While everyone is either looking ahead to 2016 or just to some relaxation at the end of 2015, we’re looking back a bit on the year we’re soon to leave behind with our annual 25 Moments that Mattered in Travel feature.
To best understand what’s in store for 2016, we also think it’s important to see the headlines from 2015 that brought us to this point. You can’t think about what’s going to happen next with online booking without understanding everything Expedia did in 2015, and you can’t grasp the changes happening in tourism without considering the wrench that an open Cuba throws into the status quo of North American travel.
History always helps the understanding.
To make our selection of 25 moments, we thought back to the stories that drove reader engagement and sparked discussion among both travel experts and the general public. Some stories were quick blips that represented bigger things while others were narratives that built slowly through out the year. Each one, though, spoke to where we are right now when it comes to the big business of global travel.
The 25 Moments:
- U.S. Tourists and Travel Brands Started Planning That Cuba Vacation
- Amazon Chickened out of Travel
- Airbnb Won Its San Francisco Fight and Prepared for More
- Cruise Lines Stopped Paying Lip Service to China
- All Out War Between U.S. Legacy Airlines and Gulf Carriers
- The Firing of Starwood’s Frits van Paasschen
- The Death and Rebirth of Airline Loyalty
- Instagram Surpassed Twitter to Top Social Media Strategies
- China’s Online Booking Sites Finally Got Rational
- Russian Tourist Plane Bombed Over Sinai Peninsula
- U.S. Justice Department Identified TripAdvisor and Google as Booking Threats
- Paris Attacks Force Europe to Rethink Borders
- Travel Agents Fought Back
- Virtual Reality Became an ROI Reality
- Universal Carry-on Bag Size Died a Quick, Silly Death
- Blackfish Finally Took Down Seaworld
- HotelTonight’s Troubles Signal a Reckoning for High-Value Startups
- U.S. Visa Waiver System Comes Under Political Scrutiny
- Complete Crisis in United Airlines’ Leadership
- Cruise Lines Finally Competed With Good Wi-Fi
- Big Players Buy in to Tours and Activities
- Expedia Ate Its Long-Time Rivals
- Marriott Bought Starwood
- Keyless Entry Emerged on a Mass Scale
- Tourism Bureaus Rallied Around Next-Gen Strategy