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Transcript of Today’s Episode

Good morning from Skift

It’s Thursday, January 14, in New York City.

For daily updates in your inbox, subscribe to the Skift Daily newsletter at skift.com/daily.

And now, here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

Skift every year releases its annual predictions identifying and interpreting the key trends for the travel industry. This January, rather than looking at a tenuous year ahead, Skift embarked to envision what the broader travel world in 2025 might look like, with the pandemic behind us. As global travel enters a new cadence, will there be a gold rush of pent-up demand or a more introspective era of travel in the decade ahead? With social, economic and environmental challenges providing a constant backdrop, what trends will spell long-term opportunity and which will prove short-lived?

For some of those answers, go to skift.com/megatrends-2025 to download a free copy of the trends.

We turn next to the hard-hit hotel market. Hospitality reporter Cameron Sperance writes that flexible banks and additional federal coronavirus relief are delaying an expected gold rush of distressed hotels from going on the market. But that isn’t keeping opportunistic investors from swooping in.

Hotel investment group Bainbridge DXS and Torrey Pines Hotel Group this week launched a $500 million fund aimed at acquiring as many as 200 hotels around the world in the next 15 years. The investment fund comes just a few weeks after New York Yankees legend Alex Rodriguez announced his involvement in a $650 million fund targeting the acquisition and development of Hilton hotels over the next three years. Starwood Capital Group CEO Barry Sternlicht said last year he was “tickled to death” by the amount of distressed sale opportunities coming down the line.

But Washington may impact how much distress will ever materialize.

“If we didn’t have a vaccine on the horizon, you’d see a lot more properties transact,” said Steve Carvell, a professor at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. “Now you’re seeing more people think they can kick the can down the road for a few more months.”

Finally, in a show of unity, major airline trade groups are expressing deep concerns with new measures and restrictions for air travel being imposed across Latin America and Caribbean. They are asking governments to adhere to and implement previously agreed to measures from the International Civil Aviation Organization, using testing programs that could alleviate quarantine requirements.

Contributor Ruhty Munoz writes that the new measures include quarantines in addition to testing requirements. Travel bans that had been previously lifted are being reimposed and are rolling back the progress made on restoring air connectivity in 2020. This has resulted in an adverse effect on the socio-economic recovery in the region, placing millions of jobs at risk, said a joint statement released by International Air Transport Association, the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association and two other trade groups.

“We again call on governments to implement and follow the internationally agreed biosafety protocols for aviation. We cannot go back to the beginning of the pandemic, closing borders or applying quarantines when even the World Health Organization has pointed out that the virus cannot be controlled in this way,” said Peter Cerdá, IATA regional vice president for the Americas.

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