Skift Take

This week in digital news, Booking Holdings has trouble implementing its new commission charges, and two key travel platforms in Asia compete to serve the likely growing number of Muslim pilgrims to Saudi Arabia. Plus we take a look at some of the privacy issues inherent in building a smart city.

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.

Booking Holdings Delays Charging Hotels Resort Fee Commissions in Major Reversal: Booking Holdings faced opposition from hotels over its new resort-fee commission policy, although the brands that dropped out of would not have delivered a material financial hit. This major reversal coincides with a leadership change atop and represents a victory for hotels and their controversial fees.

WebBeds, Agoda Rush to Serve New Generation of Muslim Pilgrims to Saudi: Saudi Arabia is expanding its infrastructure to support 15 million Umrah visitors a year by 2020, and 30 million by 2030. WebBeds and Agoda are two major Asian players that are jostling for position in the promising niche.

Google Parent Alphabet’s Smart City Vision in Toronto Poses Privacy Concerns: It doesn’t seem like a good idea to build a business, let alone make your home, in a surveillance experiment controlled by Alphabet. As data security and privacy become more important, the vision for the modern smart city will have to shift.

Accor and Air France-KLM Link Loyalty Accounts in Unique Partnership: A new partnership launched by France’s biggest hotel chain and biggest airline will allow loyalty members to benefit from spending money anywhere within the network. It’s a lucrative and free perk for business travelers, which harks back to a more generous time in the loyalty game.

BCD Travel and Flight Centre Make More Global Acquisitions: It’s pretty clear there’s a lot of consolidation going on in the travel management space, and there are no signs of that changing. With BCD’s most recent investment, the company is in a good position to start planning future acquisitions in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Tags: Travel Trends, trends roundups

Photo credit: head office in Amsterdam. Luca Conti / Flickr

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