with a small group of “around four” hardcore data scientists and developers.

Of choosing Hortonworks as the Hadoop distribution to build a data lake, which has been operative from 2016, he says: “It was a conscious choice to go for open source; it’s very robust and efficient. It’s not rocket science, but the trick is to make it work.

“In the past two years, we have migrated not only from the data warehouse of Amex, but moved away from its HR system, its finance system and so on” Philippe Chérèque, Amex GBT

“The idea emerged at the back end of 2014. We had an enterprise data warehouse, from Microstrategy. It was good technology, but it is technology from the 1990s. The industry is moving to Hadoop plus visualisation layers”.

For the latter, Amex GBT partnered with cloud business information (BI) and analytics company Birst to build a product called Premier Insight for corporate clients. This launched in November 2015, and Chérèque says dozens of corporations are using it.

Tcheng says on choosing Birst: “It is cloud enabled, and also because of its roadmap – with embedded BI, vision and investment. We didn’t want to choose the best platform for today if, in two years’ time, it is behind the pack.”

Amex can provide analytics into customers’ spend levels and so indicate where additional costs are being incurred, or where there are opportunities to make use of better buying power to improve efficiency of spend. It has card data from MasterCard and Citibank, among others, through application programming interfaces (APIs), as well as the Amex card data.

The analytics relies on having all the data sources together in one place, and then being able to visualise it for people to use through a browser. Birst provides the analytics platform and the data visualisation. 

Chérèque gives such examples as its customers being able to easily see where employees are not compliant – and so not using negotiated deals with hotel chains – and calibrating their airline spend.

“With the airlines it can be a cliff system – if you buy 100% [of the negotiated deal] you get a bonus back, if you spend 99% you get nothing. And if you spend more than 100% you could spend that money elsewhere. Airlines have had better statistics than the corporations, but now [the latter] have the information in advance – getting the data afterwards is no use.”

Chérèque also points to the sector possibilities in the firm’s use of a data lake with analytics. “We take care of most of the travel meeting and events for the pharmaceutical industry. We organise 40,000 meetings per year for them. With Birst, we can provide information about what is the average spend per trip in the industry. Someone in the pharmaceutical industry is not very interested in being benchmarked against Cisco or IBM.”

For individual travellers, Amex GBT is using the data lake to develop personalisation. “We know what kind of restaurants you like to go to, so when you make the booking we can make recommendations. Also we draw on people who have the same behaviour as you, who are in your cohort – which kind of restaurants, which kinds of hotel they go to.

“The booking is the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of things happening below,” he concludes.……..    ……………… ……. ………

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So are your travel plans

 So are your travel plans


 So are your travel plans

About Krisgo

I’m a mom, that has worn many different hats in this life; from scout leader, camp craft teacher, parents group president, colorguard coach, member of the community band, stay-at-home-mom to full time worker, I’ve done it all– almost! I still love learning new things, especially creating and cooking. Most of all I love to laugh! Thanks for visiting – come back soon icon smile So are your travel plans

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Deep Fried Bits

Travel Marketing: 5 Steps to Seed the Micro-Moments That Drive Decisions

Google calls the act of pulling out our phones and searching for videos, photos, or articles about a destination a “micro-moment.” It is the moment when a traveler is actively seeking, planning and dreaming about traveling. And for a tourism company to have their message show up on a Google search, in a video or an Instagram photo at these moments is powerfully persuasive.

According to Google, “69 percent of leisure travelers who are smartphone users search for travel ideas during spare moments, like when they’re standing in line or waiting for the subway. Nearly half of those travelers go on to book their choices through an entirely separate channel.”

Travel marketing relies on optimizing the micro moment

Google’s research highlights the circuitous route that vacationers take to the booking button. It is not linear or confined to one device. And it is driven more by the vacationer’s psychology rather than any static process.

The “micro” qualifier refers to the short bursts of time we spend browsing our phone, leaving marketers with sometimes only seconds to make an impression. Research from Kleiner Caufield Perkins & Byers shows that the average consumer checks his phone 150 times a day (this is not a typo), but only spends 177 minutes per day on their phone – meaning that the average smartphone session lasts only 1 minute and 10 seconds.

But micro-moments are also defined by three attributes – they combine intent, immediacy, and context. Vacationers are searching for something (intent), they want it at their fingertips (immediacy), and they want it to be relevant to their planning (context).

Travel marketing’s three motivators: Go, Do, Buy

Here is a tour through the steps vacationers take as they go from someone with a casual interest in a destination to a vacationer booking a trip, and how marketers and travel companies can get travelers’ attention during each step of the process.

  • I Want to Know

It might be spurred by a conversation with a friend or a stunning photo on social media, but most travel trips start with one simple thought – I want to know.

I want to know more about that small beach town in Mexico that my co-worker just raved about. I want to know about the most family-friendly Hawaiian Island.

These “I want to know” moments send us to our smartphones where we search the photos, articles, and videos that inform us about a destination.

Screen Shot 2015 12 21 at 2.08.13 PM Travel Marketing: 5 Steps to Seed the Micro Moments That Drive Decisions

Suppose you want to know when is the best time of year to visit Fiji? This website is nicely optimized to answer that question and take the buyer to the next step. Image Source: https://www.visualitineraries.com/

Each tactic has its advantage. Paid search assures your message shows up in front of the right person at the right time, but the message stays there only as long as you continue to pay for that placement. Organic SEO, driven by well-written content and meta data, and earned media (through public relations and video campaigns), has a longer life span and a more authentic, unbiased appeal to travelers. 

  • I Want to Go

The first decision has been made. After learning more about a destination, this prospective traveler wants to go. This is a big first step, but it is only the first in a string of very important decisions that make up vacation planning. Intent has turned into desire. The first hurdle has been crossed. If you are a destination marketing organization your job is partially done. Through compelling content available to the traveler at the right time, you have made the traveler choose your destination. If you are a lodging property, tour operator or restaurant, you now have a great opportunity to make your case.

Anticipation is a big part of success at this “micro-moment” stage. Understanding an audience and personalizing messages will earn you a click, a read, and ultimately a purchase decision.

At this stage of the process, it is a competition: the company that serves the most relevant content at the most opportune time will likely win the traveler.

According to a Google and Ipsos survey one in three smartphone users have purchased from a company other than the one they intended to – because the brand they finally picked delivered them relevant information at the moment they needed it.

Think of “I want to go” moments not only as opportunities to influence vacationers in the planning stages, but also in the moment. While lodging may be booked months in advance, targeted location-based mobile ads can inspire travelers to visit restaurants, take tours, and add unplanned events at the last minute mid-vacation.

  • I Want to Do

Travelers often book a trip to try new things – new foods, new experiences, new adventures.

But doing new things requires some forethought and research, and much of that is now done on mobile devices. Useful web content that explains, educates, and inspires seals the deal for most travelers. Web traffic trends confirm this growing demand for educational content. YouTube searches for “how to” content is increasing 70 percent year over year, according to Google.

While the “I want to go” searcher may only visit a location once, the “I want to do” searcher has a high probability of becoming a lifelong consumer. Capturing the attention of that person wanting to experience a new sport, a new activity, or a new skill may become one of the coveted brand loyalists that deliver long-running “lifetime value” to a brand. Whether you are a ski destination, a mountain biking mecca, or a golfing paradise, capturing the imagination and loyalty of a traveler discovering your destination and a new activity or sport at the same time is one way to tap into the lifetime value of a repeat visitor or a brand loyalist.

  • I Want to Buy

Causing a customer to click the booking button typically requires connection across multiple devices at multiple points in time. Consumers do more research, more thoroughly, than ever before.

When the momentous booking moment arrives, all of those “I want to know,” “I want to go” and “I want to do” micro-moments that preceded the booking decision matter. If your destination, travel company, or hotel served up useful information on things to do and things to see, the traveler is more likely to book with your company. Remember that Google/Ipsos study that showed a third of consumers will change allegiance and buy from a brand that served them up that relevant content at the moment they wanted it.

Connecting with prospective travelers throughout the research process also gives brands the data to connect and re-connect to the most relevant customers during these micro-moments. Using that data, brands can establish more personalized relationships with customers, making sure that they understand what their customers want in those valuable moments when they are seeking information and inspiration for their next vacation.

Take a video tour of Act-On’s Content Catalog, to explore our content solutions for the travel, hospitality and leisure industry.

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Elong.com’s Chinese Travel Website Goes Down

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One of China’s top travel, hotel, and airline booking websites has partially gone down.

Elong.com’s Chinese Travel Website Goes Down

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One of China’s top travel, hotel, and airline booking websites has partially gone down.