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.
>>If travelers aren’t ready to book, feed them some inspiration and hope they’ll hang around until they are. That is essentially what TripAdvisor’s new travel feed is all about. Will the grand experiment work? We’ll have to wait and see how the feature evolves: TripAdvisor Launches Redesign to Hook the Non-Bookers
>>The conventional wisdom has been that the online travel market in Latin America will narrow down to a fight between Expedia-supported Despegar and global brands like Booking.com. But Almundo, thanks to backing from Iberostar, might put up a meaningful fight: Iberostar Ups Stake in Almundo for Online Travel Agency Push in Latin America
>>Sabre allegedly tried to kill smaller rival Farelogix years ago. But now there’s peace in the valley. Farelogix’s merchandising and direct connection technology will plug a gap in Sabre’s offering and could accelerate the travel tech giant’s growth: Sabre to Buy Farelogix for $360 Million to Help Airlines Sell Better
>>Would Airbnb and Uber, for example, be truly better off as public companies? It’s unclear because they both have access to tons of money already. But they would both certainly be better equipped to spin their own narratives: Airbnb and Other Unicorns Suffer by Staying Private, High-Profile Tech Investor Argues
>>Details are still sketchy but as of December, Lyft has officially committed to launching a broad consumer loyalty program: Lyft Will Launch a New Loyalty Program Ahead of Sharing Rivals
>>Travel startups are receiving remarkable investor interest this year, suggesting a bit of irrational exuberance. But in Sojern’s case, fundraising can be seen as recognition of a company that’s taken years to build consistent, profitable growth. Its tools could be scaled up to address a multibillion dollar market: Sojern Raises $120 Million to Fund Travel Tech Expansion
>>Eventbrite is still losing money as it grows, but now has strong revenue growth and plenty of cash to spend while getting back on track. The state of the booming global events business is a big help: Eventbrite Sees Revenue Soar in Earnings Debut
>>Lola was a good idea with solid execution that fell flat. By partnering with the biggest company in corporate travel, Lola will find out whether its service is actually a fit for businesses around the world. And if not, maybe the mobile-first future isn’t quite here yet: Will Lola’s New Partnership With AmEx Revive the Struggling Startup?
>>It will be interesting to see if Lola’s fortunes change as its partnership with American Express Global Business Travel ramps up. We’re quickly finding out how big a market there is for the variety of apps catering to business travelers from small- to medium-sized companies: What Lola’s Big Deal Means for Business Travel
>>A new tool coming from Capital One will make its travel credit cards more competitive with American Express and Chase. Only seasoned travel pros, however, may find it useful: Capital One Adds Frequent Flyer Mile Transfer Option to Its Credit Cards
>>Rail operator SNCF announced that it has led a $113 million investment in BlaBlaCar as a new investor. Perhaps carpooling could prove to be a path to building a major travel brand: Carpooling Startup BlaBlaCar Looks to Take Over Long-Distance Bus Service Ouibus
>>Tiqets tackled the hard problem of helping many museums that lacked tech savvy to adopt modern sales techniques. Now it’s seeing a payoff. In other news, events tech company Headbox and online travel agency Sastaticket raised money: Tiqets Raises $23 Million for Museum Ticketing: Travel Startup Funding This Week