Good morning from Skift. It's Monday, February 14, 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 Los Angeles’s good tourism recovery news, flyers unwillingness to offset carbon emissions, and layoffs at the most dominant online event platform.
Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
Tourism in Los Angeles was booming well before the city hosted Sunday’s Super Bowl between the hometown Rams and Cincinnati Bengals, but the big game helped give the industry an even bigger boost, writes Global Tourism Reporter Lebawit Lily Girma.
The 56th edition of the Super Bowl was a massive economic boon for Los Angeles as an estimated 150,000 people traveled to the City of Angels over the weekend, generating up to $475 million in revenue for local businesses. In addition, the hotel average daily rate and revenue per available room, the hotel industry’s leading performance metric, in the Los Angeles market from February 11 through 13 hit the second-highest levels for any Super Bowl weekend on record.
Tourism officials in the city are optimistic the surge in visitors will continue post-Super Bowl weekend. Adam Burke, the CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board, told Skift that the city is expected to hit 91 percent of 2019 visitation levels this year. Although international tourist arrival numbers won’t fully recover until 2025, Burke added the Super Bowl attracted large numbers of visitors from overseas markets.
Next, while an increasing number of people have expressed a desire to travel more sustainability in recent years, that doesn’t mean they’re willing to shell out more money to do so. A new study has revealed travelers are largely unwilling to pay for carbon offsetting schemes, reports Corporate Travel Editor Matthew Parsons.
According to data collected between August 2019 and October 2020, just under 5 percent of the more than 63,000 bookings with one European airline included passengers paying additional fees to offset carbon emissions. Carbon offsetting enables travelers to negate their proportion of an aircraft’s carbon emissions during a journey by investing in carbon reduction projects.
The study also raised questions about the effectiveness of offsetting schemes, even if travelers decide to pay. The report revealed that small amounts airlines that charge to help offset carbon do relatively little to reduce the environmental impact of a journey.
Finally, Miguel Neves, Editor-in-Chief of Skift brand EventMB, reports that many virtual event tech vendors will struggle coming out of the pandemic as the large-scale switch to a hybrid event format presents uncertainties for many companies. An early indicator of this, he writes, is UK-based virtual events platform Hopin announcing it’s laying off 12 percent of its workforce.
Hopin is letting go of 138 full-time employees, including Chief Marketing Officer Anthony Kennada. Four members of the senior management team at the vice president level or above and close to a dozen directors and senior directors were laid off in total.
A company spokesperson attributed the layoffs to the rapid growth the company had experienced, which led to the need to reorganize its business operations. Hopin had grown to over 1,000 employees in less than three years.
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