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Weekly round-up of digital travel news for December 24-30, 2012 

December 24, 2012

Online frauds

2012. Phishing threat looms over 2-commerce cos. Deccan Chronicle

This newspaper article elaborates on how online frauds are affecting the online companies including online travel sector. Online frauds and phising attacks on the Indian website are increasing. The hackers collect credit card and bank information for nominal fee ranging from two to five dollars per credit card data. This information is used to do online shopping by the hackers and their customers. Read the full article.

December 25, 2012

Hailo is likely to get $30 million funding

The European Hailo, a taxi application, is likely to get Series B funding valued around $30 million. Union Square Ventures’ Fred Wilson will be the lead investor. Hailo is preparing to enter into the U.S. market.

Investors shying away from overcrowded online travel market

2012. Venture capital suppress its appetite for risk in 2013. The Wall Street Journal. 

The article concludes that the lower performance of internet companies than the expectations is restraining the venture capitalists (VCs) from investing in consumer Internet in 2013. In fact, this trend gained momentum in the third quarter of 2012. For instance, ZeTrip, Inc, a new social travel company, raised seed capital of $515,000 with great difficulty, as most of the investors were least interested in investing in the online travel segment, which is already overcrowded. Get more information.

December 26, 2012

Cityfootprints plans re-launch

Cityfootprints, described as “If Yelp and TripAdvisor had a beautiful baby”, allows to create, publish and share travel guides. The web application is planning to re-launch.

PhoCusWright’s upcoming research reports

In 2013, PhoCusWright is planning to publish the following reports:

  1. The Post-Booking Opportunity: the report will focus on how travel companies can influence travel booking decisions.
  2. Skier & Ski Traveler Study
  3. Social Media in Travel: mayhem, myths, mobile & money

Get more information about the travel reports.

Tourwrist wins 3 awards in 2012

Tourwrist, set up in 2010, won The General Catalyst Award for Travel Innovation, Demo Spring 2012 People’s Choice Award and Best of Show at MacWorld in 2012.

Ancillary fee information on websites

Rice, Kate. 2012. Ancillaries continue to complicate booking on airline sites. Travel Weekly

The author states that the online flight ticket booking is becoming complicated due to dynamic ancillary fee strategies of the airlines. With technological advancements things are changing. However, global distribution systems (GDSs) or airlines make the most of the technology for the fee is still debatable.

GDSs provide comparison shopping features, whereas airlines believe that comparison shopping should not be used for ancillaries. The author appraised the airline websites to find out how the websites display information about ancillaries. Read the full article to find ancillary fee display behavior.

Travelguru and ITDC form alliance, the largest online hotel booking network in India, teamed up with Indian Tourism Development Corporation (I.T.D.C.), a public sector undertaking (P.S.U.). The network would host Ashok Group of Hotels of the corporation on its portal. The alliance would give access to the Ashok hotels to customers of Travelguru and the P.S.U. will get access to online customers of the network.

(The article continues after the advertisement…)




December 27, 2012 

A valuable insight for traditional travel agents

2012. Goa, Kerala top tourist destinations for Patna residents. The Times of India. 

This news article highlights an interesting trend indicating a major change in travel planning process. Travelers and tourists contact traditional travel agents to get information about the destinations. However, they prepare holiday itineraries, book and buy travel services online on their own. Read the complete story.

December 28, 2012

Cons of joining online travel inventories

Jeffries, Adrianne. 2012. One small hotel’s long nightmare with Expedia (update). The Verge.

Internet and the World Wide Web (WWW) have created a new, quick, easy and vast platform connecting the travel service providers and travelers. However, like in traditional world of business, limited resources of small companies may adversely affect their negotiations with big players. In this article, Jeffries narrated the story of a sore relationship between Luna Blue Hotel, a small Mexican hotel, and Expedia, which does not need any introduction.  Read the complete story and analysis how to avoid such situations.

Mobile travel apps have a long way to go

2012. Mobile apps in the travel sector-the journey has just begun. M-Travel 

This feature story reviews mobile travel apps and highlights what is missing. The travel companies developing the apps should consider the following:


Smart apps that know what are the users’ travel preferences

Compensate for missing social component…

Get more information.

December 29, 2012

Arihant launches online travel booking solutions for corporate clients

Arihant Holidays launched online travel booking solutions for its corporate clients to make the booking process simple and reduce the cost. Arihant Holidays, an online travel distribution business, offers an array of travel services. The company is a part of Arihant Group.

Lawsuit against Ctrip

Dongguan Guo’an Ticket Co. Ltd filed a lawsuit against Ctrip for unfair competition and trademark infringement and sought compensation of about five million Yuan. According to Guo’an, Ctrip used the word “Guo’an” in its promotion links that appeared in search results, diverting the customers. Ctrip is the leading Chinese online travel agent, whereas Guo’an is the ticket agent based in Guangdong.

December 30, 2012

Proposed legislation to ensure that O-only-TAs pay taxes on full hotel room rates

The Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association and local governments’ 2013 wish list includes a legislation that would ensure that online-only travel companies (O-only-TAs) should pay taxes, including tourism development taxes, on the tariffs on which hotel rooms are sold to the customers.

Currently, the companies, such as Travelocity, Orbitz Worldwide, Inc, and Expedia, Inc, pay the taxes on the wholesale rates for which the agents buy the rooms form the hoteliers. The O-only-TAs argues that tax on the profit would be considered as a service tax.

Expedia: one of the top gainers in the SP 500 Index 

Expedia is one of the top gainers in Standard & Poor’s 500 Index in 2012. The profit of the online travel agency (OTA) increased substantially. The OTA, a leading consumer discretionary business, paid special dividend.

Publish your travel plan online and get personalized travel deals, a travel social network that connects travelers to local travel service providers, planned to unveil innovative trip planning tools for both travelers and travel service providers in 2013. The new tools will allow the travelers to publish their trip plans online, so that the local travel service providers can offer them personalized travels deals.

The service providers can upload pictures and share travel destination content with bookmarking options and integrate it with different social networks.

Touristlink, a venture of the Indian company GotripIndia Pvt Ltd, has English, Spanish and Portuguese versions of the website.

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