Travel Tech Essentialist

By Mauricio Prieto

Every two weeks, ten insights that explore travel’s new frontiers.

Every two weeks, ten insights that explore travel’s new frontiers.

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Travel Tech Essentialist #43: First, Ten

I'd like to welcome Google as sponsor of this week's newsletter. My professional relationship with Google goes back a long time; it started when I used my credit card to set up the first search campaigns for eDreams using a then new advertising tool called Ad…


Travel Tech Essentialist #42: Breakthrough Builders

1. The future doesn’t happen to us; it happens because of us"The present has stopped working. We must create a different future". Mike Maples, Partner at VC firm Floodgate believes that now, more than ever, the world needs more entrepreneurs, who have the cou…


Travel Tech Essentialist #41: Constraints

1. Expedia, Booking, TripAdvisor, Trivago, MakeMyTrip Q3 resultsQ3 saw an improvement in Year on Year (YoY) declines compared to Q2Booking Holdings: Q2 -84% Q3 -48%Expedia Group: Q2 -82% Q3 -58%TripAdvisor: Q2 -86% Q3 -65%Trivago: Q2 -93% Q3 -76%MakeMyTrip: Q…


Travel Tech Essentialist #40: Thinking Illogically

1. It doesn’t pay to be logical when everybody else is being logicalMost of the greatest entrepreneurial successes started as completely illogical ideas that made no sense. In 2008, the year Airbnb was founded, the company was looking to raise $150,000 for 10…


Travel Tech Essentialist #39: The Calm Before the Storm

1. Amazon’s takes new steps into TravelBack in 2015, Amazon added hotel flash deals and discounts to its Amazon Local daily deals platform and also launched a dedicated hotel booking platform called Destinations, focused on helping customers across 35 cities …


Travel Tech Essentialist #38: Luck Surface Area

1. Increase your Luck Surface AreaThe amount of serendipitous opportunities is directly proportional to the degree to which you do something you're passionate about combined with the total number of people to whom this is effectively communicated. It's a simp…


Travel Tech Essentialist #37: 7-Star Customer Experience

1. Build a Customer Advisory BoardBoards of directors and boards of advisors are common. Much less common are boards of customers. Listening to customers and incorporating their input is important throughout the entire company lifecycle, but particularly crit…


Travel Tech Essentialist #36: Spider

1. Strive to dominateIn recent months, a few influential German travel start-ups have publicly stood up against Google’s so-called abusive and dominant practices. In this post, I raise some questions to understand if complaining companies are practicing what …


Travel Tech Essentialist #35: Strive to be a Monopoly

1. Preaching what we don't practice?A lot has been written this week (CNBC , Skift, etc...) about eight influential German travel start-ups criticizing Google for not restructuring (cancelling, reducing or delaying) ad payments linked to travel and transport …


Travel Tech Essentialist #34: Upside

1. Q2 witnessed historic dropsQ2 bookings 2020 vs 2019: Expedia -90%; Booking -92%.Q2 revenue 2020 vs 2019: Expedia -82%; Booking -84%; Tripadvisor -86%; Trivago-93%.Q2 room nights 2020 vs 2019: Expedia -81%; Booking -87%Q2 EBITDA: Expedia: -$436 million; Boo…


Travel Tech Essentialist #33: Collaborate

1. The State of Online Travel Agencies Here is my post on the full year 2019 results and key takeaways for 10 publicly traded online travel companies: Booking, Expedia,, eDreams Odigeo, Despegar, On The Beach, Lastminute, MakeMyTrip, TripAdvisor, Tri…


Travel Tech Essentialist #32: Lost and Found

1. Brian Chesky's predictionsAccording to Airbnb's CEO, people will travel less to major tourist cities and will instead choose to visit less well-known destinations closer to home. In addition to this redistribution of travel destinations, Chesky believes th…


Travel Tech Essentialist #31: Acceleration

1. Make it better, not just safer: The opportunity to reinvent travelMany travel companies have announced a series of health and hygiene measures, often promoted with well-known cleaning brands or health experts. McKinsey argues that a focus on health and hyg…


Travel Tech Essentialist #30: Light

1. Global vacation rental bookings skyrocket by 127% over 6 weeksAccording to AirDNA data, global vacation rental bookings found rock bottom the week of April 5th, with just over 916,000 bookings. By May 18th they had surged 127% to 2.08 million. The week of …


Travel Tech Essentialist #29: (Re)starting

1. The greatest startup accelerator?I wrote a short article on how startups could be relatively well positioned after CV19 in finding more willing consumers to sell to and operating in a business environment for which they are well suited for. I also go over …


Travel Tech Essentialist #28: Charging Ahead

1. Thayer Ventures has $80 million to invest in new early stage travel startupsGreat interview with Chris Hemmeter of Thayer Ventures, in which he discusses how CV19 is not changing his overall investment strategy but it is affecting the kind of metrics consi…


Travel Tech Essentialist #27: Adapting

1. Hospitality companies publicize detailed plans for new cleanliness protocolsThe world's largest hotel companies are focusing their attention in making their guests feel safe once traveling resumes. Think of it as cleanliness-as-a-Service to reduce travel a…


Travel Tech Essentialist #26: Navigating

1. Travel Tech Essentialist survey resultsThanks a lot for completing this survey. The results shed some light on those competitors expected to come out relatively stronger or weaker over various travel categories (OTAs, hotels,alternative accommodations, air…


Travel Tech Essentialist #25: Character

1. My take on the new normal in travel after CV19Some parts of life will return to normal quickly, but the travel industry will undergo a fundamental reset. My article highlights four variables that will define the travel industry’s post pandemic new normal.


Travel Tech Essentialist #24: Together

1. Ctrip and Qunar expect a surge in domestic tourism as life in China is slowly returning to normal Qunar and Ctrip, two of China’s biggest online travel service providers, have resumed bookings for travel packages and attraction tickets after a two-month hi…