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.
>>TripAdvisor will start showcasing content from long-dismissed professional reviewers so it can be more of a resource to visitors who aren’t ready to book. Is nothing sacrosanct anymore? TripAdvisor CEO on Moving From User Reviews Toward Professional Content
>>TripAdvisor already was a social travel site before the beta launch of its new travel feed, and it has resources in this area that many failed startups didn’t have — namely, a massive user base, a global brand, and profit. Still, this site redesign may not move the proverbial needle as much as the company hopes: TripAdvisor Digs Deeper Into Social Travel With a Personalized Recommendation Feed
>>China’s travel market is fast-growing enough that it could support a competitor to current leader Ctrip. That day may arrive soon, too, given that Meituan-Dianping is showing surprising traction in hotel booking: Meituan’s Hong Kong IPO May Intensify Its Rivalry With Ctrip
>>Airbnb may have popularized the idea of travelers staying in homes. But Booking Holdings is using its Agoda brand to make a push to gain share through discounting and price guarantees: Booking Holdings’ Agoda Takes a Distinctive Approach on Short-Term Rentals
>>Most of Flight Centre’s acquisitions to date have been about adding market share and a broader international footprint, but the Australian company is now looking for tech advantages. It’s hoping Canadian itinerary management platform Umapped will raise its game: Flight Centre Buys Umapped to Boost Tech Capability
>>Vacationers want to experience something new and are tired of the same old tours and activities. While global tour operators are baking more customization into their products, digital distribution is changing the way local operators do business: Tours and Experiences: The Next Great Untapped Market in Online Travel
>>Influencers are still getting a chunk of some travel brands’ marketing budgets, but the amount of pull they have over travelers’ trip decisions is questionable. As the form matures, influencers and brands are still figuring out the rules of the road: Growing Pains for Influencer Marketing Raise Questions for Travel Brands
>>How can companies use technology to make the perfect recommendations for travelers? That’s what everyone is trying to figure out: Expedia Believes Tech Is Key to Helping Travelers Plan the Perfect Vacation
>>Voice search isn’t ubiquitous for travel yet, but as consumers grow more comfortable with the technology, travel brands should be making major inroads too: AccorHotels Expects Voice Search to Be Revolutionary for Travel
>>Latin American event planners think that technology will become vital to their efforts in the future. They also know that crafting memorable experiences is necessary to proving the true value of an event to stakeholders: Latin America Meeting Planners Focus on Experience Creation
>>Investing in technology has become crucial for hotels to better meet the needs of event planners who know that solid audiovisual equipment and fast Wi-Fi are more important than ever before: Why Fast Wi-Fi Is Still a Big Deal for Planners
>>Setoo is helping to pioneer a wave of customized protection products, such as letting travelers buy coverage to get money back if there’s not enough snow during a ski trip. The new products could provide more upselling opportunities for travel suppliers and online agencies: Setoo Raises $9.3 Million for Insurance Innovation: Travel Startup Funding This Week
>>Collinson, the parent company of Priority Pass, made a wise move investing in airport-food-ordering app Grab. There’s plenty to improve about the experience of dining in the terminal: Priority Pass Parent Expands Further Into Dining
>>Jack Ezon of Ovation’s leisure business is starting Embark, a luxury agency with an unusual business structure. In this Q&A, Ezon shares how agents can thrive in the digital era, the biggest problem facing the travel industry, and why he hires so many millennials: Skift Global Forum Preview: Why Ovation Is Embarking on a New Elite Luxury Brand