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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.
>>How much do we want to bet that the new loyalty brand that debuts next year turns out to be Marriott Preferred Guest? Or better yet, just Marriott Rewards? Marriott Finally Reveals How It Will Combine All 3 of Its Loyalty Programs
>>Airbnb has formally entered the meetings and events sector with a simple widget and landing page. It will be much more interesting when Airbnb decides to use its platform to sell actual meeting space to organizers, since a global race is on among technology platforms to crack the online booking market for small and simple meetings: Airbnb’s New Events Tool Is a Major Missed Opportunity
>>Travel agents and meeting planners feel betrayed by Marriott’s — and now Hilton’s — move to cut commissions on group bookings. They’re grappling with ways to deal with the cuts, even as they fear more hotel companies may follow suit. It’s not personal, though; it’s strictly business: Meeting Planners and Travel Agents Prepare for a Reinvention Amid Hotel Commission Cuts
>>The hubbub over commission cuts seems to have died down for now, although agents and planners are scrambling to figure out what to do. Booking away from Marriott and Hilton properties may not always be the best move for a client, so it will be interesting to see how this all shakes out: Event Planners Deal With Business Model Disruption
>>Gimmicky, Instagram-driven designs are out. Solid, functional, and inspiring design, however, never goes out of style: A Veteran Hotel Designer on the Fallacy of Instagrammable Moments
>>While a new branding campaign by Wyndham may foreshadow some turbulence ahead for the hotel group, on the surface it will make it easier to find and book network hotels: New Wyndham Branding Should Enhance Its Loyalty Proposition
>>The Airbnb effect has helped transform many neighborhoods around the world, and some before they were fully ready for mass tourism. The company is acknowledging that it knows it has an impact. But let’s see if major cities where the real problems exist will get the same treatment as rural villages in Africa: Airbnb Launching an Effort to Address Overtourism It Helped Create
>>How do you update an iconic hotel without losing its charm? That’s the challenge currently facing interior designers working on Raffles Singapore: How a Restored Raffles Hotel Will Target a New Generation of Luxury Travelers
>>Luxury hotel brands have lagged behind their cheaper siblings when it comes to loyalty programs. In the past they might not have needed to think about such schemes but with data becoming more and more valuable, companies can no longer afford to ignore them: High-End Hoteliers Are Taking Loyalty More Seriously
>>You won’t want to miss what Bazin has to say about the hospitality and travel industries at Skift Forum Europe in Berlin, especially since he’s not afraid to speak his mind: Skift Forum Europe Preview: AccorHotels CEO on the Importance of Reaching Non-Travelers
>>In the tier below the big six hotel companies are a raft of others, jostling for position. Melia Hotels is one of the biggest players in Europe and it will be interesting to hear how it differentiates itself from the competition: Skift Forum Europe Preview: Melia’s COO on Achieving Global Scale