Issue 40: 11th November 2014

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    Third-parties mixed as Europe hits

    Priceline Group, Expedia and TripAdvisor reported a mixed third quarter results, as competition within the sector continued to build. All three companies saw growth, but there were issues reported around China and Europe, as well as the rising costs of competing, which gave some observers pause. At Priceline Group, the company reported third-quarter gross travel [...]
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    Hotels.com’s ‘internal misunderstanding’

    Hotels.com has apologised for an “internal misunderstanding” which saw it send emails in which it appeared to offer compensation in exchange for links. Such a strategy would go against Google’s best-practice guidelines, which frown on the activity. The email is quoted as being from an SEO manager for Hotels.com within the US, getting in touch [...]
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    Operators opening doors

    Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Worldwide have both announced plans to bring keyless entry to their estates. Both operators are using the products to help push their loyalty programmes, with membership required to access the services. At Starwood Hotels & Resorts, president & CEO Frits van Paasschen told analysts at the group’s third-quarter earnings [...]
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    Marriott jumps on Wi-Fi bandwagon

    Marriott International has become the latest of the global operators to offer free Wi-Fi as a point of differentiation for its rewards programme members. From the beginning of next year the company will offer free Wi-Fi across more than 3,800 hotels in its estate, with the added stipulation that guests must book direct. Stephanie Linnartz, [...]
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    Alibaba takes on Ctrip

    Alibaba Group has announced that its online travel business, Taobao Travel will become an independent business and brand under the name Alitrip. The company, which recently enjoyed a successful IPO in the US, said that it hoped to “elevate the online travel sector to a higher level”. Li Shaohua, general manager of Alitrip, said: “This [...]