Issue 26: 13th July 2015

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    ‘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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    Expedia joins Booking on rate parity

    Expedia has announced plans to waive its rate parity clauses for five years after working “closely and constructively” with the European Commission. The news came the week after Booking.com announced similar measures in an attempt to bring the matter to a close in Europe. From the beginning of August, Expedia will waive its rate, conditions [...]
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    Priceline makes Brazil move

    The Priceline Group has made a USD60m investment in Brazilian online travel agency Hotel Urbano. The deal came a few months after Expedia paid USD270m for a stake in Hotel Urbano rival Decolar. Priceline described the deal, in which it takes a minority stake, as a “strategic partnership” consisting of a commercial agreement in addition [...]
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    Wanda invests in OTA

    Wanda Group, part of the conglomerate which includes China’s largest commercial property company, has announced a USD577m investment in local online travel agency LY.com. The Chinese OTA said it would use the money to drive expansion into areas such as mobile and Big Data to “consolidate our lead in the leisure and tourism industry”. Established [...]
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    Choice sues over loyalty scam

    Choice Hotels International has filed a lawsuit against a member of its loyalty programme, who it says took advantage of a loophole which saw points awarded even when a booking was cancelled. Robert Chat was alleged to have accrued USD48,500 in rewards points programme gift cards. The lawsuit said that points were “offered as a [...]