Skift Take

This week in digital news, we explained the state of travel distribution in 9,000 words and TripAdvisor tried to boost its underperforming hotel business with more TV ads.

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.

>>American is creating a new distribution path that might tweak the role companies like Travelport play in distribution. Travelport boss Gordon Wilson tells us he’s skeptical. We remain undecided: Travelport CEO Is ‘Super Skeptical’ About American Airlines Strategy

>>Public companies rarely take on projects where the benefits may not appear for years to come. So kudos to Trivago for risking that with its marketing tools for hotels. That said, the effort is still a risk: Trivago Urges Independent Hotels to Get More Involved in Digital Marketing

>>The global distribution systems aren’t going anywhere. Innovation, however, is happening in the margins of the travel distribution marketplace, with airlines seeking to regain control of their destiny: Channel Shock: The Future of Travel Distribution

>>With several other restaurant-facing product offerings, Eat24 was the one that didn’t fit into the Yelp puzzle. By ceding delivery to former competitor, Grubhub, Yelp is free to focus on the other parts of its business: Chefs+Tech: Eat24 Sale Could Signify Yelp’s Focus on the In-Restaurant Experience

>>Five years ago, no one thought about IBM as being a big seller of digital marketing tools to travel companies. That’s changed. Big Blue has landed some big deals. Yet the easy wins may be behind it: IBM Watson-Powered Artificial Intelligence Seeks an Edge in Travel Marketing

>>The best tourism websites in the business in 2017 are emphasizing user-generated content from platforms like Instagram and doubling down on video to make destinations seem more real rather than a part of a traveler’s imagination: 25 Best Tourism Board Websites in the World in 2017

>>The Priceline Group is the colossus of hotel bookings but it is playing catch-up when it comes to vacation rentals. Yet CEO Glenn Fogel sounds determined to hone in on Airbnb’s territory: Priceline Is Making a Land Grab on Airbnb’s Turf by Adding Rental Inventory

>>TripAdvisor plans to spend more than $35 million on TV ads between July and September to boost its business. Brand advertising can help the company although it is a very competitive environment: TripAdvisor Aims to Keep Up Its TV Ad Blitz to Lift Its Sagging Hotel Business

>>Priceline Group’s CEO Glenn Fogel has repeated his view that Asia is the company’s most important market. We don’t think he’ll try to acquire Ctrip. But additional moves are possible: Priceline Group Facing Tough Calls on China Expansion

>>OpenTable’s expansion to international markets obviously includes reservations, but the company seems to be pushing restaurant discovery even harder: Chefs+Tech: OpenTable Expands to Amsterdam with 100 Restaurants

>>TripAdvisor is still a must-have marketing channel for online travel agency and hotel advertisers. But if the Priceline Group and Expedia tilt their spend more toward other marketing vehicles, there aren’t a lot of other players with the marketing resources they have to make TripAdvisor whole: Can TripAdvisor Blame Its Hotel-Bidding Slump on Expedia or Priceline?

>>The global travel marketplace is ripe for evolution; we’re still only at the early stages: Distribution Upheaval Comes Slowly — Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report

>>Among the latest travel companies to receive funding, RedAwning and WanderJaunt are applying aspects of hotel franchising to home renting. Other companies will likely pile onto these experiments: Vacation Rental Network RedAwning Attracts $40 Million Round: Travel Startup Funding This Week

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Tags: digital, Travel Trends, trends roundups

Photo credit: TripAdvisor is trying to boost its sagging hotel business with more TV ads. Frame

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