Good morning from Skift. It’s Monday, January 10, in New York City. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
Skift Daily Briefing Podcast
Listen to the day’s top travel stories in under four minutes every weekday.
Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast discusses the challenge of staffing at hotels, an online travel acquisition in South American, and Visit Mexico’s play in the loyalty space.
Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
The U.S. hotel industry unemployment rate has just hit a pandemic-era low. But that’s not because large numbers of jobs are being filled, writes Hospitality Reporter Cameron Sperance. Hotels only added roughly 6,600 jobs in December, according to the overall U.S. jobs report released on Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While that figure was enough to drop the hotel unemployment rate to 5.5 percent, hotel executives aren’t viewing Friday’s report as great news for the industry as it’s likely a sign of people no longer seeking jobs in the sector instead of many open positions being filled. Several hotel companies — including Hyatt — report having thousands of job openings. Leisure and hospitality employment, which includes the hotel sector, is still down a little more than a million jobs since February 2020. The overall U.S. unemployment rate dropped to just below four percent last month with 199,000 jobs added to the economy.
We go to South America next. Colombian travel technology consultancy Netatica has bought Turismoi, a Peruvian tours and activities startup, reports Senior Travel Tech Editor Sean O’Neill. Netatica, which assists travel and tourism businesses select and use new technologies, will benefit from the deal by bundling tours and activities content from Turismoi with hotel and flight content from other providers. Turismoi, which also offers software to help travel businesses handle reservations, has inventory from roughly 2,000 companies in 14 countries.
We end today in Mexico. The tourism marketing agency Visit Mexico has signed a deal to create a points-based loyalty program that aims to encourage repeat travel in the country, O’Neill writes. Visit Mexico said last week it would run a marketing campaign to promote a new payment app built by Texas-based financial technology company Rev. The agency will promote the app, called X World Wallet, to increase travel between the U.S. and Mexico and within Mexico. The new app, which is debit-based and has no fees for currency exchange, will provide visitors to Mexico with another method of payment. Regarding the loyalty program, Rev CEO and Chairman Roy Sosa said that customers who patronize smaller tourism-based businesses will be rewarded extra points. In addition, travel companies, such as Visit Mexico or a major hotel chain, can buy points from Rev and use them to incentivize customers to make specific purchases.
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