Skift Take

In coronavirus-related travel stories this week, the Maldives scored some tourism wins, Marriott axed more headquarters staff, Booking Holdings showed strength, U.S. Travel's tourism campaign raised doubts, and airlines newly discovered leisure travelers.

Maldives Notches Small and Big Wins in Its Reopening Act: So what good has come out of the Maldives’ reopening since July 15? A lot actually, which other resort destinations may learn from, albeit this paradise has its unique strengths.

Marriott to Lay Off 17 Percent of Corporate Headquarters Staff in October: Marriott’s corporate job cuts are a fresh reminder that a travel demand rebound is likely years away from ever hitting pre-pandemic performance levels.

Booking Holdings Is Holding Its Own Amidst the Wreckage But Then There’s Google: The Skift Health Score ranked Booking Holdings as the overall leader in August among 100 public travel companies but the entire travel industry faces grave uncertainties. Then there’s that little search engine Google, which has an even larger travel business than Booking.

Sign Up Now to Hear the CEOs of Marriott and Booking Holdings at the Skift Global Forum Online Conference September 21-23

The Travel Rebound’s Stalled Summer: New Skift Recovery Index Insights: August is normally a bumper month for destinations in the northern hemisphere. The fact that the Skift Recovery Index remained flat indicates that seasonality is still in play even today, and that travel volumes have indeed increased over the past month, but we can’t yet speak of a full recovery.

U.S. Travel Association’s ‘Let’s Go There’ Campaign Walks a Fine Line: The U.S. Travel Association’s latest campaign — launched in conjunction with 75 travel companies and trade organizations — shows the task of marketing travel in a pandemic hasn’t gotten any easier.

Accor Just Restructured the Company in the Middle of a Pandemic: Why Now?: Accor’s corporate overhaul is all about recognizing that a localized business strategy may be the only way to grow revenue under an uncertain travel climate with varied geographic responses to the pandemic.

What Will Global Travel Manager CWT Do With $250 Million in New Capital? Get Smaller, For One: From the outside, it seems the travel management company has gone into survival mode. Post-Covid, it will look a lot leaner, and more attractive to potential buyers.

Airbnb Suitor Makes His Case as an Antidote to Market Volatility for a Pending IPO: Message delivered: If Airbnb is concerned about the market’s rollercoaster ride and the timing of its going public, then Bill Ackman’s Pershing — and other special purpose acquisition companies — could take a little of the anxiety out of the process.

I Don’t Get It: What’s the Point of the ‘Let’s Go There’ Ad Campaign?: Do we really need a vague, sepia-tinted-baritone-overloaded reminder to know we are missing normality and locked out from regular traveling?

Why Airlines Don’t Want to Fly ‘Ghost Flights’ Into European Airports This Winter: In a pandemic, with few people flying, you might think it would be bad business to fly empty airplanes to squat on airport slots. But if that’s what is required for airlines to keep access to key airports, they’ll probably do it.

Why Marriott Sees a Full Hotels Recovery in China in 2021: If China continues its centralized government’s stance of rapid response to coronavirus outbreaks, a full hotel industry recovery there by the end of next year isn’t as impossible as it may seem.

Forget Business Travelers, U.S. Airlines Now Battle Over Vacationers: Not long ago, many U.S. airlines were focused on business travelers. They often neglected the leisure traveler. But Covid-19 changed everything.

Sign Up Now to Hear the CEOs of Marriott, Booking Holdings and Accor at the Skift Global Forum Online Conference September 21-23

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Tags: airbnb, airlines, booking holdings, cwt, hotels, maldives, marriott, tourism

Photo credit: A Maldives beach scene as seen on December 3, 2017. The Maldives notched some tourism wins when it reopened after a coronavirus lockdown. Mickey Luigi Logitmark /

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