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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 digital trends.
For all of our weekend roundups, go here.
>>It’s back to the future for Booking Holdings, which is pivoting to emphasize the prepaid hotel model that its Booking.com unit basically spurned for most of its history. This means better cash flow because consumers pay when they book, and higher commissions: Booking Holdings Makes Major Pivot Toward Prepaid Hotel Bookings
>>TripAdvisor faces a quandary: It needs to have an alternative accommodations business to round out its hotel offerings, but rentals revenue declined and slowed the otherwise-positive trajectory of its non-hotels segment. While TripAdvisor is a market leader in experiences and restaurants, its rentals business is muddying up the works: TripAdvisor’s Experiences and Restaurants Businesses Outpace Vacation Rentals
>>Google officials aren’t losing any sleep over TripAdvisor spending a few million dollars less on paid search, but TripAdvisor’s pullback, as well as similar moves by other large travel players, symbolizes a changing advertising climate and a long-term challenge: TripAdvisor Reduced Its Google Spend But Will Expand TV Advertising
>>Ctrip’s revenue growth has remained in line with forecasts, but its costs are rising. More interestingly, the online travel giant has branched out into hotel management by providing data services and marketing support to franchisees for a new brand, Rezen: Ctrip Expects Rising Costs to Nibble at Its Margins
>>Grab is the go-to for motor companies wanting a piece of Southeast Asia’s future mobility market, as Hyundai’s additional tenfold investment shows: Here’s Why Hyundai Is Investing Another $250 Million in Ridehailing Service Grab
>>No one saw that Argentina’s economy would take such a bad turn this year. But Despegar, based in Buenos Aires, is making moves to weather the storm after its market valuation has been slashed in half: Despegar Aims to Be Less Dependent on Argentina’s Travel Market
>>Renowned venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz has famously pushed the notion that “software is eating the world.” It seems likely the firm believes software is now going to upend how companies book travel, in particular, and that companies like TripActions will profit from the shift: TripActions Brings in Silicon Valley Heavyweight to Lead $154 Million Investment Round
>>Amadeus is spending more heavily on R&D than its competitors, which it is betting augurs well for its future: Amadeus Revs Up Spending for Product Development
>>Investors are paying attention to the companies trying to capture the travel spending of small- to medium-sized businesses. As these startups attract increased venture funding, though, it’s important to remember that corporate travel at large is extremely resistant to disruption: The Battle to Serve Smaller Businesses Heats Up
>>PredictHQ, which helps travel companies like Booking.com and Qantas anticipate surges in demand, was joined by other startups in announcing investments this week, including Hotelmize, Journy, KKday, and Smartvel: PredictHQ Raises $10 Million for Event Analysis: Travel Startup Funding This Week
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