This week in digital news, we analyzed the implications of Booking Holdings' $200 million investment in Grab, as well as Google's new hotel search. Google is making competitive strides, but there's still work to be done.
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.
>>It’s becoming increasingly clear that online travel players will try to leverage the heck out of connections between food delivery, ridehailing, and booking hotels. Uber and Lyft will undoubtedly become a bigger part of the action, as well: Booking Holdings Invests $200 Million in Grab as Ridehailing Becomes More Strategic
>>When it comes to Google and its hotels redesign, few things are all or nothing. TripAdvisor can worry that Google now has more traveler photos and reviews, but some of them are from TripAdvisor. Hotel websites and phone numbers get featured, but clicking on a book button brings customers to an online travel agency site. In travel, it’s never winner take all: Google’s New Hotel Search Is a Greater Threat to Booking Rivals
>>Booking.com wants to service professional managers while going after individual vacation rental owners, too. Airbnb wants to tap into the professional-manager set while branching out into resort areas, and HomeAway wants to get more urban. These companies’ offerings will converge, and it’s likely their business models will, too: Booking Unveils Host Tools as Short-Term Rental Rivals Address Their Weaknesses
>>Voice has tremendous potential to transform the vacation rental or private accommodation experience as we know it — but are we there yet? And if not, how do we get there? The Bigger Promise of Voice in Hospitality Could Be With Vacation Rentals
>>CEO Sean Menke has turned around Sabre’s performance since coming on board in 2017. No wonder investors have bid up the travel technology company’s share price since then: Sabre Looks for Efficiencies With Cloud Migration on Track
>>Gordon Wilson, the CEO of Travelport, said in an interview that he sees India as one of the drivers of its long-term growth. That’s plausible, but not assured. The company should go private to avoid quarterly earnings pressure, which would allow it to invest properly to make the most of its varied opportunities: Travelport Sees India as Its Path to Reverse Market Share Losses
>>AppZen wants to remove the stress from filing monthly expense reports at companies worldwide, and it applies artificial intelligence to address the problem in a way that sounds compelling: AppZen Raises $35 Million for Expense Automation: Travel Startup Funding This Week
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Photo credit: Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel on July 17, 2017 at Fortune Brainstorm Tech in Aspen, Colorado. Booking Holdings invested $200 million in ridehailing service Grab. Jordan Curet / Brainstorm Tech