Sam Shank, Co-founder and CEO of HotelTonight, spoke today at the Skift Global Forum.

A travel-obsessed serial entrepreneur, Sam previously founded and was CEO of, a travel deals search engine, and was CEO of, a hotel reviews site.

Here are are four things we learned from Shank’s talk “The Rise of Curation in Travel”:

  • “Curation is vital on mobile because it’s expedient and its builds an emotion connection with customers. It’s about having a point of view and showing them something that they’re going to like.”
  • “On an online booking site, you have 4341 properties in Rome, but on a mobile screen that choice becomes a liability. That’s why curation matters.”
  • “This is more than just HotelTonight. This is a concept where people are saying that they don’t have enough time to go through all the options, whey they want only the best options that are right for them, brought to me.”
  • “I break down the future of curation down to precision and proactivity. How can we bring customers the best possible choice and say this is the one you should book? That’s incredibly hard to do because context changes. Web era was about searching and the mobile era is about that query being replaced by a notification sent directly to you.”

Shank also highlights curation in other industries by comparing Yelp to Sosh, Stubhub to Gametime, paper restaurant menus to Zesty, and Macy’s to Birchbox.

Keep track of all the activity at today’s Global Forum by bookmarking our #skiftforum tag.


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Tags: hoteltonight, sgf2014, skift global forum

Photo credit: Sam Shank, CEO of HotelTonight, speaking at the Skift Global Forum in New York City on October 9, 2014. Skift

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