In Skift's top travel stories this week, Expedia agreed to sell Egencia to American Express Global Business Travel, IHG is shedding subpar properties, travel needs to push for vaccine equity, and India's travel industry and people are suffering.
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.
Amex GBT to Buy Corp Travel Agency Egencia From Expedia: The pandemic dust is settling, and now we’re really starting to see consolidation take hold in the corporate travel sector. There’s safety in numbers in the future.
Why Tourism Needs to Step Up and Push for Vaccine Equity No vaccine access for all? No tourism recovery. It’s playing out already, with more lives being lost senselessly. The travel industry should act fast and figure out how it can be part of the solution.
IHG Drops Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza Hotels With Lousy Customer Service: The pandemic nosedive in business helped IHG accelerate its plan to cut a few bad apples from the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza network. More trimming is likely to boost brand quality and — just as important — get back to 2019 levels of record growth.
India’s Covid Nightmare Leaves Its Travel Industry Reeling: India’s devastating second wave of the pandemic is arresting the pace of the travel recovery, at least for the short-term. It’s too early to tell if the shrinking industry will be able to cater to the vast pent-up demand once Covid is under control.
TripActions Buys Pandemic-Hit UK Corp Travel Agency Reed & Mackay: The hunter becomes the hunted.
Behind Dallas-Fort Worth’s Grand Goals to Be the Greenest Airport on the Planet:
Sustainability is not a chore. Done correctly, it can save millions for airports and reduce their carbon footprints.
Nearly Half of U.S. Travelers Plan to Use Travel Advisors Post-Pandemic, Survey Shows: There’s cause for optimism for this at-risk segment of the industry, just as National Travel Advisor Day hits. Travel agencies that are quick to adapt have the potential to capture a new customer base that outlasts the travel recovery years.
Booking Holdings Missed Out on the Pandemic’s Global Short-Term Rental Boom: Here’s Why: The geographic business mix of Booking Holdings has always been a tightly held secret. The trajectory of the uneven recovery, with the U.S. being its strongest and Europe the weakest regions, prompted the company the tell-all. The dynamic proved disadvantageous for Booking’s short-term rentals.
Marriott Homes & Villas Mandates a Rate Rule That Europe Considers Anticompetitive: With the competition heating up among short-term rental platforms, price parity issues may increasingly come into play, as they once did in the hotel industry. But with short-term rentals, given the ever-shifting guest fee rates, the pricing rules will be difficult to enforce.
What Hilton, Hyatt and IHG Could Reveal This Week on Development Deals: Hotel companies with a strong focus on leisure and drive-to properties are going to show the strongest development numbers this cycle, but don’t expect a massive downturn in construction from even the more business-oriented brands. Real estate is a long-term play.
Booking Holdings Sees a Surge in Flight Bookings as It Plays Catch-Up With Expedia: For years, industry analysts would muse: When is Booking.com going to launch flights? Well, now that business is showing strength, albeit from a small base. Seen as strategic, that airline ticket business comes at a price — lower profit margins.
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Photo Credit: The Millennium Bridge is a suspension bridge in London. The pandemic has suspended business travel, but mergers are picking up with American Express Global Business Travel agreeing to acquire Expedia Group's Egencia. Andrew Stawarz / Flickr
A New List of the Most Valuable Public Travel Companies
Old school travel companies still largely dominate in terms of stock market valuation, but there is no denying the disruption sparked by Airbnb’s debut on the stock market.
Cameron Sperance | 2 days ago
U.S. Hotel Performance Slips While China Roars Back to Life
The U.S. and China are riding a hotel performance see-saw where one goes up as the other comes down. But travel analysts and executives are downplaying the notion the Delta variant is going to lead to a travel doomsday scenario over the fall and winter.
Cameron Sperance | 2 days ago
Marriott’s Post-Pandemic Growth Story Is Outside the U.S.
A cooled-off construction market for hotels in the U.S. gives owners an opportunity to charge even higher rates during the recovery thanks to less supply in the market. But Marriott needs to show shareholders signs of growth. Hello, Asia and Europe.
Cameron Sperance, Skift | 5 days ago