This week in digital news, the federal government considers blockchain for monitoring travelers, the EU will wait to put Google's flight and hotel platforms under the microscope, and Lastminute.com hopes to grab TUI's market share.
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.
U.S. Customs Wants to Use Blockchain for Travel Security Measures: As governments and big corporations adopt blockchain solutions to persistent challenges, one shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that blockchain’s ledger technology can be used to surveil and persecute travelers.
Google’s Travel Services Aren’t a Focus of European Regulators Just Yet: Over the last couple of years, rumors have been flying around that the European Union wanted to take a closer look at Google’s travel tools. For now at least, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Lastminute.com Goes After TUI With Vacation Push: While traditional tour operators might not offer the flexibility that Lastminute.com does with its package vacations, they do have an advantage in terms of exclusivity.
Amadeus Buys Airport Self-Service Baggage Firm to Diversify Further: Automated bag-drop technology may be widespread at major airports, but the rest of the world still has to add the equipment needed for passengers to scan their own bags. Amadeus aims to help sell those machines now that it has bought ICM. Amadeus is positioning itself to compete assertively with airline-owned SITA for airport tech sales.
Why Ebix Wants to Buy India’s Corporate Travel Player Yatra for $336 Million: Ebix has made a generous takeover bid for Yatra, a corporate travel services provider and online travel agency, to create one of India’s largest end-to-end travel services businesses. Ebix’s shrewd CEO Robin Raina is cornering the rare travel segments in India that aren’t facing fierce price wars, namely, corporate travel services and currency exchange.
Guesty Raises $35 Million to Manage Rentals: Travel Startup Funding This Week: This week travel startups Guesty, The Plum Guide, Zeus, Zuzu, Welcome Pickups, Vntrip, and Hostfully revealed more than $76 million in funding collectively.
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Photo credit: A U.S. Customs and Border Security agent at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. Mani Albrecht / U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Public Affairs Visual Communications Division