This week in digital news, two booking sites agree to pull back on "pressure selling" while Expedia still struggles to move beyond its home market. Plus, Airbnb acquires event space booking service Gaest — but the move is unlikely to change the sector much.
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.
Expedia and Booking Agree to Changes on Search After UK Investigation: Understandably, Expedia and Booking are both trying to spin this in their favor as much as possible, but it seems like a big win for the UK’s competition regulator. We’ll have to keep an eye on how much it really changes things and whether other countries follow up.
Travel Megatrends 2019: Travel Upselling Gets Smarter Than Ever. Travel companies have long tried to woo their current customers into buying more, but their promotional tactics have tended to be generic and blunt. Not anymore. Brands are now adopting sophisticated technology to make their sales pitches relevant and effective.
Airbnb’s Event Ambitions Won’t Disrupt Meetings Sector: Airbnb’s acquisition of Gaest makes a ton of sense for the homeshare giant, but doesn’t represent any major shift in the overall meetings and events space.
Expedia Struggles to Move Beyond Its U.S. Dependence: Expedia Group wants to become less U.S.-centric, but change is coming slowly. Trivago’s troubles are partly to blame.
TripActions Adopts U.S. Airlines’ Next-Generation Storefront Effort: American, Delta, and United have partnered with tech firm ATPCO and business travel startup TripActions to show how they want their fares displayed on websites other than their own. Expect others to follow this model.
Travel Tripper Merges With Pegasus in Hotel Tech Rollup: Travel Tripper is taking on a distressed asset, Pegasus. Meh. But what’s interesting is that Accel-KKR is backing the deal. The support by the private equity firm is yet another sign of more rollups of hotel tech companies to come against a backdrop of hotel software investments by Amadeus, Sabre, and Shiji.
Trivago Courts Booking’s Wrath in Move to Boost Repeat Customers: Uh-oh. Trivago changed its user interface again. Last time it did this, it referred fewer customers to some advertisers and prompted Booking Holdings to pull back from advertising on it. Trivago is betting that Booking won’t retaliate for this new effort. Daring!
Secret Escapes Boosts European Reach With Irish Acquisition: Secret Escapes continues its acquisition spree. The question is what comes next: Will it opt for an IPO or might a buyer be waiting in the wings?
2nd Address Raises $10 Million for Rental Bookings: Travel Startup Funding This Week. The market for long-term business lodging is being dragged, thankfully, into the digital era by companies like 2nd Address. Plus, fundraising news for Festicket, Oaky, and Operto.
Why Does Travelzoo Have a Big China Problem? The company has been hoping for a turnaround in Asia Pacific for years now, but so far business in the region is weak. If trade tensions continue to squeeze the company, will progress get even slower?
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Photo credit: A person uses Expedia's app. Expedia agreed to changes after a UK investigation and revealed it is struggling to become less U.S.-centric. Bloomberg