Hotelbeds Agrees to Acquire Tourico
In the most significant tour and travel industry development since late last April, when Hotelbeds was acquired, the Hotelbeds Group has announced an agreement to legally structure the merger of the Tourico Group’s main parent company—Travel Holdings Parent Corporation—and Hotelbeds U.S. Holdco, Inc., a legal entity of Hotelbeds Group Holding in the United States. The merged entity will be 100 percent owned by Hotelbeds Group. The move follows by a little more than eight months the purchase of Hotelbeds from TUI, Europe’s largest company, by the UK-based private equity firm Cinven and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. The move left the then-current leadership of Hotelbeds in place.
The action will consolidate bedbank activity primarily among two global companies—Hotelbeds and GTA. Last October, the Inbound Report reviewed the websites of the two companies, along with that of Tourico and found that Hotelbeds claimed 100,000-plus hotel partners, GTA 62,000 and Tourico 56,600.
In an effort to learn more about what the acquisition will mean, the Inbound Report put a trio of questions to Pete Bahrenburg, a Tourico. spokesperson.
Inbound Report: Is this considered a merger?
Tourico: The deal will be legally structured via the merger of the top holding company of Tourico Group (´Travel Holdings Parent Corporation´) and Hotelbeds US Holdco, Inc., Hotelbeds Group Holding´s legal entity in the United States. The merged entity will be 100 percent owned by Hotelbeds Group.
Inbound Report: What is happening to Uri Argov and his role?
Tourico: Until regulatory approval is gained. Tourico Holidays will remain an independent company and as such will retain its existing management structure. When the deal completes the standard statutory approval process, then Tourico Holidays will become an additional business unit within Hotelbeds Group while the integration with Hotelbeds Group’s Bedbank unit is planned.
Inbound Report: Are they going to keep the brands separate?
Tourico: Today (Feb. 7th) we are simply announcing this news, therefore we are not yet in a position to plan the details of the merger of Tourico Holidays with the bedbank business unit of Hotelbeds Group. It would be premature for us to make detailed comments. However, we can say that when this deal completes the regulatory process, at that point Tourico Holidays will continue to operate as an independent business within Hotelbeds Group. In both the run up to the completion and for a period of time thereafter, both companies will independently continue to serve clients and suppliers as they do today. At the deal completion stage we will then work together to plan, for the longer term, the most appropriate way to manage the businesses going forward
The Trump Travel Ban—an Early Impact Statement
(Editor’s Note: As we were preparing to distribute this issue of the Inbound Report, a U.S. Appellate Court ruling sustaining a stay against President Trump’s executive order imposing a travel ban on certain international visitors was still in place. Most of what follows is based on developments that occurred while the ban was still in effect.)
Ever since the evening of Jan. 27, 2017, much of the global tour and travel industry has been writhing in turmoil in the wake of an executive order signed that day by President Donald Trump which keeps refugees from entering the USA for 120 days and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations out for three months. The countries affected are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. While this suggests the “extreme vetting” Trump alluded to during the 2016 presidential campaign, it still seems to have caught most Americans, as well as the leaders of other nations, by surprise.
The overwhelming reaction among the key international source markets to the travel ban, as it has come to be known, has been negative. Here, the Inbound Report will not recap or discuss such; there is enough of that to see or hear in other news channels of distribution. Rather, what we want to do is, in the simplest terms possible, identify some reports of what the executive order and the global reaction to it mean to the U.S. inbound tourism industry in quantifiable terms.
First, the “good” news: The good news is that there is no bad news—or anticipated bad news—to report from some quarters.
- For instance, reports the German travel trade publication, FVW, “German tour operators remain confident about U.S. bookings this year despite President Trump’s ban. For most Germans, the point is made, a trip to the United States is not something to be put off or canceled because of political considerations.
- Also, in anticipation of considerable declines in visitorship from Mexico, as well as markets that use the connections of carriers headquartered in the Middle East, sources tell us that there could be bargain sales of seats in from such markets as some airlines (such as Volaris and Viva in Mexico and Etihad, Emirates and Qatar Airways in the Middle East) have greatly increased capacity and routes to and from the USA in the past five years and do not want to shut down the routes. To keep flying and fill seats at the same time, the airlines will have to offer bargain rates.
Second, the other news:
- At least 100,000 visas were revoked in the first week of the ban, a lawyer for the Justice Department revealed in court during a Feb. 3 hearing in which a U.S. judge granted Virginia’s motion to join a lawsuit challenging the immigration ban. However, the U.S. the State Department disputed the Justice Department’s numbers, issuing a statement claiming the amount of revoked visas was actually fewer than 60,000.
- It seems as if the timing of the travel ban could effectively kill the chances of Los Angeles to host the 2024 Olympic Games. Paris, published reports suggest, is now the favorite to win the bid, while Los Angeles and Rome—both have hosted the games in the past—are still contenders. The winner will be announced on Sept. 13 of this year. The U.S. travel ban has already been sharply criticized by at least one member of the International Olympic Committee.
Rather than just speculate about the bottom-line impact of the travel ban, Ernest Wooden, Jr., president and CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board reported on a study the board had conducted by Tourism Economics, an independent research partner, to re-evaluate the Los Angeles forecast for travel in the coming years.
First, some numbers regarding L.A.’s base of international visitors—there were 6.730 million in 2016; that’s a 3.3 percent increase over the 6.515,000 million international visitors who came Los Angeles in 2015. The study projected that Los Angeles County could suffer a potential three-year loss of 800,000 international visitors as a direct result of Trump’s executive order. (These visitors typically spend $920 each while in L.A., totaling a potential loss of $736 million in direct tourism spending.) Assuming that the loss is spread evenly over the three years, it means a decline of 267,000 a year—or a 3.9 percent drop this year from 2016.
- A recent analysis of searches in late January by the Swedish travel search engine, Flygresor.se, of searches in late January showed a substantial decline in the number of people seeking information on travel to the USA. Flygresor.se analyzed 2.5 million flight searches made on the website and its app during the first weekend after Trump’s inauguration as president and during the second weekend after the inauguration, comparing them to the same periods a year ago.
The result indicates a sharp reduction in interest to travel to the United States. In Trump’s first weekend as president, the percentage of searches to the U.S. declined by 43 percent against the year before. One weekend later, following the announced of the travel ban, the reduction was up 47 percent compared to a year ago.
- —Canadian searches for flights to American destinations dropped 43 per cent the weekend of Jan. 27-29 compared to a previous weekend earlier in January, according to the online travel site, CheapFlights.com.
- “The findings we’re showing today are certainly noteworthy,” said Emily Fisher, head of North American communications for the company. “They’re not a seasonal swing, they’re not something that’s just driven by normal traffic patterns.”
Searches for American destinations from other countries were also down 38 per cent, she added. The data compares searches from Jan. 27 to Jan. 29 with an earlier weekend, Jan. 6 to 8.
- While not directly related to the travel ban—but directly related to Trump’s inauguration as president—a flight searches from the UK to the U.S. tracked by the travel search engine KAYAK.co.uk dropped 39 per cent after the inauguration, compared to searches during the rest of the month. The following day alone–Trump’s first as President–interest in flights decreased by 24 per cent.
The pattern was replicated across the rest of Europe, according to KAYAK, revealing that overall European demand fell on average by 37 per cent on January 20 when Trump became President, compared to the rest of January.
- The results of a poll conducted during the week following Trump’s executive order and released Feb. 3rd showed that over a third of Brits say they are reconsidering plans to go on holiday as a result of the order. A poll of 1,000 people by HolidayExtras.com showed 38 percent said they are having a rethink.
The survey found 25 percent would reconsider a U.S. holiday in protest of the immigration restrictions, 7 percent felt concerned about delays at passport control, and 6 percent felt that confusing visa requirements were a further deterrent in visiting the country. While protest was the most popular reason for reconsidering a U.S. visit across both genders, 29 percent of females made this stand compared to just 22 percent of men.
- Another smaller UK survey (420 people) by the website Simply Holiday Deals found similar results, with just over a third of respondents saying they would reconsider visiting the country and 8 percent saying they were undecided. But it also found that just over half of Brits agree with, or are undecided about, Trump’s controversial order and 45 percent believe the UK should seek to execute a similar ban.
- At the personal level, the impact of the ban shone in the decision of a UK-based Halal-specialist tour operator, Serendipity Tailormade, to temporarily stop selling U.S. destinations, as well as routes on U.S. airlines to Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America. Director Nabeel Shariff said in a statement: “We believe the potential delays and distress that landing into U.S. destinations or flying on US airlines could cause clients is simply unnecessary.”
- —Perhaps the uncertainty and frenzy triggered by the travel ban is best captured in this e-mail message from a domestic U.S. tour operator sent to the NAJ Group (publisher of the Inbound Report) four days after it was announced “What is this administration doing? Ramming executive orders one after another, no cabinet in place, firing the acting Attorney General, appointing a new Attorney General who still has to be vetted by the Senate and can’t help with this Muslim ban, or call it what you may. Very scary for us in the travel industry as today saw cancellations from people not wanting to deal with airports.”
Irregularities Force Resignation of Port of Seattle’s CEO
Ted Fick, the CEO of the Port of Seattle, which is a major player in the inbound tourism industry in the U.S. Northwest, has resigned his post after it was revealed that he had engaged in a number of irregularities while serving in the position, which he had held since September 2014.
Drawing upon documents contained in an internal review of Fick’s performance, the Seattle Times reported a list of particulars included the following, which led to Fick’s resignation:
- In December 2015, the Port’s commissioners approved a Fick proposal to give all nonunion employees of the Port of Seattle a 7 percent lump-sum payment in December 2015. However, Fick didn’t tell the commission approving the raise that he would also be taking the extra pay—equal to $24,500, in addition to his $350,000 salary.
- Fick approached port officials in spring 2015 to relax requirements banning gifts to senior port officials. The port ultimately carved out an exemption for occasional gifts to senior managers when tickets and other event attendance was related to official duties. Fick then reported gifts worth $1,100 over the next year for attending three Seattle Mariners games, a University of Washington football game, a Seattle Sounders soccer game and round-trip Clipper cruise tickets to Victoria, B.C.
The port’s consultant and legal department concluded that most, if not all, of the tickets violated the port’s code of ethics.
- It was noted that some of the groups giving the gifts had direct dealings with the port. The UW football tickets, for instance, were given by a senior vice president of Alaska Air Group — the largest carrier at the Seattle–Tacoma International Airport, which the Port oversees.
- In another instance, the port’s dental insurance provider gave tickets to Seattle Mariners baseball games, while other baseball gifts were given by a King County Council member.
- Fick once asked an employee about a product his father’s company was selling that would help ease the removal of bolts. Some employees at the port interpreted the question as a mandate from the Fick to buy the product, and they did purchase it for $324 using port funds. The report noted that port officials were concerned that this action, like the secret pay raise and the tickets, also brought no consequences for Fick.
At the same time, outside executives and commission members conducting an internal review of Fick’s job last month found “a dramatic drop” in confidence in Fick’s integrity.
- Also, Fick also was hit with a DUI charge last April. “The commission is not as concerned as much (with) Ted’s DUI as it was about his thinking on how to deal with the issue. … It took a lot of commission effort to convince him that he needed to tell his staff and make a public statement right away,” one commissioner wrote in Fick’s performance review.
After these findings were presented to the commission, its board directed Fick to go on leave, Port Commission President Tom Albro said. He did, and then resigned on Feb 1st.
Just Who are China’s Independent Travelers?
According to data presented in a just released joint report by Tianxun—Skyscanner’s Chinese entity—and UnionPay (and as reported by Jing Daily):
- Female independent travelers outnumber men by four percentage points.
- The greatest share of all Chinese independent travelers are part of the millennial generation—68 percent of independent travelers are between 15 and 34 years old.
- A majority of China’s independent travelers are educated—94 percent of independent travelers hold degrees equivalent to or higher than college/vocational school.
- Master’s degree holders represent 9.2 percent of Chinese independent travelers.
- Travelers with Ph.D. degrees or higher comprise 0.9 percent of Chinese independent travelers.
- Travelers older than 55 years only represent a small share of all independent travel and are much more likely to join group tours for their overseas visits.
Where are They Coming from?
While the first-tier cities of Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai remain the most important source markets of Chinese independent travelers, the report finds that lower-tier cities are quickly catching up—with growth rates far beyond all first-tier cities except Shenzhen, which is still catching up with its peers.
The fast-growing affluent middle class throughout China’s lower-tier cities has undoubtedly not only started having an appetite for international travel, but also for independent international travel, which until recently, has been heavily concentrated in China’s more developed first-tier cities. An increasing number of direct flights to international destinations from lower-tier cities, as well as easing visa restrictions have all made independent travel from China more convenient than ever, and it seems like people across China are taking note. The following list illustrates the growth rate in travelers from China’s top three cities (Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai) vs. growth among second-tier cities. The period covered in the Tianxun/UnionPay study was from January through October 2016.
City of Residence
- Shanghai (-25.0 percent)
- Beijing (-20.0 percent)
- Guangzhou (-5.6 percent)
- Chengdu (+19.0 percent)
- Hangzhou (+36.9 percent)
- Chongqing (+44.9 percent)
- Kunming (+69.1 percent)
- Shenzhen (+50.6 percent)
- Tianjin (+44.2 percent)
- Xiamen (+69.0 percent)
When Are They Thinking About Traveling?
The report shows that the interest in overseas travel among China’s FITs peaks in September. While the data is consistent with the higher frequency of travel during the summer in comparison to during the winter and spring, it would appear as if interest in overseas travel peaks later than actual trips abroad. In comparison, overall Chinese travel to the United States has peaked in August during the last five years—with September coming in at third place.
Seasonal interest in overseas travel. (Data from Skyscanner)
When do They Spend the Most?
UnionPay put the number of overseas trips and the volume of travel spending next to each other and found that while fewer Chinese travel during the winter months, they outspend summer holidaymakers by a substantial margin. A higher proportion of more profitable market segments, such as business travelers and independent travelers during the winter, could be one explanation for the discrepancy in travel spending that UnionPay has found.
The red line represents travel spending, and the green line represents overseas travel. (Data from UnionPay)
What Airlines do They Fly Most?
The most-preferred airline among Chinese independent travelers is the relatively unknown Chinese low-cost carrier Spring Airlines, which is servicing a growing number of international destinations throughout Asia. Asia’s largest low-cost carrier, AirAsia, also ranks among the top choices for independent travelers. Booking tickets independently of tour agencies appears to be giving both low-cost carriers and overseas carriers from Hong Kong and South Korea a boost in traveler preference.
- Spring Airlines
- China Eastern
- China Southern
- Cathay Pacific
- Air China
- Air Asia
- Asiana Airlines
- Juneyao Air
- Korean Air
- Hainan Airlines
Which Country’s Travelers are the Most Fit on the Road?
According to the results in a just-released study by Expedia.com®, the most active travelers are Australians, with a full 55 percent believing it is important to exercise while traveling. Americans come in a close second, at 53 percent. The people least likely to prioritize exercise while traveling can be found in the UK, with only 43 percent identifying exercise as important.
Expedia’s 2017 Expedia Fitness Breaks Study, executed in partnership with Google Consumer Surveys, is the result of a survey that asked questions of more than 7,000 residents of seven countries
The highest percentage of people who outright refuse to exercise while traveling can be found in France, at 23 percent. Only 10 percent of Americans say they “don’t work out while they travel” at all, the lowest percentage in the field. The rankings on both metrics follow:
Other Highlights/Findings from the 2017 Expedia Fitness Breaks Study:
- Globally, among those who do exercise while traveling, 22 percent claim to do so to balance indulgent food, an opinion shared most by the French (31 percent), the Australians (29 percent) and Americans (27 percent).
- Fitness activities also facilitate authentic experiences when traveling, with 16 percent of the French and 13 percent of Aussies exercising because it allows them to “see new areas of the destination.”
- Simply walking/exploring a new city is, by far, the most popular exercise undertaken while traveling, an opinion shared by 47 percent of all respondents.
- Exploration walks are most popular for Australians (just over 56 percent), the British (just under 56 percent) and Canadians (53 percent).
- The French are most likely (34 percent) to take guided walking tours, also enjoying long runs when traveling. Germans are most likely to hop on a bike (28 percent).
- Americans are most likely to modify their typical workout routine when away from home (42 percent). A full 41 percent of Australians do the same, while only 20 percent of the Spanish–the least in the field–alter their regular regimen.
- Many exercise-focused travelers simply “create my own workout” in some fashion when traveling. Canadians lead the way (47 percent), closely followed by Americans (45 percent) and Australians (just under 45 percent).
- Just under a quarter (24 percent) of the French “find local fitness activities” to undertake, the most in the field, while the British (11 percent) are the least likely to do so.
- When it comes to accommodation, Americans (39 percent) are most likely to “expect fitness offerings at your accommodations” while traveling, followed by Canadians (just under 39 percent) and Australians (33 percent). The French, at 14 percent, are least likely to expect such features.
About the Survey: Expedia.com conducted the Fitness Breaks study using Google Consumer Surveys, a Google service that enables polling of a demographically representative sample of people online. The study was conducted from December 1-30, 2016, and included responses from 7,059 adults.
UK Operator and Agency Acquisitions
Perhaps as a sign of things to come in the wake of a report several weeks ago that an estimated 1,800 travel companies in the UK were deemed “At Risk,” Major Travel, a tour operator and consolidator known primarily as a USA flight specialist was acquired within the past week by new ownership that announced that the company would become a 100 percent trade-only operation. Days later, it was announced that the Travel Leaders Group is had acquired UK-based Collets Travel Limited, including the latter’s prestigious Colletts Collection.
—In the matter of Major Travel, business partners Qasim Gulamhusein and Miqdaad Versi announced that they have taken an 85 percent stake in the north London firm, while existing directors Mark Widdowson and Panos Panayiotou would retain 7.5 percent each. Founder Widdowson has agreed to remain with the firm as chairman.
Major Travel will stop taking direct bookings, quickly expand its range of destinations and focus more on packages and luxury tailor-made.
New managing director Gulamhusein said the opportunity to buy Major Travel came about as he was working as a business consultant. “I thought it was a great business,” he told Travel Weekly UK. “The travel industry is quite well-regulated and very hard to get into as a new player.
—As for its acquisition of the Colletts Collection, a Travel Leaders Group statement said, “The acquisition is a concerted move designed to further enhance Travel Leaders Group’s expertise in counseling and serving affluent travelers globally. Due to its highly-valued and repeat client base, Colletts Travel will maintain its distinct brand identity within Travel Leaders UK, Travel Leaders Group’s United Kingdom operations.”
The two acquisitions come in the wake of a reports last month that some 160 tour operators are at risk of failing. Also reported at the time:
-Data from insolvency firm Begbies Traynor, 2,679 businesses in the travel industry are currently experiencing significant distress, a 10 per cent increase compared to the previous quarter and a four per cent increase vs. the same period in 2016.
-Currently, there are just under 7,000 travel agents and tour operators in the UK, and 1,800, or 26 per cent, have attracted the “warning rating” of Company Watch, a database that measures a company’s risk of insolvency.
JTB Makes Move in Indonesia
With its acquisition of 40 percent of the shares of Panorama Tours Indonesia (PTI)—the company is headquartered in Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta—global tour operator and travel agency JTB intends to accelerate expansion of its outbound business, as well as inbound traffic to Japan from Indonesia.
JTB, the largest travel company in Japan, has been expanding its business in Asia by launching new offices and outlets, establishing joint ventures and acquiring corporations in Asia. As a as part of its “Vision 2020,” the company expects to become the No. 1 travel agency in Asia.
JTB’s Jakarta branch will be integrated into PTI after the acquisition is completed on March 24, and the trade name of PTI will be changed to Panorama JTB Tours.
In a statement on the JTB website, Hiroyuki Takahashi, JTB president and CEO, said, “Moving forward, we will engage in full-fledged development of our business model, from one that has until now considered human interactions predominantly in terms of outbound travel from Japan, to a model that is global in outlook, with a focus on Asia.”
Panorama JTB Tours will seek a three-pronged strategy, including expanding leisure travel from Indonesia by leveraging PTI’s strong sales channels and the Panorama JTB brand; growing corporate and MICE business in Indonesia; and increasing Japan inbound business through promoting new and major destinations in the country.
One of the largest tourism groups in Indonesia, PTI was established in 1998. It has grown to more than 51 outlets and 800 employees across the archipelago nation.
IN MEMORIAM: Jacob Lloyd Kimbro
Services were held Feb. 5 in Norfolk, Virginia for Jacob Lloyd Kimbro, warmly regarded and widely known in the tour and travel industry in the United States, especially in the New York City area. He passed away peacefully early on Feb. 1st in the care of his family and friends.
Born Dec. 5, 1965, Jay grew up in Norfolk, graduating from Norview High School and going on to receive his BFA in Theatre Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University. Upon graduating, Kimbro moved to New York City, where he embarked on a successful career in the live entertainment industry. His work spanned the globe, marketing and selling some of the world’s best attractions, including Spirit Cruises, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast and other musicals for Disney Theatrical Productions, and, most recently, the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil in New York and Las Vegas.
While Jay lived in New York for the last 35 years and became a true New Yorker, Norfolk, Virginia remained his home. Jay is survived by his mother, Carolyn, his sister, Charlotte, and his brother, John, all of Norfolk. Proceeded in death by his father, Willis Lloyd Kimbro.
NAJ’s eTourism LABs Features Full-Day ”Boot Camp for Newbies”
Designed for Traditional Marketing P.R. Staff Transitioning into Digital: NAJ’s upcoming eTourism Labs March 14-15 in Philadelphia—it is an outgrowth of NAJ’s annual e-Tourism Summit in San Francisco— is a “three-fer” opportunity for the serious tour and travel industry digital marketer, as well as for those transitioning from traditional to digital marketing and public relations.
“It is actually three different events in one,” said Jake Steinman, founder and CEO of the NAJ Group, which also publishes the Inbound Report, explaining that the event’s first-day program alone has three tracks—a “each of which address different pain points.” They include:
- A “Boot Camp for Newbies.” Specially designed training for new hires or P.R. staff making the transition from traditional to digital? (Designed in collaboration with DMAI).
- Digital Media Strategies Built around Measurement. A workshop addressing the latest media strategies and an “ROI Parade” featuring the latest ways marketers are calculating value for their funders.
- A full-day workshop coveringVideo Creation and Distributionthat we call “Visual Storytelling.”
A sampler of program content for the track on “Boot Camp for Newbies” includes the following:
Earning rankings in the “organic” results of the major search engines. How do DMOs use search to generate incremental room nights without cannibalizing travelers that would have booked anyway? Examples: Keyword and key phrase research, on-page optimization, how SEO intersects with content marketing, etc.
Presenter: Paul McLeod, Director of Business Intelligence, Simpleview
What is a bounce rate? How time is measured on site.
Presenter: Laszlo Horvath, President, Active Media
Boosting posts vs. creating Facebook ads Facebook ad formats. Targeting your audience with targeting tools, custom audiences, etc. Ad set and bidding analytics. Generating creative content that will help spread your DMO message and earn traffic Examples: viral videos, user generated content, reviews, influencers
Martin Stoll, CEO, Sparkloft Media (i);
Adam Gerston, Sr. VP, Client Partnerships, HYFN (i)
Know more about pursuing bloggers and Instagrammers.
Presenter: Al Chen, Co-Founder, Cooperatize
Many journalists cut and paste parts of your releases to place their own stories. Learn some tips to include keywords that pay off in elevating your ranking on search pages.
Presenter: Korena Keys, CEO, Key Media Solutions
NOTE: (I) = Invited
Overall, attendees will hear from 45 experts about the future of native advertising, content marketing strategies, Addressable TV, cross device attribution, influencer marketing, video sharing psychology, social media marketing, e-mail marketing, web design and practical panels that will discuss such topics as tactics to replace website traffic lost to Google algorithm changes.
Oh! And Don’t Forget … attendees should invite your agencies to come so they can become aware of newest forms of digital advertising and how they are working for clients like DMO’s and attractions.
If there is someone else in your department or your organization who might benefit from the e Tourism Labs program, please forward this article (inboundreport.com/
Cities Reporting Record-Breaking Visitor Numbers in 2016
From our Sister Publication, The Travel Vertical: We’re gathering the first reports made available by DMOs reporting on year-end visitor statistics for 2016 and they’ve all set new highs. Here’s a sampling with links to each city’s announcement. Send us yours.
Get more details from each city’s announcement here:
New York City | Chicago | Los Angeles | Las Vegas | San Francisco
Hotel Rooms by-the-hour Comes to USA
São Paulo-based HotelQuando.com is opening its first North American branch in Miami, Florida, after gaining traction with its booking-by-hour model in Brazil. The São Paulo-headquartered company hopes to have 200 partners hotels from the U.S. on the system within the first two-quarters of 2017.
HotelQuando.com is the first global online hotel booking platform that allows users to book their rooms for 3, 6, 9 or 12 hours at a fair price. The user also decides what time it would like to enter the hotel
According to the company’s website:
- Guests decide the date and time when they want to enter a hotel.
- Once the arrival time is set, you choose a package of hours that meets your need: 3, 6, 9 or 12 hours.
- You do not have to pay for a room rate when you need a hotel for less than 24 hours
The company also suggests possible uses of its service for travelers, or for people seeking the convenience of a place to use in their own city:
- To wait for a flight or appointment
- To spend only 1 night
- To enter early or leave the hotel later
- To take a shower
While in a City
- To spend the night away from home
- Dining out and sleeping outside
- To take a shower when you are away from home
- Enjoy the SPA, swimming pool, gym.
The company claims that it reduces, on average, 25 percent of the cost of hosting just one night.
More than 100 Operators at RTO Summit West
HODGE PODGE: Shifts, Shakeups and Occasional Shaftings in the Tour and Travel Industry
JetBlue has promoted Dave Clark to the post of vice president, sales and revenue management. Clark was previously vice president of network planning and reports to executive vice president, commercial and planning, Marty St. George. Clark joined JetBlue in 2009 from The Boston Consulting Group as director of schedule planning.
Scoot, the budget carrier that connects Australians to other points in the world from Asia/Pacific region, has appointed Jared Simcox as its new general manager, Australia, as a replacement of its previous general manager Dennis Basham, who left the airline in early December to join Back-Roads Touring Company, a Brisbane-based tour operator business. Simcox, who moved to Australia from New Zealand in 2012, worked briefly at Curry Aviation and was most recently wholesale travel manager at Groupon ANZ.
Tahnee Perry has left her role at Northstar Travel Group to become vice president of marketing at San Francisco-based Deem, a mobile and cloud technology provider for the business travel industry. At Northstar, she was group and strategic leader for marketing of Northstar Travel Group brands including Phocuswright, Travel Weekly, Travel Weekly Asia, Travel Weekly China and TravelAge West.
The Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau has named Dave Beachnau senior vice president of sales. Beachnau, 54, whose new role is a newly created position, has been with the bureau for 24 years. He has served as executive director for the Detroit Sports Commission since 2001. He also helped with the commission’s creation and rebranding.
E-HTL Viagens Online, one of the Brazil’s top car rental and hotel brokers, has appointed Carlos Brito to its team of sales executives. Brito has more than 17 years of experience in the industry. Previously he worked in companies such as VASP, Flytour Viagens, TAM Linhas Aéreas and LAN Airlines.
Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau has expanded its sales department with the recent hire of national sales manager, Tamara Whiting. A veteran of the industry since 2000, Whiting comes to Cincinnati USA from VisitPittsburgh where she was national sales director.
The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau has announced that it’s appointed tourism agency Atlantic Link to represent Philadelphia in the Danish city of Copenhagen in hopes of expanding international tourism to and from the Nordic region. The opening is part of an ongoing effort to promote international tourism in Philadelphia. The Copenhagen office will be the city’s seventh international location, along with locations in China, India, Italy, France, Germany and the UK. For more information, contact: [email protected].