This week’s Update features two stories detailing fintech’s growing influence on online travel. Regular readers of our Update know that we’ve featured a number of fintech and payment related stories this past year, with multiple stories on Hopper, Booking.com and its much discussed payment platform, Visa, and others. And if you need any further proof of the growing influence (or likely future influence) of payments on online travel, one only need to review the list of regular readers of our online travel blog on JD Supra, which reads like a who’s who of the payments world – American Express, Capital One, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Deutsche Bank. I hope you enjoy this week’s Update.
Musafir Partners with Mastercard to Launch Innovative Payment Options
(“UAE-Based OTA Musafir Signs with Mastercard,” May 27, 2022 via Business Travel News)
Three weeks ago, it was Agoda announcing its partnership with Visa. Last week, Dubai-based online travel agent Musafir announced its own exclusive partnership with Mastercard. According to the announcement, the parties will work together to “digitize payment flows,” launch new innovative payment products and provide expense management tools for Musafir’s corporate customers. Musafir claims to be the region’s first O.T.A. with 1800 businesses participating on its business booking platform. For more details on the growing influence of fintech products on online travel, make sure to read the story below from Wit, detailing Amadeus’ recent Travel Fintech Investment Trends 2022 report.
Wyndham Announces New Trip Planning Tool
(“Wyndham Launches New In-App Planning and Booking Tool: Road Trip Planner,” May 23, 2022 via Lodging Magazine)
The direct booking wars continue... last week, Wyndham announced the launch of new trip planning functionality for its mobile application, titled “Road Trip Planner.” The new tool allows Wyndham’s largely leisure-user base to plan travel itineraries based on a number of variables, including drive times, distance, preferred Wyndham brand and pet policies. Users can also get recommended directions between travel points and recommended stops in between. Of course, as part of the itinerary planning process, users can book (or modify or cancel) stays at multiple Wyndham properties. Anyone say road trip…
Amazon’s Travel Experiments Continue
(“Exclusive Amazon Partnership Could Broaden MakeMyTrip's India Reach,” May 25, 2022 via Yahoo Finance)
For some time now, we’ve been closely monitoring Amazon’s ongoing travel “experiments” in India. According to Indian online travel agent, MakeMyTrip, which began powering Amazon India’s (amazon.in) flight offerings in the fourth quarter of 2021, the partnership is beginning to deliver promising results. Users booking flights on Amazon India via their Amazon Pay accounts experience the same user interface as MakeMyTrip users and receive access to the same discounted flights. According to MakeMyTrip co-founder and C.E.O., Rajesh Magow, the partnership is allowing both Amazon and MakeMyTrip to obtain bookings from users in tertiary markets within India, which was among the parties’ many objectives.
Have a great week, everyone. I hope to see many of you at the upcoming HSMAI Revenue Optimization Conference and associated roundtables in Orlando in June.
Tour Operators Are Travel’s Last Big Sector Ready for Digital Transformation
May 26, 2022 via Skift Travel News (subscription may be required)
Peering in from the outside, it can appear that the multi-day tour sector is lagging in digital transformation when compared to almost every other sector of travel. We don’t see the layers of digital infrastructure and we haven’t seen the money that can flow with them. In airlines, hotels and even day tours and attractions, we’ve seen huge supportive industries pop up like res-tech, niche specific online travel agencies and Meta players.
Q&A: Steve Hafner on the Development of Kayak for Business
May 23, 2022 via Phocus Wire
Kayak quietly launched its Kayak for Business (K4B) corporate travel solution just before the pandemic in late 2019 with a full launch in July 2021.
Fintech Investment High Priority for Travel Businesses to Capture Rebound
May 23, 2022 via WiT
Nine out of 10 leaders in the travel businesses view fintech and payments as a high priority, while 80 percent of businesses stated they plan to match or go beyond 2019 investment level this year.
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.