Throughout the week we post dozens of original stories, connecting the dots across the travel industry, and every weekend we sum it all up. This weekend roundup examines digital trends.
For all of our weekend roundups, go here.
>>Trivago has reportedly admitted to misleading consumers about its hotel comparisons and will have to appear in court later this month to defend its actions. This comes as Australians are being whipped up to boycott foreign-owned hotel aggregators that are accused of ripping off local hotel owners and operators: Trivago Faces Multimillion Dollar Fine for Misleading Advertising in Australia
>>Expedia officials can try to assure hoteliers that the rise of alternative accommodations is no big deal for their businesses. But you can be certain that figuring out how to manage this changing dynamic is of paramount concern for all parties involved: Expedia to Hoteliers: Vacation Rentals Won’t Steal Your Business
>>It’s rare to have an Expedia CEO speak so candidly about Google’s threat to his own company. After all, Google knows how to punish companies when it wants to. Given Barry Diller’s recent statements, and Okerstrom’s view, there must be a lot of concern in Expedialand behind the scenes: Expedia CEO: Google Is Our Biggest Competitor
>>In the midst of ironing out the kinks in its newly merged loyalty program, Marriott was hit with news of a massive data breach last week. Revealed Nov. 30, the breach affects over 500 million former Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty members: Data Breach Adds to Marriott’s Ongoing Loyalty Merger Challenges
>>The Starwood hack wasn’t the first data breach at a major hotel chain, and it won’t be the last. As the meetings and events sector becomes increasingly digitized, so too does the risk increase when it comes to cybersecurity: Marriott Breach Shows Importance of Digital Security
>>Travelport has only been on the public market for four years, but hedge fund Elliott Management believes it can engineer a leveraged buyout that will unlock more value from the company. A spin-off of payments unit eNett is a likely early goal: Travelport Close to Being Taken Private by Activist Investor
>>Hotel chains and tours and activities are converging again as Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts and Klook strike a partnership. The deal, following Marriott International’s stake in PlacePass last year, has its potential pitfalls but the upside could be huge for both parties if they can make it go smoothly: Why the Shangri-La-Klook Partnership Isn’t as Odd as It Seems
>>The acquisition of once-high-flying Tripping.com as a distressed asset was a losing deal for investors. It’s not clear what the payoff will be for HomeToGo acquiring a Silicon Valley rival at vacation rental price-comparison. HomeToGo faces daunting expectations now, having raised $150 million: HomeToGo Buys a Near-Death Tripping in Vacation Rental Rollup
>>All is not well with Zuji, a pioneer in the online travel space in Asia-Pacific. An ownership that is more adept at aviation than running an online travel agency may be an issue, but it’s clear the entry of global OTAs flush with marketing wherewithal and expertise is making it difficult for the pioneers to compete: What Zuji’s Suspension for Missed Payments Means for Asia’s Online Travel Pioneers
>>Business travelers want choice, and it seems they feel that online booking tools provided by their companies are too restrictive. More are turning to online travel agencies instead: Why European Biz Travelers Go Outside Their Companies to Use Online Travel Agencies
>>Until business travelers are better educated on why they should use their company’s preferred booking tool, they’re going to continue using online travel agencies and booking direct: European Biz Travelers Choose Online Travel Agencies
>>This week investors bet more than $104 million on companies that help people plan trips (Tourlane, SnapTravel, Fineway, and AsiaYo), recruit hotel workers (Hosco), create adventure travel content (Roam), and book medical tourism (Hospals): Tourlane Raises $24 Million for Multi-Day Tour Booking: Travel Startup Funding This Week