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.
Datalex to Lose Lufthansa Tech Contract After Management Fiasco: Airline tech vendor Datalex had a spectacular accounting meltdown in 2018. Lufthansa, its largest customer, wants to kill its contract. Meanwhile, Datalex’s auditor threw up its hands and quit. What a mess.
What the Reappointment of the EU’s Top Antitrust Regulator Means for Travel: Margrethe Vestager has been a thorn in the side of Google in the past. Will she use her next term to go after the technology giant’s travel vertical?
Ctrip Changing Name to Trip.com Group to Emphasize International Business: Ctrip, or the company soon-to-be known as Trip.com Group Ltd., is banking on international growth as a key driver of its business, primarily in Asia. But short term, at least, difficulties in Hong Kong and Taiwan and with the White House are complicating that game plan.
Skift Global Forum Preview: Expedia CEO Plays the Long Game in Short-Term Rentals: Is Airbnb going to eat Expedia’s lunch? The brand name Vrbo, really? Expedia CEO Mark Okerstrom faces some real challenges as the online travel agency pecking order will likely be disrupted in coming years.
Attention Travel Companies: Brexit Contingency Reveals Potential for Data Disruption: We know how hot the European Union is on data protection — just look at GDPR — so it’s no surprise that it hasn’t hurried through legislation to cover a no-deal Brexit. It leaves companies facing an uncertain future should the UK crash out on October 31.
Skift Global Forum Preview: Why Airbnb Turned to HotelTonight for Its Data Savvy: HotelTonight’s acquisition by Airbnb last March represented a happy outcome, but it wasn’t inevitable. Back in 2015, HotelTonight faced layoffs and fundraising hiccups. Here, co-founder and CEO Sam Shank shares some of the ways he got his company back on track.
Court Ruling Revives a US Airways Antitrust Case Against Sabre: A federal appeals court has asked for a partial do-over in antitrust litigation between US Airways and travel tech firm Sabre. After more than eight years and millions of dollars in expenses, the case has partly been reset to square one. Remarkable.
Announcing Our Newest Acquisition: EventMB Is Now Part of the Skift Family: Skift has been covering the business of meetings and events for the last three years, and now with EventMB as part of our family, we become the largest independent media source in the events industry as well.
Pinterest Tries to Pin Down Carnival and Other Travel Marketers: The popular but unprofitable visual search company needs to crack more big-budget marketing accounts to make its financial picture more attractive. This year, Pinterest began offering the ability to target ads to subsets of users based on their travel interests. That will help.
Skift Global Forum Preview: Kiwi.com CEO Wants to Build a Rival to Expedia: Setting up a site for selling plane tickets is fairly easy. Building a startup into a globally recognized travel agency is much harder. Kiwi.com’s CEO Oliver Dlouhý believes his company can defy the odds. But what comes next may be the toughest part of the journey.
Sabre Tips Its Hand in Response to Antitrust Lawsuit Over Farelogix Merger: The joke goes that the only people who make money in mergers are the lawyers and the bankers. If litigation continues over Sabre’s acquisition of Farelogix, the lawyers may be laughing all the way to the bank.
What 5 Years of Klook Says About the Strength of Its Asia Playbook: Since Klook’s launch five years ago, big changes have occurred in the sector. TripAdvisor bought Viator, TUI-Musement, and Booking-FareHarbor, and most recently, Airbnb invested in Atlas Obscura. All this, plus competition from online travel agencies, will test Klook’s playbook, even though its strategies seem sound for now.
Amoma.com Troubles May Delight Hoteliers That Hate Its Rate Discounting: Hoteliers probably disliked Amoma.com more than any other online travel agency in the past few years. Amoma often undercut hoteliers on price. Now its reported troubles may have repercussions across the hotel and online travel industry for companies like Hotelbeds, Google, and Booking.com.
Travel Management Behemoths Consolidate to Compete in a Digital World: The travel management space will probably continue to consolidate, with no real end in sight. That said, even the largest companies will start to lose ground if they can’t keep up with rapidly changing traveler expectations.
Volocopter Raises $55 Million for Flying Taxis: Travel Startup Funding This Week: This week, travel startups Volocopter, Atlas Obscura, KKDay, AmazingCo, Living Map, Sojourn, and Davinci Travel Systems announced more than $93 million in funding. The venture capital sector clearly isn’t spooked by talk of recession in some markets.
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