• New Dates for IPW 2021: The U.S. Travel Association has announced that IPW, its annual international inbound travel trade show that was canceled this year, will be a live, in-person event held in Las Vegas from September 18-22, 2021. The September dates are revised from previously released 2021 event dates. US Travel, together with premier sponsor Brand USA and our hosts, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and Travel Nevada, secured later dates to provide additional time for international long-haul travel to the United States to broadly resume. U.S. Travel plans to open registration for IPW exhibitors in mid-November. IPW buyer and media registration will open in early 2021. IPW 2021 will be held in the newly constructed West Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Planning for IPW show floor and media marketplace activities, as well as related official events, is underway by the IPW Host Committee.
• Corporate Travel Management buys U.S. rival Travel and Transport: Australia based Corporate Travel Management is acquiring Nebraska-based TMC Travel and Transport, along with the Radius Travel Network business for more than $274 million. The company says that the move will give it a formidable presence in the U.S. market and beyond with the new merged entity generating more than $8.5 billion in sales. It also gives it a larger foothold in the UK, Germany and France.
T&T’s executive team will integrate with CTM and Kevin O’Malley becomes CEO of North America. “We are excited to bring our two companies together under the CTM umbrella,” said CTM founder and managing director Jamie Pherous. One consequence The Travel and Transport name will eventually disappear and be absorbed into CTM, Radius Travel comprises a network of corporate travel agencies in more than 100 countries.
• HolidayTaxis signs an agreement to become a transfer provider to newly launched OTA Thomas Cook. ”On behalf of the entire team here at HolidayTaxis Group, we are thrilled to have been selected to support the re-launch of this iconic travel brand” said HolidayTaxis Group CEO Ian Coyle, adding, “In these challenging times that our entire industry is facing right now, HolidayTaxis’ proven ability to deliver customer satisfaction to our global partner network—combined with our Covid-19 related protection protocols, partnership support and efficient API connectivity—will enable Thomas Cook to switch product and destination focus as it chooses, in line with government and market forces that influence our industry booking patterns.” David Scott, Thomas Cook head of ancillaries and financial services, said: ‘It’s important to us that our customers have choice and flexibility, plus feel safe and secure when arriving or heading home from holiday.
• TUI Destination Experiences morphs into TUI Musement: A brand new brand to be known as TUI Musement has been established in order to accelerate the transformation and growth of the European travel group’s tours and activities businesses. Previously known as TUI Destination Experiences, the new unit will feature a digital platform-plus model combining a scalable online platform for sourcing, producing and distributing tours and activities in more than 50 countries worldwide. Newly integrated teams will focus on specialist areas, such as business development and supply management, enabling Tui Musement to combine and capitalize on the existing expertise, according to TUI Group.
Executive board member Sebastian Ebel said: “With these changes we start a new exciting phase of our growth story. “We are developing a global tours and activities leader, which will be in a dominant market position once tours and activities returns to growth.” TUI Musement offers more than 130,000 “things to do” in holiday and city destinations worldwide and is expanding its offering by connecting new suppliers. The inventory is distributed to all 21 million Tui customers, through B2B partnerships – such as a recent strategic partnership with Booking.com – and B2C through the Musement and TUI websites.
TUI Musement chief executive David Schelp said: “Musement has been a key driver of our overall growth strategy since the acquisition in 2018.” (TUI acquired Musement two years ago from Hotelbeds for $136 million.) • Hotelbeds partners with DMC NexusTours, Thomas Cook:Destination management company NexusTours has inked a strategic partnership with global bank Hotelbeds. NexusTours will become the preferred provider for transfers, local assistance and tours and experiences in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. It gets access to Hotelbeds’ 60,000-plus travel trade buyers including tour operators, airlines, and retail travel agencies. NexusTours’ recently launched its Concierge Service which will be available to Hotelbeds’ travel partners.
Meanwhile, Hotelbeds has inked a strategic partnership with recently re-established brand Thomas Cook. (See article above on Thomas Cook’s new relationship with HolidayTaxis Group.) The move with provide Thomas Cook’s new online-only holiday business with access to over 180,000 unique hotels in 140 countries via Hotelbeds. At the same time, Thomas Cook becomes one of Hotelbeds’ 60,000-plus travel trade buyers, which include tour operators, travel agents and airlines. “All of us at Hotelbeds are immensely pleased to see Thomas Cook relaunching and we’re delighted to be able to support their new model. We look forward to watching it grow once again into one of Europe’s leading holiday brands,” said Leon Herce, global sales director at Hotelbeds. Thomas Cook just recently re-established itself as an OTA under owner Fosun Tourism Group, which is also the parent company of Club Med.