December 9, 2017

Note From the Editor

This week's top stories show how airlines and hotels, in particular, are taking care of business — as they should. Allegiant Air often agonizes for years, crunching every piece of data that it can, when pondering new routes. And it is rocket science because sometimes the route deliberations bear fruit, and other times they die on the vine.

Hilton, too, has put much thought into whether the Internet of Things will become the next big thing when considering the guest room of the future. Hilton has unveiled its rollout plan for its version of the connected room. As with its app-based digital key initiative, Hilton's smart room concept could take years before it gets widespread adoption.
Quantifying the Impact of Sustainability Efforts in the Hotel Industry [SPONSORED]
Sponsored by International Tourism Partnership
As the next generation wises up to the realities of climate change, sustainability is no longer an optional, PR-friendly communication tactic for hotel groups. It's a core pillar for future-focused hoteliers and the leaders in the space are holding themselves accountable.   
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Top Stories
Allegiant Air Agonizes Over New Routes for Months or Even Years
Allegiant can't fly its MD80s from some cities at certain times of the year. It sometimes cancels routes before they launch. And it's not interested in coast-to-coast routes. Learn why in this discussion with the airline's director of planning.

Launching Skift Take Studio Series 2017
Discover what travel's top innovators have to say about the industry in short, exclusive interviews from this year's Skift Global Forum.

Hilton Unveils Plans for Its Smart Hotel Room Rollout in 2018
Airbnb has gained in popularity on the claim that chain hotels offer a cookie-cutter experience. Hilton can fight back with technology that enables guests to personalize their experience.

Expedia CEO Declares Company’s Global Land Grab Is Nearly Over
Expedia isn't done trying to grow; that would be suicide for any public company. Instead, Expedia argues it can best spur growth by digging in deeper in countries where it already operates rather than expanding its map. The new strategy boils down to a question of priorities, and could change again in coming years.
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Next Tuesday at 1pm EST, Skift's Branded Content Studio along with our partners at Edelman are hosting a webinar about the rapidly-changing landscape of today's B2B content marketing. Reserve your spot now and gain tips on how your brand can adapt.
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Ian Schrager Calls Out Hotel Industry’s Airbnb Strategy as Misguided
If hotels could out-innovate Airbnb, then Schrager is right that would certainly be part of the answer to the threat posed by the homesharing company. However, Airbnb is more nimble than many big chains. And they are unlikely to give up their legislative efforts anytime soon.

Bidding Platform Koddi Buys a Hotel Ad Tech Division From Criteo
This relatively small deal tells a larger story about the structural reasons why hotels have been behind the curve in digital marketing relative to retail and other sectors.
Facebook Wants to Get a Little More Like Google in Identifying Traveler Intent
Is it just the varied nature of the two advertising platforms, Google's versus Facebook's, that makes Google more effective at identifying traveler intent? Some would make that argument. If the travel industry hopes that Facebook will ever supplant Google as an advertising platform, then buckle up for an extended wait.

Rented’s New $125 Million Arm Aims to Give Steady Income to Vacation Home Owners
Property managers are racing to sign up new rentals, and online agencies are racing to add new inventory. A new model that promises to guarantee incomes may lure more homeowners into the pool and extend the vacation rental tech boom.

Pan-African Booking Player Travelstart Buys SafariNow in Lodging Play
Regionally focused online travel success stories are as rare as rhinos in the wild these days. But this merger of two South African players may help an endangered species — independent-booking players — keep thriving in a market where so much is dominated by the global duopoly, the Priceline Group and Expedia.
Luxury Boutique Hotels Become Part of the College Experience
Luxury boutique hotels are suddenly sprouting up near the campuses of small liberal arts colleges. But most seem to be shunning franchise flags in favor of independence. We examine the reasons why.

Marriott CEO Sees the Line Between Leisure and Business Travel Blurring
Marriott recognizes that business travelers want more than just fast Wi-Fi, convenient locations, and flexible cancellation policies. CEO Arne Sorenson is right to be considering the kind of emotional experience the hotel company is delivering to road warriors.

Video: IHG CEO on Where He’ll Break New Ground
Barr is touting his experience in China and his company's long presence there as an advantage in understanding global consumer trends. But is that enough to raise the company's cool factor in western markets?
Business Travel
Should More Airlines Spin Off Their Loyalty Programs?
Joseph DeNardi, an analyst with Stifel, is passionate about his thesis — that airlines should sell their frequent flyer programs. Yes, an airline can make money doing so. But airlines that don't operate their own programs sometimes get into trouble. They have far less data about customers than their competitors. And in 2017, access to data is a big deal.

Rosewood’s Newest Brand Is Aimed at Modern Business Travelers
Again, do we really need another lifestyle brand? We'll just have to see if this new brand, Khos, makes strides in reinventing hospitality for business travelers.

Electronic Requests for Proposals Have Created a Mess for Many Events
Hailed as a panacea to streamline the bidding process that would make venues and meeting planners more productive, electronic requests for proposals still have a long way to go.
Luxury Brands Embrace Experiential Marketing to Stay Relevant
Louis XIII Cognac's most recent activation is a great example of how luxury brands are aligning with meaningful causes and influencers to appeal to luxury consumers' growing desire to feel their purchases are part of something bigger than themselves.

The Top Traits of Luxury Hospitality Employees
Everyone agrees that service is key to the luxury experience. That means there's a great deal of pressure on hiring managers to find the right talent. They should be looking for certain key psychographic factors that have consistently proven to be strong indicators of employee success.

Luxury Brands Embrace Experiential Marketing to Stay Relevant
Louis XIII Cognac's most recent activation is a great example of how luxury brands are aligning with meaningful causes and influencers to appeal to luxury consumers' growing desire to feel their purchases are part of something bigger than themselves.
Business of Dining
UberEats Celebrates Its Second Anniversary With a Rebrand
Uber Eats is two years old and growing fast with its eye on worldwide expansion. The new Uber Eats app, just released, is designed with a global audience in mind.

Chefs Look Beyond Cookware, Building Lifestyle Businesses
Chefs and the restaurants they create are firmly ensconced in pop culture — so much so that they've made the leap into fashion. We sure did pay $45 for a t-shirt from this collection.

This Year's Eater Awards Have an Activist Edge
There's a progressive theme in many of Eater's national awards this year, helping to prove that food, people, and politics are inseparable.
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