In Skift's top stories this week, Bookings Holdings goes on a buying spree, activities booking site Peek receives a major amount of funding, and a hotel CEO sees growth opportunities in smaller cities.
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.
Booking Holdings to Buy Flights Partner ETraveli Group for $1.8 Billion: Booking Holdings is on a pre-Christmas buying spree after announcing two pending acquisitions, ETraveli Group and Getaroom, within two weeks. Both are mostly back-of-the-house acquisitions that will bolster Booking’s flight and hotels business.
Marriott Vacations CEO Weighs in on the Timeshare Rollup During the Recovery: Providing younger travelers with more flexibility makes the timeshare sector more appealing to millennials with disposable income. And that makes properties in the sector more attractive for M&A.
Laurence Tosi’s WestCap Leads $80 Million Funding for Activities Booking Site Peek: Peek survived the pandemic when so many tours and activities’ operators went into hibernation or worse, and now it has another $80 million in the bank for expansion. With business-to-business software as hot as it is, that’s not a bad place to be.
Skiplagged Plays Whac-A-Mole With Southwest Flights: As the saying goes, you can run but you can’t hide. Skiplagged may be marketing Southwest flights for now and helping flyers book them, but this practice doesn’t have a bright future.
This Hotel CEO Sees a Niche for Cool Brands in Smaller Cities: Folks in small cities still have money to spend on trendy bars and restaurants. There’s a new playbook for high-end, lifestyle hotels that doesn’t require a massive, global city to usher in success.
Amex GBT Tests New Model With Bizzabo for Virtual Meeting Bookings: Rather than buy technology, the agency’s meeting division has struck a new type of commercial deal with the fast-growing meeting software firm Bizzabo to tap into virtual meetings. A big bet that those meetings will be here to stay.
Photo credit: Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel (right) speaking with Skift Executive Editor Dennis Schaal at Skift Global Forum in New York City on September 23, 2021. Skift