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Skift Take

Items like film cameras and retro hotels are finding new life with travelers. Is it a blip on the radar, or a sign of a greater yearning for experiences that are less commoditized and more personal?

— Jeremy Kressman

This week we’re fantasizing about the golden age of travel.

The era of artfully-designed travel posters and ample leg room in economy class may be long gone, but that doesn’t stop many consumers from pining for a time when travel was hypothetically simpler and more glamourous. This also applies to travel technology. What’s newer isn’t necessarily better, and travel marketers need to think if their never-ending rollout of new technology features genuinely improves the travel experience for guests.

Reconsidering Vintage Travel and Outdated Travel Technology
The mantra of our current digital era is one of progress: newer unquestionably equals better. But when it comes to “outdated” technologies like vintage airstream trailers or film cameras, the most recent product innovations don’t always equal the best in the eyes of consumers. As tourism boards, hotels and airlines think about what makes their brands special, it’s a good reminder that invoking the analog glamor of vintage travel can sometimes trump new-fangled digital marketing and technology. Read more

Wyndham Turns to Text Messages to Boost Mobile Conversion
Staying with the theme that newer technology isn’t always the best or most effective, Wyndham Worldwide is turning to SMS messaging to try and boost mobile conversion for its Wyndham Extra Holidays subsidiary. Realizing that a great proportion of bookings were coming from mobile devices, the group is rolling out a series of 13 holiday-themed offers, with discounts of up to 70% off, available only to guests that sign up to receive alerts. Read more

Global Distribution Players Create New Startup Funds, Tech Partnerships
JetBlue isn’t the only travel company looking to Silicon Valley and the startup world to help fuel innovation initiatives. Global distribution system players Travelport and Amadeus are increasingly investing in startup world as well. “By engaging entrepreneurially-minded individuals, we can explore new product ideas, validate their fit in the industry, and create value for the entire travel value chain,” said Jason Nash, head of marketing and product incubation for Travelport. Read more

Lufthansa Set to Roll Out App-Based Luggage Tracking for Fliers
Lufthansa Airlines announced this week that it plans to launch a new mobile luggage tracking system for fliers. The system, which is limited to a single luggage manufacturer (RIMOWA) for now, may signal a wider move by airlines to embrace digital luggage tracking technology for guests in the near future. Read more

Using Mobile Convenience to Boost Hotel Revenue
By now, most in the hotel industry have embraced mobile-focused services like keyless room entry and mobile check-in. But many hotels are still not seizing the opportunity to use such mobile-focused guest services to boost their bottom line. Among the areas of low-hanging fruit are in-the-moment purchases of room upgrades and food and beverage requests. Read more

New Startup Lets Customers Search for Destinations Based on Budget
A growing range of travel startups and technology tools are catering to window-shopping travelers who have a budget in mind, but are still undecided on their destination. One new example of such a service is Wherefor, which lets users search for a destination based on the amount of money they want to spend on hotel and flight. Read more

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