This week’s Update features a variety of stories, including updates on CWT and Booking.com. Enjoy.
CWT Tests NDC
(“CWT Launches NDC Initiative,” July 22, 2022 via Travel Weekly)
Corporate travel platform, CWT, recently announced plans to pilot an NDC offering that would allow travel advisors to book NDC content from Air France-KLM and Singapore Airlines. Amadeus and Sabre will power the new content rich offerings. Advisors using the platform will have access not only to traditional corporate discounted rates, but additional unique content like paid seats, excess baggage and carbon offsets. CWT expects to offer additional airlines later in the year. While we’ve written in the past about major airlines’ efforts to make NDC content available to the major GDSs, this is one of the first examples of that content now making its way into the hands of travel advisors.
It was another slow week in the online travel industry. Following up on our observations from a few weeks ago, we feature a story on banks’ now undeniable interest in travel. We also include a story on payments. This story is not our first story on payments, but it is an indicator of where we expect to spend more time in the weeks ahead. Enjoy.
Banks and Travel
(“Banks Look to Travel to Boost Customer Loyalty,” July 15, 2022 via Phocus Wire)
A few weeks ago, we noted banks’ growing interest in travel and travel related companies. If nothing else, readership of our distribution blog by banks and other financial companies has grown exponentially this past year. So why the interest? According to PhocusWire, the interest is primarily a loyalty play as banks seek to add a powerful (and currently, desirable) perk to their cardholders. Examples of these relationships include – Capital One and Hopper, Revolut and Expedia, U.S. Bancorp and TravelBank and JPMorgan Chase and Frosch. According to a recent loyalty survey conducted by Arriva, 63 percent of industry respondents plan to offer new travel rewards, including exclusive travel options and deeper discounts.
With the Fourth of July holiday falling on Monday, last week was a relatively slow week in the online travel industry. Enjoy.
Booking Holdings Poised for a Rebound?
(“Booking Holdings Stock Down 25 Percent in 2022, What's Next?,” July 8, 2022 via Forbes) (subscription may be required)
Forbes thinks so. At $1,788 per share (off its last high of $2,461) and with 2022 booking trends continuing to look positive, Booking’s stock may be ready for a significant rebound (as high as $2,328 according to Forbes). Forbes is estimating total revenue for the current fiscal year to top $16.3 billion, which would be a 49 percent year-over-year improvement.
The “vacation edition” of our weekly Online Travel Update is below. Our regular Online Travel Update will be back next week.
Like prior weeks’ Updates, this week’s Update features stories on the growing phenomenon of fintech and its effect on the travel industry. Enjoy.
Dissatisfaction With Expedia Directors
(“Do Travel Agents Matter in Online Travel? Expedia Thinks So,” June 22, 2022 via Skift (subscription may be required)
Skift recently featured an interesting article describing apparent shareholder dissatisfaction with certain of the online travel giant’s board members. The dissatisfaction (expressed through withheld votes in connection with Expedia’s recent annual shareholders’ meeting) was focused on board members Chelsea Clinton, Craig Jacobs, Dara Khosrowshahi and Beverly Anderson. While there isn’t any information detailing the reasons for the withheld votes, Skift speculates it may relate to shareholder concerns with executive compensation, depressed share price or even the political views of the targeted board members.
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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.