It's been a long year or two and – like you – I need a break from the day to day. I've got a couple of other projects on the go and will be back at the writing desk in mid-February. Meanwhile enjoy the 3000+ stories on the site. Thanks for visiting. Martin Kelly, Publisher, TravelTrends.biz.
TripAdvisor v. Australia's richest man. A juicy headline, though not quite true. But there's no question TripAdvisor's credibility as a review site will be on trial when Meriton Serviced Apartments, owned by billionaire Harry Triguboff, challenges Australia's competition watchdog in the Federal Court of Australia next year. More
Qantas will launch the first non-stop passenger service between Australia and Europe in March 2018 , using the revolutionary 787-9 Dreamliner on the 14,498km route between Perth and London. More
All Dreamworld rides have been triple-checked for safety as the Gold Coast theme park prepares to reopen tomorrow. Dreamworld was shut on October 25 after four people were killed on the Thunder River Rapids ride. Management initially wanted to reopen just three days after the tragedy but wiser counsel prevailed.
The Chinese tourism boom has been given added impetus with Australia and China agreeing to an open aviation market, removing all capacity restrictions for airlines from each country. More
Best Western Australasia has added three new hotels, including the global group’s first upmarket ‘Plus’ branded property in New Zealand, while expanding coverage in the key Australian cities of Brisbane and Perth. The new properties are: More
Ten years ago SiteMinder co-founders Mike Ford and Mike Rogers saw a problem – and an opportunity. Product distribution was a nightmare at a Sydney hostel Mike Ford part-owned. Managing online travel agent bookings was slow, clumsy, labour-intensive, time-consuming.
There had to be a better way… More
Former Expedia exec Traci Mercer will lead Sabre Corporation's non-air business as senior vice president of hotel, car, cruise and rail. Mercer was with Expedia for many years, most recently managing its hotel relationships in Asia-Pacific, and also spent time at Hootsuite. One of Mercer's major tasks will be to define a strategic direction and ensure Sabre's tech development "meets distribution and e-commerce needs of this customer segment".
Tigerair is the latest Australian airline to stop pre-selecting extras such as insurance for its customers – without asking them – following similar moves over the past 24 hours by Virgin Australia and Jetstar. More
It's only a number after all. The takeover by Marriott International of Starwood Hotels & Resorts created an accommodation behemoth with 30 brands. The question has been – will they all stay? And the answer is that they will, for now at least. Marriott's Global Brand Officer Tina Edmundsen, pictured, says each brand is different enough to retain. Or maybe the the reality is that doing anything else is just too difficult right now. See her Bloomberg interview.
Australia is in the midst of its biggest hotel building boom since the 2000 Sydney Olympics but industry groups are confident the extra supply is sustainable and will be comfortably absorbed. More
Australia's corporate watchdog is taking Meriton Serviced Apartments to the Federal Court for "misleading or deceptive conduct in connection with the posting of reviews of its properties on TripAdvisor". More
It's a common refrain these days. Corporate leaders will say they are not in the business of whatever it is they produce. Uber says it is a digital rather than a transport company, for example. Now the Ford Motor Company is starting to seriously push the travel experiences their cars deliver rather than just focus on vehicle specs and price. More
Leading Chinese online travel agent Ctrip has bought travel meta-search site Skyscanner for about 1.4 billion pounds from its private equity owners. More
The rapid evolution of Webjet over the past year has been something to behold: acquisitions, expansion, creation of new businesses, the profitable sale of Zuji, strong hotel B2B growth and more.
Webjet has won a lot of investor kudos for these moves, profit is growing a rapid clip, and a high share price is the reward.
The shift in strategy was timely – and had to come, although it took a long while. Until quite recently the company, founded in 1998, was essentially a one trick pony. An airline booking engine charging and reliant on industry-high booking fees of up to $54.90 on airfares. More
Second generation upmarket hostels – dubbed 'Poshtels – are recording rapid growth in Southeast Asia and also out-performing budget hotels on room rate.
A new report from C9 Hotelworks says the sector has grown 42% over the past two years, More
My name is Tony Carne. I run Urban Adventures, a global local tours business that closely resembles Airbnb Trips, or as the global peer to peer accommodation powerhouse likes to say – "immersions". So with that in mind, here's my take on what the road ahead might look like for Airbnb as the business heads in a new direction. More
Hans Belle has left Sabre after 20 years to become the new Managing Director of AAT Kings, owned by The Travel Corporation.
He starts in January and replaces Anthony Hayes.
Belle was most recently Vice President and General Manager Asia Pacific of Sabre Holdings.
In a bid to increase revenue, travel search engine Rome2rio has accelerated its transition to an e-commerce site, signing multiple affiliate booking agreements with rail, bus and air operators.
This strategic shift from the site – which advises travellers on how best to get from A to B – will enable Rome2rio to better capitalise on its surging popularity. More
Webjet has poached Daryl Lee from market leader GTA to lead its new Asian wholesale business, the oddly named FIT Ruums.
Lee was previously Regional VP Sales and Marketing AMEA for GTA.
Webjet told Travel Daily it wants to make FIT Ruums “the strongest travel content aggregator and distributor in Asia".
Outrigger Hotels and Resorts has been sold to private equity company KSL Capital Partners, which is buying Outrigger's entire portfolio of 37 hotels, condominiums and resorts. Outrigger has been owned and operated by the Kelley family for 69 years. No price was disclosed and present management will be retained.
Helloworld has brought out the golden handcuffs, dangling a total of 768,000 'free' shares in front of its franchisees.
The catch is they can't be sold or transferred for two years – and only by franchisees who are still part of the HLO network when the shares come out of escrow on Oct 31, 2018.
HLO is now taking share applications.
AccorHotels has bought a 30% stake in the cool and edgy German group 25hours Hotels, which operates seven design-led properties in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Berlin, Vienna and Zurich. More
Record low airfares in several countries ate hitting the bottom line at Flight Centre, which says its consultants are working harder for less, resulting in a profit downgrade. More