Welcome back to the final edition of Skift’s “Digital Marketing News This Week” roundup. Over the past couple of years, we’ve tried to highlight some of the latest and greatest examples of how new developments in technology, user experience design, and marketing were impacting the travel industry. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading it!

Don’t worry: We will continue to cover digital marketing in travel. But we’ll do so instead with our signature in-depth reporting, rather than through news roundups.

Kicking off this final travel marketing news roundup is a story about the travel industry’s use of mobile.

Any regular reader of Skift knows that travel consumers’ use of mobile devices for all stages of shopping and buying is growing rapidly. So why is the industry still talking about the need for travel marketers to evolve their mobile strategies?

Because many companies — especially in the hotel sector — aren’t doing enough to encourage mobile purchases.

Despite all the data points and case studies, too many parts of the hotel mobile purchase experience still fall flat. Although many companies have built mobile-friendly websites, it continues to be hard to buy a room on many of them, and a large number of mobile searches end without a sale.

Why is that? Studies show that more and more consumers want to buy hotel rooms via phones and tablets. So is there a deeper problem with hotel mobile strategies? Read on for more thoughts, plus the rest of this week’s top stories.

Why the Hotel Industry Still Has a Mobile Problem
Every few months, some travel executive attempts to proclaim the current year the “year of mobile.” With so much emphasis on consumer behavior shifting to mobile, and plenty of marketing resources to help travel brands build mobile business strategies, it seems like a no-brainer. But according to new research, many mobile hotel website visitors aren’t converting into customers. Read more

Why Kimpton Is Focusing on Customer Personalization
Thanks to mobile devices, artificial intelligence, and growing opportunities to use data to customize consumer experiences, more travel brands are focusing on personalization. This interview with Kimpton’s “chief commercial officer” Kathleen Reidenbach about why listening to customers is at the center of the company’s personalization efforts. Read more

Google Expands Feature Set for its Mobile “Trips” App
The search giant is ramping up efforts surrounding its “Trips” mobile app, adding new functionality that integrates bus and train tickets and allows users to share itineraries with others. The update seems to be yet another effort by Google to gain greater into consumers’ travel booking habits. Read more

What It’s Like to Do Marketing for a Boutique Hotel Chain
Being an employee in the travel industry is hard work. This investigation of the day-to-day responsibilities of a marketing manager at a boutique hotel property is a great look “behind the curtain” at the tasks and skills that employees need to succeed. Read more

Talking Travel With Jay Walker
Entrepreneur Jay Walker is a household name in the travel category. He helped found travel industry juggernaut Priceline back in 1997, and has gone on to a range of other travel-focused business ventures. This interview discusses Walker’s latest project, Upside, which focuses on the unmanaged business travel sector. Read more

Photo Credit: For all the talk about its importance, mobile purchases remains a key pain point for many travel brands. Here's an image of the hotel and lodging website for Maven Hotel that was a 2017 IAC Award winner for HeBS Digital, a marketing shop. HeBS Digital