Distribution

Italy investigates Booking.com over €150m of unpaid VAT

Jul 25, 2019 / Booking.com
Shutterstock
Shutterstock

The move underscores growing concern among governments across the globe as to how to best adapt to an increasingly digital hospitality sector.

Italian authorities are investigating whether Booking.com is liable for at least €150m in unpaid VAT on holiday rentals made through its platforms, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The probe concerns VAT on payments between individuals for rental properties advertised by the online travel agent. It does not concern professionally run hotels booked through the website, which are already registered to pay the tax.

Distribution

Why is Airbnb still missing the mark with corporate event planners?

Jul 25, 2019 / Airbnb
Airbnb
Airbnb

Although Airbnb has increasingly become a go-to option for work travel, event planners tend to stick with traditional hotel room blocks.

Airbnb has rapidly become central to the world of corporate travel, a major feat in an industry that is often resistant to change.

Airbnb for Work launched in 2014, and now over 500,000 companies use it for travel. It offers centralized billing tools, notes for expensing purposes, and company administration dashboards, as well as options to book meeting spaces and team-building experiences.

Airbnb for Work has made attempts to crack into the event industry, including releasing a tool for meeting planners and group travelers and acquiring event space booking tool Guest, but the impact has been small.

Distribution

Agoda's “Mix and Save” program generates mixed response from hoteliers

Jul 25, 2019 / Agoda
Agoda
Agoda

While Agoda promotes “Mix and Save” as a breakthrough, hoteliers are still coming to grips with what it really means for them down.

“Mix and Save” gives customers the option to split their reservation into multiple bookings and helps them to maximize savings when they search between two and 14 nights stay at any of its two million properties worldwide.

Agoda says that in turn, accommodation providers will benefit from being able to optimize the use of rooms sold.

The response from hotels and distribution providers was mixed, with one expressing outrage at what it could do to revenue management in a hotel to another saying this could be a risky strategy for Agoda, while one hotelier called it clever.

Business Travel

TravelPerk launches flexible refunds to help businesses save on cancelled trips

Jul 25, 2019 / TravelPerk
TravelPerk
TravelPerk

Business travel booking platform TravelPerk is launching a new product it hopes will make customers keep singing its praises by shaving further friction off of programming work trips.

The Barcelona-based SaaS startup has been on a mission to make booking business travel suck less since 2015 - bagging around $133 million in VC in the process. It’s now saying it wants to surpass the flexibility and convenience of consumer travel, which is the driving force behind today’s launch, according to co-founder and CEO Avi Meir.

“The offer is actually very simple,” he says. “We want to give business travelers unprecedented flexibility to cancel and get a refund on any booking - hotels, trains, Airbnb, cars, and flights - without any hassle.”

Digital Marketing

How to drive direct bookings through rooms and special offers copy

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Shutterstock

Learn how to choose the right words to simplify decision-making, convey the information that your guests really need, and utilize a handful of conversion-focused tactics.

The modern day travel shopper has a world of choice at their fingertips. In minutes, they can research accommodation options using an array of OTAs, metasearch platforms, and hotel websites.

In this crowded space, how can your own hotel capture its share of direct bookings? One way is to optimize the copy on your website’s rooms and special offers pages. After all, this is where guests focus a great deal of their (limited) attention when they compare different properties.