Skift Take

In our coronavirus in travel coverage this week, marketers will have to throw out the playbook post-crisis, Booking Holdings mulled dire financial scenarios, a devalued Airbnb secured new financing at unattractive terms, Flight Centre closed 800 travel agencies, and Carnival Corp. took a controversial investment from the Saudi government.

Throughout the week we are posting original stories night and day covering the impact of coronavirus by connecting the dots across the travel industry. Every weekend we will offer you a chance to read the most essential stories again in case you missed them earlier.


Marketers Confront What Travel Will Look Like Post-Crisis: As realization sinks in that the coronavirus catastrophe will change travel behaviors, marketers are figuring out how the crisis will reshape clients and and how their brands can remain relevant.

Booking Holdings Lays Out an Ominous Financial Outlook: If the impact of coronavirus gets worse, and if the company doesn’t tap any additional borrowings, Booking Holdings probably has enough money to pays its obligations until the second half of 2021 — but it can’t guarantee that will be the case. This has potential chilling implications for weaker competitors, let alone tens of thousands of smaller businesses that will likely be long gone by then.

Carnival Sells 8 Percent Stake to Saudis After Dire Financial Warning: Carnival is facing two unprecedented crises: Lost revenue from the complete cessation of its cruising operations and an optics nightmare that puts the future of cruising’s popularity in genuine doubt.

Travel Agency Flight Centre to Shutter 800 Storefronts as Part of $1.2 Billion Savings Effort: This cost-cutting package could be one of the largest we’ll see in this crisis. On paper, the cuts look like they’ll be enough, but there will be collateral damage to its brand with so many shop closures.

Tourism Marketing’s Fight for Survival Offers a Chance for Reinvention: Skift Take There is simply no historical precedent for what the tourism marketing industry is currently going through. Some argue that makes it a perfect time for the industry to reinvent itself.

Hilton, American Express Offer 1 Million Rooms to Coronavirus Frontline Medical Staff: The Hilton and American Express partnership is the latest in a growing list of hospitality companies looking to pump life into empty hotels during the coronavirus downturn in travel.

Airbnb Grabs $1 Billion Investment From Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners: Skift Take Silver Lake and Sixth Street likely got a very attractive deal in exchange for their investment.

U.S. Relief Package Fails Larger Corporate Travel Agencies: Travel and Transport CEO: Kevin O’Malley has joined forces with the biggest agencies in a new lobbying group, but with the virus escalating, it’s not guaranteed they’ll be able to bend the ear of Washington.

Economy Extended Stay Is the Strongest of the Weak U.S. Hotel Sector in March: U.S. economy extended stay hotels continue to see relatively strong performance levels during the coronavirus downturn, while offering rooms for emergency services could maintain numbers from dipping as the crisis continues.

Airbnb’s Valuation Almost Halved to $18 Billion: Love it or hate it, you can hardly blame Airbnb for a deflated valuation, although not all of the plunge is coronavirus-related. The pain that is infecting travel and other companies at this moment is boundless.

Here’s What Will Happen Next to Corporate Airfares: In most cases it’s too soon to lock in future rates. But for those with creative minds, there are gains to be made in figuring out what might happen next.

What Travel Companies Will Need to Know About Consumer Mindset Post-Crisis: A new world order for travel lies ahead. How quickly travelers adapt, and more importantly how quickly travel companies adapt to the changing behaviors, will be key.

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Tags: airbnb, booking holdings, carnival, corporate travel

Photo credit: Pictured is andBeyond Phinda Mountain Lodge. Travel marketers must be attuned to changing traveler behavior. andBeyond

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