Disruptive technology? the skinny on skift

Skift, a media plus company as founder Rafat Ali likes to term it, has been around for nearly six months but has only just received a fair dose of publicity in the travel and, more importantly, in the digital world.  Billed more as a travel intelligence company than yet another media start-up, Skift, Swedish for Shift, does promise to shift the business of travel, in particular for business travelers.

Skift introduced itself to the marketplace via a factsheet as opposed to the more traditional press release noting that as a "travel intelligence media company it offers news, insight, data, tools and services to the travel industry and the very large community of business travelers who seek expert advice to help make smart decisions about travel". Relying more on data than content aggregation, Skift intends to offer a consumer site aimed at business travelers.

One suspects that, if successful, in this area the company will soon cater to a wider more diverse range of travel industry consumers. The analog is probably Smith Travel Research which began decades before the advent of the digital age but geared itself to provide performance data and trends for hotels, hoteliers and lenders eventually covering all stakeholders interested and needing that wealth of information generated by STR.

Appropos the foregoing, Skift can perhaps really end up being a disruptive technology medium as regular consumers who are under the mistaken notion that "deals" can be had via websites only to find, thanks to rate parity, that there are almost none to be had.  The latter is finally under some threat thanks to an investigation by Britain's Office of Fair Trading and has been written about before here. At a minimum,business consumers, and others, are very likely to get more for their content from a site like Skift once there are real deals to be had.

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Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.

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