This week’s update has a variety of stories, including details of the recent leadership change at Booking.com in the Asia Pacific region. Enjoy.
Spanish hoteliers shout foul
(“Hotels in Spain are suing Booking.com for” abusive practices “-” 40% more than actual price “,” June 22, 2021 via Daily Express)
The Madrid Hoteliers Association recently announced that it had filed claims against Booking.com with the Spanish competition authority asking them to investigate the online travel agency’s practices. Claims revolve around Booking.com’s rate parity requirements (which the association claims result in booking prices 40 percent higher than its members’ own prices) and the level of control that Booking.com’s website has over hotel guests exercises – booking management and (now) payments. The association’s complaints followed similar claims made by the Spanish Hotel Directors Association.
The recently passed house law could have a significant impact on Google’s travel products
(There is a good chance Google Travel’s ambitions will be curbed by law, ”June 24, 2021 via Skift Travel News) (subscription may be required)
The passage of the American Choice and Innovation Online Act last week by a House committee could ultimately force some major changes to be made to Google, Facebook, and other online platforms. The law would prohibit platforms from favoring their products, services and businesses over those of their competitors. Presumably (although the law doesn’t specifically say so) the law would apply to Google Flights, Google Hotels, and Google Things To Do. If the bill were passed, it would be a victory for many of Google, TripAdvisor, and Expedia’s biggest critics (and customers). The law has yet to be reviewed and approved by the entire House of Representatives and Senate before it can come into effect.
(“Google Delays Plan to Block Tracking Cookies,” June 24, 2021 via Washington Post)
Congratulations to all of the digital marketers out there, you now have a little longer to prepare for Google’s proposed policy on blocking third-party tracking cookies. Google’s recently announced decision extends the start of the policy until the end of 2023. Note that Apple has not announced a similar postponement.
Expedia Group aims to close the one-sided profit margin gap with Booking Holdings Close
June 23, 2021 via Skift Travel News (subscription may be required)
In the competition between Expedia Group and Booking Holdings, this is an everlasting handicap – Booking Holdings is a much more profitable company. But now Expedia boss Peter Kern hopes that his company can at least narrow the gap.
In the Delta Saber deal, the global distribution system is paid for by the value of the booking, not the flat fee
June 22, 2021 via Phocus Wire
A revised distribution agreement between Delta and Saber has the potential to disrupt the usual commercial payment model between airlines, global distribution system and travel agents.
Booking.com appoints Laura Houldsworth as new head of Asia Pacific
June 24, 2021 via WIT
Booking.com has named Laura Houldsworth as Managing Director & Vice President for the Asia Pacific region effective June 2021. She succeeds Angel Llull Mancas, who has been Managing Director for the Asia-Pacific region since August 2018.