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OTA & Travel Distribution Update - Jan. 20th, 2017

Our weekly client OTA & Travel Distribution Update for the week ending January 20, 2017 is below.  Not a lot of significant developments this past week, but next week’s Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) in Los Angeles may produce a few interesting announcements.  If you are attending ALIS and interested in connecting, shoot me an email.  

  • Yet Another New Travel Company with Pedigree [CORPORATE TRAVEL].  With a list of lauded benefits too long to detail here, Priceline founder Jay Walker announced this past week the launch of Upside.com.  Targeting small and medium sized businesses, Upside.com purports to provide business travelers with bundled rates (air and room) 10-15% lower than any other publicized rates with the added personal benefit of a free gift card (in an amount reflective of the savings achieved by the traveler by booking through Upside) for the traveler for each booking made.  It will be interesting to see whether this new entrant in the increasingly crowded corporate travel segment will gain any traction. 
  • The Trump Effect [SHORT-TERM RENTALS].  I included this article not because I believe that Dara Kerr, CNET or CBS has any particular insight, but to add to the conversation that I’ve had with many of you regarding the likely effect that the new Trump administration will have on the travel and lodging industries.  I thought this piece did a particularly good job of looking at particular aspects of the new administration – proposed appointees, views on regulation and taxes, etc.  While this article lumps the three most notable sharing-economy companies together (Uber, Lyft and Airbnb), I personally believe that Trump’s own personal interests in the lodging industry may lead to slightly different perspectives on sharing-economy companies outside the lodging industry (e.g. Uber and Lyft) versus those operating inside (and potentially disrupting) the lodging industry.  I welcome everyone’s thoughts on this one . . . 
  • Booking.com Expands Its Payment Processing Power [OTAs].  Electronic payment processor, Ingenico ePayment, and Booking.com announced last week that Ingenico has been selected by Booking.com to expand its electronic payment processing capability for pre-paid bookings.  According to the announcement, it is becoming increasingly important for Booking.com to offer travelers payment options at the time of booking, rather than forcing them to pay upon arrival or departure (which for years was one of Booking.com’s key differentiators from rival, Expedia).  Look for your next Booking.com agreement to add this new payment alternative.


Upside.com, the New Travel Company from Priceline Founder Jay Walker, Launches a Revolutionary New Way to Buy Business Travel
Upside.com, launching today, is the groundbreaking online travel company that is changing the game for buying business travel. Using Upside, travelers at small and medium-sized businesses can save 10-15% over the lowest published air and hotel prices available anywhere.
IT Briefing News
Jan 16, 2017

How will Uber, Lyft and Airbnb fare under Trump? On-demand companies and the incoming president see eye-to-eye on regulation, but on issues like jobs and trade, things get a little sticky CBS News - Science/Tech Headlines on Jan 20, 2017

Booking.com Teams Up with Ingenico ePayments to Boost Global Payments Acceptance Press Release Amsterdam, 20 January 2017 Ingenico ePayments, the online and mobile commerce division of Ingenico Group, today announced that it has signed an agreement to provide global payment processing and conversion optimization services to Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travelers with the widest choice of incredible places to ... Financial Buzz on Jan 20, 2017





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    Greg Duff founded and chairs the firm’s national Hospitality, Travel and Tourism group. Greg’s practice is directed at the variety of operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality and travel industry members, including ...

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Greg Duff, Editor
Greg Duff founded and chairs GSB’s national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism group. His practice largely focuses on operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality industry members, including sales and marketing, distribution and e-commerce, procurement and technology. Greg also serves as counsel and legal advisor to many of the hospitality industry’s associations and trade groups, including AH&LA, HFTP and HSMAI.

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