Skift (117)

Video: Royal Caribbean CEO on Building Smarter Ships

As cruise ships grow in size, the need for innovation in onboard activities and experiences has grown in tandem. Companies like Royal Caribbean Cruises have led the way, but there is still a long way to go until megaship cruises shed their image as a low-brow vacation. -Andrew Sheivachman

When Travelers Are Willing to Pay for Silence — New Luxury

The new luxury is very different from the old luxury. Travelers want a more authentic experience, and increasingly that is taking them back to nature. -Patrick Whyte

Spirit Airlines Improves On-Time Performance But Can't Shake Complaints

Usually it costs money for airlines to improve operational performance because to run on-time more often, they must build slack into their schedules and add spare planes. That means the airline doesn't operate as efficiently as possible. But being late became too expensive for Spirit. -Brian Sumers

U.S. to Discuss Open Skies Issues With Gulf Carrier Governments

The Trump Administration seems to have as little interest in taking a tough stance against Gulf carriers as the Obama Administration. Yes, the U.S. State Department plans to bring up the subsidy issue in talks with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. But they're expected to be relatively informal ...

Bali Hotels Face Occupancy Crisis Because of Volcano in Busy Tourism Season

The volcanic eruption in Iceland put that country on the world's tourism map. Bali is already well-known, and there is little positive fallout from the volcanic disruptions there. -Dennis Schaal

Airbnb Needs Growth — and to Grow Up — Before Its IPO

Bershidsky is right that disruptors like Airbnb and Uber need to eventually grow up; that's a given. But mark our words: Hotels aren't the only thing Airbnb will disrupt going forward. Online travel agencies, you've been put on notice. -Deanna Ting

Four Ways Hotel Owners Can Best Leverage Revenue Management

Revenue management has advanced dramatically in recent years, though not all hotel owners are taking advantage of the benefits. However, capitalizing on successful revenue management is one of the most strategic ways hotels can increase its performance and value. -Dawn Rzeznikiewicz

The Future of Luxury for Overstimulated Millennials Looks Serene

Circadian mood lighting might cut it on a business trip, but the future of luxury leisure will be based in actual nature. -Samantha Shankman

Why This Boutique Barcelona Hotel Transformed Itself Into a New York Weekend

Cross-promotions like this are most successful when both sides have something to gain. While Seagram's gets access to a new audience, The Corner Hotel can enhance its reputation. -Samantha Shankman

How a Hotel Stay Can Make You Feel Better

Wouldn't it be nice if a hotel room could enhance your sleep, whip you into shape or make you relax? Four Seasons, MGM and SwissĂ´tel are among the brands experimenting with accommodations designed to make guests feel healthier. -Laura Powell

Key Economic Indicators Point To A Good 2018 For Travel, Despite Larger Turmoil

Key economic indicators point to a solid 2018 for travel and tourism as long as federal policy changes don't get in the way. -Rebecca Stone

The Airport Lounge Business — An Insider's View of How It All Works

Airport lounges are rarely luxurious, but people love them. Perhaps they crave access to an "exclusive" airport club. So look for more to open soon at U.S. airports. As we learn in this interview, operating a lounge can be a profitable business. -Brian Sumers

International Tourist Arrivals Taking Off Despite Policy Uncertainties

Key economic indicators point to a solid 2018 for travel and tourism as long as federal policy changes don't get in the way. -Rebecca Stone

Delta CEO Didn't Expect 2017 to Be a Good Year for Travel

Delta CEO Ed Bastian was pleasantly surprised by the resilience of travel in 2017 and he expects more of the same next year. -Hannah Sampson

Registration Open: Travel Megatrends 2018 Events NYC, SF & London, January

Come and join Skift for three evenings of travel trends to better understand the big forces defining the industry in 2018 and beyond. And oh, to get a copy of our beautiful magazine, too! -Natalie Bonacasa

Luggage Fees Go Transatlantic — Business of Loyalty

SkyTeam airlines just announced a series of new baggage fees for transatlantic basic economy routes. But is it competition or gouging? -Grant Martin

Ryanair Pilots in Dublin Threaten a Holiday Strike

The Irish airline has the highest operating margins in Europe and can afford to make concessions. Its divide-and-conquer approach to negotiating different contracts at various airport bases risks the ire of employees tempted to unionize. -Sean O'Neill

Solar Eclipse Tourism Impact Went Beyond the Millions of Dollars Spent

North America will have to wait until 2024 until the next total solar eclipse. Until then, let's hope destinations like Wyoming that benefited from this year's eclipse will take advantage of that tourism boost, and encourage some of those visitors to make repeat visits. -Deanna Ting

Russia Will Resume Cairo Flights After Two-Year Halt

Egypt's airport security is improving but terrorist attacks continued to plague the country this year. Resuming some Russian flights is a small step forward but tourists must also believe the country is safe to visit. Russian charter flights to Egypt's Red Sea resorts are not part of the resumption ...

What Travel Agents Need to Do to Capture and Keep Millennial Attention 

Millennials are often perceived as being totally closed off to the idea of travel agents. However, if the right message is put out there in the right way, these younger travelers are apt to sign on with a travel agent to help them plan the unique, memorable experiences they crave. -Dawn ...

Amsterdam Is Still Working on Its Own Solution to Overtourism

Like many other cities, Amsterdam knows it needs to do something about overtourism but has yet to find a complete solution. -Patrick Whyte

Expedia CEO: Math and Strategy Are 'In Our Favor'

Expedia's HomeAway unit isn't as profitable as the parent company initially envisioned, and Booking.com rained on Trivago's parade. Still, Expedia itself — and financial analysts — are optimistic about Expedia's long-term prospects. Regardless of the promise, these are very challenging days in ...

Video: Why Being Uncool Works for Wyndham

Wyndham Hotel Group wants to revamp its brand design and experience as it gears up to go public. A good brand is a terrible thing to waste. -Andrew Sheivachman

Interview: VisitBritain Chairman Steers Tourism Boom Through Brexit Uncertainties

Tourism, along with business travel, is on the rise again in the UK due to a weak British pound and cheap flights. VisitBritain is trying to make the most of it despite the lingering ramifications of the political mess that is Brexit. -Andrew Sheivachman

Pilot Shortage Issue Splits European Airline Execs

Are there enough airline pilots to go around? There's no agreement on whether there's a crisis, but some airlines are at a greater disadvantage than others. -Patrick Whyte

Discounted Startup Tickets to Skift Forum Europe Now On Sale

Attention travel startups: We want you to attend Skift Forum Europe next April at our exclusive discounted price! Apply now. -Rafat Ali

Airport Retailer Hudson Group Is Seeking an IPO in 2018

At least somebody benefits from flight delays. While many retailers struggle in the Amazon era, Hudson Booksellers is seeing sales growth thanks to more passengers crowding airports. -Sean O'Neill

Park MGM in Las Vegas Will Be an Artsy and Not Kitschy Casino Hotel

Zobler's Sydell Group has seen success with boutique/lifestyle properties that include The Line and NoMad Hotels — but can he apply that winning formula to a Vegas mega resort? We'll see once the new Park MGM finally opens. -Deanna Ting

Uber Mideast Rival Careem Pushes Ridesharing as Efficient Infrastructure Investment

Ridesharing is an attractive way to transport people from point A to point B in many countries because of its convenience and the economics. But clogging roads with carbon dioxide-producing machines isn't sustainable -Dennis Schaal

Egyptian Tourism Hopeful About Discovery of 2 Ancient Tombs in Luxor

The discovery of these two ancient tombs won't be a game-changer for Egyptian tourism, but it can't hurt, either. -Dennis Schaal

Overtourism Solutions and 4 Other Tourism Trends This Week

This week in tourism, we thought about two opposing ideas. First, the chief marketing officers who drive tourism are highly valued in their companies, but second, what do you do when their success leads to soaring, unsustainable visitation? -Sarah Enelow

Disney Skyliner Gondolas Will Connect Theme Parks and Hotels

Hoteliers with properties on-site at Disney parks will welcome these new gondola connections. Guests will be able to beat some of the crowds and commute in style. -Dennis Schaal

Jumeirah Hotels Has New Lifestyle Brand and 10 Other Hospitality Trends This Week

This week in hospitality, lifestyle brands strike again, specifically at Jumeirah and Rosewood. How many lifestyle brands do we need and have we reached the saturation point? -Sarah Enelow

United Mulls Investing in Regional Carrier ExpressJet

United's the only one of the three major U.S. global network airlines that does not own at least one regional airline. That sometimes puts United at a disadvantage. Investing in ExpressJet may help United improve its position, though in recent years, ExpressJet has been among the least profitable ...

A Cruise Ship Called The World Is a Luxury Home at Sea for the Super Rich

The World is a fascinating hybrid of vacation home and luxury ship. Casual cruisers need not apply: In order to own a piece of the "Residences at Sea," interested parties need $10 million in assets, a clean background, connections to current owners, and nearly $1 million a year for ...

Interview: Skift CEO Rafat Ali on Travel Industry's Sensory Deprivation Bubble

Ya, digital isn't enough — although it helps — in the Age of Permanxiety. Still, when the Four Seasons housekeeper or the cruise ship waiter strikes up a conversation, and you can feel it is heartfelt, then that makes all the difference. -Dennis Schaal

Expedia CEO Declares Company's Global Land Grab Is Nearly Over and 12 Other Digital Trends This Week

This week in digital news, Expedia shared its strategy. The online travel giant said it's focusing on countries where it already has roots. It also signed its second loyalty-enrollment deal with a hotel chain, and evaluated its approach for Egencia. -Sarah Enelow

Record Visitation Prompts Overtourism Fears at Zion National Park

Private vehicles would pay $70 to enter Utah's Zion National Park during peak months if the government adopts a new plan. Setting higher fees may help check unfettered tourism, which can take a toll on the land. -Sean O'Neill

Australia's New Long-Haul Service to Europe and 4 Other Aviation Trends This Week

This week in aviation, we considered the pros and cons of spinning off a loyalty program. Then our new Brisbane-based Gateway correspondent reported on new ultra-long-distance flights between Australia and Europe. -Sarah Enelow

Technology Is Top of Mind for Hotels

The heads of luxury brands at Marriott and Hilton and other leading industry experts have some bold 2018 predictions ranging from the disappearance of turndown service to the rise of Internet-connected guest rooms. -Sean O'Neill

Latest Travel Ban Appeal Arguments Focus on Security Risks

The longer the travel ban appeals process goes on, the more likely it seems that a watered-down version of the original ban will remain in place. -Andrew Sheivachman

Delta and Partners Will Charge for Checked Bags on Cheapest Transatlantic Fares

A $60 fee to check a bag in one direction sounds extreme. But how many passengers will buy Basic Economy fares on transatlantic flights? It's one thing to give up perks on a two-hour domestic flight. It's another to give up the right to choose a seat on an eight- or 10-hour segment. -Brian ...

Video: How Jason Schott of Schott NYC Is Driving the Brand's Made-in-America Heritage

Jason Schott, chief operating officer and fourth-generation family member of Schott NYC, talks about how the 104-year old company values its rich history and the craftsmanship behind their jackets and defies conventional manufacturing rules. -Dawn Rzeznikiewicz

Germany Calls for Talks With Kuwait Airways Over Barring Israelis From Flights

Air traffic law is like Swiss cheese, and Kuwait Airways has put its finger in a hole that can't be blocked. Yet if the banning of selected nationals would become commonplace, it would widely upset the stability of global travel. -Sean O'Neill

DOT Nixes Proposals to Force More Airline Fee Transparency

Regulatory rollback is the name of the game for the Trump administration. One has to wonder if a new version of the Transparent Airfares Act of 2014, which would allow airlines to hide taxes and fees during online booking, will get another shot in Congress as well. -Andrew Sheivachman

New German High-Speed Rail Link Looks to Take Business From Airlines

Although aviation liberalization has made flying within Europe much cheaper and easier, it doesn't always make sense. Using trains, especially high-speed ones, is often much more convenient. -Patrick Whyte

WestJet Thinks It Can Please All Flyers With Dual Strategy

Just because low-cost offshoots failed in the past, it doesn't mean they'll do the same now. WestJet's dual strategy has a good chance of succeeding as long as there׳s a big enough difference between the two offerings. -Patrick Whyte

TSA Wasn't Prepared for the Popularity of Its PreCheck Program

The TSA is facing bureaucratic issues because travelers are tired of waiting on lengthy airport security lines. Perhaps merging PreCheck and Global Entry, as authorities are reportedly considering, could help clear up this bottleneck. It could also make things way worse. -Andrew Sheivachman

Ian Schrager Calls Out Hotel Industry's Airbnb Strategy as Misguided

If hotels could out-innovate Airbnb, then Schrager is right that would certainly be part of the answer to the threat posed by the homesharing company. However, Airbnb is more nimble than many big chains. And they are unlikely to give up their legislative efforts anytime soon. -Dennis Schaal

MyVR Raises $6 Million for Rental Property Software: Travel Startup Funding This Week

Two startups aiming to help vacation rental property managers, one that helps hoteliers market their neighborhood's attractions to guests, and one that helps give business travelers cash back on purchases together raised $18 million this week. -Sean O'Neill