What We’re Reading About … Investments, Acquisitions & More

A curated weekly list of worthy reads that recently caught our attention.
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Money continues to flood into the tours, activities and attractions space as investors and large brands recognize the growing value of in-destination.

Ownership changes are afoot in the world of Lego: The company announced they will acquire Merlin Entertainments for billions. While it’s unclear what the repercussions of the deal will be for the Merlin-operated Legoland, Madame Tussauds’ and more, the acquisition emphasizes the continued importance of attractions and activities in the in-destination industry.

Also, coming in on the heels of Airbnb’s recent launch of Airbnb Adventures, which features multi-day off-the-beaten-path travel options, is Airbnb Luxe—homes that start at $600 per night, and come with a dedicated trip designer to help make dinner reservations, arrange airport transfers and organize daily experiences. Is Airbnb Luxe one more rung in the booking site’s ladder to own the entire travel landscape? 

Give these important articles a read:

Lego Acquires Merlin Entertainment for $7.6 Billion 

The investment vehicles of Denmark-based Lego announced they will acquire the attraction and theme park powerhouse Merlin Entertainment for an incredible $7.6 billion … Read More at Blooloop

Airbnb Enters the Luxe Market 

Fancy a stay in a castle? How about a week on a private atoll? Airbnb announced the launch of Airbnb Luxe, which features places to stay that start at $600 per night … Read More at New York Times

Amsterdam-Based Taxi2Airport Raises $2.5 Million 

The airport transfer company recently gained an influx of investment funding from myriad venture capital firms, and aims to accelerate its business with deeper B2B partnerships … Read More at PhocusWire

Vienna’s New Ad Campaign Uses Negative Reviews to Lure Tourists

Reverse psychology much? Vienna’s newest travel ad campaign pokes fun at the city’s worst-reviewed attractions. The biggest question: Will this tactic help drive more visitors? … Read more at Quartz

Unlicensed Tours of Hong Kong Are Booming; Operators Wary of Legal Risks 

Hosting sightseeing tours through Airbnb to show visitors Hong Kong’s hidden gems is a welcome source of revenue for tour organizers. But there are also legal risks in operating such activities without a license … Read More at South China Morning Post

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