First Free Story (1 of 3)

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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.

>> A  lot of travel industry folks didn’t think a company would buy Orbitz. They were wrong: The Vast Orbit of Orbitz Suitors: The Backstory Behind the Expedia Acquisition

>> Like many tourism boards, Visit Philly has a history of surveying visitors offline and online: Why Visit Philly Asked Its Social Media Community to Fill in the Gaps

>> This is one step further to increased direct bookings: Hilton Finds Success With Google’s More Visual, Detailed Hotel Ad Product

>> New devices create new sets of customer behavioral data to study and personalize: IHG Hopes Its Smartphone Language App Will Translate to the Apple Watch

>> Is Uber getting closer to an IPO?:  Uber CFO to Leave E-Hail Service

>> Marriott is the first large hospitality chain to market with mobile payment: Marriott’s Apple Pay Play Is Part of a Bigger Mobile Strategy

>> Food never fails: Travel Channel Bets on Substance With New Food and Politics Series

Photo Credit: CEO of Orbitz Barney Harford, (L) and Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi (R). Orbitz Worldwide/ George Grinsted / Flickr