It's obvious that states and cities throughout the U.S. are trying to find the right balance between welcoming the sharing economy and regulating it. It's still unclear whether laws like this streamline the experience for consumers or ignore community needs when it comes to short-term rentals.
On hotels' direct-booking rates, one of the major chains is already talking to traditional travel agencies about handing them over. In addition, Choice Hotels, for one, is signaling that better deals from online travel agencies could go a long way toward ending its boycott in distributing loyalty-member rates. If every person has a price, then so indeed do hotel chains.
Whether it's on hotel, online travel agency or metasearch sites, having attractive pricing is a very powerful thing. We think Kaufer is a smart guy. He knows he isn't going to get hotels' special rates for loyalty program members today, but he's trying to lay the groundwork for a deal later on.
It is rare to see a company such as the Priceline Group take an impairment charge so quickly after investing. Even Priceline, in the short-term, at least, can get things wrong. Hotel Urbano needs more cash as the Brazilian economy and political system exhibited further stress, and the Zika virus took hold.
TripAdvisor continues to labor to transform its business from a media/advertising model toward a booking site -- under the glare of all-too-often impatient pundits and investors. The big decline in its revenue per hotel shopper, meanwhile, is likely a temporary hurdle but TripAdvisor management still has a helluva lot to prove.
The Priceline Group is looking for a CEO who can handle disruption and big changes in technology and market conditions in coming years. Just look at the changes in the Group's accommodations mix as lodging alternatives are approaching half of the company's roster of properties.
With Expedia reporting a clear tightening in corporate travel spending, one wonders how smaller corporate travel management companies are being affected.
Khosrowshahi has helped Expedia bulldoze over and ultimately consume rivals Travelocity and Orbitz. If you're going to award executives at this level, he's certainly on the deserving side.
OpenTable hasn't shown progress with international expansion as fast as its parent company, the Priceline Group, first anticipated. While the Group invests in revamping OpenTable's product, the app update is only available in certain English-speaking markets. It is building up user reviews and will have to get more multilingual to trigger more-robust growth.
Travelzoo wants to give the people what they want -- and to get more involved in the lucrative hotel-booking business. In this case, Travelzoo is sourcing hotel deals for days that work for the less-spontaneous traveler.