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Online Travel Update: Hyatt acquires Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Washington passes privacy legislation, and Choice Hotels joins GroupSync Marketplace

Our weekly Online Travel Update for the week ending April 28, 2023, is below.  It was another relatively quiet week in the online travel industry, with Hyatt garnering much of the attention with its end of week announcement regarding its planned purchase of Mr. and Mrs. Smith.  Enjoy.

    • Hyatt Acquires Booking Platform – Mr. and Mrs. Smith.  On Friday, Hyatt announced that it has reached agreement to purchase boutique hotel booking platform, Mr. and Mrs. Smith.  The platform provides direct booking access to over 1500 independent, boutique hotels around the world, including hotels in 20 countries where Hyatt currently has no presence.  With its purchase, Hyatt will ultimately be able to add 1500 hotels to its existing booking channels and thereby offer its loyalty program members (and those 1 million plus members of Mr. and Mrs. Smith) even more destination alternatives.  The purchase is expected to close in the second quarter. 

    • Washington State Passes Privacy Legislation.  Just another state setting out on its own until federal legislators step in to finally get serious about national data privacy?  Not exactly.  As many of you know, privacy and data security play a prominent role in just about every online relationship, which is why we are covering this new legislation here.  While the title of Washington’s recently enacted “My Health My Data Act” might suggest that it applies exclusively to sensitive to health information, Erin Snodgrass (our newest hospitality industry team member) explains why such an interpretation is likely wrong. 

    • Choice Hotels Join Groups360’s GroupSync Marketplace.  Add Choice to the list of major brands to endorse Group360’s online group booking tool – GroupSync Instant Booking.

Hyatt plans to acquire hotel booking platform for £53M
April 28, 2023 via Phocus Wire
London-based luxury hotel booking site Mr & Mrs Smith, launched in 2003, offers direct booking access to more than 1,500 boutique and luxury properties around the world.
"My Health My Data Act" Signed into Law by Governor Inslee with Likely Broad Reaching Impact on Businesses
April 28, 2023 via Foster Garvey
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has signed the "My Health My Data Act," into law today. This Act is a broad and complex piece of legislation that could have far-reaching impacts on businesses operating in the state. The Act will come into effect on March 31, 2024, with a delayed start date of June 30, 2024 for small businesses (but note, certain aspects of the Act may come into effect even sooner).
Groups360 and Choice Hotels International announce Direct Booking Solution for Group Room Blocks
April 26, 2023 via Hospitality Net
Groups360 and Choice Hotels International announces today the rollout of GroupSync™ Instant Booking across Choice’s global portfolio in 2023. Soon meeting and event organizers can shop and book online group guest rooms at Choice Hotel properties within GroupSync Marketplace.

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About the Editor

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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