The travel and hospitality sectors are in the midst of a massive technological transformation that will affect how you book travel and stay at hotels moving forward. Tech savvy customers will come to expect the convenience that artificial intelligence brings. This vision is what I like to call ‘high-tech automation with high-touch personalization and customization.’
Here are three mega-trends leading the way toward realizing this vision:
Artificial Intelligence Will Personalize Your Travel Booking Experience
Online travel agencies (i.e. Expedia, Booking, or my company HotelPlanner) are working toward becoming smarter, more seamless and more personalized and customized than ever before. Access to increasing amounts of data is transforming the customer experience for online booking, allowing for smarter search functionality and better tailored results for each unique customer.
As for the top customer concerns of price and flexibility, the solutions brought by AI can lead to enhanced hotel inventory connectivity to deliver better price accuracy and more real-time options to fit any budget.
For example, the hotel booking engines of the future will already know you want a hotel with a good gym or pool, that’s pet friendly or eco-friendly, or has some other amenity, feature, or price point that’s important to you.
Voice-Enabled Services Will Grow With the Rise of the ‘Internet of Things’
AI-driven advancements in natural language recognition are making voice search the industry’s next big trend. Voice activation will continue to expand with the rise of the Internet of Things and smart homes, smart cars and smart offices.
For example, at the height of the pandemic, my company launched what we believe is the next generation of call center customer service: a 24/7 global gig-economy based call center connected to customers through AI-enabled VOIP. This voice-enabled technology allows us to connect the right customer with the right agent to provide personalized service, and to convert more sales of course.
Big Data & Predictive Analytics Will Know You Better Than You Know Yourself
Data is king, but only if you know how to interpret the data in real-time for ‘actionable intelligence’ as they say in the military. Travel technology firms and hotels will employ predictive data analytics and advanced machine learning solutions to anticipate and then deliver more bespoke services based on each customers’ unique needs and wants.
For example, at hotels this might include contactless check-ins, Alexa devices in your hotel room, or perhaps the hotel gym’s personal trainer offers you a free session since the hotel already knows that health & fitness is important to you.
For online travel agencies, they will focus on a more personalized user experience to engender your customer trust and loyalty. So when you go to search for a hotel, the site already knows exactly the type of hotel you want based on previous bookings or your unique digital footprint.
These are just a few examples of how technology is rapidly evolving to meet the current and future needs of travelers who are now expecting a more tech-savvy and personalized experience.
Written by John Price, Co-Found and CIO, HotelPlanner
Kaylynn Sanchez, aka Kay Lindaa, is a talented tattoo artist based out of the Brooklyn, New York. 360 Magazine first had the pleasure of meeting Kay when she tattooed at the Bodega, our pop culture and design pop-up shop. At the event, Kay impressed all of the guests with her dazzling artistry. With over four thousand followers on her thriving Instagram, Kay is a Brooklyn tattoo artist who is quickly on the rise. She spoke with us about how she got into the tattoo industry, her participation in the Bodega, and her favorite parts of the profession.
When did you first start tattooing?
I first started professionally tattooing at the age of 19, about two years ago. But the first time I picked up a machine was about 14 years old. I always knew I wanted to be a tattoo artist at the age of 13, so ever since then I just stuck with it.
What styles do you predominantly tattoo?
I predominantly do Polynesian/tribal, anime, and black & grey realism.
Do you prefer working in black and white or color?
I prefer working in black & grey because I like the depth that it brings out in realism. It reminds me of drawing and sketching–which is something I always enjoyed doing– [I] use pencil and sketch out anything that comes to mind or inspires me.
What is your favorite part of being a tattoo artist?
The art, clientele, environment, and the satisfaction of seeing the final piece–all while making my customers happy. I would say my favorite part of being a tattoo artist is everything that it consists of.
Do you offer flash sheets of your work? Where is the best place for prospective clients to view your tattooing portfolio?
I don’t have any flash sheets made yet, but I do share all of my work on social media platforms, such as Instagram.
What was your favorite tattoo design you worked on at The Bodega?
My favorite tattoo design that I worked on at The Bodega was a 616 tattoo. It was my favorite because it was different to me and no one else had that style tattoo, so it was original.
If readers are interested in booking a tattoo appointment with you, how is the best way to do so?
The best way for anyone to book a tattoo appointment with me is to reach me through my Instagram and DM me. Or, contact me through my business card where my business phone can be reached at (332) 216-5256
The modeling industry has two very different faces. One side are supermodels, like Gigi and Bella Hadid, glamorously modeling, making millions of dollars, and traveling the world. The other are the unknown models working job to job, facing exploitation and manipulation by their agencies and clients, and trying to make their name in the industry. The mistreatment of models is as old as the industry itself. Skinny, cis, and white models experience this brutal reality. Working as a model is only worse for people of color [POC], LGBTQA+, and immigrants because of the lack of transparency or regulation and rampant misconduct.
The current push for diversity and inclusion has caused a much higher demand for POC, and LGBTQA+ models with different body types. In recent months, a few new players in the game are building their reputations on accountability and proper treatment of the models and creatives they represent. Several small agencies and one superpower are disrupting the model representation world: New Pandemics, Zandwagon, Community New York, We Speak Models, and film and television power player Creative Artists Agency (CAA). The way modeling deals traditionally work is that a model signs to an agency, such as Next Models, Ford Models, IMG Models, or Wilhelmina Models. The agency provides its models with certain services such as housing, transportation, portfolio shoots, and more. In most cases, anything an agency provides for a model they have to pay back to the agency, often at a high-interest rate. The interest rate means the longer they take to pay it back, the more they owe to the agency.
Although models sign contracts to agencies, they are not considered employees of those agencies and instead are independent contractors who the agency aids in booking jobs. The agencies do not keep models on their payroll. They do control the money that the models earn on a job and how their money models earn is distributed. Bad payment practices reach far beyond the agencies. The agencies are responsible for billing the client right after the model completes their job. Payment for jobs by agencies to their models is notoriously sketchy because clients are not required to pay upfront before shoots and can legally take up to 90 days to settle up. Most agencies take at least a 20% fee out of any money their models make and charge clients a “booking fee,” so for a $1000 job, they would charge $1200 but only pay the model $800. Worst of all, if a client does not pay the agency for work a model did, the agency does not owe the model the money they earned. The common practice in the industry is that the model only gets paid if the agency gets paid.
The film and television management world contrasts the modeling world in many ways. The modeling industry as a whole is riddled with misconduct, manipulation, and poor treatment of models by their agencies and brands. Many modeling agencies use contracts that include fees and costs they can pull out of the model paychecks and use debt, housing, and visas to keep their models dependent.
Agencies in other media such as film, only make money if their clients make money. In film, the percentage is around 10% because of unions. Although, none of these industries are flawless especially considering scandals in the film and tv world with predators like Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer. Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has a long history of representing talents across film, tv, music, and more. In August of 2020, CAA announced their partnership with KCD Worldwide, a fashion services agency, which signaled CAA’s entrance into fashion model management for the first time in the agency’s history. CAA has a strong legacy of representing high-profile individuals and building their careers. They have also stated that they only take a 10% fee out of their models’ earnings, half of the general standard of 20%. Despite their claims for better treatment of models, CAA is not blemish-free when it comes to allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct. Multiple former CAA agents have faced lawsuits.
Additionally, CAA has previously represented multiple people accused of misconduct, including Shia LaBeouf, Chris D’Elia, and Marilyn Mason; all of whom are no longer represented by CAA. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the smaller boutique agencies mentioned earlier, New Pandemics, Zandwagon, and Community New York. New Pandemics is “a casting and management agency dedicated to increasing LBGTQ+ visibility.”
Zandwagon is “a talent management company that could guide everyday life individuals who are breaking beauty standards daily” according to their website. Community New York is run by Butterfly Cayley, Moe Lamstein, and Richie Keoall, three first-generation immigrants from Laos, and “is founded on inclusivity and progressive values by changing not only the style but the very structure of management.” Cayley, Lamstein, and Keoall have impressive experience at agencies including DNA and Elite Model Management. Community New York now represents stars such as Hunter Schafer, who is well known for her work on the hit HBO show “Euphoria” and is now a brand ambassador for Shiseido.
With small diversity forward agencies up and coming, the existing modeling industry is under attack from all sides. All three of these agencies emphasize how much they value representation and inclusivity in this industry that has avoided breaking societal beauty standards for so long. They also claim they will be different from other agencies and provide better treatment for their clients. These agencies are sending the message that you’re either with them or against them, and they’re willing to think outside of the box to get proper treatment and equity for models from all walks of life.
Same Old Problems
Many of the biggest fashion houses in the world are still reckoning with the #MeToo movement. The fashion industry is known as a highly predatory business. Many of even the largest names in modeling have had to survive people abusing their power on sets and behind the scenes to become who they are. Household names, such as Kate Upton, Coco Rocha, and Cameron Russel, have all spoken out about their experiences with the abuse they’ve experienced while working as models.
Kate Upton spoke out against Paul Marciano in 2018, which led to a total of $500,000 in settlement agreements involving five individuals. He has remained an active participant at GUESS as a board member and chief creative officer, despite resigning from his position as an executive. At the beginning of February, the news broke that Marciano is once again being sued over sexual assault allegations by a woman who has chosen to remain anonymous. The allegations against Marciano are not an isolated incident. Similarly, allegations were brought against Alexander Wang in December of 2020 but began as early as 2017, yet some still chose his side despite the overwhelming corroboration of multiple individuals. If the word of a woman as successful as Kate Upton is not enough to oust a predator from power, it’s unclear what realistically can protect vulnerable individuals with less acclaim from the same experiences or worse.
The silver lining of these allegations coming to light is the industry supporting the individuals coming forward more than ever before. In the past, many models lost their careers before they had even begun due to the actions of predators and the mechanisms powerful people use to silence their victims. Accounts such as @shitmodelmgmt and @dietprada have been using their online platforms to expose predators and condemn their actions openly across Instagram and Twitter. Additionally, the Model Alliance, an organization dedicated to giving models a voice in their work, has also spoken out against Wang on their Instagram saying, “We stand with David Casavant, Owen Mooney, Gia Garison, and all the accusers of @alexanderwangny in their pursuit towards justice.”
The upheaval that began in 2006 with survivor and activist Tarana Burke’s creation of the #MeToo movement has continued into 2021. Slowly but surely survivors are taking their power back and pushing to create real change in media industries that have exploited them for far too long.
Rent any car you want, wherever you want it, from our nationwide community of local car owners, or make extra money renting out your car.
The company is introducing Turo Go, an exciting new feature to book and unlock cars instantly via the Turo app. Starting Tuesday, June 12th Turo is opening up an early-access waitlist for hosts to sign up to get Turo Go devices installed in their cars this fall.
Guests will be able to book cars on demand via the Turo app and unlock/lock the car automatically, without having to arrange key pick-up & drop-off. Host will now have the ability to share their cars even when they may not be available for an in-person key handoff – All thanks to the power of technology.
Announcing Turo Go, a new feature to book and unlock instantly cars via the Turo app.
Turo is enlisting hosts who would like to receive early access to Turo Go’s remote access hardware and software solution. (IT IS OPTIONAL)
Turo Go officially launches to both sides of the marketplace this fall.
Turo Go reduces friction on both sides of the marketplace.
◦ Guests can book cars on demand via the Turo app and unlock & lock the car automatically, without having to arrange key pick-up & drop-off.
◦ Hosts can more easily share their cars on Turo and make their cars even more available. With Turo Go, hosts can share their cars even when they may not be available for an in-person key handoff.
Why are we introducing Turo Go? Our community is leading the way.
◦ Hosts are already sharing their connected cars on Turo: over 17,000 vehicles in our marketplace already offer remote access to facilitate Turo trips.
◦ Hosts are already making their cars available on-demand: over 20% of Turo hosts accept bookings with just one hour advance notice (currently the minimum option available).
◦ Guests like on-demand/instant gratification: over two thirds of Turo trips are instantly booked.
Turo offers the most convenient booking options compared to traditional car rental and other car sharing options. Over two-thirds of Turo trips are instantly booked and 64% of hosts offer delivery directly to the guest. In addition, over 17,000 Turo cars offer remote access. Turo Go further enhances customer experience by empowering Turo guests to book and unlock cars instantly via the Turo app, and makes sharing your car even easier for hosts.
Turo is the world’s leading peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace, and best-positioned to disrupt the $80 billion car rental industry
• Largest user base:
Over 6 million sign-ups
Quarter million listed vehicles
Most completed trips: Over 4.5 million trip days
Largest geographic footprint: 5500 cities, presence in 56+ countries
205 million in funding raised, including a $104 Series D
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