The travel industry, no stranger to disruption, is experiencing a new wave of venture-backed startups. These businesses are generally larger than ever before and focused on bringing new customers and products into the digital travel fold. We expect this momentum to continue and for it have an impact on executives, founders, and investors throughout the sector.
The airline distribution ecosystem often gets unfairly labeled as being populated by dinosaurs. Our sense is that industry players are making genuine attempts to modernize, it’s just that it takes a long time to turn around such a titanic ship. We break down this complex and, at times, intimidating topic by reviewing the current landscape and inspecting four key fault lines in the space.
Airbnb continues to revolutionize the accommodation bookings industry while disrupting other sectors like tours and activities, restaurant reservations, and more. As the company heads towards a potential IPO, we tackle some of the key hurdles in its way including increasing regulation, impacts to housing markets, and its evolving role in both hospitality and distribution.
Emerging markets will shape the future of the travel industry but each region requires a unique strategy. MakeMyTrip and Despegar, online travel leaders in India and Latin America, provide unique insights into how to succeed their respective home markets.
Many online travel agencies are no longer specialists in one product, instead aiming to become one-stop shops. The platform that a booking site can offer is a key part of its competitive moat and the contours of supply at Booking Holding and Expedia vary widely from each other.
Mobile has become a key component of the in-destination experience for U.S. travelers today. From finding things to do, to spontaneous bookings, mobile apps and websites have a role to play at each part of the in-destination journey. Travel brands that can find a meaningful place in this mobile journey have a lot to gain.
In today’s environment, hoteliers can no longer sit idly by, complacent with the tech systems and hardware that they have been using for decades. Those that focus on tech in terms of the overall customer journey will not only delight guests, but also outpace competitors in sales and ROI.
Online travel agencies remain essential to the travel industry as consolidators of and clearinghouses for advertising dollars throughout the space. We do not see OTAs being removed from this position easily, but challenges are growing by the day.
Amazon likely has a role to play in the future of travel distribution, marketing, or devices — if not all three. Travel leaders need to prepare today, or risk being caught flat-footed tomorrow.
There is a tech arms race underway in the vacation rental market. As this space enters a new phase of growth and scale, the need for tech solutions is real, but not every company will succeed. Understand the vacation rental tech stack, its major players, and our outlook on where it’s all headed in this Analyst Session.
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.
This was a record year of funding for travel startups. It's exciting for travel to be in the spotlight, but it also means that founders and their VC backers see a field full of market openings, oftentimes at the expense of established incumbents. Travel leaders need to keep tabs on what is driving the latest opportunities.
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