Skift Take

In coronavirus-related travel stories this week, Skift covered Vegas discounting, Visit Baltimore's CEO talking race, the demise of stroopwafels on airplanes, Zoom's views on the future of corporate travel, and Airbnb's changing going-public playbook.

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.


Giving Away the House? Las Vegas Resorts Reopen With Rock-Bottom Rates: Vegas casino operators may care more about occupancy over daily rates in the initial recovery, but prolonged room discounts can alter guest rate expectations — and sink hotel revenue streams for the long-term.

Alaska Airlines Owes Nearly $600 Million in Credits to Travelers That Could Hurt a Recovery: Several airlines have extended the length of time passengers have to use travel credits. Are they trying to be nice? Or are they trying to make sure passengers use credits over time, and not all at once?

Visit Baltimore CEO: Let’s Have the Race Conversation and Change Tourism Once and for All: Lots of urgent changes are needed in travel, and nothing more urgent than making it racially diverse. As an industry, we have fallen short, and tourism needs to reflect the diversity of the world of travelers it serves.

Will Airbnb Flip the Initial Public Offering Playbook Yet Again?: In this tragic and topsy-turvy year, market conditions can change before the end of this sentence. As of this writing, Airbnb seemingly has a path to go public at a valuation that it can likely live with.

Despegar Salvages Its Acquisition of Mexican Travel Agency Best Day: Despegar, Latin America’s largest online travel company, will pay much, much less than its original $136 million proposed price to buy Mexican travel agency Best Day. Expect similar tough haggling over deal terms by travel companies across the globe.

What Does Zoom Really Think About the Future of Corporate Travel?: Even for the likes of Zoom, corporate travel is perceived as important to connect with people. What’s reassuring to see is that the company is trying to work out the best ways on its own platform to keep that team spirit alive in these challenging times.

Who Launches a Brand in the Worst Year Ever for Hotels?: It’s the worst time to launch a new hotel brand, right? Maybe not, if you’re banking on a low-cost conversion model for operators struggling to meet bigger brand standards.

CDC Issues New Guidelines for Events: The new CDC guidelines help to give event professionals a framework to follow but in essence confirm that only virtual events remain the safest strategy. Hybrid events are also encouraged to include those more exposed to the risk of illness.

No Stroopwafels, Fancy TV Screens? How U.S. Air Travel May Change Beyond Tackling Health Concerns: Covid-19 will change the flying experience for a long time, as people take precautions to avoid getting sick. But it’ll also change flying for another reason. Airlines are taking on considerable debt, and they’ll need to cut costs as they try to repay it, at least until revenues improve.

U.S. Hotel Industry Ended Record-Setting Development Streak in May: Hotel construction output lags metrics like occupancy in response to economic conditions. But the slow reaction time also means the development pipeline will likely take far longer to rebound from coronavirus than hotel performance.

What Will Be the Shape of the Supersize Indian Wedding When It Returns?: Just a few months ago, no one imagined Indian weddings could ever be small and intimate. But it looks like “Honey, who shrunk my wedding?” will be the new chant post-pandemic. That need not be bad for couples, wedding planners, and destinations.

Can Hotels Ever Have Enough Cleaning Standards?: With an ever-growing array of hotel cleaning programs launched in response to coronavirus, a governing body may be what gives travelers the biggest confidence boost to return to vacationing.

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Tags: coronavirus, hotels, roundups, tourism

Photo credit: A Las Vegas Blvd. sign with the Jockey Club Las Vegas in the background as seen on February 13, 2017. Many Las Vegas hotels are offering steep discounts as the city reopens after a coronavirus lockdown. Karen /

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