There's strong speculation that Oracle is set to buy hospitality technology leader, Micros Systems, in a deal that could be worth USD5 billion. The two businesses already work closely together but neither company has responded to the rumours. See Forbes story.
Once Amazon sold only books. Now it sells everything. Generically branded Priceline has its roots in online retail travel – booking.com, agoda.com, priceline.com etc – but a series of recent acquisitions indicates that may only be a platform from which it can diversify and grow. More
Hold the presses – a couple of people bought and sold Helloworld stock this morning: 2500 shares traded for 30 cents. This was the first trade in Helloworld since June 6 (10 days ago) when 2000 shares changed hands for 31.5 cents. Helloworld is Australia's #2 retail travel agency group with 675 stores. But right now it seems no-one cares… More
Middle East airline, Emirates, has just cancelled an order for 70 A350 Airbus aircraft worth an estimated USD16 billion. Imagine how it went down. Sorry, we've changed our minds, hope you don't mind. Airbus shares fell, as did those of Rolls Royce, which was supplying the engines. Head of sales at Airbus, John Leahy, reckons he has time to find replacement customers for the aircraft, due in 2019.
The phenomenal growth of the Australian cruise industry continued through 2013 with 20% growth in passengers, more than double the rate of any other major cruise market. More
Tony Ryan, one of Asia-Pacific's leading hospitality industry lawyers, believes that Online Travel Agents are "lazy business" for hotels, implying that accommodation operators should be working harder to drive higher-yielding direct bookings. More
Flight Centre will still make a record profit of $370m-$380m this financial year despite slowing leisure travel sales, Managing Director Graham Turner said today. More
The day was dragging, the conference panel dawdling, then someone in the audience raised the burning issue of Brand Bali: are historic images of peaceful rice paddies and pristine beaches – well, just a little out of date? More
Australia's hotel industry has slammed news that the Australian Bureau of Statistics is scrapping the Survey of Tourist Accommodation – which tracks the performance of accommodation providers – following funding cuts of $50 million over the next three years.
“If we are to continue attracting foreign investment into hotel and tourism infrastructure development in Australia, we require the most up to date and thorough statistics,” said Rodger Powell, Managing Director, Tourism Accommodation Australia. More
Travel distribution company Travelport has filed its intention to list with US authorities. Seeking Alpha says Travelport is looking to raise USD500 million. "The company hasn't been profitable since 2011, and proceeds will be used to repay some of the firm's $3.5B debt load." It's the second attempt to take Travelport public with a 2010 listing bid failing to generate sufficient interest.
The IPO of travel technology company Serko, which has been losing money for at least the past three years and is not expected to turn a profit for the next two, will make founders Darrin Grafton and Bob Shaw rich men. Each will hold shares worth at least NZD13.5 million if the float on the NZ stock exchange is successful (Update 10/6: money raised ahead of schedule). They will also retain control of the company with a 40% combined share. More
Wow, busy few days for news. Here are the highlights: Mantra Group confirms it's listing on the Australian Stock Exchange; Hilton Worldwide has launched a new brand, Curio; several airlines have agreed to trial IATA's controversial New Distribution Capability (NDC), Amadeus Ticket Changer has arrived in Asia Pacific; Qantas now has 10 million frequent flyer members and Air New Zealand has ordered 14 new aircraft. More
General Manager Damien Hanger said Star Ratings Australia will also for the first time incorporate consumer rating and reviews into its "official" assessments of Australian accommodation. More
The float of Mantra Hotels is back on after a previous bid to list on the Australian Stock Exchange was pulled in March. However, subsequent trade interest from the likes of rival Toga Hotels has encouraged Mantra's owners, UBS and CVC, to try again, according to a report in The Australian. The company is looking to raise AUD449 million. It manages 111 properties in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia.
Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts will be revealing a third new brand next week. "It will be very design-orientated, but it is going to be quite different, otherwise why roll out a new project," KP Ho, Banyan Tree's executive chairman, told The Australian. Five properties now under construction in Phuket, Bintan Island, Gold Coast Australia, Sri Lanka and China will carry the new badge. Currently Banyan Tree also operates Angsana Hotels and Resorts.
Accor, which I could have sworn was going asset-lite not so long ago, has just bought 97 hotels (12,838 rooms) for about €900 million through its subsidiary HotelInvest. The hotels comprise two portfolios with properties in Germany (67 hotels), the Netherlands (19) and Switzerland (11). Accor has adopted the try before you buy approach, operating all of the newly-acquired hotels in each portfolio for the past six or seven years.
A new suitor has emerged for iconic resort brand Club Méditerranée – already the target of Chinese-led partnership – while Sky News has reported that the board of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) rejected a £6 billion takeover offer, potentially from arch-rival Starwood Hotels and Resorts. More