As summer was coming to a close last week (and people everywhere were doing best to hang onto the last few glimmers), there was little noteworthy news coming out of the distribution world. Enjoy.

Travel Marketers Beware: Apple’s Updated Privacy Practices May Be A Marketer’s Nightmare (“How Apple’s New Privacy Effort Will Impact Travel Marketing, Sep 3, 2020 via Skift Travel News) (subscription may be required) While Apple announced late last week that it was likely postponing until early next year previously announced changes to its privacy practices, the proposed changes nevertheless warrant attention by hoteliers and OTAs alike. The changes, which are part of Apple’s campaign to provide users greater transparency and control over their data, require application developers to secure users’ affirmative consent (“opt-in”) before tracking their online practices. The changes further require developers to clearly disclose what data they will be collecting and with whom they will be sharing the data. Should iOS users decide against allowing applications to track their online behavior, hoteliers and OTAs (both of whom maintain branded applications and rely heavily on online marketing firms to place targeted ads in third-party applications) may soon have to find new (or even old) methods of reaching their guests.

Other news:

Can Travel Become Less Dependent on Google in a Post-pandemic World? Sep 1, 2020 via Phocus Wire Little more than six months ago, the one topic that kept travel executives awake at night was Google increasingly siphoning off industry profits by moving deeper and deeper into the travelers’ user funnel. It took a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic to turn the entire industry dynamic upside down. With travel coming to a complete standstill during spring 2020, travel companies cut marketing spending down to literally zero. But travel will eventually come back - although possibly not in the same shape and size - and previous crises in travel have shown that players that most aggressively captured Google's search traffic during the recovery phase ended up on the winning side of history.

5 Ways Travel Loyalty Programs Can Balance Customer and Business Values Aug 31, 2020 via Skift Travel News (subscription may be required) Customer loyalty and long-term engagement are evolving. In response, travel brands are trying to understand how they can differentiate themselves by transforming their points-based, “earn-and-burn” loyalty programs into vehicles that can create deeper relationships with their customers.