Below is our weekly online travel announcement for the week ending December 16, 2022. This week’s update includes updates and more details on many of the stories we’ve previously featured, including Airbnb’s new all-in pricing and ongoing parity investigations into OTAs’ practices in Australia. Enjoy.
- Airbnb’s adoption of all-in pricing is official. Starting this month, Airbnb users in the US (and other countries where local laws don’t already mandate the display of all-inclusive prices) will now see prices including mandatory fees and charges (e.g., cleaning fees) displayed on the platform. All inclusive prices do not include taxes. Starting next year, all prices will be the default rates displayed on the Platform unless a user chooses otherwise. All prices are included when filtering listings, maps and search results. Only time will tell what this change means for hosts to continue to use cleaning fees (the subject of many traveler complaints) and other mandatory fees. How this change might affect pricing practices on other short-term rental sites remains to be seen.
- A history of Australia’s treatment of OTAs. Last week, the Australian News Agency ABC, provided a useful overview of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) history with OTAs and the pending new inquiry reviewing OTAs’ rate parity requirements. If you’re not familiar with how Australia has historically viewed these requirements or the pending new inquiry, which many believe will ban all rate parity requirements outright, I encourage you to read the story.
- EY to expand use of blockchain booking portal. After successfully completing an initial 6-month trial of its new blockchain-powered leisure travel booking portal, EY plans to expand the portal globally and offer hotels alongside its existing flight offerings. Through the portal, EY has made available to its US employees direct connections with at least 2 US airlines interested in providing customized, discounted travel offers to EY employees. In the coming weeks, EY plans to expand the portal globally and add extended stay hotel options for employees who need longer-term accommodation for work projects. EY has already identified two hotel partners (undisclosed) that plan to offer leisure content in addition to extended stay work-related offerings. While EY has no immediate plans to pursue similar direct connectivity options to its traditional corporate journey, the lessons learned by EY are sure to have an impact.
- For those of you celebrating the holidays this week or next, happy holidays.
Airbnb is introducing total prices before taxes with a plan to make it the default display
December 14, 2022 Via Shift
Skift Take Airbnb’s price changes could have a ripple effect, prompting some hosts to lower cleaning fees and property management websites to switch to showing wholesale prices. Dennis Schall Dennis’ Online Travel Digest Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, executive editor and online travel rockstar Dennis Schall brings readers an exclusive …
The government is investigating whether hotel booking sites are overcharging. This is how you get a better deal
December 13, 2022 Via ABC (Australia).
Booking a place to stay during the holidays has become a reflex action. The first thing many of us do is open a site like Wotif, Hotels.com or trivago (all owned by the American company Expedia) or their only major competitor, Booking.com from the Netherlands. …
Property managers and hosts report lack of growth in direct bookings: Survey
December 12, 2022 Via Shift
It’s clear that Skift Tag vacation rentals and property managers love direct bookings, and many more can enter. However, the marketing power of big brands is hard to compete with. Although Dennis Schaal talks a lot about the vacation rental industry interfering with attracting direct bookings, a …
Air France-KLM suspends booking tool due to fraud cases
December 12, 2022 Business travel news via Europe
Air France and KLM have suspended access to their joint booking tool for TMCs and travel agencies after discovering “numerous” cases of fraud. In an urgent email to trading partners, BTN Europe on Monday (December 12)
Trade groups are urging the High Court to take up the Hotel ADA struggle
December 10, 2022 By Act 360
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and hospitality and trade groups have asked the nation’s highest court to review a conflict between appeals courts over accessibility information provided by websites of accommodations and hotels for the disabled.
EY ready to expand blockchain booking experiment
December 9, 2022 Via Business Travel News
About six months into a pilot project offering a blockchain-based portal for US employees to book leisure travel, EY’s travel team is gearing up for global expansion and additional hotel components. More importantly, however, the fact that such a system can be used comes with the “obvious thing” …