Airbnb Challenges Booking and Expedia, and 3 Other Hospitality Trends This Week

Airbnb

One of Airbnb’s Collections. Airbnb is making moves toward attracting hotels and bed-and-breakfasts onto its platform. Airbnb

Skift Take: This week in hospitality news, Airbnb made a serious move toward attracting hotels and bed-and-breakfasts onto the platform. Missed this week’s Skift Call on the Airbnb threat? Stay tuned for a podcast featuring highlights.

— Sarah Enelow

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Ryan Wolkov

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Uber Drivers in Istanbul Face Cabbie Harassment and Violence

Kerem Uzel  / Bloomberg

Shown here is a scene from an Istanbul protest in early 2018 against Uber’s presence in Turkey. One Uber driver keeps a metal rod close at hand during his daily drives through Istanbul, this story says. Kerem Uzel / Bloomberg

Skift Take: Should Uber be regulated as a transport company and be subject to the same rules as ordinary taxis? It may be some time until the world reaches a consensus. Meanwhile, Uber drivers face bodily harm by protestors in Istanbul.

— Sean O’Neill

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Ryan Wolkov

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Ctrip Hits a Speed Bump and 10 Other Digital Trends This Week

Ctrip

Ctrip hit a stumbling block in its growth because of consumer activism and regulatory issues. Ctrip

Skift Take: This week in digital travel news: Booking.com intends to grow into a full-service online travel agency, and Trivago wants to increase its Google advertising, but Ctrip hit a stumbling block.

— Sarah Enelow

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Marriott Board Member Mitt Romney Is Running for Reelection

Bloomberg

Mitt Romney is running for reelection for a one-year term to the Marriott board of directors. Bloomberg

Skift Take: Willard Mitt Romney got his first name as a tribute to Marriott founder J. Willard Marriott. Mitt Romney heads the board’s finance committee, but would have to leave in January if he wins a Senate seat from Utah. Unlike hotelier Donald Trump, Romney’s election would mean a pro-hospitality voice would be heading to Washington.

— Dennis Schaal

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Pot Tourism to Expand Into San Francisco Lounges

Jeff Chiu  / Associated Press

In this March 1, 2018 photo, Rick Thompson, clockwise from bottom left, Keith Baskerville and Xavier Baskerville smoke marijuana while sitting in a booth in the smoking lounge at Barbary Coast Dispensary in San Francisco. San Francisco plans to issue more permits for marijuana smoking lounges this year after health officials finalize updated regulations. Jeff Chiu / Associated Press

Skift Take: All these years after President Reagan, we still crack down on communities of color for nonviolent drug offenses, but now, we make sure that a privileged class of purveyors of the same weed can safely operate tasting rooms for tourists. It’s no accident that the lounge referenced here is in “a once-rundown neighborhood that is gentrifying.”

— Sarah Enelow

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Cuba Guidebooks Clash With Reality and 7 Other Tourism Trends This Week

Stefano Annovazzi Lodi  / Flickr

A man holding a Lonely Planet Cuba guidebook on July 27, 2008. Some question the contents of these guides when it comes to telling tourists how to ensure their visits don’t worsen local life. Stefano Annovazzi Lodi / Flickr

Skift Take: This week in tourism news, we looked at two extremes: the sad reality of the Trump Slump and how to manage overtourism. Somewhere in the middle, we analyzed whether Cuba guidebooks are on the level.

— Sarah Enelow

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Uber’s Retreat From Southeast Asia Is Coming Soon

Uber

A promotional image from Uber. Uber believes the battle for ridesharing in Southeast Asia isn’t over yet, but rival Grab is succeeding where Uber has failed. Uber

Skift Take: Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says the company isn’t going to back down in Southeast Asia, even though Uber has already lost out to Grab in the region. It already succumbed in a battle for China, so admitting defeat in Southeast Asia would represent a major blow to its growth prospects.

— Andrew Sheivachman

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Electric Taxis On the Road in London Are the Future as Mandated by Law

Bloomberg

London is getting 20 new electric taxis per week to meet a city law that all new taxis be electric. Bloomberg

Skift Take: Even the iconic London taxi must give way to progress. In this case, much of the tradition is maintained, although the new cars don’t pollute the air, and they’re quiet.

— Dennis Schaal

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Grand Hotels Are Getting Long-Overdue Attention From Developers

US Grant Hotel

This is the presidential penthouse at the renovated US Grant Hotel in San Diego. It is one of many recently renovated hotels that were once beloved by the robber barons of yore. US Grant Hotel

Skift Take: Guess what? Travel’s favorite buzzword du jour, “authentic,” can apply to Grand Hotels, and developers are taking advantage.

— Sean O’Neill

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