Rafat Ali

Latest Stories

Online Travel

Breaking Down Travel Queries in an Age of AI-Powered Search

The new Google search results in an age of AI-powered search is a fascinating mix of usefulness, uselessness, and sheer overwhelm of formats.

Breaking Down Travel Queries in an Age of AI-Powered Search

News Blog

Fee Transparency Could Save U.S. Hotel and Short-Term Rental Customers $1 Billion Per Year

In a long, dense and fascinating proposed rule document the U.S. Federal Trade Commission published earlier this month in the Federal Register, it outlines what the effect of fee transparency will be on the time consumers save to book online. The document outlines the proposed rules, and calculates the times savings and costs involved in…

News Blog

Hyatt Sold Off Its Vacation Rental Management Arm For Up To $50 Million

In late September, Hyatt Hotels announced that it was exiting its vacation rental management business while launching an online short-term rental platform soon. Its Destination Residences Management unit was sold to a real estate investor called Lowe, which, through an affiliate, will run it under Lowe and Coral Tree, though no price was disclosed at…

News Blog

Booking Paid $90 Million Termination Fee For Its Failed eTraveli Acquisition

Booking Holdings, whose $1.8 billion deal to acquire Sweden’s eTraveli Group was blocked by European Commission earlier this year, paid out $90 million in termination fee this October, according to a nugget in its latest quarterly statement. Typically deal breakup/termination fees are between 1-5 percent of the total deal value and paid by the seller…

News Blog

Wellness Tourism Is One of Fastest Growing Parts of Travel, To Reach $1.4 Trillion by 2027

That's according to latest research put out by the Global Wellness Institute, in its annual state of the global wellness sector, of which tourism is one part. From the report: The wellness tourism market plummeted from 2019 to 2020 ($720 billion to $351 billion), but has seen 36% annual spending growth, and 30% annual wellness…

News Blog

MGM Expects $50M-$75M Incremental Revenues in 2024 With Marriott Partnership

Even though the big MGM-Marriott loyalty & booking partnership that was announced earlier this year with much fanfare has been delayed until early 2024 -- ostensibly due to MGM's cybersecurity threat which derailed much of its business over weeks -- MGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle is very bullish about it. In its Q3 earnings call earlier…

News Blog

Tripadvisor Says Its AI Itinerary Users Generate 3X Revenues of Average Users

Hidden in Tripadvisor's latest earnings from earlier this week was some updates on its AI-based trip planning feature that it launched in July, along with some concrete numbers on performance of AI-assisted travel planning. In the earnings call, CEO Matt Goldberg said that the company has seen much higher conversions (and revenues) from people who…

Tourism

How Demographics, Loneliness, Work and Climate Will Define the Future of Travel

We are ready to decipher and define the next decade of travel. Are you onboard?

How Demographics, Loneliness, Work and Climate Will Define the Future of Travel

Announcements

Announcing the Skift India Summit in New Delhi on March 19-20, 2024

The India opportunity is what *every* major travel brand is trying to decipher, and Skift is bringing its signature thought leadership to its India Summit next year. Join us on this exciting new journey in the most exciting market in the world!

Announcing the Skift India Summit in  New Delhi on March 19-20, 2024

Announcements

Introducing Skift’s New Editor-in-Chief: Sarah Kopit

On our quest to become *the* most influential force in the global business of travel, we're bringing in new top leadership for editorial. Excited to build the next phase of Skift with Sarah and Lex.

Introducing Skift’s New Editor-in-Chief: Sarah Kopit