All posts by Martin Kelly

And Then There Was One – HotelBeds Buys GTA

Logo - gtaHotelBeds is now the undisputed leader of the "traditional" online travel wholesale space (Online Travel Agents aside), after buying  its two main rivals – GTA and  Tourico. The GTA deal was announced on Friday and followed HotelBeds' Tourico acquisition in February. HotelBeds will retain all three brands with combined annual room nights sales in the region of an estimated 50m. Impressive, but to put this in context, the Priceline Group did 557m room nights in 2016.

Variety The Spice of Life For Hotelier Daniel Rosso

Daniel Rosso reclining 180x270No two days are the same for Daniel Rosso and that’s what he likes most about his role as GM at the Best Western Plus Hotel Stellar near Hyde Park in Sydney’s CBD.

One day he could be mopping out the basement car park after a summer rain storm, the next working on a long-term business plan for the distinctive 38-room property built in 1917.

Hospitality was an obvious career choice for Daniel, who emigrated to Australia from Uruguay as a 14-year-old with his family. More 

Mum's The Word For Travel Marketers

The new census reveals that the "typical" Australian is an English speaking 38-year-old mother with two kids, a husband, a three bedroom house in the suburbs and a mortgage. Meanwhile at the Mumbrella Travel Marketing Summit last week a panel agreed that mums are the major holiday decision makers.

So put two and two together and it's obvious who travel marketers with broad-based products should be targeting. However, they need to be careful and understand not all mums are the same.

Katrina McCarter
Katrina McCarter

Katrina McCarter, author of Marketing to Mums, says it would be a mistake to treat mothers as an homogeneous group.

She says that "mums want to hear from influential mums"and sees "Facebook Groups as being a significant opportunity"for marketers.

In an interesting aside, McCarter warned that the fastest way to put Millennial mums offside is to denigrate their partner.

Fellow panellists Kaye Fallick, Publisher Your Life Choices, and Kirsty Bloore, Senior Director – Research, Viacom, also agreed that mothers are the main decision makers followed by the kids and then dad.

BlablaCar Founder to Advise Flight Centre

Nicolas Brusson, BlablaCarBlablaCar founder Nicolas Brusson has joined Flight Centre's newly-created Digital Commerce Advisory Board, which also includes well-known US online strategist and investor Hugh Crean.

The board will be chaired by Atle Skalleberg, Flight Centre's Chief Digital Officer, and two new members will be added in the coming months.

Airbnb Launches 'Trips' In Australia But Misses The Mark By A Continent or Two

Airbnb has got to be kidding right? The company's just launched its much-hyped Trips product in Australia (three components: Places, Experiences, Homes) with an early focus on the Sydney market. The sales pitch is all about living like a local – and yet the first thing you see when you visit the Places page on its Australian website is an ad for men's grooming in Los Angeles:

Screengrab - Airbnb Places More 

Mantra Group Takeover Target for IHG?

There's stock market speculation that Australian accommodation group Mantra is in the sights of international investors as a takeover target, with InterContinental Hotels Group tipped as a potential buyer. Mantra's shares have almost halved in value since hitting a peak of $5.05 in late December, 2015, and are now at $2.70. It has 20,000+ rooms under management.

Rezdy Cash Injection to Fuel US Growth

Rezdy has raised A$2.4m to accelerate  growth in the United States. Investors include Bailador and the Microequities VC Fund. Rezdy is a tours/actvities reservations and distribution platform based in Sydney with a US office in Las Vegas. Moe than half its revenue is generated outside its home market.

Global Air Traffic Hits Six Year High In January

Airline passenger traffic demand grew almost 10% in January, the best result in six years. "2017 is off to a very strong start, with demand at levels not seen since 2011," said Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO of the International Air Transport Association. He attributed the rise to improvement in the global economy and a more "normal environment" after the terrorism and political ‘shock’ events seen in early 2016.