Skift Take

In Skift's top travel stories this week, we covered Marriott's arrival in Sandals' all-inclusive sandbox, travel manager fears over consolidation, and a startup deal on hotel automation.

Throughout the week we are posting original stories night and day covering news and travel trends, including 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.

Sandals Resorts Isn’t Afraid of Marriott Entering the All-Inclusive Resort Sector: Even if Sandals Resorts isn’t worried about major hotel brands like Marriott entering the all-inclusive space, more hospitality giants are likely to swoop in and start scouring the market for franchise deals. There is too much unbranded supply to ignore.

Travel Manager Jitters Over Wave of Corporate Agency Consolidation: This year started with a bang for mergers and acquisitions, so naturally there’ll be questions about whether they end up stifling competition.

Startup Backed by Former Priceline and Booking CEO Strikes Deal to Boost Hotel Automation: Operto is merely one startup in a sea of hospitality tech vendors. But it stands out for having Darren Huston, the former top boss of the world’s largest online travel conglomerate, as its executive chairperson and key investor.

New Sobering UNWTO Data Suggests Full Tourism Recovery Won’t Arrive Until 2024: It’s a stark update from the United Nations’ tourism arm on the projected delayed return of international tourism — but it’s also up to governments in wealthier nations to turn that tide and speed up recovery through global vaccine equity.

What’s Going Wrong Between Tripadvisor and Group?: Tripadvisor and Group maintain that their strategic partnership is as strong as ever even though the Chinese company just sold 20 percent of the shares it owns in Tripadvisor and is likely to sell a lot more this year. Rhetoric aside, you can’t spin away that fact.

Why Every Airline Should Worry About the Political Hijacking of Commercial Flight: The diversion of a Ryanair flight to Belarus a week ago to detain an outspoken critic and journalist shows us that air traffic control may be increasingly vulnerable to the politics of autocracies. That should send a chill through airline C-suites with the industry needing as few disruptions as possible to chart its recovery.

What a Top Labor Leader for Travel Learned From the Pandemic: The pandemic has taken a toll on the frontline workers at the Transport Workers Union, but action and compassion go a long way. Industry employers need to take note and make adjustments as their frontline workers return.

Why Japan’s Vacation Rentals Are Hiring Tech-Savvy Management Companies: It’s a U.S. bias to assume that the answer to every hotel or vacation rental problem is to have a nationally branded management company take over operations. But in Japan and elsewhere, many owners of travel accommodation prefer an unbranded, behind-the-scenes management partner.

Pace of U.S. Hotel Development Is Being Threatened by Global Shipping Bottlenecks: The surprising rise in consumer spending during the pandemic spurred a competition for goods and shipping containers among all industries. That’s a long-term problem for hotels, especially with an expected increase in renovations around the corner that will require even more deliveries from overseas.

The Economic Dark Side of the Global Remote Work Movement: A new study from the USC Marshall School of Business is probably not what most people want to hear, especially those travel and hospitality businesses investing for permanent change.

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Tags: coronavirus, hotels, labor, marriott, sandals,, tripadvisor, unwto

Photo credit: Pictured is Sandals Barbados. The company believes it has an edge over Marriott in the all-inclusive sector in the Caribbean. Sandals Resorts

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