Travel News Round-Up: January 22-February 16, 2016

Welcome to our travel news round-up through February 16, with our summary of important headlines, must-read articles, and key developments in the travel industry. With this edition, we introduce a new format to include our reflections on articles in the travel trade press, as well as a new twice-monthly frequency. Please tell us what you think about the new format!

Disruption–Airbnb Marches On:  Airbnb continues to be a hot topic of conversation, as hotels continue to adapt to the lodging site’s growing prowess. Over the past two weeks, we’ve seen important signs that Airbnb continues to expand its reach while two major hotel chains made announcements in reaction. Gone are the days when Airbnb was simply a place for wandering millennials to find couch-surfing options, leading some analysts to assert (correctly) that the term “sharing economy” is a misnomer when applied to the company.  

  • Choice Mimics Airbnb–Choice Hotels’ CEO recently announced it will start offering third-party vacation rentals on its website and might eventually offer an Airbnb-like alternative accommodation option as well. Read more: Sharing Economy Might Be in Choice’s Future

Distribution–Instant Booking, Bidding and Direct Bookings: 2016 is shaping up to be an interesting year in travel distribution, as OTAs consolidate, the distribution landscape fragments and hotels struggle to control the distribution of their products. TripAdvisor’s Instant Booking has been a topic of conversation while Expedia announced a new bidding system for hotels and Hilton launched a campaign to get direct bookings.

  • Hilton Pursues Direct Bookings–The hotel company’s “Stop Clicking Around” campaign is designed to drive more business to its lowest-cost booking channel, its own websites. Read More: Hilton Campaigns to Brink Clicks Direct

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