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This week in digital news, a lawsuit against TripAdvisor tests the limits of its responsibility to travelers, and check out our 2020 megatrends for a big-picture look at Google's role in travel, the future of payments, and more.

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.

Tour Injury Lawsuit Tests Whether TripAdvisor Is Liability-Free: Bulletproof legal immunity for “platforms” like TripAdvisor seems to have softened in recent years. What’s certain is that as tours and activities go more mainstream as an option on booking sites, intermediaries will have to put more effort into vetting the tour operators.

The Megatrends Defining Travel in 2020: From the new role of subscription travel to the importance of urban living innovations and the impact of Gen Z, these are among the megatrends in travel we’re watching in 2020.

Intrepid Partners With Ctrip to Popularize Green Trips in China: Both partners seek growth when the home markets aren’t expanding as much as before. Intrepid needs Ctrip’s user base of 300 million while Ctrip needs Intrepid’s kind of journeys. But doubtful if sustainable travel will instantly be the norm in China. It’s a start.

Airbnb Goes Hollywood to Amp Up Party House Crackdown: Airbnb chose Tinseltown to audaciously begin cracking down on party houses. Good PR. Expect to see more adjustments in Airbnb policy as it moves forward with an emphasis on community safety and standards.

Aventri Goes Outside Event Tech for New CEO: New leadership comes to Aventri as it continues to battle rival Cvent in the event tech marketplace. Perhaps a view from outside the sector can pay dividends as the tech provider works to further refine its platform.

New Blood at One of Event Tech’s Top Players: As event tech companies look to streamline their platforms, some will look outside the event sector for leaders to help lead the process.

Coupa Is Gunning for SAP Concur’s Share of the Travel Expense Business: Most corporate travelers would rather think about anything else than booking and expensing travel. That’s why companies are scrambling to help reduce that pain point for road warriors. We expect Coupa, Certify, Chrome River, and SAP Concur to acquire more travel tech companies to help seize the opportunity.

Another Tech Company Goes After Concur: Can Coupa really take on SAP Concur? It has a chance, mainly due to its products and services that are outside the traditional purview of travel management.

How Much Did Big Travel Companies Spend on TV Ads in 2019? Airlines, hotels, and booking sites have divergent reasons for leaning into or out of TV advertising. Attracting more direct bookers is always a goal, but sometimes competitive reasons, or the emergence of new platforms, skew the TV budgets.

DAQ Soft Raises $5 Million for Smart Tourism: Travel Startup Funding This Week: This week, travel startups DAQ Soft, The Guild, Shep, Hellotickets, Bob, Beonprice, Whizar, IceLolly, and Your Rentals raised funding. It’s great that angel investors continue to support early-stage companies. An example is Stephen Kaufer, founder and CEO of TripAdvisor, who has invested in Hellotickets.

Latest Funding for The Guild Showcases New Housing Model for Business Travelers: The Guild, a hospitality startup, is not quite a hotel but not quite Airbnb. It’s betting on $25 million in new funding to expand its apartment-like accommodations to urban centers to attract more business travelers.

A New Market for On-Demand Luxury Fashion Delivers: Rental is the future of fashion, and the trend could transform how we pack and plan for upcoming trips. What businesses are ready to serve the demand?

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Tags: digital, Travel Trends, trends roundups

Photo credit: A decorative wall at TripAdvisor's Needham, Massachusetts, headquarters. The company is being sued over injuries allegedly sustained on a camel ride tour in Morocco. Tripadvisor

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