Tripadvisor’s Executive Shake-Up and 14 Other Top Digital Stories This Week

Tripadvisor is restructuring in an effort to remain competitive in an increasingly crowded field. Shutterstock Skift Take: Tripadvisor — in a fight to maintain its share of the travel market — is beefing up Viator and will start treating the tours-and-activities booking agency as its own brand. Plus, after years of criticism for prioritizing its … [Read more…]

Google Flights Ends Booking Charges for Airlines That Paid

Los Angeles International Airport gets passenger screening enhancements. Pictured is a United Airlines bag drop. Google is dropping the charges it asked airlines to pay in Google Flights. United Continental Holdings Skift Take: With potential pressure from U.S. regulatory authorities and perhaps displeasure from airlines, Google is making the biggest change to the way it … [Read more…]

The Way Forward for Expedia May Include Selling Off Businesses

Attendees at the Expedia Explore ’19 conference at the Venetian in Las Vegas November 13-13, 2019. They heard all about Expedia’s strategy, which may change anew. Adam Shane Productions / Expedia Group Skift Take: The strategy and vision for the next stage in Expedia Group’s life should include sharp departures from the status quo, but … [Read more…]

What Does Online Travel Really Mean by a ‘Connected Trip’?

Lengthy lines at Newark International Airport in New Jersey. Bart Everson / Flickr Skift Take: Creating the connected trip means online travel agencies will have to become high-powered, tech-first, traditional travel agencies. It sounds cool but probably isn’t feasible without major upheaval across the global travel market. — Andrew Sheivachman Slim Leather Travel Passport Wallet … [Read more…]

Google’s Travel Gains Levy Pain at TripAdvisor and Expedia

TripAdvisor CEO Steve Kaufer (left) and Expedia Group CEO Mark Okerstrom separately pointed to Google as hurting their businesses’ performance in the third quarter of 2019. TripAdvisor and Expedia Skift Take: The fact that Google is leveraging its dominance as a search engine into taking market share away from travel competitors is no longer even … [Read more…]

Expedia’s Reorganization Efforts Make the Company Less Nimble

Expedia Group is reshaping its internal teams, which contributed to a weak third quarter of 2019. Expedia Group Skift Take: Behind the scenes, the reorganization within Expedia Group must be ugly. Otherwise the CEO wouldn’t have cited it near the beginning of his prepared remarks during the earnings call. The last time Expedia cited a … [Read more…]

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

The USS Constitution is shown in Boston Harbor. Google is phasing out Touring Bird, which enabled users to compare tour options. Associated Press Skift Take: 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 … [Read more…]

Did Airbnb’s Contrarian Narrative Just Get Messed Up?

New reporting on Airbnb suggests its finances might not be as neat and tidy as it hopes to present ahead going public, with operating losses doubling in the first quarter. Lulu Yilun Chen / Bloomberg Skift Take: Airbnb is on a path toward spending as much as $2 billion in sales and marketing in 2019. … [Read more…]

Budget Hotels Drive Southeast Asia’s Online Travel Growth to $34 Billion

An Oyo hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The rise of budget hotel chains like Oyo and RedDoorz has driven the growth of Southeast Asia’s online travel sector to $34.4 billion this year. Oyo Rooms Skift Take: Like low-cost carriers before them, low-cost hotel chains are playing a big role in the growth of … [Read more…]

Skyscanner Wants to Be Instagram-Like in Selling Flights

An image of Skyscanner’s mobile app after the September 2019 rebranding of the company. Skyscanner Skift Take: We can shop for TVs and clothes on our phone, but booking flights remains stubbornly old school. Skyscanner is one of a few online players working with airlines to fix that. — Sean O’Neill Slim Leather Travel Passport … [Read more…]