Priceline Group buys Momondo for $550 million

The Momondo Group has sold to the Priceline Group, owner of rival travel search service Kayak, in a $550 million deal. The deal will see the two brands within the group, Momondo and Cheapflights, “roll under” the Kayak division. Regulatory approvals are needed to close the…

HotelBeds buys Tourico Holidays distribution service

HotelBeds Group is making a move to consolidate the travel wholesaler business with a deal to buy US-based Tourico Holidays. Terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed and the deal is subject to approval by regulators. The deal includes the entire Tourico business, covering its wholesaler…

Marriott looks to the moment as it upgrades mobile app

Marriott International has revamped its mobile application in a bid try and be more relevant to guests… at the right time. Developments include design improvements, personalisation and better tie-in to the loyalty programme which is being updated to enable easier ways to spend points. George Corbin, the…

Ground transportation narrows again – Groundlink sells to Marcou Transportation

Another noteworthy move in the ground transportation sector this week as Marcou Transportation Group buys two parts of the ecosystem to bolster its position. GroundLink and Limo Anywhere will both become part of the Boston, US-based group, joining Marcou’s existing business Dav El-Boston Coach. Both deals have been…

Booking.com to invest €2 million in green-friendly travel startups

Booking.com has joined the travel startup accelerator trend by launching its own programme with a total fund of €2 million. The Priceline Group’s own effort comes with a twist: it will only help and potentially support new businesses that are focused on “sustainable tourism”. The Booking.com Booster initiative…

Travel marketing is messy (and getting messier)

In 1999 my family took a trip to Florida. This trip was dreamt of through TV ads, planned through pamphlets and documented through rolls of film. NB: This is a viewpoint by Ryan Ruud, a digital marketing consultant. We actually had to fly home, drop film…

Accor boosts rental position with Travel Keys acquisition

Travel Keys, a modest player in the vacation rental sector, is to join the portfolio of alternative accommodation services at AccorHotels. “Exclusive negotiations” are underway for Accor to buy the US-based Travel Keys, with a deal expected to close by June this year for an as-yet undisclosed…

Hotel in-room tech raises a glass to automatic wine

The hi-tech guest experience in hotel rooms has so far been limited mainly to just a handful of items. Guests can automatically open or close the curtains, watch TV on their bathroom mirrors, stream a device to the big television, toggle the temperature from a tablet,…

When principles trump price and convenience (updated)

As Uber CEO Travis Kalanick settles down for some shuteye ahead of Donald Trump’s first business advisory group meeting in Washington tomorrow (Friday), there may be a couple of things that are keeping him awake. UPDATE 3FEB 0900 GMT – It has now emerged that Kalanick…

HotelQuando brings hours to the US, Locomote sets up UK base, and more…

This is a roundup of product news and announcements for travel people moves in tourism and hospitality for February 2017. Friday 3 February 2017: HotelQuando establishes office in the US The accommodation booking site will have its first North American branch in Miami, Florida, after gaining…

Mobile app startups – Credntia, OMitra, TheHopper

This is a regular roundup of some of the latest mobile application startup launches in travel covering everything from trip inspiration and planning to virtual assistants. Credntia What is it? Credntia describes itself as an identity management system. The app, launched in 2015, enabels travellers to…

Yatra numbers show scale of marketing spend gap with MakeMyTrip

Yatra.com‘s first quarterly earnings release since joining Nasdaq in December shows a 20%+ increase in booking volumes from its air and hotels business. In the Oct-Dec period, Yatra handled 1.8 million air passengers, up by 23.7% compared with the same period in 2015. Revenue from air…

Personalisation in travel search: inspiration, the momondo way

Momondo has always sought to differentiate itself with not only better metasearch but also more inspiring metasearch. This is a distinctly personal topic for us, as well as a broader discussion point for the industry. NB This is a viewpoint by Pia Vemmelund, managing director for…

The appliance of science in travel

Online travel agencies have databases full of hotel content, ordered so that they can serve their customers with the best offering that has the highest likelihood of a conversion. The state of technology at this moment is on the verge of converting what a customer sees…