In this April 7, 2014 photo, a man arrives for the Inside Bitcoins conference and trade show in New York. This technology is changing how some in the travel industry think about payments. Mark Lennihan / Associated Press
Skift Take: This week's digital news had us thinking about disruption. TUI's CEO said blockchain could threaten Expedia and Airbnb, and homesharing and ridesharing become more normal among business travelers.
— Sarah Enelow
Throughout the week we post dozens of original stories, connecting the dots across the travel industry, and every weekend we sum it all up. This weekend roundup examines digital trends.
For all of our weekend roundups, go here.
>>So far it seems that London’s tech scene hasn’t suffered any negative impact from last June’s Brexit vote. The bigger test will come when the results of the negotiations are known: Tech Investors Are Still in Love With London Despite Brexit
>>Not every travel business needs to have a formal loyalty or rewards program to have loyal customers. But if you’re going to go that route, you better know what you’re getting into. And for some companies, it might be time to reconsider doing without: Why Not Having a Formal Travel Loyalty Program Works — For Some
>>Expedia and Booking.com, which each doubled Marriott’s TV advertising spend over the last year, are still growing like weeds despite hotels’ direct-booking campaigns. That makes for a tough environment for hoteliers, although some brands will do better than others: Hotel and Online Travel Agency Direct Booking Winners and Losers in 5 Charts
>>Blockchain is essentially a large immutable database which, due to its security features and decentralized nature, can pose a threat to traditional intermediaries. Companies are looking to expand blockchain to tackle the current travel distribution landscape: Blockchain Will Disrupt Expedia and Airbnb, TUI CEO Says
>>Sometimes it really does pay to book direct. At least in this case, customers who booked direct weren’t impacted. Those who booked on third-party channels like online travel agencies weren’t as lucky: Data Breach at Sabre Hits Four Seasons and Other Hotels
>>Kayak is the first online travel player to let shoppers book hotels via Amazon’s smart speakers. While the concept has promise, its price comparison process still has to improve before it becomes useful to the average traveler: Kayak and Amazon Echo Now Offer Voice-Powered Hotel Booking
>>Identifying payment trends among consumers not only improves the customer experience but also allows businesses to create new operating models built around the improved speed and ease of transacting: Transport for London’s Adoption of Contactless Payments Really Worked
>>As their contract expiration deadline looms, Hyatt and Expedia are maneuvering for position with Hyatt property owners. The new Hyatt-Booking.com agreement gives Hyatt some leverage but it likely wouldn’t fully make up all the ground if the chain goes completely dark on Expedia: Exclusive: Hyatt Signs Deal With Booking.com as Hedge Against Expedia Impasse
>>As Airbnb becomes bookable through the online booking tools of corporate travel management companies, its acceptance in corporate travel policies will likely rise as well: Airbnb Moves Into Corporate Travel Mainstream With Concur Integration
>>Ridesharing companies know that corporate travel represents big business. Making their products easier for business travelers to use — and expense — is a smart move: Ridesharing Gets More Seamless — Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report
>>New tech is going to vastly improve the efficiency of booking business trips, selling tours, and running short-term rentals. But it’s too soon to know if these three freshly funded companies, in particular, will pull off the trick: The New Machine-Learning Booking Tool for Road Warriors: Travel Startup Funding This Week