From Singapore's very active reopening strategy to Marriott's work from hotel plan and Airbnb's pre-IPO stock split, the Skift team covered the top travel stories this week.
Throughout the week we are posting original stories night and day covering news and travel trends, including on the impact of coronavirus. Every weekend we will offer you a chance to read the most essential stories again in case you missed them earlier.
Hard Truths From Singapore’s Reopening Gambits: Desperation is the new mother of invention and all eyes are on Singapore to see if the slew of measures it is taking will go down in history as forerunners of safe travel reopening — or just despairing moves.
What’s Going On With Oyo, 10 Months Into the Pandemic: Oyo and its founder have long been accused of being heavy on spin even though all acknowledge that the hotel chain has been a category creator. This interview is excellent because Agarwal faced tough questioning. We know a politician who would have walked out.
Caribbean Destinations Forced to Rethink Tourism Strategies as Cruises Face Huge Challenges: The world’s primary cruise destination, the Caribbean, has been reeling from the prolonged absence of cruise lines. But there’s no going back to multiple big ships anytime soon — a silver lining for destinations pushed now to maximize quality over quantity with smaller scale, high-value and green tourism.
Airbnb Stock Split Pre-IPO Will Make It Cheaper for Individual Investors: An Airbnb pre-IPO stock split gives the company’s potential public debut more momentum because its share price in theory would be lower. Of course, none of Airbnb’s IPO paperwork is public yet so the particulars of the IPO are just guesswork for now.
It’s Still A Waiting Game For Hotel Investors, As Owners Still Have High Valuations In Mind: It’s nearly time for opportunistic investors like Starwood Capital’s Barry Sternlicht to swoop in on distressed hotel assets, but they’d better have the pockets to stomach at least another year of no returns on investment.
Tripadvisor Digs Deeper Into Subscription Services for Hotels and Restaurants: Some hoteliers may welcome the opportunity to work with Tripadvisor on improving their rankings, but Tripadvisor will be challenged to show that its reputation management service will pay as much attention to reviews on Google and Facebook.
Booking.com and Google Clash in Europe as Regulators Target Both: Booking.com’s message to European regulators? Don’t lump us in with Google when you go after Big Tech. It’s so rare to see any public dustup between Google and Booking.com even though there have long been competitive tensions behind the scenes.
Marriott Throws Hat Into the Work-From-Hotel Ring: Marriott and Hilton entering the work-from-hotel space puts smaller hotel companies on defense, as the bigger brands have significantly more room to expand and compete — if they think it’s worth it.
Accor’s Lifestyle Brand Expansion Continues With Mondrian Return to London: Mondrian’s London return may only entail one hotel, but it represents the beginning of a massive development pipeline for Accor’s lifestyle hotel division in partnership with SBE.
SAP Concur Is a Collateral Victim of the Collapse in Business Travel: SAP has pared back its own business travel. It probably had those cuts in mind when it lowered forecasts for its Concur unit, which offers travel expense management software.
How Digital Disruption Happens in Industries, the Travel Industry Edition: Everyone forgets that in the moment in business, everything is cyclical, and the fate of business forever is bundling and unbundling over a period of time, even if they’re put back together in different and potentially unrecognizable ways.
The Largest IPO in History Just Happened and It Has a Huge Travel Angle Booking.com, Airbnb, Marriott, and every high-end retail shop on the Champs-Élysées want to see the proliferation of Alipay and other digital payment services to capture the spending of Chinese travelers. But Alipay’s key cross-border payments strategy, despite a record-setting IPO, has run into major snags.
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Photo credit: Traffic and colorful shophouses along Neil Road, in Singapore's downtown. Singapore is trying to reopen after coronavirus so it can be well-positioned for a recovery. joyt / Adobe