Online travel update: Copolo tries to capitalize on travellers’ growing environmental concerns; Hopper diversifies through “houses”; Airbnb gains ground in traditional hotel room distribution | Foster Garvey PC

This week’s Update features some short-term rental stories as an established vacation rental platform becomes more relevant in traditional hotel room distribution, while an established travel application tries to diversify into short-term rentals. Enjoying.

New platform seeks to capitalize on travellers’ growing environmental concerns
(“New online travel agency, Copolo, won the Travel & Hospitality Corporate Innovation Award 2021 by Plug and Play”, January 27, 2022 via PRWeb)
HIS Group received Plug and Play’s 2021 Travel & Hospitality Corporate Innovation Award for its recently launched sustainability-focused online booking platform, Through the partnership with CHOOSE, Copolo enables travelers to book on its site to offset the CO2 emissions of their trips. Given the growing concern of travelers about the environmental impact of travel (as documented by nearly all recent traveler surveys and annual travel industry forecasts), it may not be long before platforms like Copolo (or at least the benefits Copolo offers) become more mainstream.

Hopper diversifies through “houses”
(“Hopper Adds Rentals with Hopper Homes Launch,” Jan. 27, 2022 via Phocus Wire)
Hopper will continue to make headlines in 2022. Last week, Hopper announced the addition of a fourth vertical to its mobile booking application – “Homes”. As of Thursday, January 27, the application will allow users to book one of the two million professionally managed (eg Sonder and Vacasa) houses and apartments. The initial inventory covers 90 countries and 90,000 cities, with a focus on US city properties. While not immediately available to users booking homes through the application, Hopper’s fintech products (for which it gets the most attention), including flexible cancellation policies and predictive price analytics, will be added soon. Hopper’s loyalty program – Carrott Cash – will also soon be available to users who book Homes through the application, entitling users to 1 to 5 percent cashback on their next booking. Hopper plans to make the new inventory available to its B2B customers, including, Amadeus and Capital One.

Airbnb gains ground in traditional hotel room distribution
(“Airbnb Gains Market Share in Hotel Distribution Analysis,” January 24, 2022 via Phocus Wire)
While the pandemic has caused Airbnb to essentially “freeze” its hotel business, a recent distribution survey by Siteminder suggests that the residential rental platform is slowly climbing the rankings of the major distribution channels in various markets. In the past year, Airbnb increased its position in 12 of the 21 markets evaluated and premiered in three others. From my perspective, Airbnb’s growth (and the reported growth of other existing channels and introduction of new channels) will benefit not only consumers, but suppliers as well. Siteminder’s full survey can be downloaded here.

Other news:

Travel Unicorn Hopper first came to Expedia. Airbnb is next
January 27, 2022 via Bloomberg Quint – Stories
Frederic Lalonde, Chief Executive Officer of Travel Tech Unicorn Hopper Inc., Doesn’t Want to Be the Next Airbnb Inc. his – a company whose name he purposely avoids uttering in conversations. “Pinduoduo,” he answers without hesitation when asked which company he prefers to emulate, citing the China-based mobile marketplace that was founded in 2015 and has since swallowed large swaths of the Asian e-commerce economy.

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