Booking CEO: Here’s Our Edge Over Expedia and Airbnb

Skift

Priceline CEO Glenn Fogel (L) appeared at the Skift Global Forum in New York City September 26, 2017. Skift

Skift Take: Executives at Booking Holdings, formerly the Priceline Group, feel aggrieved that the company isn’t getting the credit it deserves in alternative accommodations. In a lot of ways, its battle with Airbnb is over business models. As Airbnb ramps up hotels, we’ll have to see who blinks.

— Dennis Schaal

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This Startup is Helping Airlines Manage Overbooked Flights

United Airlines

Volantio is an Atlanta-based startup that helps United Airlines manage its overbookings. Pictured is a United Boeing 737. United Airlines

Skift Take: It’s nice to see airlines leverage new technology to help solve an old problem. Overbooking doesn’t have to be bad because an airline can usually reward passengers willing to take another flight. Often, passengers are thrilled with what their carrier offers.

— Brian Sumers

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Disney Will Spend $2.5 Billion to Expand Paris Park

Philippe Servent  / Présidence de la République

French President Emmanuel Macron, left, speaks to Disney CEO Robert Iger in this photo released by Disney. Iger announced a $2.5 billion expansion of the park. Philippe Servent / Présidence de la République

Skift Take: Just a few weeks after praising the performance of Disneyland Paris in 2017 — and a year after announcing plans to take full control of the resort — the Walt Disney Co. has rolled out major expansion plans that should help drive attendance in the years to come.

— Hannah Sampson

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Portland Embraces Its Local Maker Culture to Win Over Meeting Planners

Travel Portland

Orox is a multigenerational leather shop in Portland. Travel Portland

Skift Take: Travel Portland’s convention sales team is promoting the idea that “individuals attract individuals” to show conference planners how the city celebrates a diverse spectrum of local makers with a unique and creative point of view.

— Greg Oates

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New Skift Research Report: The State of Tours and Activities 2018

Skift Take: The digital revolution has finally come for tours and activities. Our latest research report dives into challenges for this fragmented sector as it shifts increasingly online and to mobile, but highlights the potential market opportunity for a very diverse, experiential space.

— Rebecca Stone

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Thought Leadership Conferences Target High-End Travelers

Mindy Best  / Getty Images for SXSW

Director of research and development for Jigsaw Yasmin Green speaks onstage at the Interactive Keynote during 2017 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Austin Convention Center on March 14, 2017 in Austin, Texas. Mindy Best / Getty Images for SXSW

Skift Take: Nowadays, luxury travel is all about discovering new frontiers. It’s not just about expanding physical and geographic boundaries. The travel cognoscenti are “brain dating” around the world in order to stretch their minds.

— Laura Powell

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Top Jerusalem Christian Attraction Remains Closed to Protest Taxes

Mahmoud Illean  / Associated Press

Greek Orthodox Patriarch of the Holy Land, Theophilos III, center, stands outside the closed doors of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditionally believed by many Christians to be the site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus Christ, in Jerusalem, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. The leaders of the major Christian sects in Jerusalem closed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, for several hours on Sunday to protest an Israeli plan to tax their properties.
Mahmoud Illean / Associated Press

Skift Take: When a church owns many different types of property, the line between religious space and commercial interest — encompassing hotels — becomes blurred.

— Sarah Enelow

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SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby Resigns After Turnaround Effort Flops

Joel Manby resigned as SeaWorld CEO this week, the company just announced. He is pictured in an appearance on CBS.

Skift Take: This was probably inevitable. Joel Manby tried to turn the company around, but his efforts so far have not done the trick — and even angered some SeaWorld loyalists.

— Hannah Sampson

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This Is How Airbnb Plans To Win Over Hotels

Airbnb

The Romantik Hotel GMACHL in Salzburg, Austria is one of many hotels that advertise rooms on Airbnb. Airbnb

Skift Take: Oh, how times have changed. Instead of feeling threatened by Airbnb, some hotels are being wooed by the company. Online travel agencies, on the other hand, are about to get a taste of what it feels like to be disrupted by the likes of Airbnb.

— Deanna Ting

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