What to Know Now
Here, in the midst of the vacation rental boom, it’s easy to see why hotels have fought so hard against sites like Airbnb and HomeAway. Vacation rentals are the vampires of the hospitality industry, slowly drawing blood away from the hotels, one traveler at a time. They pull out millennial market share and as they grow in popularity, they’re only going to make hotels less relevant.
The question on everyone’s mind has been how big of an impact the vacation rental market can really make. And as of late last week, we now have at least one data point: “not that much.” According to data pulled from the San Francisco tourism bureau, hotel bookings in the city remained strong in one of the busiest years on record, while vacation rentals grew in parallel.
To be fair, this is one city with one specific hotel industry and over a single year. But it’s a good illustration of how the market can expand to accommodate all parties — and it may be good news for hotels and vacation rentals alike.
Social Quote of the Day
Here’s how air travel has changed since the days of #MadMen http://oak.ctx.ly/r/2r0pp
– @CNTraveler | Condé Nast Traveler
Air France Is Taking Another Shot at Saving Its Short-Haul Business: Air France said it plans another revamp of short-haul operations struggling to maintain market share amid a twin onslaught from discount carriers and high-speed trains. Read more at Skift
The Battle for Seattle: Why the Delta-Alaska Partnership May Soon Be No More: Alaska has grown into more than a regional carrier, while Delta continues to expand. As a result, both airlines have their eyes fixed on one prize alone: control over Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Read more at Frugal Travel Guy
The Dollar’s Strength Is Becoming a Problem for Delta’s Bottom Line: Delta Air Lines Inc. says that the strong dollar is hurting international sales and its U.S. business isn’t growing as quickly as expected. Read more at Skift
Germanwings Crash Prompts Germany to Rethink Pilot Testing and Cockpit Doors: Germany is setting up a task force to examine safety issues such as the cockpit door mechanism and medical testing for pilots in the wake of last week’s Germanwings crash. Read more at Skift
Passengers Oddly Passionate About Portland Airport’s ’80s Era Carpet: Visitors and Oregon locals lined up inside Portland International Airport to have their photos taken with an odd celebrity — a piece of nearly 30-year-old carpet. Read more at Skift
Miami’s Airport Train Station Is Finally Open for Business: Miami International Airport’s new Tri-Rail station is now open for business. Read more at Skift
Los Angeles Airport Showdown as Delta Tries to Block American Flights to Mexico: Delta Air Lines has asked U.S. regulators to prevent American Airlines from starting flights between Los Angeles and Mexico City, the latest shot in recent friction between the two carriers. Read more at Skift
JFK Runway Closure Means New York’s Skies Will Be Tight This Summer: The closure of a runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport could create a traffic jam in the skies above New York City this summer. Read more at Skift
New In-Flight Entertainment May Make It Harder For Airlines to Bore Us: The latest development in in-flight entertainment (IFE)—a sleek product named iPAX—wants to make it impossible for airlines to ignore the large number of passengers sitting on their planes staring at some-shade-of-blue covers on the seat in front of them. Read more at Skift
Turning Airline Miles Into Bitcoin? It’s Possible as Alternative Currencies Edge Ahead: As we’ve previously reported, some consider airline miles a form of loosey-goosey variable shadow currency and attractive to hackers. Read more at Skift
Driverless Car Finishes the Ultimate 3,400 Mile U.S. Road Trip: An autonomous car’s recent 3,400-mile U.S. road trip proves there’s at least one thing computers do better than humans: Follow the speed limit. Read more at Skift
San Francisco Hotels Not Hurt by Sharing Economy in Record Tourism Year: San Francisco welcomed 18.01 million visitors in 2014, a record-high for the city and a 6.5% increase over the previous year. Read more at Skift
YOTEL Unveils “SmartBeds” & “YAWN” Campaign Designed to Help Guests Get a Good Night’s Sleep: YOTEL has partnered with Serta to develop and install new SmartBeds in all of its rooms alongside the launch of a new campaign aimed at helping guests fall asleep. Read more at FlyerTalk
Behind the Inexplicable Return of the Chic and Cheeky Lifestyle Motel: The sign on the building facade overlooking the palm tree-lined pool and pool bar says “Vagabond Motel,” but the name online reads “The Vagabond Hotel.” Read more at Skift
BBC Travel is hiring a deputy editor. Job posting (in New York) here.
TIPS AND COMMENTS
Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin