Loyalty ain’t what it used to be, says Google, and it’s time that travel marketers woke up to the new reality which, being Google, is all about businesses using technology to personalise messages and advertising. Loyalty was also a hot topic at the Australian Revenue Management Association conference in Melbourne last week, where the view was that loyalty can’t be bought but must be earned. See Google post.
Australian visitor numbers to New Zealand have now fallen for six consecutive months with the June overseas arrival and departure stats showing a -1.5% slump over last year, presenting a major challenge for Andrew Waddel, who has just been appointed GM Australia for Tourism New Zealand. More
It’s been reported in Skift that the price Booking Holdings agreed to pay for HotelCombined was USD140m while the global giant also outlaid USD250 million for tours and actvities tech company FareHarbor. Small change really. Neither was mentioned in the acquisition announcements by Booking Holdings because they are “immaterial” – and it’s hard to argue. Booking Holdings is still sitting on USD7.3 billion in cash and marketable securities.
RMS – The Hospitality Cloud has become the first accommodation technology company to achieve FedRAMP security certification for its Property Management System enabling it to win a game-changing contract with the US Marine Corps. More
Hospitality tech company TravelClick has proved to be an amazing investment for its past two owners – will incoming owner Amadeus, which has just agreed to pay private equity firm Thoma Bravo USD$1.52 billion for the business, be able to say the same? More
Klook is now officially valued at more USD1 billion, making the ‘in-destination services booking platform’, the Asian travel industry’s first ‘unicorn’* following a USD200 million raising this week. More
Australia’s tourism industry has the potential to grow visitor nights in Australia to one billion by 2029-30 and contribute $150 billion to the national economy, according to a new report from the NRMA called Are We There Yet?
The NRMA, the largest motoring organisation in Australia, is a major tourism investor owning a $800+ million portfolio across Thrifty Car Rentals, Manly Fast Ferries, Travelodge, Hotel Kurrajong and Holiday Parks in six states. More
Consolidation in the travel insurance sector has continued with NIB Holdings Limited (ASX: NIF) buying QBE Travel, Australia’s fourth-largest travel insurer, for up to $25m, the final price dependent on performance. The acquisition is expected to close in early 2019. QBE Travel will be rolled in the World Nomads Group, which NIB bought for $95m in July 2015. The sector’s biggest travel insurer, Cover-More, was bought by Zurich Insurance for $741m in April, 2017.
Meriton has been fined $3 million by the Federal Court of Australia for “engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct” and breaching the Australian Consumer Law by not soliciting TripAdvisor reviews from guests the serviced apartment operator believed would be negative. More
It’s been a massive week for AccorHotels, which is moving faster than a rabbit down a hole, chasing new opportunities and deals from Sub-Saharan Africa to the Australian coast, all the while continually reinventing itself as more than an accommodation business. More
It’s official, InterContinental Hotels Group has won the management rights for Hayman Island, which will re-open in 2019 after a revamp by its owners Mulpha Australia due to the devastation wrought by Cyclone Debbie last year. More
Australia’s hotels were busier than they ever have been in the period from April to June with an average occupancy rate of 73.2% – “the highest for any Q2 on record”, according to STR. The record run came despite an overall increase in room supply of more than 2%. The Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast during April were a significant factor with strong demand driving a revenue per available room increase of 24% for the quarter.
The new super-sized NoVacancy Accommodation Business Expo in Sydney last week was a huge success with 160 exhibitors and more than 3,300 visitors. More
Inbound tourism to Australia continued its steady rise during May with Indian market the strongest performer, recording a +20.9% increase over 2017, according to the latest ABS stats. The biggest flops were Malaysia (-13.0%), the United States of America (-4.5%) and Singapore (-4.4%).
Meanwhile, outbound travel by Australians rebounded after a flat few months. Japan +20.9%, China +16.3% and Indonesia +11.0% recorded the best results. Worst were Thailand (-3.2%), New Zealand (-2.3%) and Fiji (-0.4%).
Startup Daily reports that Australian travel app “Seatfrog has raised $8 million in Series A funding led by European venture capital firm Octopus Ventures, with participation from existing backers including HOWZAT Partners.” Seatfrog enables users to bid for an airline seat upgrade and allow access last-minute premium seats. See story…
Graphic imagery of the forecast domination of Chinese tourists in the Australian market and part of an investor presentation by the Star Entertainment Group. Stats from Tourism Research Australia. The phrase never put all your eggs in one basket comes to mind…
Accommodation meta-search company HotelsCombined – based in Sydney, Australia – has been bought by Bookings Holding for an undisclosed sum. HotelsCombined will be absorbed into the Booking Holdings maw with management reporting to its “leading travel metasearch brand, Kayak.” “We’ve always been inspired by the entrepreneurial culture of Booking Holdings brands,” said Hichame Assi, CEO of HotelsCombined. Glenn Fogel, CEO of Booking Holdings, added, “HotelsCombined has built a strong brand with loyal consumers across APAC, and we believe the team will be a great addition as we expand our worldwide meta-search strategy.”
I love Treble Cone. It’s one of my favourite ski resorts anywhere, even though it has only two real chairlifts and is run on the smell of an oily rag. The place has great spirit, views and terrain.
But now the relationship is getting stretched all because of one small thing: they don’t have snow cams. Well, they did and then they pulled them and say they are being replaced but we’re already a few weeks into winter and isn’t this a job for summer anyway? More
Low price supermarket Aldi has supplanted Qantas as Australia’s most trusted brand, showing the travel industry (hello TigerAir) that cheap does not have to mean nasty. Qantas is now 4th on the Roy Morgan Net Trust Score survey. “Nowhere is a high level of trust more important than when it comes to the provision of the food we eat,” says Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine. More
FlightRadar24: June 30, 2018, busiest flight day ever… “Yesterday was the busiest day of the year in the skies so far and our busiest day ever. 202,157 flights tracked! The first time we’ve tracked more than 200,000 flights in a single day on https://www.flightradar24.com
Looks like beef, takes like beef, but is a vegetarian hoax. Meet the new Impossible Burger Air New Zealand is now serving in business class. The burger, developed by Impossible Foods from Silicon Valley, replicates meat by using an iron-rich molecule called heme derived from soy plant roots. Heme is also found in animal meat and the result, supposedly, “is a plant-based burger patty that cooks, smells and tastes like beef but contains no animal products whatsoever.”
Village Roadshow has sold its Wet ‘n’ Wild water park in western Sydney to Spanish operator Parques Reunidos for $40m, resulting in a $25 million pre-tax loss.
Parques Reunidos is a leading global leisure park operator with more 60 ‘entertainment assets’ around the world, including 20 water parks.
Village will use the sale proceeds to pay down debt.
Queenstown is the least-cost effective international destination for Australians to fly to, according to new research from flight meta-search engine Kayak. It says flights from Sydney to Queenstown cost an average of 16.89 cents per kilometre while Melbourne-Queenstown airfares are priced at an average of 12.2 cents a kilometre, making it the most expensive international flight destination from both cities relative to distance. This is despite an increase in capacity (tran-Tasman traffic up 24% in the year to May says QT airport). Meanwhile, Savills Hotels says hotel room rates in Queenstown increased 15% in the year to March, continuing a long-term trend. Also see: Queenstown is Being Loved to Death.
TourRadar, the most successful Australian travel company you’ve never heard of, announced overnight that it has raised a further USD50 million, money that it will use to grow staff and improve technology – with a major focus on mobile and personalisation.
So what is TourRadar? Founded by Australian brothers Travis and Shawn Pittman in 2010, TourRadar is the largest OTA in the multi-day touring market, which it estimates to be worth $55 billion. More
Ok so you’ve got a good business. You’ve worked your tail off and now you know you’ve built a great business. Great. Good for you. You should be proud of yourself. Many fail and many just ‘survive’. To thrive is really hard and most businesses don’t. Statistics tell us that.
Now, for whatever reason you’ve made the call. It’s time to sell. More
Serko CEO and co-founder Darrin Grafton today fulfilled a long-held ambition when his company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
The ASX listing supplements the travel technology company’s presence on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, where it has had a presence since 2014.
Grafton hailed the ASX listing as a “significant growth milestone.
“Nearly 10% of Serko’s shareholder base is in Australia and being dual-listed will give us access to a larger pool of investors.” More