advertisement
  • Value Added Tax in the GCC

    Details on the new VAT established in the region covered by the GCC, including implementation best practices and documentation requirements. By Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA

  • Members Only: A Room for Robots in Hospitality

    Realistic uses for artificial intelligence are increasing, making way for machine-based assistance in accounting, marketing, customer service and more. This feature details current scenarios where robotics is used in the business environment, such as for accounting tasks.

  • Letter from the HFTP Global President: A New Year Equals New Possibilities

    Written By: Timothy G. Nauss, CHAE - We are officially in the year 2018. Now is the ideal time to reflect on the successes of the old year, and prepare to make this new year the best one ever. Just as we set goals for ourselves to make us healthier, happier and more successful, HFTP as an organization sets goals each year to better meet the needs of our members and the hospitality industry.

  • GDPR in Hospitality: Vendor Compliance Query Template Available to Industry

    As a professional association, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) created a group of hospitality industry experts to develop hospitality-specific guidelines to assist with preparation for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance.

commercial

Online vs. offline: Where travel brands drive the most positive sentiment

PhocusWire·18 January 2018
Most online travel sites are generating better brand awareness via consumers’ face-to-face conversations than they are through social media, according to a report from Engagement Labs, which analyzes online and offline conversations for brands.
commercial

As online travel matures in the West, what does the next chapter look like?

PhocusWire·18 January 2018
As the global online travel market reaches a turning point, what lies in store for all players, from global to local? To me, there was one key message that came out of the two largest conferences in online travel for Asia Pacific and North America: WIT (Web in Travel, Singapore) and The Phocuswright Conference (Florida), which wrapped up 2017.
commercial

Leisure travel report forecasts growth for hotels, tour operators

PhocusWire·18 January 2018
Investors will find a great deal to like across the travel and leisure segment in the coming year, according to the latest research from Bank of America Merrill Lynch. In its 2018 Travel and Leisure Industry Overview, analysts cite surveys from Euromonitor that show vacation and leisure travel are the top spending priorities for most people, ahead of saving money or buying clothing, cars or home improvement items.
commercial

Five airlines identified as ancillary revenue leaders

PhocusWire·17 January 2018
Allegiant Air is apparently the global airline with the greatest prowess in the field of generating ancillary revenue alongside ticket sales. The carrier was singled out by the IdeaWorksCompany consultancy for its work in connecting additional forms of revenue through investments in hotel condos, by packaging deals on an "airline-airport-resort" basis online.
commercial

Tech and the transforming vacation rental industry

PhocusWire·17 January 2018
The vacation rental industry, a once sleepy and highly fragmented niche segment of travel, is rapidly being transformed from the “mom and pop” operations epitomized by T-shirts and flip-flops to slick operations drawing the interest of equity firms wearing suits and penny loafers.
commercial

Market gains expected for Ctrip, Despegar

PhocusWire·17 January 2018
China’s Ctrip and Latin America’s Despegar are drawing optimistic outlooks from two financial analysts ahead of the release of their fourth-quarter results. In his analysis of Ctrip for SeekingAlpha, Gary Alexander says the company’s current valuation and growth potential in China make it a “slightly better buy” than dominant competitor the Priceline Group – which he also likes.

Tripping eyes growth with expanded leadership team

PhocusWire·16 January 2018
Vacation rental search site Tripping is initiating an aggressive expansion strategy led by a new executive team. Two of the four new hires are women, making the company’s senior management 43% female, notable in the male-dominated business of online travel.
commercial

The next wave of booking assistance through WhatsApp

PhocusWire·15 January 2018
To solve the traveler conundrum of airplane seat selection, Indian booking engine Goibibo has integrated with WhatsApp. The online travel agency, which, in addition to flights offers hotel, bus and activity bookings, uses artificial intelligence to inform WhatsApp users when their preferred seats for flights are filing up. Using Goibibo’s in-house conversational bot, GIA, and WhatsApp for Business, the service is intended to save travelers time and offer a mobile-centric solution to what can be a tedious process.
commercial

Meet the people behind the cryptos

PhocusWire·15 January 2018
The cryptocurrency community is centered around a tightknit group of friends - developers, libertarians, Redditors and cypherpunks. They have known each other for years through meet-ups, an endless circuit of crypto conferences and internet message boards. Over long hours in anonymous group chats, San Francisco bars and Settlers of Catan game nights, they talk about how cryptocurrency will decentralize power and wealth, changing the world order. The goal may be decentralization, but the money is extremely concentrated.
commercial

Helix buys attractions tech startup Booking Boss

PhocusWire·15 January 2018
Australia-based Booking Boss, provider of booking and ticketing tools to operators in tours and activities, has sold to Helix Leisure. The acquisition, which took place quietly in the summer of 2017, was for an undisclosed fee. Booking Boss was born in 2013 and the brainchild of CEO Renee Welsh (ex-Lastminute.com and Wotif) and chief technology officer Andy Welsh.

Travel tech deals reach record $5.3BN annual level

PhocusWire·15 January 2018
Five years of consecutive growth have been recorded for travel technology investment deals, with a record $5.3 billion invested in the sector. The total, published by CBInsights, beats the $5 billion invested in the sector in 2015 - the year when Airbnb secured a $1.5 billion Series E deal. Some might argue that the record year in 2017 was secured only by way of an investment in "space travel" company Virgin Galactic to the tune of $1 billion from fund in Saudi Arabia.

How Chinese investments are shaking up India's digital economy

PhocusWire·15 January 2018
When online grocer Bigbasket went to market in early 2017 to raise capital just a year after securing $150 million, the list of suitors was very different. In March 2016, it had closed funding from US - and Middle East-based financial investors including Sands Capital, IFC and Abraaj Capital. This time, the interested ones were major corporations - Chinese strategic investors Tencent, conglomerate Fosun, ecommerce giant Alibaba along with Paytm Mall, and, of course, US-based Amazon.
commercial

Phocuswright Europe 2018 - Amsterdam program is a go

PhocusWire·15 January 2018
Distribution, packaging, Asia Pacific, tours and attractions - just a few of the hot topics featured at this year’s Phocuswright Europe event. The program, just released, brings together the industry's largest group of travel industry executives, investors and startups under one roof.
commercial

Research Spotlight: Airbnb looking back and forward

PhocusWire·12 January 2018
Close to a decade since its foundation and $4.4 billion in funding later, Airbnb is one of the genuinely disruptive brands in the travel industry. Not only has it changed the way travellers think about accommodation but it has ruffled the feathers of regulators and ignited plenty of soul-searching across the wider hospitality sector. To join its eye-watering valuation of somewhere in the region of $31 billion is the knowledge that Airbnb now has more room supply than the five leading hotel chains combined.
commercial

Amadeus debuts AI chatbot for Asia Pacific

PhocusWire·12 January 2018
Amadeus is making further inroads into the Asia Pacific online travel market with the launch of a natural language chatbot for the LINE app, a free messaging platform popular in the region. Developed in partnership with GoHero.ai, Amadeus’ @flightbot finds travelers where they’re already dwelling – on mobile – and provides real-time support and booking assistance using English and Thai.
commercial

QOTW: Something about blockchain and doomed travel giants

PhocusWire·12 January 2018
Quote from Maksim Izmaylov, CEO of Winding Tree, in an article on PhocusWire this week: Powerful travel brands face uncertain future in a blockchain-led world To dismantle travel intermediaries - the great Pricelines and Expedias of the industry - Winding Tree’s Maksim Izmaylov believes a blockchain-based distribution network is the solution. Blockchain will enable smaller airlines and hotels - the “mere mortals” currently battling a losing fight - to play on an even field against those dominating the top of the funnel. While the technology indeed holds promise to disrupt the current distribution model, forecasting the expiration of these major players in as soon as five years is ambitious.
commercial

UK-based Snaptrip raises PS2.1M, acquires Last Minute Cottages

PhocusWire·12 January 2018
With a recent investment round tallying £2.1 million, Snaptrip has acquired Last Minute Cottages and is expanding its footprint in the United Kingdom’s holiday rental market. Existing backer Bestport Ventures led the funding round, which also included Snaptrip institutional shareholder Forward Partners; Active Hotels chief operating officer Matthew Witt was among the angel investors. Through the acquisition, Snaptrip – which offers last-minute, discounted rental properties – will begin working with individual homeowners in addition to its inventory of professionally managed agencies.
commercial

Marriott forced to close websites in China

PhocusWire·11 January 2018
Marriott International has made a strong apology to the Chinese government and taken down its websites in the country following a series of "errors". The chain's CEO and president, Arne Sorenson, has intervened in the issue with a firmly worded statement after two incidents which he says could lead to sackings within the organisation.

"Airbnb for luggage" expands in Europe following $1.1M funding

PhocusWire·11 January 2018
Another entrant onto the "Airbnb of..." scene, London-based CityStasher has raised $1.1 million in seed funding. The latest round for the startup - which, indeed, bills itself as the "Airbnb for luggage" - is led by Venture Friends and includes backing from Trivago investors Howzat Partners, Charlotte Street Capital and angel investors such as Big Yellow Storage CEO James Gibson.
commercial

IHG starts major Amadeus tech move with Kimpton chain

PhocusWire·11 January 2018
Kimpton is the first group of properties within the InterContinental Hotels Group to switch over to the long-awaited platform provided by Amadeus. Multiple sources say the migration took place this week as part of a gradual roll-out across the entire group over the course of 2018 and early-2019.
commercial

Research Spotlight: Online travel in Asia Pacific to continue soaring

PhocusWire·11 January 2018
The last 15 years have seen Asia Pacific go from being a relative backwater in online travel to the biggest regional market on the planet. Brands such as Ctrip and MakeMyTrip have established themselves as leaders in China and India respectively, tapping into the growing middle and upper classes who have placed travel as their number one lifestyle choice. Highly populated markets such as Indonesia are now following their Indian and Chinese counterparts, inspiring the next generation of entrepreneur to give the travel industry a chance.
commercial

Timescenery and Baarb push AI-driven results to fix travel search

PhocusWire·10 January 2018
Timescenery, a travel planning site that combines data from suppliers with crowdsourced experiences from travelers, has launched a partnership with Baarb, an artificial intelligence company that develops solutions to personalize online travel search.
commercial

TripAdvisor business units overhauled, two execs depart

PhocusWire·10 January 2018
TripAdvisor is undergoing operational changes, a representative from the user review giant has confirmed. As part of the restructuring, TripAdvisor will be organized by business units (hotel, attractions and restaurants) rather than by functional departments (marketing, engineering and product). The fundamental shift – which will make each business unit responsible for its respective bottom line – is designed to “improve [TripAdvisor's] ability to coordinate across our full platform while returning Hotels [business] to sustained growth,” says CEO Steve Kaufer in an internal email.
commercial

Powerful travel brands face uncertain future in a blockchain-led world

PhocusWire·10 January 2018
Will blockchain render powerful travel industry intermediaries extinct? That’s the prediction of Maksim Izmaylov, CEO of Winding Tree, a Swiss nonprofit building a blockchain-based travel distribution network.
commercial

LG's new robots designed to replace hotel staff

PhocusWire·10 January 2018
LG is introducing CLOi (pronounced KLOH-ee), a line of three new concept robots specifically developed for commercial use at hotels, airports and supermarkets. The trio will be unveiled at CES 2018, the Consumer Technology Association’s show, this week in Las Vegas. The purpose of the Serving Robot is to deliver meals and drinks to guests and customers at hotels and airport lounges quickly and efficiently.
commercial

Video: Don't believe the hype of digital assistants - embrace it

PhocusWire·10 January 2018
The emergence of digital assistants in the past few years has excited many people in the travel brands. But, equally, it has left others rather cold - not least because the experience can be, well, not akin to the warm customer service that the travel industry is well-known for and desperate to retain in an increasingly digital world.

Newletter

Thank you for subscribing. Your email address has been added to our mailing list.
Close
To subscribe to the Club Bytes Newsletter please enter your email address below.
An error occured, please check your input and try again.
CancelSubscribe