December 7, 2017 View in browser

Note From the Editor

The travel industry never ceases to amaze. A few weeks ago, the Priceline Group, which grew to its current size based on running ads on Google, revealed it is rethinking the balance between digital marketing and its TV campaigns. And now, Expedia, which has spent the past two decades adding countries to its global footprint, proclaimed it is nearly done tacking on new countries to its operations, but will instead focus on digging in deeper in geographies where it already has feet on the ground. Go figure.

Another thing to try to figure out is what Rosewood Hotel Group aims to accomplish by becoming the latest chain to add a lifestyle brand to its portfolio. This trend is permeating hospitality. At least Priceline and Expedia are setting their companies on distinct paths.
Five Challenges Keeping Travel Startup Leaders Up At Night [SPONSORED]
Sponsored by Amadeus
What keeps travel startup founders up at night? According to the results of our new travel startup survey, fledgling travel businesses face a variety of obstacles, including finding the right people, misunderstanding market dynamics, weak business models and challenges with data complexity.
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Top Stories
Expedia CEO Declares Company’s Global Land Grab Is Nearly Over
Expedia isn't done trying to grow; that would be suicide for any public company. Instead, Expedia argues it can best spur growth by digging in deeper in countries where it already operates rather than expanding its map. The new strategy boils down to a question of priorities, and could change again in coming years.

Hilton Unveils Plans for Its Smart Hotel Room Rollout in 2018
Airbnb has gained in popularity on the claim that chain hotels offer a cookie-cutter experience. Technology that enables guests to personalize the amenities in a room will help Hilton fight back. But the rollout, starting in Memphis and Dallas, will be far from overnight.

Rosewood’s Newest Brand Is Aimed at Modern Business Travelers
Again, do we really need another lifestyle brand? We'll just have to see if this new brand, Khos, makes strides in reinventing hospitality for business travelers.

Expedia Signs Loyalty Program Enrollment Deal With Motel 6 Parent
Expedia penned its second loyalty-enrollment agreement with a hotel chain, but like the previous pact with Red Lion's parent, the G6 Hospitality deal isn't any kind of game-changer for Expedia as it tries to soften the effects of the big chains' direct-booking campaigns.
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Rented’s New $125 Million Arm Aims to Give Steady Income to Vacation Home Owners
Property managers are racing to sign up new rentals, and online agencies are racing to add new inventory. A new model that promises to guarantee incomes may lure more homeowners into the pool and extend the vacation rental tech boom.

Skift Table: Uber Eats Debuts a New Look to Celebrate Its Second Anniversary
Uber Eats is two years old and growing fast with its eye on worldwide expansion. The new Uber Eats app, just released, is designed with a global audience in mind.

Electronic Requests for Proposals Have Created a Mess for Many
Hailed as a panacea to streamline the bidding process that would make venues and meeting planners more productive, electronic requests for proposals still have a long way to go.

Allegiant Air Seeks to Convert Drivers to Flyers — Airline Innovation Report
Few airlines share as much information as Allegiant Air. You don't often hear an airline executive (good-naturedly) criticize an aircraft in its fleet — even when it's warranted.

Skift Table: Chefs Look Beyond Cookware, Building Lifestyle Businesses
Chefs and the restaurants they create are firmly ensconced in pop culture — so much so that they've made the leap into fashion. We sure did pay $45 for a t-shirt from this collection.
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Facebook Wants to Get a Little More Like Google in Identifying Traveler Intent
Is it just the varied nature of the two advertising platforms, Google's versus Facebook's, that makes Google more effective at identifying traveler intent? Some would make that argument. If the travel industry hopes that Facebook will ever supplant Google as an advertising platform, then buckle up for an extended wait.

Video: Why CMOs Might Be the Most Influential People at Any Travel Brand
Financial analysts and other travel industry watchers often listen to the words of CEOs to hear what direction they're taking their companies. But, increasingly, CMOs at many major travel brands are dealing with ground-level, consumer-facing marketing and strategy that impact the company and customers on a daily basis.

The Top Traits of Luxury Hospitality Employees
Everyone agrees that service is key to the luxury experience. That means there's a great deal of pressure on hiring managers to find the right talent. They should be looking for certain key psychographic factors that have consistently proven to be strong indicators of employee success.
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