In coronavirus-related travel stories this week, Skift looked at the shifting lineup in Google vacation rentals, Airbnb's ambitions, what a prospective merger between IHG and Accor might look like, and how Croatia's tourism experiment is working out.
Throughout the week we are posting original stories night and day covering the impact of coronavirus by connecting the dots across the travel industry. Every weekend we will offer you a chance to read the most essential stories again in case you missed them earlier.
Booking Is In, Airbnb Is Out of Google Vacation Rentals: The online travel agency lineup in Google vacation rentals involves strategic considerations: take advantage of the bookings, and strengthen Google’s competitive position in the process, or risk going without.
The Event Industry Is Being Confronted By Its Napster Moment: All types of business events are in danger of their revenue streams of tickets, sponsorships, memberships, and other types of fees being eroded. This is happening as the world gets used to digital formats and alternatives emerge to physical networking, matchmaking, and other tasks we get out of these events. The threat sounds familiar?
Croatia Welcomed Americans This Summer — How’d That Work Out?: Croatia has taken a more liberal approach than other European nations to visitation this summer, framing itself as a safe country to visit even while welcoming Americans. The problem is that an influx of visitors may just be undermining that claim.
What Would an IHG-Accor Merger Look Like Anyway?: Another day, another rumor that Accor and IHG will combine forces. But even a successful merger is unlikely to send the hotel industry into a wave of consolidation due to so many other distressed deals expected during the pandemic recovery.
Finally, Airbnb IPO Will Signal a New Era of Accounting and Accountability: As a public company, Airbnb would be a dream for reporters, analysts, and investors because of the required disclosures about financials and strategy. It could also prompt competitors to up their game, and perhaps be more forthcoming about the numbers behind their own short-term rental businesses.
Capital One Acquires Freebird’s Flight Disruption Tech: Freebird has gone kaput but the concept of predictive intelligence smoothing out the travel experience will only gain strength during the rebound from the pandemic. Capitol One sees opportunity.
Google Jumps Into Contactless Hotel Technology Push: If there is one permanent legacy from the coronavirus pandemic’s grip on the hotel industry, it is likely the move toward technology features that reduce the amount of staff interaction. Google is the latest company to join the movement.
All U.S. Hotel Sectors Saw a Profit in July — Yes, Really: Hoteliers shouldn’t get used to good news. U.S. full-service hotels may have seen a very slight average profit per room in July, but the peak summer travel season is fading — and the pandemic still isn’t under control.
Corporate Travel Agencies Still Busy Helping Repatriate People — And Even Pets: Evacuations are difficult at the best of times. Now corporate travel agencies are battling border closures, offline bookings, canceled flights and quarantines.
Airbnb Escalates House Party Crackdown a Week After Filing for an IPO: Airbnb looks to be cleaning up some overhangs before its anticipated initial public offering, including being fairly aggressive about promoting its crackdown on wayward house parties in its rentals. In case investors ask about the issue, Airbnb has an answer.
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Photo credit: Google announced it would be offering vacation rentals in a blog post on March 26, 2019. Google