• The Art of Pitching: Is it Overrated - or Essential?

    Pitching… that thing we force notoriously introverted geeks to do for funding. The main idea is that an entrepreneur — unless his name is Elon Musk or Tony Stark — has limited resources and needs the financial support of pockets that are substantially deeper than his own.

  • What to Expect: New Changes Coming to Lease Accounting Standards

    The upcoming revision to lease accounting standards was one of the topics discussed by the HFTP Hotel Advisory Council in their February 2018 meeting. The surprising conclusion from the council: The hotel industry in general is not prepared for the changes, and there is no viable off-the-shelf software that any of the members were aware of that would assist with the accounting for the new standard.

  • HFTP GDPR Guidelines: Hospitality Organization Flow Charts

    This document is a set of flow charts illustrating data flow scenarios, involved parties providing hospitality services, steps of the guest journey and more. Four scenarios are presented: independent hotel, independent hotel with third party agreement, branded hotel and branded hotel with independent control.

  • Job Description Template: Club Accounting Positions

    The HFTP Americas Research Center has developed example job descriptions for club accounting positions. The process involved reviewing sample job descriptions, and compiling the information into standardized job descriptions.

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Travelzoo Surprises With a Rebound in Revenue Growth and Profitability

skift.com - Digital·26 April 2018
European travel booking volumes are not the only thing staging a comeback. Deals marketer Travelzoo is enjoying a renaissance, too. But, as with Europe, the verdict is still on whether the company has worked through the problems that have beset it since the financial crisis.
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China's Ctrip Invests in a U.S. Company That Wants to Bring Back Supersonic Travel

skift.com - Digital·25 April 2018
Why did Ctrip invest in Boom? We’re not sure, and neither is the writer for this story. It seems like a strange choice, no? Remember, this is a company that owns sites like Skyscanner and trip.com.
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Trivago Suffers Another Loss and Lowers Its Forecast for Next Quarter

skift.com - Digital·25 April 2018
Everyone blames Booking.com for Trivago’s woes. But we’re reserving judgment on the hotel search company’s worse-than-expected second-quarter forecasts until we can hear from its other largest advertiser, Expedia Group, which holds its own first-quarter earnings call soon.

Why Everybody Now Wants a Piece of the Tours and Activities Sector

skift.com - Digital·24 April 2018
Travel’s tours and activities segment has been on quite a ride lately, attracting new suitors looking to invest or to snap up companies outright. Two back-to-back acquisitions shook up the space last week as Booking Holdings acquired FareHarbor and the very next day TripAdvisor purchased Bokun. This follows a slate of deals such as Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s purchase of SideStory, the sale of Hotelbeds’ destination management unit to TUI, and Marriott’s investment in PlacePass.

TripAdvisor Buys Tours and Activities Tech Provider Bokun as Connectivity Race Heats Up

skift.com - Digital·20 April 2018
A day after Booking Holdings announced it was buying tours and activities tech provider FareHarbor, TripAdvisor answered the challenge as it announced that it, too, entered that connectivity space with the acquisition of Iceland’s Bokun. TripAdvisor did not reveal the terms of the deal, and wouldn’t even detail the size of Bokun’s team, which it has no plans to increase.

Booking Holdings Buys Activities Distribution Startup FareHarbor

skift.com - Digital·19 April 2018
In what looks to be the biggest deal yet in the tours-and-activities distribution space, Booking Holdings said it will acquire U.S.-based, experiences booking-software provider FareHarbor, which claimed to do more than $50 million in revenue last year, roughly double its pace of a year prior.
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Skift Forum Europe Preview: Booking CMO Adds Apartments to Complex Marketing Mix

skift.com - Digital·19 April 2018
Pepijn Rijvers, who’s been chief marketing officer of Booking.com for three years, has a big problem — how will the company market 28 million reported listings of hotels, vacation rentals, apartments, guest houses and boats?
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TripAdvisor Attractions Unit Will Rebrand as Experiences

skift.com - Digital·18 April 2018
TripAdvisor Attractions is hopping onboard the Experiences bandwagon. The company will rebrand its business unit as TripAdvisor Experiences, according to a confidential internal communication obtained by Skift. The memo from Dermot Halpin, president of TripAdvisor Attractions and Vacation Rentals, and sent to employees, said the switchover of the Attractions business unit name to Experiences will take place April 23, and there will be more details to come.

Booking Holdings CEO on the Foolishness of a Short-Term Focus

skift.com - Digital·18 April 2018
The sky seemed to be falling for online travel in October and November after Expedia Group and Booking Holdings reported third quarter results, and their stock prices plummeted around 16 percent and 13 percent, respectively. The pessimism was based on missed estimates, rising costs, and fears about the hyper-competitive environment, including the up-and-coming Airbnb.

Mr and Mrs Smith Joins Tours and Activities Rush With SideStory Acquisition

skift.com - Digital·17 April 2018
Boutique hotel booking site Mr and Mrs Smith has become the latest travel company to make a deeper move into the tours and activities space. The company, which was set up by wife and husband team Tamara Heber-Percy and James Lohan, has bought London-headquartered trips marketplace SideStory for an undisclosed amount. SideStory currently offers tours in London and Paris but Mr and Mrs Smith plans to add Lisbon, LA, New York and Tokyo under the name Smith SideStories.

Booking Holdings CEO: We're on the Road Toward Going Full-Service

skift.com - Digital·17 April 2018
When the Priceline Group changed its name to Booking Holdings a couple of months ago, the company spun it as better portraying the global nature of its business, and enhancing the alignment of its six major brands, all of which perform bookings. But behind the scenes, the name change portends a deeper shift that Skift has been pointing to for months. Booking, which became a $102 billion company based largely on its hotel business, is headed toward becoming a full-service online travel agency with some parallels to Expedia Group and Ctrip.
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Skift Forum Europe Preview: Google's Rob Torres on the Role of Relevance in Travel Marketing

skift.com - Digital·16 April 2018
Experienced travel marketers may know this very well, but others not so much: The traditional Google search engine and its Google Hotels feature should be considered two different channels when it comes to travel marketing. At Skift Forum Europe in Berlin April 26, Rob Torres, Google’s managing director, travel sector, will talk about some of these differences as well as how the advent of Google Home and voice-based search is upending the way consumers do their trip-planning and booking. His topic at Skift Forum Europe is “Travel Marketing in an Assistive World.”
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JetBlue's Venture Arm Invests in a Startup That Predicts Flight Delays

skift.com - Digital·16 April 2018
Lumo, a Boston-based travel technology startup, is telling airlines it can peer into the future and know which flights are likely to be delayed hours — or even days — in advance. Three years into its life, the company — which helps airlines and corporate travel managers preventatively rejigger routes and itineraries — said Monday it had received a $2.3 million seed round. Frankly, the dollar amount is unimpressive. But the companies backing the startup are notable.

ComScore Study Claims TripAdvisor Is Top-Visited Travel Site Before Booking

skift.com - Digital·12 April 2018
It was almost a given several years ago that if an online travel agency or hotel wanted to be in the mix and reach consumers, then it had to advertise on TripAdvisor. But that was before TripAdvisor tried to become a hotel booker while later switching back to classic metasearch referrals, hotels ramped up their direct-booking campaigns, and Google accelerated its push to direct consumers researching hotels in its search engine toward its own comparison service, Google Hotels.
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Apple Competitors for Photo Apps Offer New Alternatives for Travelers

skift.com - Digital· 8 April 2018
The day the camera roll on my phone hit 50,000 images, I knew I had a problem. I, like so many people I know, take way too many pictures. If I took the time to properly sort and organize them, I could tell you whether or not I have more than 5,000 photos of my Bernese Mountain Dog (my guess is yes), or whether I’ve photographed the sun setting behind One World Trade from my Brooklyn, N.Y., living room on more than 100 separate occasions (my hope is no).

Skift Forum Europe Preview: Amadeus Is Revving Up Its Startup Involvement

skift.com - Digital· 4 April 2018
Five years ago, only a handful of travel companies supported mentorship and investment programs for startups. Today we count more than 20 incubators and accelerators backed by major travel companies. Think of easyJet’s effort in London and Marriott’s twin initiatives in the U.S. and Europe. Arguably the most ambitious commitment to startups has come from travel technology giant Amadeus IT Group. Through its corporate venture arm, Amadeus Ventures, the company has introduced an array of programs that go beyond mere investment to help startups thrive.

Travel + Leisure and the Problem of Pay to Play

skift.com - Digital· 3 April 2018
Can an A-list be an A-list if you have to pay to be on it? That’s the question facing the travel advisor industry today after Travel + Leisure announced it would charge $4,000 a pop to those who want to be on its “A-List” of top travel agents.
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Travel Companies Face a Trust Deficit Unless They Reset Use of Customer Data

skift.com - Digital· 3 April 2018
The travel industry is littered with brands that have broken the status quo. Former online travel start-ups, Expedia and Booking.com, top the brand league table; low-cost carriers lead the charge in air travel; and we’ve witnessed the meteoric rise of rental platforms like Airbnb causing major disruption.
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TripAdvisor CEO Bullish on Giving Hotels New Ad Path to Top of Listings

skift.com - Digital· 3 April 2018
For years, the only way to ensure a hotel ascended to the top of a TripAdvisor page was to have great user reviews, and available rooms at competitive rates. That’s changing as TripAdvisor on Tuesday officially launched Sponsored Placements for any hotel with available rooms that is willing to set an advertising budget, and is a member of the TripAdvisor’s subscription Business Advantage program.
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Skift Forum Europe Preview: Hotelbeds CEO on Becoming No. 1 in Bedbanks Sector

skift.com - Digital· 2 April 2018
In the back and forth between hotels and online travel agencies, there’s a third party that often gets forgotten about: accommodation wholesalers (also known as bedbanks). These business-to-business companies operate behind the scenes connecting up travel agencies and tour operators with hotels across the globe. They are especially important for the long tail of travel agencies and hotels beyond the likes of Expedia, Booking.com, Marriott and Hilton.
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TripAdvisor and Expedia Pull TV Ads in Boycott of Laura Ingraham's Fox Show

skift.com - Digital·29 March 2018
Two online travel companies on Thursday said they are pulling advertising from Laura Ingraham’s Fox News cable television show after comments made by the host about one of the outspoken students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
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The Death of Priceline's Name Your Own Price Is Likely Drawing Near

skift.com - Digital·26 March 2018
Priceline.com ended its Name Your Own Price bidding service for car rentals Monday, as it did for flights in 2016. When Priceline.com debuted more than 20 years ago, it was the only way you could book a flight on the site. Users would specify when they wanted to fly and submitted a fare they would accept, and then Priceline.com would approve or reject the bid. The customer would only find out the identity of the airline if Priceline accepted the offer.
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Activist Investor Pushes for a Travelport Sale to Private Equity

skift.com - Digital·26 March 2018
Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. has taken a stake in Travelport Worldwide Ltd. and is urging the travel technology company to launch a strategic review, including exploring a sale. The New York-based hedge fund believes that Travelport’s stock is undervalued and that several private equity firms might be interested in acquiring it, according to people familiar with the matter. Elliott, which has its own private equity arm, may itself be interested in purchasing the company, the people said, asking not to be identified because the details are private.
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Mobile and the Future of Customer Experience in the Travel Industry

skift.com - Digital·26 March 2018
Mobile devices have become indispensable tools for the modern traveler, whether they’re used for getting to the airport, checking in, accessing in-flight entertainment, managing itineraries, unlocking hotel rooms, handling customer service problems, or looking for what to do and where to eat. The signs of mobile’s success are all around us: 95 percent of adults now use smartphones, and according to CMO.com, mobile is poised to account for 79 percent of all Internet use this year. In a 2016 Travelzoo study, 85 percent of Chinese respondents and 54 percent of American ones said they prefer using travel apps for bookings.

Expedia Tweaks Name After Priceline Rebrand

skift.com - Digital·26 March 2018
What’s good for Booking Holdings, formerly the Priceline Group, seems to be the ticket for Expedia, as well.Expedia Inc. changed its name Monday to Expedia Group Inc. “to better reflect the global nature of our business, more clearly articulating who we have become and who we aspire to be,” Expedia CEO Mark Okerstrom said in a statement. “With this clarity and focus, we can now get on with what we do best: bringing the world within reach for travelers and partners across the globe.” The stock symbol remains EXPE.
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Ex-Googler in Taiwan Uses Blockchain to Track Double Hotel Bookings

skift.com - Digital·24 March 2018
A Taiwanese startup led by a former Google employee intends to employ the same technology that underpins Bitcoin and Ethereum to shake up animal husbandry and travel. Darren Wang’s OwlTing has rolled out a system to establish the provenance of stuff: hotel bookings, or pigs from birth to market. The seven-year-old startup says it’s amassed hundreds of clients across Taiwan and its model enhances not just food safety but also verifies commercial transactions.

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