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Posts from September 2019.

Fall has definitely arrived here in the Pacific Northwest. This week’s OTA & Travel Distribution Update is below and features stories on TripAdvisor, Booking.com, Vacasa and the soon-to-be-effective, Strong Customer Authentication (SCA). Enjoy.

TripAdvisor Continues to Defend Claims of Fake Reviews
("TripAdvisor defends itself against claim that up to one in seven reviews might be fake," CNN Recent News on Sep 6, 2019)
It seems that every few months we hear claims that some material portion of TripAdvisor’s many guest reviews are suspect. The latest claim comes from UK consumer group Which? Travel, which claims that 1 in 7 reviews for the 10 top ranked hotels in 10 global destinations is fake. According to Which? Travel, it evaluated nearly 250,000 reviews for the top ranked hotels and found “blatant hallmarks” of fake reviews. What is perhaps most troubling about this latest claim, is that many of hotels identified by Which? Travel as benefitting from these allegedly fake reviews had been previously identified by TripAdvisor as using fake reviews within the past year (and in some cases, even penalized for the reviews). Hotels located in the Middle East and Las Vegas were identified as likely being some of the worst culprits.

Ettsa demands Europe-wide harmonisation of hotel booking rules
Travel Weekly (UK) - News on Aug 30, 2019
The European technology and Travel Services Association (Ettsa) has demanded EU regulators enforce tighter standards “on all players” in the accommodation-booking sector. Ettsa welcomed new standards imposed on the sector by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) which come into force on September 1.

Scalability is Key to Driving Adoption of New Distribution Capability Standards
Skift Travel News on Aug 28, 2019
New Distribution Capability (NDC) standards, introduced by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) promise to enable smarter retailing through indirect distribution channels such as Global Distribution Systems (GDS). This means that GDSs will be able to show and sell offers that can be branded, differentiated with rich content, and personalized to drive higher conversions.

Those hidden resort fees you hate paying? Travel websites fight back
LA Times - Business News on Aug 27, 2019
Hotel resort fees have drawn the ire of attorneys general for Nebraska and the District of Columbia as well as travel rights groups because they often aren’t disclosed upfront, making travelers think they’re getting a better deal than they really are.

Spirit Airlines wants travelers to book flights via text message
CNBC Business News on Aug 26, 2019
Discount carrier Spirit Airlines is planning to roll out next month booking services via text message, allowing travelers to buy flights and change reservations through text messaging platform WhatsApp — with almost as much ease and informality as organizing happy hour drinks.
 

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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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