This week’s Update includes additional background information regarding the ongoing resort fee saga, which many of you requested. Enjoy.
Resort Fees – Part Two
Many of you have reached out over the past week to ask for more information on the pending litigation targeting Marriott and the events that led up to the claims. We’ve attached copies of the Marriott complaint as well as the FTC report on resort fees that was issued back in January 2017. Please let us know if anyone has questions or would like more information.
This week’s Update features a variety of topics – OTAs, short-term rentals and loyalty. Enjoy.
The Rising Importance of Metasearch
("How metasearch became the most important marketing channel in travel," Phocus Wire on Jul 10, 2019)
Online marketing spend data reported this past week by European-based Mirai demonstrates the growing influence of metasearch. Highlights from the report include the following.
- Prior to 2017, keyword-based display advertising on Google, Bing and other search engines captured the majority of online marketing investments.
- That phenomenon changed in 2017, when investments in metasearch for the first time exceeded traditional display advertising. Since that time, the amount of investment in metasearch has continued to grow.
- Among the many available travel-oriented metasearch platforms, Google (Google Hotel Ads) is the clear favorite (75% of metasearch investment). Google’s success can be attributed to its ever evolving (and improving product), the subtle integration of search and Google Hotel Ads and the ever-expanding influence of Book on Google.
This week’s travel-shortened OTA & Travel Distribution Update features two stories detailing two recently announced unique partnerships, one between Accor and Air-France-KLM and the other between Expedia and Lufthansa. We also update the status on Booking.com’s continually evolving plans to charge commissions on resort fees and other similar service charges. Enjoy.
Booking Holdings Delays Charging Hotels Resort Fee Commissions in Major Reversal
Skift Travel News on Jul 2, 2019
Booking Holdings, which had announced it would begin charging hotels in the United States commission on their resort fees, has delayed implementing the new policy, Skift exclusively learned. The company, which owns brands including Booking.com, Priceline, Agoda and Kayak, is considering delaying the new commissions until January 1, according to multiple sources. The tentative new schedule for implementation — if the company goes through with it all — is subject to change. It is believed that Booking Holdings could be using the pause to reevaluate the whole policy.
This week’s Update highlights two additional countries’ efforts to investigate alleged abuses by powerful global online platforms, including widely used online travel platforms. Enjoy.
Indian and South Korean Regulators Examine Practices of Online Platforms
("Competition issues in e-commerce the focus of study by Indian antitrust regulator," MLex Insight on Jun 28, 2019)
Regulators in India and South Korean separately announced plans last week to study the practices of global ecommerce platforms (including those serving the travel industry) and their effect on local competition. Both studies include examinations of the relevant markets and the business models and practices, including contracting practices, of the largest players. Initial results of these studies are expected as early as the end of August.
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.