Skift Take

This week in digital news, Google's dominance in the online booking realm is creating an environment where competing travel retailers gravitate toward tactics that pressure consumers into making purchases as opposed to building brand loyalty. Plus, how being a controlled shareholder company has caused problems at Tripadvisor.

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.

Hate-Selling in the Age of Google Travel: Online booking sites still treat potential customers with disdain using manipulative marketing tactics. As airlines and hotel chains have adopted these methods, it calls into question what a world without them would really look like. Google offers a hint.

What’s Wrong at Tripadvisor? Question: At Tripadvisor, as a controlled company, what mechanisms did minority shareholders have to pressure Chairman Greg Maffei to make dramatic changes? Answer: Relatively few.

Amadeus Buys Optym’s Flight Network Planning Tech: Amadeus was smart to acquire Optym’s well-regarded software for helping airlines optimize their flight networks. While this deal is small, the tech giant is signaling its commitment to the airline technology and airport services space that goes beyond its traditional business in distribution.

What’s Driving Growth for Travel’s Arrangement and Reservation Services: New Skift Research: Travel agents still exist; tour operators are the last sector to move to digital; online travel platforms are scrambling to keep the growth rate high. We are expecting to see more changes shaping up the travel arrangement and reservation services sector in the next few years.

Tripadvisor Takes Greater Pricing Control Over Tours and Activities: Tripadvisor is trying to squeeze more revenue and profits out of its newly restructured tours and activities business. There’s a danger, though, that well-funded rivals might undercut Tripadvisor’s efforts.

Oracle Hospitality Takes Hotel and Vendor Gripes Seriously At Last: For too long, Oracle Hospitality, a giant in the hotel tech space, has prioritized internal needs. Now it’s changed its tune. It says it’s making hotels the boss. The long overdue customer-first approach is laudable. But there’s still work to do.

Sabre and Farelogix Leave Merger in Judge’s Hands as the Justice Department Rests Case: A federal judge heard closing arguments in the U.S. government’s antitrust suit to block Sabre’s acquisition of Farelogix. Inside the courtroom, Judge Leonard Stark’s comments didn’t show his hand. The case seems a close call.

Self-Driving Cars Rise Alongside Flight Shaming: As self-driving cars move closer to becoming a reality at scale, the impact on corporate travel will be immense.

Turo Raises $30 Million More for Rental Car Bookings: Travel Startup Funding This Week: This week, travel startups Turo, H20, Gtriip, Beekeeper, Immfly, Wishbox, and NannyBag announced more than $57 million collectively in funding.

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Tags: digital, Travel Trends, trends roundups

Photo credit: Google's dominance in the online booking world has influenced other booking agencies to focus less and less on brand loyalty — at the expense of the customer. WDnet Studio / Stock Snap

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