Hotels, data and influencers ✨

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Here is your weekly curation of the top news around travel innovation, trends and startups:

  • Short-term rentals just got a facelift. Aiming to help more people join the booming short-term rental space, Showplace has just landed $2 million for its smart hosting platform. The company is making it easier for new hosts to set up their listing and start leasing with the likes of Airbnb and Verb by pulling together in one place all the design Inso and household products a host could need. Now, short term rentals can be beautiful, fully stocked, and ready to go quicker than ever before.
  • More data insights bring more travel perks. US company Journera is using data from the whole travel journey – from take off to landing – to open up new possibilities for both travelers and travel companies. The idea is that using tech can unlock insights into travel habits and preferences to enable travel companies to offer more to adventure-seekers. The company just picked up more $10 million.
  • Searching for insta-ready travel plans. Here is a specific funding round from a startup that called our attention this week. The Chicago-based startup Tripscout raised $14 million to grow their hotel booking platform through Instagram. Having a business fully centred around one of the top social platforms, made Skift to raise a bigger question: Is Instagram the new Google for travel?
  • Hunting for innovative traveltech founders. The UNWTO is calling young founders and travel entrepreneurs to join their Awake Tourism Challenge. The message is clear: tourism is waking up from a big hit, but the industry has been showing its potential as a major force of recovery. The organization is looking for innovative traveltech founders across different categories working to advance the Sustainable Development Goals. The application phase is open until June 30th and the benefits are very attractive for projects and companies that are just starting up.
  • Pics or it didn’t happen. In the age of constant social sharing and content consumption, documenting trips and travel experiences with photos and videos is second nature. But the pressure of capturing the moment can be a tough burden to bear, and how do you make sure the whole adventure is documented? Well, memory marketing platform Fotaflo has now partnered with Peek, a leading experiences booking software and marketplace. Tour guides using Peek will be able to capture the travelers experience using Fotaflo which then automatically delivers personal albums to the traveller – ready to upload to insta.
  • More exclusive and personal hotels – it’s thanks to data. The more you know a person, the more you know how to make them happy. With this logic, data is now increasingly being used by the hospitality sector to get to know their clients, in turn, helping them to improve guest services and raise revenues. Israeli company Duve has just announced a $10 million funding round for its tech that helps hoteliers enrich guest experiences through comprehensive data collection, tailoring experiences built on their needs. And well, the guests are ready for their five-star experience!
  • Local off-the-beaten-track tourism is supporting communities across Europe. Travel experiences that are more personal, more local, and are more community-focused continue to be popular as tourism strives to become more sustainable. UK-based Rabbie has just picked up £7 million on their mission to share hidden gems and secret spots with travelers prepared to get away from the regular tourist traps. The company has expanded to Spain, Portugal, Italy and Switzerland and commits to support local communities through travel.
  • Love-hate relationship: influencers and hotels. Influencers are a powerful marketing channel for hotels and now that travel is back, they are ready to get their job done. The future seems to be very promising for content creators, with the industry on course to grow to approximately $16.4 billion just this year alone. But it’s still challenging for some hotels to set this relationships right. Who are your favourite travel influencers, *|FNAME|*?