Digital. The Top Ten Travel News Stories of the Week. Day In, Day Out

Digital. The Top Ten Travel News Stories of the Week. Day In, Day Out

Welcome to Digital., your weekly recap of the best travel news of the week: day in, day out. Everything you need to know about hotel distribution, digital economy, travel, tourism, hospitality, startups, market stocks, reports, staff movements, industry events, innovation, and more. Hosted by best-selling author, journalist, futurist, founder of Travel Singularity, toy collector and retired punk rocker, Simone Puorto. No filters, no ads, no BS. Get your weekly dose of travel tech news: day in, day out.

Episodes

November 12, 2019 2 min

Travel Singularity is my new consulting firm, focused on assisting clients with digital disruption and technology changes. All the technological advancements we have witnessed in the industry over the last decade seem to have happened randomly, yet, at a closer observation, they were all converging into the foundation of a new, hybrid industry, where hoteliers will be, finally, able to return to the essence of their profession: sim...

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In 2015, Cambridge Analytica was working for the Donald Trump presidential campaign when it illegally collected and exploited information from around 90M Facebook users to influence the elections. Now, after over a year of litigations and appeals, the social network eventually paid a £500,000 fine to the U.K.’s ICO for its role (failing to keep its users’ personal information secure) in the scandal.

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November 12, 2019 1 min

Where are OTAs going? Will they become SaaS companies?

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November 12, 2019 2 min

Oracle acquired the cloud-native guest loyalty platform CrowdTwist, to offer tailor-made loyalty and reward programs… while its servers (Oracle WebLogic Servers) were attacked by a cryptocurrency mining bot malware.

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November 12, 2019 3 min

Ads are coming to Uber, which is considering selling ads to improve the profit margins on UberEats, eaten (no pun intended) by restaurants, and drivers' fees. And if you're wondering how the stock is holding up, the answer is "not well"

… and Shopping Ads are coming to YouTube. It makes perfect sense, as -according to Google- 90% of customers using video to inform their purchases found new products on the video plat...

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Just discussing stocks in the travel industry...

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November 12, 2019 1 min

Airbnb’s IPO may not be so close after all, as it is expected somewhere in 2020. With over 1B$ revenue for the second quarter in a row, it seems that the P2P giant has no rush of going public.

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November 12, 2019 1 min

After the official announcement, Ctrip is now formally operating under the Trip.com moniker. The Chinese online travel agency acquired Trip.com (startup formerly knowns as Gogobot) exactly one year ago and will start trading stocks next Tuesday under the TCOM symbol.

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November 12, 2019 1 min

11M$ new funding round for Impala, the startup that (in the near future) could connect vendors to virtually any hotel (currently the figure is around 30%) with only “10 lines of code”.

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November 12, 2019 5 min

According to ReviewPro, Google reached 29.8% of hotel reviews’ market share. TripAdvisor, by contrast, moved to the fourth position (9.9% market share).

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November 12, 2019 5 min

It seems that marketplace is the new black, and SiteMinder launched its Hotel App Store, with over 100 applications (Cendyn, TrustYou, OpenKey, Welcome Pickups, and Oaky, For-Sight, upgrade2, are just a few). I interviewed the guys during the unveiling at WTM: you can find the video here.

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After PayPal, both Mastercard and Visa quit the Facebook Libra project. “Decision,” Visa stated, “will be determined by a number of factors, including the Association’s ability to fully satisfy all requisite regulatory expectations.”

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TrustYou announced a collaboration with Impala and took another step towards a plug&play industry. TrustYou's Guest Survey and Messaging features will now be frictionlessly connectable to several PMSs (such as Oracle Opera, Protel, Fidelio Suite8, Infor HMS, Guestline, Mews, Clock PMS), thanks to Impala's technology, reducing integration time and investments.

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November 12, 2019 1 min

Q3 performance' decline for Sabre was well: with YoY operating income down to $113.5M from $136.8M, likely due to increased technology investments while undergoing digital transformation. The company's CEO, Sean Menke, stated Sabre is "the first GDS to achieve full cloud deployment of shopping."

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November 12, 2019 1 min

Benchmarking and analytics platform STR has been acquired by CoStar for $450M. As per today, STR collects data from over 60,000 properties worldwide.

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Expedia's Q3 "did not play out as planned," CEO Mark Okerstrom stated. The group's net income dropped 22% YoY, and the company blamed an "incremental weakness in SEO volumes" (likely due to Google's recent changes in its algorithm), "and a related shift to high-cost marketing channels." The stock sank.

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November 12, 2019 6 min

According to ReviewPro, Google reached 29.8% of hotel reviews’ market share. TripAdvisor, by contrast, moved to the fourth position (9.9% market share).

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November 12, 2019 1 min

Another Google's major algorithm update can be imminent. It is called BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers), and it will allow Google to understand the context of a search better, marking another important step in machine learning of context and intent interpretation.

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November 12, 2019 2 min

Facebook, you can read on the official statement, "started as a single app. Now, 15 years later, we offer a suite of products” (Facebook app, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, Workplace, Portal, Calibra, etc.). “Today, we're updating our company branding (by) introducing a new company logo and further distinguishing the Facebook company from the Facebook app, which will keep its own branding." Logos and assets can...

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November 12, 2019 1 min

Google announced it achieved a breakthrough in quantum computing, thanks to an experimental processor (Sycamore) that was able to complete a complicated sampling problem (around 10,000 years needed to be solved by the most powerful computer existing today) in an astonishing 3' and 20".

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