Skift Take

In coronavirus travel stories this week, we covered staff trims at Agoda, the future of vacations, social distancing on flights, and what it will take to see a hotel industry recovery.

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.


Booking’s Agoda Cuts 1,500 Workers in Asia: At first, John Brown cut costs rather than staff, including foregoing his salary for the rest of 2020. But the Agoda CEO now has to take the last measure, citing a deeper and more prolonged recovery than expected.

Your Guide to Hotel Companies’ Coronavirus Safety and Cleaning Initiatives: Hotel companies’ similar new and heightened health and safety standards don’t leave a lot of room for brand distinction unless the brand is the one lacking a new approach to cleaning.

Asia’s Genting Cruise Lines to Offer Short Sailings Without Any Stops in Ports: Unlike North America and Europe where cruising already has a loyal following — and critics in equal measures — Asia’s nascent cruise market also means the region’s travelers are likely more malleable and open in their impressions of cruising in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Get the Latest on Coronavirus and the Travel Industry on Skift’s Liveblog

Royal Caribbean Pushes Sailings Back for a Third Time: Cruise lines have changed the date of their return to service multiple times now, and Royal Caribbean is no different. Despite selling cruises for the summer period, executives don’t seem particularly bullish on the prospect of a full return to service in the near term.

Hilton CEO Says Comeback Depends on How Quickly Contactless Tech Features Roll Out: Hotel tech innovations that were just beginning to roll out before coronavirus will likely become tech necessities, as companies look to limit guest interactions and do everything they can to assure a safe stay.

What Is the Future of Vacations?: Vacations reveal a lot about a society’s optimism, its outlook, and expectation of prosperity. After a generationally defining event like Covid-19, it would be foolish to assume vacations will look the same.

Expedia CEO Details Anti-Google Game Plan: Can Expedia Group wean itself away from Google, and avoid performance marketing spending when it doesn’t hit return on investment targets? New CEO Peter Kern said the coronavirus crisis presents an opportunity to chase these goals. Kern will be judged on what progress he can make toward achieving such previously elusive ambitions.

A Social Distancing Solution in the Sky Is ‘Air Pooling’: Will It Catch On Beyond Affluent Passengers?: So-called air pooling is seeing some traction with travel advisors. It avoids crowded airports and airplane cabins, to be sure. But will this pricier offering have a broader appeal as people confront the new realities of flying?

Travel Industry Guidelines for Sectors Reopening in One Place: We rounded up all of the guidelines for reopening that have been created by travel industry associations worldwide. You may find them helpful to suss out what steps to take for a post-pandemic recovery.

U.S. Airlines Report Modest Uptick in Summer Bookings But Will Passengers Actually Show Up?: How do you define recovery? If you call it improvement from the nadir, U.S. airlines are in recovery mode. But if recovery means nearing 2019 levels of travel demand, U.S. airlines are a long way away.

Covid’s Airlines Paradox: The Losers Are the Winners: For the world’s weakest airlines, the current crisis brings a new lease on life. The pandemic’s fallout has turned what were dead-end business models into models with a much greater chance of success.

Trivago CEO Details How Company’s Coronavirus Pivot May Reflect the Immediate Future of Travel: Can Trivago really emerge from the coronavirus crisis in a stronger position? It appears to be making similar bets to what others are doing, but perhaps its speed can be an advantage. On the other hand, Google Travel will still be encroaching — with more than ample firepower.

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Tags: airlines, coronavirus, roundups

Photo credit: Agoda laid off a portion of its workforce because of coronavirus. Photo credit: Agoda

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