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.
Airbnb Buys Gaest to Push Further Into Meetings Airbnb’s move to offer more meetings spaces represents an example of one of Skift’s 2019 Megatrends, as many giant online booking companies are looking for their next phases of growth by expanding into new areas.
Esports Disrupt How Brands and Events Engage With Their Communities: How organizations and events build communities is shifting with new digital networks and the evolution of how people interact online. The culture and growth of esports represents a window into how these changes will affect associations, businesses, and the event sector at large.
Travelstop Counts on Asian Startups to Unlock New Era in Corporate Travel: For over a decade, corporate travel management companies have been trying to pry open the huge market in Asia but have hardly made a dent. Travelstop says now is the time, as the market is full of high-growth startups that will “get it.” Perhaps such new players will finally disrupt the space.
Travel Megatrends 2019: Brands Give Travelers More Control Over Their Experience. Creation is the new consumption, as travelers weary of commodity travel seek to have a more active role in curating their experiences, and digital platforms more seamlessly mediate in-trip discovery, increasing the opportunity for serendipity.
MakeMyTrip Steams Ahead Despite Growing Hotel Commission Protests MakeMyTrip continues to drive more online hotel bookings in India, despite protests by some hotel owner groups about its allegedly excessive commissions. The company must tread carefully as it tries to woo online customers with discounts while maintaining good relationships with its partners.
Uplift Raises $123 Million to Broaden Its Travel Loan Services: The old idea of payments in monthly installments is seeing new life in the U.S. online travel sector. Uplift is one of the leading tech vendors powering loans to travelers for buying from airlines such as Spirit and search sites like Kayak. Expect a lot of marketing around this in 2019.
Private Equity Takes Over Switchfly in a Bet on Travel Loyalty Tech: Switchfly, a travel tech firm specializing in loyalty and e-commerce upselling, has been taken over by private equity firms Golub Capital and L Capital.
Itilite Raises $4 Million for Business Travel Booking: Travel Startup Funding This Week Itilite, which is sort of an Indian clone of TripActions and Rocketrip, has raised funds for its online booking tool, which encourages business travelers to keep their trip costs in check. VDroom, a visual asset management service, and Flyiin, an airline distribution tech provider, also announced funding rounds.