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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.
AirAsia Chief Tony Fernandes Takes On Added Role as CEO of Airline’s Website: AirAsia’s head honcho can’t wait to transform the airline — he’s in the driver’s seat for AirAsia.com and pulling in the best of his troop on the journey. Second-quarter results, just out, show a rather promising platform.
Google Maps Poised to Be an $11 Billion Business in 4 Years: When you’re Google, you can take more than a decade to hone a product such as Google Maps and attract more than a billion users without having to worry that it isn’t making lots of money. But the monetization of Google Maps will soon start in earnest, and travel marketers, for the most part, will hustle to get in.
Mews Raises $33 Million to Challenge Oracle Hospitality in Hotel Tech: Game on, Oracle. But like everything in the hotel sector, the battle between next-generation hotel tech players and established titans will take years to play out.
Does a Hotel-Backed Meetings Booking Platform Stand a Chance? Hotels need to be willing to make more investments — and to give up some of their control — if Groups360 is going to work.
Grab to Pump $500 Million Into Vietnam as More Rivals Enter After Uber’s Exit: After Indonesia, Grab’s next biggest battleground is Vietnam. No surprise there, it’s a rapidly growing economy with all the ingredients for a ridehailing explosion. Naturally Grab is not alone — rivals are aplenty.
Best Western’s Newest Acquisition Points to Long-Term Reservations Strategy: Property management systems are not the most exciting topic to discuss when assessing a hotel’s tech prowess, but they are core to any company’s ability to sell as many rooms as possible.
Online Travel Agency eDreams Odigeo Urges Investors to Stick Around: EDreams believes it has developed a long-term recipe for success but needs time to realize those gains. If it can convince enough people to sign up — and stay signed up — to its subscription service it might prove it is on to something.
TravelSky’s Performance Offers a View of China’s Slowing Air Travel Market: New data from China’s travel tech giant TravelSky shows that the country’s pace of air travel growth slowed in the first half of the year. But the country remained the fastest-growing region in the world in terms of aviation and traveling.
Smartair Raises $6 Million for Dynamic Packaging Tech: Travel Startup Funding This Week: This week travel startups announced more than $46 million in funding. Of note, two of the companies, Smartair and Tastemakers, are making bets on Africa’s online travel growth. Meanwhile, online travel company Hostelworld has invested in Tipi, a software provider for hostel managers.