October 21, 2021

Online Travel Update: Tripadvisor Plus Announces Initial Hotel Partners For Its Subscription Service, And Booking Holdings Reveals More Details Around Their Planned Fintech Business – Media, Telecoms, IT, Entertainment

United States: Online Travel Update: Tripadvisor Plus Announces Initial Hotel Partners…


United States:

Online Travel Update: Tripadvisor Plus Announces Initial Hotel Partners For Its Subscription Service, And Booking Holdings Reveals More Details Around Their Planned Fintech Business


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It was a relatively quiet week in the online travel world.
Booking’s announcement last week about its launch of a new
fintech business spurred several additional stories last week, two
of which are included in this week’s Update. Enjoy.

Much Ado About Nothing: Tripadvisor Plus Announces
Initial Partners

(“Tripadvisor Plus Signs Its First Hotel Chains But
Those Missing Are a Bigger Story,” June 14, 2021 via Skift
Travel News) (subscription may be required)

Recently, Tripadvisor announced that it had signed its first
three hotel groups to its subscription service, Tripadvisor Plus:
Barcelo Hotels, Millennium Hotels and Pestana Hotel Group. While
these three groups represent an additional 500 new hotels for the
service, Tripadvisor Plus has yet to convince any major supplier to
join the service. Tripadvisor claims it continues to have many
“positive conversations” with major suppliers about the
service, though, at least publicly, nothing has yet come from those
“conversations.” Until then, Tripadvisor will have to
continue relying on rates and inventory sourced from other
intermediaries like Trip.com, Getaroom and Internova. Suppliers
wishing to avoid the new subscription service will need to remain
vigilant in their efforts to monitor and possibly curtail the
onward distribution practices of these (and other) existing
distribution partners.   

Additional Details About Booking Holdings’
Planned Fintech Business Emerge 
 

(“Booking Holdings’ New Fintech Unit Aims to Help
Travelers Beat Banks at Their Own Game,” June 9, 2021 via
Skift) (subscription may be required)

In a recent interview with Skift, Booking
Holdings’ new fintech boss, Daniel Marovitz, shared additional
details about company’s plans for the new business unit.
According to Marovitz, the new unit is intended to drive additional
bookings, allow travelers to pay when and how they wish (using a
variety of currencies and payment plans) and, of course, provide
new revenue streams for Booking. According to Marovitz, elements of
the new business are already being piloted across the Booking
Holdings’ portfolio of companies. We will continue to watch how
this new business unit continues to evolve, how suppliers respond
to the new unit – and, ultimately, should suppliers waiver in their
support of the new unit and its tools, how Booking forces
suppliers’ use of the tools by conditioning participation in
its traditional distribution platforms. Facilitated payments are
just the beginning.

Other News:

Expedia in Latest Exit From Hospitality Tech Sells
Alice

July 14, 2021 via Skift Travel News (subscription may be
required)

Booking Holdings exited its hospitality tech business several
years ago, and now Expedia Group seems to have done likewise by
off-loading its Alice hotel operations platform. ASG, a unit of
Alpine investors, announced Wednesday that it acquired New
York-headquartered Alice, which provides a backend operations
platform to hotel staff, from Expedia Group in a “carve-out
transaction.”

Fintech, Superapps and Subscriptions Will Spur
Flurry of Online Travel Copycats

July 14, 2021 via Skift Travel News (subscription may be
required)

In its rough outlines, Expedia begot Trip.com Group while Kayak
and ITA Software begot Google Travel. Get ready for a flurry of
clones in fintech, superapps, and subscription services in
travel.

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