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Airbnb and CDEMA partner to strengthen emergency preparedness, response and recovery in the Caribbean

BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS – In Barbados, Airbnb and The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) signed an agreement whereby Airbnb and CDEMA will collaborate to strengthen emergency preparedness, response, and recovery — including facilitating infrastructure for temporary emergency housing – throughout the CDEMA Participating States. The signing comes a little over a month before the start…

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Airbnb and CDEMA partner to strengthen emergency preparedness, response and recovery in the Caribbean

BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS – In Barbados, Airbnb and The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) signed an agreement whereby Airbnb and CDEMA will collaborate to strengthen emergency preparedness, response, and recovery — including facilitating infrastructure for temporary emergency housing – throughout the CDEMA Participating States. The signing comes a little over a month before the start of the Atlantic Hurricane season, positioning the organizations to work together during times of peak need.
CDEMA, established in 1991, is a regional intergovernmental agency mandated to mobilise and coordinate immediate response and relief to any of its 18 Participating States impacted by a disaster as well as promotes an integrated and proactive approach to comprehensive disaster management in the region. Through this partnership, Airbnb and CDEMA will work together to provide emergency preparedness and response educational materials to Airbnb hosts, as well as share pertinent information with Airbnb hosts and guests in affected areas during an emergency. Kellie Bentz, Head of Airbnb’s Global Causes team, and Ronald Jackson, Executive Director of CDEMA, signed the agreement at CDEMA’s headquarters in Barbados. Representatives of the Caribbean Tourism Organization and the Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator were also in attendance.
“CDEMA is committed to enhancing national and regional capacities necessary to provide an efficient and effective response after a disaster event. We note that when there is a catastrophic event, shelter becomes a huge necessity both for those displaced from the local population, visitors to the islands and for our humanitarian teams deployed into the field to support the response efforts.
We are therefore delighted at the opportunity to partner with Airbnb on their “Open Homes” programme to further diversify options for temporary housing during the response efforts and early recovery phase. We are also keen on the integration of Airbnb in our information sharing processes. They will serve as another resource through which we can share critical, preparedness and post emergency information to their stakeholders,” said Ronald Jackson.
“At Airbnb, we are committed to expanding our efforts to strengthen our communities, especially during times when they are most in need. That’s why we have been an active partner in disaster-affected regions around the world, including in the Caribbean,” said Bentz. “We are proud to build on those efforts by partnering with CDEMA, to lend assistance where we can and help countries prepare for and quickly recover from emergencies.”
Following 2017’s devastating hurricane season in the Caribbean, where hurricanes Irma and Maria left a path of destruction in more than 12 islands, emergency management support and recovery beyond the initial response are vital.
Specifically, the aftermath of the hurricanes demonstrated one of the most vital needs during response and recovery, which is temporary housing in affected areas. Airbnb’s Open Homes enables hosts to offer their space for free to those persons in need. Airbnb launched the Open Homes programme in the Caribbean in August 2018, and through their collaboration, Airbnb and CDEMA will work together to develop the operation. The programme facilitates hosts opting into Airbnb’s Open Homes to provide accommodation to emergency service workers or persons displaced as a result of an emergency.
“The Caribbean remains a priority territory for Airbnb, and we look forward to growing our relationship with CDEMA to support countries within the region,” said Bentz.

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Ultima Gstaad and COYA launch new partnership

This winter season, Ultima Gstaad, a 5-star Superior Hotel located in the upscale resort town of Gstaad launches a new partnership with globally renowned Peruvian restaurant group COYA, to bring the flavours, colours and energy of Latin America to the Swiss Alps. With COYA’s reputation for creating outstanding guest experiences and Ultima Gstaad’s commitment to…

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Ultima Gstaad and COYA launch new partnership

This winter season, Ultima Gstaad, a 5-star Superior Hotel located in the upscale resort town of Gstaad launches a new partnership with globally renowned Peruvian restaurant group COYA, to bring the flavours, colours and energy of Latin America to the Swiss Alps. With COYA’s reputation for creating outstanding guest experiences and Ultima Gstaad’s commitment to providing unmatched standards of services for guests, this partnership is a blend of exemplary gastronomic splendour capturing the spirit of Latin America, for guests seeking authentic, trendy and immersive experiences. From Saturday, 12th December 2020, until Monday, 1st March 2021, award-winning luxury lifestyle group, COYA, will be taking over Ultima Gstaad’s Restaurant, Lobby Bar and Shisha Lounge each evening, transforming the space into a Latin American adventure. COYA will be offering their signature sharing plates inspired by traditional Peruvian cuisine and influenced by Japanese, Spanish and Chinese cooking techniques, expertly made cocktails, and a sense of true Latin American fiesta with extravagant performances, live music, and a resident DJ playing a mixture of afro house, downtempo and tribal beats. COYA’s Regional Executive Chef, Fabrizio Fossati has created special A La Carte, Taste of Lima, and Room Service menus for the pop-up. The A La Carte menu will feature COYA’s global favourite dishes such as Ceviche de Atun Chifa made with albacore tuna, sesame, soy and served with a rice cracker; Arroz Nikkei made with charcoal-grilled Chilean sea bass over rice, lime and chilli; Lomo de Res with spicy marinated beef fillet with Peruvian chilli and crispy shallots; and COYA’s much-loved Churros de Naranja, orange and lime churros served with warm dulce de leche and chocolate sauce. Ultima Gstaad guests will be among the first in the world to enjoy the Taste of Lima menu launching this winter in COYA’s Pisco Bar & Lounges globally. Each dish has been inspired by Fabrizio Fossati’s recent expedition to South America in search of new flavours, found in the streets of Lima, the original home of fusion South American cuisine. Fabrizio has taken inspiration from traditional delights such as the empanada, croqueta and tostada, and reimagined them for modern luxury dining, producing an authentic and elevated experience. Guests can expect to be blown away by the devilishly moreish Empanadas de Maiz con Pollo, Croquetas de Lubina, and Tostada de Atun.COYA’s expert bar team have created a unique cocktail menu for the pop-up, inspired by the Swiss Alps and available in Ultima’s Lobby Bar and Shisha Bar. Alongside COYA’s famed Pisco Sour, cocktails include Dolce & Banana, made with vodka, banana, hazelnut and Swiss chocolate; Mountain Range Punch, made with whisky, gingerbread spiced tea, vanilla, orange and toasted marshmallow; and a warming Hot Honey Toddy with aged rum, honey with lemon, spices, tonka bean, tea.Set to be the highlight of the year, Ultima Gstaad and COYA will be joining forces to curate an unforgettable New Year’s Eve party to bring in 2021. Starting with a champagne welcome, the celebrations will be followed by a four-course Peruvian feast with special dishes to ignite the senses. Entertainment will be provided through

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Tour Specialists reveal how group tour companies are managing the pandemic

Intrepid travel specialists Undiscovered Destinations, who offer small group and private tours around the world are starting to see an upturn in enquiries for group tours in 2021/22.The pandemic and its associated restrictions have had a huge impact on the travel industry and social distancing measures means certain types of group travel are not possible.As…

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Tour Specialists reveal how group tour companies are managing the pandemic

Intrepid travel specialists Undiscovered Destinations, who offer small group and private tours around the world are starting to see an upturn in enquiries for group tours in 2021/22.The pandemic and its associated restrictions have had a huge impact on the travel industry and social distancing measures means certain types of group travel are not possible.As experts in small group travel Undiscovered Destinations have been fortunate in that they can still offer the small tours they specialise in, catering for groups with an average size of just six guests. At the height of the pandemic the tour operators saw an understandable decrease in bookings for group travel, however over the last month the company have seen an interest in small group travel for next year grow. Since summer, enquiries for small group tours have risen by 85%.Given the current guidance Undiscovered Destinations have been able to successfully run very small group travel options, which is something the team are already equipped and skilled in offering. They will be continuing to offer small group travel options into next year keeping in line with the ongoing local guidance at all times.Aled Evans of Undiscovered Destinations says, “Before the pandemic we already catered to offering group tours for very small group sizes, and so have been fortunate to an extent in that we already know how to offer incredible group travel experiences for small numbers. Small group travel allows for a more intimate travel experience and more time to explore each location independently and have one-on-one time with the local guides learning about the places that specifically interest each individual.We are excited to see an upturn in enquiries for small group tours in 2021 and we hope that by continuing to offer our expertise in this area in a safe and sensible manner, we can continue to offer the joy of group travel moving forward.”The travel company have implemented some key safety measures on all of their tours to ensure the safety of their customers and team. The specific measures will be crafted for each tour on an individual basis depending on the location, group size and activities included, but for every tour all guides are fully briefed on the new protocols – including how to monitor for any symptoms of the virus, what to do should any guests become unwell, and how to ensure hygiene rules are followed. The team is ensuring that local guidelines from the authorities are followed closely in all areas which they travel to.In addition to implementing safety protocols and offering small group travel, Undiscovered Destinations are also choosing to be extremely flexible with bookings allowing customers to easily rearrange any pre-existing bookings and providing a full refund where trips have been unable to run. Additionally, the itineraries en-route have also been adapted to be more flexible than ever with modifications being made locally to avoid large crowds or follow any other safety cautions.

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ATPCO launches new rich content format: Structured UPAs

DULLES, VA – ATPCO launched a new format of Routehappy Rich Content: Structured UPAs (Universal Product Attributes). With the introduction of Structured UPAs, airlines and channels now have greater flexibility in how they display essential retailing content using more comparable, concise, and sortable data that can be presented to emphasize objective content over images.UPAs were…

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ATPCO launches new rich content format: Structured UPAs

DULLES, VA – ATPCO launched a new format of Routehappy Rich Content: Structured UPAs (Universal Product Attributes). With the introduction of Structured UPAs, airlines and channels now have greater flexibility in how they display essential retailing content using more comparable, concise, and sortable data that can be presented to emphasize objective content over images.UPAs were originally created to introduce visual content in flight shopping displays, and have since been adopted by dozens of channels worldwide. Given the evolving needs of travelers amid the pandemic and the immediate success of Reassurance UPAs, ATPCO found – based on consistent feedback from its industry partners, including Serko and Expedia Group’s Brand Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Cheaptickets, Hotels.com, eBookers, and Wotif – that the messaging component of UPAs are equally as valuable to flight shoppers as the visual component of UPAs. This feedback prompted the introduction of Structured UPAs as a way to deliver a more standardized version of data that channels can adapt to meet their customers’ need for information that can be scanned quickly during flight shopping to help with the decision-making process.Structured UPAs consist of an icon, a headline, and a description, and channels can choose to integrate all or some of these attributes. Structured UPAs also have a primary field that supports multiple standardized data inputs (e.g., yes/no) that enable sales channels to craft the messaging according to the data but using their own channel voice as desired. This new rich content format is currently available for over 300 airlines and includes five objective, standardized topics:Cleaning: whether airlines are using disinfectants to clean aircraft and how often, and if that information is availableMasks: whether there is a mask or face covering requirement; specifying if a medical-grade mask is requiredTemperature check: whether there is a pre-flight temperature check requirementBlocked seats: whether an airline is blocking adjacent or middle seats, or if only some seats are blockedCapacity: whether an airline is limiting the capacity on flights to ensure physical distancingStructured UPAs will initially focus on reassurance topics and will expand in the future to meet market needs and flight shopper demand for information. Structured UPAs will be delivered via the Routehappy API and can be targeted at a granular level to focus on the airline and cabin, book-by dates, origin and destination, and more.“The crisis reinforced how critical UPAs are in giving travelers the information they need to feel safe and protected when they fly. Now our airline and channel partners are relying on ATPCO to deliver this content in more flexible ways,” said Jonathan Savitch, Chief Commercial Officer at ATPCO. “Visuals are still important as they enable consumers to better understand, at the time of booking, the airline experience they will receive. But after many hours of consultation with thought-leading airlines and channels, we realized they need more options, including the ability to filter and sort based on key health information.” Expedia Group, which will be one of the first channels to integrate the new rich content format, worked hand-in-hand with ATPCO to quickly bring this functionality to market. “Right now, it is so important that travelers have the cleanliness and safety information they need when considering travel, particularly air travel. Each situation is different, and this structured content gives us the flexibility to tailor, localize, and test messaging to help travelers make more informed decisions,” said Michael Gulmann, Senior Vice President of Transportation, Expedia Group. “We are really excited by the partnership and customer-centric focus of ATPCO in working together to develop this highly relevant content. Structured UPAs enable travelers to more easily compare policies across airlines in a consistent and concise way so we can offer a simplified shopping experience while highlighting critical information.”   “We’ve seen an increase in conversions for those channels that integrated Reassurance UPAs and anticipate a similar impact for our new Structured UPA,” explains Savitch. “One channel has seen a 4% conversion improvement by adding ATPCO’s Reassurance UPA content. This highlights that when the shopping experience is adapted to drive awareness of flexible airline change policies and safety measures, it can impact the bottom line.”

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