What else is going on in the world of travel tech? A round-up of other stories from across the industry.
- TripAdvisor has brought in a heavyweight of the industry to run the vacation rentals wing of the business. Ex-Expedia president EMEA Dermot Halpin will become president of vacation rentals with immediate effect, reporting directly to CEO Stephen Kaufer.¬†Halpin left Expedia in November 2008 and worked at a number of other non-travel digital businesses for a few years. The vacation rental business spans TripAdvisor’s own brands Flipkey and Holiday Lettings as well as partnership deals with Interhome, Stayz, Toprural and MediaVacances.
- eBookers¬†plans to offer Mobile Deals via its newly released iPhone app from January. The Orbitz-owned company unveiled the three-step booking app this week enabling consumers to search for nearby hotels using GPS as well as a number of criteria including city, postcode or landmarks. Mobile Deals will be available to eBookers consumers on its mobile website, iPhone and iPad.
- Research from Reevoo shows 68% of consumers read reviews before purchasing hotels, holidays and tickets. The percentage, when compared to the 59% who consult user generated content when buying a car, demonstrates the increasing influence of reviews in travel. The study also shows the rising trend to read reviews on mobile devices, 28% of consumers, while 9% read them via mobile while visiting a travel agent compared to 6% six months ago. Friends’ recommendations remain the most important factor in making a purchase for 74% of us. ¬†Consumers are also increasingly turning to Facebook for product recommendations according to the survey with 24% now use the social network, up two percentage points from a previous report.