What a week!
Accor acquire AvailPro, Google move into package holidays - oh, and did we mention that a little startup called Triptease secured $9m in Series B funding?
MONDAY 3RD APRIL: Travelzoo closes search business, sells Fly.com domain
On Monday, we heard that Travelzoo's venture into metasearch territory had come to an end. The deals publisher didn't manage to establish themselves as a competitor to Kayak and Skyscanner, and on March 31st sold the Fly.com domain to an undisclosed buyer. It's got to hurt: the domain was bought for $1.76 million in 2009.
TUESDAY 4TH APRIL: Google moves into package deals in Europe
Tuesday's big news came from Google. Adding another string to their seemingly endless bow, the internet giants announced this week that they would be trialling a package holidays product in the European market. The company say that this marks the first time a major metasearch engine has tried its hand at dynamic packaging (letting travellers custom-build their own holiday bundles).
These packages will be offered in the logistics module of Google Destination pages, and will pull rates from major providers like Lufthansa and Air Berlin. The service is currently being trialled in Europe - the first time that Google have released a product in Europe before other markets. Make sure you check out the Triptease view on how hoteliers can implement dynamic packaging themselves.
WEDNESDAY 5TH APRIL: Accor acquires Availpro
Accor show no signs of slowing down their rapid-fire acquisition streak. This week, they acquired Availpro - a channel manager with over 6,500 clients. The move takes Accor closer to the goal outlined by Steven Daines, CEO of New Business: the establishment of the first B2B services division focused on hoteliers in Europe. Availpro joins Fastbooking in Accor's digital services decision, and follows hot on the heels of the chain's acquisition of VeryChic - an online deals platform for leisure breaks.
THURSDAY 6TH APRIL: Triptease announce $9m Series B funding!
We did it! On Thursday we shared the news that we have secured $9m in Series B funding, in an investment round led by BGF Ventures. BGF join Notion Capital and Episode 1 Ventures on the Triptease journey, and we couldn't be happier to have them on board. We'll be using the investment to do lots of exciting things - opening an Asian office is top of our list, as well as hiring over forty excellent Teasers and, of course, adding even more exciting features to our Direct Booking Platform. Here's to the future - and we're just excited as Notion's Chris Tottman to get started!
FRIDAY 7TH APRIL: EU Commission criticises travel websites for displaying misleading information
Today, the Commission published its report into the online hotel bookings market. The Consumer Protection Cooperation body assessed the sector in October 2016, in an investigation covering 28 European countries. The CPC looked at a total of 352 accommodation, transport and comparison websites. They criticised the sites for misleading consumers: in one third of cases, the first price shown was not the same as the final price to pay, while in a quarter of cases the scarcity prompts misled consumers as to true availability.
The report also revealed that 47% of the hotels surveyed across ten Member States did not know that Booking.com and Expedia had recently changed or removed their parity clauses. Of those hotels who did know about the change (from wide to narrow parity clauses), the majority said that they had not acted upon them in any way. Reasons given for not price differentiating between OTAs included: not seeing a reason to treat OTA partners differently; being afraid of penalisation by the OTAs; and the difficulty of managing different prices on different OTAs.
Have you seen the commission's report? Was it surprising to you? Get in touch with your thoughts - we love to hear from hoteliers big and small.