2013-09-20 TravelTech News Review

News Trend: Social Media in Travel

  1. Hotels put best foot forward on social media [INFOGRAPHIC] | Tnooz
    Infographic with lots of statistics on guest reviews and social media usage.
  2. You’re grounded – (social) media storms and airline responses | Tnooz
    “Airlines are generally held-up as quite advanced in social media so it’s curious to see so many #fails, whether epic or not, emerge in recent weeks.”
  3. How to turn something as unsexy as car rental into a social media hit | Tnooz
    If you’re involved with or interested in social media marketing, this article offers up a good case study of how Enterprise out-competes everyone else in their sector with their social media marketing strategy.

Online Travel Industry

  1. Olset uses Big Data to pick the three best hotels for you | Tnooz
    Big data startup uses user preferences, review data, and hotel details data to simplify hotel choice.
  2. Everything you need to know about Google Carousel and its effect on hotels [hint: a lot] | Tnooz
    If you’ve searched for hotels on Google in the last few months, you’ve seen them pictured in a new photo Carousel at the top of the page. Digital Marketing Works analyzed the placement of hotels in the Carousel and found that the most prominent placement were given to hotels with high Google Review scores and closest proximity to the search destination. Smart hotels will start tracking Google Reviews as closely as TripAdvisor reviews.
  3. Usual SEO rules don’t apply to big brands, Searchmetrics UK study finds – Travolution.co.uk
    It appears that Google organic search results reward high brand equity. That may contribute to Expedia’s generally good placements in Google travel search results.
  4. How Kayak Has Transformed Its Mobile App Usability Since 2009 – Skift
    Kayak has one of the consistently highest rated mobile apps. Click through the screenshots to see how it has improved over time.


  1. The world’s scariest hotel swimming pool? – A Luxury Travel Blog
    I’m pretty sure I’ve featured a different photo of this in the past, but it’s worth revisiting.
  2. Priceline ups advertising ante with sponsored listings for hotels | Tnooz
    Now hotels get to pay Priceline for clicks in addition to commissions.

Air Travel

  1. 2025 and beyond: Visioning the future of the airport experience | Tnooz
    Better surface transportation access, better baggage handling and worldwide security standards. Sounds like science fiction.
  2. Regional Airline Goes on Hiring Binge: 350 Pilots and 300 Flight Attendants – Skift
    With the major airlines hiring pilots again, it’s going to be difficult for Mesa Airlines to meet their goal.
  3. United to Honor All of Its $5 Mistake Fares After Glitch in Loading Prices – Skift
    United chooses good PR over profit.
  4. American Air’s New Airbus Jets Take Flight – Skift
    Some analysts question the bankrupt airline’s new investment, but when you’re still flying MD-80’s it’s time for an upgrade.
  5. New Tibet Airport Cuts Tourists’ Trips from Two Days to One Hour – Skift
    At 4,411 meters (14,472 feet), Daocheng airport in Garzi, Sichuan, sets a new record for the world’s highest altitude civilian airport.
  6. Bombardier Debuts ‘Quietest Commercial Aircraft,’ CSeries Jetliner – Skift
  7. JetBlue Adds to Caribbean Routes, Now One Third of Its Network – Skift
  8. Imagine Air Travel Without Hassle: Surf Air Can | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
    Pay $1000 per month, fly as often as you want. [Thanks to Tiffany Defarbus for the tip!]


Consumer Travel News, Advice and Deals

  1. 10 Silly Travel Pillows That Want to Sell You Sleep on Your Next Flight – Skift
    Advice to consumers: don’t use one of these if you don’t want to look like a dork.

Destinations and Experiences

  1. On Seeing The World For The First Time, At 67 – Skift
    Documentary follows a retired Russian farmer who had never traveled before in his life, to New York, the ocean and points beyond.
  2. Fog Burning Off Over the Canals of Venice
    Just a single evocative photo.

Denise’s Picks

  1. The 10 cheapest cities in the world, 2013 | Matador Network
    Top budget travel rule: Travel where it’s cheap. Here’s a list.
  2. 10 great hidden state parks
    If you love state parks, the fall is a great time to visit. Here is a list of the US’ best “hidden” parks.
  3. For $349, class will train your dog for airline flights
    A different kind of doggie obedience class. For air flights. Seriously.
  4. What can you get away with stealing from hotels? – Telegraph
    If you’ve ever wondered, here’s your answer (I’m taking note).
  5. The world’s most unusual places to stay – Telegraph
    This is no ordinary listicle. This includes, and I am not joking, a hotel shaped like an intestine.
  6. The world’s ugliest hotels – Telegraph
    Ugly is in the eye of the beholder, but I would have to think we all behold these as pretty awful.
  7. Autumn holiday ideas – AOL Travel UK
    Planning a trip in October? Here are some ideas…
  8. And the world’s happiest country is… – AOL Travel UK
    The answer probably won’t surprise you. And I’m heading there in November!
  9. World’s smallest hotels – AOL Travel UK
    If teeny is your thing, check out these hotels.
  10. What happens if you open the plane door during a flight? – Telegraph
    I can’t be the only one who’s pondered this on a long flight.
  11. This Tiny Concrete Speck Is Its Own Country | Conde Nast Traveler
    If you don’t know what the smallest nation in the world is, here’s a picture! Of the entire country of Sealand! And while no country actually recognizes this “nation,” you too can become a Count or Countess for just $320.
  12. 10 Airport Foods You Should Never Eat | SmarterTravel
    Does anyone really need to be told that Cinnabon should never, ever be ingested, before flying or otherwise?
  13. The Problem With Tours | Caroline Henshaw
    I’m a huge proponent of independent travel. I don’t think you need to pay the huge tour company fees when you can pretty much travel on your own time and schedule, and for cheaper. Here’s a good rundown of why tours aren’t really the best way to travel.
  14. Competitive travelers: The people who’ve been everywhere – CNN.com
    Did you know hard-core travelers can be a competitive lot? (that said, I once went to Bosnia for 15 minutes (it counts!).)
  15. 10 Strange Things People Tried to Smuggle Onto an Airplane – Criminal Justice Degrees Guide
    In case the “Flight Attendant Tries to Smuggle Rats Aboard Airplane” link last week wasn’t weird enough, will a human head do it for you?
  16. 11 Keys To Happiness From Other Cultures
    One of the magical things about travel is seeing how the rest of the world lives. We in the US don’t do much of these….but they are some ways we can be happier.

Travel Aspirations

  1. Sheraton hotel, Huzhou, China | CNN Travel
    CNN calls this hotel odd-looking. I call it cool. I want to stay there the next time I go to China.


  1. With 30 tuners and 30 TB of storage, SnapStream makes TiVos look like toys | Ars Technica
  2. Google Translate Has Ambitious Goals for Machine Translation – SPIEGEL ONLINE
  3. Two factors reveal Apple’s real mission with iPhone 5c | ZDNet
    Article makes the interesting observation that iPhone 5c may be replacing the iPod touch, which was not refreshed with the new phones. That teenagers who formerly got iPods are increasingly getting smartphones.
  4. Victory Lap for Ask Patents – Joel on Software
    How to block the awarding of lame software patents, in a few easy steps.

Security and Privacy

  1. How Apple’s A7 64-bit chip gives iOS plenty of headroom for the future | ZDNet
    The new iPhone 5s CPU could enable higher security through sandboxing and virtualization.
  2. Universities Face a Rising Barrage of Cyberattacks – NYTimes.com
  3. Nations Buying as Hackers Sell Flaws in Computer Code – NYTimes.com


Just One More

  1. Quadcopter delivers Wedding Ring in a grand Wedding Proposal
    Romance AND technology—something for everyone in this one. Has some great aerial footage.


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