In Skift's top stories this week, tour operators prepare for Japan to reopen to tourists this year, short-term rental properties in the U.S. become more expensive, and Booking and Expedia develop Super Bowl ads.
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.
Tour Operators Sell Japan Trips But Remain on Standby for Reopening: It’s a bit presumptuous for tour operators to believe Japan will soon reopen in time for the popular spring season considering that the country doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to welcome more foreign visitors despite increasing pressure to do so.
U.S. Short-Term Rental Rate Sticker Shock Will Sting More in 2022: Short-term rental owners in locked-down countries undoubtably suffered or went out of business in 2021. But for many owners in the U.S., it was the best of times, and their revenue soared. One wakeup call — there may not be an adequate number of listings to meet demand.
Blackstone and Starwood’s $1.5 Billion Deal Throws Fuel on Extended Stay: Investors liked the durability and continual operation of extended-stay hotels during the worst of the pandemic. But a $1.5 billion play for a portfolio and not even the entire WoodSpring Suites brand shows where investors see travel demand concentrating during the recovery.
Booking and Expedia Super Bowl Ads Will Be an Online Travel Sideshow: Will Booking.com, Expedia.com or Vrbo create Super Bowl ads that everyone will be talking about in the days after the Big Game? We haven’t seen them yet, but so far it sounds as if they are trotting out very predictable and familiar themes.
Turo’s Road to Carshare Profitability Seems Endless: If carsharing platform Turo can’t make a profit in a red-hot rental car market like 2021, when will it?
Sonder CEO on the Generational Divide in Hospitality: Sonder doesn’t need to put Hilton or Airbnb out of business to be a winner. But it has to has to cope with the market’s displeasure with unprofitable companies, and to prove that its guest experience will deliver on its promises, starting with millennials and Gen Zers.
Destination Marketers Must Evolve in 2022 in These 5 Areas: The pandemic has been both a blessing and a curse for destination marketing with restricted budgets, a broadened scope of work, and a breather to rethink and restructure. This year will be pivotal for laying the groundwork to evolve nimbly in line with travel trends and to enhance organizational efficiencies.
Subscriptions Make Gains for Laptop-Lugging Remote Workers — Deloitte: The consulting giant hones in on corporate travel and remote work trends in its latest annual tourism outlook, while labor shortages also dominate the year ahead.
Intrepid Travel Acquires U.S. Tour Operator Wildland Trekking: The hard-hit tour operator sector is creating opportunities for consolidation, as some savvy players will use travel’s recovery to seek out acquisitions to fill significant gaps in their portfolios.
Hotels Refresh Better Sleep Strategies for Reimagined Wellness: When it comes to sleeping and good sleep habits, hotels would be best served to market the experiential, not just just the material — especially if science supports the potential benefits.
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Photo credit: Several tour operators have expressed confidence that Japan will reopen in time for them to take guests to see the country's iconic cherry blossoms huangzj100 / Pixabay