November 18, 2017 View in browser

Note From the Editor

If you are building your company to withstand the tumultuous changes ahead, it would be an intelligent move to stock up on technologists and design-centric employees because these two factors are driving the future. Marriott and Hilton are on board as they race to be the first — and best — at bringing the smart home into the guest room. Hospitality Editor Deanna Ting got a sneak peek at Marriott's effort in its Innovation Lab. Perhaps there is hope that adjusting a guest room thermostat will no longer be rocket science.

Meanwhile, Google Flights shed its utilitarian look for a user-friendly design in a beta revamp of its interface, as Travel Tech Editor Sean O'Neill reports. Did Google Flights have designs on the look and feel of Kayak? You be the judge.
Video: Tucson's Sublime Desert Vibe Helps Meeting Planners Focus on the Big Picture [SPONSORED]
Sponsored by Visit Tucson
In today's era of constant change, a lot of business travelers and conference delegates are overwhelmed with content and disruption, at home and on the road. After only a few hours in Tucson, you start to focus more clearly on things amid the Sonoran's subtle energy.
Watch Video
Top Stories
Hilton and Marriott Turn to the Internet of Things to Transform the Hotel Room Experience
It was only a matter of time before the big brands started rolling this smart-room technology. But what will be even more interesting is seeing which brand's approach works better in a hospitality setting, and is more appealing not only to guests but to hotel owners, too.

Airbnb Growth Story Has a Plot Twist — A Saturation Point
As Airbnb tries to become the only brand in travel that you'll ever need, it's not just the hotel industry that the company has to contend with, but online travel agencies, too. We can just imagine the hotels telling Airbnb, "Welcome to the club."

Google Earbuds With Real-Time Translation Aren’t Much More Than a Gimmick
The future you're promised is never the future you get. Google is touting artificial intelligence-powered translation capability as a transformative feature for its users, but it's really just an impractical repackaging of existing technology.
Sojern Buys Ad-Tech Firm Adphorus to Better Compete on Facebook
Advertising on Facebook is an expanding strategic opportunity for travel brands. That's why travel marketing-tech startup Sojern is nabbing Adphorus, a travel specialist ad tech company in Turkey, as a bridgehead for growth.

Interview: Why In-Flight Entertainment Screens May Persist on Long-Haul Routes
Airline in-flight entertainment systems never age well. They're expensive, and they're often heavy, so airlines burn more fuel having them on board. Why do they persist? Passengers — even those who bring their own devices — tend to like them. But can airlines keep installing these systems forever?
Google Flights’ New Look Moves Away From Travel Inspiration
Google made its claim to fame partly on the simplicity of its user interface. Its new interface for flights search is a return to its elegant design roots.

Royal Caribbean Is Rolling Out New Tech to Make Cruising Easier
The cruise line tech race is heating up, and that means travelers should prepare for some changes. While ideas such as virtual reality dining are fun, more fundamental innovations including facial recognition, easier activity reservations, and drink delivery should have a greater impact on the cruise experience.

Travel Companies Start Lending Consumers Money to Book Trips
Companies ought to carry out adequate checks on the ability of borrowers to repay travel loans on time. Otherwise, a surprise disruption such as an Icelandic volcano or an economic downturn could prompt defaults.
Q3 Update: Global Hotel Chains Stay The Course With Asset-Light Strategy
Hotel companies are keeping themselves occupied by moving more "asset-light," while everyone waits for potential tax reform to spark more demand for business travel.

Airbnb Buys Accessible Travel Business Accomable in Its Latest Acquihire
We hope this acquisition results in real changes to the Airbnb platform to not only reduce discrimination against travelers with disabilities, but also to verify details about accessible listings and make them much clearer.

IHG Pairs Up with OpenTable and Grubhub to Reward Loyalty Members When They Eat Out — or In
Expect more travel brands to extend their reach into the dining experience going forward, especially since consumers have to eat every day and may only travel on occasion. And after all, the way to anyone's heart is through their stomachs, right?
United Is Making Tech Changes to Boost Wi-Fi Speeds on Many Planes
Road warriors have long suspected a systematic Wi-Fi problem on many United planes, but the airline has said little about it. Now, we know more about this issue. The good news? It will be fixed soon, according to United.

Interview: Why In-Flight Entertainment Screens May Persist on Long-Haul Routes
Airline in-flight entertainment systems never age well. They're expensive, and they're often heavy, so airlines burn more fuel having them on board. Why do they persist? Passengers — even those who bring their own devices — tend to like them. But can airlines keep installing these systems forever?

J.D. Power Finds U.S. Frequent Flyers Prefer JetBlue’s Loyalty Program
JetBlue has one of the least generous frequent flyer programs in the United States. But it's easy to understand, and travelers seem to appreciate that. Many just prefer belonging to a program that makes it simple to redeem for free tickets.
Travel Warnings Create Global Worry Map For Anxious Tourists
Travel warnings and alerts are important to many travelers, and any country that cares about tourism tries to avoid getting on such a list. But the U.S. State Department's list is often selective and political, and isn't an exhaustive list of places where travelers could face danger.

Celebrity Cruises Is Building a Lux New Ship to Sail the Galapagos
People already pay a pretty penny to sail the Galapagos Islands. Will they spend more to do it on a new, high-end ship? Celebrity Cruises is banking on it.

Visit Scotland’s New Meetings Campaign Promotes Silicon Over Salmon
Scotland's government and convention bureau want meeting planners, especially those in the U.S., to grasp that there's cutting-edge innovation in advanced industries taking place in the UK outside London.
Business Travel
Rental Car Companies Have Inched Their Way Back From the Brink
Now that the car rental giants have sold off their extra cars, they can focus on continuing to grow revenue. But is there really a long-term future for rental cars in a world that has embraced ridesharing?

Cathay Pacific Bucks the Trend in Rewards Boost — Business of Loyalty
Updates to Cathay Pacific's Marco Polo loyalty program may be a thinly veiled effort to bring business back to the company. Either way, frequent flyers on the airline are in for a loyalty bonus soon.

Lyft Will Enter Canada as Its First Foreign Market
In Formula One, a racecar will go where the driver's eyes go. In capitalism, a startup will go where its investors see the most potential for market share gain. In the race between Lyft and Uber in Canada, the real winner now is the consumer, thanks to discounting.
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Linked In Send via Email

For Gmail users: If you are using the tabbed inbox, Skift emails may be pushed to the 'Promotions' tab. To get updates from Skift direct to your primary inbox, drag and drop this email to that tab.

You received this email because you are subscribed to Skift Weekly Review Newsletter from Skift.

If you'd like to unsubscribe from this email, click here

If you'd like to receive fewer emails, click here

If someone shared this email with you and you would like to subscribe, visit our newsletters page on Skift