The Newsletter Is Out: Ctrip becomes Trip.com, Getaround get funded, Roomkey 's Payments, Facebook vs Tinder, Uber Fires Again, OTA insight 's growth, SiteMinder, and Much More!
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TRAVEL NEWS
Digital. The Top 10 Travel News Stories of the Week: Day In, Day Out
Ctrip becomes Trip.com, Getaround get funded, Roomkey 's Payments, Facebook vs Tinder, Uber Fires Again, OTA insight 's growth, SiteMinder + HotelSwap, HRS + The Lido Group, Travelodge caught cheating on TripAdvisor, and much more! 

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EVENTS
2045: Visions and Predictions on Post-Human Hospitality
Artificial Intelligence, Attribute-Based Selling, Blockchain Distribution, Chatbot, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Internet of Things, Biometric, and Vocal Research. What will Post-Human Hospitality look like?

Reserve your seat for my speech at HospitalityDay!


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Simone PuortoComment
The Newsletter Is Out: Expedia vs SCA, MEWS gets 30M€, Fornova 6, bye bye Thomas Cook, Google integrates Vacasa, EasyJet serious w/ voice, Basecamp vs conquering, OYO buys Danamica, and Much More!
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TRAVEL NEWS
Digital. The Top 10 Travel News Stories of the Week: Day In, Day Out
Expedia vs SCA, MEWS gets 30M€, Fornova 6, bye-bye Thomas Cook, Google integrates Vacasa, EasyJet serious w/ voice, Basecamp vs conquering, OYO buys Danamica, and Much More!

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EVENTS
2045: Visions and Predictions on Post-Human Hospitality
Artificial Intelligence, Attribute-Based Selling, Blockchain Distribution, Chatbot, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Internet of Things, Biometric, and Vocal Research. What will Post-Human Hospitality look like?

Reserve your seat for my speech at HospitalityDay!


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The Newsletter Is Out: Digital. Is Out! Airbnb Acquires Urbandoor, U.S. Acquisition For OYO, Airbnb>Expedia?, Tripadvisor's Free Wi-Fi, Uber #Findthemoney Campaign, And Much More!
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TRAVEL NEWS
Digital. The Top 10 Travel News Stories of the Week: Day In, Day Out
Airbnb acquires Urbandoor, U.S. property acquisition for OYO, Airbnb bigger than Expedia?, TripAdvisor's free Wi-Fi, Uber #FindTheMoney campaign, and Much More!

The Top 10 Travel News Stories of the Week.
Day In, Day Out.


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DISTRIBUTION
Attribute-Based Shopping: A Blessing or a Bane?
"First of all, let's start by explaining what attribute-based selling is not: I recently came across an article by a colleague, and I realized that there's still a huge misconception on how an ABS' industry would look like.
Some people believe that, by overloading travelers with choices, the booking journey's complexity will increase (and conversion drop), when quite the opposite is likely to happen..."


Check out the latest HospitalityNet' World Panel, with contributions by Martin Soler, Giulia Eremita, Osvaldo Mauro, Max Starkov, Klaus Kohlmayr, Meng-Mei (Maggie) Chen, Charlie Osmond, George Roukas, Patrick Bosworth, Mark Fancourt, and -it goes without saying- me.


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The Newsletter Is Out: Wordpress Buys Tumblr, Oyo Invades Europe, Tripadvisor' Loyalty Program, Google Travel Domination, Booking' Q3, New Look For Trivago, And Much More!
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TRAVEL NEWS
Digital. The Top 10 Travel News Stories of the Week: Day In, Day Out
Wordpress Buys Tumblr, Blockchain's Commissions, OYO Invades Europe, TripAdvisor' Loyalty Program, Google Travel Domination, Booking Holdings Q3, New Look For Trivago, and much more! 

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DISTRIBUTION
Careful What You Wish For: ABS
Tim Peter wrote a controversial piece on Attribute-Based Selling. 

Even though I do not agree with his view, it's interesting to see how much attention the topic is getting lately.


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Simone PuortoComment
The Newsletter Is Out: Airbnb put the AI in Airbnb, Google Hotel Ads Migration, Direct Booking's Automatic Rate Matching, and Much More!
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TRAVEL NEWS
Digital. The Top 10 Travel News Stories of the Week: Day In, Day Out
Airbnb put the AI in Airbnb, Google Hotel Ads Migration, Direct Booking's Automatic Rate Matching, and Much More!

The 10 Best Travel Headlines Of The Week.
Day In, Day Out.



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DATA PROTECTION
The Science Of Fear: A Politically Incorrect Reflection On Strong Customer Authentication
If you’re a hotelier, you probably received an email from Expedia, warning you about upcoming PSD2. If you have no idea what it means, here’s an article I wrote on the topic, with contributions by MyCheck’s CEO, Shlomit Kugler, HotelTime Solutions’ CEO & Founder, Jan Hejny, and Stripe’s Product Manager, Olivier Godement.

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The Newsletter Is Out: Laterooms Into Administration, Vacasa Buys Wyndham VR, Siteminder is Hiring, Uber Travel Expense, Q2 For Accor, Amadeus, And Sabre, And Much More!
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TRAVEL NEWS
Digital. The Top 10 Travel News Stories of the Week: Day In, Day Out
Laterooms And Super Break Into Administration, Latka Free Study, Vacasa Buys Wyndham Vacation Rentals, Uber And Starbucks At The Top Of Travel Expense Claims, Q2 For Accor, Amadeus, And Sabre, And Much More!

The 10 Best Travel Headlines Of The Week.
Day In, Day Out.



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BRANDING
Great News!
So happy to see so many of my clients reaching so many amazing goals lately - even though, to be honest, I have NOTHING to do with them ;) -

The Toren Hotel in Amsterdam is on the latest issue of Trivago's magazine.

Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni awarded #1 Best Resort in Italy by Travel + Leisure. Go Anita Cancelliere!!!

Divani Collection Hotels joined the prestigious Global Hotel Alliance' Discovery Program

Singer Palace Hotel reached #2 on TripAdvisor / Rome. So now I have both #1 (Appia Antica Resort) and #2 under my portfolio!

So proud of all of you!
SALES
Siteminder Is Hiring!
My buddy James Bishop is looking for a Senior Business Development Manager to join SiteMinder' Strategic Partnerships team and work remotely in Italy.

Siteminder really needs no introduction, so no surprise they're looking only for a bravo ragazzo/a, capeesh'?

James ti farà un'offerta che non potrai rifiutare...

Are you up for it? Then apply here!


 
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The Newsletter Is Out: How Much Money Do Travel CEOs Make? PSD2, New Preferred Hotels, Expedia Q2, TripTease's guide to meta, Mirai's take on Google Hotel Ads, and Much More!
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TRAVEL NEWS
Digital. The Top 10 Travel News Stories of the Week: Day In, Day Out
How Much Money Do Travel CEOs Make?, Travel Spend on Ads Surpasses CPG, PSD2, New Preferred Hotels & Resorts, TravelPerk, Expedia's Q2, TripAdvisor for DMOs, TripTease's guide to metasearch, Mirai's take on Google Hotel Ads, and Much More!

The 10 Best Travel Headlines Of The Week.
Day In, Day Out.



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DATA PROTECTION
The Science Of Fear: A Politically Incorrect Reflection On Strong Customer Authentication
If you’re a hotelier, you probably received an email from Expedia, warning you about upcoming PSD2.

If you have no idea what it means, here’s an article I wrote on the topic, with contributions by MyCheck’s CEO, Shlomit Kugler, HotelTime Solutions’ CEO & Founder, Jan Hejny, and Stripe’s Product Manager, Olivier Godement.


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The Newsletter Is Out: Light at the End of trivago's Tunnel? Airbnb: Work + IB, From GDPR to CCPA, Booking.com's Keywords, Google's "Near" Monopoly, and Much More!
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TRAVEL NEWS
Digital. The Top 10 Travel News Stories of the Week: Day In, Day Out
It looks like there is finally some light at the end of the trivago’s tunnel: in Q2, even with its revenue down by 5%, trivago remained profitable, with a net income of €5.7M ($6.35 million), vs the €20.7 loss of last year.

It’s worth remembering that, not so long ago (2016), Booking Holdings and Expedia Group were spending close to 10% of their global ad budget on the German metasearch, generating 79% of trivago’s revenue. Things went south in 2017, when BKG drastically reduced its investments in the metasearch. A lot of speculations were made about the real reason(s) behind it, but we know now that the main trigger was the introduction of relevance assessment score in its algorithm.

Starting from late ‘16, in fact, trivago started penalizing all the OTAs (including Booking.com) that used a generic search-result landing page (showing the advertised hotel together with other properties) for their ads, rather than property-specific landing pages. This dramatically increased most advertisers’ cost-per-lead and, apparently, most trivago’s execs were caught by surprise by the effects too, to the point where CFO Axel Hefer had to admit that “the impact of the adjustment was greater than we anticipated”. Since then, investors urged trivago to take a step back and, eventually, they succeeded, as the metasearch recently stated that it’s working with its largest advertisers to eliminate the relevancy assessment score from its algorithm tout court. As Bank of America prosaically put it, “trivago, has to choose: margin or growth — but not both”.



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TECHNOLOGY
50 Shades Of Chatbots: What Remains After The Sexiness Has Gone
A few days ago, during a casual conversation on the state of AI in our industry, a friend told me: "You know what? Now that chatbots are no longer sexy, they are finally becoming useful".

It is a rather bold statement but, at a closer look, it also happens to be quite accurate. Over the last year, in fact, concepts such as the Gartner's cycle, the tech adoption lifecycle or the dot-com crash analogy have been heavily quoted in articles and studies on chatbot technology. And, usually, when such (overused) concepts start popping up in blogs and publications, we're past the hype. Way past it.

The dot-com bubble analogy, especially, is so obvious that sounds almost trite, yet it's undeniable that, once the web lost its "tech sexiness" in the early '00s, it started flourishing and molding into what it is today. Like the legendary phoenix, it rose from its own ashes, and it's not so far fetched to presume that story will repeat itself with chatbots.


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The Newsletter Is Out: New website for Radisson Hotels, Expedia Group scam, TripAdvisor new study, ReviewPro partners with the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels...
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TRAVEL NEWS
Digital. The Top 10 Travel News Stories of the Week: Day In, Day Out
When I came up with the #BlitzkriegBopFriday concept, I was paying homage to one of my all-time-favorite bands: the Ramones. The idea behind it was to publish a weekly recap of the 10 best travel news that could be read in a couple of minutes, just the average length of a punk rock song. Blitz means Lightning in German, and the main concept was to have something that could be quickly browsed "in a blitz". 

Some colleagues, however, pointed out that the Teutonic reference,  if taken out of context, could have been misunderstood, here's why, starting from today, BlitzkriegBopFriday changes its name to Digital

If anyone felt offended by the title of my weekly posts I deeply apologize, but it was not my intention, nor it was Tommy's and Dee Dee's* (authors of the original song), may the God of Punk Rock have them in his Glory.

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OPINIONS
Is Our Industry Lagging Behind Due to a Lack of Proper Education?
"Is our industry lagging behind due to a lack of proper education? It surely is and the joke, as the mighty Bee Gees would put it, is on all of us".

Read my thoughts on the topic on HospitalityNet, together with Giulia Eremita, Peter O'Connor, Max Starkov, Linchi Kwok, Osvaldo Mauro, Klaus Kohlmayr, Jason Price, Ian Millar, Martin Soler, Paul van Meerendonk, Larry Mogelonsky, Frederic Gonzalo, Daniel Craig, Mark Fancourt, Erik Muñoz and Ross McAlpine.


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* Fun fact: in several interviews, Tommy Ramone stated that the original title of the song was not even Blitzkrieg, but Animal Hop, and that Dee Dee came up with the Blitzkrieg because he wanted to "Ramones-ize it", dismissing the conspiracy theory as "all nonsense". 
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The Newsletter Is Out: Marriott And British Airways Data Breaches, OYO Gets Bigger, Apaleo Partners With Siteminder, And Much More!
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TRAVEL NEWS
#BlitzkriegBopFriday
After last year’s infamous Starwood data breach, Marriott has been fined for £99 million by the UK’s data protection regulator. The decision, anyhow, is not final, and the group stated it will “respond and vigorously defend its position”.

The 10 Best Travel Headlines Of The Week In Less Than 90 Seconds.

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TECHNOLOGY
The Current State of Marketing Automation in Hospitality
“There are undeniable advantages in implementing MA in hotels: better guest segmentation, man-hour optimization, workforce allocation, and business scalability, just to name a few. Thanks to increasingly accessible technologies and infrastructures, moreover, even the smallest bed and breakfast can choose whether and what to automate”.

Hotelmarketing.com published a shorter version of my piece on marketing automation.


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DISTRIBUTION
Expedia Fights Hotel Rate Leakage with Automatic Rate Matching
"Introducing the tool in an email to hotels, Expedia writes "by taking advantage of this automatic rate-matching service, you can help ensure that the rates you offer to Expedia Group travelers are always your most competitive rates. This, in turn, will help improve your visibility on our sites and drive more potential bookings and revenue to your property”.

Hotelmarketing.com published my opinion piece on the newly introduced ARM.

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The Newsletter Is Out: Expedia Launches Automatic Rate Matching, Fecebook AI Uncovered, Bye Bye Baidu, Metasearch Stats, and much more!
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TRAVEL NEWS
ʎɐpıɹɟ doq ƃǝıɹʞzʇılq
I won two tickets for the Stranger Things marathon tonight, so #blitzkriegbopfriday comes one day earlier this week.
See you in the ¡uʍop ǝpısdn!

Expedia Launches Automatic Rate Matching, Facebook AI Uncovered, Bye Bye Baidu, Metasearch Stats, and much more!

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DISTRIBUTION
All Pain, No Gain: Expedia Fights Rate Leakage with Automatic Rate Matching
Last week, Expedia launched a new feature called Automatic Rate Matching.

I haven’t found any official statement about it yet but, according to the mail some of my clients (mainly in Asia) received, the group will “compare the rates you offer to travelers on Expedia Group with the rates listed for your rooms on other online booking channels. If we find lower rates on another online booking channel, we’ll automatically match the lowest rate”.

To me, it sounds ironic that a company known for wildly undercutting hotel rates now offers solutions to a problem it actually helped create.


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TRAVEL NEWS
The Science Of Fear: A Politically Incorrect Reflection On Strong Customer Authentication
I am working on a piece on SCA, that should be published in the few days. Here's an extract:

"An essential requirement for PS2D compliance is the adoption of the Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) for (with few exceptions) all online transactions. For a purchase to be authorized, under PS2D, two out of three different types of authentication methods are needed, namely knowledge, possession and inherence.

A password or a pin are typical examples of knowledge: they are something the traveler “knows”. Possession, on the other hand, is something the traveler “owns” like a phone or a token. Inherence takes the Frommian’s highway, as it refers to something that travelers “are”: their voices, fingerprints, faces, etc. In a word: biometrics"
.

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The Newsletter Is Out: Do Loyalty Points Still Matter? Four New Google Features You May Have Missed, Is Amazon the Elephant in the hotel Room?, BlitzkriegBopFriday, And More
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LOYALTY PROGRAMS
Do Loyalty Points Still Matter? 
A lot of attention in the loyalty space in the past year has focused on integration: Marriott International integrated the Starwood program (triggering some complaints about status changes and difficulties in redeeming points) and introduced Bonvoy; this year, Accor rebranded and relaunched Le Club into the ALL “lifestyle” loyalty program encompassing hotel and non-hotel brands. Both — along with many other hotel programs — are flogging experiences as ways to spend those points, whether you’re an elite or occasional guest.
 
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DIGITAL MARKETING
Four New Google Features You May Have Missed
Over the last few days, I’ve been playing with Google and found four interesting new features. Not sure how many of them will survive, but it’s fascinating to see how Google is constantly improving its travel products. Here are my findings: companies can now create a Google MyBusiness custom URLs in order to redirect easily their customers to Google Reviews. In order to claim your URL...

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DISTRIBUTION
Is Amazon the Elephant in the (Hotel) Room?
The Amazon / ClearTrip partnership is far from a revolution, but it's another tiny step Bezos' company took into the travel space. I think the time has come to address the elephant in the room: acquisitions. Rather than building from the ground up and launching its own products (remember the 2014' AMZ Travel fiasco?), in fact, the company now seems to prefer a different approach, partnership with existing providers.

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