Online Travel Update: Expedia Continues to Reshape Leadership; Saber partners with ByHours to distribute room rentals by the hour; Google Travel Includes Vacation Rentals in Search Results | Foster Garvey PC
This week’s update features a few stories (including one from Geekwire.com, specific to Seattle) detailing the recent Expedia executive reshuffle. Enjoy.
Expedia restructuring continues
(“Expedia Group Hires Top Executives From Apple and Verizon As Part Of Overhaul Of Leadership Structure,” May 24, 2021 via GeekWire; “Expedia cuts business units, sees trio of executive departures“, May 24, 2021 via Skift Travel News (subscription may be required))
Over the past few weeks, we’ve been posting articles detailing Expedia’s ongoing restructuring efforts. Last week saw another big change at Expedia as the company announced the departure of veterans Cyril Ranque, Adam Jay and Tucker Moodey. The departure of Ranque is particularly interesting because Ranque, the president of the Travel Partners group, had been highlighted in many problems and negotiations of contracts with the suppliers. Two senior executives from Apple and Verizon, Jon Gieselman and Rathii Murthy, have joined Expedia respectively. Gieselman will oversee the newly created business unit, “Expedia Brand”, while Murthy will become Expedia’s new Chief Technology Officer. Along with these changes, Expedia also announced the creation of four new consolidated business units or “key pillars” within Expedia: Expedia Services, Expedia Brands, Expedia Marketplace and Expedia for Business. It will be interesting to note where Expedia’s products and services fall under these units and how the units will work together to sell these products and services to their major supplier partners.
Saber begins handing out room rentals by the hour
(“Saber Partners With ByHours To Sell Hotel Rooms By The Hour,” May 27, 2021 via PhocusWire)
Global distribution system Saber announced last week that it has partnered with the ByHours booking platform to offer travel agents and their customers on-time room reservations. This partnership is a first for traditional distribution providers. Based in Barcelona, ByHours claims to be the first online platform to offer hourly stays.
Vacation rentals continue their march towards the legitimacy of accommodation.
(“Google Travel Adds Vacation Rentals Next to Hotels in Search Results,” May 27, 2021 via PhocusWire)
While not the first to offer vacation rental ads alongside traditional accommodations (which is what Booking.com and Expedia offer today), the ad changes announced by Google last week attracted a lot of attention. As of last Thursday, travelers who Google for accommodation in a particular jurisdiction can see vacation rentals available alongside traditional hotel rooms in the same search result. According to Google, the combined ads will be ranked based on their relevance to the traveler’s search query. While the Combined List format is not new, Google’s use of Combined Lists signals a broader recognition of increasing traveler demands for alternative hotel rooms and for hoteliers who have been successful with the Google metasearch product. The potentially dilutive effect of combining listings can make their direct booking efforts more difficult.
Supreme Court Ends Tax War, Says Cities Must Pay Litigation Fees To Hotels.com
May 27, 2021 via Courthouse News
The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a $ 2 million court fee bill against municipalities that accused Hotels.com and other travel booking agencies of underestimating them on occupancy taxes on Thursday, May 27.
Trip.com Group CEO Minimizes Market Share Amid Chinese Antitrust Context
May 26, 2021 via Skift Travel News (subscription may be required)
In light of China’s crackdown on internet platforms in February, Trip.com group officials did something they rarely do – swap specific market share figures in a recent call from results. After an analyst recently asked Trip.com CEO Jie Sun if China’s largest travel seller would be able to avoid sanctions for price discrimination or monopoly power, Sun said Trip .com supported the government’s efforts to create a “healthy” market environment.
The push for direct bookings: hotels can go both ways
May 24, 2021 via Phocus Wire
Numerous reports suggest hotels have seen a shift towards consumers booking direct as lockdown restrictions ease and travel resumes.