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Posts from January 2022.

This week’s Update begins with an interesting story detailing how evolving consumer trends of the past few years (e.g., sustainability) are making their way into travel and online travel in particular. Enjoy.

Travelport Continues Improvements to Travelport Plus
(“Travelport Launches Update to Unified Travelport Plus Platform,” January 19, 2022 via Business Travel News)
Launched last year by Travelport as the ultimate successor to its other global distributions system (GDS) platforms (Apollo, Galileo and Worldspan), Travelport Plus continues to improve. Last week, Travelport launched its latest iteration of the platform, an iteration that leverages the platform’s growing access to NDC (New Distribution Capability) content from many of the major airlines and improved connectivity with Hilton as well as adding its new traveler facing portal, Trip Manager.

Our first Update of 2022 includes a number of stories on the evolving marketing tactics of both hotels and their distribution partners. Enjoy.

Better Days Ahead? Expedia Certainly Thinks So
(“Online travel giants' marketing spend continues to head north,” January 10, 2022 via Phocus Wire)
(“VIDEO: How hotel marketing tactics are shifting,” January 12, 2022 via Phocus Wire)
Last week, two stories detail the major OTAs’ apparent spending spree on sales and marketing. What’s driving this growth? General optimism over the anticipated return of the travel industry? Renewed efforts to defend or capture critical market share in an increasingly competitive online market? Dogged determination to quash hoteliers’ seemingly successful direct booking efforts – particularly over the past 18 months? Maybe a little of all three? According to a report issued last week by PhocusWire, most of the major online booking channels reported huge year-over-year increases in their third quarter sales and marketing spend. Airbnb increased its third quarter year-over-year spend by 156 percent to a measly $291 million. Expedia Group increased its third quarter spend year-over-year by 150 percent to a whopping $1.3 billion and confirmed plans late last week to run Superbowl ads for both and Vrbo (the first such ads by Expedia in years). Booking Holdings increased its year-over-year spend by nearly 100 percent to a total of $1.38 billion. Bucking this trend was China’s, whose year-over-year increase of 12 percent was reported to be in response to continued uncertainty over the pandemic.

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Greg Duff
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.

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