Google | November 18, 2020
Travel innovation organizations are pushing for the European Commission to address Google's act of presenting its own administrations as a rule search.
In a letter to Margrethe Vestager, magistrate for rivalry, 130 organizations and 28 industry associations, over various areas, request that the Commission "enforce its 2017 abuse of dominance decision."
The letter says that Google doesn't contend reasonably in search and has not accomplished by "competing on the merit."
The letter proceeds to state that despite the fact that the impending recommendations on the guideline of computerized watchmen may support longer term, the Commission should act currently, utilizing the current system, to address the circumstance.
"Many of us may not have the strength and resources to wait until such regulation really takes effect."
Avoya Travel | November 23, 2021
Avoya Travel, one of the travel industry’s most innovative companies, is pleased to announce that it has closed on an investment from funds managed by Certares Management LLC, a global travel, tourism, and hospitality investment firm. Certares joins brothers, Jeff and Michael Anderson, as Co-Owners of Avoya and together are committed to long-term growth and scaling its vacation platform. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“We are honored to welcome Certares as a partner in Avoya Travel. It’s taken tremendous endurance to build our industry-leading platform and we are excited for our brilliant employees, independent travel advisors, and suppliers – especially during these unprecedented times,” “We look forward to partnering with Certares to capitalize on the growth opportunities we see ahead as our industry begins its strong recovery.”
-Jeff Anderson, Co-Owner and Co-CEO of Avoya.
Avoya continues to invest in its people and technology which, despite the global pandemic, has driven record high customer satisfaction ratings. Avoya’s new investment from Certares will further position Avoya as an industry leader and accelerate the company in its pursuit to perfect vacation shopping, planning, and booking.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Anderson family as shareholders of Avoya and are cheering on the entire Avoya team,Through three generations of family leadership, Avoya has built an incredible team which has consistently pioneered innovative technology, industry-leading marketing and unmatched relationships with independent travel agencies, travelers, and suppliers. We are delighted to support the next phase of Avoya’s growth.”
-Colin Farmer, Senior Managing Director and Head of the Management Committee of Certares
The Anderson family has developed deep relationships in the travel industry for nearly 60 years and formed Avoya Travel in 2006. Co-Founders and brothers Jeff and Michael Anderson, having managed day-to-day operations for nearly a decade, will serve as Co-CEOs of Avoya. As part of the transaction, Brad Anderson will move to a senior advisory role and Van Anderson will retire. The first generation of the family in travel, Pal and Pat Anderson, started in the industry in Hawaii in 1964.
About Avoya Travel
Avoya Travel is redefining how vacations are booked by connecting travelers with independent travel advisors who deliver personalized service and value. Through its proprietary digital platform and vast demand channels, Avoya offers software and services to thousands of companies including cruise lines, resorts, tour companies, and independent travel agencies. Avoya has won numerous awards for its technology and innovation, including holding multiple patents, and serves travelers in North America and beyond. For more information, please visit AvoyaTravel.com.
Established in 2012, Certares focuses on direct investments in proprietary transactions, leveraging deep sector experience in the travel and hospitality industries, and with a consistent emphasis on partnership with management teams to drive growth. Certares brings together a team with decades of both operational and investment experience in private equity, travel, tourism, hospitality and travel-related business and consumer services. For more information, please visit certares.com.
Holiday Inn | April 23, 2021
Ken Hamlet, the former CEO of Holiday Inn, intends to use a $500 million war chest to acquire limited-service hotels (those without facilities such as a restaurant or spa) and reposition them as properties with a more upscale customer experience.
Consider it adding more of the Four Seasons experience to roadside hotels, as Hamlet put it.
He was CEO of Holiday Inn for nine years in the 1980s and early 1990s, and during that time the business was purchased by IHG and introduced or acquired brands such as Embassy Suites, Crowne Plaza, Hampton Inn, and Harrah's. Rather than starting his fund, Hamlet joined Olive Tree Hotels & Resorts, a hotel investment group where he now serves as CEO, to pursue deals.
“I began to think of maybe now is a very good time to take advantage of getting back into the hotel industry and purchasing distressed assets or buying assets that were well-located, well-branded, relatively well-managed, and that were being distressed and only needed additional capital to get them up to 2021 standards,” he said this week.
The only thing is that there is a litany of hotel investors drooling about hotel investment prospects that did not come true before the pandemic.
Investment firms such as CGI Merchant Group, in collaboration with New York Yankees baseball legend Alex Rodriguez, and Bainbridge DXS are also scouring the market for hotel acquisitions of hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming years. Dreamscape Cos., owner of the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, has more than $1 billion in cash to purchase hotels, including troubled business-transient and convention-focused properties.
Olive Tree's capital distinguishes itself by concentrating on limited-service hotels in a mix of the 75 major U.S. cities as well as some secondary and tertiary markets such as Las Cruces, New Mexico. As long as there is a nearby demand driver, such as a hospital, university, or office park, the company can seek a deal. The majority of buyers are looking for troubled hotels in metropolitan markets or resorts in drive-to and leisure destinations.
Olive Tree intends to upgrade its guest rooms with more innovative features, such as automated check-ins and co-working-inspired workspaces in public areas. But, in addition to the technology, Hamlet desires enhanced client support, such as staffers adding personal touches to the guest experience, such as a bottle of wine or glass of champagne delivered to a room or hors d'oeuvres and chocolate bars in the lobby.
The move is reminiscent of how Holiday Inn became a brand. Kemmons Wilson established the roadside motel business in the early 1950s after becoming dissatisfied with the choices offered on a road trip between Memphis, Tenn., and Washington, D.C.
He set out to fix it because there was no consistency or quality in the accommodation experience. Olive Tree intends to replicate the success of existing limited-service hotels that are underperforming.
Many of Olive Tree's acquisitions would be branded by major companies such as Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, and IHG. However, the company is not opposed to maintaining property independence or even launching its brand.
It is unclear when any of those acquisition goals will become available. Olive Tree reportedly has one hotel under contract and another "in the works."
Due to a mix of bank forbearance on mortgages and several rounds of federal stimulus by offerings such as the Paycheck Protection Program of forgivable small business loans, there haven't been as many distressed hotel properties exchanged throughout the last year. The Olive Tree team does not anticipate having to wait much longer.