News Byte

Hotel Tonight Wants You to Snap Photos of Your Hotel Room (Selfies Not Encouraged)

Hotel Tonight, the iOS and Android app for booking last-minute hotel rooms, is adding an Instagram-like photo-sharing service — minus the filters — for hotel guests to snap pictures of their stays. Prior to this, Hotel Tonight only allowed “reviews” of hotels through a ratings system. The company will introduce photo scavenger hunts, assigning users to snap a group of photos from a partner hotel to redeem five dollars off their next HotelTonight booking. The app, which is currently available in North America and Europe, has been downloaded five million times, though the company hasn’t said how many bookings it has done.

Desti, a Virtual Personal Assistant for Travel, Launches on iPad

Can artificial intelligence improve vacation-planning? Desti thinks so.
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HotelTonight Makes an Acquisition as Others Launch Last-Minute Booking Apps

For its first acquisition, HotelTonight has purchased PrimaTable, a company that developed last-minute pricing tools for the restaurant industry.
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Kayak Prices Long-Delayed $100 Million IPO at $25 a Share

Nearly 21 months after its first filing, Kayak is ready to pull the trigger and become a public company.
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Privacy Experts Weigh In on Whether There Is a Cure for “Creepy” (Video)

The Internet is full of identity thieves, stalkers and people generally trying to take advantage of you. In other words, it can be creepy.
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Priceline’s Booking.com Enters Last-Minute Deals Race

Priceline has joined the masses in publishing a mobile app that offers last-minute hotel deals, but is it really providing any huge discounts?
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News Byte

Six Major Hotel Companies Launch a Hotel Search Engine Called Room Key

Here’s something novel: A new hotel search engine founded by companies that own hotels. The joint venture, called Room Key, is an effort to gain independence from some of the large online aggregators, like Priceline and Expedia or even Google. Room Key was founded by Choice Hotels, Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels, Marriott and Wyndham Hotel, and acquired its technology from hotelicopter in an asset deal last year.

Expedia Takes Stock as TripAdvisor Gets Ready to Fly the Coop

Now that Expedia’s spinoff of TripAdvisor is imminent, the hard work begins to give investors a reason to stick with the online travel agency once its high-flying media business is gone.
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Hotel Booking for Procrastinators or the Picky

Katie tests two digital tools for booking hotels: HotelTonight, which aims to get people into rooms no matter how late they book, and Room 77, which wants to get people into the specific room they want.
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Priceline’s Take on Google Entering the Friendly Skies

Priceline says it’s up to them to make the most of Google’s entry into the travel market.
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Exclusive: Kayak Puts IPO Plans on Hold