Planet DMC

News and tidbits from the travel industry

Category: Fast Company (Page 1 of 14)

The world’s first combination ski slope-power plant is finally open

This ambitious public infrastructure project boasts furnaces and turbines that convert 440,000 tons of waste into clean energy each year—enough to provide 150,000 homes with electricity and heating. All of this is held beneath the 107,639-square-foot green roof (which absorbs heat, removes air particles, and minimizes stormwater runoff). This biodiverse landscape doubles as a sporty architectural rooftop with 96,875 square feet of artificial ski terrain—the same length as an Olympic half-pipe. Visitors can reach this dynamic roof, which also includes slopes for beginning skiers and freestylers, by ascending on either a platter lift or a glass elevator—both of which run alongside the gilded, 24-hour plant within.Evan Nicole Brown (Fast Company)

United Airlines is canceling 45 flights a day due to Boeing’s ill-fated 737 Max planes

United Airlines’ fleet of Boeing 737 Max planes will remain grounded until November 3, ensuring that more than 8,000 flights will be canceled. That’s 45 flights per day this month, a number that’s expected to rise to 95 per day in October, per the Associated Press. […] Meanwhile, Boeing’s 737 project manager is planning to retire after just one year in the post, according to CNBC. The turbulence is apparently taking its toll.Claire Miller (Fast Company)

Airbnb launches Adventures, its foray into extreme tours

The adventure industry has also undergone something of a makeover in recent years, making it more approachable. The word “adventure” used to be associated with skydiving and cliff jumping. Now it refers to hikes, food tours, and yoga retreats under the umbrella of cultural immersion.Ruth Reader (Fast Company)

Google’s new all-encompassing Google Travel features make you your own travel agent

As you may recall, last year the search giant souped up its flight and hotel search options. Then, in March of this year, it released a new flight and hotel search feature, elbowing its way to the front of the travel pack. Now the company is throwing its weight around even more. Google Trips will organize your searches and reservations at, to make it easier to find information relevant to your trip at Google Search and Google Maps, whether you’re searching on mobile or planning your trip on your office desktop as you pretend to look busy.Melissa Locker (Fast Company)

Singapore’s $1.3 billion airport expansion is half botanical garden, half mega-mall

Singapore’s government creates stringent guidelines for building projects, a necessity in a country that only has 279 square miles to work with. The city-state’s Urban Redevelopment Authority gives architects clear briefs that go far beyond most conventional building projects.Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan (Fast Company)

The new frontier for ultra-wealthy tourists? Underwater hotels and restaurants

It’s telling that projects like Under and the Muraka are being built at this particular moment, when anxiety around climate change is rising with the sea level. Both projects—an underwater luxury villa and a submerged high-end restaurant—exist in the middle of a Venn Diagram of sheer novelty and savvy architectural foresight. They’re neither practical nor impractical. They’re certainly not scalable solutions to the very real ecological problem cities are facing, but they are an early, if excessive, glimpse of what could become a more common way to build in the future.Liz Stinson (Fast Company)

Airbnb just bought HotelTonight in a play for last-minute travelers

Historically, independent hotels set themselves up as franchises in order to access a steady supply of bookings, hospitality consultant Bjorn Hanson says. But franchising, rather than operating an independent hotel, is quite expensive. […] With the proliferation of online travel agencies and now Airbnb’s further expansion into hotels, they have another option: Open an independent hotel and keep all the revenues. Savvy hoteliers can rely on such platforms for distribution rather than on the power of the brand it’s franchised under. And independents might be more popular than traditional brands.Ruth Reader (Fast Company)

Airbnb just hired Virgin America’s former CEO as chief transportation officer

Rumors of Airbnb’s flight ambitions first made headlines at the end of 2016. The company was reportedly considering a dabble in flight booking. There were also discussions to acquire a flight booking app and sketched drawings of Airbnb’s logo on planes, according to the Information. Around the same time, Chesky queried the masses on what the ideal flight might look like. In addition to flights, Airbnb has kicked around the idea of connecting travelers with ground transport–anything from a car to pick you up at the airport to rentals or car shares.Ruth Reader (Fast Company)

Exclusive: Airbnb will start designing houses in 2019

Backyard investigates how buildings could utilize sophisticated manufacturing techniques, smart-home technologies, and gains vast insight from the Airbnb community to thoughtfully respond to changing owner or occupant needs over time. Backyard isn’t a house, it’s an initiative to rethink the home. Homes are complex, and we’re taking a broad approach–not just designing one thing, but a system that can do many things.Joe Gebbia (Airbnb)

Make way for the world’s first autonomous tram

The world’s first autonomous tram went on its first ride in Potsdam, Germany, last week. The AI-powered train quietly rolled along a 3.7-mile section of test track through the city in real traffic, even slowing down for teenagers who forgot to look both ways before crossing the street. The only difference between your average inner-city tram and this one was that the conductor wasn’t touching the controls, but was just along for the ride, according to the Guardian.Melissa Locker (Fast Company)

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