Online Travel Update: Agoda Launches Additional New Offers; Booking.com monitors promotions from suppliers; Amex GBT continues its transformation – Media, Telecom, IT, Entertainment

United States: Online Travel Update: Agoda Launches Additional New Offers; Booking.com monitors promotions from suppliers; Amex GBT continues its transformation

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Despite what the calendar might say, winter has definitely arrived in the Pacific Northwest. This week’s update features a variety of stories, including a story or two about online travel agencies (OTAs) and stories about Vacasa’s public debut and the planned public debut of Amex GBT. It’s SPAC season. Hope you enjoy it.

Agoda launches new additional offers
(“Agoda Launches Beds Network to Help Hotels Distribute Wholesale Rates,” December 9, 2021 via Phocus Wire)
Last week we included a story detailing the launch of several new Agoda products. Last week, Agoda launched another new product, Beds Network, which represents Agoda’s official entry into wholesale distribution. The network will leverage Booking Holdings’ existing affiliate network to enable participating vendors to distribute rates and inventory wholesale or B2B. According to the announcement, vendors participating in the program will have full (fully actionable) control over the pricing and inventory offered by the solution (which, if true, would deviate quite a bit from similar wholesale distribution offerings. competitors). Existing Agoda suppliers will not need to enter into new contracts or modify existing contracts to participate. Agoda’s plans call for the network to initially roll out in Asia, the Middle East and Europe, with other markets added throughout 2022.

Booking.com monitors supplier promotions
(“Booking.com warns automotive partners against using Over-the-Top promotional lingo,” December 7, 2021 via Yahoo Finance – Top Stories)
Let’s talk about a role reversal … Not so long ago, complaints from vendors and consumer groups about the promotional practices of large online travel agencies (and other online retailers) had led to a series of investigations by the European competition authorities. and finally the publication of promotional regulations online. Today, the roles are reversed, as Booking.com is stepping up its efforts to curb the promotional practices of its supplier partners.

Amex GBT continues its transformation
(“American Express GBT and Saber Partner for Technology Development,” December 3, 2021 via Travel Weekly)
Recently, Amex GBT announced its intention to go public with, you guessed it, a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) transaction with Apollo Strategic Growth Capital. Gross proceeds from the transaction are expected to total $ 1.2 billion, of which $ 335 million is contributed by new investors, including global distribution system (GDS) provider Saber. After the transaction closes, GBT shareholders will include Expedia Group, Saber, American Express and Certares. According to GBT’s investor presentation, the main focus of the new company (at least for now) will continue to be the management of business travel (including SME travel). Also recently, GBT announced that it is partnering with Saber to develop technology solutions for the future of business travel. What the public debut and the Saber partnership could mean practically for GBT vendors is unknown.

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