ccording to research published by Deloitte, the US leisure travel market is projected to grow about 6% in 2017, which will push the market closer to $381 billion by the end of the year. The research indicates that economic fundamentals for consumer spending continues to be solid this year. Factors such as a stronger labor market and elevated consumer confidence contribute to the growth of the market. Technology also plays a major part in the tourism industry. Strength in the lodging sector will continue to benefit online travel agencies (OTAs), as travelers use them to sort through options and find deals in a very fragmented marketplace. Flitways Technology Inc. (OTC: FTWS), Tuniu Corp (NASDAQ: TOUR), Airborne Wireless Network (OTC: ABWN), Yatra Online, Inc. (NASDAQ: YTRA), Ominto, Inc. (NASDAQ: OMNT)
Keeping the focus on technology, Deloitte claims in their research that few industries have felt the impact of enabling technology like ground transportation. “Within this segment, rising technology stars are challenging established industry incumbents for a dominant position in the marketplace. 2017 will be a pivotal year where ground transportation players have something to prove. Late in 2016, ridesharing receipts exceeded traditional ground transportation for the first time ever among business travelers. While this might lead many to believe that ridesharing is now the standard, the space remains open to competition. The ridesharing economic model is a complex balance that connects a healthy supply of non-contract, transient labor looking for the highest wage with demand from consumers looking for the lowest fare,” the report points out.
FlitWays Technology Inc. (OTC: FTWS), a Los Angeles-based ground travel technology company, just announced earlier today, a new distribution partnership with HotelsByDay, the premier provider of day-stay hotel spaces that was recently featured on ‘Shark Tank’. This will allow corporate day-stay travelers all over the United States to schedule a preferred vehicle that will transport the traveler to and from the hotel space. They also announced a partnership with Roomstorm, the comprehensive re-accommodation solution, a platform for airlines and hotels to solve for overbooked guests, travelers who missed flight connections, or planeload passengers from cancelled flights.
FlitWays’ Director of Growth, Zacky Hamraz, commented, “FlitWays strives to make reliable and affordable ground transportation available for business travelers. We are seeing real traction as we have extended our service as a true seamless door-to-door travel solution. These partnerships give clients the flexibility to integrate and easily expense their ground transportation needs.”
Founder and CEO of HotelsByDay, Yannis Moati, commented, “As a travel agent and tour operator for 15 years, I personally faced the problem of feeling the pain of travel combined with rigid check-in and check-outs for my clients and for myself. I wanted to use modern tech tools to solve this problem, and turn hospitality hospitable again. We turned to FlitWays as we are constantly seeking to ease the pain of travel. After careful consideration, it was obvious to us that they know how to handle smooth car transfers for our industry.”
FlitWays plans to expand distribution partnerships with other travel industry organizations to make reliable and affordable ground transportation available to corporate and enterprise customers worldwide. This is part of an on-going expansion plan to increase visibility to an enormous market of potential clients.
Tuniu Corp (NASDAQ: TOUR) is a leading online leisure travel company in China that offers a large selection of packaged tours, including organized and self-guided tours, as well as travel-related services for leisure travelers through its website tuniu.com and mobile platform. Tuniu has over 1,700,000 stock keeping units (SKUs) of packaged tours, covering over 160 countries worldwide and all the popular tourist attractions in China. Tuniu provides one-stop leisure travel solutions and a compelling customer experience through its online platform and offline service network. On May 26, 2017, the company announced its unaudited financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017. Net revenues in the first quarter of 2017 increased by 60.4% year-over-year, compared with Non-GAAP net revenues, to RMB456.0 million (US$66.3 million).
Airborne Wireless Network (OTCQB: ABWN) intends to create a high-speed broadband airborne wireless network by linking commercial aircraft in flight. On Nov. 28, 2016, the company announced it has received an FAA Project Number for its Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) application to install a Broadband Transceiver System on Boeing 757-200 aircraft. The project number is ST16664LA-T and has been issued to the Company by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Company considers receiving this project number as a major milestone, as it is the first STC application for the Company’s contemplated broadband wireless network, trademarked as ‘Infinitus Super Highway’.
Yatra Online, Inc. (NASDAQ: YTRA) is a one-stop-shop for all travel-related services. The company provides information, pricing, availability, and booking facilities for domestic and international air travel, domestic and international hotel bookings, holiday packages, buses, trains, in-city activities, inter-city and point-to-point cabs. Recently, the company announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement, through its subsidiary, Yatra Online Private Limited, under which it will acquire Air Travel Bureau Ltd. (“ATB”), which is India’s largest independent corporate travel services provider with Gross Bookings of INR 15 Billion generated through a diverse client base of over 400 large and medium sized businesses across India.
Ominto, Inc. (NASDAQ: OMNT) is a global e-commerce leader and pioneer of online cash back shopping, delivering value-based shopping and travel deals through its primary shopping platform and affiliated partner program websites. The Ominto.com platform features thousands of brand name stores and industry-leading travel companies from around the world, providing cash back savings to consumers in more than 120 countries. On June 9, 2017, the company announced that it has launched a new page on its DubLi.com website, targeted at customers who enjoy shopping for luxury brands. In April, the new VIP Lounge launched, providing members with multiple ways to save on hotel rooms, travel, flights, local shopping, dining services, entertainment and leisure activities – all from one convenient location.
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