Skift Take

In Skift's top stories this week, Airbnb makes a major modification, Tripadvisor appoints a new CEO, and the endangered status of giraffes exposes the fragility of Africa's wildlife tourism.

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’s Next Big Change: Search: Airbnb is really good at hyping up its incremental product changes, this better be as game-changing as it’s billed to be. Either way, better search, better for the user in a world of overwhelm.

Hotel Startup Mint House Raises $35 Million to Target Business Travelers: Mint House reports some eye-popping performance metrics comparable to premium hotel brands. No wonder Allen Smith, the former CEO of Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, has joined the startup’s board.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pitches Federal Support to Ease Pilot Shortage: The federal government finally recognizes that there is a shortage of pilots in the U.S. But beyond platitudes, there are few new funds directed at easing it yet.

Tripadvisor Names Veteran Media Exec Matt Goldberg as New CEO: Tripadvisor likely had a difficult time to fill this role. Several potential candidates begged off. This will be a heavy lift as the team tries to figure out the best future options.

Booking Gets in Expedia’s Face With Billboards Near Las Vegas Conference: The vacation rental industry often touts the esprit de corps among industry lifers. Greeted with Booking.com ads for hosts at an Expedia partner conference in Sin City this week, Expedia officials weren’t feeling that vibe.

Proposed Seaplane New York-Washington Flights Face Streep Hurdles: Waterfront-to-waterfront flights between D.C. and New York would be cool. They’re not likely anytime soon.

A Third Hospitality Model That Big Brands Have Essentially Ignored: Investment manager LaSalle is betting on Numa, a hotel startup. The deal suggests that some institutional investors are tantalized by a market segment that draws little interest from big brands.

Spirit Airlines Rejects Improved JetBlue Bid in Favor of Frontier Merger: Spirit has spoken. Frontier is its preferred partner, even after a sweeter deal from JetBlue.

What Tripadvisor’s New CEO Needs to Do First: New CEO Matt Goldberg needs to do many things to straighten out Tripadvisor, starting by bringing a laser focus to the company’s strategy.

Giraffes in Peril Show Fragile Business of Africa Wildlife Tourism: The quiet, mesmerizing beauty of giraffes makes them marketing gold for Africa’s wildlife tourism industry. But the world’s tallest mammals are under threat from multiple forces, poachers, diseases, even climate change. Economics aside, conservationists are in a mad dash to hasten their decline.

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Tags: africa, airbnb, brands, business travel, business traveler, ceos, expedia, expedia group, flights, frontier airlines, giraffes, hospitality, hotels, jetblue airways, las vegas, online travel newsletter, pilot shortage, pilots, seaplane, search, spirit airlines, startup, tripadvisor, wildlife, wildlife tourism