Monday, August 20, 2007

Little deal updates and staff movements

Have been caught on the blog talking about the big deals more and more such as Rakuten's big profit from Ctrip, Sabre & Amadeus in a tie for non-air sales and the collapse of Flight Centre's multi-billion dollar buy-out. Time for a couple of smaller deals.

First an announcement this week that Travel Publishing group Questex Media Group has snapped up "Five Star Alliance". Five Star Alliance (foundered by Cal Simmons and Eric Koefoot) is a listing service devoted to luxury properties. Not convinced that a simple listing service targeted at a particular price/quality can survive without a twist - something different to just listing. Maybe this is the hope in tying up with a media company. If you want an example of a price/quality site with a twist see Tablet Hotels which has a range of search options that match the thought process that a luxury hotel hunter goes through.

Second announcement from alarm:clock was further recruitment efforts at stealth mode start up Travelmuse. There has been little out of this start-up to date other than general claims around improving the booking process and sharing experiences. But they are now up to a team of 5 having added ex-Peerflix CTO and ex-Hotwire staff member Cyril Bouteille.

1 comment:

Kevin & Sue said...

Tim, I'm CEO of TravelMuse and happy to report that we're now up to 11 people and already two months into our alpha release. Check it out at http://alpha.travelmuse.com.

The alpha highlights:
- original editorial written by credentialed travel journalists and local experts
- vibrant photography sourced from the community
- a destination guide providing rich coverage of 150 destinations
- integrated flight, hotel, and car booking

Keep an eye out for the "almost beta" upgrade coming in a couple of weeks which will introduce the first version of our travel planner -- which will be available to about 200 private testers.

Contact me at kevin(dot)fliess(@)travelmuse.com if you'd like more information. Thanks!