What Else? Vayable grows, Lonely Planet offline, Emirates IFEs, HotelsCombined, Rocco

What else is going on in the world of travel tech? A round-up of other stories from across the industry?

  • Vayable is plotting happy days ahead with confirmation that it is rolling out its experiences and activity platform from the launch set-up of six cities in the US to 200 destinations around the world. The expansion strategy follows the signing of a deal with Airbnb to provide users of the apartment rental service access to tours and activities across its network.
  • Lonely Planet is claiming a first for traditional guidebook publishers, unveiling a series of mobile guidebook apps which operate completely offline. The country guides will first target travellers on their way to Italy, Ireland, France, Spain, Australia and Costa Rica, with others set to follow in the coming months. GPS-endabled tools allow users to pinpoint their location on a map and find the nearest services included in the guide.
  • Emirates is starting a major overhaul of its in-flight entertainment system, beginning with its Airbus A380s before moving across the rest of the fleet. The IFE has a new graphic user interface (GUI), developed by Panasonic, features larger back-seat screens, “swipe” or “scroll” functionality so passengers can access a library of media and entertainment, send SMS and email messages, explore a moving map system, watch in-flight landscape cameras, and read live text news via the BBC.
  • From Russia with Love for metasearch service HotelsCombined after signing a significant deal with online travel agency Ostrovok. The Russian OTA will provide search and booking tools on HotelsCombined for users based in the country, a first for the search provider and mirroring similar moves by Kayak to incorporate fulfilment into the service.
  • Rocco Forte Hotels is to work with the IDeaS hotel pricing platform across its entire portfolio of luxury hotels, currently 13 properties in Europe and the Middle East. IDeaS will provide the chain with its Revenue Management System software tool, a service which allows hoteliers to monitor and control prices across the brand and which are updated three times a day.
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