First Free Story (1 of 3)

More travel executives get their mission-critical industry news from Skift than any other source on the planet.

Already a member?

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.

Airbnb Considers OTAs as Biggest Competitors, Not Hotels: If you think Airbnb considers hotel giants like Marriott, Hilton, and Accor as its top competitors, think again. The company filed financial documents this week in preparation for its initial public offering, and it revealed it watches the online travel players like Expedia Group, Booking Holdings, Trip.com Group, and Google the most.

Oracle Hospitality to Buy Hotel Tech Startup Nor1 That Upsells You Before You Reach the Front Desk: In this Skift scoop, we reported on Oracle Hospitality’s acquisition of Nor1. The deal takes the hotel tech giant deeper into providing services for guest-facing interactions before guests arrive at a property as well as during a guest’s stay.

Vaccine Euphoria Isn’t Deterring United From Conservative Approach as Year-End Cancellations Rise: In spite of a rise in holiday flight cancellations, United Airlines remains confident for the long-term return of business and international travel. There is pent-up travel demand, and the airline has had success with its early pre-flight testing programs. Still, even with a vaccine on the horizon, the airline remains cautious.

5 Key Takeaways From Skift Aviation Forum: The airline industry may be hobbled now, but industry leaders at the Skift Aviation Forum saw some hope. Much, of course, depends on the trajectory of the pandemic and the efficacy of vaccines. But the glory days aren’t returning any time soon.

How Seasonality Drives Airbnb’s Volatile Earnings: Skift Research Analysis: To everything there is a season. And for Airbnb, that season is the third quarter.

Airbnb Well-Positioned Versus Peers Despite Pandemic Setback, IPO Filing Reveals: Despite the Covid-19 hit, Airbnb stands above its fellow travel rivals due to its ability to continue to book sales during the crisis and turn those stays into cash flow.

What’s Next for Airlines? Watch Southwest CEO Offer Predictions for 2021 and Beyond: Effective vaccines are one thing. Southwest and other airlines still need to gain the trust of event planners before they can bank on recovery momentum.

Destinations Embrace Multilingual, Multicultural Marketing to Attract New Travelers for Post-Covid Reality: With source markets on lockdown and shifting border restrictions, destinations are targeting global and regional travelers they’d previously overlooked. The result? A rise in multilingual and cross cultural tourism campaigns. It’s about time.

Business Travel Is Coming Back: Top Execs at American Airlines and Dallas-Forth Worth Airport: You can debate about in-flight studies on the risk of spreading infection. But American Airlines at least has the hard evidence that its guest-facing workers have a reported lower infection rate than the company as a whole or than the urban areas where they tend to work. That bodes well for a business travel rebound.

CEOs From Air France and Ryanair See Different Flight Paths to a Travel Recovery: At Skift Aviation Forum on Thursday, a fascinating difference of opinion between Air France CEO Anne Rigail and Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson on competitiveness, fairness, and the value of coronavirus testing at airports.

U.S. Airlines Still Have Lots to Do to Put the 737 Max in the Air After FAA Approval: The U.S. has cleared the Boeing 737 Max to fly, but global regulators still need more time. Still, it’s good news for U.S. airlines and for Boeing, ending the longest grounding in aviation history.

New Independent Hotel Group Fights Back on Industry’s Bigger-Is-Better Mentality: Independent hotel owners have a new pandemic survival strategy with the arrival of the Curator Hotel & Resort Collection. The big brands need to address grievances over their high costs to remain competitive.

Booking.com Rolls Out Cleanliness Requirements for Rental Listings: Some rental property managers will appreciate Booking.com providing some resources to help struggling hosts keep up with cleanliness standards and improve their game. The move came the same week that Airbnb made its “enhanced cleaning” protocols mandatory for all hosts globally.

Bonus: A Skift Pro Exclusive: The Business Trip’s Next New Look: Will soundbites like “Zoom parties every day, every night” and other headline-grabbing quotes influence perceptions of the value of business travel, or do we take them with a pinch of salt?

Photo Credit: Bollywood icon Shah Rukh Khan (SRK) and his wife Gauri Khan temporarily put their Delhi home up on Airbnb via a promotional contest. Airbnb