Skift Take

In Skift's top travel stories this week, IHG is launching its 17th brand, global consultancies will cut business travel spend, Oyo edged toward an initial public offering, and British Airways' parent grew its startup accelerator during the pandemic.

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.

IHG Launches Yet Another Luxury Hotel Brand: Should Accor Be Worried? Luxury and lifestyle hotels are the industry’s new battlefield for growth. IHG’s rapid growth in this sector with new brands over the last few years boils down to one thing: This company isn’t just ceding high-end customers to companies like Accor, Hilton, and Marriott.

Global Consulting Firms Project They Will Save Almost $1 Billion By Cutting Corp Travel in 2022: These latest company budgets and stricter travel programs are concrete evidence that there’s simply no going back to 2019 levels.

Norwegian Cruise Line Gets Court Approval to Request Vaccine Proof for Florida Departures: It’s a big win that comes a week before Norwegian Cruise Line restarts operations from Miami, as the Delta variant continues to rage in the state of Florida.

Hotel CEOs Avoid Facing Reality about the Delta Variant: Major hotel companies don’t want to ruffle any investor feathers at a time when profitability is just returning and labor remains fragile. But it’s better to be honest — and prepared — about what the next few months could look like with new strains of the virus and deploy a new recovery strategy.

Oyo Takes Step Toward Initial Public Offering: It’s clear that Oyo will try to go public in some fashion. But will investors buy the story — and the shares?

Accor CEO on Future Hotels Being More Than Places to Sleep: Accor has plenty of opportunities to transform itself into more of a lifestyle brand, but every one of its competitors is playing this strategy to some degree. Finding a way to stand out is easier said than done.

6 Expedia and Booking Online Travel Takeaways From Latest Financial Reports: While much of the talk these days is about digital nomads and remote workers, both Expedia Group and Booking Holdings have doubled down on commitments to brick and mortar headquarters. Which could mean that there may be real offices again after the pandemic.

Fiji Tourism CEO Gearing Up to Bring Island Nation out of Covid Shadow by December: It’s the first big light in the tunnel for Fiji Islands as vaccinations put the remote islands on the path to restarting tourism by December, with a new leader at the helm.

British Airways Parent IAG Grew Its Travel Startup Accelerator Despite Crisis: You might have expected that the pandemic would prompt International Airlines Group (IAG) to pause its startup accelerator. But IAG’s head of innovation, Dupsy Abiola, says the program gained momentum instead.

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Tags: accor, booking, expedia, iag, ihg, norwegian, oyo

Photo credit: An IHG property. The hotel chain is digging deeper into the luxury segment with the launch of a new soft brand. IHG

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