TripAdvisor Looks to Counter Google by Considering Loyalty Initiatives for First Time

TripAdvisor saw decreased free traffic from Google in the second quarter of 2019. Pictured is Google Maps, a key part of Google’s travel initiatives. Bloomberg Skift Take: A new loyalty program and a brand campaign to bolster direct traffic and user engagement are among the measures TripAdvisor is working on to counter the fact that … [Read more…]

Expedia Still Has High Hopes for a Vrbo Bounce — Next Year

Expedia officials said Vrbo will find its bearings in 2020. Bloomberg Skift Take: When Expedia Group acquired HomeAway, now renamed Vrbo, in 2015, officials obviously knew they weren’t getting an Airbnb. Still, they may have obtained less than they bargained for because the journey so far has been very bumpy. — Dennis Schaal High Sierra … [Read more…]

Trivago Could Kill Controversial Ad Feature That Caused Its Fortunes to Plummet

The facade and logo outside Trivago headquarters in Dusseldorf, Germany. Trivago is trying to improve its relationships with its largest advertisers. Trivago Skift Take: Trivago is trying to make peace with its largest advertisers, especially the biggest, Booking Holdings. These peace overtures seem to be working for now, but metasearch and advertising can be very … [Read more…]

Boutique Rental Brand Sonder Raises Another $225 Million

A Sonder unit. The company is getting more funding. Sonder Skift Take: Sonder’s hotel-style serviced apartments operate in that sweet spot between Airbnb homeshares and full-on hotels. There are, of course, plenty of rivals doing a similar thing, but this funding round will enable Sonder to expand its business and give it a competitive edge. … [Read more…]

How Connected Employees Can Enhance Customer Experiences in Real Time

Skift Take: Digitizing, streamlining, and simplifying how employees communicate and collaborate is essential to truly empowering firstline workers to deliver results. Providing them with the right tools is key. — Read the Complete Story On Skift

Booking Holdings Delays Charging Hotels Resort Fee Commissions in Major Reversal

In this Aug. 3, 2015, file photo, a man rides his bike past the MGM Grand hotel and casino in Las Vegas. Booking Holdings is delaying implementation of a new policy to charge commissions on resort fees. John Locher / Associated Press Skift Take: Booking Holdings faced opposition from hotels over its new resort-fee commission … [Read more…]

Expedia to Connect Travelers With Hotels When Their Flights Are Delayed

Expedia Group senior vice president, product and technology Arthur Chapin (left) was interviewed by Skift Airline Weekly Editor Madhu Unnikrishnan at Skift Tech Forum June 27, 2019 in San Francisco. Skift Skift Take: Expedia wants help put customers in touch with hotels to sort out travel complications. That seems like it would be a complicated … [Read more…]

Anthony Bourdain’s favorite hotels

If there’s one thing to learn from Anthony Bourdain’s hit CNN travel docuseries, Parts Unknown, it’s that good travel experiences should be anything but cookie-cutter. He taught us to seek out hand-crafted meals and throw any notion of a comfort zone to wind, showed us and that there are few occasions not improved by a … [Read more…]

Expedia Faces Stiff Headwinds in Rebranded Short-Term Rental Business

Expedia Group’s short-term rental business struggled in the first quarter of 2019. Olivia Carville / Bloomberg Skift Take: When Expedia announced the acquisition of HomeAway in 2015, then-CFO Mark Okerstrom called it “a huge opportunity on a go-forward basis.” Today, it still is, but now-CEO Okerstrom said the short-term rental business must strive to gain … [Read more…]

New Research: The Evolution of Online Hotel Distribution in Europe

Skift Take: A new whitepaper examining distribution trends in Europe’s online hotel sector suggests that flexibility is a critical success factor for the region’s hospitality operators. Hotel executives must constantly review and optimize their channel mix if they hope to succeed and thrive in this highly competitive environment. — Read the Complete Story On Skift