Articles by Sean O'Neill

Inside Priceline Group’s Diss of Trivago — The Backstory

Inside Priceline Group’s Diss of Trivago — The Backstory

Sean O'Neill, Skift

What do a debate over landing pages, the acquisition of Momondo, a shift into hotel software services, and regulators forcing changes in online travel agency contracts have in common? Each of those seemingly unrelated things may have pushed Priceline to toggle back its spending on Trivago.

7 hours ago

Ctrip Relaunches Trip.com as Its English Language Travel Agency Brand

Ctrip Relaunches Trip.com as Its English Language Travel Agency Brand

Sean O'Neill, Skift

We had speculated before that Ctrip might use its newly acquired Trip.com domain for its own agency listings, displacing the travel recommendation service it recently bought. By de-emphasizing its Chinese origin, it may hope to ingratiate itself with more Western travelers.

10 hours ago

Google Flights’ New Look Moves Away From Travel Inspiration

Google Flights’ New Look Moves Away From Travel Inspiration

Sean O'Neill, Skift

Google made its claim to fame partly on the simplicity of its user interface. Its new interface for flight search is a return to its elegant design roots.

3 days ago

Hostmaker Raises $15 Million for Short-Term Rental Management: Travel Startup Funding This Week

Hostmaker Raises $15 Million for Short-Term Rental Management: Travel Startup Funding This Week

Sean O'Neill, Skift

In the California gold rush, businesses once sold pickaxes to prospectors. In today's vacation rental gold rush, they're selling management services to the property owners. The safest bets are always adjacent services.

3 days ago

Sojern Buys Ad-Tech Firm Adphorus to Better Compete on Facebook

Sojern Buys Ad-Tech Firm Adphorus to Better Compete on Facebook

Sean O'Neill, Skift

Advertising on Facebook is an expanding strategic opportunity for travel brands. That's why travel marketing-tech startup Sojern is nabbing Adphorus, a travel specialist ad tech company in Turkey, as a bridgehead for growth.

4 days ago

New York’s Plaza Hotel Quietly Took on New Investor With Ambition

New York’s Plaza Hotel Quietly Took on New Investor With Ambition

Miles Weiss, Bloomberg

Manhattan sometimes seems like a Monopoly game board for Middle Eastern princes. One of the world’s richest businessmen, Saudi Arabia's Alwaleed bin Talal, may soon be outplayed in control of The Plaza by Qatari Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.

4 days ago

Lyft Will Enter Canada as Its First Foreign Market

Lyft Will Enter Canada as Its First Foreign Market

Natalie Wong, Bloomberg

In Formula One, a racecar will go where the driver's eyes go. In capitalism, a startup will go where its investors see the most potential for market share gain. In the race between Lyft and Uber in Canada, the real winner now is the consumer, thanks to discounting.

6 days ago

Ryanair Business Model Under Pressure as Pilots Demand Collective Bargaining

Ryanair Business Model Under Pressure as Pilots Demand Collective Bargaining

Benjamin Katz, Bloomberg

Ryanair became Europe's most valuable airline with a nasty divide-and-conquer approach to its employees. But pilots risk overplaying their hand by rejecting a 22 percent pay increase from a CEO who has said he would rather cut off his own hands than sign a deal with a union.

6 days ago

U.S., Poland and Argentina Vie to Be Host of 2023 Expo

U.S., Poland and Argentina Vie to Be Host of 2023 Expo

Steve Karnowski, Associated Press

Expo is a far cry from its glory days as the World's Fair, though it's still a respectable boon for tourism. The International Olympic Committee better watch out, or else the Olympic Games may face a similar fate within 20 years' time.

6 days ago

Travel Companies Start Lending Consumers Money to Book Trips

Travel Companies Start Lending Consumers Money to Book Trips

Sean O'Neill, Skift

Companies ought to carry out adequate checks on the ability of borrowers to repay travel loans on time. Otherwise, a surprise disruption such as an Icelandic volcano or an economic downturn could prompt defaults.

1 week ago

Wyoming Considers a Tourism Tax to Pay for Its Destination Marketing

Wyoming Considers a Tourism Tax to Pay for Its Destination Marketing

Bob Moen, Associated Press

It theoretically makes sense to have a one percent tax rise on typical tourist expenses to allow Wyoming to boost its annual destination marketing budget to around $17 million. But the plan will only work if the money is budgeted effectively.

1 week ago

Credit Cards May Pay When a Traveler Crashes Their Rental Car

Credit Cards May Pay When a Traveler Crashes Their Rental Car

Gregory Karp, Associated Press

But beware the fine print, as ever. For example, collecting reimbursement from a card company can take a while, so you may have to front money for expenses.

1 week ago