Amazon Barriers to Entry and 12 Other Top Travel Stories This Week

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Throughout the week we are posting original stories night and day covering news and travel trends, including on the impact of coronavirus. Every weekend we will offer you a chance to read the most essential stories again in case you missed them earlier.

Hello, Amazon — Online Travel Is Harder Than It Looks: In the school of online travel hard knocks, new entrants have learned that barriers to entry can be substantial. Amazon, Google, and Airbnb should realize that the devil is in the details, and the complexities.

Airbnb Reinstates Domio Listings After Scandal Cost CEO His Job: Despite Brian Chesky’s rhetoric about Airbnb needing to return to its local connections mission and roots, the economics point to Airbnb needing Domio- and Sonder-like listings. Even if it means negative publicity pre-IPO.

What Happens When a Massive Wave of Hotels Default?: The hotel industry is struggling under months of cratered occupancy and revenue. But there may be a way to avoid foreclosure with the bank — as long as your hotel was doing fine before the pandemic.

JetBlue Founder Delays Launch of His New Airline to 2021 Starting in Southeastern U.S.: At some point, the U.S. airline industry will have a robust recovery. But given the depth of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is unlikely this will happen next year. Breeze Airways may have a rough go at first.

Hilton, Hyatt and Others Pull Back the Curtain on Making Hygiene More Than Theater: Strong communication and decision-making power at the local level are key to making heightened hotel cleaning measures succeed in an ever-changing pandemic information environment.

What Happens When a Massive Wave of Hotels Default?: The hotel industry is struggling under months of cratered occupancy and revenue. But there may be a way to avoid foreclosure with the bank — as long as your hotel was doing fine before the pandemic.

Expedia CEO Peter Kern on the Google Silver Bullet — or Lack Thereof: Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern is waging a simplicity campaign. Turning the Expedia and Hotels.com loyalty programs into a single plan might make sense. But one thing definitely on the agenda is trimming marketing through Google, a company Kern characterized as a “shark.”

A Pandemic Upside Is Hotel Chains Are Being Forced to Address Management Bloat: Covid-19 is the turning point for the hotel industry to unplug, simplify structures, and redesign roles, which can all make it more attractive to future talent.

$300 Million IPO Will Target Travel Company Acquisitions and Investments: Heads up, struggling booking platforms. A proposed IPO hopes to raise $300 million, and the company’s founders may come looking for you. The list of pandemic opportunists grows.

It’s Time to Rethink Travel’s Global Leadership — Starting With WTTC: Forced by the pandemic, the travel industry is at an inflection point. After a decade-long bender of growth, it’s facing multiple crises and an uncertain future. Can the organization that’s tasked with representing the global commercial travel industry adapt to the new challenge?

Why a British Airways Sales Boss Is Excited by the Prospect of Even More Zoom Meetings: While most of us suffer Zoom fatigue, British Airways’ head of global sales thinks short, sharp video calls are the future when working out airfares with corporate customers. Ring lights at the ready.

Amazon Soft Launches Virtual Tours — Can Offline Experiences Be Far Behind?: Amazon is dipping into virtual tours. Competitors should fear that Amazon is primed for disruption, virtual or otherwise.

This Corporate Housing Startup Is Poised to Make Steady Gains — At the Expense of Hotels: Focusing on alternative accommodations is a smart move because in uncertain times, who doesn’t want options?

Photo Credit: Amazon debuted virtual tours, and also has a domestic flights partnership in India. Amazon

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