This week in digital news, we took an up-close look at how booking sites are reeling in their spending, and what that means for the long term. Plus, tourism websites are taking privacy seriously, and loyalty program changes are making news left and right.
Digital Travel News Weekly Roundup
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.
>>Suddenly those seemingly free-spending online travel agencies, which have made Google rich, are toning down their big-spending ways. Google shouldn’t be too worried: Expedia and Booking Holdings are still spending billions of dollars on search-engine marketing, but they’ve just become a bit more stingy. And, they hope, wise: This Is a Pivotal Moment for Booking Site Marketing Strategies
>>Negative press about working conditions and markups has dented Flight Centre’s stock price, despite record financial results. The claims have been denied, but the share price is still suffering. The mural incident doesn’t do anything to bolster confidence in corporate culture: Flight Centre Stock Tumbles After TV Report Alleges Anti-Consumer Practices
>>No matter the motive, being more transparent is a good move for eDreams Odigeo. The big problem is time. How long will it take for the new strategy to pay off, and will investors give the management team breathing room to make the required changes? eDreams Odigeo Looks to a Future With More Transparency
>>GoEuro CEO Naren Shaam said his company is having strong growth in helping consumers book intercity trips on their smartphones. But can he guide his company into profitability? GoEuro Touts Growth in Ground Transport But Sees No Profit in Sight
>>Venture capital has definite appeal for founders looking to scale faster, but some black travel entrepreneurs would rather avoid that discriminatory world: Black Travel Founders Wary of Investment If It Means Loss of Control
>>Destinations need data to know how to help their hotels, restaurants, and attractions market themselves. While they don’t need to know anything too intimate about travelers, they’re still making sure all their t’s are crossed as more privacy rights laws take effect: Tourism Websites Are Being Redesigned to Get Way More Personal
>>Corporate Travel Management continues to grow worldwide, fueled by acquisitions and its prowess across Asia. The global business travel boom has continued unabated: Australia’s Corporate Travel Management Finds Its Global Expansion Pays Off
>>If Eventbrite indeed goes public, watch to see whether it continues its spending-fueled period of growth or transitions into a more risk-averse period. The global event market is still booming, but growth can come at a steep cost with a lack of focus on innovation: What Eventbrite’s Rise Means for Everyone Else
>>China is a huge market for retailers and one that plenty of travel companies want to crack. However, not everyone has been successful: Video: Mistakes U.S. Companies Make Selling to China
>>Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the most interesting man in the world. Well, not really, but Sojern CEO Mark Rabe thinks Amazon’s developing digital advertising business is the most interesting trend he’s tracking. He could be right: Video: Sojern CEO Is Intensely Watching Amazon’s Rising Advertising Business
>>It’ll be nice to see a unified loyalty program that will be usable on all Virgin properties from trains to retail to airplanes. Unfortunately, we still don’t know much about what the program will look like: Virgin Group Announces New Loyalty Program Powered by Virgin Atlantic
>>The union of Marriott and Starwood’s loyalty programs last week could have gone far worse based on mergers past. But it also could have gone better: Early Stumbles for Marriott and Starwood Loyalty Merger
>>Loyalty is big business, and Air Canada is working hard to create a forward-looking program that leverages advanced e-commerce techniques. The airline’s acquisition of Aeroplan bodes well for scaling up its program over the next few years: Video: Inside Air Canada’s Digital Loyalty Strategy
>>Corporate travel companies with global experience have made the strongest gains as business travel expands worldwide. The success of Corporate Travel Management over the last five years proves that you don’t need to be an industry giant to service customers effectively: Australia’s Influence Grows in Business Travel
>>Kimkim, Travello, and Travelstop together announced more than $8.5 million in funding this week. The leisure travel agency, the social travel model, and the business travel booking tool, respectively, are each seeing new twists: Kimkim Raises $3.7 Million for Agent Bookings: Travel Startup Funding This Week
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Photo credit: Seemingly free-spending online travel agencies, which have sent plenty of money Google's way, are toning down their spending. TripAdvisor