Expedia Chairman Barry Diller is delivering on his promise to tighten up the company, with recently announced plans to lay off 12 percent of staff. Plus, the short-term rental market is one to watch as it continues to grow, with some predicting a new category to emerge that distinguishes between professional and host-run rentals.
Digital Travel News Weekly Roundup
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.
Expedia Begins Layoffs Targeting 12 Percent of Its Workforce: Diller and Kern are taking an ax, as promised, to Expedia Group’s payroll. This could be just the first round, and the thinking might be: Why sell to private equity, have those folks squeeze out the cost savings, and reshape the business when we can do it ourselves?
Amadeus Forecasts Meager 1 Percent Air Traffic Growth in 2020 Outside China: Amadeus, the world’s largest provider of ticket distribution and operational software for airlines, is a bellwether for the sector. It had a weak February, but it expects a rebound later this year. Its forecast for the airlines, however, is less optimistic.
Online Travel’s eDreams Odigeo Sees Bookings Tumble After Coronavirus Outbreak: Online travel agency eDreams Odigeo has been pretty explicit in its bookings breakdown. Similar businesses should also expect a rocky few months ahead as the world deals with the outbreak and spread of coronavirus.
Booking Channels Rival Expedia and Will Cut Costs Too: Could investors be whispering in Glenn Fogel’s ears that what’s good for Barry Diller’s Expedia Group might be beneficial for Booking Holdings, as well? Booking Holdings is usually a first mover in such online travel initiatives, but in this case, when it comes to cost cutting, it appears as though Booking Holdings heard the rumblings emanating from Expedia Group’s Seattle headquarters.
Travel Megatrends 2020: Short-Term Rental Winners Emerge: The short-term rental ecosystem is getting bigger, which means many winners are set to emerge from the pack. Expect further brand-driven professionalization, more outside investment, and vendor consolidation. Those getting on board will benefit, but is a backlash in the cards?
TripActions Launches Virtual Card Product for Corporate Travelers: Virtual cards aren’t anything new in corporate travel, despite limited adoption. But stronger integration with travel booking apps like TripActions could help mainstream the technology, which benefits both travelers and administrators.
Smaller Tour Operators and Hotels Get New Tools to Drive Direct Bookings: Direct bookings have been harder for smaller hotels and mom-and-pop tour operators to get than for the big guys. Still, tech providers, such as Sojern, Xola, and Destinia, aim to democratize online marketing tools.
Sabre to Boost Its Travel Tech Investment by $150 Million This Year: Sabre CEO Sean Menke is right to highlight the progress his business has made during the three years since he took the top job. He’s also right to insist the company needs to invest more in tech to keep up with the travel industry’s pace of digital change. But will investors be patient?
Travelport’s New CEO Lays Out Bold Plan for a Tech Overhaul: Travelport CEO Greg Webb tells us that the travel distribution giant’s private equity investors support a major technology overhaul and that it will involve minimal heartache for agencies. It’ll be notable if Travelport’s backers defy the reputation of private equity investors for mercilessly extracting value.
TripActions Breaks Into Financial Technology: TripActions has made the savvy Silicon Valley play of embracing financial technology while the sector is hot. Whether its new product represents anything truly fresh in corporate travel is a whole other story.
Xband Raises $28 Million for Chinese Rural Tourism: Travel Startup Funding This Week: Startups that got funding this week included Xband, which runs model villages in China, Lanes & Planes, a travel management company, Oaky, a specialist in hospitality upselling, Revl, an automated souvenir video service, and Viselio, a visa application simplifier.
Photo credit: Expedia CEO Barry Diller wasn't joking around about tightening up the company — thousands of staff are set to be axed. JD Lasica / Wikimedia Commons