This week in digital, Expedia is searching for replacements as two of the online travel giant's top executives announced their resignation this week. Meanwhile, Kayak is joining the short-term rental game as it plans to add additional services for guests.
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.
The Rise and Fall of Mark Okerstrom as Expedia CEO: Mark Okerstrom’s time as CEO of Expedia Group ended abruptly Wednesday after merely two years. Here’s a recap of Okerstrom’s tenure and why controlling investor Barry Diller felt Okerstrom failed to keep an eye on the ball.
Huge Reorg At Expedia, CEO Out, Diller Takes Over: Well, this is a surprise. Expedia’s two top executives resign unexpectedly. And Barry Diller moves in.
Kayak’s Search App Will Soon Let Users Check in to Select Rentals and Hotels: Kayak is making a landmark departure from its current strategy. It will add a tool to its mobile app to let users who book select short-term rentals and boutique hotels through it check in and check out via its app. That moves the travel metasearch player beyond merely listing accommodations to actually providing extra services for guests at partner properties.
Expedia’s 23-Year Evolution in Online Travel: Expedia has come a long way since its launch nearly a quarter century ago, making acquisitions a key part of its strategy. It will be interesting to see what’s next for the company following its sudden leadership shake-up.
What Does Online Travel Really Mean by a ‘Connected Trip’? Creating the connected trip means online travel agencies will have to become high-powered, tech-first, traditional travel agencies. It sounds cool but probably isn’t feasible without major upheaval across the global travel market.
Alternatives to Oyo Surface for Independent Budget Hotels in Asia: If Oyo isn’t the answer for budget hotels, then what is? New players such as Zuzu Hospitality Solutions are entering the Asian market, believing they are it. Whether or not that’s the case, what’s clear is that Asia’s small independent hotels can do with more choices for tech solutions.
Why Oyo and Rivals May Not Be the Answer for Unchained Hotels in Asia: More than ever before, small independent hotels in Asia are in need of distribution and revenue management solutions. But Oyo and other budget hotel chains aren’t necessarily the ones that will be throwing them that lifeline.
What’ll It Take to Survive in Short-Term Rentals: Former Top Airbnb Exec: People may see short-term rentals as a good get-rich-quick scheme. But according to former Airbnb CFO Laurence Tosi, it’s not a simple business. The most successful companies in the space, he said, are also the most sophisticated.
Behind Airbnb’s Complicated Campaign to Win Trust: In the wake of recent bad publicity and plans to go public in 2020, Airbnb has no choice but to take concerns among users and neighbors seriously. Its recent steps are a good start, but shouldn’t these have been a part of the strategy to begin with?
Amazon Adds Bus Tickets in India in Pursuit of Superapp Strategy: Slowly but surely Amazon is building up a considerable travel presence in India via its app. How deep and far will it eventually decide to go?
Less-Invasive Cameras May Be the Future of Event Tracking: Cameras don’t always have to make people uncomfortable, especially if they’re not being used for facial recognition. Deployed as a way to monitor the flow of attendees, they are a big improvement on common tracking methods, such as wristbands embedded with Wi-Fi devices.
Advances in Cameras Offer Huge Promise for Tracking at Events: Cameras may be the best all-in-one tool for events that currently exists. Beyond facial recognition and reading emotions, they can also provide extremely accurate real-time images of how attendees are moving around a venue.
Photo credit: Former Expedia CEO Mark Okerstrom at the company's Explore '18 conference in Las Vegas December 5 2018. Okerstrom resigned from his position after a shareholder meeting. Adam Shane Productions / Expedia Group