United States: Online Travel Update: Copolo Seeks to Capitalize on Travelers’ Growing Environmental Concerns; Hopper diversifies through “houses”; Airbnb is gaining traction in traditional hotel room distribution
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This week’s update features a number of stories about short-term rentals, as an established vacation rental platform continues to gain relevance in traditional hotel room distribution while an established travel app is looking to branch out into short-term rentals. Enjoy.
New platform seeks to capitalize on travelers’ growing environmental concerns
(“New online travel agency, Copolo, has received the 2021 Travel & Hospitality Corporate Innovation Award by Plug and Play”, January 27, 2022 via PRWeb)
HIS Group received the Plug and Play 2021 Travel & Hospitality Corporate Innovation Award for its recently launched sustainability-focused online booking platform, Copolo.com. Thanks to its partnership with CHOOSE, Copolo allows travelers booking on its site to offset the carbon emissions produced by their travels. With travelers’ growing concerns about the environmental impact of travel (as evidenced by nearly every recent traveler survey and annual travel industry forecast), it won’t be long before platforms like Copolo ( or at least the benefits that Copolo offers) are no longer common.
Hopper diversifies through “houses”
(“Hopper adds rentals with launch of Hopper Homes”, January 27, 2022 via Phocus Wire)
Hopper continues to make travel headlines in 2022. Last week, Hopper announced the addition of a fourth vertical to its mobile booking app – “Homes”. Starting January 27, Thursday, the app will allow users to book one of two million professionally managed homes and apartments (e.g. Sonder and Vacasa). The initial inventory covers 90 countries and 90,000 cities, with a focus on US urban properties. While not immediately available to users booking homes through the app, Hopper’s fintech products (for which he receives most of his attention), including flexible cancellation policies and analytics predictive prices, will be added soon. Hopper’s loyalty program – Carrott Cash – will also soon be available to users booking homes through the app, which will entitle users to 1-5% cash back on their next booking. Hopper plans to make the new inventory available to its B2B customers, including Trip.com, Amadeus and Capital One.
Airbnb is gaining traction in traditional hotel room distribution
(“Airbnb gains share in hotel distribution analysis”, January 24, 2022 via Phocus Wire)
Although the pandemic has caused Airbnb to essentially “freeze” its hotel business, a recent distribution study by Siteminder suggests that the home rental platform is slowly climbing the ranks of top distribution channels in several markets. Over the past year, Airbnb has improved its rankings in 12 of the 21 markets assessed and debuted in three others. From my perspective, the growth of Airbnb (along with the reported growth of other existing channels and the introduction of new channels) will not only benefit consumers, but also suppliers. The full Siteminder study is available for download here.
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