Skift Take

This week in digital news, expense giant SAP Concur may finally be getting some real competition, we go into the details of CWT's plans to up its tech game, and we look at how hotels are starting to use new tools to monitor online price listings.

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.

Certify and Chrome River to Challenge Expense Leader SAP Concur: The combined Certify and Chrome River still pales in scope when compared to global behemoth SAP Concur. The approach of offering a variety of different services instead of a single platform, though, has potential in a fragmented global market for expense software services.

Behind CWT’s Effort to Go Digital-First: The future isn’t here yet, but at least big travel management companies like CWT have come to realize the importance of improving the experience of actual travelers instead of focusing on travel managers alone.

Hotels Tap New Tech to Clamp Down on Rogue Rates: Hotels are hiring companies to clamp down on online travel sites displaying cheap rates against their wishes. One of those startups, Fornova, has just bought smaller rival HotelsBI to broaden its rate-detection service. The deal is partly justified by the increasing tech spending on a cat-and-mouse game between hoteliers and providers of rogue rates.

Eventbrite Off to Fragile Start as Public Company With Revenue Concerns: Is the bottom falling out for Eventbrite? Not really, but it needs to turn a corner soon to make investors more confident in its future. It takes time and money to build a global platform, and it looks like Eventbrite could be running out of time.

Why Does Traveloka Want to Venture Into Competitive Australia? Traveloka is going after a slice of the Australian online travel market. That’s brave. Even though the market is robust, the space is highly competitive. And while Indonesia is popular among Australians, travelers still mainly prefer Bali, which is like their backyard. So what has Traveloka to offer?

Overwhelmed Conference Attendees Crave Personalized Recommendations: Conference-goers feel overwhelmed by making choices about which sessions to attend and who to network with. Digital tools featuring personalization can help smooth over these pain points.

Hispanic-Owned Travel Agency Emphasizes Trust as Key Selling Point: Express Travel, a travel agency serving a largely Hispanic customer base, has built an extensive clientele over the past 30 years. Relationships, community involvement, and intimate awareness of how its clients like to travel have a lot to do with its success.

How TUI and Rezdy Fit Into Ctrip’s Growth Strategy Outside China: China slowdown? Meituan rivalry? Naaah, Ctrip had a fab 2018. Domestic travel remains strong, but it is international travel growth that’s exciting. Now we know what drives its latest partnerships with TUI’s Musement and Rezdy.

Hospitality Startup Selina Follows Hipsters to New York City’s Hot Spots for U.S. Debut: “Everything is converging in hospitality,” according to one Skift 2019 Megatrend. Selina embodies this Megatrend perfectly in how it pushes the bounds of co-living and co-working. But the company needs to execute its plans on time or else business partners will lose faith.

TripAdvisor Plots Inspiration Path in Google’s Shadow: CEO Stephen Kaufer seems confident that the “new TripAdvisor” will be successful. We’ll have to wait until later this year before we know whether it is helping the company earn more cash.

Expedia CEO Rips Hilton’s ‘Stop Clicking Around’ Campaign As Misguided: We’re pretty sure Hilton chief Chris Nassetta would disagree.

Despegar Surfs Rising Wave of Mobile Travel Bookings in Latin America: The Argentine economic crisis continues to drag on Despegar, but the online travel agency’s continuous investment in mobile is setting it up for long-term growth across the continent.

What Next-Gen Alternative Accommodations Will Look Like: New Skift Research: Analyzing startups and venture capital trends helps us glimpse the future of travel. Hums Along With Growth Despite a Narrow Business Base: is still too dependent on its mainstay business of loyalty currency swaps for just a few major travel suppliers that are primarily in the U.S. Hopefully, its new cross-marketing deal with Amadeus will help.

BookingPal Raises $12 Million for Rental Software: Travel Startup Funding This Week: This week travel startups BookingPal, Instawork, Withlocals, Ayenda Rooms, and Questo together announced more than $30 million in funding. Of note, famous venture investor Bill Gurley took a stake in Instawork’s hiring marketplace, and mammoth investor Softbank’s is betting on Ayenda Rooms as Colombia’s version of budget hotel franchisor Oyo.


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Tags: Travel Trends, trends roundups

Photo credit: A promotional photo of a man using Concur on his iPad. Sector leader SAP Concur might be getting some competition from recently-merged Certify and Chrome River. SAP Concur

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