Online Travel Update: Expedia Partner Solutions offers carbon neutral hotel stays; traditional offline travel management companies offer new technologies; Amazon ads target travel companies | Foster Garvey PC


Traditional Offline Travel Management Companies Offer New Technologies
(“TMCs Unveil Tech Enhancements at GBTA,” November 17, 2021 via Business Travel News)
(CWT Plans $100 Million Technology Investment,” November 16, 2021 via Phocus Wire)
Last week, two stories detailed investments being made by some the largest traditional offline travel companies into new travel technology. At last week’s Global Business Travel Association’s Convention, travel management companies, BCD Travel, Corporate Travel Management and TripActions, announced new technologies focused on risk management and trip disruption. The new mobile application, passenger notifications and risk-based trip approval system are all designed to address clients’ COVID-induced travel risk, security and well-being concerns. Separately, CWT – fresh off its one-day Chapter 11 bankruptcy — announced plans to invest $100 million in its myCWT travel management platform, which include improvements to its online hotel booking experience.

Amazon Ads Targets Travel Companies
Amazon Ads Wants to Help Travel Outfits by Sharing its Customers’ Buying Habits,” November 17, 2021 via Skift Travel News) (subscription may be required)
Over the past 18 months, Amazon’s advertising business (Amazon Ads) has been targeting travel and hospitality industry businesses. The new ad program allows customers to leverage Amazon’s wealth of customer data (think Prime members purchasing luggage tags or travel guides) to deliver targeted ads to users of Amazon’s many platforms (including Alexa).


Other news:

Wyndham Hotels Signs Distribution Deal With Trip.com
November 18, 2021 via Hotel Management – Hotel news
More than 9,000 hotels globally operated by Wyndham Hotels and Resorts can now be searched and booked on Trip.com after the two parties signed a comprehensive distribution agreement to sell the hotel’s inventory across its family of websites.

TravelBank Acquired by U.S. Bancorp
November 17, 2021 via Phocus Wire
TravelBank will become part of the U.S. Bancorp portfolio of businesses following an acquisition announced last week. Details of the deal have not been disclosed. U.S.-based TravelBank, a member of the PhocusWire Hot 25 Travel Startups for 2020 collection, is a travel and expenses management platform.

Green Travel: Booking Holdings Launches a New Sustainability Badge for Accommodations
November 16, 2021 via Yahoo Finance – Top Stories
Glenn Fogel, Booking Holdings CEO, joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss the travel company’s new feature to help consumers find hotels and accommodations that are implementing sustainability practices.

Welcome to the Hot 25 Startups for 2022
November 15, 2021 via Phocus Wire
PhocusWire presents the Hot 25 Travel Startups for 2022 – the annual list of new companies in travel, tourism and hospitality that they think will make a mark next year.



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10 Amazon products that are travel must-have | Focus


10 Amazon products that are travel must-have

Everyone takes a vacation to unwind. However, no matter where they go, there is always the chance of not having all one needs for their stay. Most people overlook one thing and end up wasting a large portion of their holiday money on, for instance, a bottle of shampoo. Alternatively, people may find themselves unable to sleep on the flight because those seats are simply uncomfortable unless one is traveling first class. Here are the top travel items on Amazon to deal with both large and small travel problems. Some of these might make excellent gifts for a colleague who is always on the lookout for their next adventure.

1)        Passport Wallet
One of Amazon’s most popular travel goods, and with great reason. Some clients have a problem receiving this item, but there is a Solution: this Amazon item cannot be shipped to your location error at borderoo.com. The passport wallet will collect all of a person’s possessions into one convenient place, and it comes in 35 stunning shades, making the most difficult part of this purchase deciding which one to get!

2)        Toiletry Bag
The hanging toiletry bag is the one item on this list that everyone should have. It can be filled with all of the toiletries required for any journey. When a person goes on a trip and realizes they have forgotten something, they should make a point of adding it to their bag so that it improves over time and they never have to travel without something they require. It is so simple when packing to travel. Grab the toiletry bag and put it in your luggage without giving it a second thought or worrying about forgetting something crucial.

3)        Leak Proof Travel Bottles
These are a must-have item. These bottles are entirely leak-proof, easy to fill because they have a large opening. These tiny acrylic jars are quite useful if someone only needs to transport a small amount of a product.

4)        Reusable Water Bottle
It is costly to buy a new bottle of water every time someone needs to hydrate. Many airports now include a water bottle filling station where passengers can fill up their refillable water bottles for free. Many towns also feature drinking fountains, so having a bottle to fill when one comes across a water filling station is useful.

5)        Laptop Backpack
This anti-theft backpack is fantastic for anyone concerned about theft. It is one of the best-selling travel packages. Not only does it include an anti-theft lock, but it also has a USB charging connector, allowing users to stay powered while on the go.

6)        Travel Umbrella
It can be a good idea for someone to bring a travel umbrella with him or her depending on where one is heading.

7)        Wet Brush Hairbrush
It is inexpensive, yet it is required for any holiday, including swimming, sailing, or anything involving the ocean, a pool, or similar activities. It is not an option.

8)        Extra Long Charging Cable
One never knows where the outlets will be on a plane, at a hotel, or wherever they are desperate for a charge. It is useful for charging ports that are difficult to reach.

9)        Packing Cubes
When it comes to staying organized, these are a godsend. If someone is looking for a pair of pants, they take the pants cube and find the top they want and the same for any other item. The cubes allow one to find what they are looking for without disturbing the rest of their belongings, and they are a fantastic and inexpensive investment.

10)      Luggage Travel Lock
If someone does not have a locking mechanism on any of their bags, they should order a 7for a bunch of these. People have stayed in beautiful hotels with less than ideal luggage storage systems, so one can never know when to lock their belongings.





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Group travel with Amazon Explore | WJHL


ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) officials have opted to extend face covering requirements on campus until the end of October 2021, citing continued transmission rates throughout the community.

According to a press release, college president Dean Blevins announced on Monday that face coverings will be required for all TCAT Elizabethton students, faculty, staff and visitors while indoors and around others until October 31. Vaccination status will not be taken into account.



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Online Travel Update: Travelport and Amazon Web Services announce travel startup accelerator; recent studies reveal Generation Z’s online travel preferences | Foster Garvey PC


Where did summer go? It was another quiet week in the online travel world, though I expect things may pick up in the weeks ahead as everyone returns from their summer breaks. Enjoy.

Travelport and Amazon Web Services Announce Travel Startup Accelerator
(“Travelport Teams With Amazon Web Services to Support Travel Startups,” September 2, 2021 via Skift Travel News) (subscription may be required)
Recently, Travelport and Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced the launch of a travel startup accelerator designed to provide travel entrepreneurs access to data and channel expertise, potential supplier partners (including hotels) and prospective travelers. The inaugural session will feature 10 travel startups with a focus on digital marketing and personalization. Judges will include representatives from American Express GBT, Internova and Priceline.

Recent Studies Reveal Generation Z’s Online Travel Preferences
(“What do Gen Z travelers want from online travel brands?” August 31, 2021 via Phocus Wire)
Generation Z travelers, those born between 1997 and 2021, are the focus of several recently issued traveler studies, including a recent study conducted by Phocuswright Research. According to the studies, Generation Z travelers (who have never experienced life without readily available internet access) are increasingly likely to rely on online travel resources (particularly, OTAs) for travel inspiration, planning and booking. Of particular note, although this generation has less brand loyalty and are less likely to belong to loyalty programs generally, enrollment in OTA loyalty programs is higher with this demographic than just about any other generation. The Phocuswright study also noted that this generation is more open to booking travel through other unique intermediary options like Google or travel membership services. What are Generation Z travelers looking for when they plan travel? The studies reveal inclusivity, diversity, sustainability, and safety and security take the highest priority.



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Reopening Day, Amazon, Summer Travel: Your Tuesday Evening Briefing


(Want to get this newsletter in your inbox? Here’s the sign-up.)

Good evening. Here’s the latest.

1. A “return to life as we know it.”

With 70 percent of adults in New York having received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, Gov. Andrew Cuomo lifted nearly all restrictions on businesses and social gatherings. That includes ending capacity limits, social distance requirements, disinfection protocols and health screenings. Above, the restaurant Juliette in Brooklyn on Tuesday.

It was also “reopening day” in California, as Gov. Gavin Newsom called it. He, too, lifted nearly all of the state’s restrictions, with 72 percent of adults having received at least one dose of the vaccine. As the economy fully reopens, our California restaurant critic said the most exciting place to eat in Los Angeles is Chinatown.

While the U.S. edges toward normalcy, many countries in Asia are still facing months of uncertainty and isolation as their vaccination campaigns just start to gain steam.

2. We learned more about Donald Trump’s efforts to pressure the Justice Department to help overturn the election results.

An hour before William Barr stepped down as attorney general, the former president was pressuring his replacement, Jeffrey Rosen, above, to back his false election fraud claims, emails show. Two weeks later, another email from Trump asked the Justice Department to file a brief to the Supreme Court that argued state officials used the pandemic to weaken election security and pave the way for widespread election fraud.

Separately, the Biden administration is aiming to bolster its ability to combat domestic extremism. A new plan acts as a blueprint on how to more effectively identify extremists in the U.S. after years of heightened focus on foreign terrorists.


4. Amazon did the impossible for customers during the pandemic. But at its only fulfillment center in New York City, the company burned through workers as orders skyrocketed.

An examination by The Times into how the pandemic unfolded at JFK8, as the center is known, found that the crisis exposed the power and peril of Amazon’s employment system. JFK8 helped the company book the equivalent of the previous three years’ profits rolled into one. It also relied on a strained, faltering system for mass-managing people that hired, monitored and fired without much human contact.

Here are five takeaways from the investigation.

Separately, President Biden named Lina Khan, a prominent critic of Big Tech who first attracted notice as a critic of Amazon, as chair of the F.T.C.


5. Hundreds of thousands of post-Covid patients, including Karla Jefferies, above, are experiencing nagging new problems they didn’t have before the disease, a new U.S. study revealed.

6. A heat wave across the Western U.S. could deliver temperatures above 125 degrees and stress electric grids in a region facing the worst drought in two decades.

Arizona, above outside Superior, and Nevada are bracing for the possibility of record highs, while firefighters confronting small blazes in California may be forced to do so in triple-digit heat. The Texas power grid’s operator has urged residents to minimize their electricity usage or risk outages. More than 100 people died in Texas during a February snowstorm that crippled the grid.

We’re also watching two tropical weather events. Tropical Storm Bill became the second named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season overnight, though it is expected to remain away from the coast. And a tropical depression may form by the end of the week, bringing heavy rains to the northern Gulf Coast.


7. Charitable giving in the U.S. rose 5 percent in 2020 to a record $471.4 billion, with civil rights and environmental groups benefiting.

A national conversation over race in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer fueled fund-raising, as did a rising stock market and government stimulus checks.

For the third time in under a year, MacKenzie Scott, above, one of the richest women in the world, announced a multibillion-dollar round of grants — $2.74 billion to 286 organizations. The latest round brings her total to more than $8 billion. When Scott and Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, divorced in 2019, her stock was valued at about $36 billion. Amazon’s soaring stock price has since pushed her net worth to an estimated $60 billion.

8. “Can I lick these people?”

Stephen Colbert, above, returned to a capacity, vaccinated crowd at the Ed Sullivan Theater last night after 15 months of hosting “The Late Show” from home, prompting his guest, Jon Stewart, to ask the question above. “There was something of a surviving-your-own-funeral aspect to the reunion,” writes our TV critic James Poniewozik.

And after four decades, Martin Yan, who used TV to help many North Americans start cooking Chinese food at home, is as cheery as ever but aware of some harsher truths. We spoke to the chef, who is now re-energizing fans as a YouTube host, about the new food media landscape.


In updated recommendations, the C.D.C. said domestic and international travel are low risk for fully vaccinated Americans, but it’s still far from simple. Here’s what you need to know.


10. And finally, the art of the toast.

Massive wedding parties with 10-piece bands and champagne fountains may be giving way to the micro-wedding, but one tradition remains steadfast: the wedding speech.

If you’ve been charged with saying a few words about the couple, we spoke to several experts for tips to help you speak from the heart. Think about your relationship with the couple, consider making it a group effort, cut the clichés and keep it short.

“We’re all so acutely aware that no one has any idea what tomorrow will bring,” one toastmaster said. “The fact that two people want to tackle that tomorrow together feels especially noteworthy.”

Have a moving night.




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Amazon Travel Products You Need, per Tom Schwartz & Tom Sandoval


Compression socks, you need circulation. If you get leg cramps or get swollen, these are amazing. These things are awesome if you’re doing an Iron Man or a Marathon or you’re on a long flight. They keep the blood flowing It’s like a little permanent hug on your feet,” Schwartz shared.

Sandoval added, “A lot of times when you are on planes, your feet will swell up. If you take your shoes off on a plane and you want to put them on when you land, it’s tough.” These socks have 46,800+ 5-star reviews from happy Amazon customers and they’re available in multiple colors. 



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business trip

Concur Expense Integrates with Amazon Procurement Platform


SAP Concur has launched a new integration capability that enables purchases made via Amazon Business to flow directly into Concur Expense. Available for free to U.S.-based Concur customers via the SAP Concur App Center, the integration is designed to reduce the time and effort required for employees to track receipts and manually enter procurement purchases into the expense system, while also increasing the accuracy of data captured for such purchases, according to Concur. 

In addition to Concur Expense, Amazon Business also can integrate directly with American Express Global Business Travel’s Neo1, the small and midsize enterprise-focused expense and purchasing platform that the GBT last week announced would expand to the U.S. after launching in the U.K. a year ago. 



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Trtl’s travel pillows are on sale on Amazon today only


Now that several countries are open to vaccinated U.S. travelers, many cooped up individuals are gearing up to go on vacation for the first time in over a year. In fact, in a survey from Tripadvisor of over 2,500 consumers, 67 percent of respondents said they are planning to travel this summer, a 17-percent increase from the number of individuals who traveled in the spring.

Whether you have plans to go on a cross-country road trip or are flying to another continent, one thing you may want to invest in to travel comfortably is a travel pillow. And currently, Trtl — the brand behind one of the best travel pillows — is offering 20 percent off its supportive pillows in every color available as an Amazon Deal of the Day. The machine-washable travel pillows are designed to be worn around the neck like a scarf in order to provide head and neck support — and at around half a pound, they’re relatively lightweight to boot.

According to CamelCamelCamel, the Trtl Original Pillow is at its lowest price on Amazon since December 2020. The Original Pillow can be attached to your luggage or backpack while you’re on the go. The fully adjustable pillow is made of a soft, hypoallergenic fleece material and has a supportive and flexible hidden padding. On Amazon, it’s available in Black, Grey and Red.

The Trtl Pillow Plus is also designed with plush foam padding and is made to be fully adjustable to fit the length and shape of your neck. According to the brand, it’s made with a mesh fabric material that is breathable so you don’t overheat while you sleep on the plane or train or in the car. The foam-filled areas that are designed to rest on your chin and collarbone are also covered with a soft microfleece. Each Pillow Plus comes with a water-resistant carry bag. Right now, the Trtl Pillow Plus is at its lowest price ever on Amazon, according to CamelCamelCamel.

Catch up on the latest from NBC News Shopping guides and recommendations and download the NBC News app for full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak.





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Critically Acclaimed, Time Travel Drama Black Easter Debuts On Amazon Prime | News


LOS ANGELES, July 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Black Easter, the action-packed film highlighting an extremist group’s ploy to travel back in time and assassinate Jesus Christ, is now available to audiences everywhere on Amazon Prime. Winner of multiple international film awards and panned as the ‘most controversial movie of the year’, Black Easter is written and directed by Jim Carroll.

Starring Jason Castro as Jesus Christ, the film centers on a group of young geniuses responsible for creating a time travel machine only to find that extremists, led by the financer of the machine, are attempting to use it for the religious assassination of Jesus prior to his crucifixion. But their interference in the evil plot causes mankind to enter an apocalypse leaving the fate of the world in the hands of a genius with no faith and a man who has lost his. The film also stars Gerardo Davila and Johnny Rey Diaz.

“My goal with Black Easter was to create a movie that was not only highly entertaining and filled with excitement at every twist and turn but one that also leaves the audience with a taste of the Gospel in a way that they don’t feel like they’re being lectured to,” said Carroll. “Everybody always says ‘Why doesn’t someone make a good Christian movie, something that isn’t preachy?’ Well, now we have one.”

Prior to its Prime debut, Black Easter was released at select Studio Movie Grill theaters where it received widespread prestigious attention including being crowned ‘Best Action Screenplay’ at the Los Angeles Film Awards, ‘Best Featured Script’ at the Calcutta International Cult Film Festival and ‘Best Original Screenplay Winner’ at the London Independent Film Awards in addition to being honored at the Barcelona Film Festival. A majority of critics have also given the film a coveted positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

To learn more about Black Easter, visit www.blackeastermovie.com.

About Black Easter

Black Easter is a critically acclaimed, science fiction cult blockbuster now available exclusively on Amazon Prime. Centering around an extremist group’s mission to assassinate Jesus Christ by way of time travel, Black Easter is packed with drama and adventure. The film is rated PG-13. For more on Black Easter, visit www.blackeastermovie.com.

Media Contact:

Jim Carroll

gymcar@yahoo.com

Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/critically-acclaimed-time-travel-drama-black-easter-debuts-on-amazon-prime-301334028.html

SOURCE Black Easter





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Hannah Ann Sluss Shares Her Must-Pack Travel Essentials from Amazon


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Travel is back. I’m all here for it,” Hannah Ann Sluss declared during a recent Amazon Live session. That is a sentiment that many of us agree with. It’s so exciting to have fun plans on the calendar again, but, travel also means packing, which isn’t the most fun task. Thankfully, the Bachelor Nation fan favorite has a go-to packing list that we can all use for guidance. She remarked, “I really want to show you guys the things that I brought and the things that I wish I brought when I was on trip. These are all my travel essentials, whether it’s a car ride or a flight or even if you’re just having a staycation over at your girlfriend’s house, these are must-haves.”

Hannah Ann explained, “Traveling is all about bringing the right products to simplify any hiccups.” That is a mantra that we all need to keep in mind before a trip. Keep on reading to see Hannah Ann’s Amazon must-haves and why she thinks they’re so essential for travel.



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