11 Stories to Start Your Wednesday
It's a full day's worth of news here. We've launched our Travel Megatrends landing page so you can get all your insight for the coming year in one handy place. We also have a first look at TripAdvisor's new subscription service for restaurants, as well as Marriott's latest content marketing push (hint: in involves bellmen), and William Shatner selling Montreal in your Facebook feed.
And we have more good news: Airline reliability is up. Really. — Jason Clampet, Editor-in-Chief
Skift Take: Last week we released our Travel Megatrends 2017 before a packed crowd in New York City. Since then we've been rolling them out one at a time on Skift.com, as well as making them all available instantly by download. You can read them all here, as well as watch and listen to bonus material including video and audio over the next few weeks.
Skift Take: While investors and observers are rightfully focused on how TripAdvisor's transition to a hotel booking site will work out, the company has some meaningful hedges in the form of vacation rentals, tours and activities, and restaurants. Collecting monthly and annual fees is a very material part of the overall business and will likely become even more so.
Skift Take: Judging by Sorenson's open letter to President-Elect Trump in November, it does seem the Marriott CEO is open to working with the new administration, but he's also very concerned about Trump's more xenophobic policies and the harm they could do to the travel industry overall.
Skift Take: People love to hate airlines. But U.S. carriers have gotten a lot more reliable in the past two years, and that's definitely good for passengers.
Skift Take: Montreal's use of targeted advertising on Facebook, however, and the use of William Shatner is a smart example of how to go after key markets.
Skift Take: Disney's global expansion is fueled by an overall positive performance in global theme parks. Time will tell what impact Shanghai's park will have on the Hong Kong park, as it relies heavily on Chinese travelers.
Skift Take: In the previous Jeff Smisek reign, United fell far behind some of its competitors in profitability. But that's beginning to change — slowly.
Skift Take: For the "Two Bellmen Three" film set in Seoul, Marriott's Content Studio developed a storyline around a young Korean wedding couple, no-nonsense parents, parkour, and K-pop to engage the Asian romance travel market.
Skift Take: Sitting out the race to figure out Snapchat marketing or develop robust partnerships with trusted content providers is a losing proposition for travel companies, regardless of their position in the industry.
Skift Take: Fly-Fi is now free across the entirety of JetBlue's fleet, which should make any Wi-Fi-dependent traveler happy.
Skift Take: These operational guarantee programs are not as generous as airlines would like people to believe, but they're better than nothing. It's a good thing United and Delta are focusing on on-time arrivals and mishandled baggage rates.