This week’s Update features stories detailing several new booking platforms and Choice’s new direct billing product. Enjoy.
Competition Among Banks’ Travel Platforms Intensifies
(“Citi Launches New Travel Platform With Booking.com,” August 19, 2022 via Phocus Wire)
Citi (f/k/a Citigroup) announced last week the upcoming launch of its new travel platform, Citi Travel with Booking.com, in partnership with, you guessed it, Booking.com. According to Booking.com, the new website and mobile app will allow users to search, view and book hotels, flights and car rentals and pay for bookings with their Citi card and/or Citi loyalty program points. Likely competitors to Citi’s new offering include similar offerings from Capital One, American Express and JP Morgan Chase.
Our “vacation edition” of our weekly Online Travel Update is below. Our regular Updates will resume next week. Have a great week everyone.
Four Takeaways From Airbnb’s Second Quarter Report
August 9, 2022 via Skift (subscription may be required)
Airbnb's revenue stream wasn't as internationally diverse in the second quarter as it was pre-pandemic, but it is slowly creeping back to that level as international markets open.
It’s earnings season, and this week’s Update for the week ending August 5, 2022, is focused on recent quarterly releases from Booking Holdings and Expedia Group. I’ve also attached second quarter earnings call transcripts for Airbnb, Expedia Group and Booking Holdings. I’ve not had a chance yet to dive into the transcripts, but I will share anything I find interesting in next week’s Update. Enjoy.
Uber Travel Launches in the UK
(“Uber Travel Launches First in the UK With Trains and Buses From Omio,” August 3, 2022 via Skift) (subscription may be required)
Over the past few months, we’ve included a few stories about Uber’s interest in growing beyond a ride-hailing application. This next Wednesday, select Uber users in the UK will be the first to experience Uber’s new “travel” offerings – specifically rail and bus tickets. Omio will provide the rail and bus ticket rates, itineraries and other product information. The application will automatically update users’ rail or bus itineraries whenever it learns of delays or other issues through the user of flight information mined from users’ Gmail accounts. Uber expects a broader rollout of the new offerings by the end of the month.
This week’s Update features a story detailing recent progress with the EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA). As the EU prepares for the full implementation of the DMA (and its sister legislation, the Digital Services Act), expect more stories in the future on these important pieces of legislation and what they might mean for the online travel industry. Enjoy.
E.U.’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) Moves Forward
(“Digital Regulation Gets Go-Ahead in Europe,” July 29, 2022 via Phocus Wire)
The European Council approved the DMA earlier this month, and once signed by the President of the European Parliament and President of the European Council, the legislation will become effective six months later. While much as been written about the DMA and its many rules for large online platforms (so-called “gatekeepers”), its effect on the online travel industry remains unclear. Metasearch companies have applauded the DMA’s passage in the hope that the DMA curbs alleged market abuses by Google. Other industry members – particularly those identified as possible “gatekeepers” (both Booking.com and Airbnb) – have spoken cautiously in favor of the DMA and its stated goals while at the same time disputing their possible gatekeeper status. With a clearer path and timeline for the ultimate rollout of the DMA, expect to hear a lot more about the legislation and the changes coming to a travel platform near you.
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.