First Free Story (1 of 3)

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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 hospitality.

For all of our weekend roundups, go here.

>>Don’t miss out on all the news you need to better understand the business of dining out: Launching: Skift Table Daily Newsletter

>>Technology companies are embedding smart speakers into all kinds of household devices, ranging from toothbrushes to refrigerators. A strong use case for hospitality, however, has yet to emerge: Smart Speakers and Hotel Rooms Aren’t an Easy Fit

>>As the professionalization of homesharing progresses, adding a payments feature such as this makes a lot of sense: Airbnb Follows HomeAway’s Lead By Not Requiring Full Payments in Advance

>>We have our reservations (pun intended), but if the popularity of pod-like hotels is any indication, perhaps this might just work for YotelPad and its experiment in reviving the condo hotel concept: Yotel Expands Into Branded Residences With an Extended Stay Element

>>From brands as experience platforms to strategic mergers, diversity messaging and beyond: These are the Megatrends in travel we’re watching closely in 2018: The Megatrends Defining Travel in 2018

>>It takes old-school hospitality expertise and new-school marketing hustle to create a cult property from scratch. Nihi Sumba Island seems to be the culmination of both, plus it has the right capital and vision: Interview: Nihi Hotels CEO on Creating a Cult Property That’s Distinctly Luxurious

>>We’re very much looking forward to seeing what Silva can do about growing the Jumeirah brand, and how he’ll handle its new, soon-to-be-launched lifestyle brand: Jumeirah Hires Former Four Seasons Executive as Its New CEO

>>Wyndham CEO Geoff Ballotti wasn’t kidding when he told us he had big plans for 2018 at last year’s Skift Global ForumWyndham Worldwide Is Buying La Quinta for $1.95 Billion

>>Just a hunch, but does this mean more acquisitions are in the works over at Hyatt? Hyatt Eliminates CMO Position in Strategy Aimed at Accelerating Its Growth

>>Rumor has it that Airbnb is gearing up to announce a more personalized experience soon, and Onefinestay may have just beat its strongest competitor to the punch: Onefinestay Launches Concierge Service With Loyalty Elements

Photo Credit: The Wyndham Rewards Wyzard. The company is buying La Quinta for $1.95 billion. Wyndham Worldwide