India’s Ola Enters Competitive Australian Ground Transport Market

Caption: Uber and Australia’s taxi sector are under attack from new entrants. PHOTO: UBER

Skift Take: India’s Ola has started operations in two major Australian cities, following hot on the heels of Estonia’s Taxify. The newcomers are exploiting opportunities unlocked when Uber paved the way for increased competition in a market in the tight grip of taxi operators.

— Allan Leibowitz

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Ryan Wolkov

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Looking at the Future of Expense Reports

Marriott International

A promotional photo for Marriott International’s Four Points by Sheraton brand. Expense management technology providers are working on ways to make expense reporting nearly automatic. Marriott International

Skift Take: Smarter technology is making it easier for companies to track what employees actually spend on travel. This is good news for travelers as well, since travel managers and accountants will have better insights into what policy mechanics actually save the company money without ruining the business travel experience.

— Andrew Sheivachman

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DOT Slaps Qantas For Violating Obscure U.S. Law

Qantas

Qantas was fined by the U.S. Department of Transportation in connection with its New York to Los Angeles flight. Pictured is a Qantas Boeing 747-400. Qantas

Skift Take: The fine here is miniscule. But the issues are interesting. Qantas has the right to fly between New York and Los Angeles, and it does so every day. But it can only carry a small subset of passengers.

— Brian Sumers

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TripAdvisor and Expedia Pull TV Ads in Boycott of Laura Ingraham’s Fox Show

Fox News

Political commentator Laura Ingraham hosts a nightly show on Fox News. Travel companies are under pressure to boycott her show after a tweet she made regarding a teenager. Fox News

Skift Take: Kudos to TripAdvisor and Expedia for doing the right thing in helping encourage civil discourse. Whatever one thinks about the gun policy debate, picking on a teenager’s personal musings about college applications unrelated to the topic at hand is out of bounds.

— Sean O’Neill

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Expense Technology Gets Smarter as Providers Look Beyond Receipts

Media Evolution  / Flickr

Attendees eating lunch at The Conference 2017. Strong analytics and better booking tools are leading to an easier expense process for business travelers. Media Evolution / Flickr

Skift Take: Beyond automatically integrating travel booking with expenses, a lot is being done to give travel managers and financial departments more powerful tools to track spending. It also helps that these tools will eventually make the expense report process much easier for travelers.

— Andrew Sheivachman

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Embraer and Bombardier Sharpen Duel as Major Airlines Eye Their Upgraded Jets

Delta Air Lines

A business traveler working in First Class on an Embraer E-175. The manufacturer is dueling with Bombardier over their next-generation aircraft. Delta Air Lines

Skift Take: The Embraer and Bombardier slugfest could turn out to be a proxy war between Airbnb and Boeing. It would appear to be good for competition and their airline customers.

— Dennis Schaal

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Learning From Facebook’s Foibles, Airbnb China Informs Users of Its Data Sharing Practices

Skift

Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb co-founder and chief strategy officer, speaking about China at Skift Global Forum in New York, September 26, 2016. Airbnb will share host and guest information with Chinese authorities. Skift

Skift Take: This is just par for the course when it comes to doing business in China, and it shouldn’t be that surprising to users. As far back as 2016, Airbnb has had a user agreement in China that notifies users that they can and will share their information with the Chinese government.

— Deanna Ting

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Thailand Gives Beach Made Famous by Hollywood Movie a Break From Tourists

Rajavi Omanee  / Associated Press

Tourists enjoy the popular Maya bay on Phi Phi island, Krabi province. Authorities have ordered the temporary closing of the beach made famous by the Leonardo DiCaprio movie “The Beach” to halt environmental damage caused by too many tourists. Rajavi Omanee / Associated Press

Skift Take: It has taken Thailand almost 20 years to realize that it might make sense to limit the number of people visiting Maya Bay. A good reminder that overtourism isn’t a new phenomenon.

— Patrick Whyte

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Travelport Faces Dramatic Changes if Activist Investor Gets His Way

CNBC

Paul Singer is the force behind Elliott Management, a U.S. activist hedge fund that has taken a stake in Travelport and believes that private equity firms might take the travel technology company private. He spoke about another matter on CNBC in a recent interview.
CNBC

Skift Take: The last thing travel tech giant Travelport needs is to be sold to private equity. It’s still digging out from all the debt Blackstone saddled it with. Our best guess is that it will be forced to partly sell eNett, a payments business.

— Sean O’Neill

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