Visit Oakland has created a digitally accessible website with guidance from Simpleview and AudioEye, a company specializing in digital accessibility solutions for the internet. They got the job done in just 120 days—and you can, too. Read more here.
Sacramento, California—Assembly Bill AB5 is expected to create a crackdown in California’s gig economy, particularly with ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft, which have become wildly successful, mainly due to classifying their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. The bill has now been passed 4-1 by the state senate’s Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee at a hearing last week. Watch this space…
With a TPA All Access Pass, those without a plane ticket can now go through security at Tampa International Airport. Following a similar move at Pittsburgh International Airport, friends and family will now be able to greet passengers at their gate at these two airports.
In NYC, the Museum of Broadway is a new attraction opening in Times Square in September 2020. “No visit to New York City is complete without seeing a Broadway show, and now with this new pop-up museum, visitors can further immerse themselves in the history and legacy of one of our City’s most iconic draws,” said NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon.
Have you heard of Sonder? The San Francisco-based Airbnb competitor, which rents serviced apartments, has raised $225 million at a valuation north of $1 billion. (“When you stay in a Sonder, you’re staying in a space that we lease, design, furnish, and maintain. There’s no middleman. It’s not someone’s house.”) Last year, Sonder tripled the number of rentable units in its online marketplace to more than 8,500 spaces in 20 cities around the world.
Marriott International announced “Room for Possibility” as its first-ever marketing campaign for the growing longer stays category. It spotlights Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Marriott Executive Apartments as
the portfolio’s brands aimed at this segment.
In other news from Marriott, President & CEO “Arne Sorenson told LinkedIn that resort fees are likely not going away despite the hotel chain being sued earlier this week by the District of Columbia for slugging customers with the mandatory charges. The company scooped up hundreds of millions of dollars ‘by deceiving consumers about the true price of its hotel rooms,’ Attorney General Karl Racine said. Some 189 Marriott properties globally charge between $9 and $95 daily in fees, which typically only become clear near the end of the booking process. The lawsuit could have wider implications for hotels around the country that charge the fees.”
“Two-and-a-half years after the debut of Airbnb Experiences, Airbnb is now in direct competition with traditional tour operators with the launch of a Airbnb Adventures, a multi-day tour service run by local tour operators. Flights are not included. Curious? Check out “camping on a cliff overnight in Colorado,” for example, priced at $1,000.
Citing overcrowding, the National Park Service has banned commercial tour guides from the Statue of Liberty. NPS officials say they’re still permitted to conduct outdoor tours on Ellis Island and Liberty Island, and inside of the statue’s lobby and mezzanine—but not on the observation deck.
In Toronto, Reach Global Marketing Ltd. has been selected to represent both Discover Puerto Rico and the Nevada Division of Tourism in the Canadian market. Also, Discover Puerto Rico has appointed Hills Balfour, the UK-based division of MMGY Global to oversee its marketing, trade and PR interests in Canada, Colombia, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom, working with Reach Global Marketing on Canada. In June (The Travel Vertical, 6/25/19) it was announced that Colorado Office of Tourism had appointed MMGY Global as its lead marketing agency.
In other news from MMGY Global, the company has announced a newly evolved values, mission, and brand identity, including the new mark seen here. Read more and watch the global brand announcement unfold in a short video seen here.
Google Assistant is the world’s top performing real time voice translator, ahead of Apple’s Siri and Skype Translator, according to new research. The data comes from a study from One Hour Translation (OHT), an online platform which provides translations in more than 100 languages and 3,000 language pairs. Get the results here.
KLM is thinking outside the box, asking people to fly less often. In a campaign called “Fly Responsibly,” the airline is marking its 100th year in business by asking travelers to stop and think before booking their next flight. CEO Pieter Elbers encourages other airlines to join KLM in working towards “sustainable aviation.” and the dedicated “Fly Responsibly” website lists ways that both travelers and the travel industry can help.
“The irony is unreal,” said an anti-Brexit leader. All eyes are on Brexit as Prime Minister Theresa May heads for the exit at 10 Downing Street. In an unexpected move, the UK government awarded the $325 million contract for its new, advanced biometric passport production (which removes the European Union from its cover) to a French-Dutch company, Gemalto, which will print the passports in Poland.