Digital

Breaking news and insights about online travel booking, online travel agencies, travel startups, venture capital investments, and more essential news about digital travel.

An In-Depth Look at Hotel Chain Oyo’s Financials and Strategy: New Skift Research

An In-Depth Look at Hotel Chain Oyo’s Financials and Strategy: New Skift Research

Seth Borko, Skift Research

Oyo promises a new type of hotel company. It’s an asset-light brand that seeks to connect the global long tail of mom-and-pop hotels through its tech and distribution platform. But can it live up to the hype? Skift Research dives deep into Oyo’s business strategy and financial performance.

7 hours ago

Google Is Phasing Out Its Buzzy Touring Bird Tours and Activities Search Feature

Google Is Phasing Out Its Buzzy Touring Bird Tours and Activities Search Feature

Dennis Schaal, Skift

Touring Bird gained no traction in the real world outside Area 120, and for all the inroads metasearch has made in hotels, flights, and cars, it has really struggled in emerging categories where the products aren't cookie-cutter such as in vacation rentals, and tours and activities. After all, when experiences are unique or varied, comparing them is hard.

7 hours ago

Booking.com’s European Flight Partnership and 16 Other Top Digital Stories This Week

Booking.com’s European Flight Partnership and 16 Other Top Digital Stories This Week

Jasmine Ganaishlal and Spencer Lee, Skift

This week in digital news, Booking.com has launched a flight partnership in Europe, but travelers still have to go through a third-party site. Meanwhile, Agoda is starting to offer flights without the hassle of platform redirection.

2 days ago

Skiftx Original
Skift Global Forum 2019: How American Express Is Improving Customer Experience with a Focus on Meaningful Moments

Skift Global Forum 2019: How American Express Is Improving Customer Experience with a Focus on Meaningful Moments

SkiftX

Consumers are so overwhelmed by choice these days, they sometimes simply give up on travel plans altogether. Brands like American Express Travel are hoping to end that lamentable state of affairs by combining old-school service with new technological tools that make the complete “customer journey” both high tech and high touch.

2 weeks ago

Agoda Is Starting to Offer Flights to Take On Rivals in Asia

Agoda Is Starting to Offer Flights to Take On Rivals in Asia

Raini Hamdi, Skift

Flights are the next big thing for all of Booking Holdings’ accommodation platforms, not just Booking.com but Agoda and Priceline in Asia. In the region, where super-apps have taught consumers they can book everything on one app, and where even airlines want to be online travel agencies, it isn’t surprising Agoda is offering flights.

4 days ago

July Raises $7 Million for Better Luggage: Travel Startup Funding This Week

July Raises $7 Million for Better Luggage: Travel Startup Funding This Week

Sean O'Neill, Skift

Melbourne, Australia-based luggage maker July was one of several travel startups that announced collectively more than $21 million in funding this week.

5 days ago

Did Airbnb’s Contrarian Narrative Just Get Messed Up?

Did Airbnb’s Contrarian Narrative Just Get Messed Up?

Dennis Schaal, Skift

Airbnb is on a path toward spending as much as $2 billion in sales and marketing in 2019. When you consider that Airbnb will likely have to start spending more with Google as it adds more hotels onto its platform, then the company's supposed competitive advantage over Booking Holdings and Expedia Group on that front appears a little less attractive.

5 days ago

Can Loyalty Points Transform Travel Metasearch? A Japanese Case Study

Can Loyalty Points Transform Travel Metasearch? A Japanese Case Study

Yixin Ng, Skift

Line Travel Japan’s new rewards initiative is a neat, innovative way to upsell online travel agencies, but it represents a whole lot more. It's a sign of loftier metasearch ambitions to own customers in a fight against common enemies — the lowest-price quandary and the Google behemoth.

6 days ago

Airbnb Doubles Down on Professional Vacation Rentals in Resort Areas

Airbnb Doubles Down on Professional Vacation Rentals in Resort Areas

Sean O'Neill, Skift

The online juggernaut isn't satisfied with dominating urban markets. Airbnb wants to take the beaches and the mountains, too, in the battle for short-term rental bookings. So the company is becoming savvier in how it approaches local property managers.

6 days ago

Sabre’s $110 Million Deal for Radixx Gives It New Upside in Passenger Services Tech

Sabre’s $110 Million Deal for Radixx Gives It New Upside in Passenger Services Tech

Sean O'Neill, Skift

Sabre's acquisition of Radixx is yet another sign that the travel technology giant is shoring up its competitive position vis-à-vis its rival Amadeus in the lucrative market for selling airlines operational technology.

6 days ago

Ctrip’s Bigger Hand in MakeMyTrip May Speed It Toward Break-Even

Ctrip’s Bigger Hand in MakeMyTrip May Speed It Toward Break-Even

Raini Hamdi, Skift

India’s largest online travel agency may beat analysts’ expectations and break even sooner rather than later. Ctrip, which now owns nearly half of the company, could be a factor. Another is boosting hotel content, which offers higher margins than air.

6 days ago

Booking.com Launches Flights Through Partnership Across Europe

Booking.com Launches Flights Through Partnership Across Europe

Dennis Schaal, Skift

The Booking.com flight partnership with eTraveli doesn't seem particularly seamless because travelers still have to hop over to a third-party site, Gotogate, to complete their reservations. Still, the deal is another step in Booking.com's evolution from hotel-only provider in its early days to well-rounded online travel company.

1 week ago