Skift Take

This week in digital news we talked about chatbots and artificial intelligence, specifically that they're finally having a noticeable impact on meetings and events.

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.

>>We are not expecting Armageddon as the Expedia-Hyatt talks come down to the wire. Hyatt wants a fair deal, and Expedia stands to gain if it can retain the broadest depth of hotel content possible. The devil will be in the details but we expect champagne glasses to be raised this week: Travel This Week — What To Expect: Expedia-Hyatt Showdown Looms But a Deal Is Likely

>>Ctrip’s purchase of Skyscanner continued the trend of metasearch consolidation and should provide Ctrip with support for its outbound and inbound businesses: Ctrip and Skyscanner: A Look at How the Deal Went Down

>>“Great nations start stoic and die epicurean.” Curiosity + Constraints, the Skift formula in the last five years: On Skift Turning Five and the Magic of Showing Up Every Day

>>By cutting the management ranks, Sabre’s new CEO Sean Menke addresses a gripe of “management bloat” among workers writing on review sites like Glassdoor. He also wisely cuts costs to fund new investment: Sabre Axes 900 Workers to Revamp Some of Its Business Lines

>>The increased acceptance and use of chatbots and AI is changing the way event and meeting professionals connect with attendees and making events more efficient for the planners and the attendees: Chatbots Are the Future of Meeting and Event Communication and Networking

>>In a short period, the number of companies at the top of the business-to-business travel market has shrunk dramatically. The deal continues Webjet’s transition from a regionally focused consumer travel company to a global travel business; other acquisitions will follow: Webjet Is Buying JacTravel as Wholesaler Consolidation Intensifies

>>It’s easy to overlook the importance of a well-designed and useful website in an age of social media hype, but a restaurant’s website is the one true place the business has total control of the message: Chefs+Tech: The Not-So-Quiet Power of a Strong Restaurant Website

>>Should we be scared of artificial intelligence, or should we learn to embrace it? How Artificial Intelligence Is Already Impacting How We Meet — Meetings Innovation Report

>>Vayant is a tech vendor that has never caught the imaginations and wallets of travel companies to the same degree as a few of its peers have. This has all the attributes of a soft landing: Flight-Search Company Vayant Travel Sold to PROS for $35 Million

>>TripAdvisor has expanded its food delivery service outside the U.S. and Canada, part of its strategy to grow non-hotel revenues. More travelers can chow on crisp-fried shrimp paste chicken comfortably in their rooms. Hotels have no choice but to say bon appetit: TripAdvisor’s Global Food Delivery Expansion Pressures Hotels to Adapt

>>Expect Hyatt to delve even deeper into more of those adjacent spaces going forward: Hyatt Makes Nice With Expedia But Still Talks Up Direct Booking

>>Skyscanner had been sniffing around Brazil’s homegrown metasearch leader Mundi and checking its books. Kayak appears to have swooped in to shore up market share: Kayak Acquires Assets of Struggling Brazilian Metasearch Company Mundi

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Tags: digital, Travel Trends, trends roundups

Photo credit: Meetings and events are evolving to incorporate chatbots and artificial intelligence. Atout France

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