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’re going to the heart of Silicon Valley to talk tech, revenue, and commerce with the biggest innovators and industry leaders. Will you be there? Topics for Skift Tech Forum Revealed
>>Booking.com now wants to sign up all types of alternative accommodations, even short-term rental apartments that face increased regulation in many cities. CEO Glenn Fogel seems to think that the ultimate winner of the online travel game will be whoever has the most beds in the end: Booking Targets Urban Apartments in Vacation Rental Land Grab
>>Bitcoin’s growth has made a lot of people very wealthy, and more companies are looking at tapping into what could be a lucrative market. The problem, though, is the unpredictable nature of cryptocurrency markets means accepting these virtual currencies comes with considerable risk: Is the Crypto-Luxury Market Worth the Risk?
>>The bitcoin bubble may have burst — at least temporarily — but there are still plenty of people sitting on sizable gains. The risk for any company accepting payment in cryptocurrencies is their volatility, which tells you that it is probably more about public relations than profits at this stage: Travel Brands Turn to Risky Payments From the Crypto-Wealthy
>>Booking.com keeps hinting that it intends to become a full-service travel agency. But these products are often less profitable than hotels. So it risks a bumpy ride. No wonder it is considering revamping its rewards program and building a chatbot to help with merchandising: Booking Is on the Road to Becoming a Full-Service Online Travel Agency
>>Meetings booked online are small in stature and short in duration, which comes as no surprise. The consumerization of the booking process for meetings is well under way: Online Bookings Grow for Small and Simple Meetings
>>The disruption in event marketing and distribution is only getting started. As more robust tools emerge that are easier to use, meeting professionals will become empowered in interesting new ways: Event Marketing and Booking Tools Are Getting Smarter
>>Recent consumer activism and regulatory issues have unsettled Ctrip. But the trend is a positive sign that Chinese consumers will gradually demand protections, which will put in place drivers for long-term stable growth: Ctrip’s Growth Hits a Speed Bump Over Consumer Issues
>>Technology empowers travel managers to do a lot of things, but there’s still a big opportunity for companies to get smarter about the real scope of their investment in business travel beyond the elements of individual trips: Tracking the Real Costs of Business Travel Takes New Types of Collaboration
>>We were skeptical of claims from Skyroam that travelers would pay a premium for seamless mobile Wi-Fi. After all, the internet has become cheap and easy to access in many destinations. But the startup has attracted millions of paying users. The lesson: There’s always a premium version of an existing service waiting to be invented: Skyroam Raises $20 Million for Portable Wi-Fi: Travel Startup Funding This Week
>>Trivago views Google Hotels as a separate channel from Google AdWords, and it is testing participation now that sites such as its own are no longer banned. Then comes the question of how profitable using Google Hotels would be, and whether Trivago wants to spend a lot of money in a competitive product: Trivago Wants to Do More Google Advertising Now That a Ban Is Lifted