Dennis Schaal

Founding Editor/Executive Editor: Dennis has always been sort of Skiftish in proudly pursuing his change/transformation muse. Whether it was battling the high school baseball coach’s prohibition against bushy sideburns (oh, those prom pictures), getting arrested for sitting-in against South African apartheid or breaking scoops about disrupters in travel and technology, Dennis has always been writing and fighting against legacy thinking in its voluminous and varying forms. OK, so back to matters at hand: Dennis is Skift's founding editor/executive editor, a member of its leadership team, and one of its three original gangsters. His beat is online travel; Dennis has penned numerous scoops, as well as two oral histories. They are The Definitive Oral History of Online Travel, and The Oral History of Travel's Greatest Acquisition, Booking.com. He also wrote a Skift ebook, The Future of Travel Booking. Dennis has appeared in numerous Skift Calls and podcasts, covering everything from Airbnb and Amazon to Expedia, and has participated in numerous TV and radio broadcasts representing Skift. Before his Executive Editor role at Skift, Dennis was North America Editor of Tnooz and a member of the launch team; a PhoCusWright analyst; Digital Traveler columnist for USA Today, and he filled a variety of slots at Travel Weekly, including Tech Editor and Business Travel Editor. Dennis is formerly Editor in Chief of Corporate Responsibility Officer magazine, and his career took a 12-year detour as he worked for Quotron/Citicorp as a computer hardware technician. His journalism career began at the daily newspaper, the Bridgeport Post (now called the Connecticut Post). A Boston University journalism graduate, Dennis has three adorable kids, who constantly give him grief about his omnipresent "Daddy shenanigans," as they call them.

Latest Stories

Online Travel

Oyo’s Pending IPO Could Be Halved or Even Scuttled

Oyo's potential IPO has likely run head-on into the collapse of several recent public market debuts in India with a couple of lawsuits potentially figuring into the regulator's delayed decision. Oyo will eventually go public, but that maiden public appearance likely won't resemble the initial vision.

Oyo’s Pending IPO Could Be Halved or Even Scuttled

Short-Term Rentals

Vacasa Is On Top Now But Competition Is Coming

It isn't that Vacasa has no competition in North America in vacation rental management, but there isn't a strong challenger at the moment after Vacasa bought out its strongest competitors over the last two years. In such a hot market, look for that void to get filled pronto.

Vacasa Is On Top Now But Competition Is Coming

Online Travel

Google.com Gets Free Hotel Booking Links to Level Playing Field … A Tad

Pressure from regulators and maybe disgruntled partners prompted Google to add free booking links in search results and Maps in travel. Google certainly hasn't leveled the proverbial playing field among advertisers and non-advertisers, but hotels and smaller online travel agencies may see some benefit.

Google.com Gets Free Hotel Booking Links to Level Playing Field … A Tad

Short-Term Rentals

Mystery Software Firm Sparked Launch of an Inspirato Corp Rewards Plan

Hey, when opportunity knocks, answer the door if you think there is an ample addressable market. That's what Inspirato did as it develops a corporate rewards or incentive program and seeks to broaden its products into flights and adverture travel, as well.

Mystery Software Firm Sparked Launch of an Inspirato Corp Rewards Plan

Short-Term Rentals

Sonder Exec Claims Direct Traffic Is Not a Primary Objective

Just about every travel company — Sonder included — wants more direct bookings because of the lower costs and chance to build customer relationships. Still, Sonder may be at a growth stage where adding distribution channels can be an important hedge against over-reliance on the bigger ones.

Sonder Exec Claims Direct Traffic Is Not a Primary Objective

Online Travel

Google and Trivago Are Still Selling Ads for Russia Hotels

Google Travel turned off Russia advertisers, but is still getting a limited amount of advertising for Russia travel from ad partners outside Russia. In contrast, Skyscanner and Kayak don't display any information about Russia travel.

Google and Trivago Are Still Selling Ads for Russia Hotels

Short-Term Rentals

Sonder Says New Public Company Visibility Helps Close Deals in Premium Locales

Sonder began feeling an adverse impact from the Omicron outbreak in late November 2021, and that spilled over into January and February, hurting its booking numbers. Still, the forecast is for a 2022 revenue jump of 100 to 110 percent as it inks new deals in more lucrative markets.

Sonder Says New Public Company Visibility Helps Close Deals in Premium Locales

Tourism

Russia Travel: Who’s In, Who’s Out

The global travel industry is split over doing business in Russia, although the vast majority of companies are abiding by the relevant economic sanctions. Moral outrage, self-interest, and disparate views over harming ordinary Russians are clashing big time.

Russia Travel: Who’s In, Who’s Out

Tour Operators

Russian Oligarch Resigns From TUI Group Board After EU Sanctions

Mordashov's resignation from the TUI Group supervisory board has to be a tremendous relief to the world's largest tour operator, which can now in large part get on with its business. However, there is a substantial hangover: With his shares frozen, Mordashov still remains TUI Group's largest shareholder.

Russian Oligarch Resigns From TUI Group Board After EU Sanctions

Online Travel

Expedia Ceases Sales to and From Russia

Expedia Group stepped out of the pack and ceased offering travel to and from Russia because of Putin's invasion of Ukraine. The company doesn't have a ton of Russia-related business, so even if the move is more symbolic than anything else, it is an important statement.

Expedia Ceases Sales to and From Russia