This week’s OTA & Travel Distribution Update for the week ending September 22, 2017 is below. This week’s Update features a wide variety of stories on distribution, short-term rentals and loyalty programs.
Delta and Triposaver.com Settle Trademark Matter
("Delta Settles Fraud, TM Suit With Travel Website," Law360 - Hospitality )
Delta Airlines and Explorer Travel Consultants, Inc. (operator of Triposaver.com) presented last week to a New Jersey federal court a proposed settlement of Delta’s claims against the website operator and owner (Hiren Trivedi) arising out of their alleged use of Delta’s trademarks to mislead customers into believing that the website (and others) had a connection with Delta. The proposed settlement would bar the website owner and operator from using any Delta trademarks for the purpose of marketing air transportation or related services, including use of the marks as search engine keywords. For those of you interested, here are copies of Delta’s complaint and the proposed settlement agreement.
Airbnb and Resy Combine To Take On Open Table [SHORT-TERM RENTALS]
("Airbnb Takes Aim At OpenTable With Restaurant Reservations," Forbes News, September 20, 2017)
Responding to users’ requests to add restaurants to its rapidly growing short-term rental platform, Airbnb announced plans last week to integrate curated restaurant booking platform, Resy, in Airbnb’s application. The addition of restaurants lends further support to Airbnb’s previously announced holistic trip-planning initiative, Trips.
New Expedia CEO Weighs in on the Future of Expedia [OTA]
("Interview: New Expedia CEO Mark Okerstrom explains what’s next for the travel giant, with a surprise twist," GeekWire, September 19, 2017)
Those of you who regularly read our weekly distribution update are by now likely familiar with our local Seattle technology industry newsletter, Geekwire, and the unique perspective it often provides regarding several of Seattle’s technology-based travel companies. Last week, Geekwire sat down with new Expedia CEO, Mark Okerstrom, for one of his first interviews since taking the helm of the Seattle online travel giant. Highlights of the interview include (a) Mark’s belief (like his predecessor) that AI and voice-interactive devices will have a significant role in travel, (b) Mark’s view that Booking.com is Expedia’s largest rival (no surprise there) and (c) Mark’s bullish perspective on Expedia’s continued growth, though recognizing that the growth is unlikely to occur through future M&A activity (as in years past).
Why Hilton’s loyalty program wants to take you shopping at Amazon.com
Tnooz News Feed, September 19, 2017
Members of Hilton Hotels’ loyalty program, Hilton Honors, have a new way to use their points: paying for all or part of a purchase from online retailer giant Amazon. All Hilton Honors members are eligible, and there are no restrictions on what they can purchase. To use Shop With Points, members must complete a one-time link of their Hilton Honors accounts to their Amazon.com accounts. Tnooz News Feed on Sep 19, 2017
New accounting standards call attention to OTA revenue
Law360 - Commercial Contracts, September 19, 2017
Starting on 1 January 2018, there will be several changes to the accounting and financial reporting standards that will impact the hotel industry. Owners and operators need to prepare now to ensure these accounting changes don’t negatively impact their bottom lines. One of the changes to the accounting standards is on revenue recognition—specifically how revenues from online travel agencies should be recognized.
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.