Skift Take

In our top travel stories this week, Skift Editorial and Skift Research covered Airbnb and short-term rentals from every angle. Our most popular stories also included the latest acquisition of Lonely Planet, an interview with former Continental Airlines CEO Gordon Bethune, and the false hope of digital passports.

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.

The Future of Short-Term Rentals After the Pandemic and an Airbnb IPO: The entire hospitality industry would agree that short-term rentals led the tentative recovery in the spring and into the summer in many parts of the world. But a key question will be how will they respond when hotels and cities come back in earnest — and with vaccines a real possibility, they certainly will.

The Points Guy Owner Red Ventures Buys Lonely Planet: Red Ventures had better keep publishing the print guidebooks or it’ll face an uproar among a segment of diehard travelers.

A Funding Crisis at Destinations Spurs New Tourism Marketing Models: Since April, destination marketing organizations have been forced to seek funding beyond revenue from hotel bed taxes, which aren’t expected back fully for four years. What’s emerging? A blended DMO model in which advocacy, corporations, and communities play key roles.

6 Questions for Airlines Iconoclast Gordon Bethune on the State of the Industry: As airlines continue to plan their rebound strategies from the global coronavirus pandemic, the legendary Gordon Bethune, an expert in turning things around, sees a difficult yet promising future ahead for airplanes and commercial travel.

Exploring the Airbnb Paradox: New Skift Research: It’s finally here! Skift Research has been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to get its hands on Airbnb’s public filings. This report analyzes the challenges and strategies of the most influential company in the short-term rental industry.

Oprah-Backed Healthcare Company on Track to Be the Hotel Industry’s Go-To Safety Standard: Several companies want to be the Michelin Guide equivalent for post-pandemic hotel safety standards. But early corporate travel agency buy-in puts Sharecare and Forbes Travel Guide’s partnership at an advantage.

Marriott’s CEO on Why the Company Maintains a Narrow, High-End Focus on Homesharing: Marriott leaders like some aspects of the short-term rental business, but that doesn’t mean they want to go all Airbnb and start renting out your spare bedroom.

Airbnb Emphasizes Business Resiliency in IPO Roadshow Heavy on Schmaltz: There were few surprises in Airbnb’s roadshow presentation. It was high on optics and spin, and could have been much more substantive.

Short-Term Rentals at Marriott Grow Beyond Just Being an Experiment: Marriott still sees Homes & Villas as a small part of its entire business. But the platform grew by eight times its launch size in less than two years and added 4,000 listings just since October — a rare hotel industry silver lining for 2020.

Are Giddy Airbnb Investors Underestimating the Regulatory Risks?: Before the pandemic turned the world sideways, nearly 12 percent of Airbnb’s revenue last year came from its top 10 cities. But among them, cities like Lisbon and San Diego are taking radical steps to limit their short-term rental portfolios. Are investors overlooking the likelihood of vastly more stringent regulations?

Why Digital Health Passports Offer a False Hope for Business Travel’s Immediate Revival: Covid-free flights have officially landed, but businesses on the whole aren’t quite convinced.

Hotel Direct Bookings Hold Strong During Pandemic: New Skift Research: Early data shows that hotels’ direct bookings are gaining market share during the pandemic, with both and phone making ground during this time of lower demand. Is this permanent, and if so, which other channels will lose out?

March 29, 2023
Limited Early-Bird Tickets Remain

Tags: airbnb, business travel, direct booking, hotels, marriott, roundups, tourism

Photo credit: A Subaru parked in front of a country home in Lithuania on July 16, 2016. Paulius Malinovskis /

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