Your inside scoop on travel innovation, trends, and startups 🚀

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Ready to catch up on the latest travel industry news? Here are the top stories from this week:

  • Making it easier for hotels to get paid. RoomRaccoon, a hotel management system, has teamed up with Adyen, a global fintech platform, to improve its payment capabilities, making it easier, cheaper, and more secure for hotels to get paid. They’re automating the payment process through RoomRaccoon’s booking engine, channel manager, and front desk, which means real-time tracking and less chance of fraud. This partnership will also expand RoomRaccoon’s payment offering in 28 markets, including new destinations in Europe and North America, and provide hotels with a range of established payment methods that their guests trust.
  • Ready to master travel booking. Paris-based Travelsoft has a target to transact bookings worth €5 billion annually and has just added a third brand to its portfolio. Travel booking platforms are in high demand, helping the tourism industry stay efficient in the digital era where personalisation and automation are key in travel. Travelsoft’s platform helps players in the industry sell packages by automating production and booking and handling data oversight. The company has now bought Travel Compositor to secure its position in Southern Europe and LATAM, which adds to its purchase of Traffics and Orchestra in 2022.
  • Home swapping is about to get popular. It’s reminiscent of a pretty familiar rom-com movie, but it seems that home swapping is a growing market. It offers people the chance to enjoy personal accommodation affordably, giving access to what may otherwise be an unaffordable luxury. Home swapping specialist HomeExchange has just acquired its competitor Love Home Swap to prepare for a market boom in 2023. Home exchanges are already up 75% compared to 2022 – seems like it’ll be an exciting segment to watch.
  • Better digital experiences for guests and staff. Munich-based startup Apaleo just raised a whopping €9 million in a growth equity round. They will use that cash to expand their hospitality platform for hotel and serviced apartment chains across Europe. Apaleo’s software helps hotels and serviced apartments create cool digital experiences for guests while making things easier for staff. Their solution currently powers brands across 15 countries and their customers include numa, Soho House, Limehome, SV Group, and Lindemann Hotels.
  • TUI looks for growth with a new tour platform. TUI has been working hard to maintain growth over recent years, looking for new ways to attract customers by extending product offerings. Its launched things like dynamic packaging, personalised deals and experiences, and now, it’s tapping into the growing tours segment with TUI Tours. The tour market is valued at $100 billion but is still pretty fragmented and offline. TUI aims to bring it online by working with startup Nezasa to build a tour booking platform that allows for full personalisation.
  • What’s left of the World Cup? Qatar is using the attention it gained from hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup to diversify its economy by focusing on the tourism and sports tech sectors. The country aims to attract six million visitors annually by 2030 and increase the tourism sector’s contribution to its GDP from 7% to 12%. With a 64.4% increase in visitors arriving in January 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, the country is easing visa restrictions and investing in marketing campaigns to promote itself as a premium destination. Qatar’s $450 billion sovereign wealth fund is considering football, finance, and technology investments.
  • Hoteliers can keep an eye on the competition. The short-term rental market has been soaring over recent years, giving hoteliers a new competitor to take on. OTA Insight, based in London, helps hotels track their competitors’ rates and gives insights into the short-term rental market. The company has launched a new product, Rate Insight+, which will factor in the prices of rentals compared to hotels so they can stay as competitive as possible and access more market data. Let the price battle commence!