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.

Dithering NSW Politicians Stall Airbnb Decision

After more than 18 long months of deliberation, which included a public inquiry into short-term accommodation, NSW politicians have copped out and today delayed a decision on setting legal parameters for the likes of Airbnb and Stayz. The reason cited is that 18 months isn’t enough, they need more time to consult. A spine more like it.

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.

Upcoming Events:

No Vacancy Changes It Up

Exciting times ahead for No Vacancy, founded in 2007, which has been acquired by National Media from founder Martin Kelly, who also publishes

The new era kicks off with No Vacancy - The Accommodation Business Expo at Sydney’s new International Convention Centre on July 17-18, 2018.

“We’ll be taking No Vacancy to another level, combining high quality content with a large trade show featuring up to 150 exhibitors across all verticals, transforming it into the business hub of Australia’s accommodation industry,” says Harvey.

He says the accommodation industry is worth more than $18 billion to the Australian economy. “Yet surprisingly, given the size of the industry there is no dedicated exhibition designed to meet all its needs.”

“No Vacancy - The Accommodation Business Expo will fill this void and offer hoteliers and other accommodation industry professionals a platform to discover products and ideas to optimize their properties, create amazing guest experiences and ultimately boost their profits.”

Historically No Vacancy has been very much an accommodation marketing conference, but the new look exhibition will embrace all aspects of the accommodation business.

Content is still central to the event and will be expanded upon with more topics, more sessions and more speakers.

The exhibition will showcase the best quality suppliers across design and decor, property management, operations and finance, housekeeping, spa and leisure, in-room and guest-facing technology, and marketing, distribution and reservation solutions.

“We are really excited about where we can take No Vacancy and look forward to working closely with the community that's been supporting the event since 2007,” said Harvey.

For more information, contact:

Mark Harvey, MD, National Media
Phone: +61 7 5510 5101  //  0419 775 488


TRAVELtech Australia 2018

Returning in 2018

Change is the only constant in travel and so it is with TRAVELtech, which will be returning early in the second quarter of 2018.

The event has been bought by National Media - one of Australia's most respected event management companies - from founder Martin Kelly, who also publishes

Kelly says he’s happy TRAVELtech is in good hands and will remain connected in a programming and moderation role.

“I’ve really enjoyed creating and running TRAVELtech but it was time to step aside and let someone else with the capacity to accelerate their evolution take it on,” says Kelly.

He will now focus on further developing, while also consulting to travel companies on communications, innovation, industry trends and strategy.

Mark Harvey from National Media says TRAVELtech, founded in 1999, will evolve into a much larger event.

"We have plans for become the main exhibition and conference in Asia Pacific for travel technology buyers, travel agencies, tour operators and transport professionals to source, learn and network," he says.

"It will bring together a large selection of specialist suppliers showcasing the latest innovations across distribution, reservation, business operation and sales and marketing."

For more information, contact:

Mark Harvey, MD, National Media
Phone: +61 7 5510 5101  //  0419 775 488