Online Travel Update: South Korean Regulators Review OTA Practices; Cruise bookings move online; Fairfly plans to offer a hotel solution – Media, Telecommunications, IT, Entertainment


United States: Online Travel Update: South Korean Regulators Review OTA Practices; Cruise bookings move online; Fairfly plans to offer a hotel solution

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Our friends in the cruise industry are making an appearance in this week’s update, one of their first appearances in some time. Enjoy.

South Korean regulators review OTA practices

(“Online hotel booking sites will be subject to scrutiny by South Korean regulator,” October 28, 2021 via MLEX Insight) (subscription may be required)
By now, readers are familiar with South Korea’s previous survey of major online travel agency (OTA) contracting practices (in particular, rate parity requirements) and the resulting “fixes” announced by OTAs (Booking.com, Agoda, Expedia and
By now, readers are familiar with South Korea’s previous survey of major online travel agency (OTA) contracting practices (in particular, rate parity requirements) and the resulting “fixes” announced. by OTAs (Booking.com, Agoda, Expedia and Hotels .com) earlier this year. These fixes reflect the compromises reached in several other countries where OTAs have agreed to remove the availability and price parity of indirect channels, but have retained the parity requirements of direct channels (for example, hoteliers must continue to provide OTAs with rates equal to or higher than hotel rates (own websites). As the travel industry is expected to rebound quickly in Korea as the threat of COVID abates, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) last week announced plans to review current OTA contracting practices and their effect on the market. Separately, the KFTC announced that an investigation into the advertising practices of OTAs, in particular whether OTAs provide adequate notice regarding the effects of display advertising on the sort order, is already underway.

Online Moving Cruise

(“Online Cruise Bookings Leave Many Travel Consultants Behind,” October 27, 2021 via PhocusWire)
For years, I’ve asked our cruise industry clients why the industry is slow to move more of their reservations online (relying instead on traditional offline distribution channels). While responses varied, the most common response I received was that the complexity of the cruise deals (eg, hundreds of cabin types, rates, etc.) made it difficult for most to book online. travellers. Times can change. In a video taped to Travel Consultants, Royal Caribbean Group CEO Richard Fain reported that while demand for the company’s cruise offerings rebounded, much of the recovery came from online channels. Is it simply because of the reaction of travelers to shifting their other online shopping during COVID? A reflection of the massive layoffs among travel agents and advisers? For an industry that has relied so heavily on travel agents and advisors over the years, this will be an interesting trend to watch.

Fairfly offers a hotel solution

(“FairFly to Debut Hotel Solution”, October 25, 2021 via Business Travel News)
Last week, the repurchase platform, Fairfly, announced that it will launch a hotel repurchase platform in early 2022. The platform will allow Fairfly customers to repurchase (per example, automated cancellation of current reservations and rebooking at lower available rates) their hotel reservations through the platform’s use of multi-channel data and artificial intelligence. Comparative analysis of hotel rates and other tools will also be made available to customers. Fairfly’s announcement comes at a time when other similar FinTech-funded travel products and services (i.e. Hopperairfare and room freezes) are gaining industry attention.

Other news:

Marriott to adopt dynamic pricing system for Bonvoy loyalty program
October 26, 2021 via TravelWeekly
Starting early next year, Marriott will switch to aggressive pricing for its Bonvoy rewards redemption rates, the company said. Dynamic pricing – setting flexible prices for products or services based on market demands – has been used to increase profits in a variety of industries, from sporting event tickets to ridesharing services.

Trivago and Chinese partner Huawei for paid search for smartphone company
October 26, 2021 via Skift Travel News (subscription may be required)
The Trivago-Huawei agreement is one of several pilot projects for Trivago where it provides backend services to business partners. These could one day become an important source of income for the German company.

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