Issue 4

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    Expedia tries to stand out in the crowd

    Expedia has announced a new product, Last-Minute Deals, which, it says, uses crowd-sourcing to take the research out of finding a good deal on your next trip. Describing what this new service does as crowd-sourcing is in fact a bit of a stretch, but it does utilise recommendation technology that many users will recognise from [...]
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    HRS and Amadeus agree strategic partnership

    HRS and Amadeus and have announced a “strategic partnership” which will provide hotels affiliated to the OTA distributed through the GDS Amadeus. The deal should help give HRS a wider reach outside its German domestic market and will also give hotels, particularly independents and small chains, an additional route to market. The agreement underlines the [...]
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    Flash mob in the pan for Marriott

    Marriott International has announced a new product for guests at its Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, in the form of their own flash mob. The offering is billed as “the dance craze that has been captured on everything from ‘Glee’ to ‘Modern Family’” and acts as an illustration of many operators’ attempts to keep up [...]
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    Expedia ventures into Asia

    Last week saw the 50:50 joint venture between AirAsia and Expedia launch its first consumer websites, with Expedia India, Expedia Singapore, Expedia Malaysia and Expedia Thailand going live. The move gives Expedia privileged access to a potentially massive new market which is also currently a key battle ground for global hotel chains seeking to benefit [...]
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    TUI looks to virtual strength

    TUI Travel CEO Peter Long told delegates at the recent Abta conference that the group planned to make “phenomenal” technological changes as it looked to increase its online presence. The comments were the latest salvo in the on-going battle between traditional tour operators and online travel agents, an effort which the former’s offline legacy makes [...]
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    Hotels extend check-in

    Gowalla, the location-based social networking system, has launched its latest version with a renewed focus on travel, adding city guides to its existing check-in functions, which log travellers’ journeys. With location-based services currently on the cutting edge of online marketing, many hotels are still cautious about how to effectively exploit them, despite their potential to [...]
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    Expedia fine reminds operators of weaknesses

    Expedia Inc. has been ordered to pay a fine of  Eu427,000 for "misleading marketing practices" on three of its websites: Expedia.com, TripAdvisor.com and Hotels.com by the French courts. With the fine less than the Eu1m anticipated, it was widely perceived as a slap on the wrist for the online travel agent. However, rather than being [...]