Skift Take

These are the digital trends we were talking about this week.

Throughout the week we post dozens of original stories, connecting the dots across the travel industry, and every weekend we sum it all up. This weekend roundup examines digital trends.

For all of our weekend roundups, go here.

>>The American Hotel & Lodging Association has no love lost for Expedia, other online travel agencies and their affiliates, and will likely welcome the squabbling and any additional exposure the affiliate issue gets from this lawsuit. Expedia has to move fast to protect its reputation among partners: Expedia Sued by Affiliate for Allegedly Stealing Data and Handing It to a Competitor

>>Venture capital’s returns are usually achieved in the long term, a great match for pension funds. However, European pension funds are still reluctant to allocate money to VC, considering it a risky venture: The Venture Capital Funding Gap in European Travel

>>Travelzoo has sold, the most under-leveraged internet domain name in travel. We hope the mystery buyer has better luck with it than the deals publisher did: Travelzoo Closes Search Business and Sells Domain

>>Time will tell if video truly resonates with travelers during the inspiration phase of the travel booking funnel. For the time being, it’s smart for travel media to experiment with a variety of formats and platforms, especially when it comes to branded content: The Future of Travel Media Is Going Far Beyond Print

>>Trivago gets critiqued for spending heavily on TV brand marketing. But Managing Director Johannes Thomas says it’s part of a sustainable plan. We now tend to agree: Trivago’s Marketers and Engineers Are Equally Key to Its Success, Says Managing Director

>>Momondo Group thinks the key to differentiation in metasearch is to create an emotional connection with the customer. Price-focused Kayak wants to learn a thing or two: How Momondo Outcompeting Kayak in Europe Led to Its Acquisition

>>Expedia has not been aggressive in its marketing spend in Europe lately. But its global head of retail, Gary Morrison, says that strategy is about to change: Expedia Plans to Increase Its Marketing Spend in Europe

>>Google revealed Tuesday that it is doing an early experiment in how to sell bundled flights and hotels via its travel search results. Package travel is huge in Europe, and Google’s trial will be watched closely: Google Trials Travel Package Metasearch in the UK and Germany

>>Whether it’s a booking site or a hotel, how do you create differentiation where there is so much sameness all around? Create a brand that consumers love and want to engage with: Momondo CEO Says Rival Skyscanner’s Strategy Would Confuse Consumers

>>Diving into the data of European VC reveals that while new tech-hubs are emerging, the landscape is still vastly dominated by the traditional trio of well-established tech-hubs. Namely London, Paris, and Berlin: A Data Dive Into European Venture Capital: Top Companies by Funding

>>Triptease has successfully faced down legal threats from over its tactics to help hotels boost direct bookings. The startup says it has signed up 17,000 hotels as clients: Booking Tech Platform Triptease Raises $9 Million: Travel Startup Funding This Week

>>Car-sharing marketplaces are finding that partnerships with automotive leasing companies and insurers may be a more cost-effective way to get the word out about their services than using traditional digital marketing efforts: Car-Sharing Startups BlaBlaCar and Turo Use NonTraditional Strategies to Boost Usage

>>It’s not a surprise that Skyscanner is looking to Chinese trends as it becomes a part of Ctrip. The storefront model it has outlined, however, is getting somewhat of a cold reception from competitors: Skyscanner CEO: Great Engineering in Metasearch Beats Marketing Muscle

>>At this year’s annual travel goods industry conference, it’s obvious that the hot trend among manufacturers is to add USB ports, battery packs, and location-aware beacons to their luggage: The Luggage Industry Keeps Adding Tech Gimmicks to Boost Sales

>>360-degree videos have been a draw for many destination marketers and consumers are equally eager to watch them. But the who, what, where, when, why and how for watching such videos are still in test-and-learn mode: Tourism Boards Still Aren’t Sold on 360-Degree Destination Videos

>>Despite the recent attempts at corporate venture capital by JetBlue,, and other big players, many travel companies prefer to invest in startups via traditional venture funds instead: Thayer Ventures’ New Travel Tech Fund Will Be Cautious About Consumer Startups

>>The TripAdvisor store would be your go-to place to purchase a TripAdvisor Reviewer or Bubbles T-Shirt with all five bubbles. The retail effort could help get TripAdvisor out of the bubble in which consumers think it’s just a review site: TripAdvisor to Open Branded Retail Store at Raleigh-Durham Airport

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Tags: Travel Trends, trends roundups

Photo credit: Google Travel's VP of Engineering Oliver Heckmann speaking with Skift's Dennis Schaal (R) at Skift Forum Europe in London on April 4, 2017. Russell Harper / Skift

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