Issue 38: 27th October 2014

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    Online booking tool for meeting rooms planned

    A group of former hoteliers is to launch an online meetings room reservation system, which they hope will increase occupancy from 30% to 60%. Okanda, an online, real-time, central reservation system will launch later this year in the UK and Germany, with both a branded product and a white-label offering to help hotels drive business [...]
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    Customers eye a bargain

    Names and photographs of hotels are key to driving customers towards booking, according to a study from Cornell University. The report paired eye tracking with interviews to come to its conclusions, which also confirmed that price and user-generated reviews were important to the consumer. The study, entitled ‘Using Eye Tracking to Obtain a Deeper Understanding [...]
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    Monmodo gets funded to push meta further

    Monmodo Group announced that it had raised a further GBP80m in funding, which it said valued the brand at GBP132m. The investment came as competition continues to grow in the meta-search sector, as brands such as Google continue to expand their offerings. Hugo Burge, CEO, said: “After a robust process we are pleased to be [...]
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    Last Minute linked to Time Out owner

    Last Minute’s UK trading arm has moved in profit after parent company Travelocity wrote off GBP227m in debt. The results further fuelled rumours that the brand is about to be sold, with reports suggesting that  Oakley Capital, owner of Time Out magazine, had put in a bid on the group. According to the latest results [...]
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    Hub at the forefront of Whitbread’s digital journey

    Whitbread's new Hub compact city hotels promise to showcase a range of new technologies, in a bid to open up the sub-brand's appeal to a new customer base wider than the company's Premier Inn guests. Details of the new format were revealed at MIPIM UK, as Whitbread's property & commercial managing director Mark Anderson took [...]