Skift (109)

8 Takeaways on Airbnb's Road to an IPO

Consider this your CliffsNotes on all things Airbnb as the company continues to mature. -Deanna Ting

Interview: WTTC's New CEO Knows Overtourism Will Top Her Agenda

It's not that the travel industry doesn't understand that overtourism is a problem. It's an issue that at times might conflict with their bottom lines, and there is a lack of thoughtful and effective plans on how to deal with it. Guevara is already working on the topic — and we'll be watching to ...

Hostelworld Has Ambitions to Complement Bookings With a Sense of Community

Now that Hostelworld has largely finished integrating Hostelbookers, it can turn its attention to developing features that would make it more relevant to users during their travels. None of the initiatives are exactly game-changing, but what the company is hoping is that it will make travelers more ...

Skift Global Forum Opening Event Venue Revealed

We'll provide the venue, you bring the fun. Today, we are pleased to announce our Skift Global Forum Pre-Evening Opening Event venue. -Rafat Ali

Solar Eclipse Tourism Numbers May Not Have Lived Up to Expectations in Some Towns

We'll have to wait for the register receipts to be tallied but some towns — for whatever reasons — didn't get the mad crush of tourists they were expecting for the great solar eclipse. In Oregon there were some wildfires, and in other states clouds got in the way here and there. The biggest ...

U.S. National Parks Spotlight Their 101st Anniversary With Marketing Campaign

It's a cute campaign theme to tie the 101st anniversary of the U.S. National Parks system to a theme of an introductory Parks 101. The earnestness is appropriate for the parks and the target audience. -Sean O'Neill

Avianca Hopes a Stronger Partnership With United Will Help It Dominate Latin America

Avianca's strongest competitor, Latam Airlines, hasn't had the easiest time since 2012, when two proud national carriers – Argentina's LAN and Brazil's TAM — closed their merger. But Latam is finally making money, and it's likely Latin America's leading carrier. Avianca has some work to do to ...

TUI Spurns Air Berlin's Cry for Help After Airline Files for Insolvency

TUI's German arm is wise not to bid for Air Berlin's assets. It would be a distraction beyond the tour operator's core competency and objectives. -Sean O'Neill

Alaska Airlines Will Finally Add Speedy Wi-Fi on All of Its Big Jets

We know it takes a long time to retrofit airplanes. And we know airlines hate to remove planes from service. But we wish Alaska could work faster to add speedy Wi-Fi. Three years is a long time to wait. -Brian Sumers

New Mexico Wants the Trump Administration to Keep Its National Monuments Intact

No matter what happens with the review process, someone will likely be offended. This is a thorny issue, and the Trump administration already has a track record of discriminatory rhetoric and actions. -Dan Peltier

Delta Air Lines Will Take Some Customer Service Calls via Video Chat

Yes, Americans do make video calls in their everyday lives. But they make them using machines they own. Do airline passengers want to resolve issues by using one of five kiosks in an airport terminal? Perhaps some do, but we're betting many will find the phone just as useful. This seems like it ...

Spain Attacks Won't Adversely Impact European Travel Market, Says TUI CEO

Tragedies happen and people keep on traveling because — as an IAC/Expedia official put it soon after 9/11 — without travel there is no life. TUI and other tour operators are optimistic about their forecasts. -Dennis Schaal

Why Virtuoso's New Must-Go Destinations Feel Similar

A new Virtuoso survey covering coveted luxury destinations for fall and the holidays doesn't cover new territory, but some trends are revealed by reading between the lines. -Laura Powell

New Skift Research Report: The State of Conferences and Events 2017

The rapidly evolving conference and events sector is facing increasing competition. While competition brings better technology solutions, organizers need to maintain value in their conferences to remain viable in the long-term. -Dave Montali

What Travel Can Learn From Michael Kors' Acquisition Strategy

Whether we're selling hotel rooms or stilettos, the luxury marketplace is riddled with similar challenges and opportunities suggesting greater collaboration could be useful to brands in both industries in their pursuit of becoming lifestyle brands for affluent consumers. -Samantha Shankman

Luxury Companies Create Gateway Products for Tighter Budgets

Should luxury companies introduce lower-priced offerings, or do they risk diluting their brand and/or cannibalizing business from the main brand? We look at how several high-end travel companies are approaching the challenge. -Laura Powell

MakeMyTrip Puts a Brave Face on Booking.com Encroachment

In India, market leader MakeMyTrip is betting on a multi-pronged strategy to defend itself against the intrusion of Booking.com on its turf. Execution matters. But so does the patience of MakeMyTrip's key backer, Ctrip. -Sean O'Neill

UK Business Travel Is in a Post-Brexit Slump

Even with the drop in value of the pound making it much more attractive to travel to the UK, business travel seems to be suffering. This could be because of the perceived fragility of the country both economically and politically. -Patrick Whyte

Clear Strives to Become an Airport Security Alternative for Supertravelers

Clear's user experience has evolved significantly since its launch, and the service bears a look from supertravelers — and potentially beyond. -Colin Nagy

Business of Loyalty: Oneworld Alliance Has a New Hole in Its European Network

Air Berlin's potential absorption into Lufthansa may foreshadow fewer clean connections for American Airlines travelers heading to continental Europe, while United customers may see a benefit. -Grant Martin

Chefs+Tech: What Danny Meyer's Martina Means for Restaurants Everywhere

Any restaurant opening from Union Square Hospitality Group is one to watch. Operations at Martina, which its chef calls "fine-casual," are a look at current industry trends set to go big. -Kristen Hawley

Alaska Airlines and Royal Caribbean Make a Show of the Solar Eclipse for Their Passengers

It's all about experiential travel, isn't it? And it certainly was on total solar eclipse day on the U.S. coasts and across its mid-section in towns and cities big and small. Alaska Airlines and Royal Caribbean seized the moment, creating something their passengers will talk about for years to come. ...

Eclipse-Watching Tourists Are Causing Congestion at Rural Airports

Prime eclipse-watching spots are probably overwhelmed right now, but they will be happy for the economic boost. And smart destinations will try to come up with ways to get visitors to return after the madness has died down. -Hannah Sampson

Trump's Mar-a-Lago Resort Is Losing Events as Organizers Balk at Controversy

While Trump's DC hotel might be benefitting from increased business demand, his Florida estate is losing events following his callous and ignorant remarks about the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. It's another example that organizations will not hesitate to move meetings and events if venues ...

Video: What The Rise of Cognitive Tech Means for Travelers

We're at the dawn of the cognitive era, where the implementation of machine-learning tech is making everything from the traveler experience to back-end logistics smarter and more streamlined. -Dawn Rzeznikiewicz

From Dreaming to Departure: How Pinterest Reaches Travelers Throughout The Entire Customer Journey

With nearly one in four online travel planners using Pinterest as a resource––often beyond the initial inspiration and ideation phase––marketers and advertisers looking to reach travelers should consider the value Pinterest has to offer. -Dawn Rzeznikiewicz

U.S. Escalates Russia Dispute by Cutting Back on Visa Services

The market for Russian travel to the U.S. might not be a huge one, but the decision to drastically cut back visa offerings is highly symbolic of the simmering tensions between the countries at the moment. -Patrick Whyte

Norwegian Air Is Already Driving Down Trans-Atlantic Airline Fares

Low-cost carriers like Norwegian need to strike the right balance between a low-cost, reliable product, and decent service on the consumer side and sustainable business on the corporate in order to remain a threat to legacy carriers. -Jason Clampet

New Apps for the Airport Promise to Feed Time-Crunched Travelers Fast

If this works at scale, it'll be appreciated by travelers in hub airports, where there's often not enough time to grab food between flights. But reliably delivering food to passengers waiting at gates is logistically difficult, if not impossible. We'll see if these new services can pull it off. ...

China Cruises Are Packed at Lower Prices Amid Tensions With South Korea

An international dispute that forced itinerary changes for China-based cruises threw operators for a loop, but demand seems fundamentally intact. If tensions ease and South Korea reopens, will pricing return to high levels or have lower fares become the new normal? -Hannah Sampson

Trump Plan to Improve U.S. Infrastructure Is Going Nowhere for Now

A plan to invest in U.S. infrastructure was supposed to be a slam dunk for the Trump administration. Yet even with an experienced political operator such as the Secretary of Transportation, it's now unclear whether any robust plan will ever come to fruition. -Andrew Sheivachman

Travel Payments Sees $10.4 Billion Merger That Makes Worldpay a Stronger Competitor

Vantiv's $10.4 billion acquisition of Worldpay creates a payments-processing powerhouse with a huge hand in helping travel businesses boost online and mobile purchases. Due to competition from new rivals, fees are unlikely to spike yet. -Sean O'Neill

Skift Global Forum 2017: Facebook, Delta and More Big Brands

Don't miss out on hearing from one of the most diverse and relevant collection of brands at any travel conference. -Jason Clampet

Saudi Arabia Claims Qatar Blocks Its Hajj Flights for Qatari Pilgrims

It isn't surprising that Qatar would bar Saudi aircraft — given the recent hostilities between the two countries — even if it's to pick up pilgrims for the hajj. When Saudi Arabia comes to terms with Qatar over their overall issues, then landing rights would be granted. -Dennis Schaal

Spanish Tourism Is a Lot Bigger Than Barcelona and Will Bounce Back Soon

Human beings are adaptable animals and traveler behavior — for better or worse — may be shifting toward getting somewhat used to attacks in Europe, and proceeding with trips anyway especially when the attacks may impact particular cities rather than entire countries. -Dennis Schaal

Travel Agent Plans Pricey Trips for Corporate CEOs and Former U.S. Presidents

Wealthy people have a right to spend their money as they wish. But some of the requests and complaints detailed in this story are absurd. Did one hedge fund owner actually complain the weather in Italy was too hot? Did his children really share "over-the-top" criticisms of a luxury spa? -Brian ...

Too Many European Airlines and 2 Other Aviation Trends This Week

This week in aviation news, we concentrated on Europe: first, whether the continent has too much airline competition, and second, what happened leading up to Air Berlin's bankruptcy. -Sarah Enelow

Solar Eclipse Tourist Influx In Oregon and Idaho Could Be Impacted by Traffic, Wildfires or Weather

Forget about what's going to happen in the sky. On the sidewalks of Weiser, Idaho, population 5,500, townsfolk may never see anything like this again as 20,000 visitors are expected on Monday. Similar scenes are expected in small towns across the U.S. that are anticipating a once-in-a-lifetime ...

Hedge Funds Invest in Airlines and Online Travel Agencies and 8 Other Digital Trends This Week

This week in digital news we concentrated on online travel agencies: growing pains, the hedge funds that invest in them, Despegar's IPO, and the CEOs who'll speak at Skift Global Forum. -Sarah Enelow

Travel This Week: Will Airbnb Block Hotel Surge Pricing for Solar Eclipse?

Hotels used to be nearly the only game in town for accommodations during high-demand occasions, and they could charge whatever the market would bear. They can still charge guests whatever the market will bear but the question is whether companies such as Airbnb are changing the market and pricing ...

Latam Airlines May Have Finally Got Back Its Momentum

This is good news for Latam but even better news for the region as it continues to deal with disappointment in Brazil and the complete failure of Venezuela. -Jason Clampet

South Africa and Zimbabwe Block Each Other's Flights After Zimbabwe First Lady Accused of Assault

As we've learned over the past couple of years, aviation is inextricably linked with politics. The U.S. big three airlines want to end Open Skies agreements with Persian Gulf countries; a Saudi-led coalition banned Qatar Airways flights, and now South Africa and Zimbabwe are using flights as ...

8 Top Luxury Weekend Escapes as Picked by Travel Experts

Great suggestions, here. A case in point is Montreal, where Skift had its all-staff retreat this summer. We can vouch that this Canadian town has an outsize food scene that's perfect for a weekend escape. -Sean O'Neill

Hilton Thinks Airbnb Is a Positive and 5 Other Hospitality Trends This Week

This week in hospitality news, hotel CEOs weighed in on stricter cancellation policies, lagging corporate travel bookings, and Airbnb checking the power of online travel agencies. -Sarah Enelow

Private Jet Companies and Airlines Know How to Profit From the Eclipse

We doubt the eclipse 99 years ago had such a commericial bent. But, hey, why shouldn't aviation businesses try to profit from a natural phenomenon? -Brian Sumers

Millennials Aren't as Bad as You Think and 6 Other Tourism Trends This Week

This week in tourism news, we looked at millennials who surprise us. This diverse group really does buy luxury products and its business travel spending is relatively conservative. -Sarah Enelow

Airline Stock Weakness After Attacks in Spain Is a Buying Opportunity, Cowen Analyst Says

Travel and transportation-related stocks often dip after a crisis but when travelers return, so do share prices. -Dennis Schaal

Singapore's Outdated Mass Transit System Is Causing Problems for Commuters, Tourists

It looks like commuters in New York City and Singapore have a lot in common these days. If both cities don't improve their public transit systems, it's a lose-lose situation not only for locals but tourists, too. -Deanna Ting

National Park Service Vows Confederate Monuments Will Stay at Gettysburg National Park

As Confederate monuments come down across the American South, many people make an exception for museums that chronicle history, the good and the bad. Racist symbols in a public square may be different than racist symbols behind metaphorical glass, meant to ensure we never forget. -Sarah Enelow

Hyatt and Expedia Formally Sign New Deal

Any potential crisis has now been definitively averted, at least until this contract expires. -Deanna Ting