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Ctrip to Take Stake in China Eastern Airlines for $463 Million

It looks like Ctrip will forge a very preferential relationship with China Eastern now that the online travel agency is investing in the airline so it can finance aircraft purchases. This could also go a long way in straightening out Ctrip-controlled Qunar's frayed relationship with the airline.

Expedia Wants to Power Hotels’ Direct-Booking Efforts

Online travel agencies such as Expedia and the Priceline Group providing business services to hotels is seemingly the new normal. It's easy to understand how this would be valuable to resource-strapped independent hotels but the degree to which major chains sign-on remains to be seen.

Skift CMO Interviews: Despegar’s New Single-Minded Push for Online Bookings

Despegar has entered a new chapter in Latin America as the site eliminated phone bookings in favor of online bookings only. The company is undergoing major changes and is rethinking how it balances its online and offline marketing.

Exclusive: Expedia Argues That Hotel Owners Are Losers in Direct-Booking Push

We'd rather see PricewaterhouseCoopers or another neutral party estimate the revenue impact of hotel chains' direct-marketing campaigns instead of relying on Expedia, which obviously has vested interests. Still, Expedia's chart furthers discussion and the dialogue under way with hotels, and speaks to how seriously Expedia views the threat and the issue.

Hotels That Respond to TripAdvisor Reviews Will See Revenues Rise, Up to a Point

Translation: Show them you care, but don't go overboard.

Airbnb Repositions Around ‘Live There,’ Moves Beyond Stays to Experiences

Just as Airbnb has had a transformative impact on the home sharing and vacation rental business, it hopes to do the same by going beyond just offering stays into offering actual travel activities and experiences to its community. It'll be very interesting to see how they do it.

Exclusive: Kayak to Launch Restaurants, Tours and Activities Comparison-Shopping Features

Engineering geeks like big, tough problems and the coders at Kayak are attempting to take on the challenges of comparing diverse restaurants in a city and also the attributes of this hop-on hop-off Beverly Hills tour versus a competitor's. And you thought comparing various flights with bag fees was tough?

New Skift Trends Report: The Rise of Messaging Technology in Travel Booking, Part 2

Messaging tech is replacing existing forms of commerce in ways that stand to drive returns at levels the industry has seldom experienced before.

Booking.com Hopes Two Engaged Comedians Can Give It a Shatner-Like Kick

On one hand this could help raise Booking.com's profile in the U.S., which is so much lower than it deserves to be. On the other, a wedding is really when most people should turn to a travel agent (trust us: personal experience).

Expedia Chair Barry Diller: Artificial Intelligence Will Be Travel’s Next Big Thing

Barry Diller's intelligence is not artificial at all and it's sometimes underrated. Diller has been one of the superstars in crafting the trajectory of online travel through his acquisitions and perseverance when things didn't always go smoothly.