Issue 23: 1st July 2013

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    Twitter goes local

    Twitter has acquired local discovery and location app Spindle, which it is expected to integrate into the micro-blogging site. Spindle’s functions will make Twitter ever-more important to hospitality marketing strategies, as the site continues to work on figuring out how to monetise its massive user base. In a blog post, Spindle said: “We’ve spent the [...]
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    Ostrovok wobbles as Russia travels

    Ostrovok, the Russia-based online travel agent, has announced that it is cutting one third of its staff. The move is in contrast to the current enthusiasm surrounding the Russian market, with investors eager to capitalise on the country’s growth potential. Ostrovok co-founder Serge Faguet said in a blog post that the job cuts were part [...]
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    Holiday Inn Express thinks smart

    Holiday Inn Express has launched the ‘Smart Thinking’ platform, which revolves around an online hub where users can engage with the brand. The brand utilises an array of social media platforms in its hub, becoming the latest flag to try and appeal to the millennial generation. Holiday Inn Express has brought The Daily Show’s correspondent [...]
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    Metasearch isn’t dead, long live metasearch

    Wego, the Asia-Pacific-based meta-search brand, announced that it had secured USD17m in its latest funding round. The news was the latest in a series of deals featuring meta-search brands in the past year, with recent moves by Tripadvisor in particular confirming that the model still has potential. Wego raised its capital through the completion of [...]
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    OTAs tapped for taxes

    A judge in Chicago last week ruled that online travel agencies can be defined as hotel operators and as such, owe the city back taxes for room occupancy. The ruling was the latest in a string which have gone against the OTAs, putting the merchant model under stress and causing the agencies to threaten higher [...]