In an age where almost anything can be on-demand and every hotel company says it wants to personalize and customize hotel guest experience, why is it still so hard for us to get the exact room we want to stay in?
Will Google be the comeback kid in travel after under-whelming the competition over the last couple of years? Google is slowly -- very slowly -- getting its act together as it tries to get its figurative hand in virtually everything.
Expedia led the latest funding round of Room 77, but obviously didn't view an outright acquisition as advantageous. Expedia already has Trivago, which doesn't want to get distracted as it continues to grow and tear up Europe.
We said something like this was going to happen.
Competing against the likes of Priceline's Kayak, Expedia's Trivago and even Google will be very tough going for Room 77. Is Room 77 giving up on the challenge or playing possum while it hones its mobile skills?
Room 77 will keep innovating and has a great product. In the big picture it won't face the thankless task of competing against the big brands forever because one of those huge players will undoubtedly end up acquiring it. Hipmunk has similar challenges, and prospects.
Hotels are looking to increase engagement with guests, and CheckMate offers some of the mobile tools to get the job done. It remains to be seen, though, whether any large chains will opt for CheckMate as their preferred solution or whether they will seek out alternatives.
How long will it be before we talk about travel websites as always having an essential, if limited place, in much the same way that we sometimes talk about print guidebooks? Smartphones with bigger screens, tablets of mini and maximum dimensions ... buckle your seatbelts.
Altimeter Capital's new venture capital fund won't be exclusively devoted to travel startups, but expect to see it making news along the lines of Concur's larger Perfect Trip Fund, which indeed concentrates on travel.
As one of Google AdWords' best customers, of course Priceline knows what it's talking about when it cautions potential competitors about the limited effectiveness of SEO, SEM, or any other search- or advertising-dependent ways travel booking sites get their traffic