Skift Take

In Skift’s top stories this week, Dominica sets eyes on a new international airport, Amtrak plans for an expensive upgrade, and Mexico reaches pre-pandemic levels of travel.

Throughout the week we are posting original stories night and day covering news and travel trends, including 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.

Dominica Hoping New International Airport Will Elevate It To a Major Caribbean Destination: Long without the capabilities to have direct flights arrive from far away lands, Dominica is hoping a new airport will turn things around for its tourism, trade, and economy. Can they pull it off without incurring debt?

Expedia in Latest Exit From Hospitality Tech Sells Alice: Hotels generally don’t want online travel agencies to run their front desks and house-cleaning services. And Expedia Group is much better at marketing and booking hotel rooms than operating them.

Russian Startup Takes Page From Software Industry With Travel-as-a-Service Model: Even if you’re not interested in the Russian travel market, OneTwoTrip’s early traction with what it calls its “travel-as-a-service” model may have inspirational lessons for companies worldwide.

Lakestar Will Take HomeToGo Public in $1 Billion Bet on Vacation Rental Search: HomeToGo’s move to go public is a validation of the booming vacation rental sector. It’s also a rare accomplishment for a German-based startup. Europe had been playing a catchup game with Silicon Valley, but no longer.

Mexico Is First Country to Reach Pre-Pandemic Travel: New Skift Research Index: Mexico’s score increased to 100 index points, which indicates that the country’s travel industry has fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels. A momentous occasion, but a closer look shows that not all sectors are back to normal.

Can This Controversial Former Thomas Cook Exec Really Build the Next Travel Giant?: Many people will be watching the next chapter in Manny Fontenla-Novoa’s career closely. Can he restore his reputation with this new pan-European travel agency?

Tripadvisor Plus Signs Its First Hotel Chains But Those Missing Are a Bigger Story: Despite Tripadvisor’s gains with a few smaller hotel groups, the big chains aren’t exactly crashing the gates to join Tripadvisor Plus. Their absence over the long term could threaten the program.

Amtrak Plans $117 Billion Upgrade in Northeast For U.S.’s Busiest Rail Line: Amtrak and its partners are lining up a series of major infrastructure projects along the busy Northeast Corridor for possible infrastructure funds out of Washington. The plan is sprawling but with federal money available — and “Amtrak Joe” in the White House — the sky is seemingly the limit for rail proposals.

Fintech, Superapps and Subscriptions Will Spur Flurry of Online Travel Copycats: In its rough outlines, Expedia begot Group while Kayak and ITA Software begot Google Travel. Get ready for a flurry of clones in fintech, superapps, and subscription services in travel. In fact, it’s already happening.

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Tags: alice, amtrak, expedia, fintech, lakestar, mexico, thomas cook, tripadvisor

Photo credit: Dominica hoping new international airport will elevate it to a major caribbean destination Reinhard Link / Flickr

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