The Tripadvisor Plus program forced to make significant changes; Travel Industry Veterans Launch Spotnana; Hopper CEO Plans to Create Travel SuperApp for the West | Foster Garvey PC



Well-aligned Tripadvisor Plus program forced to make significant changes
(“Sounding Off: Tripavisor Plus Changes Show the Complexity of Travel Plans,” September 24, 2021 via Phocus Wire)
While the Skift Global Forum received a lot of attention last week, the other big player in the industry was Tripadvisor and its decision to make some significant changes to its subscription model, Tripadvisor Plus. For weeks now, we’ve been detailing the challenges of the program, particularly those related to Tripadvisor’s public posting of its discounted rates to members. For this reason, the big brands were unwilling to commit to the program. Last week, Tripadvisor announced a drastic change and will now offer retail commission rates (discounted member rates are gone), but will offer members a “roughly equal” cash back credit to the discount. ‘old member (or new commission percentage). When and how travelers receive credit is unclear. While the change may make it easier for big brands to participate (but will they, given that the program is now becoming another commissionable leisure distribution channel), it is not clear whether the change will increase traveler interest. for the program (and will increase essential subscription fees). What is clear is that Wall Street did not welcome the announced changes, slashing the company’s stock price by 8% (a loss of $ 374 million in market value) the day after the news broke.

Travel industry veterans launch Spotnana
(“Business Travel Startup Backed by Founder of Concur Launches with $ 41 Million Raised,” September 24, 2021 via Phocus Wire)
Last week, co-founders Sarosh Waghmar (founder of TMC, WTMC) and Shikhar Agarwal publicly unveiled their new cloud-based business travel platform, Spotnana. Joining Sarosh and Shikhar at Spotnana are industry heavyweights, Steve Singh (founder and former CEO of Concur), Greg Stanger (former CFO of Expedia and Duetto), Bill Brindle (former COO of Amex GBT) and Johnny Thorsen (founder of ConTgo and former executive with Amex, Travelport and others). Spotnana hopes not only to create a new corporate booking platform, but to provide users with a full range of corporate booking tools and services, including supplier inventory, all based on a whole new stack. of technologies. Spotnana plans to make its technology available to business users and other travel agencies and travel management companies.

Here is the awesome travel app
(“Hopper CEO Hopes to Build Google-Crushing SuperApp for Travel,” September 23, 2021 via Skift Travel News) (subscription may be required)
In a conversation last week at the Skift Global Forum, Hopper CEO Frédéric Lalonde outlined his plans for creating Western’s first travel superapplication. According to Lalonde, it’s only a matter of time before the super-app trend that has taken Asia by storm (for example, China’s Pinduoduo) spreads west. For Lalonde, his obsession with the superapplication is to reduce the costs of consumers’ travel, a goal he hopes to achieve through a combination of content, price analysis, a variety of fintech products (price freezes, buy now, pay later) and virtual currencies, all choppy with just the right amount of gamification. When asked if Western users are ready to embrace a single travel platform, Lalonde suggested that Skift’s Dennis Schaal return in five years.

Other news:

Lola ceases operations, touting the “next phase”
September 24, 2021 via Phocus Wire
Small and midsize-focused travel management provider Lola has shut down its services, according to a notice on its website citing “new things to come” for the company, which, less than three years ago. years, caused a sensation by signing an exclusive partnership with American Express Global Business Travel.

TWA Hotel Owner: Hospitality Must Adopt Airline Pricing Model
September 23, 2021 via Skift (subscription may be required)
The hospitality industry should charge guests for extra services, just like airlines do, according to one of America’s largest hotel owners.

Tripadvisor CEO defends subscription service changes that rocked investors
September 23, 2021 via Skift (subscription may be required)
Tripadvisor CEO Stephen Kaufer has defended the company’s overhaul of its Tripadvisor Plus subscription product, saying the change benefits both consumers and hotel chains.

Expedia Consolidates Three Loyalty Programs With New Vacation Rental Rewards
September 21, 2021 via Skift (subscription may be required)
As part of Expedia Group’s continued attempt to simplify its operations, the company has decided to consolidate its three current loyalty programs into one globally, and for the first time members will be able to earn and burn rewards. for vacation rentals.

Tripadvisor forced by hotel chains to reverse cash-back model subscriptions
September 20, 2021 via Skift (subscription may be required)
In an astonishing reversal, just three months after the official launch of the Tripadvisor Plus subscription program in the United States, Tripadvisor has caved in to hotel chain concerns and will pass the offer of immediate hotel discounts when subscribers book accommodation to a refund after registration.

JLL real estate company launches short-term rental platform
September 19, 2021 via Phocus Wire
Real estate service provider JLL is launching a short-term rental platform that it positions itself as a rival to industry giants including Airbnb and


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