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Travel News and Trends Headlines Update on November 18, 2021

The Dutch lodging company CitizenM has raised $1 billion to speed up their expansion. According to their CEO, more than half of the money will be used to add new hotels.

Interesting to read Rafat Ali’s post expanding on the things that get him excited about the travel industry during its comeback. What excites you about the travel industry, Alex? I’d love to know 🙂

Booking Holdings will acquire Getaroom, in one of their biggest acquisition deals in the past years. Getaroom joins the group to form a new strategic partnerships business unit, which is aimed to improve B2B distribution for hotel partners as well as offering a strong tech solution for partners.

I really liked Amadeus’ work on analysing their data and talking to experts to spot six trends that will impact the travel industry in 2022. You can see their findings here.

Japan’s “Go to Travel” campaign for boosting domestic traveling is expected to have a comeback in February 2022, with some adjustments on the initial campaign. As it seems, travellers can expect incentives for traveling on weekdays and discount rates for accommodation facilities.

Did you watch this recent interview with Brian Chesky talking about all things Airbnb? He talks about architecture, about the impact of the pandemic on the business, about how Airbnb is shaping cities and about going public. Very, very good stuff!

Might not be directly related to what I normally discuss here on this newsletter, but if you have 2 minutes I strongly recommend you to watch Iceland’s amazing take on Mark Zuckerberg’s intro to Metaverse. A bit of humour to brighten your day, Alex.

There seems to be a shortage in Japan for skilled train pilots in the future. So yesterday they presented a first try out with a driverless bullet train, which ran for 5km, reached 110km/h and missed ​​it’s stopping point by 8 centimeters. Not bad.

The travel-discovery-app Elude has announced additional $3 million funding to improve the booking experience. Their solution focuses on presenting people how far they can go within their budget, showing packages combining flight and hotels. Sounds very millennial to me, and I love it.

Founded in 2019, the rental tech startup Enso Connect saw a 17,000% growth in six months (pandemic who?) and now the Canada-based startup just announced a seed round of $2 million.

Amenitiz is a Barcelona-based startup doing great work on providing all the necessary tools and resources hoteliers need to run their own properties. Well, seems like we are not the only ones thinking that they are doing great work: they just secured €6.5 million in seed funding.

FunNow has just announced a $15million investment round. From Taiwan, the startup will now focus on expanding their daily life activities booking app to new locations.

Cloudbeds announced it has raised a $150 million Series D round, bringing the company’s total venture funding to $253 million. The company aims to continue growing its team, expanding its product offerings, and investing heavily in delivering top-notch tech to the industry.

YAY for entirely new, zero-emission, traveling experiences! Eve and Widerøe Zero just announced a partnership that aims to develop urban air mobility solutions, initially focusing on implementing eVtol operations in Scandinavia. At the same time, but in another side of the globe, Varon Vehicles and Flapz announced they will be joining forces to bring eVtol to Latin America. Loving to watch the momentum building up around this topic.

Cloudbeds has raised $150 million. Serving clients across 157 countries, the hospitality tech provider says it will mostly use the capital to create new features and functions for their products, apart from growing its team and to accelerate customer acquisition. This round brings Cloudbeds total funding to $253 million.

German startup Volocopter and Rome-Fiumicino Airport have announced their plans on making flying taxis a realistic option for travelers to reach the city center from 2024 onwards. And as it seems, Paris and Berlin are on Volocopter’s radar, too.

Still on the topic of flying taxis, the UK-based flying taxi startup Vertical Aerospace recently announced $205 million raised in funding. They are the startup pioneering zero-emissions aviation. Yes, you read it right: zero-emissions aviation.

Founded in 2019, the Seoul-based autonomous driving startup 42dot raised $88.5M to accelerate its growth. If you never heard about 42dot before, start here: although 42dot CEO and co-founder, Chang-Hyeon Song, is also ead of TaaS (Transportation as a Service) at Hyundai Motors, the startup raised $42 million pre-series A in 2019, counting on South Korea’s several big conglomerates, including Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors and LG Electronics, among others.

Starting next year, a 18-hour ferry route will be connecting Norway and the Netherlands. Travelers can expect a very modern ferry-cruise, with space for ​​1,500 passengers and 350 cars. The startup making this happen is Holland Norway Lines.

Ghost kitchen meets room service with Butler Hospitality. As Phocuswire described it: “(the startup) offers virtual room service by operating restaurants in hotels and delivering to non-service hotels nearby. Its model is designed to take an existing asset – in this case a hotel property – and help monetize and maximize its square footage.” And now Butler Hospitality raised $35 million to expand their dining concepts and strengthen strategic partnerships.

Chalo is the startup leading the digitalization of buses in India and they have now acquired Shuttl, which operates thousands of buses aimed at working professionals. Interesting moment for the $20 billion bus-market in India.

Here is a merger aiming to make life easier for hotels: Cendyn and Pegasus have joined forces to provide hoteliers with a platform to boost their direct bookings and improve guest experience.