Priceline is increasing its stake in Chinese OTA Ctrip with a USD250m investment. More
Sydney's Westin Hotel has sold for $445m – or about $1m a room – to two companies controlled by Singapore's Ng family – Far East Organisation and Sino Group. More
Well, Google's forecast mobile apocalypse has been and gone and nothing much has changed. "It was much ado about nothing really!" said search marketing expert Mark Baartse. More
Malaysia Airlines was today placed into voluntary administration as part of a restructuring process that will see the government-owned carrier relaunched with a 'new business model' and tweaked name on September 1. “I assure you our operations are very much business as usual," said CEO Christoph Mueller.
The stark, contrasting fortunes of the internet were amply demonstrated this week when, hours after after news broke that restaurant booking and review platform, Dimmi, had been bought by TripAdvisor, rival site Eatability.com.au announced it will close on June 30, less than three years after it was bought by Optus for $6m. More
What is it with the Australian middle class and skiing?
The Jackson Hole marketing roadshow rolled through Sydney yesterday with communications manager Anna Cole revealing that far-flung Australia is now its 2nd biggest market behind New York state.
Uber drivers in Australia will now have to pay 10% goods and service tax on every dollar they earn but Airbnb hosts have avoided the tax axe despite having a similar business model and being the second pillar of the so-called sharing economy. More
Nomads Adventure Co has bought all assets of Base Backpackers – including 14 hostels and a couple of well-known bars – to create Australasia's 2nd largest youth accommodation group behind YHA. More
Snowy Mountains Tourism has launched a $350,000, 100% digital winter marketing campaign – 'Go Snowhere Else' – targetting first-time skiers and boarder, families and 'young groups of friends'. More
Freshly liberated Tigerair Australia – now 100% owned by Virgin Australia – is undergoing a tech revamp after years of under-investment. It's started rolling out a new mobile airport check-in system and is preparing to launch what it claims will be Australia's best airfare booking engine later this month. More
Sabre Corporation, which already owns 35% of the Asian Global Distribution System, Abacus International, last night confirmed it will buy the remaining 65% from a consortium of 11 regional airlines for USD411m. More
Expedia has become the first major online travel agent to launch a loyalty program in Australia. Expedia+ is free to join and members can earn points on bookings across flights, hotels, packages and hire cars made though Expedia.com.au. Click for details.
The battle for the growing number of Australian skiers, highlighted by the recent acquisition of Perisher by Vail Resorts, has intensified with Thredbo announcing it's just become the first full 'international member' of the Mountain Collective, a marketing alliance of 16 high-profile North American ski resorts. More
TripAdvisor may be struggling to increase profit due to higher costs and a stronger USD, but when it comes to attracting visitors, the review/meta-search website has no industry peer with a staggering 340m average monthly unique users for the first quarter, according to Google Analytics – a lift of 31% year on year. More
TravelClick today announced that three of Asia Pacific's leading hotel groups – Shangri-La, Meritus and Pan Pacific – have signed up for its Demand360 business intelligence product. More
Amadeus and InterContinental Hotels Group will collaborate on the development of a community, cloud-based Guest Reservation System (GRS) that they claim will "revolutionise the technological foundations of the global hospitality industry". More
Mantra Group has won a bidding war to secure management letting rights for Soul Surfers Paradise. More than 20 parties expressed interest in the 77-level beachfront tower, which in the hands of receivers. More
Airlines and other big travel companies could be among those hardest hit by Google's so-called 'Mobilegeddon' changes to mobile search criteria, two of Australia's leading search marketing experts have warned. More
Wotif.com – which Expedia bought for AUD703m last November – is still to hit stride under its new owner after transitioning to a new platform and user interface over the past couple of months. More
Travel search engine Wego claims to have doubled its Middle East user base in the past year and is generating partner sales worth USD720m a month. "More than 75% of the bookings Wego drives in Middle East North Africa start on a mobile device," it says.
Cranky Frank Sinatra sang that if you can make it in New York, well, you can make it anywhere.
True, however imagine trying to make it – in a big way – from New Zealand; remote, population 4.6m - much tougher, surely.
But not impossible, as two NZ travel tech companies are demonstrating.
Online Republic, an online travel agent, and Serko, which builds and markets corporate travel management software, are proof that geographic isolation is no impediment to success. More
Vacation rental market leader HomeAway may have missed its first quarter profit targets, but says it had a "blockbuster" three months in terms of converting property owners to e-commerce. More
Booking.com has agreed to loosen its stance on rate parity, allowing hotels to offer better deals through other OTAs in Europe – but not on their own sites, which for most hoteliers wanting to drive direct traffic is the core issue. See announcement.
Booking.com has become the first OTA to launch an Apple Watch app.
"Booking Now is the first and only travel app to enable users to book a stay directly from their watch," the company claimed today.
Massive hype surrounds the the Apple Watch, which will be available in Australia from this Friday, April 24.