December 16, 2017 View in browser

Note From the Editor

The best news stories take you on behind-the-scenes tours into a business or sector, and such is the case with Airline Business Reporter Brian Sumers' look at the interior dynamics and business model of the modern airport lounge. With business travelers helping themselves to an array of new high-end credit cards guaranteeing lounge access, the business of lounges is a subject that may prove more popular than Japanese noodles, sushi, and Wi-Fi at your favorite airport club.

Investors have taken a club to online travel agency stocks in recent weeks, but Expedia Inc. CEO Mark Okerstrom argued that rock-solid trends, and his company's full-service strategy, will win the day. Now, he and his peers just need to get past any short-term complications.
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Top Stories
The Airport Lounge Business — An Insider’s View of How It All Works
Airport lounges are rarely luxurious, but people love them. Perhaps they crave access to an "exclusive" airport club. So look for more to open soon at U.S. airports. As we learn in this interview, operating a lounge can be a profitable business.

Expedia CEO: Math and Strategy Are ‘In Our Favor’
Expedia's HomeAway unit isn't as profitable as the parent company initially envisioned, and rained on Trivago's parade. Still, Expedia itself — and financial analysts — are optimistic about Expedia's long-term prospects. Regardless of the promise, these are very challenging days in online travel.

Pilot Shortage Issue Splits European Airline Execs
Are there enough airline pilots to go around? There's no agreement on whether there's a crisis, but some airlines are at a greater disadvantage than others.

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.

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.
Airbnb’s Bed-and-Breakfast Deal Highlights Its Bigger Ambitions in Accommodations
Expedia and Priceline, watch out. Airbnb is very obviously coming for you. Today, it's bed-and-breakfasts. Tomorrow, it'll be more boutique and independent hotels.

Video: Why Being Uncool Works for Wyndham
Wyndham Hotel Group wants to revamp its brand design and experience as it gears up to go public. A good brand is a terrible thing to waste.

Hilton’s New CMO Inherits a Strong Legacy and Big Challenges in Hospitality Marketing
Kenny replaces long-time Hilton executive Geraldine Calpin. The new CMO will have to enhance Hilton's direct-booking marketing efforts. And with artificial intelligence and other disruptive technologies influencing every CMO's agenda, there is also an opportunity for Kenny to leverage them to really personalize the guest experience.
New Luxury
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.

When Travelers Are Willing to Pay for Silence — New Luxury
The new luxury is very different from the old luxury. Travelers want a more authentic experience, and increasingly that is taking them back to nature.
Google Trips Takes a Baby Step Into Tours, Activities and Car Rental Offers
Tours-and-activities startups will be eager to see if in-destination apps from giants such as Google, Airbnb, and TripAdvisor will succeed in providing cost-effective customer leads.

Video: Royal Caribbean CEO on Building Smarter Ships
As cruise ships grow in size, the need for innovation in onboard activities and experiences has grown in tandem. Companies like Royal Caribbean Cruises have led the way, but there is still a long way to go until megaship cruises shed their image as a low-brow vacation.

Apple Maps Adds Airport Terminal Guide for Travelers
Built-in maps of airport terminals are certainly useful for iPhone users. But this new feature has a long way to go in terms of airports included and the granularity of information available, before it becomes a mainstay for frequent travelers.
Delta Air Lines Is Going After Future Business Travelers — While Still in College
Other airlines say they're adapting to what younger travelers want. But not all of them actually do it. Delta seems to be ahead of many of its competitors. And that's a good thing.

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.

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.
Business Travel
Egencia Could Be a Buyer in 2018 — Corporate Travel Innovation Report
Egencia already has a strong offering in corporate travel technology, so acquisitions to improve its scale are likely in the coming years.

Airport Retailer Hudson Group Is Seeking an IPO in 2018
At least somebody benefits from flight delays. While many retailers struggle in the Amazon era, Hudson Booksellers is seeing sales growth thanks to more passengers crowding airports.

Luggage Fees Go Transatlantic — Business of Loyalty
SkyTeam airlines just announced a series of new baggage fees for transatlantic basic economy routes. But is it competition or gouging?
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.

TUI Group’s Switch From Tour Operator to Hotel and Cruise Line Is Paying Off
TUI Group has used proceeds from sales to invest in hotels and cruise ships. This asset-heavy approach has its risks, but it does give the company more control.
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