From the number of announcements this past week by travel industry members detailing their new online small and medium business initiatives, someone must have deemed last week “small and medium business week.” We’ve included a few of the more interesting announcements in this week’s Update. Enjoy:
- Google Trial Continues to Provide Interesting Insight into OTAs Online Advertising. In last week’s Update, we featured the testimony of a senior Booking Holdings executive. This week, we feature the testimony of a former senior Expedia executive.
- Rival Platforms Form New Coalition to Fight Fake Reviews. Much was written this past week about several prominent online platforms’ (including Booking.com, Expedia and Tripadvisor) newly announced coalition against fraudulent online reviews. In this week’s Update, we include the story from the perspective of Seattle’s own, Geekwire. The newly formed “Coalition for Trusted Reviews” is notable as it is one of the few instances (perhaps only) where three major online travel rivals come together for a common objective. According to Amazon (which has been quite active pursuing fake reviews), the Coalition hopes to define best practices for hosting online reviews and to share effective methods for detecting and stopping fake reviews. The Coalition next meets in December at a meeting organized by Amazon.
- Booking.com’s Payment Challenges Lead to Class Action Lawsuit. Over the past few weeks, we’ve featured several stories about Booking.com’s payment platform’s apparent delay in making much needed payments to hotels in Europe and Asia. According to one operator in Japan, the payment delays still continue. Now, a group of Japanese hoteliers are planning a class-action lawsuit against Booking.com.
- How Much Do Hoteliers Really Pay Intermediaries? According to industry consultant, Max Starkov, the amount for 2023 is a staggering $50 billion. If you include the costs associated with corporate travel agents and traditional travel agencies in the total, Skift estimates the yearly total climbs to $75 billion.