Skift Take

In Skift's top stories this week, we covered the Maldives' experiment with new tourism models, the blurring of work and travel, Priceline's acquisition of an airline technology startup, and a Skift research analysis of hotel direct booking.

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.

Maldives Woos Investors to Build New Longer-Stay Tourism Models: While the “one-island, one-resort” concept will remain its unique sell, Maldives is moving to diversify its product offering, a step in the right direction. The question is, will investors bite?

Understanding the Hotel Direct Booking Landscape in 2021: New Skift Research:
Despite years of hotels pushing direct booking campaigns, third parties remain a crucial part of hotel distribution strategy. Learn how many bookings each distribution channel delivers, at what cost, and the outlook for direct bookings in this report.

Is It Tourism or Is It Remote Work? The Line Is Getting Blurry: Destinations, start spending your marketing dollars on the ultimate repeat visitor — the remote worker.

Priceline Buys Travel Startup Flyiin for Its Airfare Sales Tech: Airlines have been shaking up how they sell and distribute their airfares and ancillaries. Priceline is one of a few brands striving to keep pace through acquisitions or research and development.

Hertz Bidding War Winner Is Certares and Knighthead in an Auction: Now that the investor winners and losers are clear, Hertz is tasked with the even harder job of retooling the business to adapt to a diminished business travel environement — at least in the short term.

Booking Holdings CEO: We Can Replicate European Short-Term Rental Success in U.S.: Booking.com faces tough-going in U.S. short-term rentals. Its business model has hosts perceiving they pay lower commissions to Airbnb, and the latter is has a big brand advantage. At the same time, Booking.com needs to defend Airbnb incursions on its own European turf.

Amadeus Will Consider a Travel Tech Acquisition in the Next Year: The best bets on where Amadeus would acquire a business are hotel and airport tech and software services. But pricey valuations of many target companies are eye-watering right now.

Airbnb Posts $1.2 Billion Loss and Turns Attention to Expected Supply-Demand Mismatch: Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said the company expects to add millions of new hosts in the next few years, and it has plans to simplify the host signup process. But Airbnb has to be concerned that over the last six months that strategic growth imperative has been tough going.

Mobile World Congress Hires a Travel Agency to Help Steady Nerves for Returning Event: There’s still a huge risk hosting larger scale exhibitions, but the organizer of Mobile World Congress is hoping to offset some of that by outsourcing travel management.

Skift Global Forum Is Back: Join Us at the Iconic TWA Hotel This September: This will be the most consequential event Skift has ever done. Come and experience our Skift Global Forum 2021 at the stunning TWA Hotel.

The Most Important Number From the Travel Industry This Week: Let’s just say it’s the lucky dozen.

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Tags: airbnb, amadeus, booking holdings, certares, direct booking, hertz, maldives, meetings, priceline, tourism, work from anywhere

Photo Credit: A young person on a swing at the Ayada resort in the Maldives on February 27, 2020. The archipelago is testing new tourism models with private developers. Richard Schneider / Flickr.com