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    Google testing instant booking

    Google has followed TripAdvisor with an instant booking feature on its hotel search function.   The move, which is in partnership with Sabre, sees hotels offered a commission-based model on confirmed bookings only.   Sabre confirmed that it was launching a beta test of a new hotel digital marketing programme from Google designed to help [...]

    OTAs in ‘head-to-head battle’ with hotels

    The rising number of online travel agents offering loyalty schemes is taking them into ‘head-to-head battle’ with hotel operators, according to a study from HVS.   The report found that, with the OTA market dominated by The Priceline Group and Expedia Inc., the options for negotiation on commissions were dwindling, with hotels encouraged to push [...]

    Louvre, Magnuson’s distribution deal

    Louvre Hotels Group has signed a distribution agreement with Magnuson Hotels Worldwide which will create a network of close to 4,000 hotels.   The pair then plan to launch a loyalty programme towards the end of the year.   The deal will see Louvre Hotels Group enter the US market, where Magnuson Hotels Worldwide has [...]

    China OTAs move into M&A phase

    eLong has appointed former Ctrip vice president Jiang Hao to the role of CEO, replacing Guangfu Cui, who will continue to consult for the group.   Last month saw Ctrip take a stake in eLong and this latest move has provoked speculation of a potential merger between the two leaders in China’s online travel agent [...]

    Airbnb faces rethink in SF

    Regulators in San Francisco have voted to limit the use of websites such as Airbnb, over concerns about the rental market. The changes tightened the holiday rental laws introduced in the city last October, which effectively legalised home sharing. The amendments introduced by San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Supervisor Mark Farrell would impose a [...]

    ‘Clouds on the horizon’ for OTAs

    The number of travellers in the US using an online travel agent to book has fallen from 36% to 13% within a year, according to a study by MMGY Global. The company reported that consumers “increasingly” felt that the suppliers gave them the best price, indicating that brand.com strategies such as best rate guarantees were [...]

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