This is a roundup for product news and announcements for travel DISTRIBUTION in tourism and hospitality for January 2016.
Wednesday 27 January
Travelport sweet on Jambojet
- Jambojet, a no-frills carrier owned by Kenya Airways, has signed a full content agreement with Travelport. It becomes the first sub-Saharan carrier to connect to Travelport's Universal API and will participate in its Rich Content and Branding programme as well.
Tuesday 26 January
- Travel management group GlobalStar has confirmed that Cabforce will become its preferred online taxi and private transfer provider. Cabforce is based in Finland and was bought by Ireland's CarTrawler last April. GlobalStar has more than 85 members around the world who sell some $14 billion-worth of business travel between them every year.
TripAdvisor has added Starwood to its instant booking program
- Soon to be acquired by Marriott, which already had a deal with the reviews giant, Starwood will enable its more than 12,000 hotels to be booked instantly by TripAdvisor users without leaving TripAdvisor's site and apps.
- TripAdvisor has become the latest member of industry organisation ETTSA (The European Travel and Technology Services Association). ETTSA represents the interests of OTAs and the GDSs to European policy makers. Its secretary general Christoph Klenner said Tripadvisor adds an "exciting new dimension to [our] membership.”
adds more ground supply
Monday 25 January
- Content from rail and bus aggregator AccesRail has been integrated into Amadeus Air-Rail display, allowing agents not only to compare ground options with air on selected routes but also book a multi-modal trip on the same screen. AccesRail connects to inventory from 18 operators with a presence in 26 countries.
Indian offline agent launches online business
- One of India's best-known offline travel agency businesses, Trans India Holidays Group, has launched an OTA under the www.bigbreaks.com brand. MD Kapil Goswamy said the site will "offer unprecedented customization of tour packages" while addressing other shortcomings of the established OTAs, such as poor customer service and slow refund processes.
signs direct connect with Rakuten
Thursday 21 January 2016:
- Rakuten Travel in Japan has signed a direct connect deal with Marriott International, opening up the group's entire portfolio - 4,300 properties across nineteen brands - to the Japanese traveller. The direct connect will work with smartphones and other devices. Rakuten Travel users book around 1.8 million room nights a month.
Ryanair has business with Amadeus
Wednesday 20 January
- Amadeus-connected agencies will now be able to select and buy Business Plus Fare tickets from the low cost carrier. The availability of the surcharge-free option comes 18 months after Ryanair returned to Amadeus for distribution of content.
SiteMinder and Priceline tie-up
Tuesday 19 January 2016
- Hotels can now manage their distribution via Priceline following a partnership which integrates the accommodation giant into SiteMinder's Channel Manager. SiteMinder has also announced a similar deal with lowcostbeds.
Thai Lion Air elects Sabre for GDS activity
Wednesday 13 January 2016
- The regional carrier will distribute fares, inventory and schedules through Sabre as it looks to expand its network of routes around South East Asia. Lion currently flies to ten domestic locations from its Bangkok base, as well as international flights to Singapore.
Ola targets enterprises
Tuesday 12 January 2016:
- India's biggest transportation app Ola has launched a dedicated Ola Corporate product for businesses. Rides can be booked via a dedicated channel on the app and are billed directly to the user’s corporate account. It also allows firms to customize policies for different groups of traveller.
Travelport agrees new deal for Frontier Airlines
- The latest long-term arrangement will see the airline's fares and availability made available to all Travelport-connected agencies worldwide. The Colorado-based airline flies to destinations in the US, Mexico and around the Caribbean.
joins Expedia activities drive
- The Australia-based technology provider to tours and activity suppliers will give its customers access to and distribution via Expedia's new Activities initiative, with bookings and availability in real-time to consumers. The API for tours and activities by Expedia was announced in late-2015.
Monday 11 January 2016:
- The Saudi Arabia-based online travel agency will use Amadeus for a range of tools to help advance its expansion in the Middle East. These include ancillary product technology as well as the Amadeus Ticket Changer.
Rezdy inks Expedia link-up
Friday 8 January 2016:
- Tour operator customers on the Rezdy platform will now be able to distribute through Expedia's Activities channel, provided by its Local Expert platform. Products will be showcased in real-time and bookings will take place on Expedia.com and other global sites with the Activities channel. The Expedia API for tours and activities was announced in late-2015.
Ascott races to Alitrip
- Ascott International has becomes the first serviced apartments operator to list its inventory on Alitrip, the standalone travel site run by Alibaba Group. Ascott, which operates the Ascott, Citadines and Somerset brands, already has a flagship store on the site selling its Chinese properties. It will add its entire global portfolio to Alitrip by June this year.
NB: Travel distribution image
- The Swedish regional carrier will adopt the Rich Content and Branding element of Travelport's Merchandising Platform, as part of a multi-year agreement, giving carriers the opportunity to display their fares and ancillary services on agent desktops in the same way as they do online.