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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 digital trends.
For all of our weekend roundups, go here.
>>Airbnb has sold investors on a growth story based, in part, on adding flights and other products. But selling flights is extremely complicated: Airbnb Mulled Integrating Skyscanner for Flights and Buying Hopper
>>Find out who you’ll hear from at Skift Tech Forum, happening this June in Silicon Valley: Inaugural Skift Tech Forum Speakers Announced
>>Some entrepreneurs and scammers are treating initial coin offerings like get-rich-quick schemes, and the travel distribution ecosystem isn’t immune. Beware of people who say they can totally disrupt the travel industry, especially if they don’t even understand how the industry works: Tales From the Crypto: The Wild World of Travel Blockchain Startups
>>At this stage, we’re not exactly sure why eDreams Odigeo might interest Skyscanner/Ctrip. A private equity buyer would seem much more likely: eDreams Odigeo Sale Attracts Private Equity Interest
>>Anyone who thought the three new online travel agency leaders — Jane Sun, Glenn Fogel, and Mark Okerstrom — intended to be mere caretakers of their predecessors’ policies and legacies would have been mistaken. To a large degree, they are stepping out into new territory: Travel Megatrends 2018: New Online Travel Agency Leaders Reshape Their Companies
>>China’s number one super app, WeChat, has helped its parent company, Tencent, become the most valuable social network company in the world. With this upward momentum, the app shows great potential for travel brands looking to enter the China market, as long as they formulate a thoughtful strategy going in: China Super App WeChat Is Essential for Travel Brands Breaking Into the Market
>>The Priceline Group’s new emphasis on TV is unpleasant news for metasearch enterprises such as Trivago, Google, and TripAdvisor. The TV ads are an online travel agency version of a direct-booking campaign: Priceline Group Revamps TV Strategy With Whopping Spending Hikes
>>From what we’ve seen so far, travel brands with Super Bowl teasers are staying away from the culture wars and focusing on sending neutral messages with universal appeal. And while it’s important to draw attention to certain issues, it’s refreshing to watch light-hearted advertisements, too: Universal and Turkish Airlines Are Betting Big on Super Bowl Ads
>>Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? ATPCO’s first acquisition in its 53-year history shows that rich content will play a huge role in the air distribution marketplace: Airline Data Powerhouse Buys Routehappy in Bid for Transformation
>>Companies have finally realized that creating happier business travelers starts with empowering them instead of ordering them around. Now the rush is on to land those road warriors as customers with the understanding that they are experienced consumers: Travel Megatrends 2018: Startups Go Direct to Consumers in Battle for Business Travelers
>>Investors are finally backing companies that are tackling relatively remote corners of the travel market, such as Joymode’s rentals of gear for camping, beach holidays, and road trips, and Busbud’s sales of intercity bus tickets: Joymode Raises $14 Million for Gear Rental: Travel Startup Funding This Week