Skift Take

Already on vacation? Catch up on what happened with Booking, Tripadvisor, Google, Hopper, and more this week.

Summer officially started this week, but the news takes no vacation. This week Executive Editor Dennis Schaal looked at three giants of online travel – Booking, Google, and Tripadvisor – and how they’re using marketing dollars and collaboration to get ahead. Meanwhile our Research team’s recent report on Hopper continues to reveal insights about the app’s rapid rise and evolving business model.

The Week’s Headlines

Booking’s Very Expensive Marketing Piece of the Pie
Travel bargain hunters are a fickle bunch, visiting more than two dozen websites on average before they book. Booking.com and its rivals spend billions annually to woo those travelers who wouldn’t otherwise click over to their platforms.

Google and Tripadvisor Could Be Edging Toward a New Partnership After All These Years
Frenemy relationships have a storied history in the push and pull of the travel industry. Tripadvisor’s relationship with Google seems to have improved, and there are probably several areas where they might collaborate further.

The Evolution of Hopper
In this report, we take a deeper look into how exactly Hopper differentiates itself from its competitors and what has fuelled its tremendous growth. It’s the first report to use interviews with key executives to estimate Hopper’s total gross bookings, revenue and marketing spend, as well as modeling its future growth trajectory.

Lionel Messi’s $25 Million Saudi Tourism Deal: Details Revealed in New Report
Saudi Arabia is being extra cautious, leaving absolutely nothing to chance while attempting to give its global image a makeover.

Maine’s Boutique Hotel Scene Heats Up With Nordic Spa Concept
While travelers can run hot and cold in their preferences, the Nordic spa trend appears to be going full-steam ahead. Maine is the latest playground.

Global Travel Recovery Sustains its Momentum
The Skift Travel Health Index continued to point to a full global travel recovery in May 2023. With 14 out of 22 countries having fully recovered and some overtaking pre-pandemic performance, we anticipate the index to soon significantly surpass 2019 levels.

New Forecast for Travel to U.S.: ‘Significantly Upgraded’
While normalization of U.S. domestic leisure travel demand was expected, it is the increase in inbound international travel that has the U.S. Travel Association excited.

Hotel Tech Startups Using AI to Combat Labor Shortage
Most of the attention around generative AI and travel has been around consumer products, but more business-to-business companies are using it too.

Ryanair and Lonely Planet Involved in New $100 Million AI Program by Amazon Web Services
The airline Ryanair and travel guide publisher Lonely Planet are taking part in a new $100 million program by Amazon Web Services to explore innovations in generative AI.

Bhutan Lowers Sustainable Fee To Boost Longer Stays From Tourists
Bhutan’s commitment to high value, low volume tourism is underscored by its recognition that a sustainable development fee of $200 per person per night may hinder visitors from perceiving the true value of their experience.

Amadeus Cites Geopolitics and Tech as Trends Shaping the Future of Air Travel
One of the biggest airline tech companies has its eye on geopolitical events and changing tech to stay ahead of air travel trends.

Listen Up

Indian airlines IndiGo and Air India grabbed headlines with orders at the Paris Airshow this week. Can the country support all of their planned growth? Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss. Plus, the recovery for Alaska Airlines.

Chart of the Week: Skift Travel Health Index May 2023

14 out of 22 countries tracked by the index are at 100 or higher. Argentina and Singapore are just shy of 2019 travel levels this month. While most countries have reached more than 90% travel recovery, Hong Kong and Russia remain the slowest to bounce back.

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Photo credit: Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel speaking at Skift Global Forum on September 20, 2022 in New York City. Neil van Niekerk / Skift

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