eNett currency extension, Tink Labs global expansion, and more…

This is a roundup of product news and announcements for travel systems in tourism and hospitality for March 2017.

Friday 31 March 2107:

eNett increases currency provision

  • The payment technology provider has added Mexican Pesos, Russian Roubles, Turkish Lira to its portfolio of available currencies. eNett currently supports around 100 currencies worldwide.

Tink Labs plots handy expansion

  • The hotel mobile provider reckons it will be in one million rooms worldwide by the end of 2017. The heavily backed company ($125 million last year) has produced the Handy phone, a free smartphone device for guests in a property that gives them data roaming and apps with information about a property and destination.

Tuesday 28 March 2017:

TravelClick launches direct-sell analytics service

  • The company’s Media Intelligence Platform is aimed at hotels looking to manage media campaigns that target direct bookings on their websites. The system takes data from its existing services, such as iHotelier Suite, Rate360 and Demand360 and optimises campaign planning.

CWT integrates Rocketrip

  • The corporate travel management platform will use Rocketrip’s incentive service to help with spend-reduction programmes within companies. The platform will include CWT’s existing negotiated fares and travel policy parameters for company’s to introduce “Budget To Beat” benchmarks for employees.

Thursday 23 March 2017:

Datalex helps JetBlue startup service

  • JetBlue Technology Ventures has enlisted the help of the Ireland-based airline digital commerce provider to evaluate and assist new companies in the programme. Datalex will co-locate its Innovation Lab in Silicon Valley and include relevant businesses in the digital platform it currently provides to the airline.

Monday 20 March 2017:

Invoice Bazaar and eNett partner for ME

  • The FinTech supply chain platform will work with eNett to help travel agencies in the Middle East make the shift to using virtual cards numbers of credit card transactions. Invoice Bazar will facilitate the cash flow end of the equation. Connect World Travel & Tourism is one of the first named customers to use the service.

Travelport says hello to TATA

  • Following a competitive pitch, TATA Consultancy Services will operate as Travelport’s primary technology partner for the development of IT and digital services. The move coincides with the closure of Travelport’s tech centre in Kansas City in the US, leaving it with operations in Atlanta and Denver.

Thursday 16 March 2017:

IBS to run Avianca’s LifeMiles

  • Colombia-based carrier and Star Alliance member Avianca will use IBS Software‘s iFly Loyalty as the new platform for its LifeMiles frequent flier scheme, replacing an in-house system. LifeMiles has more than 7 million members and is the first customer for IBS’s loyalty product in central America.

Concur develops employee safety tool

  • The expense management tech provider will allow companies to include a Risk Messaging and Active Monitoring tool within the existing service. The system includes pre-travel advisories, two-way messaging, traveller location and reporting, incident analysis and alerts.

Amadeus gets productive

  • The tech giant’s Productivity Tracker uses data to identify operational activities in a travel agency, including monitoring of booking and revenue patterns, as well as forecasting of bookings at risk of cancellation. One of the pilot agencies is VCK Travel.

Review Travel creates new booking tool

  • OrBIT is an online self-booking application from the travel management company developed in association with Atriis. The system allows business travellers to search and book air tickets, hotels and rail services, as well as ancillaries such as car hire, ground transportation and transfers.

Amex GBT unveils re-booking tool

  • American Express Global Business Travel launched Air Re-Shop Expert, a tool that automatically begins searching for lower air fares within the first 24 hours after the ticket is issued. The tool conducts a “like for like” search –the same flight, cabin and fare type. It also maintains the traveler’s preferences, such as aisle or window seat. If a lower fare is found, it is rebooked and re-ticketed automatically with no additional transaction fee and no involvement of the traveler. An updated invoice is sent to the traveler. American Express GBT said customers saved an average of $100 per ticket using Air-Reshop Expert. It is currently available in the U.S. via Sabre; access via Apollo will launch in the next few months.

Tuesday 14 March 2017:

RouteHappy flies with Airbus agreement

  • Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Lufthansa Group and Singapore Airlines are the first carriers involved in the programme – a project to help airlines create merchandising content that showcases services such as seat spec, space, inflight entertainment, connectivity and overall atmosphere. Airlines in the scheme will use the RouteHappy Hub, a system that distributes content across sales channels.

Triometric launches Trio Express

  • The business intelligence provider will use Trio Express as a cloud-based XML analytics platform for small to medium-sized hotel businesses that cannot justify investment in infrastructure and analysts. The new platform is a trimmed version of its Trio Enterprise tool, including client activity management, operational performance, inventory management and buying behaviour.

Tsogo Sun rises with Sabre

  • Sabre Hospitality Solutions will power the hotel chain’s online booking engine, allowing guests to search and reserve rooms on desktop, tablet and mobile devices. Tsogo has more than 90 hotels and entertainment centres across the continent of Africa, Abu Dhabi and the Seychelles.

Rainmaker targets groups

  • The revenue management tech group has upgraded its GroupRev and GuestRev tools to include group forecasting services for hoteliers. The platform will allow owners to oversee the accuracy of their pricing for groups as well as profitability of rates when evaluating demand and supply of group bookings.

Monday 13 March 2017:

20 million loyalty members for Etihad and partners

  • Etihad Airways Group has passed the 20 million members milestone for its four frequent flyer programmes used by it and its partners –  Etihad Guest (used by Etihad Airways, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles and Etihad Regional), JetPrivilege (Jet Airways), MilleMiglia (Alitalia), and topbonus (airberlin and NIKI). India is home to five million members, Italy is the next largest source market with 3.5 million, slightly ahead of Germany.

Bitcoin takes off at CheapAir

  • CheapAir has said that the ongoing increase in the valuation of Bitcoin has led to a 74% increase in sales on its site using the digital currency over the past six months. CheapAir started accepting Bitcoin in Nov2013, becoming the first OTA to do so, and has processed Bitcoin payments for flights and hotels worth nearly $15 million to date.

Thursday 9 March 2017:

Open Destinations on track

  • Open Destinations has expanded its existing relationship with Belmond (formerly Orient Express) and is providing B2B and B2C tech to PeruRail, the operator of tourist trains to Machu Picchu and the Andes, in which Belmond has a stake. It will also power Belmond’s Journeys in Peru tour operator and destination management company.

PayPal trips into India

  • MakeMyTrip has expanded its relationship with Paypal and now allows the digital wallet to be used for international flights and hotels and for packages. International visitors to India are now able to use their PayPal account for MakeMyTrip purchases.

More home rentals for booking.com

  • NextPax, the vacation rental technology specialist, has helped Novasol gets its 40,000 home rental properties in Europe onto booking.com via the accommodation giant’s Content API.

Friday 3 March 2017:

Amadeus becomes merchant for rail

  • The merchant model allows Amadeus-connected agencies to search and book rail tickets without having to strike commercial deals with individual train operators around the world. The initial run of operators will include DB (German), TrenItalia (Italy) and RENFE (Spain), with limited access for SNCF and some other Eastern European operators.

SITA backs LocusLabs

  • The airline and airport IT provider has made a “strategic investment” (no details disclosed) in the LocusLabs, a geo-location technology and mapping specialist. The platform is already used by SITA for its app and a number of international airports are customers.

NB: Systems image via Shutterstock.

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