Fresh weekly roundup: reports, trends & startups

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Let’s head to this week’s curation of the top news in trends, innovation and startups shaping the travel industry.

  • The road so far: travel industry insights. Another year, another great “The State of Travel” report from Skift. The 2023 edition reveals a positive outlook for the industry, with travel fully recovering this year. Despite challenges in demand, supply, and the broader economy, the report emphasizes the opportunities for growth and highlights key trends that will shape the future. Backed by real-world data and over 250 graphs, the report offers insights into consumer, business, and investment trends. A very good overview of the current state of our industry.
  • Sojern’s new AI-Powered toolkit. Sojern has acquired VenueLytics, integrating AI-powered tools such as a virtual concierge and real-time guest feedback. This addition enhances their platform, enabling direct bookings, upselling during the stay, post-stay remarketing, and fostering long-term loyalty. The acquisition also expands to generative AI and a multichannel network, providing hotel teams with advanced capabilities to serve guests better and boost revenue.
  • Funding milestone for Italian traveltech. Italian travel scaleup BizAway secures €10 million funding round, bolstering its potential for rapid expansion and further innovation. With this new funding, the company aims to fuel the development of cutting-edge technologies, including BizzyFlex, a feature offering flexible booking options, and strengthen its position in the business travel sector. The investment opens doors for exciting growth opportunities as BizAway continues its journey to redefine business travel experiences.
  • No more ships in this harbor. I’ve been closely following how different cities tackle the challenges posed by mass tourism, and this week Amsterdam caught my attention, as the city is taking a stand to preserve its charm. Amsterdam’s council made a bold move by banning cruise ships from the city center to control visitor numbers and combat pollution, aligning with their sustainability goals. The central cruise terminal near the main train station is now set to close. These steps are part of their ongoing efforts to tackle over-tourism, which have also involved banning cannabis smoking in certain areas and discouraging bachelor parties. Moreover, this decision aims to reduce air pollution, as cruise ships are notorious for emitting high levels of nitrogen oxides. On top of that, Amsterdam is rethinking its nightlife offerings, seeking new spaces like disused tunnels and garages to nurture the creativity of young people who want to organize something special at night.
  • When B2B SaaS goes right in travel. Swiss startup Nezasa secures €4.2 million in funding to drive global expansion, spur innovation in product offerings, and solidify its position as a B2B SaaS market leader for medium to large travel enterprises. Their platform automates the planning, booking, and management of multi-stage tour itineraries, enabling travel brands to sell itineraries faster and more efficiently with increased flexibility. The successful acquisition of Tripyeah further accelerated their solid growth path and provided a strategic market presence in Latam.
  • What’s possible for travel and retail? This week, we had the opportunity to explore GHARAGE’s report offering insights into the “Next Era of Travel and Retail.” The report presents a meticulously crafted analysis, identifying key trends, technological advancements, and the most promising future developments that will shape these industries. With a clear focus on empowering business units to stay ahead of the curve, this serves as a compass for potential shifts to come while inspiring change and sparking imagination about the limitless possibilities that lie ahead in the future of travel and retail. For those curious about the future, it’s definitely worth checking out 🙂