This week in digital travel news, a Google exec testified before Congress that the tech giant is not a travel monopoly, and Delta Air Lines is seeing stronger direct bookings because of its loyalty program. What's more, Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta, a speaker at the upcoming Skift Global Forum in New York, talks about tech innovations and brands.
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.
Google to Congress: We’re Not a Travel Monopoly: Travelers indeed shop all over the place when they are doing trip-planning. But to downplay Google’s dominant role, as an exec did Tuesday, when travel brands are spending billions of dollars annually with the search engine-turned-travel-product operator, is disingenuous.
Cvent Makes Progress on Improving User Experience: The company has developed in a fractured and decentralized way. Going back in time to change the underlying foundation will not be easy, especially if Cvent keeps acquiring new businesses.
Cvent Struggles to Streamline Its Thousands of Tech Features: Cvent continues to stay on the forefront of new digital technology for meetings and events, but it still faces difficulties in user experience. At Cvent Connect last week, the company spoke about how it can use its new features to improve usability, as well as more long-term plans to get at the heart of the issue.
Corporate Travel Booker TravelPerk Raises an Extra $60 Million: The company is doing well, considering it’s operating in one of the most difficult markets for business travel. Now it’s hinting at new, out-of-the-box products, but we’ll have to wait and see what those are.
TravelPerk Primed for Aggressive Growth With New Fundraising: This might be a turning point for the company as it continues to work toward becoming the lead corporate travel booker in Europe.
Venture Capital Giant Accel Invests in Travelstop in a Nod to Asia’s Business Travel Disruption: Asia’s corporate travel management startups have been rather quiet as of late. An Accel investment in Travelstop, which has also announced Traveloka as a new supply partner, will stir things up.
Ebix to Acquire India’s Corporate Travel Player Yatra for $338 Million: Corporate travel and event planning seem to be the only profitable paths in India’s online travel scene, at least for now.
Why Corporate Travel Management in Asia Is Looking Sexy: Hello, modern world of corporate travel and expense management, where words such as “compliance” are unfriendly and strange. Hello as well to Western investors — such as Silicon Valley’s Accel — that are starting to find the Asian market irresistible.
Delta Sees Stronger Direct Sales From Loyal Customers: Delta’s strategy now appears to be driving loyalty in a different way: Instead of flying on the carrier because of SkyMiles, passengers simply want to fly on a better product.
Skift Global Forum Preview: Hilton’s Tech Innovations Drive Brand Growth: Hilton understands the true conundrum of running a hotel business: Customer preferences will always change faster than the market can react. That is why the company has invested throughout the customer experience, from booking to loyalty partnerships, to keep guests happy.
EasyParcel Raises $10 Million for Delivery: Travel Startup Funding This Week: In the past seven days, travel startups announced more than $216 million in funding. But the hot market deserves a warning that paraphrases Fleetwood Mac: Investors only love you when they’re investing. Funding will come and it will go. When the rain washes you clean you’ll know. You’ll know.
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Photo credit: Google was in the news this week when an executive testified before Congress that the tech giant was not a travel monopoly. Felice Maranz / Bloomberg