Travel Tech, mmMule, Google Flight Search, HRG, WIHP, and ShoreTrips all appear in our roundup of the stories making news and driving opinion on 1 October.
WHILE YOU WERE OFF THE GRID
The Interactive Travel Services Association relaunches its brand today. The new name is The Travel Technology Association, informally known as Travel Tech. Representing online travel companies (OTCs) and global distribution systems (GDSs), the group will advocate for legislation in the US that "promotes independent travel distribution." Top priority issues include:
persuading the US government to force airlines to publish ancillary fee information equally via every platform they use to sell fares.opposing the growth of hotel occupancy taxes
Today social travel network mmMule.com launches, helping travellers become "AngelMules." Travellers agree to carry urgently needed supplies, such as clothing, food, and memory cards, to charitable organisations at the locations where they're vacationing.
Developers volunteer to patch up China Rail Ministry’s much-criticised $52m ticketing site.
WIHP offers "a guaranteed return on investment" for hotels advertising on its network. Marketing agency World Independent Hotel Promotion is putting itself in the middle as a preferred middleman in the hotel marketing process by partnering with Trivago, the pan-European hotel metasearch company that claims to be the "world's largest hotel comparison site."
Global travel management giant HRG expands in Peru. Hogg Robinson Group, the UK-based corporate travel management company, has taken over Lima's market leader Diners Travel, which will be renamed HRG Peru.
ShoreTrips and iZento form an alliance to help agents boost profits on cruise bookings. Agents can now use the iZento Professional to upsell with ShoreTrips' cruise excursions.
TRENDS TO WATCH
Australian hotels are questioned about the security of their databases. A handful of hotels Down Under appear to be copying a trend started by nightclubs of collecting identification information from guests, such as scanning driver's licenses and taking thumbprints. The country's privacy commissioner warns that the data needs to be properly secured against the risk of identity theft.
Google's Flight Search is now optimised for tablets and smartphones. The search giant's official blog noted on Friday that it has tweaked its airplane ticket search tool for mobile devices. Users can now look through airfares by scrolling through dates or running their fingers along a map, taking advantage of touch-screen interfaces.
A SARS-like virus has killed two in Saudi Arabia, and has spread to Denmark. For context, see the Guardian's weekend piece on how adventure travel may kickstart the end of the human race if governments don't develop better quarantining strategies.
US start-up Jumpjet goes after first-class fliers with a fractional jet service.
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