San Diego Deploys Alipay to Boost Chinese Tourism

Bob Pinto  / Flickr

The historic Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego, known for its nightlife, is shown here. Brand USA is helping San Diego connect with Chinese tourists through a partnership with Chinese digital payment giant Alipay and Fliggy, an online travel agent platform owned by Alibaba. Bob Pinto / Flickr

Skift Take: China is California’s top long-haul market. So it’s a smart move for Brand USA and San Diego to partner with Alibaba, given that Chinese travelers use Alipay and online travel platform Fliggy on a daily basis.

— Faye Chiu

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American Airlines’ Woes and 8 Other Aviation Trends This Week

Victor  / Flickr

An American Airlines plane. The airline has seen its share of troubles lately, most recently this week with Delta buying a 20 percent stake in Latam, American’s Latin American partner. Victor / Flickr

Skift Take: This week in aviation news, American Airlines, fresh from being outsmarted by Delta in Latin America, continues to struggle. Our new On Airlines column tackles what is wrong at the airline. Also, a startup wants airlines to use buses to replace regional jet service.

— Tom Lowry

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Accor Is Reviving the Orient Express — Just Don’t Expect a Train Carriage


King Power Mahanakhon features Thailand’s tallest observatory and rooftop bar — and eye-catching architecture. Accor

Skift Take: Well over a hundred years since it began, the Orient Express is still synonymous with mystique and luxury. As a branding exercise, it makes perfect sense for Accor to capitalize on that in a stationary hotel setting.

— Rosie Spinks

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Air Gondolas Elevate Disney World’s Transportation System

John Raoux  / Associated Press

The Disney Skyliner gondolas opening to visitors on Sunday are the latest addition to one of the largest private transportation systems in the U.S. John Raoux / Associated Press

Skift Take: These gondolas are almost amusement rides in their own right. While they probably won’t make getting around the theme park much easier, they will be fun for visitors.

— Isaac Carey

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Why Airbnb IPO Is Unlikely and 6 Other Hospitality Trends This Week

Eric Newcomer

Airbnb announced plans to go public in 2020, but ultimately it seems more likely it will go the route of a direct listing. Eric Newcomer

Skift Take: This week in hospitality, we explore the path Airbnb might take in 2020, a week after its initial IPO announcement. Meanwhile, Hyatt offers a more elevated food-and-beverage experience — with a little help from Danny Meyer — at its new brand Caption.

— Jasmine Ganaishlal

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