Issue 29: 4th May

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    Seller beware

    Hotels4U has become the latest brand to find itself stung by the unexpected success of an online campaign. Hotels4U told the Advertising Standards Authority that its Christmas Day promotion had cost it £120,000 after attracting almost five times as many bookings as it had anticipated, serving as a warning to others to more thoroughly consider [...]
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    New OTA launch for China

    China’s online travel market is to get a new entrant from the bricks and mortar world, in the form of department store brand Suning. The company is expanding from selling electrical appliances to selling hotels rooms in a move designed to challenge existing domestic OTAs such as Ctrip, assuming it can transfer its customer base [...]
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    Starwood backs digital marketing

    Starwood Hotels & Resorts has committed 75% of its marketing spend to digital, with one of its senior executives describing social media as being at the group’s “very core”. The company announced earlier this year that it would make an investment of USD25m as part of efforts to win the “loyalty arms race” and this [...]
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    Mr and Mrs Smith bonds with investors

    Mr and Mrs Smith has launched a bond as part of efforts to raise £5m, which will see returns paid in cash, or in Mr and Mrs Smith loyalty money. The money raised will be used by the group to fund its expansion into a series of sister brands, starting with Smith & Family, specialising [...]
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    Expedia ‘optimising’ estate as revenues grow

    Expedia said that its first-quarter results, which saw a 12% rise in revenues, had been driven by growth in its hotel business. Despite this, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that the company was not planning to add any more hotels to its inventory, but would optimise what it had and add “tactically”. At the end of [...]