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.

>>In his first interview with Skift, Amadeus’s chief executive Luis Maroto makes a persuasive case that his $24.8 billion company is successfully navigating industry changes: Travel Tech CEO Series: Amadeus Is Evolving Despite Airline Distribution Pressures

>>There ain’t no such thing as a free booking: How Do Hotels and Online Travel Agencies Really Define a Direct Booking?

>>The German hotel search site predicts that its revenue will grow by 50 percent this year. It will also spend about 85 percent of that revenue on marketing. That’s a path to either dominance — or disaster: Trivago Turns a Profit and Excites Some Investors Despite Its Risky Math

>>Skift Research subscribers now get most Skift news stories first: Announcing Early Access to Skift Daily Stories for Research Subscribers Only

>>This Dutch startup is growing by focusing on the problem of mobile ticketing and solving it with a product that requires almost no technical savvy from museums and other attraction operators. But it may need to be acquired to scale up quickly: Tiqets Secures $17 Million in Funding for Tours and Activities Ticketing

>>Machine-based translation still makes significant errors. But new techniques from Google, Microsoft, and Facebook are much better, as shown by a new Hostelworld chat tool: Google’s New Translation Tech Takes a Great Leap Forward

>>Limitations remain, but there’s a goldmine of data available that can help with sales, marketing, and production: How Smart Event Organizers Are Using Big Data to Create Better Events

>>The “travel agent in your pocket” approach was never going to be big for the average consumer and targeting businesses seems much more sensible: Lola Travel App Will Pivot to Target Business Travelers

>>The meetings industry is getting a lot better at leveraging data to inform event design and strategy, but there’s still a long way to go to personalize the experience on a mass scale: Event Technology Is Showing Progress — Meetings Innovation Report

>>Whether to feature a Trivago Guy or Trivago Woman, or both, on TV commercials is a serious strategy and business question for the hotel-search site. For now, it is opting for two actors in the U.S., as it has done elsewhere, for targeting and other purposes: Trivago Says It Needs to Be the Star of Its Advertising, Not Some Guy

>>Startups like Sweet Inn increasingly blur the lines between the hotel and Airbnb business models by offering hotel-style service in short-term rentals that they own and manage: Sweet Inn Raises $22 Million for Serviced Vacation Rentals: Travel Startup Funding This Week

>>It doesn’t surprise any soul who knows the travel industry that Google Hotel Ads is the breadwinner and Google Flights takes a back seat revenue-wise, but it’s nice to hear Google finally say it: Video: Google Exec Says Hotel Ads Are the Big Moneymaker in Europe

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Tags: digital, Travel Trends, trends roundups

Photo credit: If these employees seem happy now, wait 'til they see the fancy new Düsseldorf offices that are being built. Trivago

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