Skift Take

Catch up on the week's most-read stories, from Google's online activities moves to Air India's new livery.

In our weekend roundup, we delve into the pros and cons of Google’s latest foray into the tours and activities industry, providing insights into how online travel agencies might stand to benefit. We also catch up with IHG’s new CEO Elie Maalouf and his ambitious plans for the brand’s future. From AI’s influence on the travel sector to the latest controversies in short-term rentals, keep reading for a comprehensive look at the most pressing issues in today’s travel landscape.

Top Headlines

Google: Friend or Foe in the Tours and Activities Industry?
Google’s Things To Do tool has been met with both trepidation and excitement. In the tours and activities space, unlike other travel verticals, we expect that Google will benefit the online intermediaries, giving prominence to online travel agencies.

IHG’s New CEO on Launching a New Brand and Making Hotels Profitable
IHG’s new CEO Elie Maalouf sees blue-sky prospects across his group’s portfolio of brands.

More: IHG to Launch Midmarket Hotel Brand Designed to Grow Quickly

The Trivago Guy Is Back But His Future Is ‘Uncertain’
Trivago Guy Tim Williams’ fate in Trivago commercials now lies in the hands of the numbers crunchers. No one ever said the travel business or the acting profession are for the meek.

Ask Skift: What is AI’s Impact on Travel?
Artificial intelligence is fundamentally altering how travel brands operate, and here’s a look at a few ways the rapidly booming technology has already done so.

Expedia Shows Signs of Gaining Ground on in the U.S.
Expedia Group should have most of the pieces in place at the end of the year to complete key elements of its transition. Then we’ll have to see how well it executes on these new planks in reality.

5 Global Trends We Saw in Latest Hotel Results
When hotel executives have talked about their companies’ performance this earnings season, they indirectly spotlighted a few trends affecting much more than just their sector. As Skift has long said, “Travel is a global crucible for everything.”

U.S. Tourism Without China and New Competition – Brand USA Chief
If the U.S. can’t get Chinese tourists back, it will have to up its game attracting tourists from other international markets to make up for the spending shortfall.

Airbnb Lawsuit to Block NYC Short-Term Rental Law Dismissed
The judge’s ruling in favor of New York City is also a big relief for other U.S. municipalities that have also taken steps to closely regulate the short-term rental industry.

Air India’s New Brand Identity and Aircraft Livery
We appreciate how the new Air India livery has cleverly incorporated the Vistara colors, as the two airlines prepare to merge into one entity.

Listen Up

Edward Russell and Jay Shabat discuss the latest Airline Weekly profit rankings for the second quarter. Plus, the latest developments at Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific.

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Stat of the Week

Tours, Activities and Experiences Market by Distribution

  • 23%


  • 71%



The Daily Newsletter

Our daily coverage of the global travel industry. Written by editors and analysts from across Skift’s brands.

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Photo credit: Tourists on punter boats on the Cam River in Cambridge, England. Skift

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