Lately we have been very aggressive on the legacy companies in the travel business information space, and our recent presentation “Building a Business Information Brand in 2013” outlined how we have gone about building Skift since we launched nine months ago, contrasting with the B2B legacy we called “Backwards. Boxed-In. Boring.”

That said, we are building on the backs of the work done by a few companies that we do admire, who have diligently pioneered in various sub-sectors of travel. We benefit from their editorial work, like their approach, and learn from their business strategies as well. We decided to highlight three of them we like the most:

  • phocuswrightPhocuswright: We and others have poked occasional fun at its sometimes obvious reports, its ponderous tone, and its lack of digital nimbleness, but the company has really defined how the online travel sector looks at itself, globally. Its analysts are good at what they do, they have been very global in their outlook (unlike other U.S.-centric firms), and they have always been very accesible and media- and social-media friendly. The eponymous flagship conference is where the industry has historically gathered and done business, though that may change as the founder and driving force behind the brand has left. Too bad it sold to Northstar, where digital progress goes in reverse. Maybe next time they want to sell they would call us.

 

  • Screen Shot 2013-05-02 at 8.55.54 AMHotelNewsNow: Some would say this hospitality business news site is just a front for its parent STR to sell services, which it is, but it’s a very good one at that. The hotel industry is particularly beset with sub-standard publications which are essentially press release machines that feature a random grab-bag of “expert” (i.e. industry) columnists passed off as original content. HNN does away with all of that. It has actual experienced reporters who diligently cover the industry like journalists, focus on the issues that matter to the industry on strategic level, and are always rooted in data. Almost makes you forget its frumpy site design.

 

  • capaCAPA Center for Aviation: To be a pretty big deal in the global aviation industry while being based in Australia is a feat in itself. CAPA started more than two decades ago by focusing on the Asia-Pacific market and has recently expanded its coverage and data focus to be global — and does it very well. With a mix of free (enough that you get a lot out of it) and premium offerings, it has an actual usable site that while too text heavy and laden with pointless jargon sometimes — its analysts need some editors, for sure — does the job well, along with good navigation and search. In a data-driven industry that throws out a lot of it, CAPA’s data tools are current and top notch as well.