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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.
Airbnb Loses $276 Million and 6 Other Takeaways From Its Fourth Quarter: Airbnb’s fourth quarter financials show it is 10 times larger than Tripadvisor. They also provide clarity that Booking Holdings has a long way to go to catch Airbnb in short-term rental businesses. Airbnb’s growing marketing spend in 2019 likely means that Google will have a welcome new partner in coming years.
Expedia Withdraws First Quarter Guidance and Halts Share Repurchases: You can expect numerous other companies to withdraw their first quarter financial guidance, if they haven’t already done so. A key question is how will the competitive landscape get reshaped once the crisis abates.
Booking.com’s Challenges With Tours and Activities Lead to Musement Partnership: Whether building tours and activities or vacation rentals, acquiring companies soon find out that this stuff isn’t as easy as it looked. From confidential internal documents obtained by Skift, it’s clear Booking.com found out that scaling experiences on its own wouldn’t be a cakewalk, and it’s turning to Musement to kick off a preferred partnership strategy instead.
Expedia Business Services’ New Top Boss to Pull Levers for Long-Term Growth: Expedia in December promoted Ariane Gorin to become boss of Expedia Business Services. Gorin had led a team that had recently won major enterprise accounts, like Marriott’s exclusive redistribution deal. Opportunity abounds for the company to expand its business-to-business partnerships.
Tripadvisor Is Trying to Sell Its Vacation Rental Businesses: Some might consider it ironic that there’s been a lot of talk about the possibility of Expedia Group shedding assets, but Tripadvisor is the one actively trying to sell its vacation rental businesses. There has been speculation for some time that Tripadvisor would make such a move — and now it’s actually happening.
Travel Brands, Remember Who You Really Serve — The Traveling Public: The travel industry went from overtourism to no tourism in a matter of weeks. Why are so many brands acting like they aren’t in the midst of an existential challenge and period of violent change?
Groupize Expands Software to Manage Increasingly Complex Meetings Schedules: Companies looking to track events of all sizes in a single platform may have found a solution in the Groupize 3.0 platform. Rules can be a good thing — especially when it comes to automating employee permissions and budgets.
Introducing the 2020 Skift IDEA Awards: We’re announcing the Skift IDEA Awards, the annual recognition of excellence in Innovation, Design, and Experiences across the traveler journey. Apply by April 17 for early submission rates!
Egyptian Tourism Entrepreneur Buys Stake in TUI: One of Warren Buffett’s best known bits of investment advice is: “Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.” The fundamentals for TUI still look good, so Hamed El Chiaty might have just struck a bargain deal for himself.
Cloudbeds Raises $82 Million for Hospitality Tech: Travel Startup Funding This Week: Cloudbeds’ ability to raise $82 million validates both its strategy and the broader hospitality tech sector. Other notable fundings this week include Checkfront, which helps tours-and-activities operators handle bookings and payments, and SuitePad, which supplies digital tablets to hotel guest rooms.