In the past week, both Expedia and Priceline have made moves to bolster their business in the corporate travel market. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said Expedia was looking to grow Egencia, its full-service travel agency, through acquisitions, while Priceline launched Booking.com for Business to target small businesses without managed travel programs.
Egencia, a full-service program for businesses and the fifth largest travel management company according to Expedia, grew 4% in gross bookings in the first quarter and could expedite that with more acquisitions. Booking.com for Business is not aiming to compete with Egencia, instead focusing on smaller companies without managed travel programs.
The two approaches differ, but are significant because they signal the OTA duopoly is looking to grow beyond just leisure travel.
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IHG, Amadeus partner to build cloud-based res system
IHG announced a partnership with Amadeus to build a new global reservations system using what it calls a "cloud-based community model." The new system should be ready for roll-out by 2017 and replaces the iconic Holidex system.
Booking.com looks for another slice of the pie
Booking.com's recent roll-out of Web Direct has both positive and negative consequences for the hotel industry. The new service is essentially a website and booking engine in a box for small independent hotels and the result of Priceline’s acquisition of Buuteeq last year.
How to capture more last-minute travelers
As the summer travel season approaches, there will be more consumers in the market for last-minute travel. The story offers some common-sense advice on how to design websites to corral this big piece of business.
Boxing weekend is big business for Las Vegas
Last weekend's Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight in Las Vegas should have been a goldmine for hotels in the city, even off-Strip properties, according to several stories leading up to the fight. Hopefully room rates lived up to the hype more than the fight itself.
Weekend business lags in some markets
In most top 25 markets, weekday hotel business is still stronger than weekends, according to data from STR. That seems surprising, given an obvious 25-year trend toward more shorter, getaway-type vacations. A few markets, such as Miami, Nashville and New Orleans, buck the trend.
The mobile bookings march continues on
Sure it is repetitive, but it continues to be worth discussing the steep rise in use of mobile devices in the hotel and travel booking process. According to a study, one in four travel transactions are made on a mobile device and Hotels.com has seen an 80% increase in mobile bookings.
Rate parity is top revenue strategy issue
This wide-ranging discussion on the past, present and future of revenue management uncovers some interesting insights about this function, including the role of rate parity and metasearch in the future of RM.
Marriott reacts to robo call scam
In one more twist on cyber piracy, Marriott International has been hit with an indirect phone scam. The scammers, working mostly in Australia and Canada, call unsuspecting dupes to tell them they’ve won a vacation at a Marriott hotel. In return, they’re asked for personal info such as credit card numbers.
Sorting through the booking attribution conundrum
It's widely agreed that many, if not most, travel decisions involve a variety of touchpoints as consumers drift from dreaming about travel, to researching, planning, comparing and ultimately booking. The question, then, is which link in the booking chain should get credit for the sale? Is it the so-called last click, or the site upon which the consumer booked the hotel room? Or is it more nuanced?
Marriott hops on Apple Watch bandwagon
Concurrent with the release of the Apple Watch, Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts announced partnerships with the new device. The Starwood app, which is aimed at Starwood Preferred guests, allows users to open their guestroom doors with the watch.
The six tribes of travelers
While this story doesn't directly deal with revenue strategies, it presents an interesting theory on the different kinds of travelers marketers need to recognize, decide their worth and sell as needed. The six tribes range from reward mongers, to simplicity travelers to ethical travelers and more.