Airbnb is going to be a player in local activities and possibly restaurant reservations, both of which are a focus of its new -- and still unreleased -- app. Google aims to get more involved as well.
Restaurants and cafes continue to open at a steady rate across the UK but if the economy falters, operators could be in for a nasty surprise.
Yelp has a tremendous opportunity in local advertising but there is also intense competition. One big caution is that half of Yelp's traffic comes from Google and that makes it way too dependent on a company which isn't exactly a fan.
The new Zagat — which jettisons the old 30-point rating scale in favor of a more familiar five-point system — will have a more obvious influence from Google, its owner since 2011.
TripAdvisor has taken a few lumps in the UK and the bashing by a prominent UK critic in The Guardian undoubtedly was a factor in Kaufer's decision to pen a rare, formal response to a pundit.
Don't miss the forest for the trees: TripAdvisor is evolving into a well-rounded travel planning AND booking site. If hotel bookings on TripAdvisor eventually fall short of expectations it would be a big blow, but then tours and activities, restaurant reservations, vacation rentals, hotel metasearch and reviews can all play a role in taking up some of the slack.
Engineering geeks like big, tough problems and the coders at Kayak are attempting to take on the challenges of comparing diverse restaurants in a city and also the attributes of this hop-on hop-off Beverly Hills tour versus a competitor's. And you thought comparing various flights with bag fees was tough?
Hoteliers know that both travelers and locals alike are tired of stuffy dining rooms and interminable multi-course meals. They're bringing in a wider swath of customers through experimentation and partnerships with skilled restauranteurs.
Hoteliers are embracing travelers who want hotels to reflect local character and looking to move away from the bland experience of homogenous big box hotels. But hotels are still playing catch up on many restaurant trends that are becoming common across the globe.
As is the case with the Priceline Group's handling of Kayak, it is clear that Priceline isn't doubling down on investing in OpenTable. With Booking.com the parent company's overwhelming priority, the international growth of OpenTable will take place at a measured pace, opening opportunities for others.