The preferred information tales on PhocusWire in 2023

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At first of 2023, few may have predicted what PhocusWire’s hottest story of the yr can be. ChatGPT was barely a month outdated, and it will take a while for the total ramifications of generative synthetic intelligence to be understood.

However not a lot time.

ChatGPT and GenAI took the journey world by storm — and did a lot the identical for these rankings. The subject accounted for 4 of our hottest tales this yr.

However in a yr that started with dread over how rising inflation and rates of interest would possibly have an effect on client spending, we discovered loads of different fascinating issues to write down about together with, fortunately, largely excellent news about earnings from the sector’s largest gamers. It appears at the same time as financial uncertainty lingered by means of the yr, shoppers discovered a option to prioritize journey.

So we predict you’ll take pleasure in reviewing the highest 10 tales that captured probably the most consideration with readers over the previous 12 months. And take a look at our 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019 and 2018 lists for a fast refresh on what individuals have been studying about journey tech in these years.

From 2023, in reverse order …

10. Top global consumer trends and what they mean for travel

Getting a leg up on the competitors was clearly necessary at first of 2023 as readers flocked to this story from January about client behaviors the market analysis firm Euromonitor recognized as price watching.

Among the many traits: extra automation, a higher tendency towards short-term shopping for selections and extra give attention to Gen Z shoppers.

9. Presenting the top investors in travel tech 2023

PhocusWire’s sister model, Phocuswright, tracks funding to startups from all over the world day by day. Phocuswright’s State of Travel Startups database presently consists of greater than 4,600 corporations which have generated greater than 8,500 funding rounds from virtually 7,400 traders because the early 2000s.

To carry extra transparency to traders’ exercise and techniques, PhocusWire launched this new characteristic in June with plans to publish a brand new checklist yearly. The checklist was based mostly on evaluation by Phocuswright supervisor of analysis and innovation Mike Coletta, who checked out funding from January 2022 by means of the tip of Q1 in 2023 to determine the highest journey tech traders.

“For this checklist, we tried to spotlight those which are most lively or are contributing probably the most funding to the ecosystem,” he mentioned. “For the reason that certain quantity of contributions by every investor in every funding spherical is usually not publicly obtainable, we zeroed in on those that have made at the least 4 fairness investments because the begin of 2022 by means of the tip of Q1 2023 or at the least three investments the place the funding rounds they contributed to have been within the tens of tens of millions.”

8. Tripadvisor CEO outlines three-prong strategy

In a February name with monetary analysts to debate Tripadvisor’s fourth quarter and full-year 2022 financial results, CEO Matt Goldberg supplied particulars a few imaginative and prescient for the corporate, which he described as making a “fashionable media market for journey.”

The three-pronged technique included serving to vacationers make selections and plan journeys by constructing on the corporate’s basis of present opinions and boards; producing deeper engagement with vacationers by recognizing and rewarding its most loyal customers; and driving worth for the corporate’s companions.

“At this time our mannequin is optimized in attracting excessive volumes of visitors bouncing on and off our platform to confirm their journey selections as a part of the journey planning course of,” mentioned Goldberg, who joined Tripadvisor in July 2022. “We are going to proceed to superb tune that, however we even have a major alternative to do a greater job of addressing the wants of nearly all of our viewers.”

7. Airbnb pauses new experiences after predicting growth

A yr after speaking up its funding within the initiative, Airbnb introduced in April it paused Experiences, which aimed to provide vacationers a neighborhood expertise. In a press release, the corporate mentioned the transfer was motivated by a have to give attention to “perfecting” its core service.

That focus could have helped the corporate to report its most profitable third quarter in history. Whereas Experiences remains on the company’s website, the initiative wasn’t among the many priorities CEO Brian Chesky spoke about on a Q3 name with traders.

6. CEO Spotlight Tony Fernandes of Capital A

Tony Fernandes has been the chief government at Capital A Berhad – previously AirAsia Group Berhad – since 2018, guiding its growth from an airline to a web based journey platform and most lately a brilliant app that provides monetary companies, journey hailing, meals supply and extra.

Within the interview with senior reporter Linda Fox, Fernandes spoke concerning the firm’s best challenges, the way it tailored through the pandemic and its aftermath and his ideas on generative AI.

“I all the time say in the event you don’t evolve you die on this trade,” he mentioned. “So I’m continuously excited about new improvements, merchandise, partnerships, companies and extra to make sure we stay resilient within the face of challenges, ship distinctive experiences and keep forward of the curve.”

5. Expedia Group lays off staff in U.S. and abroad

Expedia Group didn’t present particulars in July when it laid off workers in a number of departments, together with journey operations, help, IT, recruiting, advertising and marketing and B2B companies. However given the corporate’s dimension and stature, the information resonated with readers.

“We proceed simplifying and reprioritizing sources to realize our enterprise targets,” the corporate mentioned in a press release. “This resulted in eliminating some roles and realigning our investments to make sure we are able to ship nice know-how and experiences for our vacationers.”

Each revenue and adjusted EBITDA in the third quarter were records for the corporate. In a name with monetary analysts to debate the outcomes, CEO Peter Kern mentioned the corporate was effectively positioned to drive even “quicker and extra worthwhile progress” in 2024.

This wasn’t the one event a narrative about Expedia Group landed among the many yr’s hottest. In July the company’s announcement that it was pulling hotel and vacation rental supply from Hopper — and the accusations and counter-accusations that accompanied it — additionally piqued the curiosity of readers.

4. New efforts spotlight sustainability in rentals

This story from January seemed on the dearth of sustainability certifications for short-term leases at a time when the lodge trade was awash in them. Barcelona-based startup Sustonica sought to alter that by providing what it known as the primary certification open to all STRs, no matter the place they have been listed.

Reserving.com already provided its personal badge for sustainable lodges, resorts, residences, B&Bs, vacation houses, resorts and different properties. STR information firm Clear Intelligence studied Reserving.com’s listings and located that sustainable listings had achieved a 2% greater occupancy than their “unbadged competitors.” The common every day price, although, was $7 decrease for sustainable listings.

Nonetheless, some administration corporations welcomed the thought. “Presently there’s a scarcity of … a cohesive commonplace as to what makes a property or property administration firm sustainable,” mentioned Steve Milo, CEO and founding father of Vtrips. “What sustainability means to at least one individual could possibly be utterly completely different in one other property.”

3. Top travel industry predictions for 2023

When this story got here out within the first week of January, one of many daring predictions about technological developments in journey wasn’t ChatGPT however … robots making room service deliveries.

Predictions that financial headwinds would restrict journey or drive shoppers to decide on decrease class lodges whereas taking shorter journeys nearer to house additionally proved unfounded. Different predictions fared higher, together with extra competitors for short-term leases; higher demand for real-time journey information; and elevated adoption of fintech merchandise and digital fee strategies.

2. Presenting the Hot 25 Travel Startups for 2024

This was the sixth yr PhocusWire offered a Sizzling 25 Journey Startups checklist to be unveiled in November at The Phocuswright Conference. The year-round choice course of began this time with greater than 150 startups. Among the many issues: energy of innovation, potential to develop and variety in sector, location and founders.

This yr’s winners be a part of a prestigious group; the 125 corporations chosen over the primary 5 years cumulatively have raised $2.2 billion in funding.

1. What will ChatGPT mean for the travel industry?

Fittingly, our hottest story of the yr addressed in January what generative AI would possibly imply for the journey trade. Consultants from Expedia Group, Reserving.com, Hopper, 1000 Mile Journey, Horizon Guides, Autoura, Sojern and Phocuswright shared their insights. They predicted a lot of what has come to move this yr — together with the impression on journey planning, information crunching and content material manufacturing.

Three different tales associated to ChatGPT ranked amongst our hottest this yr. In February, we held our first LinkedIn Audio event with experts from Microsoft and Expedia Group becoming a member of Kayak co-founder Paul English and PhocusWire editor in chief Mitra Sorrells to debate the subject. In March, we wrote concerning the first travel brands to create plugins for ChatGPT. And in April, we wrote a roundup of “a chatty dozen” of ways travel companies were using ChatGPT.

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