Skift Take

In coronavirus-related travel stories this week, Skift covered how the end of a $600 supplemental unemployment check impacts out-of-work travel employees, Disney Parks' lost year, the prospect of an IHG default, and how Vrbo addressed its Google problem.

What the End of the $600-a-Week U.S. Unemployment Check Will Mean for Travel’s Displaced Masses: Countless unemployed workers in the travel industry have been relying on the extra weekly $600 from the government. Now that the payments are effectively over, many travel workers will face even greater hardship to just get by.

Disney Parks’ Lost Summer May Become a Lost Year: The magic kingdom has lost some of its magic in 2020. But Disney fans are devoted, and the theme parks will bounce back.

IHG’s Race to Avoid Defaulting on More Than 100 Hotels: What’s the Fallout?: IHG could become the first major victim of a coronavirus-related financial drag on hotels in North America, but its default may be a strategic play on a financial structure unusual for such a global brand.

How a Pandemic Helped Expedia’s Vrbo Fix Its Google Problem:
Vrbo is benefiting from a ton of direct traffic because vacation rentals are having a moment, and competitors’ paid marketing through Google fell off a cliff. The brand will likely get some sustainable benefit from the lift, but the dynamic can change in a heartbeat.

Tourism’s Jagged Reopening May Be Worse Than Not Reopening At All:
It’s understandable that tourism economies are eager to reopen despite the public health risks. But with the situation so fluid and unstable, reopening could prove an economic risk as well.

Unused Airline Tickets Are Driving Corporate Travel Agencies Crazy Right Now:
Many travel managers and even agencies were caught off guard by the pandemic, underestimating how long it could last. Cue the last minute dash to work out how to leverage all those unused tickets.

How India’s SpiceJet Is Using Tech to Innovate During the Pandemic: SpiceJet has championed reforms of airport processes that have already changed how all air travelers in India fly on all airlines. In a move reported here first, the budget carrier will begin to sell some of the tech it has developed to other airlines.

Wyndham Destinations Looks to Put Millennials Into Urban Timeshares: Wyndham Destinations’ ongoing urban push, including a new resort slated for Atlanta, is out to prove this travel sector isn’t like your grandparents’ old timeshare in the Bahamas.

Americans Can Travel — But Should They?: Americans must make tough sacrifices to get our vacations back. It’s not fun, but it’s the right thing to do — and the fastest way to start traveling again.

Major Online Travel Exec: Negotiating With Google Is Almost Pointless: Deep-pocketed Google clearly didn’t appease suffering travel advertisers in any meaningful way because it didn’t have to — it’s Google. Don’t look for Google to find religion in terms of being a more collaborative partner perhaps until regulators would take it down a peg.

Why Hilton and Other Hotels May Not Like This Joe Biden Tax Proposal: The so-called 1031 exchanges are tax deferrals on profitable real estate that, at face value, seem like a no-brainer to repeal and generate revenue. But the coronavirus pandemic’s negative impact on hotel building values should cause Washington to reconsider eliminating the provision.

Wyndham Plans to Woo Independent Hoteliers Closer to When the Bills Come Due: Wyndham isn’t hiding its plan to capitalize on distressed independent hotels and add them to the brand portfolio, but the hotel company can’t ignore the problem of rising coronavirus cases in markets that led the U.S. into a travel recovery.

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Tags: coronavirus, online travel, roundups, tourism, vrbo

Photo credit: Food handed out at the a food bank in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada as seen on February 16, 2016. Some unemployed travel workers struggle to make ends meet as a supplemental $600 unemployment check from the federal government ceases being sent. Mack Male /

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