Short-haul European flights are being phased out. First, France announced that it would ban short-haul domestic flights. And now Belgium is following: In an effort to reduce noise and air pollution, the country will impose new taxes on older, noisier planes as well as private jets and short-haul flights. As of April 2023 taxes will not only be based on how noisy a plane is but also depend upon the number of greenhouse gases it emits during takeoff or landing. Let’s face it: this is only possible thanks to great rail infrastructure – so, any bets on who will be the next country to follow suit?
The next must-have in hospitality. The UK-based company Hotel Manager, a SaaS startup that participated in the FutureTravel Summit only weeks ago, has just secured over €1 million to expand its platform. Hotel Manager provides comprehensive management software for hotels. With this round, the startup aims to build on its rapid growth in user base and expand into global markets. The startup’s goal is to become a must-have tool for players in the hospitality industry by catering to travellers’ changing needs.
Fashion brand joins the hospitality adventure. The global fashion media brand ELLE is now open to receive their first guests at Maison ELLE, an elegant and intimate hotel with 25 rooms and suites, based in a premium location in Paris. The concept hotel is to be rolled out in major capital cities to provide an accessible and convenient, home-from-home in the heart of its cities, for the fashion-forward traveler, ELLE brand loyalists, and new urban followers alike.
AI-based customization for travel plans. From now on, all HolidayCheck Premium members will receive AI-generated travel plans that are customized to their unique preferences and tastes. This is the result of a partnership between HolidayCheck – the leading German-speaking OTA – and The Trip Boutique, which combines artificial intelligence with local expert knowledge to provide personalized advisory that saves travelers time and effort when planning trips.
$185 million to make hoteliers’ lives easier. The Prague-based hotel tech startup Mews has raised $185 million. Let me state the obvious: This is a high-funding round, which shows that investors recognize the value in creating new solutions – even during tough economic times. The solution developed by Mews is a property management system that simplifies and automates all operations for modern hoteliers.
Holistic travel experiences. Greek startup Welcome Pickups has raised €5.3 million to fuel its global expansion plans, for a platform that enables users to create personalized and wholesome travel experiences. The Athens-based travel tech startup offers a holistic in-destination experience, addressing the full spectrum of traveller needs – from transfers and itineraries to products that enhance their trip.