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.
>>Google has all the tools, including a giant search engine, to make its mark in hotel metasearch and its competitors are starting to really feel it. The only hope for rivals is a hail Mary to regulators — or to focus on being faster and better: Google Hotel Ads Is Becoming the Behemoth Everyone Feared
>>Travel suppliers and agencies will only get serious about virtual reality when it’s more than a marketing stunt and actually grows revenue: Amadeus Tests Virtual Reality as a Travel Booking Option
>>Technology is disrupting long established content, advertising, marketing, and fundraising best practices in destination marketing. Hear from your peers to learn what’s sticking, and what’s not: New Research Report: The State of Destination Marketing 2017
>>The Momondo Group knows it has to spend big to catch up with the competition. Its growth caught the attention of the Priceline Group, which will be hoping the acquisition, if approved by regulators, will help boost its European metasearch operation: Momondo Group Is Still Spending Big to Fund Expansion
>>Will these hotel-produced and curated podcast playlists actually gain traction with listeners who eventually become paying guests? We’re not so sure they will: Hotel Podcasts Really Want to Be the Next Big Thing in Content Marketing
>>TripAdvisor is getting more sophisticated about prodding customers to book hotels on TripAdvisor or to more effectively refer them to partner sites. In an apparently modified strategy, TripAdvisor is finding religion in being agnostic about where its users book hotels: TripAdvisor Instant Booking Gets Very Personal
>>The bigger question here is this: Should airlines and their travel peers be investing more in social versus search? Facebook Expands Its Dynamic Ads for Travel to Airlines
>>While the growth in summer online travel spending will decline in the U.S. this year compared to 2016, it’s not all doom and gloom: U.S. Summer Online Travel Spending Growth Has Slowed in 2017
>>Trivago and HomeAway are clearly rising stars. Trivago hardly ever saw a TV commercial it didn’t like but increased profits in Q1, and HomeAway is in the midst of a multi-year digital-booking transition: Expedia Looks to Trivago and HomeAway to Propel Future Growth
>>Can 4.2 million flyers be wrong? Freddie Awards Pick the Year’s Best Traveler Loyalty Programs
>>This week’s New York Times review of 32-year-old Union Square Cafe’s new location explains how to successfully preserve a classic: Chefs+Tech: How a 32-Year-Old Restaurant Became New Again
>>International Airlines Group (owner of British Airways and Iberia) has invested in a couple of travel startups, while Paris-based RoomChecking makes a striking debut as a next-gen hotel operations startup: RoomChecking, Esplorio and More: Travel Startup Funding This Week
>>It appears that the mystery buyer is a brand holding company that may not be focused on travel. If so: What a lost opportunity: Travelzoo Made $1.8 Million by Selling the Fly.com Domain
>>Many companies — especially in the hotel sector — aren’t doing enough to encourage mobile purchases: Building a Mobile Path to Purchase — Digital Marketing News This Week