Secret Escapes Raises $67 Million: Travel Startup Funding This Week

A holiday vacation escape in Thailand available via members-only travel booking website Secret Escapes. The London-based online site for discounted travel has secured $153 million in capital in the past few years.

Skift Take: If he were around today, Gordon Gekko of the movie Wall Street would probably say, “Cheap money is good.” A combination of factors has made it relatively more easy to obtain funding for startups in many countries.

— Sean O’Neill

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Big Changes at Lola and TripActions

The Lola team at work in Boston. The company hired a new CEO to improve its presence in the corporate travel market.

Skift Take: TripActions and Lola have been two of the most interesting players in the business travel ecosystem in recent years. Both their moves this week show how important it is for smaller companies to be able to acquire customers and service larger organizations effectively.

— Andrew Sheivachman

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Nigeria Reveals Plans for a New National Airline

wiltshirespotter

Arik Air plane at London’s Heathrow on May 12, 2015. Private operator Arik Air was taken over by Asset Management Corp. of Nigeria last year, leading long-haul flights to be suspended. wiltshirespotter

Skift Take: Nigeria Air could easily end up like South African Airways, chronically hemorrhaging money, but hopefully more like Ethiopian Airlines, a dominant force on the continent.

— Sarah Enelow-Snyder

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Japan is Finally Introducing Ride-Hailing Ahead of 2020 Summer Olympics

SoftBank Group Corp. and China’s Didi Chuxing are the latest companies seeking to bring ride-hailing to Japan.

Skift Take: Japan is slowly beginning to shed its isolated characteristics as it prepares to host the 2020 Summer Olympics and also recently legalized alternative accommodations across the country. It will be interesting to see if taxis and successfully collaborate with ride-hailing apps, which hasn’t been the case in many other countries.

— Dan Peltier

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Cruise Industry Trade Group Needs a New Leader Again

CLIA President and CEO Cindy D’Aoust speaks at Seatrade Cruise Global in March. She is stepping down at the end of the year.

Skift Take: The cruise industry is still growing fast, and the next leader of Cruise Lines International Association should be prepared to address the side effects of that growth. We’ll be interested to see who ends up in the job, especially considering earlier difficulty in filling it.

— Hannah Sampson

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Guesty Appoints Vered Raviv Schwarz as Chief Operating Officer

All-in-one short-term rental software Guesty welcomes Vered Raviv Schwarz as its new chief operating officer to oversee the company’s global operations from its Tel Aviv headquarters. Raviv Schwarz brings more than 20 years of experience in leadership positions in both early-stage, mid-sized, private and public companies. In her role, she will support the company’s plans […]

The post Guesty Appoints Vered Raviv Schwarz as Chief Operating Officer appeared first on VRM Intel.

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Lola Pivots to Travel Management With New CEO

Lola CEO Mike Volpe, left, with Lola co-founder and now CTO Paul English. Lola is diving deeper into travel management, a far cry from its original goal of becoming a leisure travel booking innovator.

Skift Take: Lola has struggled to catch on as it now pivots to provide travel management tools to small companies. Mobile booking through travel agents never broke through and its hard to see a path forward for Lola in the extremely crowded market for managing small group travel.

— Andrew Sheivachman

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United Airlines Doesn’t Want to Fly Too Many Types of Aircraft

United Airlines may stick with Boeing aircraft for its much of its mainline fleet because it fears complexity. Pictured is a Boeing 777-200ER.

Skift Take: If United is so concerned about fleet complexity, look for it and its regional partners to fly a fleet of mostly Boeing and Embraer aircraft long-term. That’ll be fine for passengers, who rarely care who manufactures aircraft they fly.

— Brian Sumers

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Evolving to Meet Event Planner Needs

Collision Conference

A cocktail party at a Collision Conference event. Collision Conference

Skift Take: An arms race is on in the event technology sector as established players look to take on Cvent while embracing emerging technologies. This is good news for meeting planners and other event professionals, bringing an array of choices to a sector that is consolidated at the top.

— Andrew Sheivachman

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