Your Crystal Ball for the Travel Industry

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Here are the top news stories from around the travel industry—let’s jump right in:

  • Dine like a local, anywhere in the world. Madrid-based startup Velada, founded in 2021, has raised €1 million for its next-gen restaurant guide and booking app that aims to provide global food lovers with the best local, authentic experiences. Curated by food critics and local tastemakers, Velada’s app offers travelers a dedicated local guide to the best dining experiences in Spain. With this new funding, Velada plans to expand to more cities and partner with brands and restaurants to bring users more content and offer a subscription service for its community of local gourmands.
  • Big Score for Hospitality Tech. HotelRunner has closed a $6.5 million Series A funding round. HotelRunner’s platform supports the global hospitality industry by providing a unified system for sales, operations, and distribution management, as well as AI-driven business intelligence solutions and a market network. Properties can fully digitize their operations with HotelRunner. The funding will be used to expand offline markets, grow the team and invest in state-of-the-art technology. The London-based startup plans to continue its global expansion and open new offices in the Americas in the coming months.
  • Fintech meets Fun: A Match Made in Attraction Heaven. Klarna has closed a collaboration agreement with PortAventura World, the largest resort in southern Europe. With over 4 million visitors per year, it is the most visited theme park in Spain and the fourth most visited in Europe. From now on, PortAventura customers will be able to pay with Klarna in selected European countries reflecting a trend of fintech companies entering the travel industry. Daniel Espejo, the General Manager of Klarna in Spain says: “Consumers’ demand for safe and flexible ways of paying is increasing year over year. As it has happened in other industries such as fashion, and beauty, we expect that offering flexible payment solutions will quickly become the new normal for the traveling brands”.
  • Sustainability Meets Culture in Moldova’s Tourism Revamp. Moldova is taking a big step in the right direction by teaming up with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council to give their tourism industry a sustainable makeover. This partnership is all about working together to make sure Moldova’s tourism is as kind to the planet as it is exciting for visitors. The European country has a lot to offer as a sustainable destination, with recent investments and developments in wine and rural tourism shining a spotlight on its unique cultural, culinary, wine, and adventure travel potential. Plus, their tourism strategy is all about preserving the country’s authentic culture and developing tourism in rural communities, so they’re already off to a great start.
  • Unlocking Hidden Profits in the Travel Industry. The travel optimization platform Hotelmize has raised $12m in a series B funding round led by Flashpoint Venture Capital and featuring participation from existing investors. The funding will be used to “develop our optimization suite, and most importantly enhance our partner’s business performance across the globe,” said Dor Krubiner, Hotelmize’s CEO. The startup is a travel optimization platform that uses advanced technologies such as financial modeling, big data, and AI to unlock hidden profits from hotel bookings and create new travel products. Hotelmize’s platform is already being used by more than 100 partners from 20 countries to increase profitability and gain a competitive edge.
  • Insurtech and Vacation Rentals: A Winning Partnership. Cover Genius, a New York-based insurtech company, has announced a partnership with HomeToGo. The partnership aims to provide an extra layer of flexibility for customers by integrating the insurtech solution into HomeToGo’s platform, to enhance the vacation rental booking experience. Great to see technology being used for optimizing a traditional industry such as insurance and turning the claim process entirely digital, with an intuitive customer experience that is rare in the insurtech market.
  • Your Crystal Ball for the Travel Industry. The annual overview of the top trends by Skift is here and it’s a must-read for anyone in the industry. They have a knack for predicting what’s to come and their insights are especially valuable during these times of change. If you’re looking for a reliable source to guide you through the new landscape, Skift’s annual overview of top trends is a great place to start.
  • Expert Insights for the Future of Travel. With so many trends to keep track of in the travel industry, Lufthansa Innovation Hub has published a list of the best 2023 travel reports in one convenient overview. Tino Klaehne, a speaker at the FutureTravel Summit last year, has read 38 trend reports on the future of travel and selected the most relevant ones. Check out the article here and find out Tino’s highlights.
  • Netflix’s Flight Attendant Search. A unique job opportunity has been circulating in the media recently: Netflix is in search of a flight attendant to join their team. The ideal candidate would be passionate about aviation and eager to work with a top-notch crew. It’s not just a figure of speech, Netflix is truly looking for a flight attendant to take care of senior management on one of its corporate planes.