Travel Megatrends 2018: Asian Upscale Travelers Are Creating a Luxury Tipping Point

Bett Norris  / Skift

The number of Asian luxury travelers is increasing, but their needs are growing more diverse. Bett Norris / Skift

Skift Take: 2018 will see greater numbers of Asian luxury travelers, but also greater challenges to meet more complex needs. As these travelers want to play in Asia, new high-end agencies are entering, while old ones are restructuring, creating new luxury divisions, or launching new luxury brands.

— Raini Hamdi

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Ryan Wolkov

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New Tools and Platforms Are Changing Business Travel

Cvent  / Flickr

A Cvent event in Europe last year. Travel management companies are experimenting with ways to make it easier for their clients to use third-party services on their platforms. Cvent / Flickr

Skift Take: Making it easier for travelers to book how they want, and simpler for travel managers to experiment with new technology solutions, has become a focus in corporate travel.

— Andrew Sheivachman

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Vacation rental managers and homeowners join together to reach over 18 million consumers with #BookDirect education

On February 7—for the first time in the history of the vacation rental industry—property managers and homeowners came together in a grass roots effort to promote the advantages of booking vacation rentals direct. The idea for the campaign originated through a discussion between several large vacation rental management companies located across the US exploring ways […]

The post Vacation rental managers and homeowners join together to reach over 18 million consumers with #BookDirect education appeared first on VRM Intel.

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Expedia Acknowledges a New Balance of Power With Hotels in Direct Booking Challenge

Hilton

An image from Hilton’s “Stop Clicking Around” campaign. Expedia CEO Mark Okerstrom said hotels and online travel agencies have reached a new equilibrium. Hilton

Skift Take: A year from now — or perhaps sooner — we wouldn’t be at all surprised to hear Expedia executives admit that hotels’ direct-booking campaigns were having more of an adverse impact than the company initially articulated. Hotels have taken back some control from Expedia, and its shift toward independent hotels has far-reaching implications.

— Dennis Schaal

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U.S. Airlines Bumped Far Fewer Passengers After United Dragging

David Rutledge  / Flickr

Passengers wait to board flights at Denver International Airport. Airlines in the U.S. recorded the lowest number of bumped passengers last year since the government started keeping track in 1995. David Rutledge / Flickr

Skift Take: Perhaps U.S. airlines were too bump-happy before the United incident in April. Maybe it’s a good thing that they’ve reduced their involuntarily denied boarding incidents. Remember, though, that overbooking serves a purpose: Not all passengers show up for every flight, yet airlines want to fill every seat.

— Brian Sumers

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Trump Travel Ban Led to a Global Entry Program Purge

Ted Eytan  / Flickr

Protesters gather in March to oppose President Trump’s second travel ban outside the U.S. Customs and Border Protection building in Washington, D.C. Ted Eytan / Flickr

Skift Take: We reported last year that members of “Trusted Traveler” programs were losing their privileges following the travel ban, and new documents add some details. While officials say travelers who were dropped in January of last year have been reinstated, the ban’s overall impact on the programs remains unclear.

— Hannah Sampson

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South Africa Hotel Operator Plans Tapping Its Own Water Supply to Battle Drought

Bloomberg

Tsogo Sun Holdings Ltd., South Africa’s biggest hotel and casino operator, is building a desalination plant that will help supply its Cape Town hotels with their own water. The city faces an extended drought and water crisis. Bloomberg

Skift Take: Hotel guests lacking ice, saunas, and swimming pools could soon be relatively minor concerns when considering the drought in South Africa. But Tsogo Sun is smart to work ahead. Building your own desalination plant, though, isn’t free so this solution isn’t available to every hotel.

— Sarah Enelow

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Lyft Hires New Chief Operating Officer From Tesla

Bloomberg

Lyft hired Jon McNeill as chief operating officer. The ridesharing company is looking to grow beyond the U.S. in 2018. Bloomberg

Skift Take: Lyft is looking to formally launch in Canada this year, so having an experienced chief operating officer on hand is vital. It doesn’t hurt that McNeill comes from Tesla, which has pioneered various automated driving technologies.

— Andrew Sheivachman

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Profitability Is Not On the Horizon for India’s MakeMyTrip as Price Wars Take Hold

MakeMyTrip

The famous Taj Mahal is India’s signature tourist destination, although this picture was taken before scaffolding was recently put up to clean the structure this year. MakeMyTrip is India’s largest online travel company. MakeMyTrip

Skift Take: India has many homegrown online travel players, but only a couple will thrive. MakeMyTrip will be one of the survivors, but it may take until 2022 for it to achieve profitability. Expect it to make more acquisitions and investments to consolidate market share.

— Sean O’Neill

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United Airlines May Change Its Boarding Procedures

M. Spencer Green  / Associated Press

United passengers in Chicago O’Hare line up in five lanes to prepare to board a flight. United might retire that system, in favor of one that lets passengers sit for longer. M. Spencer Green / Associated Press

Skift Take: Most experts say airlines should board aircraft randomly if they seek maximum efficiency. But that’s a problem since most carriers want to reward their best customers with early boarding. Under the circumstances, airlines do the best they can.

— Brian Sumers

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