First Free Story (1 of 3)

More travel executives get their mission-critical industry news from Skift than any other source on the planet.

Already a member?

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 hospitality.

For all of our weekend roundups, go here.

Does Airbnb Really Need to Join Google’s New Vacation Rental Business? As Airbnb marches toward going public in 2020, a key question in many minds will be how Airbnb deals with Google — and at what price.

Booking Holdings Is Withdrawing From Google Vacation Rentals: Behind the scenes, there may be abundant reasons that Booking Holdings and Airbnb, for that matter, won’t be dabbling in Google’s vacation rentals business for the time being. Perhaps they are seeking to boost direct traffic, or are unhappy with the economics, and user experience. Expedia may be positioned to take some advantage.

Why the Hot Springs Movement Is Gaining Steam in the United States: The ancient Greeks did it. So did the ancient and not-so-ancient Romans, Japanese, and Chinese. Heck, even some of the founding fathers of the United States did it too. But despite its illustrious past, the idea of taking the waters has never really caught on in the United States, until now. Hot springs could be on the verge of a major wellness moment.

Hot Springs as Wellness Destination Takes Hold in U.S. This week in wellness news, the hot springs movement gains traction in the U.S. Meanwhile, mental health apps aim to address the rising tide of anxiety in the U.S. Admirable, yes, but it’s debatable whether apps that gamify the quest toward beating anxiety can really catch on.

Iconic Boutique Hotelier Liz Lambert Out at Standard’s Bunkhouse Group: Standard Hotels buying into Bunkhouse Group seemed like a perfect match, one boutique hotel innovator investing in another. The goodwill seems to have soured since then and it is difficult to know exactly what happens to the Bunkhouse brand without its founder.

Dominican Tourism Is Down But Not Out Following Sensational Visitor Death Headlines: What’s done is done as it relates to the tourism dollars lost in the Dominican Republic this summer. The country is fighting perception at this point, but instead of blaming the media, it should look at local travel industry partners as a means to help regain consumer confidence.

Airbnb to Shuffle the Leadership of Experiences Business at Critical Juncture: Is everything on target in the evolution of Airbnb’s Experiences business? It’s clearly not profitable yet after three years, and the leadership change at the top signals problems. That doesn’t mean it is fatally flawed although this isn’t precisely the portrait you want to paint on the cusp of Airbnb going public next year.

Hotels Are Finding Cheaper Ways to Connect to Tech Vendors: Hotel tech innovation has been partly hampered by high tolls that property management systems charge for accessing critical data. Impala, Hapi, and other companies hope to bring that connectivity cost down, which could be a windfall for vendors.

The 6 Things Shaping Hotel Retail: Locally curated retail provides hotel brands with an opportunity to continuously evolve and stay current within a neighborhood, all while deepening their connection among guests and the local community.

The Paradox of Claiming Green Credentials While Imposing on Mother Nature: When hospitality companies claim to be all about sustainability, perhaps they need to think twice before setting up shop in fragile environments.

Announcing Skift Short-Term Rental Summit on December 5, New York City: The short-term rental sector is rapidly expanding. Beyond key platforms in this sector, there is a growing ecosystem of property managers, startups and vendors that are competing to commercialize this space as regulators consider the rules and who’s responsible for enforcing them. Find out who’s joining Airbnb at this house party.

Photo Credit: Skift analyzes the potential pros and cons if Airbnb were to join Google's new vacation rentals business — which the homesharing giant notably has not to date. Pictured is an Airbnb property in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Airbnb