Good morning from Skift. It's Friday, February 4, 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 explores the upgrades hotels are making to better appeal to digital nomads, how Uganda is thinking differently about tourism marketing, and how cancellations and refunds hit Allegiant Air last quarter.
Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
The number of digital nomads has grown exponentially since the start of the pandemic, and a lot of them are choosing to complete their work in hotels. So many hotels are making enormous upgrades to woo such workers, writes Contributor Carley Thornell.
The Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel in Florida is one such property that has undergone extensive renovations to make itself more appealing to people who want to work in a hotel. Stephanie Tablada, its property director of sales, said it’s improved the Wi-Fi in the hotel’s backyard as well as placed furniture in poolside cabanas, which many guests use as personal offices for the day. Surfcomber’s work from hotel package also includes office supplies, complimentary printing and unlimited coffee.
Hilton has also seen an increased interest among many travelers to work from a hotel. The company’s recent global trends report found that a roughly 30 percent jump in stays seven nights or longer compared to 2019. In addition, Hilton has expanded its footprint in popular resort destinations such as Las Vegas and Mexico, giving the hotel giant a leg up in the competition to attract members of the growing segment.
Next up — Uganda. The East African nation, like many of its neighbors, has long sold images of its iconic mountain gorillas and Big Five animals — including lions, leopards and African elephants — to prospective visitors. But the country has unveiled a new tourism marketing campaign showcasing its citizens and cultural activities, writes Global Tourism Reporter Lebawit Lily Girma.
The new campaign features a video showing images such as a woman going on a forest hike, friends sharing a plate of mashed green bananas and a group river rafting. Lily Ajarova, the CEO of the Uganda Tourism Board, told Skift that it was important that Uganda highlight its other attractions after the country’s officials learned via discussions with market researchers in North America and Europe that prospective visitors were interested in more than wildlife.
Numerous tourism executives in Uganda have spoken highly of the campaign, with one saying the video highlights the potential of outdoor adventure in the country as well as its diversity in nature.
We conclude with news from Allegiant Air’s fourth quarter earnings that saw an impact from the slew of cancelled flights at the end of the year. Despite recording a net profit of $10.7 million for the quarter, the carrier failed to meet one of its major targets, reports Skift Editor-At-Large Brian Sumers.
Allegiant reported that the crucial figure — cost per available seat mile minus fuel expense — was close to 12 percent higher for the fourth quarter in 2021 than during the same period in 2019. Company executives attributed the increase to having to provide financial compensation to customers booked on delayed or cancelled flights that plagued the airline industry in December. Allegiant spent roughly $23 million on customer compensation in the fourth quarter, a sharp increase from the $4-5 million the company spent in all of 2019.
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