TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Travel companies ask European regulators to enforce Google dominance decision

Google | November 18, 2020

Travel companies ask European regulators to enforce Google dominance decision
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."

Spotlight

In recent years, there have been remarkable breakthroughs in technology which have led to exciting advancements in the way travel and leisure operators conduct business and attract new consumers. It’s been a period of discovery, with operators finding that the strategies that worked in the past, don’t work now. As the recent fate of Thomas Cook shows, there has been casualties as a result. Technology developments are showing no sign of slowing down, as innovation races to keep up with consumer’s expectations. While some brands have already adopted experience apps and slick social media campaigns, others are still in the discovery stage; soaking in insight while incrementally applying updates to their business model. The more businesses lag behind, the more their counterparts will thrive, and that’s a dangerous position to be in. Generation Z, the first digitally native generation, is quickly moving into the prime purchasing position.

Related News

TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Despite the Pandemic, Brazil's Travel Tech Scene is Thriving

Skift | July 29, 2021

Brazil is proving to be a fertile ground for travel tech companies. According to a recent study, the country has 219 companies that provide corporate travel, online travel, distribution, and business intelligence. Entrepreneurs established the majority of these businesses in the last seven years. The country is positioning itself to become a Latin American travel tech hub comparable to Mexico, Colombia, and Argentina. These companies are investing now to gain a competitive edge in the post-pandemic period, and they are playing the long game. According to the So Paulo consultancy Loureiro Consultores, Brazil’s travel tech businesses are expected to generate or service about $6 billion (35 billion reals) in gross travel volume in 2022. The report expands on a rough version published a year ago by business travel company Onfly. The “agency and online reservations” area seems to be Brazil’s most robust category of travel IT firms, accounting for 29% of the total. To be sure, global brands like Booking.com, Expedia, and the Despegar-owned brand Decolar are major online travel sellers in Brazil. In addition, Hurb (formerly Hotel Urbano) is a local player, although it is backed in parts by Booking Holdings. Finally, Submarinoviagens is the online brand of CVC Corp, the established travel giant that claims itself as the largest group of travel and tourist businesses in the Americas. Nonetheless, despite these well-capitalized brands, smaller local competitors seem to be gaining momentum. 123milhas and Viajanet are among the agencies that have maintained or increased their market share throughout the crisis, thanks in part to smart marketing on Lusophone social media. Voopter has maintained its share of the travel price-comparison search, or metasearch, market, despite competition from Mundi, a brand purchased by Booking Holdings, Skyscanner, Trip.com Group, and Google’s travel search. YouVisa is a travel company that provides an adjacent service by digitizing and simplifying the still enigmatic process of obtaining visas for international travel. Just as Oyo Rooms and Ayenda Hoteles in Colombia have generated buzz with their branded hospitality franchise models, Brazil has its own similar tech-forward hospitality startup: Voa Hotéis. Housi in Brazil, like Sonder in the United States and Casai in Mexico, operates on similar business models. It sometimes signs master leases from property managers, creates short-term rentals, and markets them through online agencies. In addition, it sometimes owns the property itself. In December, the startup raised $11 million in funding. Optimized for Brazilian Travel The rise of domestic travel tech and trends in internet use and flight expansion is laying the foundation for a rebound. Millions of Brazilians moved from offline to online due to pandemic restrictions, similar to how China experienced a spike in digitization after the SARS epidemic in 2003. An estimated 150 million Brazilians use the internet, with the recent expansion of mobile broadband benefitting them. The success of the new airline Azul in introducing flights to places that other carriers had overlooked is also benefiting the growing middle class. Investors have mostly ignored the Portuguese-speaking country because they believe its middle-class has not yet reached “the inflection points” at which it would substantially increase travel spending, to use language from a Boston Consulting Group report. Investors have also been cautious about the country, which had only attracted around 5 million international visitors each year on average before the pandemic. However, the relative lack of foreign investor activity has made room for newer homegrown players to take and solidify positions in the long term. Strength in corporate travel tech Brazil’s travel tech scene seems to be doing particularly well in corporate travel. Brazil currently lacks a competitor to Barcelona-based TravelPerk or Palo Alto-based TripActions. Onfly, Paytrack, and Voll are three of the most promising businesses that could follow in their steps. However, it is still early on in the game. B2B Reservas is another promising company. It handles corporate travel distribution, reservations, and payments by connecting hotels to the biggest travel agencies, similar to HRS’s corporate travel marketplace. In an economy dominated by family-owned or state-backed conglomerates, the growth of these stand-alone companies is remarkable. However, it seems that many legacy companies in Brazil’s travel industry have left gaps that can be exploited by entrants, as Azul has shown in the face of established airlines like LATAM and Gol. Enterprise or business-to-business technology vendors are another intriguing categories in Brazil’s travel tech scene. Sensys Travel, for instance, is a business intelligence company that assists travel brands in tracking the rates that their competitors are placing on the market in “real-time.” Any effort to capture a travel company ecosystem should consider whether or not to include so-called mobility players, including ride-hailing companies, ground transportation operators, and next-generation aircraft manufacturers. Some analysts, such as Lufthansa Innovation Hub, include mobility players in their assessments. Brazil may offer a more compelling case for adding mobility players than other markets. The line between IT players providing tourism, business travel, and mobility in Brazil is often more hazy than in other markets. Much of the country’s leisure and business travel occurs outside of aircraft (almost no rail). WiiMove, like Berlin-based Omio, aims to capture multi-modal choices for travelers. The little cruise industry in Brazil is one of the country’s travel mysteries. According to the Wall Street Journal, the country’s Economic growth is expected to expand by more than 4.3 percent this year. In addition, a gradual easing of the pandemic should lead to a recovery in leisure and business travel.

Read More

INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

New report from WTTC and Trip.com Group reveals latest consumer trends and the shift in traveller behaviours

WTTC & Trip.com | November 26, 2021

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and Trip.com Group launched 'Trending in Travel', a new report that shows the latest trends traveller behaviour and future booking patterns in the wake of COVID-19. WTTC, representing the private Travel & Tourism sector, joined forces with leading global travel service provider, Trip.com Group, and its major consumer brands Trip.com, Ctrip and Skyscanner, to analyse consumer trends shaping the recovery of the Travel & Tourism sector.WTTC's latest projections show strong growth in international spending for 2022 and beyond, projecting to overtake domestic spending in 2022, as more destinations ease restrictions and vaccination rates continue to rise. Following a 69.4% decline (2020), global international spending on travel is set to rise by 9.3% in 2021, and significantly by 93.8% in 2022. The inaugural report also reveals how severe and confusing travel restrictions around the world drove a significant rise in domestic tourism, with a surge in domestic hotel bookings of more than 200% on Trip.com's platform this year compared to 2019. Since the start of the pandemic, mobility restrictions have hindered international travel and, although domestic travel will provide a much-needed boost to the sector, WTTC says the return of international travel is critical to rebooting the global economy. The report focuses on booking trends, consumer considerations, and consumer profiles. It also features examples of markets whose resilience has provided a platform for the recovery of the Travel & Tourism sector. The report shows how COVID-19 has changed the way people travel; younger travellers are the first to return to travel; increased demand for longer stays; the importance of fee-free cancellations and the demand for high levels of health and safety checks. To avoid travel restrictions, travellers are seeking secondary destinations, away from traditional holiday spots, as their destination of choice. This preference positively impacts local communities and livelihoods. According to Trip.com's hotel booking data, Abu Dhabi (UAE) Chiang Mai (Thailand), Doha (Qatar), Florence (Italy), and Frankfurt (Germany) were the most popular secondary destinations in their respective countries in 2021. The report goes on to show that, according to Ctrip data, bookings for 'the great outdoors' will predominate in the short and medium term. In China – one of the world's largest travel markets - nature-related attraction bookings have increased by 265% in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year. The pause in travel has also heightened consumers' eagerness to travel more sustainably with more than eight out of 10 (83%) global travellers saying they would make sustainable travel a priority in the future. Reinforcing this long-term trend, since its launch in 2019, the report shows 68 million travellers have opted to book a "Greener Choice" labelled flight on Skyscanner, a comparatively lower-carbon flight choice. According to the report, 70% of travellers in many major countries such as the U.S., Spain, the UK, Canada, and Japan plan to spend more on travel in 2022 than they have in the last five years, including 2019 - one of the best years on record for Travel & Tourism. "It is clear people are really looking forward to travelling again. Consumers are curious, they are looking at new destinations, 'the great outdoors' and travel that benefits the places and people they visit. As travel and tourism represents over 10% of global GDP this is good news for jobs and economies." -Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO The impact in some countries has been devastating for local communities and this report shows that business is returning in earnest. "Travellers around the world have shown their eagerness to travel, whether limited to domestic travel or able to cross borders, we see a huge amount of pent-up demand steadily being released." -Jane Sun, CEO of Trip.com Group To better evolve with the recovery we must understand travellers, and as an industry adapt to emerging trends. Latest WTTC research shows the global recovery of the Travel & Tourism sector is picking up pace with the sector's contribution to global GDP projected to rise by 30.7% in 2021 and 31.7% in 2022. For more information on the Trending in Travel: Emerging Consumer Trends in Travel & Tourism in 2021 and Beyond report, download the full report here. About Trip.com Group Trip.com Group is a leading global travel service provider comprising of Trip.com, Ctrip, Skyscanner, and Qunar. Across its platforms, Trip.com Group helps travellers around the world make informed and cost-effective bookings for travel products and services, and enables partners to connect their offerings with users through the aggregation of comprehensive travel-related content and resources, and an advanced transaction platform consisting of apps, websites and 24/7 customer service centers. Founded in 1999 and listed on NASDAQ in 2003 and HKEX in 2021, Trip.com Group has become one of the best-known travel groups in the world, with the mission "to pursue the perfect trip for a better world".For more information, please visit: group.trip.com About WTTC The World Travel & Tourism Council is the global authority on the economic and social contribution of Travel & Tourism. WTTC promotes sustainable growth for the Travel & Tourism sector, working with governments and international institutions to create jobs, to drive exports and to generate prosperity. Council Members are the Chairs, Presidents and Chief Executives of the world's leading private sector Travel & Tourism businesses.For further information, please visit: WTTC.org

Read More

Florida Health Department Protocols for Travelers

Florida Health Department | July 07, 2020

Florida’s perennial popularity as a vacation destination has contributed to its emergence as one of the nation’s top states for new COVID-19 cases since America began its reopening process. But, with folks desperate for a domestic summer escape, many coming from nearby states and some from across the U.S. won’t be deterred from flocking to its beaches and other attractions. The Florida Health Department reports that Governor Ron DeSantis’ executive order from back in March is still in effect, requiring those entering Florida from New York, New Jersey or Connecticut to self-quarantine for fourteen days or the length of their visit, whichever is shorter. Others coming from areas with “substantial community spread” of the virus may also be told to quarantine, with airport and roadside checkpoints in place to screen for potential inbound cases.

Read More

Spotlight

In recent years, there have been remarkable breakthroughs in technology which have led to exciting advancements in the way travel and leisure operators conduct business and attract new consumers. It’s been a period of discovery, with operators finding that the strategies that worked in the past, don’t work now. As the recent fate of Thomas Cook shows, there has been casualties as a result. Technology developments are showing no sign of slowing down, as innovation races to keep up with consumer’s expectations. While some brands have already adopted experience apps and slick social media campaigns, others are still in the discovery stage; soaking in insight while incrementally applying updates to their business model. The more businesses lag behind, the more their counterparts will thrive, and that’s a dangerous position to be in. Generation Z, the first digitally native generation, is quickly moving into the prime purchasing position.