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.
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
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
British Airways will invest AUD$7.7bn (£4.5bn) into new aircraft and product improvements over the next five years. Chief Executive Alex Cruz says the money will buy: More
Growth. That’s the remit for Markland Blaiklock, appointed Deputy CEO of Thai accommodation group, Centara Hotels & Resorts. It’s a newly created role for Centara, which wants to double revenue and properties over the next five years. More
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
Quest Apartment Hotels is expanding to the United Kingdom, redeveloping an office building in Liverpool, north-west England and is in advanced negotiations for two more sites. Founder and Chairman Paul Constantinou said Liverpool is the beginning of an “aggressive” brand expansion in the UK for Quest. More
Bookings are now open for Travel Massive’s annual Christmas Party on spectacular Sydney Harbour. It’s happening aboard a 65 foot ‘party boat’ on Thursday, November 30. The event’s sold out for the past couple of years, so get in quick. Details and bookings.
Melbourne has a lot going for it but varied topography is not on the list. It is frying pan flat. However, there are benefits, such as this unimpeded city skyline from the rooftop of The Chen. More
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
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
China’s aviation market is growing faster than expected and will overtake the United States as the world’s biggest by 2022, says the International Air Transport Association. More
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
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 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
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.
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 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.
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
French accommodation company Accor has made a bid to buy Mantra Group, a hotel and resort company that operates 128 properties with more than 21,500 rooms across Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Hawaii. Accor is offering the equivalent of A$3.96 a share, well up on Mantra’s closing price of $3.23 on Friday. More
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
Viator tours and attractions product is now bookable by travel agents at 8% commission via a new purpose-built industry platform launched yesterday. Viator sells more than 70,000 products.
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
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.
Overnight visitor nights to the Gold Coast exceeded five million in a year for the first time but the average visitor spend was down. The number of day trips also fell, largely due to the River Rapids accident at Dreamworld last October in which four people died. More
Tourism is not always a force for good, or indeed spreading the economic love, as is so often claimed by industry advocates. Orphanage tourism is a case in point. In Cambodia, for example, there are less orphans than in 2005 but since then the number of orphanages has increased by 75%. How can this be? The simple answer is demand and supply. More
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.
The number is big but the timing could be better. Just one day after STR revealed that room rates in Singapore have declined for 18 consecutive months, AccorHotels has announced the Sofitel Singapore City Centre will become its 800th property in Asia Pacific region when it opens in October. More