Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Travel Technology

Spanish Hotel Software Startup Amenitiz Acquires French Business Training Tool

3 months ago

Six months after raising $30 million, a startup offering operations management software to small hotels has made its first acquisition. 

Barcelona-based Amenitiz said this week that it has acquired Ododo, a French company that offers online hotel training. 

The Amenitiz platform contains several features, including data transfer to online resellers, online booking, automation of daily tasks like payments and invoicing, and online marketing. 

The Ododo training service focuses on helping hoteliers learn how to increase bookings and become more profitable. 

Amenitiz clients will now be able to access the Ododo training for free, the company said. Especially during a tight labor market, Amenitiz said that providing the training tool is the next step in further supporting independent hoteliers

Marc-Antoine de la Rüe du Can, the founder of Ododo, will join Amenitiz as head of content. 

Following the acquisition, Amenitiz is launching The Hotel Club, a multilingual training platform through which any hotelier can access free training courses.  

In addition, Amenitiz plans to host in-person events regularly throughout Europe, with the goal of helping hoteliers expand their networks.

Amenitizp completed a Series A round of fundraising in April. The startup is part of a wave of companies offering cloud-based software to help small hotel companies sell online. Some others include Cloudbeds, Hotelrunner, Clock, Yanolja’s Ezee, SiteMinder, and Oracle Hospitality’s Opera Cloud.

Amenitiz said there are 700,000 hotels, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals in Europe, 80 percent of which fall under the company’s target clientele of independent properties with 50 rooms or fewer. 

Travel Technology

UK Hotel Software Operator Guestline Acquires Newbridge to Expand Into Restaurants

3 months ago

A UK-based hotel operations software platform is expanding offerings for restaurants through an acquisition. 

Guestline announced Tuesday that it has acquired UK-based Newbridge Software, a company that offers an electronic point of sale (ePOS) platform for bars and restaurants. Newbridge will operate as a division of the Guestline Group.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Guestline’s existing software platform covers a range of operations and payments for hotels across Europe and Asia, the company said. The company was founded in 1991. 

Founded in 2016, Newbridge has worked with standalone and group operators across the UK. The software includes real-time revenue and profit reporting, and it has features that enable table ordering, rewards programs and promotions.  

The Newbridge software will be fully integrated into the Guestline system, giving existing clients access to the ePOS software. The Newbridge software will also be offered as a standalone service, continuing to serve independent bars and restaurants

Andrew McGregor, CEO of Guestline, said in a statement that enhancing ePOS capabilities has been part of the company’s strategic focus. 

Hotels

Oyo Buys Nordic-Based Vacation Rental Operator Bornholmske Feriehuse

6 months ago

In its endeavor to expand as a preferred full-stack vacation homes provider, Oyo has acquired Denmark-based vacation rental operator — Bornholmske Feriehuse.

Oyo has made the acquisition through its subsidiary DanCenter. Bornholmske Feriehuse has over 700 homes on its platform and according to an Oyo release the company is expected to clock more than 250,000 guest nights in 2022.

The acquisition underlines Oyo’s commitment to invest in Denmark towards accelerating the growth of travel and tourism in the market.

An initiative by Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs — Invest in Denmark — helps attract and retain foreign investments in the country by providing a customized one-stop service for foreign companies, looking to set up or expand business in Denmark.

The demand from foreign guests in holiday homes has been particularly high, said Rasmus Lund, director of Bornholmske Feriehuse. Lund hoped that the collaboration with Oyo would give Bornholmske Feriehuse the opportunity to keep up with demand, while allowing homeowners to benefit from the many online portals that DanCenter collaborates with.

“The agreement would help our many holiday home owners achieve a higher rental percentage, while also contributing income and jobs to Bornholm,” said Lund, who will continue as the director of the vacation rental company.

The acquisition in Bornholm will strengthen Oyo’s presence in Europe. In May, Oyo acquired Croatia-headquartered Direct Booker, which has more than 3,200 homes.

Oyo already owns vacation rental brands in Europe such as Belvilla (Belvilla by Oyo), DanCenter, Danland and Traum Ferienwohnungen offering fully-managed private homes across the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria and Croatia.

Cruises

A&K Travel Group Acquires Crystal Cruises Ships

7 months ago

The A&K Travel Group — the company owned by Geoffrey Kent, CEO of tour operator Abercrombie and Kent, and industrial holding corporation Heritagehas acquired cruise ships Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony in addition to the Crystal Cruises brand.

Both Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony were acquired at an auction with the former ship going for $25 million while the latter was sold for $103 million. A&K said the two ships will resume service next year after undergoing extensive refurbishment and will operate under the Crystal Cruises brand. Crystal Cruises had ceased operations in January this year following the collapse of parent company Genting.

Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity ships were both seized in the Bahamas by U.S. marshals the following month after a federal judge issued an arrest warrant for Crystal Symphony. A lawsuit alleged Crystal Cruises had more than $4 million of unpaid fuel bills.

A Crystal Symphony ship (Wikimedia Commons)

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