Every week we post hundreds of stories across various sectors in travel, connecting the dots across various global trends, and in these weekend posts we highlight the stories that tackle these trends. This one looks at top digital trends. For all of our trends roundups, go here.

>> Online bookings sites consolidate: Orbitz Worldwide Acquires Travelocity Affiliate Network

Now that Travelocity has unloaded its North American websites to Expedia and its private label business to Orbitz Worldwide, the largest remaining question is who will buy Travelocity’s European holdings, including LastMinute.com.

>> Regulators come up with new rules for new digital travel tools: Drivers Can Read Mobile Maps Behind the Wheel, Rules California Court
The decision is another example of regulators adopting or creating new rules for managing today’s digital tools. California’s move will impact other governments wrestling with similar issues worldwide.

>> Regulators come up with new rules for new digital travel tools: Shanghai Outlines New Rules for Popular Taxi Booking Apps
Cities worldwide are figuring out how to regulate a new breed of services from Didi Taxi to Airbnb, but the future will favor technology that’s making business interactions more dependable for consumers and providers.

>> Travel brands tap social media influencers to build brand awareness: Amtrak Takes Advantage of Social Buzz with Sponsored Trip to SXSW
The travel junket is expanding outside of the usual blogger circles with Amtrak tapping an even more influential set of social media users. The company’s quick response to social suggestions is creating a new and unexpected marketing opportunity.

>> Travel startups try to make travel easier, more affordable for users: 5 New Travel Startups Give Travelers a Taste of Flexibility
Airlines will never give up the growing number of change and cancellation fees that boost their bottom line, but they might reconsider how the fees are divvied out if startup services gain enough traction and attention.

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Tags: Travel Trends, trends roundup

Photo credit: Google Maps on a mobile phone. PlaceIt.Net / www.placeit.net

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