Our readers — perhaps aimlessly clicking on compelling-looking stories from remote hamlets around the globe — have voted these stories up as the Skift most-popular stories of all time. Think of it as the wisdom of the crowds.
OK, in the did-it-really-happen-this-fast six-year history of Skift, we’ve broken stories on Lonely Planet’s sale and Kayak’s takeover talks with Momondo; written manifestos about the future of travel; crafted oral histories; done deep dives on distribution; and coined new vocabulary such as overtourism, hate-selling, and Permanxiety.
But if the people have the right to know — and they do — they also have the right to click and tap, and so none of the aforementioned stories appear in our compilation below of Skift’s six most-widely read stories in our history. Instead, you’ll see listicles — good ones — about tourism photos, airline logos, tourism websites, and safe destinations for women to travel.
Also making the top six stories is an article about McDonald’s-like pilot wages, and an explainer about Marriott’s overflowing thermos of brands.
They are all fun, and good reads. For us, some of them are nostalgic, too. Enjoy.
1. August 25, 2013
The 22 Most Cliched Tourists Photos Ever: It is a Sunday in the dead of August, and time to take out a well-worn cliche: the most cliched tourist photos list. Much as we love to mock these, given a chance we would be doing at least some of these were we in the same spots. As for the business of travel, cliches are big business, as any big tourist hub city will tell you. Yes, the travel consumer of 21st century is looking for deeper and more authentic experiences, but the tourism economy is still driven by the well-worn tourist circuit in any destination.
2. October 23, 2013
The 30 Best Looking Airline Logos in the World: We’re obsessed with travel branding here at Skift, and earlier this year we came up with a fun list of the “20 Most Colorful Airlines in the World,” which was very well received. This time we decided to go a little deeper, and explore logo design with this new list. The criteria wasn’t exactly scientific, or deep, just in the eye of the…well, us Skifters. It was a mix of what looks great on an airline tail, plus what would look great on a t-shirt.
3. December 20, 2013
The 20 Best Designed Tourism Websites in the World: Websites created by destination marketing organizations are some of the more underused resources in travel today. Our recent analysis of the 50 most visited U.S. tourism websites found that no site had more than 570,000 visitors in October. And the most time spent on a site was five minutes, which was far longer than the average.
4. June 24, 2013
The Top Safest Asian Countries for Female Travelers: The safety of female travelers became a mainstream issue earlier this year amidst rape concerns in India, the disappearance of a solo female tourist in Istanbul, and the rescue of two kidnapped women travelers in Ecuador. The well-being of women abroad isn’t a new topic, but the reputation of destinations and their female-friendly activities are more important than ever as more women start traveling, especially alone.
5. August 28, 2013
The U.S. Airline Pilots Who Barely Make Minimum Wage You really have to love what you do, or be exceedingly patient, to consider becoming a regional airline pilot. Aviation consultant Kit Darby says regional airline co-pilots and pilots, in the lower ranks, at least, don’t make a living wage.
6. September 21, 2016
Every One of Marriott’s 30 Hotel Brands, Explained: Now that Marriott International is on track to complete its acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts on Sept. 23, the company will be formally inheriting 11 new brands to add to its existing 19. Here’s a look at how Marriott and Starwood have respectively positioned each one of those 30 brands up to this point, as well as our take on how they really operate in the current hospitality landscape.
7. September 12, 2013
OK, this is a bonus because Skift has started it’s seventh year, and this story is very close to my heart.
A Mini-History of Modern International Aviation as Told in Stolen Spoons: For a journalist covering the travel industry, this was the ultimate scoop: I recently inherited my Dad’s vintage collection of airline spoons. And forks. More than 80 stainless steel beauties, in all.
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Photo credit: Clearly no one ever thought of touching the Wall Street Bull there before this photo on July 25, 2008. Jose / Flickr