March 12, 2018 View in browser

Editor's Note

Game on. Booking Holdings, the former Priceline Group, that is, has held back until recently in on-boarding apartment rentals, although it has had a healthy stock of vacation rentals, apartment hotels and hostels for some time. It now wants to go head-to-head with Airbnb, and Travel Tech Editor Sean O'Neill has the story about Booking's strategy. You can learn more about it in our Skift Call tomorrow (see below) on The Airbnb Threat.

Airline insiders might be familiar with how credit card calculations fit into route strategies, but Airline Business Editor Brian Sumers deftly elucidates the whole thing in detailing Southwest's strategy in Hawaii. It's a really good read.
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Topics for Skift Tech Forum Revealed
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Booking Targets Urban Apartments in Vacation Rental Land Grab now wants to sign up all types of alternative accommodations, even short-term rental apartments that face increased regulation in many cities. CEO Glenn Fogel seems to think that the ultimate winner of the online travel game will be whoever has the most beds in the end.

Skift Call March 13: The Airbnb Threat
When we asked then-Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in 2016 whether Airbnb was going to eat his lunch, he responded that he was very well-nourished. But it now appears as though Airbnb has an insatiable appetite. Join us on a Skift Call March 13 to assess the Airbnb threat to hotels and online travel agencies.

Southwest Airlines Expects New Hawaii Routes Will ‘Ignite’ Credit Card Sign-Ups
If you have an airline-branded credit card, you may think you're getting a free ticket. It is free — for you. But often someone is paying for it.

TurnKey Raises $31 Million as Vacation Home Rental Management Stays Hot
Does yet another big funding round signal that the vacation rental property market is over-heated? Nah. It's reasonable given the huge size of the opportunity and how much investment will be needed to digitize and automate the sector.

The Cuba You Read About in Guidebooks Often Clashes With Reality
Cuba guidebooks do a decent job at giving travelers a view of what visiting and living in the country is like and remain important information gatekeepers. But while many address the political climate and economic hardship, they haven't been effective at telling tourists how to ensure their visits don't make things worse.

Barcelo Will Insist on Doing Other Deals After NH Hotels Rejection
Medium-sized hotel companies know they need scale to compete. With NH Hotels open to consolidation and Barcelo still keen on doing deals, it doesn't look like we've heard the end of this story.

Events Need to Figure Out a Strategy for Evaluating Marketing Tools
With event technology exploding in scope and complexity in recent years, it's no wonder that organizations aren't sure which sales and marketing tools have the most positive impact. It's the right time to start figuring it out, though.

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Has Google Made the Lowest Hotel Rates Harder to Find?
It has become harder to find the online travel agencies with the lowest prices in Google's metasearch. The apparent change this week implicitly favors travel giants, which can afford to dominate ad auctions for online search.

InterContinental Hotels Is Closing In on a Luxury Acquisition
Asset light, something with history and heritage, fewer than 200 hotels ... IHG CEO Keith Barr has quite a specific wish list. It doesn't sound like we'll have to wait too long until we find out the identity of the luxury hotel brand in question.

American Airlines Knows if You’ve Been Cheating on It With a Competitor
If you're a high-value American Airlines customer, the carrier knows a lot about you. Now it wants to leverage that data in a more sophisticated way.
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