Articles by Dennis Schaal

Charter Company in Cuba Plane Crash Was Subject of Safety Complaints

Charter Company in Cuba Plane Crash Was Subject of Safety Complaints

Michael Weissenstein and Bert Wilkinson, Associated Press

Mexican authorities will investigate the charter company involved in the Cuban plane crash. Lets hope authorities in Mexico and Cuba will find out what happened.

1 day ago

Club Med Parent Fosun Mulls Acquisitions in North America

Club Med Parent Fosun Mulls Acquisitions in North America

Bloomberg

Another Chinese conglomerate, this one with insurance, pharmaceutical, and tourism holdings, is looking to expand globally through acquisitions. Given that HNA Group, Dalian Wanda Group. and Anbang are scurrying to unload assets, does Fosun's strategy raise any red flags?

2 days ago

Trivago Spins Alternative Accommodations as Its Ace in the Hole

Trivago Spins Alternative Accommodations as Its Ace in the Hole

Dennis Schaal, Skift

In some ways, Trivago and TripAdvisor find themselves in similar situations, although TripAdvisor has more upside because of its global brand awareness and the breadth of its offerings. But both need time to play the long game. In Trivago's case, it is now seeing alternative accommodations as a potential life line.

4 days ago

TripAdvisor CEO Doubles Estimate of Attractions Business to $2 Billion

TripAdvisor CEO Doubles Estimate of Attractions Business to $2 Billion

Dennis Schaal, Skift

The tours and activities sector is not hotels 2.0. It's a massive business opportunity, though. TripAdvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer estimated it will be about half the size of the hotel sector, with similar take rates. That's indeed very substantial.

6 days ago

Norway Backs Limits on Airbnb for the Good of the Neighbors

Norway Backs Limits on Airbnb for the Good of the Neighbors

Peter Levring, Bloomberg

Why should Norway be different than any place else? The government wants to ensure that neighborhoods don't get disrupted and that professionals don't nab the housing stock to devote to rentals.

1 week ago

No Travel Restrictions Yet After Congo Ebola Outbreak

No Travel Restrictions Yet After Congo Ebola Outbreak

Katherine Tam, Bloomberg

The Ebola outbreak in the Congo in Central Africa doesn't appear to be widespread at this point, but health authorities will need to provide aid quickly, and travel companies will have to monitor the situation.

1 week ago

JetBlue and Pilots Union Reach First Agreement

JetBlue and Pilots Union Reach First Agreement

Mary Schlangenstein, Bloomberg

The lack of an agreement with its pilots had been an albatross for JetBlue for the last few years. What will the impact be? The two sides haven't released any details of the agreement yet.

1 week ago

Not Just for Hotels — Booking Holdings Has a Direct Strategy of Its Own

Not Just for Hotels — Booking Holdings Has a Direct Strategy of Its Own

Dennis Schaal, Skift

With less fanfare than hotels, but with a ton of TV spend, Booking Holdings is intent on increasing its share of direct bookings. Anything that gets in its way, including metasearch sites that go out of favor, will be collateral damage.

2 weeks ago

Traveler Behavior Is Still the Biggest Impediment to TripAdvisor’s Tours and Activities Business

Traveler Behavior Is Still the Biggest Impediment to TripAdvisor’s Tours and Activities Business

Dennis Schaal, Skift

Should there be TripAdvisor booths at big tourist attractions in Paris, New York, Las Vegas and Rome? It might not be a bad idea to explore to attract the business of travelers who like to book attractions offline. Would it scale? Expedia does it, but the numbers crunchers would have to figure it all out.

2 weeks ago

TripAdvisor Q1 Shows Some Positives Although Core Hotel Business Is Still Tough Going

TripAdvisor Q1 Shows Some Positives Although Core Hotel Business Is Still Tough Going

Dennis Schaal, Skift

Beyond all the financial razzmatazz, TripAdvisor's core hotel business is still under pressure while the much smaller experiences and restaurant businesses are growing nicely — although not profitably at this point. If TripAdvisor can hang on while these non-core businesses mature, then its outlook would be much brighter.

2 weeks ago

William Shatner’s Travel Evolution as Priceline Pitchman

William Shatner’s Travel Evolution as Priceline Pitchman

Dennis Schaal, Skift

Who remembers Star Trek anyway? It's likely that just as many people or more know actor William Shatner through his Priceline advertising gig. Are big-name celebrities better in commercials than owls, gnomes, and belt-less soap opera stars? We're not sure of his return on investment, but at this point he can almost name his own price.

2 weeks ago

Newly Rebranded Priceline Has Global Ambitions

Newly Rebranded Priceline Has Global Ambitions

Dennis Schaal, Skift

If you follow the money, you'll see that Booking.com, for good reason, is the parent company's favored brand even in the United States. Priceline, though, does have brand recognition and will try to make the most of it given the hand that it has been dealt.

2 weeks ago