Skift Travel News Blog

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

Hotels

Accor CEO Advises Young Hotel Entrepreneurs on Scaling Up: WTTC Summit Video

4 months ago

If you want to enter the hospitality sector, start small and get financial support. But be aware that scaling up beyond a certain threshold can be tremendously hard.

That was the advice from the head of one of the world’s largest hotel groups, Accor chairman and group CEO Sébastien Bazin.

“If it’s your dream or passion, just do it and make sure somebody actually helps you financially to do it, Bazin said. “Start with three, four, or five six bedrooms. Be authentic, be sincere, be warm, and welcoming.”

Bazin was speaking on Thursday on a panel at The World Travel & Tourism Council’s Global Summit in Rwanda.

“The difficulty is not to start but to scale,” Bazin said. “To go from one hotel to 12 hotels.”

Accor’s leader said that it’s quite difficult for entrepreneurs to scale up hotel businesses above a certain level, partly because they need to rely on third-party middlemen for distribution to fill their rooms.

“They don’t have the size, and the tendency is to go to the online travel agencies, and they’re going to be eating your lunch,” Bazin said. “Then you have the big gorillas like me knocking on the door, and you’re going to end up working for Accor.”

“Many people have [created regional hotel groups] but could not grow them further,” Bazin said. “It’s a tough business in which you have some tough big guys who really don’t like you to grow that much.”

Advice to Hoteliers, Too

Bazin was also asked about what was something he “hates” about the hotel industry from the personal perspective of being a traveler. He said it was the trouble the hotel sector had in giving its young employees the resources, training, and support they need to thrive in their front-line and behind-the-scenes jobs.

“I was staying at a hotel, and this morning I went to check out, and there was a very young, nice gentleman,” Bazin said. “He must have been 22 or 23 years old — impeccably dressed. And he was in a total panic.”

“He just didn’t have the proper training,” Bazin said. “I don’t like it when people in front of you lose their self-esteem because they cannot operate the way they should operate, and it’s not their fault.”

“We as industry leaders should be better equipping and training our people and giving them what expertise they need,” Bazin said. “Our industry will be stronger if we have hundreds of thousands of different young people who probably never went to college, and we give them chances in life.”

Travel Technology

Tripla Expands Into Indonesia Via BookandLink Acquisition

6 months ago

Tripla, which provides a booking engine to hotels in Japan and Southeast Asia, has acquired a travel tech company in Indonesia.

Tripla said it has acquired a 53% stake in BookandLink, which provides software to help hotels track and manage sales through third-party distribution channels. 

The other 47% of BookandLink was acquired by the Development Bank of Japan, Tripla said.

Tripla said the acquisition is part of a larger goal to create a more comprehensive booking and distribution platform for hoteliers. 

Besides a booking engine, Tripla offers products around chatbots, payments, and customer data management. The company said its technology was live in more than 2,400 hotels in Japan as of July 2023, and business is continuing to expand in East Asia, including in South Korea and Taiwan.

And BookandLink was used by more than 2,600 hotels in Indonesia as of July 2023, with a growing presence in Southeast Asia, the company said. 

“The majority of the 50,000 accommodations in Indonesia still use manual processes with pen and paper, motivating us to develop our market further,” said Philippe Raunet, CEO of BookandLink, in a statement.

Tripla said it plans to integrate the two companies and their technologies over the next three years. BookandLink’s founders and roughly 30 employees are joining Tripla.

Tripla started trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange last November with an initial public offering of $5.6 million (¥823.2 million). The company’s stock is down over 13% year to date.

Tour Operators

TUI Adds Juniper Travel as New Experiences Distribution Partner

7 months ago

TUI, one of Europe’s leading tour operator groups, has extended its tours and activities distribution through Juniper Travel Technology.

Juniper, a travel tech company offering travel booking and management solutions, will integrate TUI’s portfolio of 88,000 excursions, activities, and attraction tickets in 100 countries, making it available for its clients of 270 travel and tourism companies.

The integration with Juniper Travel will “reach new customers based on their needs through seamless integration”, said Nishank Gopalkrishnan, chief business officer of TUI Musement. It expands TUI’s business to business strategy, both with companies in TUI’s established source markets such as the United Kingdom and Germany, and also with Juniper partners in southern Europe and LATAM as new markets for TUI.

TUI Musement reported a 33% increase in sales in the group’s third-quarter financial results. In 2022, TUI sold over seven million experiences.

Juan Mateos, Juniper Travel general manager, said its clients would have “frictionless access” to TUI’s experiences, initially available as a standalone catalog. In the future, it will be part of Juniper’s packaging and call center modules.

Startups

Guesty Buys YieldPlanet as Startups Serving Short-Term Rentals and Hotels  Consolidate

1 year ago

Guesty has acquired Yield Planet, a hotel-focused revenue and distribution management platform.

The companies didn’t disclose the deal terms.

Guesty’s software helps property managers operate and market their short-term rentals for travelers. In August, the U.S. and Israel-based firm said it had closed a $170 million Series E funding round. YieldPlanet, based in Bellevue, Washington, had raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding from Giza Polish Ventures, according to Crunchbase.

Guesty will integrate YieldPlanet’s tools for hospitality distribution, revenue management, and other functions for full-time property managers of short-term rentals, hostels, and hotels.

Guesty announced the news on Wednesday at a conference on short-term rentals it is running in Austin, Texas. The company also announced direct integrations with HopperTrip.comMarriott Homes & Villas, and Google’s Hotel and Vacation Rental Search Products

Airlines

Sabre Sues Hawaiian Airlines for Alleged Breach of Contract

1 year ago

Global distribution system provider Sabre is alleging that beginning May 31 Hawaiian Airlines implemented a new distribution policy that prevented U.S.-based travel agents using Sabre from booking the airline’s inter-island flights, and also began levying U.S.-based travel agents a $7 per segment surcharge on all bookings of all other Hawaiian Airlines’ flights through Sabre.

Those breach-of-contract allegations are laid out in a federal lawsuit filed August 30 in the Southern District of New York.

Hawaiian Airlines
A Hawaiian Airlines aircraft in 2021. Source: Eric Salary, Wikipedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hawaiian_Airlines,Airbus_A330-243,_N395HASEA(18160775328).jpg

Hawaiian has an assortment of inter-island flights such as Maui to Oahu, for example.

Saying the pandemic shrunk the airline’s network by 13 percent compared to 2019, Hawaiian informed travel agents several months ago that all of its flights, including its inter-island schedule, would be available to U.S. travel agents without surcharges through alternative means, including  HA Connect, the Hawaiian Airlines Partner Portal, and HA Connect Approved Partners. These include: ATPCO, ClarityTTS, NuFlights, Thomalex, Tidesquare, Travelfusion, TravelNDC, and Verteil Technologies, according to the airline.

Hawaiian said these partners use the New Distribution Capability, and connect to travel agencies through API (application programming interface) technology as an alternative to global distribution systems.

“Hawaiian’s breaches have also put Sabre at a competitive disadvantage,” Sabre said in the lawsuit.

Hawaiian Airlines denied that it breached its contract with Sabre.

“We believe Sabre’s claims to be baseless and that we are acting well within our contractual rights as we implement a new distribution strategy replacing dated technology with the modern NDC standard,” the airline said in a statement. “We intend to vigorously defend against these claims.”

Sabre seeks a jury trial and to recover damages.

A significant portion of the lawsuit is redacted to protect contract details.

Sabre-lawsuit-against-Hawaiian