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TripAdvisor acquires Viator, the tours and activities agency for $200M

Viator, one of the largest online tours-and-activities booking agencies, said today that it has been acquired by TripAdvisor, the user-reviews giant, for approximately $200 million — mostly in cash.

HomeAway had OK earnings and will market itself as a lifestyle brand

Vacation rental giant HomeAway’s second quarter 2014 results matched expectations. It reported adjusted earnings per share of 15 cents — as opposed to consensus estimates of 15 cents a share, as averaged by Factset.

Google Maps to offer Explore functionality in direct competition for local discovery

The travel space has long been in search of a winner in the local discovery space, especially as the smartphone fuels more local and contextual interest.

Wearable technology in travel – time to consider the opportunities

Google Glass, Fitbit, Pebble are the best of class for the new category of wearable technology. At least when it comes to their related approaches for real time computing, the monitored self, and control at a glance.

Understanding digital accessibility and opportunities in the travel industry

At least 1.1 billion people globally have a disability, controlling over $4 trillion annually – a market the size of China.

SITA adds smartwatch boarding capability to airline armoury

SITA is enabling airlines to offer boarding via smartwatch using an API developed within its SITA Lab arm.

AirBaltic hops on Bitcoin bandwagon, transaction fee vanishes

Latvia-based airline AirBaltic would appear to have removed the transaction fee from its Bitcoin payment option after criticism from some quarters that it was unjustified.

HotelTonight expands in Europe, CruiseLine gets Amazonian, EasyTaxi integrates with WeChat, and more

This is a roundup of product news and announcements for travel DEVICES in tourism and hospitality for July 2014.

TripAdvisor misses estimates, and its call contains clues to weakness

$TRIP tripped today. TripAdvisor, the sprawling user-review platform, has revealed its earnings for the second quarter of its fiscal year, and the company has disappointed Wall Street once again by doing better than most analysts forecast.

Foursquare aims to become Mayor of Social Travel Recommendations

In the next few weeks, Foursquare will relaunch its app with new functionality that will directly challenge platforms with social travel — i.e., recommendations based on the interests of relevant social networks — such as Gogobot.

Startup pitch: XciteGo offers real-time marketplace for hotel stays

Emerging travel startup XciteGo has created a new type of marketplace for hotels and travelers, where travelers can bid in an open forum for hotel rooms alongside hoteliers offering hotel rooms.

Passengers willing to endure security twice for good inflight wifi [INFOGRAPHIC]

Wifi on flights is becoming a bit like air it seems as two-thirds of US passengers say it influences their flight selection and almost a quarter have paid more for a flight offering the connectivity.

How to prepare your business to meet traveler trends in 2020

The travel customer continues to become more demanding, more educated and more tech savvy. As a result, travel agencies and tour operators need to become more nimble and knowledgeable to continue to meet the needs of future customers.

Get with the (digital) program – a strategy for next generation destination marketing

Some great marketing campaigns have come out of tourist boards and destination marketing organisations in recent years.

Online travel agencies are not evil – but they are bad business

Great industries are built on great partnerships, and the hospitality sector is no different. The US hospitality industry, for example, has been built on the partnership of hotel brands and franchisees.

Using verified travel reviews to understand business travelers

Let’s say in one room you have a business traveler who flew all night, managed a full day of meetings, returned to the hotel to catch up on emails and eat.

Online Indian hotel bookings – changes to reservation windows and cancellation patterns

The last-minute hotel booking market in India seems to be gaining momentum – with almost a fifth of bookings in the country now for the same day.

Social sharing and logins: Who’s winning user engagement on social media?

Engagement is the currency that drives transactions – this applies especially to social networks, where keeping attention is challenging-yet-essential for successful social media marketing.

Ranking of US destination underscores intense competition for thriving tourism

Tourism in the United States is on track for another banner year, with over 15 million arrivals in the first quarter alone.

WEBINAR VIDEO – Understanding hotel metasearch marketing and measuring its ROI

Digital marketing and measuring ROI don’t always go hand in hand, but that’s changing for the hospitality industry.