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Huawei and Omio partner to enhance online search for travel options

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Huawei and Omio partner to enhance online search for travel options
Huawei devices to enable users to search for and compare routes in 37 countries in 21 languages

Travel comparison and booking website Omio has announced a partnership with technology company Huawei. Launched earlier this month at the Mobile World Conference, in Barcelona, the partnership will make Omio’s technology available on all Huawei devices where users can access a portfolio of 1000+ providers, and search for and compare routes in 37 countries in 21 languages.

Omio’s search API has been integrated into Huawei’s AI powered mobile search engine Petal Search and Petal Maps, allowing online users to discover and compare train, bus, plane, and ferry’s prices, before being redirected to the Omio platform to book tickets.

“Through the pandemic, our engineering team was able to strengthen our technology’s data processing power, meaning Omio’s Search API is more powerful than ever before at the real-time assessment and integration of data, which simplifies the search for travel options” – says Tomas Vocetka, Chief Technical Officer at the Berlin-based company launched in 2013.

Huawei’s Petal Search has garnered more than 40 million monthly active users since its launch in 2020 and is available in over 70 languages and more than 170 countries.

“Huawei has partnered with Omio to deliver precise options for transportation for users of Petal Search and Maps to make the most of their newfound travel freedom. This innovative partnership will allow us to partner with top global and local partners to offer endless travel options and give users the best experience possible” – says William Tian, President of Huawei Consumer Business Group Western Europe.

The partnership is also a signal that international travel is on the rebound: recent data released by Omio shows a 50% increase in travel discovery (January 2022) compared to the same month in 2019.

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Hospitality industry in the UK threatened by staff shortages

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Two housekeepers making a hotel bed
Housekeepers are expected to receive a 7.4% pay rise, but UK businesses still struggle to recruit staff | Photo: Liliana Drew

The hospitality and leisure sector’s post-pandemic recovery, in the UK, could be severely hampered by the lack of staff, a new report from a British bank has revealed.

“UK Hospitality’s Next Challenge”, a study from Barclays Corporate Banking, shows that the release of pent-up consumer demand for socialising, holidays and experiences following the pandemic has given a boost to the sector. Over three quarters (77%) of H&L operators are confident of growth this year, and had predicted an average 30.5% uplift in revenue compared with pre-pandemic levels. This equates to a £36bn² rise in annual turnover over 2019, and a £54bn increase on 2021.

However, the predicted growth could be stifled by soaring supplier costs and a scramble for talent. Hospitality and leisure businesses report that their transport costs have already spiked by over 38% year-on-year on average, and their utility bills by 37%.

Meanwhile, over nine in 10 (94%) hospitality and leisure businesses are struggling to recruit personnel, with vacancies for cleaning staff (20%), front of house staff (18%), and delivery staff (16%) causing the most issues. There are particularly acute shortages of cleaners in the East Midlands and the East of England (28%).

Almost a fifth (16%) of bars and restaurants are finding it difficult to hire waiting staff, and over two fifths of gyms and leisure centres (42%) cannot find fitness instructors. Recruitment issues also extend to back-of-house and C-suite roles: 17% of operators are having trouble sourcing finance staff and 16% said the same about senior management positions.

“Crucially for the industry, our research shows that talent shortages are also a major concern, with businesses in every vertical finding it challenging to fill their vacancies. It means there is now an added imperative for hospitality and leisure firms to find new and novel ways to recruit, reward and retain their staff.” – says Mike Saul, Head of Hospitality and Leisure at Barclays Corporate Banking.

Hospitality and leisure operators are already establishing new incentives to recruit and retain talent, including permanent work flexibility, the introduction of bonuses, and an increase in staff welfare budgets.

Almost one in five employers (19%) have also increased wages given to staff. Senior managers are set to receive the biggest boost to their pay packets, with an average increase of 7.7% – equivalent to £2,014 a year for a full-time worker. Delivery riders, housekeepers and kitchen staff are also expected to see their wages rise in 2022.

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Contemporary artist Demit Omphroy partners with GAP for NTF collection

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Artists Demit Omphroy on the streets
Partnership: the limited-edition is Demit Omphroy’s first digital series of NFTs | Photo: Instagram

Contemporary artist and former professional soccer player Demit Omphroy is partnering with GAP for its third collection of limited-edition non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

As the brand, founded in 1969, continues to explore new channels to engage customers in the rapidly evolving digital ecosystem, this spring, Demit launched a limited-edition graphic tee collection featuring his unique and recognizable work, and now the artist is launching his first NFTs with Gap. Demit’s art depicts life through vibrant colors and an expressionistic style, seeing the world through his inner child.  

“My work is playful, expressive, and simplistic, yet loaded with emotion. Being able to express myself through a new digital medium and collaborate with Gap, one of the most iconic brands in history, is exciting for me as a creator.” – celebrates the American artist who is also a citizen of Panama and the Philippines through descent.

On June 15, the One of a Kind digital auction will begin, featuring single edition digital art and a custom, hand-painted Gap denim jacket by Demit.  

In July, Gap x DOGAMÍ NFT wearables will launch as the first fashion collaboration in the petaverse. Digital Gap logo hoodies specifically designed for DOGAMÍ avatars will engage players to express their virtual pet’s individual style that will have a direct impact on game stats. 

“Partnering with unique artists and creators is a cornerstone of our NFT program,” – says Chris Goble, Chief Product Officer at Gap. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Demit and to create this vibrant collection of NFTs and product that amplifies his voice and represents his distinct individual style.”  

The Gap Threads marketplace and DOGAMÍ are both built on Tezos, a more energy efficient blockchain, allowing for minimal energy consumption and a low carbon footprint. Customers can also join Gap’s Discord server to connect, engage, and foster a community with other fans of Gap NFTs. The Discord server can be accessed at discord.gg/gapthreads.

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Samsung showcases bespoke appliances at EuroCucina 2022

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Models showcasing a new Samsung kitchen in Milan
Ready to cook: Samsung is showcasing its new appliances in Milan, including an oven that uses intuitive AI technology

Samsung Electronics is showcasing its latest home appliance technologies at the EuroCucina 2022 event, a biennial exhibition dedicated to the world of kitchen furnishings being held in Milan, Italy.

The South Korean multinational founded in in the 60’s is using 800m2 booth to display a bespoke products in various themes including modern and European stylings. It is the first time the brand is showcasing the new home products in Europe, with visitors being able to experience how some appliances of their latest range can intelligently work together to automate everyday tasks with Samsung’s SmartThings Home Life, a hub for six major home services.

“We are pleased to be back at the EuroCucina event, this year showcasing our all-new Bespoke Home 2022 lineup of products for the European consumers and we are excited for visitors to enjoy a comprehensive look at how our latest innovations come together to offer leading home life experiences.” – says Martin Kanghyup Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of Sales and Marketing at Samsung Electronics referring to a new range of appliances. Some of them are using intuitive AI technology and an advanced steam cooking function to make preparing meals more convenient.

The EuroCucina 2022 expo will run until next Sunday, June 12th, and over 100 companies are taking part this year.

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