Skift’s Top Travel Startups to Watch and 11 Other Digital Trends This Week


Skift Take: These are the digital trends we were talking about this week.

— Sarah Enelow

Throughout the week we post dozens of original stories, connecting the dots across the travel industry, and every weekend we sum it all up. This weekend roundup examines digital trends.

For all of our weekend roundups, go here.

>>Venture capital firms are turbo-charging the European expansion of the Dutch group Otravo and the French startup MisterFly: Four Small Online Travel Companies That Are Going International

>>To a great extent, Ctrip is going to be preoccupied for years chasing Chinese travelers and servicing their every travel need, around the globe. Barring further consolidation, Ctrip isn’t much of a threat to its partner, the Priceline Group, which is years ahead in its own hotel business and is executing superbly: CEO Interview: Ctrip’s Strategic Threat to Expedia, Priceline and Everyone Else

>>If content marketing is all about storytelling, then “travel” should be about the easiest vertical to storytell around. That is, unless, you have every other destination, hotel, and airline tell the same story: New Skift Research Report: The State of Content Marketing in Travel 2017

>>Corporate-booking technology vendors Serko and Concur plan to add natural language bots to their tools. Other players are likely to follow: Artificial Intelligence Is Coming to Corporate Booking Tools

>>Here are innovative young travel companies, from Medellín to Beijing, that are poised to achieve escape velocity: Skift’s Top Travel Startups to Watch in 2017

>>Facebook would certainly love nothing more than for hotels to use its platforms exclusively for their mobile needs. But what Christine Warner has to share about how hotels should be thinking about mobile, and social media platforms, is advice any hotel can use: Interview: Facebook’s Head of Travel on Hotels Going Mobile

>>Priceline Group executives say their relationships with the major hotel chains are good and the impact of their direct-booking campaigns isn’t acute. Then why is Jeffery Boyd, the Group’s executive chairman, talking about taking remedial actions? Priceline’s Boyd Says Company Has the ‘Muscle’ to Offer Private Rates Like Hotels Do

>>If your company doesn’t have an artificial intelligence-fueled chatbot, the odds are you will one day: TripAdvisor Debuts Facebook Messenger Chatbot for User-Generated Recommendations

>>Sadly these types of attacks are becoming more common. We’ll have to wait and see whether the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office takes any action over the breach: UK Travel Association ABTA Targeted in Cyber Attack

>>It’s been a big week for small players, as investors placed bets on startups in tours and activities, ground transportation, Brazilian flight booking, and digital marketing: Tour Booking Platform Rezdy Raises $1.8 Million: Travel Startup Funding This Week

>>If TripAdvisor’s hotel-booking drive doesn’t work out in the face of intense competition, tours and activities won’t be bungee-jumping to the rescue: TripAdvisor CFO Sees ‘Hotel-Like’ Commissions in a $1 Billion Tours and Activities Business

>>Travel brands need to check that their digital effort is in sync with their offline service: Merging Travel’s Tech and Offline Experiences — Digital Marketing News This Week

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