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At Skift, we place a high value on all the journalism we do day in and day out, but we are particularly proud of our deep dives and enterprise stories. These are the long-form pieces that provide you with invaluable insights and analysis — told through great storytelling, and packaged with cool design.
We know you are busy and may have missed some of these amazing stories from the past several months in our newsletters, website and social feeds. So here are five must-reads for you again from our reporters and editors at Skift and Skift Table.
Enjoy. And keep an eye out for more great work that we have in store for you for the rest of the year.
Nothing quite captures Americana better than the good, old-fashioned road trip. But like everything else, road trips have had to evolve with the times. That’s why we assigned Assistant Editor Sarah Enelow-Snyder to capture this evolution as part of our tourism coverage leading into the prime road tripping time of summer. As she wrote in her Skift Take: “Road trips in the United States are statistically on the rise due to both economic and cultural factors. These vacations have incredible potential to reflect what’s simmering beneath the surface of contemporary America.” Read part one of our deep dive here. Part two on innovations for road trips here. And part three on the future of hitting the road here.
Oral History of Booking.com
Two years ago, Executive Editor Dennis Schaal had the ambitious idea to tell the story of one company through the voices of the people who were there on the front lines as that company grew through a series of acquisitions. What a great idea to use an oral history to tell Booking.com’s story, as you will read here. Priceline’s two deals, the acquisitions of Active Hotels and Bookings B.V., created Booking.com, and continue to shape the course of online travel and the competitive landscape today. The twin transactions were among the greatest Internet deals of all time, and their lessons are relevant to startups and dealmakers in any industry. Read the fruits of Schaal’s incredible labor here.
Hotel Front Desks
It may be the most overlooked piece of real estate in all of hospitality: the hotel front desk. At first glance, it seems lost in a time warp, seemingly the very same as it was decades ago. But Skift Travel Tech Editor Sean O’Neill knew there was a bigger story to tell, as he pointed out in his Skift Take: “Even consumers who embrace technology may worry that companies are exploiting them through so-called personalization. Hoteliers need to balance digital ingenuity with a human touch. It starts with the front desk.” Read O’Neill’s story of the evolution of the front desk here.
Data and Discovery: Skift on the Road
Skift Senior Research Analyst Rebecca Stone has created a traveler journal like no other for Skift. As part of a program where she works from a different city across the globe each month for a year, Stone is blending her own experiences with a thoughtful and analytical take on some aspect of tourism, like her second story from Lisbon demonstrates. She wrote: “Lisbon’s post-crisis evolution and corresponding tourism boom show the dramatic impact and lasting ramifications of overtourism. Efforts have centered on sustainable tourism and limiting tourism’s potential negative impacts, but, in our view, the focus has been all wrong. Sustainable tourism should be about sustainable cultures, and we all have a role to play.” For our Data and Discovery dispatch from Lisbon, read it here.
How Much Are Tip Credits Worth to Restaurants
We all do it, without ever thinking too much about it: paying a tip in a restaurant. But tipping and how restaurants treat tipping has sweeping implications for the industry. Skift Table Reporter Erika Adams tells the complicated story of so-called tip credits by demystifying this aspect of restaurant finance. Multiple states are debating whether to eliminate the tipped minimum wage this year. The issue is confusing and contentious, and there are good arguments being made on both sides. Adams looks at how much money the tip credit is worth in New York, and why restaurateurs are so afraid to lose it. Read her analysis here.