September 30, 2016

Seven themes shaking up travel and hospitality


In a week where the Marriott-Starwood deal concludes and Amazon Alexa forays into the UK with Skyscanner integrated as its flight search engine, here are some other big picture trends.

Mega acquisitions, new distribution channels, driving loyalty, pricing dilemmas, the rise of ‘super host’ and building revenue from tours and activities are just some of themes to emerge from interviews and research in the run up to EyeforTravel, North America next month. Here we outline seven of those trends which we will be analysing more closely in the coming weeks.

1. Competition continues to drive consolidation

In this fluid and competitive environment, firms are looking for ways to fill gaps in their armour through mergers, acquisitions or partnerships. This week’s big news is that the Chinese Ministry of Commerce has finally given Marriott and Starwood the nod to conclude this hotel mega-deal before the market opens this Friday. Perhaps not on the same scale, but an interesting move nevertheless, last week travel and expense management platform Concur announced that it would acquire travel search start up Hipmunk. Though numbers aren’t being disclosed what is clear is that Concur, which has also invested in TripIt, ExpenseIt and Cleartrip, is looking to improve its search functionality and the customer experience. In Atlanta, future consolidation of the industry will be a core theme and the biggest question of all remains unanswered - could June rumours of a tie up between Priceline and TripAdvisor be the last frontier? What will Todd Henrich, SVP Corporate Development, Priceline and 
Ed Lang, Director - Corporate & Business Development, Tripadvisor have to say in their keynote address next month?

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