CEO Interview: Reimagining the Hotel Suite in the Battle Against Airbnb

Skift Take: Airbnb lets today’s travelers book spacious accommodations easily and affordably. Hotels trying to compete by making a few “millennial-friendly” tweaks aren’t going to cut it. With Suiteness, hotels can simplify the way they sell their multi-room inventory and stand out in an increasingly crowded market.

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Ryan Wolkov

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Airbnb Drops 80 Percent of Its Japan Listings Ahead of Tighter Laws

Akio Kon

The Tokyo Tower, center, and commercial and residential buildings stand at dusk in Minato district of Japan’s capital city. The country has tightened its rules for short-term rentals. Akio Kon

Skift Take: Airbnb is the biggest of many companies affected by Japan’s decision that owners must register their rentals. This move may partly lend support to some predictions that Airbnb will have fewer users worldwide this year than had been expected.

— Sean O’Neill

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Global Air Travel Is Being Held Back by a Worsening Runway Shortage

Akio Kon

A member of the ground crew for All Nippon Airways (ANA) operates a tug towing cargo containers at Narita Airport in Narita, Chiba Prefecture, Japan, on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018. Infrastructure is a bigger threat to the growth of airlines than the price of oil, according to airline executives speaking in Australia Monday at an annual industry jamboree. Akio Kon

Skift Take: “Infrastructure is a bigger threat to the growth of airlines than the price of oil,” says Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker. We agree. Airport capacity constraints are tightest in fast-growing Asian nations.

— Sean O’Neill

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Caesars Bets on Growing Its Business With Non-Gaming Hotels

Caesars is opening up four of its brands to hotel owners and developers worldwide. The first such non-gaming properties are set to open in Dubai by the end of 2018.

Skift Take: We’re putting our money on the Cromwell and LINQ brands to do well with the hotel owner/developer set, which who is increasingly looking for upscale lifestyle and select-service brands. As for the Caesars Palace and Flamingo brands — they’re so inextricably tied to Vegas and to gaming, it’ll be hard to convince guests otherwise.

— Deanna Ting

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Skift Tech Forum Preview: Accor’s Chief Digital Officer on Creating a Technology Roadmap

Maud Bailly, AccorHotels’ chief digital officer, will be appearing at Skift Tech Forum.

Skift Take: Maud Bailly has been at the heart of AccorHotels’ recent transformation. She’ll hopefully shed some light on the company’s digital strategy and how it intends to use all its new acquisitions.

— Patrick Whyte

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Where Does Air France-KLM Go From Here?

Dutch airline KLM, which flies the Boeing 787, among other aircraft, has a strong reputation and is profitable. But it is tied to Air France, which has been struggling with labor issues.

Skift Take: Until Air France-KLM implements a long-term cohesive strategy, it probably will keep falling behind its main competitors, International Airlines Group and Lufthansa Group. But unless the macroeconomic environment changes, it should be OK. Even with rising fuel prices, now is a good time to be in the airline business.

— Brian Sumers

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What Corporate Travel Can Learn From Top Startups

Pom'

Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France. Skift has put together a list of some of the top travel startups to watch in 2018. Pom’

Skift Take: Startups are about ideas, some good and some bad. Skift has put together a list of some of the top travel startups, which we think have some pretty good ideas — far-ranging business models that will help anyone in corporate travel understand the future.

— Tom Lowry

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Small Events Try to Avoid the Cookie-Cutter Approach

Govhack Australia

An Govhack Australia awards ceremony at Brisbane City Hall is pictured. A new report shows that small venues are embracing more varied ways for their customers to hold meetings. Govhack Australia

Skift Take: Meeting venues are finding the value in flexibility, especially for smaller events that don’t want to be stuck with one boring option. Designing a creative experience is easier when the site embraces variety.

— Hannah Sampson

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WeChat to Smooth China’s Border Process for Travelers Between Hong Kong and Mainland

The Chinese government wants to create a pass system that smooths travel between Hong Kong (pictured), Macau and the southern province of Guangdong.

Skift Take: When people pass between Hong Kong, Macau, and mainland China, they have to present border documents, called permits. A new feature on the popular WeChat app could replace the need for the documents someday, according to a proposal. Here’s hoping.

— Sean O’Neill

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