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Mysterious algorithms and higher rankings top tour and activity issues

PhocusWire ·12h
Online travel giants bidding on branded keywords, the value provided by OTAs and the quirks of ranking algorithms are all contentious issues.

VIDEO: GetYourGuide on being a startup and doing things differently

PhocusWire 18 March 2019
PhocusWire caught up with Tao Tao, GetYourGuide's chief operating officer, during the recent Arival Europe 2019 event in the company's home city.

Ground innovation, part 3: The driverless future in travel and tourism

PhocusWire 18 March 2019
Phocuswright estimates global travel gross bookings will reach nearly $1.5 trillion this year and more than $1.6 trillion by 2021. While the majority of that spending is made on air and accommodations, ground transportation is accelerating as a category for activity, innovation and investment.

Sabre takes inspiration from Spotify to help hotels sell more

PhocusWire 15 March 2019
Sabre Hospitality plans to release technology later this year enabling hotels to sell rooms and other services in a more flexible way.

Drivezy eyes $100M investment round and international growth

PhocusWire 15 March 2019
Drivezy has confirmed it is in the process of raising $100 million funding as it looks to expand into new markets, including the United States. The India-based car-sharing service has not named the investor roster as yet, only that it is likely to include backers from Japan and is hoping for participation from others in the U.S., Singapore and China.

In the Big Chair - Nicolas Brusson of BlaBlaCar

PhocusWire 15 March 2019
BlaBlaCar is an online marketplace for carpooling. Founded in France is 2006, it has since grown to cover additional markets as well as widening its offering to other transport modes.

Hotel experts warn data should not just be considered a "hobby"

PhocusWire 14 March 2019
The hotel industry must focus on how data can be used to understand guests better and remove friction. A "Man Versus Machine" panel on artificial intelligence in hospitality at ITB earlier this month revealed how some companies are beginning to invest in data processing and analytics to better serve customers.

Home is where the growth is as Booking.com invests in brand and tech

PhocusWire 13 March 2019
Booking Holdings caused a bit of excitement amongst analysts in February when it broke out some numbers around its alternative accommodation business for the first time. During its earnings release for the fourth quarter of 2018, the company said alternative accommodation accounts for more than 20% of revenue and brought in $2.8 billion in 2018.

Flight Centre steps up investments in AI-powered chatbot solutions

PhocusWire 13 March 2019
Flight Centre Travel Group has acquired travel assistance chatbot Sam and increased its investment in 30SecondsToFly, which has an artificial intelligence-powered booking assistant known as Claire.

Yatra directors mull over Ebix $336M acquisition bid

PhocusWire 12 March 2019
India-based online travel agency Yatra says it is reviewing a proposal from Ebix to acquire the company for $336 million. Ebix, a fintech and ecommerce specialist that spans a number of industries, sent a letter to the Yatra board offering to purchase all of the outstanding stock of Yatra Online for $7 per share.

Aeromexico enables automated baggage tracking via chatbot

PhocusWire 12 March 2019
Aeromexico is the first airline to integrate SITA’s artificial intelligence-powered baggage tracking system into its passenger chatbot. Now passengers can enter their flight information into the chatbot and instantly receive the latest location of their bag, without the need for airline staff to intervene.

Will travel brands bend to join the mobile "fold"?

PhocusWire 11 March 2019
It was Mobile World Congress (MWC) a few weeks back and foldable devices took the top spot as the next hot topic in mobile.

Ground innovation, part 2: A new model for car rental

PhocusWire 11 March 2019
Phocuswright estimates global travel gross bookings will reach nearly $1.5 trillion this year and more than $1.6 trillion by 2021. While the majority of that spending is made on air and accommodations, ground transportation is accelerating as a category for activity, innovation and investment.

Airbnb-HotelTonight - a deal at the right time for both

PhocusWire 11 March 2019
The deal for Airbnb to acquire HotelTonight will probably not be seen as an "OMG!" moment when the history of the sharing economy giant is written in years to come.

Sounding Off: Innovation in travel is only in the eye of the beholder

PhocusWire 8 March 2019
It's time to stop worrying about who is apparently providing the "innovation" and concentrate on ensuring that a brand keeps up with market forces, customer requirements and technology.

Awaze is the new name to take European Vacation Rentals group forward

PhocusWire 8 March 2019
European Vacation Rentals, which includes brands such as Hoseasons, James Villas, Landal GreenParks and Novasol, has been renamed Awaze.

Time to talk - using Google Assistant to book a hotel room

PhocusWire 7 March 2019
It is becoming clearer that using voice commands to search for and book hotels is going to be disruptive in the hotel industry and will soon be changing the rules of the game.

Travel intermediaries must figure out how automate better

PhocusWire 7 March 2019
The travel industry continues to go through a rapid digital transformation. With the increasing use of online services and the rise of a completely new futuristic travel, online travel agencies have inevitably emerged as the leading marketing channel for the travel industry.

Connectivity and control will give rail the green signal in the future

PhocusWire 6 March 2019
Whether it is bringing wi-fi to passengers subways, or connecting the longest rail in the world, rail networks are undergoing a connectivity transformation.

Booking.com pivots BookingSuite into a hotel tech app store

PhocusWire 6 March 2019
Booking.com's BookingSuite platform has opened up to feature third party software providers, in a move to give hoteliers access to a range of tools and services.

In the Big Chair - Patrick Bosworth of Duetto

PhocusWire 6 March 2019
Learning the trade at a number of hotels and resorts in the mid-2000s, the often outspoken Patrick Bosworth co-created Duetto in 2011 in the U.S.

Certify, Chrome River merge in $1B transaction

PhocusWire 6 March 2019
Business travel management platforms Certify and Chrome River are merging in a transaction valued at more than $1 billion.

Amex GBT launches cross-industry benchmarking tool to measure travel manager performance

PhocusWire 6 March 2019
American Express Global Business Travel's new Peer Travel Insights service will rank companies within their peer group.

Tour and activity veterans line up to launch content platform Magpie

PhocusWire 5 March 2019
Former tour operator Christian Watts, Viator founder Rod Cuthbert and Tokyo-based Venture Republic are behind the new company.

Ctrip ticks $4.5BN annual revenue level for the first time

PhocusWire 5 March 2019
Ctrip posted a 16% increase in net revenue during 2018, solidifying its place as the third biggest online travel agency in the world.

Why travel management companies have responsibility to drive innovation

PhocusWire 5 March 2019
With effective travel programs becoming an increasingly critical element of business strategies, travel management companies are facing mounting pressure from a diverse group of customer stakeholders seeking guidance on balancing cost, compliance, traveler satisfaction and security.

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