August has been a slow month in the distribution world as this week’s Update reflects.
Seattle Is Home to Yet Another Travel Industry Startup
("KuaiBangXing Links Chinese Travelers With Activities: Travel Startup Funding This Week," August 17, 2018)
There must be something in our Seattle water...Seattle-based activities booking platform, KuaiBankXing, announced last week that it had completed its $1 million angel round of funding. The 3-year old startup assembles itineraries (using either existing programs or directly assembling its own combination of tours and activities) and marries those itineraries with Mandarin speaking escorts. KauiBankXing not only then promotes and sells these itineraries to inbound Chinese travelers (via OTAs like Ctrip and Fliggy), but also works with independent tour and activity providers to better promote and facilitate transactions with inbound Chinese travelers.
Chase Strikes OTA Travel Partnership
("Chase teams with Expedia to beef up travel card perks," Consumer Affairs News and Alerts, August 14, 2018)
Holders of Chase Ultimate Rewards travel cards will soon be able to use those cards (and accumulated loyalty benefits) to book the wide range of travel products available through Expedia. Hoteliers seeking to shift travelers’ booking practices away from OTAs (or other third-party channels) will now have one more “channel” to consider.
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.