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Is 2013 the Year of iTravel?

Tuesday, 4 Dec 2012 | 11:31 AM ET
Jeff Hunter | Photographer's Choice | Getty Images

Apple will launch a travel app.

The tech giant probably won't want to hold inventory, so iTravel will likely be an aggregator of offers from other online travel agencies, hotel groups and airlines. But Apple's new functionality could spark a tech war, which may be why Priceline is buying Kayak for $1.8 billion.

Private equity group Blackstone will spin off Hilton and return it to a stock market, having taken it private five years ago for $26 billion.

The lodging giant's strategy will re-shape the industry, not least because it owns many of the hotels which bear the names of its brands, unlike other key competitors like Marriot.

All travel CEOs will promise innovation to make their businesses more Amazon-like and distinguish their brands.

Car hire and car sharing companies will succeed to an extent. But it will be cosmetic for the cruise industry. And hotel brands will fail because the owners of the properties they run won't pay up for the investment.

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