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BCD Travel plans to pursue more federal agencies. The travel management company hired a director of business development dedicated to government services and is bringing in specialized travel agents to support additional government clients.
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AccorHotel plans to invest 225 million euros in a new loyalty program to replace Le Club AccorHotels. Le Club AccorHotels formed when Accor merged loyalty programs after the company acquired FRHI. Accor markets the new program, Accor Live Limitless, as a "lifestyle loyalty program" that will touch on three "passion points": entertainment, sports and dining and culinary. Accor also promised a new app and website related to the new program. Timing and additional details were not available.
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Amadeus will add Barclaycard's Precisionpay virtual corporate credit cards into the distribution giant's B2B Wallet virtual card platform. The integration enables travel management companies to generate single-use digital card numbers for specific purchases without tying up funds to guarantee the payments on behalf of clients, noted managing director of client coverage David Price. 
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The U.S. Travel Association has named Destination DC president and CEO Elliott Ferguson as national chair. He will guide the board and association's efforts to make clear the travel industry's benefits to the U.S. economy, promote policies and pursue partnerships to expand domestic travel, and advance policy actions that drive growth in international travel in the U.S. He has served on the USTA board for seven years and succeeds Wyndham Hotels and Resorts president and CEO Geoff Ballotti.
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On Thursday, United Airlines filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation for six flights to Tokyo's Haneda airport.
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Nearly a year after its acquisition, ATPCO has fully integrated Routehappy's content with its pricing data and has given top Routehappy executives titles within ATPCO. ATPCO CEO Rolf Purzer said the integration "closes the data gap" for the airfare publishing firm. "We wanted in the very beginning an opportunity to help ATPCO become a more agile company," Purzer said. "Based on the new structure and together with Routehappy's capabilities, we're on a very good track to remaining an important player in facilitating airline retailing, including rich content, and staying relevant in the long term, despite doubts that have been voiced in the past."
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Egencia unveiled a trio of features for its global business travel platform on Wednesday at the Business Travel Show. COO Mark Hollyhead told BTN each feature was the product of Egencia's overarching digital strategy that has focused on data integrations to provide new solutions to benefit both the corporate client but also provide more business value to Egencia's supplier partners.
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Best Western Hotels & Resorts acquired the marketing consortium WorldHotels, which represents about 300 mostly independent hotels, last week. Best Western president and CEO David Kong told BTN that WorldHotels expands the Best Western portfolio into upper-upscale and luxury segments important to its corporate clients. "It enables us to provide a suite of options to our big travel buyers, who may have C-suite executives who need access to WorldHotels' type of property but also [client teams] or training groups that find Best Western a good fit," he said. "We can now provide solutions end to end, which makes us more desirable."
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U.S. hotel ADR crept up 0.8 percent year over year to $124.39, the lowest ADR increase since July 2010 according to STR. Occupancy inched up 0.7 percent to 54.8 percent, and revenue per available room increased 1.5 percent to $68.13. ADR and RevPAR increased by double digits in San Francisco/San Mateo, ADR by 12.6 percent to $302.68 and RevPAR by 12 percent to $220.88, as Santa Clara hosted the College Football Playoff National Championship and the Moscone Center reopened in San Francisco. In Phoenix, occupancy rose 5.2 percent to 73.6 percent and RevPAR jumped 10.6 percent to $111.07.
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Hilton Hotels Corp. is scheduled to open 14 DoubleTree properties this year in the Asia/Pacific region, adding to the 50 already open there. Seven of the new properties will be in China, two in each Indonesia and Thailand and one in each Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. The company has 100 DoubleTrees in the pipeline for the Asia/Pacific region, almost half the brand's global pipeline of 207.
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