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.
Marriott and Expedia Exclusive Agreement Will Retake Control of Wholesale Rates: In an I-just-saw-an-elephant-fly moment, Marriott International will be directing businesses to Expedia Group to access certain Marriott wholesale rates. Bedbanks, tour operators, and smaller online travel agencies that play games with room rates are put on notice.
UK Regulator Persuades More Travel Brands to Stop Hate-Selling: It’s 2019. Online travel agencies and hotels shouldn’t still be using high-pressure tactics to get us to part with our money. There are much better ways. Hopefully the UK’s action will spur other countries to do the same.
Hospitality’s Duty Is to Serve Guests — and Humanity, Says Saira Hospitality CEO: The hospitality industry is based on service, but Saira Hospitality has found a way to expand the meaning of that service to both the guest and the local community.
Airbnb Says It Intends to Go Public in 2020: While $1 billion in revenue is impressive, it’s not the first time Airbnb has achieved the number. What matters for the homesharing platform is the growth narrative. Now that the timing of the company’s IPO is pegged for 2020, we know just how long we will have to wait to see how the storyline plays out.
New Owner Airbnb Will Not Dilute the HotelTonight Brand, CEO of Booking App Says: Airbnb’s focus on adding independent hotels instead of all-and-sundry is a smart approach. The vacation rentals company made more than $1 billion in revenue for the second quarter and intends to go public during 2020. It can’t afford to meddle with the model.
Expedia CEO Is Unfazed by Airbnb’s Growing Vacation Rental Lead: Mark Okerstrom, the chief of Expedia Group, has high hopes for his recently rebranded homesharing unit Vrbo. But as competition intensifies in the segment, we’re wondering if we’ll be describing Vrbo (pronounced “VER-boh”) using active verbs or passive ones.
Wholesaler Hotelbeds Cuts Ties to Booking Sites That Break Hotel Distribution Rules: The collapse last week of Amoma suggests that an industry wide crackdown on online travel agencies that violate hotel contracts is getting serious. For example, many hoteliers have wanted Hotelbeds to crack down on bad behavior by some agencies. The distributor of wholesale rates has responded by taking action.
State of the U.S. Economy Isn’t a Worry So Far for Hilton CEO: Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta has always been an optimistic person, but financial markets aren’t always so positive thinking.
Marriott Continues to Bang the Bonvoy Drum Ahead of Planned Brand Expansion: Can a loyalty program outlast the ups and downs of economic uncertainty in key markets? That’s what Marriott is banking on by making sure Bonvoy offers everything customers want.
Booking Holdings Reaffirms Plan to Charge Commissions on Hotel Resort Fees: Despite criticism and reports of misgivings, Booking Holdings will plow ahead with a groundbreaking policy of charging commissions on resort fees charged by hotels, said CEO Glenn Fogel. He said the move is aimed at discouraging hotels from providing bad customer experiences.
Why Accessibility Is the Hotel Industry’s Most Overlooked Asset: Tne of the largest obstacles for travelers with disabilities is simply a lack of information. Hotels are missing out on a huge segment of the tourism market by neglecting to promote their accessibility features.
Inspirato CEO Predicts Subscription Model Will Spur Followers in Luxury Travel: Introducing a subscription model to the travel industry could lead to a transformation in the way companies sell their products. On the other hand, it may be a challenge to get travelers to lock themselves into one brand over a period of time — unless, of course, there is an attractive perceived value.
Dear Travel Marketer, Intention Matters More Than Experience: Experience is passé. Today’s top luxury marketers have moved on to a new way of looking at the customer journey. It’s now about intention. High-end brands that can align their own intentions — beyond making a profit — with those of their customers have the potential to foster true-blue relationships.
Are Luxury Leisure Agencies Better at C-Suite Travel Than Their Corporate Peers? To meet the travel needs of a CEO, is a luxury leisure agency a better fit than a travel management company? Leisure expertise is useful for serving the customized demands of VIPs, but travel advisors may find that even deluxe business travel requires a corporate mindset.
Embracing the Role of Romance in Luxury Marketing: Romantic love and a night at the opera might seem the stuff of chick flicks and cheap paperbacks sporting Fabio’s bare chest. But one expert says luxury marketers should pay heed to both subjects if they want to build deep and lasting relationships with their clients.
Beekeeper Raises $45 Million for Online Chat for Non-Desk Hotel Workers: To understand the startup Beekeeper, think of workplace communications tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams. The service helps hourly workers without desktop computers, such as housekeepers, stay up-to-date. The fresh funding underscores a recent boom in hotel tech investment.