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 hospitality trends.

For all of our trends roundups, go here.

Top Executives From Airbnb, Google, Hilton, and More Are Speaking at Skift Global Forum 2016. Join Us.

>>Airbnb certainly didn’t acquire Trip4real for its user base, which is small, but the move highlights Airbnb’s intent to enhance the experiences of guests: Airbnb Buys Spanish Tours and Activities Startup Trip4Real

>>Even more exciting than the launch of this app is the transformative potential it could have for the participating independent hotels: The Standard Launches a Same-Day Booking App for Independent Hotels

>>If there were any doubts about the Marriott-Starwood deal getting done, you can now toss them out because of the approval from Chinese regulators. Now, let’s get on with it: Marriott-Starwood Merger Receives Final Approval

>>The one thing about mergers and acquisitions that isn’t usually discussed? Bringing different company cultures together. That’ll be key to the success of Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood, and Marriott’s Global Chief Human Resources Officer David Rodriguez knows it: Merging Marriott and Starwood Corporate Cultures, According to Marriott’s HR Chief

>>Read on for our takes on all 30 of Marriott’s brands: Every One of Marriott’s 30 Hotel Brands, Explained

>>Starwood Hotels & Resorts as we know it may be going away now that it’ll be owned by Marriott International, but its history of innovation has had a lasting impact on the hospitality industry as a whole: Starwood’s Hospitality Legacy After the Marriott Merger

>>Starwood Capital has gradually been building up its UK presence over the past few years through a series of acquisitions. This rebrand into two distinct units will help it boost brand recognition across the market: Starwood Capital Reorganizes UK Hotel Group Under the New Principal Brand

>>As hostels become more focused on design, events, and dining, we’re not surprised that a new crowd of travelers are discovering the option: Skift Podcast: How Hostels Are Trying to Move Beyond the Backpacker

>>It’s going to take a while for Marriott International to figure out which Starwood brands and programs it wants to keep. After that, expect the consolidation to affect the corporate negotiation process: Marriott Is the New Dominant Force in Hotels — Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report

>>That didn’t take too long now, did it? In all seriousness, however, this mega-merger was certainly a long one in the making, filled with plenty of twists and turns. Now, we hope, comes the even more interesting part in the next chapter of the story: Marriott CEO Interview: Buying Starwood and Its $13 Billion Bet on Loyalty

>>Is Airbnb’s valuation for real? We’ll have to wait for it to go public to see how it would really stack up against the market caps of major hotel chains: Airbnb’s Latest Investment Values It as Much as Hilton and Hyatt Combined

>>Airbnb is doing all it can to scale up its listings globally, including using more management companies. The problem for Airbnb as it goes corporate is how will the guest experience retain any semblance of authenticity: Airbnb Now Letting Hosts Search for Superhosts to Professionalize Listings