December 14, 2017 View in browser

Note From the Editor

Anything can happen in the jagged times we live in. But Skift Research analyzed the fundamental economic indicators and trends, and found that 2018 may turn out to be a very favorable year for the travel business despite policy uncertainties of various kinds looming as negative factors.

On another front, namely search engine marketing, perhaps it takes an outsider to weigh in with a contrarian perspective. A new investigative report from a Washington publication looked at the way major hotel chains and big online travel agencies contract with one another not to step on each other's keyword terms when bidding on Google, and labeled it "collusion." However, we aren't expecting a special prosecutor to probe the matter Robert Mueller-like anytime soon.
The Tech Innovations Most Anticipated By Travel Startups
Sponsored by Amadeus
Tech innovations like blockchain, AI and machine learning have the potential to change the way travel companies do business. Some already demonstrate significant promise in the effect they'll likely have on the space, while others are still mostly hype. A new survey by Amadeus and Skift looked at how individuals in the travel startup sector actually feel about the utilities of these emerging tech tools.
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Top Stories
Skift Analyst Session Finds Little Cause for Gloom in Global Travel Outlook
We think 2018 is setting up to be a solid year for growth in travel, despite lingering uncertainty over the direction of economic, foreign, and political policies around the world. Subscribe to Skift Research to learn more.

Are Hotels and Online Travel Agencies Colluding on Keyword Bidding?
The largest hotel chains and online travel agencies have deals on paid search marketing practices that effectively trim their ad spend on Google. But smaller players remain unprotected from tough marketing tactics.

Nordic Choice Hotels Tests Blockchain Distribution for Stockholm Property
Slowly but surely the travel industry is adopting blockchain. At this stage, we're not sure what it will do to the landscape, but smart companies would do well to pay close attention.

Spirit Airlines Names Next CEO as It Tries to Fix Old Problems
The last time Spirit Airlines replaced its CEO, it bungled the public messaging. It's not letting that happen this time. Investors are getting more than one year of advance warning.

New Skift Research Survey Results: Travel Habits of the Travel Industry
We know travel industry professionals are passionate about their travel habits. That's why we surveyed 1,905 professionals across the globe to compile these comprehensive insights on how the travel industry travels.
Learn More

Domestic Tourists Often Underestimated in Overtourism Equation
You can't really blame people who live in and around a popular city for wanting to enjoy the attractions that make it special. Their taxes give them that right, after all. It needs to be factored into overtourism calculations that locals sometimes outnumber other visitors at tourism attractions.

Star Restaurateur's Takedown Highlights Key Problems Facing the Hospitality Industry
Ken Friedman is the latest industry boldface name to face accusations of inappropriate and abusive behavior, and has stepped away from his job as a result. As these stories continue to come to light, we must work to identify the underlying problems to repair the damage and move forward.

American Still Uses Paper Vouchers for Free Flights — Airline Innovation Report
American Airlines wants to be known as a customer-friendly company. But the airline still doesn't make it easy for customers to redeem vouchers for flights. That needs to change soon.

Brexit Hasn’t Slowed UK Convention Business — Meetings Innovation Report
The UK has weathered the storm since Brexit, becoming a more attractive place to hold meetings and events. Affordable prices, along with growing high-tech and creative industries, are driving the destination into the future.
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The Future of Luxury for Overstimulated Millennials Looks Serene
Circadian mood lighting might cut it on a business trip, but the future of luxury leisure will be based in actual nature.

Hotels Use Technology and Design to Evolve the Healthy Room
Wouldn't it be nice if a hotel room could enhance your sleep, whip you into shape or make you relax? Four Seasons, MGM and Swissôtel are among the brands experimenting with accommodations designed to make guests feel healthier.

Mafengwo Raises $133 Million as a Booking App for Chinese Millennials
Mafengwo gained traction among millennials partly due to China having banned Facebook and Instagram. A lack of competition gave the company room to be a place where young Chinese can share travel photos, and that attracted new customers to look at the company's bookable travel offerings.
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