In Skift's top stories this week, the European Union recommends further restrictions be placed on U.S. travelers, two major companies go public, U.S. travel brands turn to TikTok to attract younger travelers, and Radisson's CEO explains why the company split in two.
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.
European Union Could Ban Non-Essential Travel From U.S. as Early as Monday: Less than two months after opening up to Americans for non-essential travel, the EU is reversing course with new expected travel restrictions. News of this latest ban will throw more chaos into the future of travel companies already bracing for a tough fall.
Vacasa and Sonder Face Challenges as They Get Ready to Join Airbnb as Public Companies: Will Vacasa and Sonder have the wherewithal as public companies to build their own brands independent of relying on Google and Airbnb, and will their business model challenges be surmountable? There’s a ton of potential and so much work ahead for each of the companies.
Why Hotels Need to Make Payment Tech a Priority: New Skift Research: Most hoteliers would rather not think about their payment tech, as long as it works. But payment habits are changing, and so is payment tech. Hoteliers — and hotel tech vendors and investors — will want to be on top of these changes, especially now that revenues are suppressed.
Alaska Airlines Taps New Flight-Planning Software to Avoid Costly Delays: Until now, artificial intelligence has mostly been hype. But AI is starting to save travel companies real money by making smarter predictions about events that impact operations.
Hilton-Backed Hotel Brand Banks on Rising Tide of Social and Environment Responsibility: Want to develop a hotel? Think beyond just room revenue. Money talks, and more investors like CGI want to see increased emphasis on social issues and sustainability going forward. So-called ESG is no longer a side thought.
JetBlue-Backed Startup Flyr Buys 2 Companies to Expand Its Airline Software: Airlines have historically been cautious about adopting new technologies. So it’s striking to hear any talk that carriers are buying new software during the pandemic-related revenue crisis.
U.S. Travel Brands Hop on TikTok Marketing to Reach Next-Gen Travelers: TikTok is finally becoming a promising tool for travel marketers. But brands should expect a lot of trial and error. This social video app isn’t just Instagram or YouTube by another name.
Radisson CEO Divulges Why Company Had to Split in Two: Hotel apps and loyalty programs involve a lot of guest data — and potential vulnerability to foreign hackers. Just ask Marriott. Radisson’s Americas breakup aims to beef up guest data security.
Airbnb’s Short-Term Rental Challengers Double Down on Brand Building: As happened with major online travel agencies, there will eventually be several winners in short-term rentals beyond Airbnb. But will these come from the independent property managers trying to build consumer brands, or will the larger players take them out as is customary?
Global Travel Restrictions Are Averaging 350 Per Country This Far Into the Pandemic: Tourism isn’t getting back to normal anytime soon, and this UBS report is a stark reminder of that.
Remember When Expedia Wanted to Reduce Its Reliance on Google? Big 180-Degree Shift Now: Critics blasted Airbnb for relying too heavily on Google advertising to obtain customers in 2019. But in the beginning of 2021, Expedia outspent all of its rivals on paid marketing and made some gains. Expedia and its Vrbo brand are making no apologies for it.
A Travel Coalition Faces Steep Climb Calling Out Industry on Climate Change: Cutting tourism-related carbon emissions in half is very ambitious, but travel can’t go small in combating climate change. However, the fight to cut emissions will face an enormous challenge when airline passenger numbers return to pre-Covid levels.
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Photo credit: The Grand Place in Brussels could see even fewer U.S. visitors. Dennis Jarvis / Wikimedia Commons