WAYN, British Airways, Carlson Wagonlit (CWT), JetBlue, CheapOair, Rotana, Scoot, Minube, Magnuson Hotels, MarryAbroad, RateTiger, and Mahindra, all appear in our roundup of the stories making news and driving opinion on 7 December.
WAYN changes its relationship status. WAYN (Where Are You Now), a social media platform in the world that claims 21 million members (4 million of which are in India), today announced it has signed "a multi-million dollar strategic partnership" with media conglomerate India Today Group (ITG). WAYN will create a co-branded portal with Travel Plus, the travel arm of ITG.
Fun facts about the growth of the Indian travel market:
From 2006 to 2011 there was a 132% increase in Indians travelling abroad.
This increase is predicated to continue with an estimated 50 million Indians expected to travel overseas by 2020.
CWT says it's helping international business travelers find the best times to plan multi-country meetings. Carlson Wagonlit has launched an app, CWT 78 BizDays, that helps find the most convenient day and time to schedule an international call, video conference, event or meeting.
The app is partly based on a 2010 Harvard Business Review study, which found:
Approximately one third of the days in a year internationally are “holiday-free days.”
Minube, the Spanish social travel service that recently launched an English-language iPhone app, has also begun an in-app store featuring user-generated lists. Says the company's spokesperson Chris Pearrow:
"For example, a film aficionado might make a mini-guide to all the landmarks in his/her city that have appeared in famous movies. Some of the user-generated lists, which present a more specific and passionate vision, will be available for a small micro-payment directly thorough the app itself.
The majority of the in-app lists will cost $0.99/ £0.69, while a few of the longer, more-involved lists will cost a little extra (the maximum is around $1.99/ £1.49). As always, Apple takes a 30% cut of the in-app revenues and minube will split the remaining revenue with the lists' authors."
Today Click Travel launched the ability for customers to hold rail tickets. In an "industry first," according to the business travel management company that has £30 million in annual turnover, users of the Click Travel site can hold a rail ticket and the ticket price for up to 2 hours until they are ready to buy. Says a spokesperson:
"This is especially significant for companies with travel policies that include a pre-trip approval process, where staff must gain approval before they are allowed to book."
Singapore's low-cost carrier star is going to the cloud. Scoot, the budget subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, is the first airline in the world to adopt the agile and flexible data link management service powered by the Air Transport Industry (ATI) Cloud from IT provider SITA.
Magnuson Hotels, the world’s largest independent hotel group, today announced the launch of a commission-driven sales affiliate network. Learn more about Magnuson Partners, here.
Vacation ownership company Mahindra, which claims more than 147,000 members in India, has installed RateTiger to automate and streamline its revenue management and online distribution. Says the company: "23 Club Mahindra resorts have increased occupancy in the last six months as a result of increasing online exposure through third parties."
British Airways has become one of the first airlines in Europe to launch a Windows 8 app. Details, here.
CheapOair was first online travel agency (OTA) to offer an app on Windows 8 app.Just saying.
Booking.com has released a free native Kindle Fire app.Whoop, whoop.
Who offers the first 'click to call' video enabled function service for a hotel group in the Middle East? Rotana's new mobile app.
DIGITAL MARKETING/AIRLINE TECH
JetBlue Airways partnership with KULA Causes to bring their loyalty technology to JetBlue’s loyalty program members. TrueBlue members can now convert their earned points into charitable donations to over 2.5 million nonprofits across the world.
Flybe becomes first UK airline to offer automatic check-in at point of booking. It's about time. Specifically, it's about 36 and 15 hours of departure.
MarryAbroad.co.uk has recorded a 15% spike in inquiries, year on year, for weddings taking place outside of the UK’s wedding season. Austerity hasn't dampened interest in the destination-wedding website, apparently.
PhotoWeb the best-in-class hotel photography, video production & syndication company has overhauled the digital brand imagery for Millennium & Copthorne Hotels and Resorts in Asia and North America. So there.
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