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Wine Survey Delivers Great Insights into Wine Consumer Behaviour

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Big Wine Survey Delivers Great Insights into Wine Consumer Behaviour - - TRAVELINDEXSomerset West, South Africa, May 19, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The results of the inaugural Great BIG Wine Survey brought to you by Hollard, which were released in 2020, elicited an overwhelming response from the wine industry. In a continued show of support for an industry which has been incredibly hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, Hollard Insurance Group has once again come on board as a sponsor of the 2021 Great BIG Wine Survey.

The Great BIG Wine Survey, initially planned as a lockdown project, has now become an annual event to benchmark and track trends, note shifts in behaviour, and measure progress, thanks to the sponsorship of Hollard Insurance Group as presenting partner.

Hollard National Business Development Manager, Andries Wiese says: “Hollard is delighted to help make available these valuable insights to the South African wine industry. Hollard’s investment in the Great BIG Wine Survey demonstrates our ongoing commitment to business improvement underpinned by our overarching company purpose of ‘securing a better future for all’.”

Much like the Great BIG Wine Survey was a project born in lockdown, a new company transitioned which resulted in Southern Skies launching Vintelligence. This independently owned business is dedicated exclusively to serving the consumer research needs of the South African wine industry with Agri-economist, Pieter van Niekerk appointed to lead this new SA wine intelligence firm.

Pieter had this to say of the insights gained through the 2021 Great BIG Wine Survey (GBWS):

“The wine journey describes how long consumers have been drinking wine, helping to distinguish newer versus more experienced wine drinkers. The consumers’ position on the wine journey has been shown to influence purchasing behaviour and preference which directly impacts wine style preference. The data from the 2021 GBWS has shown that greater volumes of wine are purchased by longer term wine drinkers, with consumers who have been drinking wine for 10+ years purchasing more wine monthly and keeping a larger stock at home. Conversely, newer wine drinkers spend the most per bottle for at home consumption, with young independent singles spending the most per bottle.”

As per the findings in the first GBWS, wine is seen as accessible to everyone, marking a distinct break from historic thinking which categorised wine as a more exclusive beverage. As consumers progress along their wine journey, perceptions of wine being ‘for everyone’ increase. Pricing and recommendation are the strongest drivers, followed by producer when consumers decide on their purchase.

From a packaging perspective, it is interesting to note that while the standard 750ml glass bottle remains the most preferred packaging for wine consumers, it appears that openness to alternative pack types is growing. Bag in box and cans are now available in premium brands which has opened the wine market – another benefit of the pandemic to the industry. Natural cork is still the most preferred seal of a bottle, followed by screw caps, with a preference for natural cork alternatives over synthetic corks.

As consumer engagement increases, the price paid per bottle also increases, with a higher proportion of wine bought in the R100+ category. As engagement increases, volume of wine purchased by month also increases. All these are positive indicators for the local wine industry.

2021 Great BIG Wine Survey Results Webinar

All the 2021 Great BIG Wine Survey results and insights will be presented during a webinar hosted by Pieter van Niekerk who will be joined by panellists Peter McAtamney, founding Principal of Wine Business Solutions (WBS) along with representatives from leading independent consumer insights agency, KLA, Caitlin Bauristhene (Research Director and KLA Partner) and Josie Matterson (Senior Research Manager).

First published at – Global Travel News

UN-Habitat and OCEANIX Unveil World’s First Floating City

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UN-Habitat and OCEANIX Unveil World's First Floating City - TRAVELINDEXBusan, South Korea, May 13, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / UN-Habitat, the Busan Metropolitan City of the Republic of Korea, and OCEANIX today unveiled at the UN Headquarters the design of the world’s first prototype sustainable floating city. OCEANIX Busan aims to provide breakthrough technology for coastal cities facing severe land shortages that are compounded by climatic threats.

The challenge is massive: two out of every five people in the world live within 100 kilometers of the coast, and 90 percent of mega cities worldwide are vulnerable to rising sea levels. Flooding is destroying billions of dollars worth of infrastructure and forcing millions of climate refugees to leave their homes. With nowhere to expand, rapid urban population growth is pushing people closer to the water, driving housing costs to prohibitive levels, and squeezing the poorest families out.

“Today is a pivotal milestone for all coastal cities and island nations on the frontlines of climate change. We are on track to delivering OCEANIX Busan and demonstrating that floating infrastructure can create new land for coastal cities looking for sustainable ways to expand onto the ocean, while adapting to sea level rise,” said the Chief Executive Officer of OCEANIX, Mr. Philipp Hofmann.

OCEANIX, a blue tech company based in New York, led a team of the world’s best designers, engineers, and sustainability experts in designing the flood-proof prototype. The BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and SAMOO (Samsung Group) were the lead architects of OCEANIX Busan, unveiled at the Second UN Roundtable on Sustainable Floating Cities; a follow up to the inaugural Roundtable in April 2019, where it was agreed to build a prototype with a host city. Busan signed on last year.

“As Mayor of the Metropolitan City of Busan, I take seriously our commitment to the credo ‘The First to the Future’. We joined forces with UN-Habitat and OCEANIX to be the first to prototype and scale this audacious idea because our common future is at stake in the face of sea level rise and its devastating impact on coastal cities,” said Mayor Park Heong-joon, who has set an ambitious agenda, including turning Busan into a green smart city and launching a bid for World Expo 2030.

Speaking at the Roundtable, which took place at the UN Headquarters in New York, and was attended by government ministers of housing, Mayors, Ambassadors, and high-ranking UN officials, the Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif said. “We cannot solve today’s problems with yesterday’s tools. We need to innovate solutions to global challenges. But in this drive for innovation, let’s be inclusive and equitable and ensure we leave no one and no place behind. I am happy this Roundtable takes place ahead of the High-Level Meeting on the New Urban Agenda, where cities and countries around the world come together to discuss sustainable urbanization.”

“In designing a solution for the most vulnerable coastal locations on the frontlines of climate change, OCEANIX’s new modular maritime neighborhoods will be a prototype for sustainable communities informed by Busan’s unique juxtaposition of old and new. Creating a connection between the city and the seaside, OCEANIX Busan will expand this spirit onto the waterfront,” said Bjarke Ingels, Founder and Creative Director of BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group.

OCEANIX Busan is the world’s first prototype of a resilient and sustainable floating community. The interconnected neighborhoods total 6.3 hectares to accommodate a community of 12,000 people. Each neighborhood is designed to serve a specific purpose – living, research, and lodging. There are between 30,000 to 40,000 square meters of mixed-use programs per neighborhood. The floating platforms connect to the land with link-span bridges framing the sheltered blue lagoon of floating recreation, art, and performance outposts. The low-rise buildings on each platform, defined by their soft lines, feature terraces for indoor-outdoor living, helping to activate the network of vibrant public spaces. OCEANIX Busan will organically transform and adapt over time. Starting from a community of 3 platforms with 12,000 residents and visitors, it has the potential to expand to more than 20 platforms. The floating platforms are accompanied by dozens of productive outposts with photovoltaic panels and greenhouses that can expand and contract over time based on the needs of Busan. OCEANIX Busan has six integrated systems: zero waste and circular systems, closed loop water systems, food, net zero energy, innovative mobility, and coastal habitat regeneration. These interconnected systems will generate 100% of the required operational energy on site through floating and rooftop photovoltaic panels. Similarly, each neighborhood will treat and replenish its own water, reduce and recycle resources, and provide innovative urban agriculture.

OCEANIX is a blue tech company founded by Itai Madamombe and Marc Collins Chen in 2018 to design and build floating cities for people to live sustainably on the ocean. OCEANIX design and engineering partners on the Busan prototype include: Prime Movers Lab, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, SAMOO Architects and Engineers, Arup, Bouygues Construction, Helena, the MIT Center for Ocean Engineering, the Korea Maritime and Ocean University, top environmental artist Olafur Eliasson and Studio Other Spaces, Wartsila, Transsolar KlimaEngineering, Mobility in Chain, Sherwood Design Engineers, Agritecture, the Center for Zero Waste Design, Greenwave, and the Global Coral Reef Alliance.

UN-Habitat, works to promote socially and environmentally sustainable cities and human settlements. UN-Habitat’s vision is to achieve “a better quality of life for all in an urbanizing world”. It works in over 90 countries to promote transformative change through knowledge, policy advice, technical assistance and demonstration projects.

Busan, a city of 3.4 million residents, is the second largest city in the Republic of Korea. It is home to the biggest industrial complex in the Southeast Economic Region of Korea. Busan is one of the most important maritime cities of the 21st century, making it a natural choice to deploy the sustainable floating city prototype with its marine engineering capabilities.

First published at – Global Travel News

ASMALLWORLD Completes Acquisition of Stake in Global Hotel Alliance

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ASMALLWORLD Completes Acquisition of Stake in Global Hotel Alliance - - TRAVELINDEXZurich, Switzerland, April 12, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / ASMALLWORLD has successfully completed the acquisition of a 10% stake in Global Hotel Alliance. Through this strategic investment in the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands, the company secures new revenue streams and access to more than 750 hotels and over 20 million customers.

Today, ASMALLWORLD AG successfully completed the acquisition of a 10% stake in Global Hotel Alliance (GHA). The companies announced this strategic investment at the end of December 2021.

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Of the total purchase price of USD 4.5M, ASMALLWORLD AG has paid the full cash portion of USD 3.5M today and in return received a 10% stake in Global Hotel Alliance. A share payment amounting to a 3% stake in ASMALLWORLD AG is still outstanding. Management foresees that ASMALLWORLD will create new shares from authorised capital, which will be voted on by shareholders at the Annual General Meeting on 29 April. If shareholders approve this proposal, the issuance of these shares, excluding the pre-emptive rights of all other shareholders, is expected to take place in May 2022.

“With the closing of this transaction, we can now turn our focus on the implementation of this strategic collaboration, which is expected to have a significant impact on our growth and profitability going forward,” commented Jan Luescher, CEO of ASMALLWORLD.

ASMALLWORLD will receive a seat on GHA’s Board of Directors in June

It is expected that both companies will be represented on their respective Boards of Directors. ASMALLWORLD CEO Jan Luescher will take a seat on the GHA Board of Directors from June 2022. On the other hand, ASMALLWORLD shareholders will vote on 29 April 2022 to decide whether to elect GHA CEO Chris Hartley to the ASMALLWORLD Board of Directors.

Significant potential to accelerate growth for the ASMALLWORLD community

Going forward, ASMALLWORLD will support GHA’s hotel loyalty programme GHA DISCOVERY by providing its services to GHA’s most important customers. As part of the partnership, GHA DISCOVERY will be able to offer its elite tier members (those customers who have earned the highest membership levels) access to the ASMALLWORLD social network free of charge. This will allow GHA DISCOVERY elite members to enjoy all the benefits of the ASMALLWORLD travel and lifestyle network, which is expected to increase customer engagement, ultimately leading to more hotel bookings for the alliance’s hotels. Under the terms of the partnership, both parties are incentivised to grow each other’s revenue base. ASMALLWORLD expects that the new customers from this partnership will significantly expand the size of the ASMALLWORLD community.

GHA DISCOVERY – a hotel loyalty programme with more than 20 million customers

When NH Hotel Group is integrated into the alliance in 2022, GHA will be a network of 40 independent hotel chains with over 800 hotels in 100 countries, sharing a common loyalty platform. GHA DISCOVERY’s hotels include internationally renowned luxury brands such as Kempinski, Anantara, Corinthia, Pan Pacific, Capella and Nikki Beach. GHA DISCOVERY is the world’s largest loyalty programme for independent hotel brands. When NH Hotels Group merges its NH Rewards loyalty programme into GHA DISCOVERY in mid-2022, GHA DISCOVERY will have more than 20 million members.

The GHA DISCOVERY programme allows members to collect and spend rewards across the entire GHA hotel network. Based on the number of stays, nights or spend per year, members may also obtain one of multiple status levels, which offer additional hotel benefits such as room upgrades and faster earning of rewards.

Initially, ASMALLWORLD will provide access to its services for GHA DISCOVERY’s elite tier members and support GHA with the delivery of the programme. The companies will also offer additional ASMALLWORLD products and services to the entire GHA DISCOVERY customer base.

‘ASMALLWORLD Hotels & Resorts’ to be added to the GHA DISCOVERY brand portfolio as a new hotel brand

The two companies will also work together to expand GHA’s hotel portfolio. As part of the agreement, ASMALLWORLD has received the mandate to recruit independent hotels for GHA, and the brand “ASMALLWORLD Hotels & Resorts” will be added to GHA DISCOVERY’s hotel brand portfolio as a soft brand. Going forward, newly-recruited independent hotels can then join GHA’s hotel network under the ASMALLWORLD Hotels & Resorts brand.

Until now, GHA mostly did not offer independent individual hotels a path to join its network as it primarily served hotel chains. The cooperation with ASMALLWORLD closes this gap, and provides an opportunity for independent individual hotels to join the network.

Transaction opens up significant new revenue streams for ASMALLWORLD

The enhanced partnership and strategic investment open up multiple new revenue streams for ASMALLWORLD. Most importantly, the company will be rewarded on spend generated by members signing up through the partnership. In addition, ASMALLWORLD will have the opportunity to sell additional products and services to this valuable customer group, once they become part of the ASMALLWORLD social network. GHA and ASMALLWORLD also plan to offer various ASMALLLWORLD products to the more than 20 million non-elite GHA DISCOVERY members which will create additional sales from GHA’s large member base. Together with these new revenue streams, and its stake in the future growth of GHA, this investment is expected to significantly expand ASMALLWORLD’s earning potential over the next few years and further accelerate its profitable growth.

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About Global Hotel Alliance (GHA)
Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) brings together a unique collection of independent hospitality brands with GHA DISCOVERY, a multi-brand loyalty programme leveraging a shared technology platform. Through membership in GHA, brands expand their global reach, drive incremental revenue, and reduce dependence on third-party channels, all while maintaining management independence and individual positioning. GHA represents a collection of 35 brands with over 500 hotels in 85 countries serving 11 million members. The award-winning GHA DISCOVERY programme generates approximately $2 billion in revenue and more than eight million room nights annually. GHA’s brands currently include Anantara, Araiya, Avani, Campbell Gray, Capella, Corinthia, Discovery Destinations, Divani, Doyle, Elewana, Fauchon, GLO, JA Resorts, Kempinski, Leela, Lungarno, Marco Polo, Mysk, Niccolo, Nikki Beach, NUO, Oaks, Outrigger, Pan Pacific, PARKROYAL COLLECTION, PARKROYAL, Patina, The Residence by Cenizaro, Shaza, Sukhothai, Sun International, Tivoli, Ultratravel Collection and Viceroy.

Launched in 2010, GHA DISCOVERY is the world’s largest loyalty programme for independent hotel brands, featuring more than 500 hotels, resorts and palaces across 35 brands. Members enjoy VIP recognition, thoughtful benefits and generous rewards at home or away. Recently the programme has evolved to include an additional tier and flexible paths to upgrade through nights/stays, eligible purchases or number of brands stayed, making it easier and faster for members to reach elite status. Unlike more traditional programmes, GHA DISCOVERY does not ask members to count points towards their next upgrade. Instead, members earn and spend DISCOVERY Dollars (D$), an exclusive rewards currency. They also enjoy members-only Experiences curated by each hotel and have access to properties close to home, without a stay, through member-only Local Offers.

First published at – Global Travel News

ecoSPIRITS Launches First Circular Wine Technology

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ecoSPIRITS Launches First Circular Wine Technology

Sydney, Australia, March 23, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / ecoSPIRITS announced today a significant expansion of its technology portfolio, taking on the substantial waste and carbon emissions footprint of the estimated 30 billion single use glass wine bottles that are produced each year. The extension of ecoSPIRITS’ patent-pending closed loop packaging technology to premium wines marks the launch of the world’s first globally-scalable circular glass packaging solution for the category. Developed to meet the standards of leading organic and bio-dynamic wine certifications, the new ecoSPIRITS circular wine technology will be deployed first in Australia in partnership with leading global wine producer Accolade Wines. Closed loop wine service will then be made available in a number of other ecoSPIRITS markets worldwide over the second half of 2022.

Designed with premium and certified winemakers in mind, the new circular wine solution offers full lifecycle wine preservation from winery to point of service. Upgraded versions of ecoSPIRITS’ ecoPLANT™, ecoTOTE™ and SmartPour™ technologies deliver high standards of hygiene, oxidation, temperature and ultraviolet light protection for wines distributed in the closed loop system. Amongst other innovations, ecoSPIRITS’ new circular wine technology will preserve the bottle presentation and consumer brand experience in hospitality venues, a distinct difference from existing keg and tapped wine solutions. The new wine technology will leverage ecoSPIRITS’ global closed loop network, and offer the same dramatic cost and carbon footprint reduction as premium spirits.

The world’s first glass-based, globally-scalable circular solution for wine

Among other technology upgrades, ecoSPIRITS has released a new version of its successful ecoPLANT technology that is tailored to process both premium wines and spirits. The new ecoPLANT 2.0W is a semi-automated, containerised wine and spirits processing facility that generates high purity nitrogen gas for ecoTOTE filling and wine blanketing, complies with leading European Union and Australia-New Zealand standards for food grade processing, and delivers gold standard wine hygiene and preservation.

ecoSPIRITS’ award-winning ecoTOTE portfolio will now be expanded to include a wine variation, the ecoTOTE 3.0W. This newest ecoTOTE is designed specifically for premium wines, marked by a striking grey enclosure and with a stainless steel cap liner to comply with organic wine contact material standards and a tinted internal glass vessel to ensure ultraviolet protection for wines during transport and storage. The ecoTOTE 3.0W includes all of the features of the popular ecoTOTE 3.0S, including global cloud-based tracking, shock- and tamper-resistant features, and a 4.5L volume for efficient handling and transportation.

Headquartered in Australia, Accolade draws on a proud heritage dating back to 1836 and has become a world-leading provider of luxury, premium, mainstream, and commercial wines. With three of the top 10 wine brands in the United Kingdom and two of the top 10 brands in Australia, Accolade’s rich and diverse portfolio is made up of distinguished wine brands including Hardys, St Hallett, Petaluma, House of Arras and Banrock Station. Accolade is a fully integrated business, managing the entire supply chain from grape to glass. With more than 1,400 employees in over 40 countries around the world, Accolade delivers approximately 276 million litres of wine to 130 countries every year.

Recognised as a leader in sustainability initiatives in the wine industry, Accolade is a signatory to the Australian Packaging Covenant, a sustainable packaging initiative which aims to change the culture of business by designing more sustainable packaging, increasing recycling rates and reducing packaging litter. Collaborating with ecoSPIRITS to pioneer waste and carbon emissions reduction in premium wines is a natural extension of Accolade’s broad commitment to environmental responsibility.

For its first collaboration with ecoSPIRITS, Accolade has selected its leading eco–wine brand, Banrock Station. Banrock Station produces premium South Australian wines with a passion for quality and holds a longstanding commitment to protecting the local environment. The Banrock Station vineyards and protected wetlands sit side-by-side along the meandering Murray River and South Australia’s Riverland. The winery’s environmental commitment is broad and sustained, having supported more than 130 conservation projects in 13 countries over the last 20 years. Banrock Station’s wines are sustainably produced, vegan friendly and already use lightweight bottles and recycled materials.

Banrock Station wines are made with the land and the environment in mind, having supported over 130 conservation projects

Initially, Banrock Station’s Pinot Grigio, Rosé and Pinot Noir wines will be offered in ecoTOTE 3.0W format to on-premise customers in Sydney, Australia. As part of the partnership, ecoSPIRITS and Accolade will collaborate on a study of the lifecycle reduction in single waste and carbon footprint associated with closed loop distribution of the Banrock Station wines. The partnership with ecoSPIRITS is one element of Accolade’s global sustainability strategy ‘Making Every Drop Count’, detailing a long-term action plan to create real change across the business, industry and planet.

About Accolade Wines
Headquartered in Australia, Accolade Wines draws on a proud heritage, with Houghton established in 1836 and the first grapes crushed at Hardys winery in 1857, to become a world-leading provider of luxury, premium, mainstream, and commercial wines. With three of the top 10 wine brands in the UK and two of the top 10 in Australia, Accolade’s rich and diverse portfolio is made up of distinguished wine brands including Hardys, St Hallett, Petaluma, Houghton, Grant Burge and Banrock Station and modern wine brands such as House of Arras, Echo Falls, Madam Sass and Jam Shed shaking up the global landscape.

Accolade is a fully integrated business, managing the entire supply chain from grape to glass. With more than 1400 employees in over 40 countries around the world, Accolade delivers approximately 276 million litres of wine to 130 countries every year. Accolade is committed to the sustainable growth of our business and the industry. Through our relentless innovation, global sustainability strategy, and the partners we engage with, we endeavour to have a positive impact on the industry and communities in which we operate.

First published at – Global Travel News

In Canada Doctors Can Now Prescribe a Visit to a National Park

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In Canada Doctors Can Now Prescribe a Visit to a National Park - TRAVELINDEXVancouver, British Columbia, Canada, February 15, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / A walk in the park may be just what the doctor ordered. A new program launched last month in Canada gives some doctors the option of providing patients with a free annual pass to the country’s national parks as part of an effort to increase access to nature and the health benefits to be found outside.

PaRx, a health initiative launched by the BC Parks Foundation in 2019, partnered with Parks Canada to provide doctors across four provinces with an initial run of 100 passes that can be prescribed, The Washington Post reported. The typical park prescription program allows doctors to write more general prescriptions for time spent out in nature; two hours a week, at least 20 minutes at a time, is what PaRx director Dr. Melissa Lem suggests, according to the Post.

This is the first time that year-long passes to national parks have been available under the program, the outlet reported.

“Given the growing body of evidence that indicates nature time can improve all kinds of different physical and mental health conditions, we’re hoping that our PaRx program not only improves patient health, but reduces costs to the healthcare system, and helps to grow the number of people who are more engaged environmental advocates,” Prama Rahman, a coordinator for the BC Parks Foundation’s Healthy By Nature Program, told NPR in an email.

It’s a unique concept, one that’s been taking off locally as well as abroad. In the U.S., a group of parks professionals, health care providers, and community leaders worked together to form the National ParkRx Initiative around 10 years ago. The movement still lives on via ParkRx, its website and online resource for information on park prescriptions and the health benefits of nature.

Research has long pointed to the mental and physical health benefits of spending time outdoors. A 2019 study concluded that those who spent between 120 minutes or more outside per week reported positive effects on their general health and well-being when compared to those who didn’t get outside at all.

Doctors have been catching on; more and more providers have been instructing their patients to turn to nature to improve their health and they’re getting creative in how they do it.

Dr. Robert Zarr, a pediatrician based in Washington, D.C., began prescribing accessible outdoor activities for his young patients and even created a searchable online database of local parks to make it easier, NPR reported in 2014.

But getting outside isn’t always as easy as it might sound. Income can affect one’s access to nature, an issue that PaRx is trying to address in Canada. Doctors utilizing the new national parks pass program are urged to prioritize patients who might not otherwise be able to afford these passes, The Post reported.

While only 100 adult discovery passes – which gives holders access to more than 80 national parks, historic sites and nature reserves – have initially been made available, organizers plan to routinely reassess this number as the program grows, the BC Parks Foundation told NPR.

First published at NPR

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First published at – Global Travel News

Travel and Rewards Cryptocurrency Company Raises Millions

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Travel and Rewards Cryptocurrency Company Raises Millions - - TRAVELINDEXAnchorage, Alaska, United States, February 14, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / FlyCoin, Inc., a cryptocurrency-based travel rewards technology company announces today the closing of their oversubscribed $33 million seed round. FlyCoin’s revolutionary technology infrastructure provides companies in the consumer loyalty space – including travel and hospitality, insurance and benefits, financial services, and more, with a powerful, turnkey solution to incentivize users in a more customer-centric way. Users can earn FlyCoin’s newly minted token, FLY, reward that appreciates in value, doesn’t expire, is easily transferable, and has an abundance of redemption options.

The round was led by Josh Jones, a Los Angeles-based entrepreneur and Bitcoin pioneer, best known for founding Bitcoin Builder in 2012. In addition to his role as FlyCoin’s Board Chairman and anchor investor, Mr. Jones will oversee the development of FlyCoin’s technology platform. Other investors in this Seed round include Michael Blend (CEO & Co-Founder of System1), Bill Foley (Chairman of Fidelity National Financial, Dun & Bradstreet, and Cannae Holdings), TenOneTen Ventures, 8VC, Liquid 2, and Gaingels.

“The travel and rewards industry will exceed 1.4 trillion dollars by 2023. With figures like those, it’s time to bring smarter rewards to the people who make the industry as successful as it is: the travelers. FlyCoin is the next generation of digital rewards, and the evolution of a decades-old industry; one that is past due for a digital transformation.” stated Josh Jones.

FlyCoin’s partners include Ravn Alaska and Northern Pacific Airways (“NP”). Ravn Alaska is a regional airline currently operating flights within the state of Alaska, where travelers can already start earning FLY on all paid flights with the airline.

“The rewards and benefits industry, across verticals, has remained stagnant and limited with how it has been rewarding customer loyalty, until today.” explains Lenny Moon, CEO of FlyCoin. “FlyCoin is progressing the industry forward by rewarding customers with a cryptocurrency where the issuer can not dictate the rules of expiration or intentionally depreciate its value. We are grateful for the engaged support from our investor base. We plan to aggressively build out the platform and secure additional partners to start growing the FLY ecosystem.”

“At FlyCoin, we’re transforming the loyalty and rewards space with ‘crypto-as-a-service’ and a SaaS solution for easy implementation” added Tom Hsieh, Co-Founder & President of FlyCoin.

FLY tokens are minted on the Ethereum blockchain using the ERC-20 protocol, with a fixed supply of 100 billion. FLY is currently not tradeable on the cryptocurrency exchanges, but plans to initiate its tradability on the various cryptocurrency exchanges in 2022.

About FlyCoin, Inc.
FlyCoin represents the evolution of loyalty programs where the Company has applied the principles of cryptocurrency and blockchain to create a new kind of loyalty program that is free from the limitations of today’s programs. Set to launch in Q3 of 2022, the release of the FlyCoin consumer-facing app and API for partnership integrations will be released.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

Golf Clubs Are Using Technology for Members Safety and Income Boost

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Golf Clubs Are Using Technology for Members Safety and Income Boost - - TRAVELINDEXBucks, United Kingdom, January 16, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Technology is helping golf clubs connect and recover. It wasn’t too long ago when the words “our members won’t/don’t use apps” came from the lips of many a club manager. But now it is a different story. With the advent of COVID-19 and social distancing being the norm, at least for the time being, many managers are turning to technology to help them do more with their precious resources.

Discover the World’s Best Golf Courses at TOP25 Golf Courses.

With limited time and staff, general managers need to be able to quickly reconnect to their members, efficiently communicate and start the process of recovery. And they need to be able to all three quickly.

This where the technology we all have in our pockets becomes a very valuable resource to clubs:


In this rapidly changing environment where rules are being adjust almost daily, traditional methods – email, club notice board (defunct atm), letter – is either too slow, out of reach or they just plain don’t read them.

Even the new option of social media has its limits as it still requires your members to actively go and check.

As the general manager, this makes you and your team’s lives harder as your members don’t all know the new rules, what’s happening and how to behaviour (distancing, where to park, etc) and have to spend time painstakingly explaining this to them – from a safe distance of course!

This is where mobile app technology can remove this burden by allowing managers, even from the comfort of their own homes, to quickly and easily communicate directly to their members giving them instant updates, pointing them in right direction and keeping their members abreast of the club’s news and new rules.

Online Bookings

It is essential that you have your players turn up appropriately and not be queued in the pro shop/reception!

Via a club app, like CourseMate, allowing members to access your online bookings allow you to organise the number of available slots in any given day, reduce bottlenecks and minimise “misunderstandings” without having members popping into your office.

Have a last minute slot available? Then sending out a push notification will soon get that place filled!

It also makes it very easy and convenient for your members & visitors, especially if you have more than one booking system (or a member system plus a booking system) because you can centralise these in one place and not get your golfers to download half a dozen different apps or scour your website to find the correct page.

This applies to booking in matches or checking out their personal golfing accounts with systems like Handicapmaster, Master Scorecard, HDID, Golf Genius, etc.

Technology is now the new norm, isn’t it time you made your life (and your member’s life’s) easier to book, set up games and to check out your playing history?

Keeping Golfers Safe Out On The Course

Paper scorecards are the traditional method of keeping your scores but now with social distancing and transference of the virus digital scorecards are now the way forward.

By using digital scorecards along with online booking, it promotes car park golf in the short term, where players turn up, change their shoes, get on the course and play.

Organisers can run events and competitions remotely via the cloud and players can enter their scores via apps, taking the whole process away from physical scorecards and points of contact. There are a number of established companies that will help you do just this.

Again you don’t have to get your members to download a dozen different apps either, with a good club app like CourseMate, you can centralise them making convenient and easy for all.

Food & Beverage

With digital F&B menus it is easy to create temporary menus to suit the current situation and to update them as the season continues (not to mention the cost saving and time required on the printed versions)

Like scorecards, removing the paper element from the equation ensures that members are kept safe from any transference, no matter how small the risk is, and maintains social distancing keeping both staff and golfers safe.

It is not just the ease of creating a reduced menu and updating it, but using the technology that comes as standard with mobile phones, members can call for their food in advance ensuring it is ready for their arrival; reducing waiting times, unnecessary contact and providing another source of revenue. If your POS system allows online ordering, again this can be used for the same purpose.

For clubs that have a halfway house players can call in advance for “grab and go”. Allowing staff to put out drinks/quick food options in advance.

Offer take home meals – Members can place order prior to finishing their round so everything is ready by the time they finish their golf allowing them to take home a delicious meal for the entire family.

Discover the World’s Best Golf Courses at TOP25 Golf Courses.

About CourseMate Golf Club App
CourseMate keeps your members happy with clear club communications, centralisation of current systems and allows you to stay easily connected to them whilst still allowing you to market to visitors, grow your data base and increase revenues across the venue.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

Dorchester Collection Names New General Manager for Hotel Eden

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Dorchester Collection Names New General Manager for Hotel Eden

Rome, Italy, January 9, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Dorchester Collection announces the appointment of Mirko Cattini as general manager of Rome’s Hotel Eden, starting from 14 February 2022. He will be taking over from Luca Virgilio, who is moving to London in January 2022 as general manager of The Dorchester.

With over 20 years’ experience in luxury hotels and resorts in the UK, Europe and Asia, Italian-born Mirko is currently the hotel manager of The Dorchester, London – a position he has held for over three years.

Previous roles include executive positions at the Corinthia Hotel, London; Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore; Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, Cebu; and Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok.

Mirko has diplomas in hospitality management from the Hotel and Catering International Management Association and Como’s Hotel School of Catering, and has completed both Cornell University’s and Cranfield School of Management’s general manager programmes.

Christopher Cowdray, chief executive officer of Dorchester Collection, said: ‘We are delighted to promote Mirko to manage one of Rome’s most renowned hotels near the top of the Spanish Steps with its spectacular panorama and authentic Italian charm. Mirko has proven to be an impactful leader at The Dorchester and we know that his skills and expertise will further enhance the legendary Hotel Eden.’

Commenting on his new role, Mirko said: ‘I am looking forward to returning to my home country and leading a team dedicated to elevated experiences in a hotel with such storied heritage and social vibrancy. We will work together to bring many memorable moments to our guests and employees.’

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

Quinta do Lago Recognised with IAGTO Sustainability Award

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Quinta do Lago Recognised with IAGTO Sustainability Award

Almancil, Portugal, January 9, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Quinta do Lago has enhanced its reputation as a global leader for golf sustainability after being named as the recipient of the 2021 International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) Sustainability Award for Resource Efficiency.

Discover the Portugal’s and the World’s Best Golf Courses at TOP25 Golf Courses.

Europe’s premier golf and lifestyle resort claimed the honour for the first time in its prestigious history for the “significant strides” it has made in resource management across materials, water and energy.

Delivered in partnership with the Golf Environment Organisation (GEO) Foundation for Sustainable Golf, the awards recognise the sustainability work of golf facilities worldwide. Currently in their eighth year, they acknowledge the high performance and commitment across three core areas of sustainability – nature, resources and community.

Announcing this year’s winners, the judging panel singled Quinta do Lago out for special praise for its outstanding work in reducing its areas of maintained turf, investment in an upgraded irrigation system and its use of recycled water combine to maximise efficiency. In addition, the resort was further praised for its investment in a fully electric fleet of golf carts and hybrid golf course maintenance equipment and worked with local government to trial and develop renewable energy solutions.

Sean Moriarty, chief executive of Quinta do Lago, said: “The subject of sustainability in golf has never been more important, and to be recognised for the work that the resort is doing towards this is a great honour and very satisfying.

“We have always been a resort driven by nature with an environmental focus and have a long-term commitment to being a high-profile champion of sustainability.

“As a resort, we are united in our approach to supporting nature and our communities – conserving resources at the same time – and the great thing about golf is that it can be a leader in so many ways; from eco-system services, conservation of wildlife and health and well-being for all ages to creating jobs and adding value to the economy through local supply chains.”

Peter Walton, chief executive of IAGTO, said: “While the golf tourism industry was focused on coping with and recovering from pandemic-related travel restrictions, it was great to see so many golf courses take this time to review their sustainability programs, and in many cases take them to another level. This year, more than ever, I’ve been blown away by the ingenuity and real dedication that so many golf courses continue to demonstrate.”

Nestling in the heart of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, Quinta do Lago has always been passionate about the environment – only nine per cent of the resort has been developed with the rest devoted to golf, water and lakes and green spaces.

Working closely with the GEO and following its ‘On Course’ environmental stewardship programme, Quinta do Lago launched a multi-tiered eco-strategy with three key aims: to foster nature, conserve resources and support the community.

As well as improving sustainability on its three 18-hole championship courses, the acclaimed Portuguese venue adopted an enhanced approach to conservation across other business sectors of the resort including at its world-class sports hub The Campus, The Magnolia Hotel, its 13 bars and restaurants and general resort services.

At the forefront of Quinta do Lago’s green initiatives has been the €7m renovation of its South Course, an eight-time host of the Portuguese Open and recently named as ‘Portugal’s Best Golf Course’ at the World Golf Awards.

Among the improvements made, all of the layouts’ fairways, bunkers, tees and green surrounds received an upgrade, with subtle changes also being made to a number of holes to enhance the golfing experience.

Sustainability was a goal throughout the project, with Quinta do Lago golf course superintendent Mark Tupling and his team operating in tandem with the GEO and local non-profit company VitaNativa to record and enhance environmental stewardship across the golf courses. Water management was a key element of the changes made with new irrigation pumps being installed along with enhancements to the existing system – giving greater control and saving precious resources.

In addition, a planting scheme introducing native plants in and around the golf courses to control and remove invasive exotic species; building ‘bug hotels’ for insects – helping to control garden pests so reducing the use of insecticides – increasing the number of bird-nesting boxes and constructing bee houses; removing single-use plastics at its restaurants; and using a new fleet of electric golf buggies across the resort are among the other initiatives to be introduced to help conserve resources.

Quinta do Lago created its own farm in 2019 to provide its restaurants with homegrown organic produce, while further measures to help foster nature include the placing information boards on the golf courses and nearby nature trails advising people of the wildlife living nearby.

As one of the biggest employers in the Almancil area with more than 500 staff employed throughout the year, the resort also appreciates the importance of supporting the local community in its new eco-strategy.

As well as offering affordable golf to juniors taking up the game and support in playing regional and national tournaments, a series of other events and activities will be available including guided nature walks through the golf courses, educational trips to the resort farm and working closely with the animals living in and around the resort.

Set amongst 2,000 acres of the picturesque Ria Formosa Natural Park and just a 15-minute drive from Faro airport, Quinta do Lago has been at the forefront of Europe’s elite golf, sports and family destinations for nearly five decades and features a combination of world-class golf and lifestyle facilities.

As well as three 18-hole championship golf courses – the South Course, North Course and Laranjal – and outstanding practice facilities, guests can enjoy an array of sports at the state-of-the-art performance centre The Campus, a world-class sports hub designed for professionals and amateurs alike to train and live well.

Complementing the facilities is a choice of 13 first-class bars and restaurants that deliver a range of delicious world cuisines, including the acclaimed Bovino Steakhouse and UMAMI – the resort’s first Asian restaurant which opened in May – with accommodation at the boutique The Magnolia Hotel.

Discover the Portugal’s and the World’s Best Golf Courses at TOP25 Golf Courses.

About Quinta do Lago
Since its inception in 1972, Quinta do Lago has been at the forefront of international golf, hosting eight Portuguese Opens as well as numerous other international tournaments. Home to three world-class golf courses, the resort also boasts a wealth of cutting-edge practice facilities.

– Quinta do Lago North Course – Opening in October 2014, the totally revamped North Course has been redeveloped by renowned American golf architect Beau Welling in close collaboration with 2014 European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley and is set to become one of the new stars of European golf. The new layout has been built to the highest specifications with a €9.6m investment programme and has been redeveloped with the emphasis firmly on precision and strategy. While many modern-day developments tend to focus on length, Welling and McGinley have been keen to design a golfing experience where accuracy and course management are the key factors, and a course that is playable and fun for golfers of all abilities.
– Quinta do Lago South Course – A favourite among European Tour professionals, the South Course calls for accurate drives and precise shots, but rewards players for their efforts with the stunning backdrop of the Ria Formosa Natural Park. Regularly included in Golf World magazine’s ‘Top 100 Golf Courses in Europe’, the par-72 layout has received widespread praise for its strategically-placed hazards and varying difficulty across the 18 holes. Having hosted the Portuguese Open on no fewer than eight occasions, the South Course is regarded as one of Portugal’s premier golfing venues and was recently the subject of a €7m upgrade.
– Laranjal – Designed by Jorge Santana da Silva in the grounds of an orange grove, the par-72 course was named as Portugal’s Best Golf Course 2011 at the Portuguese Travel Awards, and poses serious tests for players of all abilities. Opened in 2008, Laranjal offers a pure golfing experience right next to the Quinta do Lago estate and features fairways sown with Bermuda grass, providing a challenging playing environment in a picture-perfect setting.
– Paul McGinley Academy – Quinta do Lago is home to the only Paul McGinley Academy in the world, founded in October 2011 by Europe’s 2014 Ryder Cup captain. With a strong involvement from McGinley himself, who is a regular visitor to the resort, the academy aims to cultivate and improve golfers’ play by providing them with the tools and techniques used on the professional Tours. The academy focuses especially on younger players, working in collaboration with local schools and is the perfect way to follow in the footsteps of the pros.
– TaylorMade Performance Center – Quinta do Lago’s TaylorMade Performance Centre is the only facility of its kind in Portugal and is located on the resort’s expansive driving range. Opened in May 2013, the centre is operated by trained TaylorMade technicians, offering golfers a custom-fitting experience testing hundreds of club and iron options, ensuring the best combination for every player’s swing. It also has a fully equipped Tour standard workshop and utilises FlightScope X2 radar technology to measure the entire flight of the ball from impact to landing whilst displaying its 3D trajectory in real time.
– The Campus – Launched in October 2018, The Campus is a unique €10 million training, fitness and wellness facility catering to elite, professional athletes and enthusiastic amateurs alike. The multi-sports hub has recently unveiled a brand-new high-performance centre fully equipped with a high-performance gymnasium with technical area, a new centre for active living and sports medicine, dedicated studios for cycle and group exercise, stadium specification locker rooms and 25-metre outdoor heated swimming pool. Offering an array of first-class facilities, it offers the ideal environment for golfers of all abilities to improve their fitness, with golf-performance conditioning programmes and golf-specific fitness classes among the services available.

Set amongst 2,000 acres of the picturesque Ria Formosa Natural Park and located just 15 minutes from Faro airport, Quinta do Lago offers residents and guests an unparalleled location benefiting from a year-round temperate climate, a variety of lifestyle pursuits and a strong sense of community.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News

Avani Riverside Bangkok Invites Guests to Explore Perception of Beauty

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Avani Riverside Bangkok Invites Guests to Explore Perception of Beauty - TRAVELINDEXBangkok, Thailand, December 30, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / To offer guests a truly transformative experience this festive season, Avani+ Riverside Bangkok Hotel has partnered with Bangkok-based art gallery Joyman to curate a visually arresting exhibition of contemporary art. Taking place from 9 December 2021 to 31 January 2022, the ‘Quantum Kawaii’ show explores the concept of beauty in the 21st century, as seen through the artistic vision of five Thailand-based artists working across various media, from digital painting and 3D animation to manga.

Rather than focusing on high or conceptual art, the show aims to be accessible to a broader audience, whilst posing important questions about living in today’s highly digitised society. Japanese manga fans will easily recognise kawaii references, while technology buffs will delight in the creative use of VR, holograms and other technology.

“In the age of the internet, when ideas and trends, whether it’s memes, crypto, AR or photo filters, spread with lightning speed, certain aesthetic values become common on a global scale,” said Bancha Wongchotiwat, the head curator at Joyman gallery. “With this unique show at Avani+ Riverside Bangkok Hotel, we wanted hotel guests, restaurant patrons and art lovers to explore this globalised concept of beauty at the confluence of the digital and quantum ages.”

On the main exhibition area on the lobby 11th floor, guests will be greeted by a psychedelic motion collage on conjoined TV screens by Tyler James Bangkok, an American artist living and working in Asia. There will also have a dramatic virtual painting on VR glass by an award-winning Thai artist Ayino Verapong Sritrakulkitjakarn; a piece merging Sci-Fi stop-motion animation and hologram technology by Tarntara Sudaduang, a young Thai artist inspired by the cutest animals on earth which has been seen from extraterrestrial; a pop-art style sculpture by Bobby Leash who channels his love for Japanese manga and video games in his striking piece; and a dramatic, angular sculpture by MaMaMiya that evokes origami.

Art lovers can see these pieces in the lobby on level 11 of Avani+ Riverside Bangkok Hotel from 9 December 2021 to 31 January 2022. Entry is free.

First published at

First published at – Global Travel News