OTA & Travel Distribution Update - Dec. 22nd, 2017

by Garvey Schubert Barer
Contact

This week’s OTA & Travel Distribution Update for the week ending December 22, 2017 is below.  An interesting mix of stories in this penultimate Update for 2017. I hope everyone has a great holiday and successful 2018.

FTC Settles Claims Against Fraudulent Travel Websites [OTA]
("Hotel Room Resellers Settle FTC Charges That They Misled Consumers," Federal Trade Commission Consumer Protection Press Releases, December 22, 2017)

By now, everyone should be familiar with the ongoing efforts of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) to call out and put an end to the misleading practices of certain travel websites that hold themselves out as being affiliated with a particular hotel or hotel chain.  These efforts appear to be having some success.  This past week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a settlement with Reservation Counter, LLC (and its parent companies) over the travel websites’ distribution practices.  According to the FTC’s complaint, the websites’ display ads, websites and call centers gave travelers the impression that they were dealing directly with the listed hotel.  Additional allegations focused on the websites’ failure to provide travelers inadequate notice regarding loyalty program participation, applicable cancellation policies and payment terms.  The settlement reached by the FTC prohibits the websites from, among other things, using any hotel name or logo in any search engine display ad, URL, website or other advertising in a misleading way.  The settlement order also requires the websites to disclose to callers that they have reached an independent, third-party travel agency, not the advertised hotel. 

Splitty Completes Seed Round [OTA]
("Splitty raises $2.4 million for its hotel search platform," Tech.eu, December 21, 2017)

Booking engine Splitty announced last week that it completed a $2.4 million seed investment round.  As its name implies, Splitty seeks to provide its users discounted room rates unavailable through traditional booking platforms or metasearch sites by splitting users’ multi-day itineraries into a combination of related bookings (e.g. a 5-day itinerary is broken into two separate bookings of 2-days and 3-days).  It will be interesting to see how hoteliers respond to this platform and its multiple, related bookings that are designed to defeat length-of-stay rates.  According to the announcement, Splitty will be using funds from this latest investment for a variety of product development initiatives.

Airbnb’s Branded Facilities Gain Momentum [SHORT-TERM RENTALS]
("Brookfield to invest $200M in Airbnb home-sharing spin-off Niido," The Real Deal - Miami, December 19, 2017)
A few weeks ago we featured a widely-publicized story about newly announced Airbnb-branded accommodation in Orlando, Florida.  Airbnb’s plans took a huge step forward this past week with Brookfield Property Partners’ announced $200 million investment in Airbnb’s spinoff Niido.  The investment will be used to purchase multi-family projects in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa and then “optimize” them for home-sharing through Airbnb’s platform.  Tenants in the building will lease their units annually with the ability to rent them nightly for up to 180 days.  These projects are beginning to sound a lot like the condo hotels of the early 2000’s. 

_______________________________________________________

Other news:

MakeMyTrip launches 'Made for You Holidays' ahead of festive season
(Business Standard - General News, December 21, 2017)
India's leading online travel company MakeMyTrip on Thursday announced the launch of its new product 'Made for You Holidays' for the booming domestic travel sector in India.Launched alongside the Christmas holiday season, these 150 holiday experiences offer a range of handpicked escapades for discerning travellers."

Written by:

Garvey Schubert Barer
Contact
more
less

Garvey Schubert Barer on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.