Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Online Travel

Travelzoo Moves To Fund Metaverse Experiences

2 months ago

Travelzoo, a hotel and package deal publisher, said in a financial filing on Tuesday that it would ask its stockholders to approve making a metaverse experiences scouting business a wholly owned subsidiary of Travelzoo. The business, Metaverse Travel Experiences (MTE), is currently wholly owned by Azzurro Capital.

The proposed consideration for the issuance of Travelzoo stock is mix of $10 million (details are explained in the document posted below) and 100 percent of the equity in MTE.

At a Dec. 28 special meeting, the company will ask shareholders to vote on allowing the hedge fund Azzuro Capital, an investment vehicle owned by Travelzoo founder Ralph Bartel, to pursue a transaction that would effectively leave Azzuro and Bartel with an approximate 50.01 percent stake in Travelzoo (up from 35.99 percent) and his brother, CEO Holger Bartel, with 4.1 percent. The company will issue shares of common stock representing approximately 27.5 percent of outstanding stock.

The planned subsidiary aims to build “relationships with creators and providers of high-quality metaverse travel experiences to broker contracts between such creators/experience providers and businesses planning to market metaverse experiences to consumers.” Skift covered the debut of the unit earlier this year.

The financial filing is posted below.

Business Travel

Microsoft Enters New Phase of Amadeus Collaboration With Cytric Booking Tool Deal

7 months ago

Software giant Microsoft, a close collaborator of technology firm Amadeus, is moving its employees over to its Cytric online booking tool, which they will now use to plan, book and change business trips.

This deal follows a similar client win with Accenture, with the consulting giant also a close partner in helping Amadeus integrate deeper into Microsoft’s 365 platform, including Teams and Outlook.

Microsoft will roll out Cytric to a selected group of employees first, with the initial phase including the rollout of Cytric Easy and the integration of Cytric Travel into Microsoft 365.

“This milestone lays another foundation block for integrating technology into the travel booking and in destination experience,” said Eric Bailey, global travel director for Microsoft. “We want to simplify every aspect of business travel for our employees, Cytric does this with its intuitive user experience.”

In 2020, Microsoft spent was $44.2 million on flights in the U.S., down 85 percent from its $275 million 2019 volume, according to a BTN ranking, which noted its booking tool was SAP Concur in that year.

Amadeus announced the global strategic partnership with Microsoft in 2021. It includes migrating to cloud technology, as well as exploring new products and solutions, including leveraging its Xbox gaming console’s virtual reality capabilities to explore the metaverse, and potentially adding travel features to LinkedIn.

Rudy Daniello, executive vice president at Amadeus Cytric Solutions, added Cytric would help “push the boundaries of what the corporate travel sector has seen until this point.”

In 2020, Amadeus rival Sabre announced a partnership with Google.

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