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March 25, 2017

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Skift’s Weekly Review Newsletter is a collection of our coverage from the previous week that we deliver to your inbox every Saturday. With the Review, you’ll better understand the bigger issues surrounding the breaking news in the global travel industry, and be better prepared for the week ahead. Click here to subscribe!


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Join the Leaders Defining the Future of Travel

Join the Leaders Defining the Future of Travel

We are in the homestretch until our inaugural Skift Forum Europe and we couldn't be more excited about the lineup of speakers we've arranged. Don't miss your chance to hear from Clare Gilmartin, CEO of Trainline, as she discusses the travel tech disruption opportunity in Europe. Less than 10 days left to register!

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We began the week with our monumental oral history of boutique hotels and now five days later we're still going back to read and share our favorite parts. We hope you are too.

If that's not enough to keep you busy this weekend you can listen to our podcast devoted to the cheap flights everyone loves to book (and hate), read about the latest poorly executed ban to hit the travel industry, or catch up on any of more than two dozen original stories this week. — Jason Clampet, Editor-in-Chief

Complete Oral History of Boutique Hotels

Complete Oral History of Boutique Hotels

Nearly 40 years after the birth of the boutique hotels movement in the U.S., more than two dozen founders and key players exclusively tell Skift how it all happened in this 60,000 word deep dive into how it transformed the way we travel.

Airbnb Rebrands in China to Better Compete With Local Rivals

Airbnb Rebrands in China to Better Compete With Local Rivals

But the bigger question remains: Can it successfully compete with the reigning "Airbnb of China," Tujia?

Skift’s Most Interesting Corporate Travel Startups 2017

Skift’s Most Interesting Corporate Travel Startups 2017

Innovation used to be hard to come by in corporate travel. Today, these startups are doing the hard work of moving the industry forward -- and major players are paying attention.

Skift Podcast: Why Flights Are So Cheap (And You Might Hate Yours)

Skift Podcast: Why Flights Are So Cheap (And You Might Hate Yours)

Our experts weigh in on why you should think twice before booking the very cheapest airfare these days.

Travel Industry Reacts With Caution and Frustration to New Airline Electronics Ban

Travel Industry Reacts With Caution and Frustration to New Airline Electronics Ban

A ban on large electronic devices may be necessary to keep travelers safe, but many in the travel community are not happy with how U.S. and UK authorities announced the new policy. Could we see some tweaks to the rules in the near future?

Skift Forum Europe

Join 200+ Companies Coming to Skift Forum Europe

Join 200+ Companies Coming to Skift Forum Europe

Is your company missing from this list? Less than 2 weeks left to register for the hottest conference in travel.

Skift Forum Europe: Google Travel Exec Details Changing Consumer Behavior

Skift Forum Europe: Google Travel Exec Details Changing Consumer Behavior

Companies often chase and vie to sign on influencers for marketing purposes, but all can agree that Google is one of the most powerful forces in travel. Despite Facebook's inroads, Google travel products are ascending and Heckmann will shed light on their trajectory.

Skift Forum Europe: Kayak CEO on Rivals, Leadership and Strategy

Skift Forum Europe: Kayak CEO on Rivals, Leadership and Strategy

Hafner once called metasearch a lousy business with slim margins. What's clear is some of the same dynamics making life difficult for TripAdvisor, including Google Hotel Ads and Trivago's substantial marketing spend, are also proving challenging for Kayak.

Skift Forum Europe: TUI Group’s CMO on Benefits of a Single-Brand Strategy

Skift Forum Europe: TUI Group’s CMO on Benefits of a Single-Brand Strategy

TUI's move to do away with national brands and operate under one name has drawn some criticism. The decision to axe the likes of Arke and Thomson was a big one, but it will have paid off if the company can continue to grow in established markets like The Netherlands and UK as well as in new destinations.

Airlines

Alaska Airlines To Drop Virgin America Brand by 2019

Alaska Airlines To Drop Virgin America Brand by 2019

The big surprise would have been if Alaska Airlines kept the Virgin America brand. This isn't a big deal, and it's nice that Alaska will be upgrading many of its products in the next three years. New Wi-Fi can't come soon enough.

UK Transport Secretary Reveals Little About Reasoning Behind Electronics Ban

UK Transport Secretary Reveals Little About Reasoning Behind Electronics Ban

The fact that Grayling’s comments came on the same day as a terrorist attack on London underlines the threat posed. Nevertheless, so many questions remain unanswered: why are the destinations covered different to the U.S.? What about those traveling with hand luggage only? What about insurance? For the moment, there is plenty of confusion.

U.S. Airlines Push Back Against Proposed TSA Fee Hike

U.S. Airlines Push Back Against Proposed TSA Fee Hike

Airlines for America makes a good point. Before Congress raises the security fee on airline tickets, shouldn't it let TSA use all of the money airlines collect from the fee?

Hospitality

Marriott Expands Reach Into Tours and Activities With Its Latest Investment

Marriott Expands Reach Into Tours and Activities With Its Latest Investment

It seems like everyone in hospitality (and travel in general) is looking at the tours and activities space these days.

Accor and Banyan Tree Hotel Partnership Could Be a Very Tricky Maneuver

Accor and Banyan Tree Hotel Partnership Could Be a Very Tricky Maneuver

Will Accor-Banyan Tree be the model for Asian hotel groups to grow globally without losing their independence and brand value? The devil may be in the execution. Hoteliers are watching how this works out and many believe it could be tough-going.

6 Takeaways From Marriott Investor Day

6 Takeaways From Marriott Investor Day

It will be interesting to see if Marriott can really turn around Sheraton as it has before with other brands. We'll wait, and see what develops.

Digital

Expedia Has a New Tool to Help Hoteliers Use Reviews to Improve Service

Expedia Has a New Tool to Help Hoteliers Use Reviews to Improve Service

Today Expedia's computers are analyzing guest reviews. We predict that someday its computers will use the reviews to create software-generated, Zagat-style hotel summaries, for its search results.

Google Flights Gains Popularity Among Millennials as It Adds Booking Sites

Google Flights Gains Popularity Among Millennials as It Adds Booking Sites

Despite recent gains, Google Flights is still the price-comparison tool of tomorrow, and not today -- unless its scale makes the instant booking of flights a standard way of doing things.

Lastminute.com Looks To U.S. For Metasearch Growth

Lastminute.com Looks To U.S. For Metasearch Growth

It seems odd and a stretch that such a European-focused brand would be gaining traction in the U.S. Will Lastminute.com now be able to scale its business and compete with the sector’s heavy hitters?

Boom Tech Raises $33 Million for Supersonic Jet: Travel Startup Funding This Week

Boom Tech Raises $33 Million for Supersonic Jet: Travel Startup Funding This Week

Boom will get a supersonic jet to test, Ixigo will get help with its Indian expansion, and Eventerprise will expand beyond South Africa — all thanks to fresh rounds of funding.

5 Travel Startups Popularizing Installment Payments for Vacations

5 Travel Startups Popularizing Installment Payments for Vacations

In the past nine months, a group of relatively low-profile startups began signing up brands like Expedia and United Vacations to the concept of layaway plans for buying travel.

Tourism

6 Charts on How Bruges Residents Grudgingly See Overtourism’s Value

6 Charts on How Bruges Residents Grudgingly See Overtourism’s Value

Residents of Bruges support tourism and feel that it's economically necessary but they also feel that it negatively impacts their quality of life.

UNWTO Has 7 Candidates Who Want to Be the Next Leader of Global Tourism

UNWTO Has 7 Candidates Who Want to Be the Next Leader of Global Tourism

There are some well-qualified insiders and total outsiders with little experience in tourism among the candidates for the new UNWTO Secretary-General. Whoever is nominated and elected later this year will need to work more closely with governments at the national and local level to show them why tourism matters.

U.S. Tourists Headed Abroad Are a Bright Spot for International Travel

U.S. Tourists Headed Abroad Are a Bright Spot for International Travel

Many U.S. destinations will have a harder time this year convincing international travelers that they're affordable and welcoming. But for U.S. travelers, much of the world is their oyster thanks to a continued strong dollar.

Cruise Lines See a Tourism Advantage in Cuba and Hope Trump Doesn’t Ruin It

Cruise Lines See a Tourism Advantage in Cuba and Hope Trump Doesn’t Ruin It

Cruise lines have had plans for Cuba for years, and they're finally getting to try those out. There are two big unknowns now: Will cruise passengers be interested in the island for the long term, and will the powers in Washington make it easier or more difficult to visit?

Trump’s Proposed Budget Would Cut TSA, Amtrak and Airline Services

Trump’s Proposed Budget Would Cut TSA, Amtrak and Airline Services

President Trump's budget outline shows that his focus on national defense may come at the expense of aviation security and infrastructure improvement. Fortunately, Congress will likely push back against some of these cuts.

Washington, D.C. Is Trying to Sell Meeting Planners on Inclusiveness

Washington, D.C. Is Trying to Sell Meeting Planners on Inclusiveness

Washington, D.C. is promoting its high degree of inclusivity and diversity in the region's tech sector, compared to the national average, as a competitive advantage to attract more technology conventions and drive long-term economic growth for a broader cross-section of local communities.

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