Expedia to Hoteliers: Vacation Rentals Won’t Steal Your Business

Adam Shane Productions / Expedia Group

Expedia CEO Mark Okerstrom spoke at the company’s Explore ’18 conference in Las Vegas December 5. He said Expedia will roll out tools to make hotel operations more efficient. Adam Shane Productions / Expedia Group

Skift Take: Expedia officials can try to assure hoteliers that the rise of alternative accommodations is no big deal for their businesses. But you can be certain that figuring out how to manage this changing dynamic is of paramount concern for all parties involved.

— Dennis Schaal

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Delta Bans Support Animals on Long Flights Amid Larger Crackdown

Bloomberg

Delta Air Lines aircraft parked at an airport gate. Delta is barring emotional support and service animals that are less than four months old while banning all support animals from flights longer than eight hours. Bloomberg

Skift Take: After an increase in incidents, it’s no surprise Delta is prohibiting support animals from long trips as well as young puppies and kittens. This follows rule changes earlier this year that limited the types of support animals that could be brought on flights.

— Sean O’Neill

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Asia’s Booming Low-Cost Aviation Sector Has Significant Challenges

km30192002 / Flickr

A Lion Air jet. There are a number of challenges still to be overcome in Asia’s booming aviation sector. km30192002 / Flickr

Skift Take: As more new low-cost carriers take to the skies in Asia, more needs to be done to ensure they don’t go down the way Lion Air did last month, not just in safety but business sustainability.

— Raini Hamdi

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How Artificial Intelligence Determines Which Airline Stories Go Viral

Associated Press

Passengers evacuate an American Airlines Boeing 767 at Chicago O’Hare in October 2016. Many journalists learned about the incident from an alert from Dataminr. Associated Press

Skift Take: As a Dataminr executive told us, “There is no such thing as a secret now.” If it happens on an airplane and someone puts it on social media, it is bound to become news. That’s just how it goes now, for better or worse.

— Brian Sumers

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South Africa’s Visa Policy Is Still Hurting Tourism

Richard Holmes / Skift

A South African passport and birth certificate are shown. The country has amended some visa regulations, but problems remain. Richard Holmes / Skift

Skift Take: South Africa’s onerous visa regime for minor travelers continues to hobble its all-important tourism industry. Amendments published last month may look like good news, but read them closely and – industry insiders say – not nearly enough has changed.

— Richard Holmes

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New Skift Research Explains What Repeat Tourists Want

Dom J / Pexels.com

Repeat travelers exhibit unique behaviors and preferences from non-repeat travelers. Here, tourists take pictures of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Dom J / Pexels.com

Skift Take: Keeping visitors loyal is often a complex task for destinations. Understanding those travelers who are most likely to go back to places they’ve visited is a crucial component of this equation.

— Meghan Carty

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Upgrading U.S. Highways Will Require Increased Gas Tax and Tolls

Bloomberg

A car filling up at a gas pump somewhere in the U.S. Improving the nation’s highways will cost billions more than America is spending now. Bloomberg

Skift Take: President Trump’s pledge to invest in U.S. transportation infrastructure never materialized. It’s going to take a sustained, decades-long investment as traffic increases and puts increased pressure on bridges, tunnels, and highways.

— Andrew Sheivachman

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