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Throughout the week we are posting original stories night and day covering news and travel trends, including on the impact of coronavirus. Every weekend we will offer you a chance to read the most essential stories again in case you missed them earlier.

The Short-Lived Vacation Rental Advantage Over Hotels Is Almost Gone: The death of hotels was greatly exaggerated. Advantage Booking.com and Expedia — not Airbnb — if travelers indeed are now seeking out both hotels and vacation rentals in comparable numbers.

Expedia Is Now Marriott’s Exclusive Provider of Wholesale Rates for Travel Agents: If the Expedia-Marriott partnership works out as promised, then there will be fewer Marriott rates on metasearch sites that are deeply discounted compared to Marriott’s own websites. And bedbanks and tour operators will have to sign up with Expedia — not Marriott — to get their hands on Marriott’s wholesale rates.

No Escaping Climate Change for the Travel Even When Covid-19 Becomes a Distant Memory: Masks, social distancing, and vaccines can’t stop climate change. It isn’t a competition to choose the most dire threat, climate change or Covid-19, because they are interrelated. But taking a long-term view, climate change will be an existential threat to the travel industry, and the world, even as coronavirus fades.

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Flights to Nowhere Take Off — Should They?: We get that people are desperate to travel and airlines are desperate for revenue. But should airlines get into the business of burning tens of thousands of kilograms of fuel just to fly joyrides?

The Future of Contactless Tech in Hotels Past the Pandemic: New Skift Research: All the contactless tech that is receiving so much buzz in the hotel industry today predates the current crisis. So it might not be revolutionary, but the impact will certainly outlast the pandemic.

Travelport Dodges Bankruptcy Thanks to $500 Million Pact With Lenders: Travelport’s backers have won their feud with lenders. Now Siris Capital and Elliott Management’s asset management arm need to defeat payment firm Wex in court over a disputed eNett sale.

Occupancy Rates for China’s Hotels Show First Year-Over-Year Growth Since Pandemic’s Start: Even if recent occupancy gains are tied to a blip in the holiday calendar, Chinese hotels continue to see a coronavirus economic recovery pattern that is the envy of the world.

Americans Flocked to National Parks for Summer Vacations: New Skift Travel Tracker Survey: The substantial decline in new Covid cases didn’t seem to give travel a much-needed boost. In August, 36 percent of Americans traveled, only one percentage point higher than in July.

Parsing Hotel ‘Hygiene Theater’ From Truly Effective Health Protocols: Independent hoteliers with smaller back offices could find a third-party company like Blue Canary useful in mapping out heightened health and safety protocols. But it isn’t clear if bigger brands with compliance departments will ever find need for outside help on cleaning.

Newly Agile Thomas Cook Is Resurrected in a Pandemic to Be an Online Travel Player: New owner Fosun will be banking on people fondly remembering this historic name, rather than reflecting on its spectacular collapse just one year ago.

This Is the Most Dire Prognostication on the Future of Airlines … and Travel: “Absolutely no one in the industry, government, capital markets or media is willing to face up to this inevitable reality.” Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Coronavirus Finally Caught Up With London’s Most Convenient Airport: The business traveler’s favorite, and formerly Europe’s conduit to doing business (and lunch) with the capital’s bankers, London City Airport remains quiet and is preparing to lay off staff.

How Delta Looks to Leverage Rewards From Its Own Frequent Flyer Program: Delta Air Lines needs cash. Its SkyMiles program is one of its only remaining profitable assets. The airline is being smart in using it to secure new funding.

The 10 Biggest Covid Myths That Event Planners Need to Ignore: Since the onset of Covid-19, myths about its origins and its very nature have abounded. In this article, we discuss 10 of the most stubborn misconceptions and why it’s important for event planners to see past the rhetoric.

Subscription Travel Models Offer Encouraging Pandemic Resilience to Inspirato and BeRightBack: Skift cited the subscription model as one of the megatrends to watch in travel this year. So we were intrigued to see that Inspirato and BeRightBack, two pure-play efforts at being the “Netflix of travel,” have withstood the pandemic assault rather well.

5 Travel Startups Saved by Funding in a Nick of Time Just Before the Crisis: We checked in with a hotel startup, two providers of software to hotels, a business travel startup, and a software maker for the tours-and-activities sector to see how last-minute funding helped them survive the industry’s nuclear winter.

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Photo Credit: Vacation rentals, similar to the one pictured here, saw a nice bump versus hotels when the pandemic began. But that gap is closing. Trivago Homeaway