Update on the Expedia Class Action Lawsuit

As I had shared over the summer, AIHP has been in contact with Joel Davidow (Cuneo, Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP (Washington DC), whose firm has initiated a class action lawsuit against the following defendants:  Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz and Travelocity.

I appreciate those that responded to our survey regarding whether or not you had a business relationship with Expedia and whether your property was/is falsely advertised.

  • Of those surveyed 56% stated that the verbiage "Rooms Sold Out" was displayed for their property, even when they used different date searches.
  • 53% stated they had contacted Expedia about this issue.
  • 94% of those surveyed were willing to share their experience with the law firm bringing the Class Action suit since individually they did not get any relief from Expedia.

On Monday, December 3rd, the Expedia Class Action suit is scheduled to be heard in a California court.  AIHP has submitted an amicus brief in support of the suit.

The suit addresses the practice of Expedia and its subsidiaries taking the name and information of a Bed & Breakfast / Inn property (referred to as 'hotel') and listing it on their site without any contractual or business relationship.

The sought-after relief by the Plaintiffs is described in the following 5 prohibitions and mandates:

  1. Expedia shall include a disclaimer below the name of any non-contracted property indicating that Expedia may not have accurate information regarding the hotel's vacancy status.
  2. Expedia shall not represent that a non-contracted hotel is "sold out" / unavailable if they do not have current information from the hotel confirming this.
  3. Expedia shall not put any phone number next to the picture of the non-contracted hotel unless it is the hotel's phone number, or unless Expedia clearly indicates it is an Expedia call center number.
  4. Expedia shall not intentionally seek out search engine advertising/links when a consumer searches for the name of a non-contracted hotel.
  5. Expedia shall not display a hotel's information/availability received from a third party without informing the hotel and receiving the hotel's consent. 

Click here for a copy of the Amicus Brief that AIHP has filed.


 

evivo Purchases Rezovation and Webervations

Just this morning we read the announcement that Rezovation and Webervations have been sold to eviivo, a leading online booking specialist for independent hotels and bed and breakfasts. This is what we know at the moment. 

The following is from an email from Janice Hurley, Head of Industry Relations:

RezOvation and Webervations software have serviced the innkeeping community for almost 20 years. As the product and industry have evolved, we’ve worked to keep up with trends, technology, and our customer needs. We know our products have had functionality and features missing that our customers have needed and wanted.

Enter eviivo:

eviivo is a leading all-in-one booking management solution supporting small property owners and associations all over the world. eviivo not only keeps up with the industry, but they are also one of the few who leads the way in technology, security, and most importantly direct connectivity to online channels such as Expedia, Booking.com, AirBnb, and HomeAway. eviivo’s flagship product eviivo suite is a cloud-based solution that provides a simple way to manage bookings, guests, and travel agencies.

Also - eviivo CARES! Since its inception eviivo has supported small properties and B&B’s throughout Europe and the UK. They are excited to bring that same support to innkeepers in the US.

What does this mean for RezOvation/Webervations Customers?

As of today, nothing will change with the way these customers work with RezO/Weber. We will continue to operate RezOvation and Webervations businesses as usual. Over the next several months RezOvation and Webervations customers will be migrated to the eviivo suite. This will replace the existing RezOvation and Webervations platforms.

What does this mean for associations using Webervations?

As of today nothing will change with the way associations work with Webervations. eviivo has an existing association platform that they currently provide for associations they are working with. As the migration plan evolves we’ll be reaching out to share details on how we’ll be migrating associations and their members to the upgraded software.

Both companies want to ensure that this process is as smooth as possible so we are working on an automated strategy that will allow for a simple upgrade.

Here is what was shared with RezOvation / Webervation customers earlier today:

  • RezOvation and Webervations will continue to operate as it does today during this migration.
  • The upgrade to eviivo will start in the coming months. We will be reaching out to each property directly with migration details.
  • Data transfer, account setup, tools and information will be part of the migration plan. We aim to make it simple.
  • The migration will include direct connectivity to our existing partners Expedia and Priceline.
  • We will update customers soon with additional details about eviivo suite, the new software, upgrade plans, and your options.
  • Our existing RezO/Weber customer support team is still available. They will help properties through this process and do our best to answer questions they have. http://www.rezovation.com/support

 

CELEBRATING THREE YEARS – LOOK AT WHAT WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED

Can you believe on June 1st AIHP turned three years old?  While AIHP is young of age, and growing as an association, I believe we have an “old soul”.  Not only do we celebrate our aspiring and newly minted innkeepers, we have strong support from seasoned, long-standing innkeepers and allied partners who have been the cornerstone of this industry for many years.  Coupled with the freshness of new innkeepers, our membership mix brings wonderful creativity and a depth of knowledge that we believe is unmatched.

We’re extremely pleased that what started out as a vision to create a new nonprofit association that would have a very positive influence on the innkeeping industry has turned into a vibrant national association that continues to deliver on that promise.

Click here to read the full story


 

B&B’s UNBOUND – The State of B&B’s in the U.S. – January 2018

The new face of the B&B Traveler as the B&B Industry exceeds $4 billion annually

While bed and breakfasts are among the oldest lodging options in the USA, this sector of the lodging industry is often overlooked, favoring hotels or the newer concept of short-term vacation rentals.  To garner an up-to-date view of the B&B industry and a clear picture of today’s B&B traveler, the Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals (AIHP), the national, member-driven non-profit association, BedandBreakfast.com, the world’s largest B&B travel site and parent-company, Homeaway.com worked with Phocuswright, the leading travel industry research authority in the USA, to undertake a major research project to study the U.S. B&B market. A four-pronged approach guided the study including a B&B operator survey, a consumer survey of B&B guests and non-guests, market sizing and industry interviews. The primary objective was to map the size, scope, and opportunities for the B&B industry in an extensive research project.

To read the press release click here.

To read a copy of the study click here. 

Support Industry Research

One of the key initiatives in AIHP’s strategic plan is to help facilitate and support the development of current and timely industry research. As an industry, we need to be able to provide our members with the type of industry data that will help you make good business decisions.  Good research also helps provide data for AIHP as we advocate about the impact our industry makes on the overall economy.  We are raising funds to support this study, as well as other industry research needs that are critical to our industry. Please click here to make a contribution. 


 

GDPR = General Data Protection Regulation Information

Compliance with GDPR, went into effect May 25th, 2018. How complicated this will be, depends on the number of services you use to hold the guest/contact data. The Webinar shares with you information as currently understood the GDPR requirements. 

What Do You Need to Do:

The webinar will make you aware of items that you will want to discuss with the following individuals:

1. Webmaster

2. Reservation company

3. Any 3rd party marketing groups.

4.  Contact your/an attorney

A big thank you to Lisa Kolb with Acorn Internet Services for presenting this webinar.  Also, a thank you to PAII for their partnership with AIHP and facilitating this webinar. This is an awareness webinar only. Innkeepers will need to address these issues with their own representatives, and legal counsel in order to determine their own individual levels of compliance with their business.

Here is some additional information on GDPR:

Please share with Rob any additional information you have at [email protected]


 

OTHER CRITICAL INDUSTRY NEWS

Airbnb Will Accept Vermont's Proposed Short-Term Rental Legislation - read more...

TripAdvisor Meeting Rescheduled for Wednesday, May 30th - read more...

AIHP Year-End Report - read more...

BedandBreakfast.com's 7th Annual Best B&B Breakfast Tournament - read more...

Southern Living Magazine names the Bed and Breakfast on Tiffany Hill the "South's Best" - read more...

The most underrated US attractions: readers' travel tips from the Guardian - read more...


 

PAST NEWS

AIHP Allied Partner, Innkeeper's Advantage, Delivers New Connectivity with Airbnb read more...

Airbnb's Bed and Breakfast Deal Highlights Its Bigger Ambitions in Accommodations read more...

Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals, ThinkReservations, Airbnb Partner to Help B+Bs read more...

Perspective from a Non-Innkeeper:  The Reasons I Stay in a Bed Breakfast read more...

AIHP's Revised Short Term Rental Position Paper read more...

U.S. Travel Answer Sheet: Facts About a Leading American Industry That's More Than Just Fun read more...

AIHP releases 2016 - 2017 Strategic Plan read more...

AIHP On-Line Hosting Platform(s) Position read more...

AIHP Announces first CEO read more...

The Voice of Innkeeping Speaks read more...

AHIP Board of Directors approves Bylaws read more...   

AHIP Board of Directors ratified by membership read more...