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 hospitality.
For all of our weekend roundups, go here.
Airbnb Eliminates Some Guest Fees to Take on Booking Holdings: Airbnb is clearly now well down the path toward a host-only fee structure. Chalk it up to its push toward onboarding hotels, which don’t charge guest fees, and Airbnb’s competition with Booking.com, which sees guest fees as unholy.
Airbnb Tests Hotel Integration by Adding Some HotelTonight Partners: It will be tremendously complex for Airbnb to transition from an alternative accommodations site into one that also offers lots of hotels. The coming business model changes and technology challenges will get sorted out, but it will be rocky for quite some time.
Fosun Exec Does Not Rule Out Buying Thomas Cook: Fosun says a major path to its future is through acquisitions. But Qian Jiannong wouldn’t tip his hand on Thomas Cook. It sure feels like a bigger deal is in the works.
Marriott Executive Takes on New Challenge of Growing Design Hotels Brand: While Design Hotels is not solely dependent on its loyalty agreement with Marriott to bolster its brand, our bet is that growing the number of hoteliers leveraging the partnership will help substantially.
Why Oyo and Ctrip Need Each Other: Bigger Reach in Asia. Oyo has more rooms in China than in India, but India is still its biggest revenue generator. A deal with Ctrip may help correct that imbalance.
Six Senses Hotels to Build Its Own Brand Within IHG: Don’t Expect Spas Across Portfolio. The wellness market is huge, but InterContinental Hotels Group hasn’t had a finger in it. Watch that change as it leverages the Six Senses acquisition for spa concepts for its brands.
Skift Tech Forum: How Artificial Intelligence Can Improve Guest Experience. For travelers, tech overload can easily lead to burnout, but when used the right way, a flexible platform can foster a solid human connection.
Rosewood Hotel CEO Demands ‘Sense of Place’ in Each Property: An ambitious expansion strategy won’t stop Rosewood from tailoring each of its 21 planned properties to the cities they’re in. CEO Sonia Cheng says localization is a critical differentiator for Rosewood. Cheng talked about bringing a sense of place to each of the Rosewood properties.
Airbnb Crosses 1 Million Listings in Asia-Pacific Despite Hurdles: Airbnb intends to grow further in Asia-Pacific by providing what it calls the most “magical” experience. The challenge, of course, will be staying true to its core values as competition intensifies.
How Generation Z Has Influence on High-End Vacations: The next big demographic cohort matters, but maybe not in the way you’d expect.
Cvent Dives Deeper Into Weddings: Cvent’s approach of filling the holes in its platform through acquisitions continues.
Incentive Travel Yields New Opportunities for Leisure Advisors: While incentive travel is most often handled by travel management companies, it can also be a good fit for leisure travel advisors, especially those accustomed to working with high-end clients and those who make good use of outsourcing. While there are major differences between incentive and leisure travel, some of the same principles apply.