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.
>>Attention travel startups: We want you to attend Skift Forum Europe next April at our exclusive discounted price! Apply now: Discounted Startup Tickets to Skift Forum Europe Now On Sale
>>Expedia’s HomeAway unit isn’t as profitable as the parent company initially envisioned, and Booking.com rained on Trivago’s parade. Still, Expedia itself — and financial analysts — are optimistic about Expedia’s long-term prospects. Regardless of the promise, these are very challenging days in online travel: Expedia CEO: Math and Strategy Are ‘In Our Favor’
>>Mafengwo gained traction among millennials partly due to China having banned Facebook and Instagram. A lack of competition gave the company room to be a place where young Chinese can share travel photos, and that attracted new customers to look at the company’s bookable travel offerings: Mafengwo Raises $133 Million as a Booking App for Chinese Millennials
>>The largest hotel chains and online travel agencies have deals on paid search marketing practices that effectively trim their ad spend on Google. But smaller players remain unprotected from tough marketing tactics: Are Hotels and Online Travel Agencies Colluding on Keyword Bidding?
>>Tours-and-activities startups will be eager to see if in-destination apps from giants such as Google, Airbnb, and TripAdvisor will succeed in providing cost-effective customer leads: Google Trips Takes a Baby Step Into Tours, Activities and Car Rental Offers
>>Egencia already has a strong offering in corporate travel technology, so acquisitions to improve its scale are likely in the coming years: Egencia Could Be a Buyer in 2018 — Corporate Travel Innovation Report
>>>Who needs Santa? This week investors announced more than $179.5 million in funding for startups that specialize in hotel revenue management, baggage transport, and online travel services: OTA Insight Raises $20 Million for Hotel Rate Analysis: Travel Startup Funding This Week
>>Built-in maps of airport terminals are certainly useful for iPhone users. But this new feature has a long way to go in terms of airports included and the granularity of information available, before it becomes a mainstay for frequent travelers: Apple Maps Adds Airport Terminal Guide for Travelers