Trump said he will raise tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods to 30% and hike duties on another $300 billion in products to 15%.Politicsread more
Stocks dropped after Donald Trump ordered that U.S. manufacturers find alternatives to their operations in China.US Marketsread more
Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida said Friday that the global economy has deteriorated in the past month.Marketsread more
The latest escalation in the trade war ups the odds the economy will fall into recession and that the Fed will aggressively cut rates.Market Insiderread more
Here are the products that stand to be the most affected by China's new tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods.Marketsread more
"We don't need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them," Trump tweeted.Politicsread more
"My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?" Trump wrote amid a series of tweets that rattled markets Friday.Politicsread more
"I would love this to be clarified. We come to a deal on trade, boy, this market is up 10 to 15%, but without it's going to be worrisome," Jeremy Siegel says.Marketsread more
The final week of August could be highly volatile as markets fret over the economy and the latest developments in trade wars.Market Insiderread more
Tesla solar panels ignited at an Amazon warehouse in Redlands, California in June 2018, Bloomberg reports. The news comes days after Walmart sued Tesla for at least 7 fires...Technologyread more
The death comes as federal and state health officials investigate a slew of lung illnesses in connection to e-cigarette use.Health and Scienceread more
From planning and booking to making payments the internet changed the way we travel, enabling us to do what once required a travel agent. The cloud changed things further through apps that provide real-time information and travel suggestions, but this is just the beginning.
Innovation has made traveling easy. A range of web-based options enables travelers to find the most suitable routes and accommodations, while mobile technology allows them to plan and pay on the go. It began with the likes of Lastminute.com and Kayak and is gathering pace with firms like Uber, Citymapper and Routehappy.
"The leisure tourism industry has been completely disrupted by new technology," said Neil Ward-Dutton, research director for business advisory firm MWD Advisors. "First there was the initial wave of online booking services allowing travelers to assemble their own trips and compare flight prices. Then the second wave of digital disruption brought together the power of real-time information, universal connectivity and mobile."
While much of the recent innovation has been driven by startups and smaller companies Ward-Dutton expects tech heavyweights to get in on the action.
"I wouldn't be surprised if Google bought into the industry soon," he said. "I can see Google buying a company like TripIt.com... In fact it's a natural extension for Google after launching Flight Search. "
TripIt is a free online service that lets users create itineraries that include maps, directions and weather information. TripIt also offers real-time flight alerts and notifications about a user's journey for a fee.
If Google doesn't buy a tool like TripIt, Ward-Dutton expects it could build its own: "Google could make the service very powerful by integrating capabilities from the rest of its portfolio, such as its planning tools, calendar or maps," he added.
Travel agent type apps
Cloud firms don't always present travelers with the cheapest options, said Mike Davis, a principal analyst at Msmd Advisors, who anticipates more sophisticated travel apps that mirror the capabilities of high street travel agents.
"[Comparison websites] allow you to easily book a flight, a holiday and a car, but there are a number of different contracts and no insurance should anything go wrong," he said.
"More sophisticated travel apps could bring you all the protection you get in a package holiday. The obvious people to create such an app are the Thomas Cooks of this world, who already have the infrastructure to do it," he added.
Travel agent-type apps could also become more personalized making traditional travel guides a thing of the past.
Utrip, for instance, combines the cloud with big data analytics to produce personalized travel itineraries based on a user's interests. Utrip learns from its overall user base and integrates with social networks and other web sources to create itineraries.
"Product development cycles are quicker than other industries," said Annie Wilson, UK managing director at travel search engine Kayak. "The start-up spirit is rife and everyone wants a piece of the technology pie, so if your product isn't the very best it can be then someone else will quite simply step in to do it better."
Startups that offer alternative travel options face hostility from the entrenched travel industry.
San-Francicso-based Uber – a taxi service that allows users to book cars from any location using a smartphone app – had problems in the U.S. for not offering a licensed taxi service. Meanwhile, traditional taxi drivers in France recently took to the streets to protest, while Belgium declared Uber illegal. In the U.K., black-cab drivers are fighting for the High Court to ban Uber.
Airbnb – a website that lets people rent out their apartments on a short-term basis – also bumped heads with traditional travel players. It faces challenges in New York and Berlin amid claims that it violates housing and hotel laws.
"Traditional hotel chains would be better off trying to partner with Airbnb than protest its legal standing," said Ward-Dutton. "There are figures that qualify Airbnb's growth in the last few years. The website now offers more rooms than the Hilton or International Hotel Group."
Thus far Uber and Airbnb have weathered the backlash. Uber recently raised $1.2 billion in funding; it's now valued at $18.2 billion. Meanwhile, Airbnb is valued at $10 billion after a recent round of fund raising.
With increased funding and growing market share cloud-based travel apps are here to stay. As the industry evolves traditional travel companies will have to adapt to the new business models to remain competitive.