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Skift Research Reports are twice-monthly reports written by Skift’s world-class travel industry research team. Get the deep actionable insights into the trends and companies now defining the future of travel.
At the end of the day, it’s all about hospitality, but the vacation rental industry faces unique challenges in delivering on that promise. Technology will be key to providing an elevated guest experience across this fragmented market.
Optimizing a fragmented and traditionally offline model is obviously going to take time. However, we expect key players in the tours and activities space to increasingly try new strategies not only to increase scale, access to distribution, and consumer reach, but also to enhance in-destination experiences for travelers and locals alike.
The hospitality industry is evolving rapidly, with brands shifting to asset light and consolidating, soft brands and non-branded operators growing steadily, and the distribution landscape becoming increasingly competitive. Nevertheless, hotel owners stand to gain if they focus on acquiring and developing the right real estate, choosing the appropriate franchisors, managers, and partners, running their properties efficiently and effectively, remaining innovative and thoughtful, and maintaining that ever-needed hospitality factor.
WeChat, China’s most popular app, has infiltrated the daily lives of its nearly one billion monthly active users. The popularity and penetration of the app in the country makes it an attractive platform for global travel brands looking to unlock the China market. Without a thoughtful WeChat strategy, however, this is easier said than done.
A record amount of venture capital was invested in travel startups in 2017 driven by unicorns, like Airbnb, emerging technologies, expansion outside of core geographies, and traction in new verticals. The industry is no stranger to disruption, but we may be seeing some of the greatest changes of the last two decades, and we expect this momentum to continue into 2018.
Believe it or not, these are still early days for Google in travel. Without question, the company will continue to grow its multi-billion dollar advertising business by securing stronger direct relationships with both the supplier and the traveler.
There is room for optimism heading into 2018 for the global travel industry. Emerging and developing markets are showing healthy signs of growth, and global consumer and business confidence is high. Policy uncertainty and geopolitical tensions can’t be ignored, but outside of any major shock, we expect travel to benefit from a solid year of macroeconomic growth in 2018.
If you're reading this, then you already know that blockchain is the disruptive technology behind bitcoin, with applications reaching beyond banking and finance. You also know that Blockchain has various potential applications in travel. Online distribution is a unique case and a potential fit, due to the decentralized nature of blockchain platforms. But its success will ultimately depend on proactive adoption and willingness to break away from traditional digital frameworks and configurations. Our channel checks suggest that their is in fact a case for the technology. However, proponents will need to move fast to create compelling use cases that can deliver attractive cost savings, and/or better customer experience than what's currently out there.
The data collected from our second annual Experiential Traveler Survey presents a deep dive into the mindset of the modern traveler. We dig into their values, attitudes, travel behavior, and more.
Emerging markets are taking over outbound travel. Economic growth is increasing living standards across the world and outbound travel is growing along. International Travel Expenditure is now shifting from a handful of countries who have historically made up most of the outbound travel to emerging markets.
Priceline dominates the online travel industry. It quietly goes about its business and continuously puts up strong results year after year, turning a once-beleaguered near-dot-com-bust into one of the most successful technology companies in the world.
The meetings and events sector is evolving at a rapid pace. Pioneering events like South by Southwest and C2 are raising event attendees' expectations, putting pressure on organizers to design more engaging experiences at events of all shapes and sizes. Meanwhile, new types of event technology like artificial intelligence and personalization tools offer new opportunities (and challenges) for meeting planners. This report investigates the state of today's conference and event sector, and examines how organizers should look to evolve their own event strategies in response in the years ahead.