Skift Take

This week in digital news, hotels are getting smart about using technology to stimulate demand while Hilton turns to social media to attract millennials. Meanwhile, Google's partnership with Vacasa shows the online giant wants to own a bigger chunk of the vacation rental market.

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.

Hoteliers Take a Harder Look at How They Set Room Rates: Amateurs cut rates to fill hotel rooms. Pros take more sophisticated approaches, such as coordinating to stimulate demand from the most profitable customers.

Google Signals Its Vacation Rental Ambitions With Vacasa Direct-Connect: We’ve seen this playbook before. Google isn’t making much money off its vacation rental business, and doesn’t need to sweat it. With its domination of search, Google will take its time, build its global property numbers, and test what works. Competitors know what’s coming.

Hilton Doubles Down on Direct Booking Ad Strategy by Targeting Younger Travelers: Hilton’s new ad campaign rollout last year clearly opened the company’s eyes to reaching younger generations to build its leisure business.

Airbnb Gets New Power to Inform on Rivals When They Are Scofflaws: Is the Boston-Airbnb settlement, which calls for short-term regulatory platforms to comply with a city ordinance, a model for future agreements? Too soon to tell but what’s clear is that the alternative accommodations industry will one day transition from outliers to regulated entities.

Booking Holdings’ Push Into Homesharing Feels Like a Return to Its Roots: The hotel business was never an easy one for online travel companies. Far from it. But compared with the complexities of alternative accommodations, executives at Booking Holdings may come to regard the hotel business as a relative cakewalk.

Audi’s Silvercar Launches New Car Rental Loyalty Program: Silvercar’s new loyalty program is a good incentive for both current and prospective customers to try out the service. It also may be a shot in the arm to a plateauing company.

San Francisco Launches Mafengwo Video Series to Lure Chinese Millennial Travelers: San Francisco’s destination marketing organization has developed new strategies for luring international travelers, including a video series campaign on Chinese travel-focused social platform Mafengwo. It’s a key channel for DMOs looking to reach the highly coveted millennial and Gen Z segments.

Hotel Engine Raises $16 Million for Business Travel Booking: Travel Startup Funding This Week: The funding of business travel management startup Hotel Engine underscores how there’s a lot of money and energy pouring into the sector.

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Tags: digital, Travel Trends, trends roundups

Photo credit: A Google office building. Associated Press

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