Dennis' Online Travel Briefing

Every Wednesday, Executive Editor and online travel rockstar Dennis Schaal brings readers exclusive reporting and insight into the business of online travel and digital booking, and how this sector has an impact across the travel industry.

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Online Travel

Online Travel’s Letters to Shareholders Should Nix the Fluff, Stick to Facts

When asked a few years ago whether Booking.com was a disruptor, CEO Glenn Fogel said "no." Online travel companies should prove their innovation, not make excessive boasts.

Online Travel’s Letters to Shareholders Should Nix the Fluff, Stick to Facts

Online Travel

Uber as Next Travel Powerhouse? Highly Doubtful

If you think Dara Khosrowshahi is going to toggle a switch and turn Uber into the next Expedia or Booking, then consider the years-long effort Booking Holdings is putting into building "the connected trip." Who's going to plan a vacation and start with a rideshare app?

Uber as Next Travel Powerhouse? Highly Doubtful

Online Travel

Sonder Expands Sales Team to Tap Into Traditional Hotel Biz

Outsiders figure out what's wrong with an industry and rightfully disrupt it. Then they learn that the disrupted industry does things a certain way for a reason. It doesn't mean Sonder's overall strategy is wrong, but that's a lesson it is learning.

Sonder Expands Sales Team to Tap Into Traditional Hotel Biz

Online Travel

New Airbnb Guest Complaint Policy Tries to Balance 2-Sided Marketplace

Airbnb at times has seemed to lean more toward the rights of guests than hosts while smaller rival Vrbo has done the opposite, tilting toward hosts at some junctures to the disadvantage of guests. Although a host land grab recruitment slugfest is under way, it makes sense to try to carve out a middle ground.

New Airbnb Guest Complaint Policy Tries to Balance 2-Sided Marketplace

Online Travel

Google.com Gets Free Hotel Booking Links to Level Playing Field … A Tad

Pressure from regulators and maybe disgruntled partners prompted Google to add free booking links in search results and Maps in travel. Google certainly hasn't leveled the proverbial playing field among advertisers and non-advertisers, but hotels and smaller online travel agencies may see some benefit.

Google.com Gets Free Hotel Booking Links to Level Playing Field … A Tad

Online Travel

Airbnb and Booking: 12 Takeaways From Their Annual Financial Reports

Airbnb went deep while Booking Holdings went wide in terms of product development in 2021. Airbnb assuredly will get back to broadening its product line, if not in 2022, then later.

Airbnb and Booking: 12 Takeaways From Their Annual Financial Reports

Online Travel

Expedia Ceases Sales to and From Russia

Expedia Group stepped out of the pack and ceased offering travel to and from Russia because of Putin's invasion of Ukraine. The company doesn't have a ton of Russia-related business, so even if the move is more symbolic than anything else, it is an important statement.

Expedia Ceases Sales to and From Russia

Online Travel

Tripadvisor Plus Is Case Study in Online Travel Hype

Less than a year ago, a Tripadvisor pitch deck about Tripadvisor Plus touted its "multibillion dollar revenue potential." Despite the company expressing confidence in Plus when it scrapped its business model in September, Tripadvisor admitted last week "we haven't found the product-market fit that we're looking for."

Tripadvisor Plus Is Case Study in Online Travel Hype

Online Travel

Expedia CEO Takes Shot at Airbnb Chief Brian Chesky’s Long-Term Stays Mantra

Expedia Group's Peter Kern may or may not be correct in his claim that the trend toward long-term stays will eventually weaken to a considerable degree. On the other hand, his Vrbo vacation rental brand probably could have done more to capitalize on the trend.

Expedia CEO Takes Shot at Airbnb Chief Brian Chesky’s Long-Term Stays Mantra

Online Travel

Don’t Expect a Huge Crisis Bounceback for Online Travel Agencies This Time

The online travel space has always been super-competitive, but established players like Expedia Group and Booking Holdings face a growing roster of formidable competitors, including hotels, Google and Airbnb.

Don’t Expect a Huge Crisis Bounceback for Online Travel Agencies This Time