My travel tech trade news work, 2014 and 2015

I’ve written 800+ posts for trade news site Tnooz, where in July 2015 I became its editor-in-chief.

My scoops and articles have been widely read, with 9 of the 10 most-shared articles on Tnooz in the past year having been written by me, as verified by BuzzSumo.

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I’m proudest of my following work:

Real scoops: not the rewriting press releases a few minutes faster

I was the first to report that Orbitz was up for sale and Expedia was a likely bidder. A week later, Bloomberg News followed. The next month a $1.6 billion deal was announced.

My article on Google starting to facilitate hotel booking transactions rather than hand customers off to other websites was the first in the media by days and was the week’s most-read article on Tnooz. An investment analyst said the news boosted the likelihood of regulatory approval of the Orbitz/Expedia merger.

I had a scoop on suspicious search engine optimization practices by some major online travel companies. The article was widely discussed in the industry. Google then penalized Expedia Inc in search rankings.

I was the first journalist to report on a French tribunal’s decision on Expedia’s contracts with hotels, even scooping Le Figaro.

I had the exclusive report in which US Airways explained their decision to drop the airline’s request for damages against Sabre from $73 million to $20.

I’ve had dozens of scoops on funding news, prior to official announcements, such as Hotel Urbano’s $50 million investment round.

Interviews/Q&As
In November 2014, I did an in-depth, in-person interview with Expedia’s CEO and with Joel Cutler, perhaps the most famous venture capitalist in travel.

Breaking news

I was the first to report — and first to report in-depth — that TripAdvisor bought Viator for $200 million and that TravelClick had sold for $930 million.

I broke the news that Sabre had set aside $500 million for an acquisition and had the first exhaustive report, based on months of research, of what that acquisition meant once it was made official.

Days prior to the planned announcement, I reported that HotelTonight was switching to a seven-day booking window.

Analysis/Narrative

My in-depth pieces have been widely cited in the industry. My article “Does the Expedia billboard effect still exist for hotels?” kickstarted an industry discussion. So did my breakdown of a study that found that, at upscale hotels, guest acquisition costs are devouring room revenue growth. So did my analysis of TripAdvisor’s pivotal new product that pivoted its revenue model.

Some important, in-depth articles I’ve reported are on how Expedia ads now trail you from desktop to mobile. I highlighted how the most cited third-party web analytics tool had suspect data, why OTAs and hotels feed each other fake data, and which online travel companies may be in violation of one US law.

Startup profiles
Many of the startups I’ve profiled were soon after acquired, such as Buuteeq by Priceline, RocketMiles by Priceline, and Pricematch by Priceline. I anticipated multiple investments by HomeAway in companies worldwide in the past year.

Work for Lonely Planet’s news operation

Since April 2015, I’ve been writing for LonelyPlanet.com. I’ve been blogging on a nearly daily basis about travel news, such as “Bags that track themselves could be the end of lost luggage”, which airlines are trying flight auctions, and what’s behind the surprising boom in flash deals for hotels.

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