Travel AdWords Costs To Surge as Google Ends Trademark

An online travel advertising free-for-all is looming in Australia and New Zealand with Google declaring it will no longer protect trademark for suppliers on AdWords, opening the door for online travel agents to bid on hotels, airlines and tour operator brand names – a move that will force up advertising costs and turn partners into competitors or "frenemies". More 

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Wotif Sells To Expedia for $703 million

Online travel agent Wotif looks to have stitched up a deal to sell its entire operation to global giant Expedia for AUD703 million, or AUD3.30 a share. Company directors and co-founders, Graeme Wood and Andrew Brice, who between them control 35% of Wotif stock, support the deal, making a counter-bid unrealistic and therefore unlikely. (Check back for a detailed analysis later today).

Tiger Tanks as Lacklustre Market Hurts Virgin Performance

The recurring theme of 'weak domestic consumer sentiment" has once again been cited by a travel company when announcing slower than expected growth. On this occasion it was Virgin Australia. During May it said domestic business was up slightly, international flights did quite well but the company's low cost carrier Tigerair Australia under-performed, with revenue load factor falling 15%. More 

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Follow The Numbers – Boomers and Families Lead the Way

Demographer Bernard salt
Bernard Salt

Baby boomers and families – these will be Australia's fastest growing social groups for the next seven or eight years at least, and therefore the place to look for future business opportunities.

So says Australia's best-know demographer Bernard Salt from KPMG. For leisure travel, he believes the biggest driver will be the 70+ age group, aka the infamous baby boomers. More 

Mirvac, NRMA Sell Travelodge Asian Brand Rights for $3m

Rights to the Travelodge hotel brand in 22 markets throughout Asia-Pacific, excluding Australia and New Zealand, have been acquired by ICP, a Singaporean company that makes and markets semi-conductors.

ICP paid AUD3 million for the brand to an Australian-based joint venture between Mirvac and NRMA, who have clearly ditched plans to grow the brand themselves. More 

Lifeline for ABS Tourism Accommodation Data

Extra funding has been found to support the Survey of Tourism Accommodation – which monitors the performance of 8000 Australian properties –  for the next year but its long-term future remains in doubt. Minister for Trade and Tourism, Andrew Robb, said Austrade would fund the research for 2014-15. More 

Upcoming Events

No Vacancy Bali - August 29, 2014


Book Now, Time's Running Out

Where: W Retreat and Spa Bali
When: Friday, August 29, 2014
Program: Click for details
Bookings: AUD449 standard rate

Book now for the first-ever No Vacancy Bali, which being staged next Friday, August 29.

It'is a fast-moving, issues-based one-day accommodation industry featuring excellent speakers (see below) and a focussed program that lifts the lid on Asia's hottest accommodation market. 

Confirmed speakers:

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TRAVELtech Conference 2014


Where: Sheraton, Sydney
When: Friday, October 24, 2014
Program: Click for details
Bookings: AUD499 + gst Early Bird

Tickets are now on sale for TRAVELtech 2014, the central theme of which is innovation - "finding a better way of doing something"...

The program has just been revealed while lots of great local and international speakers are already been confirmed, with more on the way.

  • Mike Boyd, CEO, VroomVroomVroom
  • Peter Bradd, Entrepreneur in Residence, Fusion Labs
  • Elise Chang, Marketing, Partnership & Leisure Sales Director, Thrifty
  • Luke Crawford, Director, tripbooka
  • Michael Curry, Manager Digital Innovation, Qantas Airways Limited
  • Michael Daley, Team Lead – Research, Experian Hitwise
  • Brad Gurrie, Managing Director, Travelzoo Australia
  • Rakesh Hegde, Founder & CEO, Rezopia
  • Anthony Hynes, Managing Director and CEO, eNett
  • Richard Ings, CEO & Co-Founder, Troopr
  • Simon Lenoir, Founder, Rezdy
  • Ross McDonald, Industry Head – Travel & Tourism, Google Australia
  • Georg Ruebensal, Managing Director, Expedia Australia
  • Andy Sleigh, GM Asia-Pacific, Skyscanner
  • Graham Turner, CEO & Managing Director, Flight Centre
  • Clement Wong, CEO, BeMyGuest

Please get in touch if you'd like to contribute an idea, speak or sponsor.

Gold Sponsors:

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Book $499 + gst Early Bird Rate

No Vacancy Australia 2015

No Vacancy Australia returns to Sydney on March 26, 2015

Get set for No Vacancy Australia 2015.

The date has just been set and the venue confirmed.

More news in the coming months.

Any thoughts or ideas, please contact Martin Kelly.

Still reading?

Then check out this lively sizzle reel from 2014 to get a feel for the event.