Skift Take

In Skift’s top stories this week, England welcomes fully vaccinated tourists, hotels are focusing on conversions rather than mergers, and Brazil is setting itself up to become a travel tech hub in Latin America.

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.

England Will Allow Fully Vaccinated Tourists From U.S. and European Union to Enter Without Quarantine: Finally a decision that gives England a chance to catch up with its neighbors, but all eyes will be on the U.S. now to see if it’s ready to meet Europe halfway. The corridor is well overdue.

Vacasa to Go Public in $4.5 Billion SPAC Merger On Heels of Vacation Rentals Surge: Vacasa has reached a remarkable milestone with its plan to go public, having parlayed the booming interest in vacation rentals during the pandemic. Yet the full-service property management sector is crowded, and going public is only the start of the journey.

JetBlue Pares Back on New London Flights As U.S.-UK Travel Restrictions Persist: Few are surprised that JetBlue is pulling back on its initial London schedule as U.S.-UK travel restrictions persist. But that’s a small concern for the airline that faces big expenses related to its new alliance with American Airlines and a still uncertain recovery outlook.

U.S. National Parks Boom Is Great But Overtourism Solutions Needed Urgently, Say Senators: National Parks are being “loved to death” and solutions are urgently needed to manage, disperse, and educate crowds while increasing access for all.

Former Expedia CEO Knew Copying a Rival Was a Recipe for Death: Business school students can probably debate this question endlessly and there would be merit in either position: Should smaller companies copy their larger rivals or vice versa? In the Google era, marketing power often wins the day — but differentiation still counts.

Amex GBT Deviates Widely From Core Travel Focus: Putting the “American Express” back into American Express Global Business Travel, its new Neo1 expense tool reminds us the world’s biggest corporate travel agency is half-owned by a credit card company.

Sonder Targets Business Travel By Partnering With Expedia’s Egencia, Tripactions and Others: Sonder has been misunderstood by some. It offers both short-term rental and traditional hotel lodging, and it has mostly appealed to leisure travelers, not business people, so far. The startup’s outreach to business travelers could change all that.

Marriott Execs: Don’t Expect More Hotel Mega Mergers Even in Covid Times: Major hotel companies are massive enough. Mergers and acquisitions departments need to think more about smaller, strategic deals rather than mega-takeovers that take tens of billions of dollars and years to integrate companies.

Brazil’s Travel Tech Scene Is Blossoming Despite Pandemic: Brazil is fostering dozens of travel tech companies. Developing homegrown digital clout could help the country resist incursions from foreign heavyweights as it leans into a post-pandemic recovery.

India’s MakeMyTrip Sees Strong Recovery in Domestic Business Travel: Business travel is showing significant signs of life in India. That could bode well for corporations and road warriors in other geographies, too.

Hotel Marketing Tech Consolidation Being Orchestrated by Austin Private Equity Firm: Serent Capital was an investing chaperone to Revinate’s acquisition of Navis. Its thesis is that the technological stars have finally aligned to produce many of the business intelligence breakthroughs that hotel companies have long sought.

What To Expect This Week From Hotel Earnings’ Season Kickoff: Profitability is possible, but there won’t be massive financial windfalls to report this week. Investors will still expect at least some sign the leisure-led recovery is benefitting these global hotel companies — especially amid the rise of new variants.

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Tags: amex gbt, brazil, expedia, hotel earnings, india, jetblue airways, marriott, national parks, sonder, tripactions, uk travel, us travel, vacasa

Photo Credit: England will allow fully vaccinated tourists from U.S. and European Union to enter without quarantine. Heathrow airport pictured. Jeff Hitchcock / Flickr