Huge Airbus, Boeing Orders Jet Propelled by Budget Carriers

Airbus has landed one of the biggest aircraft orders in history – 430 jets from from a group of low cost carriers, all connected to private equity group Indigo Partners. The airlines combined to get a better deal on the A320neo aircraft. Normally the jets would be worth almost US$50 billion but the group buy could cut 50% from the listed price. Meanwhile Boeing announced that Flydubai has agreed to buy up to 225 of its 737 Max aircraft, potentially worth US$27 billion.

TripAdvisor Tanking, More Visitors, Less Bookings

TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer still optimistic.

How the mighty have fallen. TripAdvisor is now in deep trouble with its transition to a hotel search and booking site going backwards with relentless momentum. Rubbing salt into the wound is the fact TripAdvisor has never been more popular as a review site (monthly visits exceed 455 million) and yet booking revenue is down.

Of major concern is that the steps taken by TripAdvisor’s leadership to turn its hotel business around – “a fresh new look”,  “streamlined hotel shopping experience” and  increased brand advertising – have actually accelerated the decline. More 

Political Crisis Fuels Demand For Canberra Hotels While Perth Tanks

A government in disarray has proved to be good business for Canberra hotels as lobbyists and politicians flock to the nation’s capital for reasons that still remain unclear. Consequently, Canberra has emerged as Australia’s most improved accommodation market with revenue per available room room increasing by almost 12% in the year to September 30, according to Savills Hotels. More 

Money On Tap For Tours & Activities – GetYourGuide Gets $75m

GetYourGuide has raised $US75 million just days after Asian tours  & activities rival Klook picked up $US60 million in a frenzy of fund-raising for the sector, which is clearly the hottest in travel from an investor perspective right now.  

“We are experiencing explosive growth this year and have stepped up to become the largest online booking platform for travel activities,” claimed Johannes Reck, CEO of GetYourGuide.

Reck says GetYourGuide, based in Berlin and strongest in Europe, recently breached the 10 million bookings mark, with almost 5 million bookings in 2017 alone. More 

Airbnb Takes The Donald Trump Approach Down Under

Brent Thomas, Airbnb

Airbnb is doing a Donald Trump Down Under – insulting, alienating and potentially making enemies of the people it should be working closely with simply because it can’t get what it wants.

The highlight so far has been the attack on NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian by Brent Thomas, the Head of Public Policy at Airbnb in Australia, who should be smoothing the way in the halls of power. More 

Tours and Activities App Klook Raises US$60 Million to Globalise

Klook founders Eric Gnock Fah (left) and Ethan Lin.

The phenomenal growth of Asian tours and activities booking platform Klook has hit warp speed with the Hong Kong company raising a further US$60 million to fund global expansion and product innovation.

Currently generating more than one million bookings a month, the vast majority through its mobile app, Klook has raised almost US$100 million – including US$30 million from Sequoia Capital China just eight months ago – since it was founded in 2014 by Ethan Lin and Eric Gnock Fah. More 

Hotel tech company Zuzu Hospitality Solutions Raises US$2 million

Dan Lynn and Vikram Malhi, co-founders of Zuzu

Hotel tech company Zuzu Hospitality Solutions has raised US$2 million in seed funding. The money will be primarily invested in its technology platform with a focus on improving revenue and account management functions.

It follows an earlier Angel raising of US$1 million. Zuzu targets independent economy hotels and has 150 clients so far. “Our model is working, now it’s time to grow,” Vikram Malhi, who co-founded Zuzu with Dan Lynn. More 

Surprise Move, Graham Hills Leaves Wego for BeMyGuest

Big news in the small but growing world of indigenous Singapore travel tech – BeMyGuest Labs, flush with recently raised funds, has poached Graham Hills from Wego, making him an offer he couldn’t refuse to become its new Chief Commercial Officer (also his title at Wego). 

BeMyGuest further strengthened its team by making respected Japanese entrepreneur Kei Shibata a board member. Hills, an Australian, joined Wego in 2011 and is best known for building the Indonesian business. He was also Chief Product Officer for a time. More 

South Koran Tourism Goes Into Nuclear Meltdown

North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-un, keeping an eye on the neighbours. His nuclear tests have scared away tourists.

South Korea’s tourism industry is in deep trouble with the nuclear threat of North Korea hitting visitor numbers hard, especially from the key Chinese market.

Meanwhile,  a hotel building boom has resulted in an incredible 369,000 hotels rooms coming online over the past two years. “Demand is not nearly keeping pace partly due to geopolitical tension in the region,” says industry data company STR. More 

Great Southern Land the First Dreamliner for Qantas

Qantas yesterday accepted delivery of the first of eight Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, which can fly further for longer than any other commercial aircraft.  Named Great Southern Land, features include larger windows, better air quality and ride dampening technology. It is quieter, more fuel efficient and less polluting than comparable aircraft. Qantas has confirmed two Dreamliner routes – Melbourne to Los Angles from December, and Perth to London next March, the first  first non-stop service between Australia and Europe.

Chinese Visits to Australia Surge During August

The surge in Chinese visitors to Australia accelerated during August with a 22.3% increase over the previous year, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures. This follows 18% growth in July, 11% in June, 8.2% in May and 7.5% in April.  Visits by Australians to China also grew strongly during the month by 15.2%. Italy (+16%) and Vietnam (+24.6%) were also popular with Australian travellers.

AccorHotels Buys Mantra Group for $1.3 Billion, Expands to 300+ Properties in ANZ

AccorHotels today announced it has agreed to buy Mantra Group for $1.3 billion. Mantra’s board unanimously accepted the Accor bid, priced at $3.96 a share, a 23% premium to the last closing price of $3.23. Mantra operates 127 hotels, resorts and apartments in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Hawaii across three key brands: Peppers (28 properties), Mantra (75 properties) and BreakFree (24 properties). It has more than 5,500 employees. AccorHotels says it operates 200+ properties pre-acquisition.

Asia Pacific Dominates Global Aviation Passenger Traffic

Global aviation passenger numbers during 2016 grew 7% over the previous year, reaching 3.8 billion. Once again Asia Pacific aviation dominated with 35% global share at 1.3 billion passengers, up 11.3% on 2015, according to the 2017 edition of the IATA World Air Transport Statistics (WATS), the yearbook of the airline industry’s performance. The top five city pairs were all in Asia, though US citizens fly more than any other nationality and three most popular airlines were all based in the United States. Highlights of the 2016 airline industry performance include: More 

Secret Escapes Raises US$111m, Acquisitions on the Agenda

Secret Escapes CEO Alex Saint

Secret Escapes Founder Alex Saint has flagged more acquisitions for the London-based luxury flash deals site after raising a further US$111m in cash and debt.

The Series D raising was led by Temasek, a Singapore Govt sovereign investment fund.

Existing investors Idinvest Partners and Silicon Valley Bank also participated, with cash and a debt facility respectively.   More 

Mobile First? Not In Australia, Where Big Screens Dominate Travel

Australian consumers love their mobile technology as much as any nation – except when it comes to researching and booking travel, according to new research from  Amadeus and YouGov. Here are the key regional findings:

“Australians under-utilise mobile technologies: Just 33% use a mobile for researching and 20% for booking a trip, compared to 54% and 46% respectively for APAC – most Aussies (81%) still do their travel research and booking on a laptop/desktop. Aussies also prefer email for updates/recommendations about their trip, while APAC travellers are more diverse in their preferences; including IM services, travel company apps and social media. More 

Best August Ever for Thai Hotels But New Supply a Future Threat

Thai hotels recorded their best-ever August occupancy rate at 81% while revenue per available room rose 6% over last year, according to STR.  The reason is simple – a record 3.13 visitors for the ‘low-season’ month.  But Thai hoteliers need to make hay while the sun shines. STR says Thailand has 100 hotel projects in the pipeline (21,615), equivalent to 11% of the country’s existing hotel supply.  

Forget the Gravy Train, Take Tigerair to Canberra

Low cost carrier Tigerair Australia has expanded its services on the rapidly evolving and historically high-yielding Canberra route,  where planes come stuffed with political fat cats and corporates, launching three return  services between Brisbane and the national capital each week. It’s also boosted its Melbourne-Canberra service by an extra weekly flight. Tigerair’s Canberra expansion is good for competition but not for yields.  Fares start at $49 ex-Melbourne and $69 ex-Brisbane.

- It's All About The Information - 

TravelTrends founder Martin Kelly has diversified and now also runs Bluewater Press, a communications and thought leadership consultancy with a particular expertise in travel. Services include:

- Strategic Communications
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Martin is a communications, public relations and media professional with extensive high-level experience across the travel, internet, property and banking industries, both in-house and as a consultant.

For further information please email


No Vacancy Returns
July 17-18, 2018

Exciting times ahead for No Vacancy, 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