Business Travel

Hotel companies' investment in meetings sourcing platform raises antitrust concerns

Aug 28, 2019 / Meeting Planners

After Accor, Hilton, InterContinental Hotels Group and Marriott International pooled together $50 million to invest in meetings technology platform Groups360, some in the managed travel industry voiced concerns.

The hotels' Groups360 transaction is the resurrection of StarCite in terms of structure," the person said, referring to the meetings management technology. Many of the major hotels were on the board of StarCite, and surprise, surprise, they discussed rates."

The owner of another industry technology product was told by a group sales rep from a hotel that if the technology company wanted inventory from that hotel company, it soon will have to go through Groups360. "By its essence, it's an anti-competitive stance," the technology owner said. "If five different suppliers say, 'You now have to go through this other place that we own and we'll control the terms and distribution and fees and prices there,' then that's just antitrust. I'm surprised their lawyers didn't catch that before they got into the deal."

Related: Global hotel brands create online marketplace for meetings

Reputation Management

Are TripAdvisor and other travel companies censoring their reviews?

Aug 28, 2019 / TripAdvisor

Many travelers rely heavily on online reviews to make decisions. But what happens when some of those reviews turn out to be bogus?

Rating sites and online agencies can remove or refuse to publish a review for many reasons. What's more, the process is often opaque – which is to say, the site may or may not notify you and explain why it pushed the "delete" button.

The problem isn't that this practice occurs. These are, after all, businesses that have the right to publish whatever they want.

Instead, it's that they often present themselves as trusted resources that will help you "know better." But if reviews are indiscriminately deleted, are travelers getting the full picture? Maybe, maybe not.


Thomas Cook to sell majority stake to China's Fosun

Aug 28, 2019 / Thomas Cook

Troubled travel firm Thomas Cook says it has agreed a rescue deal with investor Fosun Tourism, its banks and a majority of its bondholders.

The UK tour operator said in July it was working to secure new investment from Fosun, a major shareholder. The new deal would see the Chinese group take control of the business at the expense of other shareholders.

Fosun will put in £450m in return for at least 75% of the tour business and 25% of the group's airline.

Revenue Management

Revenue management: is it time to get evangelical?

Aug 28, 2019 / Data

Delivering a great customer experience is one thing, and of course that is fundamental to any hospitality business. But delivering a great customer experience doesn’t necessarily equate with revenue on the table.

conversations are currently underway about the possibility for hotels to unbundle products in a similar way to the airlines, as outlined in a recent study commissioned by IHG and Amadeus. In other words, a hotel customer could choose everything from WIFI and breakfast to feather pillows and a sea view from a drop-down menu and be charged accordingly.

However, in order to speak to customers in a highly relevant, personal and conversational way, companies need a lot of data. And, customers are only going to be willing to hand over that data in a ‘social contract’ that involves some value to them – as Amazon has proved.

Business Travel

A hotelier’s guide to optimizing big-event revenue

Aug 28, 2019 / IDeaS (sponsored)

If not planned and executed well, hotels may risk displacing existing loyal guests, and flawed pricing strategies could lead to a half-empty hotel and high rates ofno-showss.

To properly prepare for a major event, hoteliers need to consider a variety of factors, including effective marketing and sales strategies, pricing, and forecasting as well as booking policies and restrictions.

To provide guidance to hoteliers on how to plan strategically and maximize revenues when the big game comes to town, IDeaS conducted an analysis and shares its findings and recommendations.