A recent case in federal district court in Florida foreshadows the beginning of an expanded reach of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As a whole, the Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability. Recently, a growing number of lawsuits filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and private litigants threatening class action lawsuits serves as a strong caution to businesses operating websites to increase accessibility of those sites to disabled individuals.
This week’s Update for the week ending August, 18, 2017 is below. Short-term rental regulation is featured prominently in this week’s Update.
Hyatt and Expedia Come to Terms [OTA]
("Hyatt and Expedia Formally Sign New Deal," Skift Travel News, August 18, 2017)
Congratulations to both sides for resolving their differences and renewing their relationship.
This week’s OTA & Travel Distribution Update for the week ending August 11, 2017 (where has summer gone) is below. Compared to recent weeks, this past week was relatively quiet on the distribution front.
Priceline Revealed [OTA]
("The world’s largest online-travel company," The Economist - Business & Finance, July 27, 2017)
Two weeks ago, the Economist featured a highly-flattering overview of Priceline and its many online travel businesses. For those of you who don’t read the Economist or who didn’t see the article, we include it in this week’s Update. In short, the article describes Priceline as the often-overlooked online platform (overlooked perhaps because of its Connecticut, not Silicon Valley, address) that performs as well as, or even better than, many of its fellow technology titans (e.g. Apple, Amazon, Google, Netflix and Expedia).
This week’s OTA & Travel Distribution Update for the week ending August 4, 2017 is below. An important update on the status of rate parity in the EU leads things off in this week’s Update.
Add Italy to the List of EU Member States Banning Rate Parity [OTA/PARITY]
("Online platforms suffer setback as Italy outlaws hotel 'price parity' clauses," Mlex, August 2, 2017)
For more than 2 years now, we have been watching draft “competition” legislation work its way through the Italian legislature. Last week, the Italian Senate finally passed the legislation and by doing so joined France and Austria in their outright ban of rate parity provisions by OTAs and rejection of Booking.com’s narrow parity compromise. Hopefully, the Italians are better at taking advantage of this important change versus their French and Austrian counterparts.
Our weekly client OTA & Travel Distribution Update for the week ending July 28, 2017 is below. Two Expedia companies top this week’s Update.
Expedia Creates Newest Asian Travel Unicorn [OTA]
("Expedia invests $350M in Traveloka to create Southeast Asia’s newest unicorn," TechCrunch, July 28, 2017)
Expedia announced this past week a $350 million investment in Southeast Asia’s Traveloka. The investment values the company at over $1 billion. Founded in 2012, Traveloka provides online travel services to Southeast Asia’s six primary markets – Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines. In addition to its investment, Expedia further strengthened its Southeast Asia presence through an agreement with Traveloka to make Expedia’s international inventory available to Traveloka users.
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Greg Duff founded and chairs Foster Garvey’s national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism group. His practice largely focuses on operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality industry members, including sales and marketing, distribution and e-commerce, procurement and technology. Greg also serves as counsel and legal advisor to many of the hospitality industry’s associations and trade groups, including AH&LA, HFTP and HSMAI.