This week in hospitality news, homesharing giant Airbnb overtakes Expedia in bookings, and budget hotel chain Oyo continues to enlarge its global footprint with its acquisition of Vegas Hooters. Plus, Marriott, IHG, Accor, and Hilton's investment in a meetings booking platform has major implications for event planners and hotel operators.
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 hospitality.
For all of our weekend roundups, go here.
Airbnb Beat Expedia in Booked Room Nights: Does anyone remember when Travelocity was the leading U.S. online travel agency? We’re thinking about that because a milestone may have taken place in the first quarter when Airbnb attracted more room nights booked than did Expedia. What it does clearly show is that the online travel pecking order is very much in flux.
Budget Hotel Chain Oyo Continues Meteoric Growth With Vegas Hooters Acquisition: Oyo is opening, on average, one new hotel per day. It should be available in all 50 U.S. states in no time.
Marriott, IHG, Accor and Hilton Invest in Meetings Booking Platform: The hotel industry has had a tough time improving the painful process of selling event space and room blocks to meeting planners. Perhaps this deal is a sign the sector is finally ready to invest in meaningful change to help repair the ecosystem.
5 Luxury Takeaways From the Latest Hotel Earnings Season: The luxury hotel market continues to evolve. While many of the big hotel companies seem pretty happy with their portfolios, we could see significant changes at Hilton over the coming years.
Barcelona Openings Underline a Luxury Market in Transition: Sophisticated serenity is the best way to describe luxury hospitality in the Catalan capital where troubles including sky-high petty crime rates, legality surrounding Airbnb, and political tensions bubble under the surface. For a city once considered the coolest in Europe, its development is useful to watch for other cities just now entering their gilded age of tourism.
Why Marriott’s New Dynamic Pricing May Not Leave Bonvoy Members Joyous: Marriott’s new pricing structure will help it better control inventory during high and low seasons — but as a result, some travelers may find it harder to find deals on their favorite vacation properties.
Travelport, IBM and BCD Travel Use Blockchain to Manage Hotel Commissions: Blockchain isn’t as hyped up as it used to be during the bitcoin craze, but companies are still finding its function as a secure ledger useful. If this catches on, it could provide some much-needed transparency to the hotel reconciliation process.
Hostelworld Wants to Offer More Than Just Accommodations: CEO Gary Morrison has shaken things up since taking over at Hostelworld last year. His new strategy will take time to play out, but as a niche business, it seems sensible to try and do things differently from the big, generalist online travel agencies.
Private Equity Firm Accel-KKR’s Latest Fix: Hotel Enterprise Software: The short-term goal of the deals is to win more work from hotel management companies. The long-term goal is to sell the combined portfolio. We look at the merits of Accel-KKR-owned Cendyn’s acquisition of Rainmaker. We also look at potential acquisition targets.
Hotel Budget Brand RedDoorz Captures Another $70 Million in Funding: The super-budget accommodation sector in Southeast Asia has so much potential. That’s old news. What’s new is super investors have finally warmed up to the idea and are backing RedDoorz in the face of Oyo’s entry into the region.
Group Bookings Slowdown Showing Up Already in Hotel Earnings: As the U.S.-China trade war drags on, its effect on group business travel becomes more and more apparent. An uncertain political environment within the U.S. is also probably having an impact.
Inside the 5 Families Who Hold a Tight Grip on Philippines Tourism: A handful of families in the Philippines control 70 percent of the country’s tourism industry, owning key travel infrastructure such as airlines, hotels, resorts, shopping malls, and tourist attractions. Is that tight control a formula for future success?
Nobu Now Sees Lodging as Its ‘Speedboat’: With 18 hotels signed, opened, or under construction, Nobu Hotels is growing its hotel portfolio rapidly. But the chain is focused only on major global markets.
Barcelona’s Recent Openings Give It a Fresh High-End Twist: Barcelona is still an incredibly popular city, but hotels need to offer something different and fresh if they are to make their mark on the hospitality landscape.
Philippine Tourism Industry Attracts More Family Money: Why It’s Wrong: For many, the idea that a few families can control a whole industry is unthinkable, unfair, actually galling. In Philippine tourism, it’s as entrenched as the sight of a jeepney — no one thinks anything of it at all. That has to change, although it won’t be anytime soon.
What Hotel Earnings Reveal About Group Business Travel: It’s undeniable: Group bookings are declining, and they probably will be for a while.
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Photo Credit: An Airbnb Plus property in Milan. Airbnb overtook Expedia's gross bookings in the first quarter of 2019. Airbnb
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