Orbitz launches new iPhone app, bets on mobile growth

Nailing the mobile experience is essential for online travel services. Orbitz’s new free app aims to make it much easier for leisure travelers to do trip research and book hotel, airfare and rental cars all within one app without going to a mobile website.

Coming soon to an airport near you: free iPads

Dread waiting around with nothing to do during a layover or waiting for a delayed flight? Meet the company that’s planning to outfit North American airports with tens of thousands of iPads to use — for free. The first cities will be New York, Minneapolis and Toronto.

With $23 million in new funds, Hotel Tonight is going global

The last-minute hotel booking app has secured a $23 million Series C funding round from U.S. Venture Partners. Hotel Tonight plans to use the money to bring its iOS and Android app to more cities outside the U.S., and add more last-minute destinations at home.

Visting Wales? Bring your phone to the first Wikipedia Town

Planning a trip to Wales anytime soon? If so, put the town of Monmouth on your itinerary and be sure to bring your phone. On May 19, Monmouth officially becomes the world’s first Wikipedia Town and you’ll need your handset with you for the full tour.

Finally: Amtrak to use iPhones for ticket scanning

Our nation’s rail system is about to take a big step forward: by placing less emphasis on paper tickets and introducing the iPhone as an important tool for conductors. This will streamline boarding for Amtrak, but it will also make life easier for smartphone-toting rail commuters.

Inkling launches Frommer’s travel guides for iPhone and iPad

Inkling, which started out as an iPad textbook publisher and recently launched an interactive e-book publishing platform called Habitat, is moving further into the consumer realm with a new series of Frommer’s interactive digital travel guides.

Meet the man behind Europe’s hottest VC firm

Index Ventures co-founder Neil Rimer has helped steer his company to success with investments in Skype, Betfair and many more. He explains why he’s obsessed with education and marketplaces — and why he wishes he’d invested in Kickstarter.

Hipmunk adds calendar integration to mobile apps

Travel booking startup Hipmunk is rolling out updated versions of its mobile apps, which will automatically take into account events that are already on your calendar when trying to book travel. It works through integration with calendars such as Microsoft’s Outlook, Google Calendar and Apple’s iCal.

Discoverful: Another pretty travel app, but built by data nerds

Discoverful is a three-month-old travel picture-sharing site that allows users to snap images and share their experiences around the world with their friends. Like Trover, the app is pretty and designed to highlight places instead of people, but it’s founder explains there’s more — data.

With Airbnb expanding in Europe, Wimdu cranks it up

A year ago Airbnb clone Wimdu was getting ready to launch. Now CEO Arne Bleckwenn is presiding over hockey stick growth and international expansion, just as the peer-to-peer travel sector starts to heat up.