Skift Take

This week in hospitality, Choice Hotels flaunts its tech partnerships, InterContinental makes a move into the Asia luxury scene, and independent meeting planners are getting creative after Marriott slashed commissions.

Hotel 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 hotels.

For all of our weekend roundups, go here.

Choice Hotels Touts Its Tech Partnerships with Google and Amazon: Will voice-enabled booking for hotels actually take off? Guess we’ll find out first with Choice Hotels’ partnership with Google.

InterContinental Hotels Makes Asia Luxury Push With Six Senses Acquisition: InterContinental Hotel Group’s purchase of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas is consistent with its drive to boost its luxury portfolio with small yet well-defined brands that do not cannibalize one another. So smart.

Independent Meeting Planners Fight Back Against Commission Cuts: It’s been just over a year since Marriott made its move, the first in a wave of such measures. But instead of getting knocked down by the trend, independent meeting planners are finding ways to take control of their businesses.

What a Healthy Hilton Says About the Hotel Industry Now: As we reach (or surpass) peak cycle, it seems like everyone is a bit of a hypochondriac these days when it comes to the health of the hotel industry.

How Hyatt Is Making Waves: Latest Skift Research Report. As earnings season for 2018 results for the hotel companies begins, Skift Research is out with a deep dive report on Hyatt assessing some of the company’s key developments. With the company’s recent acquisitions in the management space, dispositions of owned real estate, and increased focus on wellness offerings, we think Hyatt is smartly positioning itself for an uncertain future.

Wyndham Hotels Still Struggles to Add Improved Rooms in U.S. The hotel conglomerate shouldn’t rely too much on one brand to drive domestic growth, but so far that’s exactly what’s happening.

Virgin Voyages Wants Cruisers to Pay a Premium (and Like It): Virgin Voyages has set its prices much higher than a typical Caribbean cruise, but the operator is including more perks in the price — and insists it will be anything but typical. Will fans of the brand pony up?

Alibaba-Backed Shiji Acquires IcePortal in a Bid to Manage Digital Hotel Content: Shiji, the tech conglomerate with an investment from Alibaba, continues to snap up companies in a bid for hotel tech supremacy. It has nabbed IcePortal in the wake of that company’s arch-rival Leonardo being snatched up last November by tech conglomerate Jonas.

Hyatt Is Sticking to Its Asset-Lighter Plan: Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian to investors on earnings day: Trust us, the plan is working.

How to Make Improving the Guest Experience a Joyful Task: Meeting guest experience requirements is too often a series of boring checklists. But improving the end-to-end experience can be a joyful, creative project that involves everyone from the general manager to the most junior staff. Here’s a way to think about it.

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Tags: hotel tech, trends roundups

Photo credit: Cook & Tras Social Library, intimate restaurant and bar at Six Senses Maxwell, Singapore Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas

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