OTA & Travel Distribution Update: Introduction of Selling Principles for UK Online Booking Sites; AirAsia.com, the next big online travel agency? | Foster GarveyPC

Selling principles introduced for UK online booking sites
(“Hotel Booking Sites Get Consumer-law Compliance Principles from CMA,” MLex, March 1, 2019) (subscription required)
By 1 September 2019, hotel booking sites operating in the UK must implement the mandatory ‘selling principles’ published last week by the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The publication of the principles follows the CMA’s months-long investigation into the sales practices of certain online booking sites and the sites’ recent agreement to improve transparency on the sites to avoid regulatory scrutiny. more in-depth. The principles, which apply not only to OTAs and search engines, but also to hoteliers’ own booking sites, cover sort order, reference prices (e.g. “discount” or strikethrough prices) , hidden fees and pressure selling. According to the CMA, sites that do not implement the principles by September 1, 2019 may be subject to further enforcement action.

AirAsia.com, the next big online travel agency?
(“AirAsia emerges as unlikely competitor to online travel agencies”, Skift Travel News, March 1, 2019)
AirAsia.com’s previously announced plans to transform the airline’s website and app are well underway. Beyond airline tickets, platforms now offer consumers a wide range of travel services, including hotel rooms, tours and activities, insurance, itinerary planning and other ancillary items. (all powered by Vidi (50% owned by AirAsia) and AirAsiaGo (Expedia)). In addition to expanded travel deals, the platforms have enhanced the consumer experience by adding, among other things, an app chatbot that can respond to user queries in 8 different Asian languages ​​and offering expedited airport security clearance for those who register.

Other news:

Bookingkit calls a European first the Ctrip partnership for tours and activities
Wire Seal, February 28, 2019
Ctrip’s global expansion brand, Trip.com, included in the deal the integration of tour, activity and event content into the China-based online travel agency’s listings.

Booking and Airbnb are now at a home-sharing stalemate
Skift Travel News, February 27, 2019
What is the biggest and baddest company offering alternative hosting? It’s been hard to tell because Airbnb is a private company and its biggest competitor, Booking Holdings, hasn’t busted its vacation home and apartment rental sales — until now. Booking Holdings made a series of first-ever disclosures about its alternative lodging business alongside the release of its fourth quarter and full year 2018 results on Wednesday. Among them, Booking said that in the third quarter it made “more than $1 billion” in revenue from its colocation business, including vacation homes, apartments and one-off properties that are not hotels.

Yelp takes a bigger share of the restaurant booking market
Bloomberg Quint – Stories, February 26, 2019
Yelp continues its evolution from a user-generated reviews platform to meet the needs of customers who want to plan ahead, come in to sit down, or have food delivered. The business review and SEO firm handled 22 million customers booking directly through the Yelp app, a threefold increase year-on-year, according to internal data released Tuesday.

Photo credit: CMA website

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