Skift Take

This week in digital news, direct booking may not save travelers money. Google and leading online travel agencies like Priceline are trying to up their market share.

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.

>>A focus on restaurant marketing can take a business to the next level, but according to this survey, most restaurants don’t have the time — though they wish they did. One solution: building paid tools for restaurants to take best advantage of your platform in the least time possible: Chefs+Tech: TripAdvisor Says Restaurants Don’t Have Time to Market Like They Want

>>Maybe it really is better to keep clicking around if you’re hoping to save money (and you don’t want to be a member of a hotel loyalty program): New Research Suggests It Doesn’t Always Pay to Book Direct for a Hotel

>>DerbySoft has thrived as a vendor that helps global hotel groups with distribution partly because its top boss Ted Zhang called the rise of early on. Zhang’s latest predictions about what’s next for the industry may ruffle some feathers: Travel Tech CEO Series: DerbySoft Prepares for a Hotel Distribution Free-for-All

>>Priceline CEO Glenn Fogel says he wants travelers to think of’s name first when they start thinking about reserving homes and apartments for rental. He says a marketing effort is in the works to achieve that: Priceline CEO: Hotels Secretly Love Us Despite Accusations of Monopoly

>>In tests involving about 7,000 property listings in Europe, Google is checking if travelers would like to use it to search and book vacation rentals. Online travel rivals should be on the alert: Google Is Testing Vacation Rental Search in Its Hotel Price-Comparison Tool

>>A new white paper critiques today’s industry mania for mergers, which is driven by a fear of rising digital gatekeepers such as Airbnb, Google, and Expedia. The contrarian take is refreshing but begs questions: Smart Travel Companies Leverage Tech Giants Rather Than Fear Them

>>Dosh says it has 55 people working on letting travelers earn cash back on the money they spend on business trips, while Hoperator has debuted to bring AI tools to hotel chat. Each has promise: Cash-Back Biz Travel App Raises $7 Million: Travel Startup Funding This Week

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Tags: digital, Travel Trends, trends roundups

Photo credit: Sean Askay, right, engineering manager with Google Earth, demonstrates features on Google Earth, displayed in background, Tuesday, April 18, 2017, in New York. Google is testing if travelers would like to use it to search and book vacation rentals. Anick Jesdanun / Associated Press

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