Skift Take

Good morning from Skift. It's Monday, February 28, in New York City. Here's what you need to know about the business of travel today.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at Canadian’s thoughts on homegrown versus international tourists, new partnerships between tour operators and airlines, and why Amadeus isn’t concerned with new distribution technology.

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Episode Notes

Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

Marketing partnerships between major airlines and tour operators are far from a new development in the travel industry. But tour operators are increasingly revamping such alliances to highlight issues important to travelers to boost business, reports Editorial Assistant Rashaad Jorden.

Wilderness Safaris is one such tour operator. Amanda Wilson, its vice president of partnerships, said the commitment to sustainability it shared with Qatar Airways was a reason it partnered with the Doha-based carrier. First class and business travelers receive discounted flights on the airline’s routes to Africa and for each such ticket sold, Wilderness plants 40 trees in Rwanda. Wilson said the sustainability initiative was an incentive to book travel.

Meanwhile, several travel operator executives said one factor they consider before entering into a partnership with an airline is how popular the carrier is with its customers. SmarTours CEO Christine Petersen said that many airlines have large numbers of loyal fans, an audience her company would love to tap into.

Next, Canada will ease travel restrictions today, permitting fully vaccinated travelers to show proof of an antigen test before entering the country. However, many Canadians aren’t enthusiastic about welcoming larger numbers of international visitors, writes Global Tourism Reporter Lebawit Lily Girma.

The Canada Resident Sentiment Survey revealed that less than half of Canadians across six regions believe they are ready for the arrival of U.S. visitors in their communities. Close to 45 percent of respondents said they supported the return of visitors from other destinations — a figure that dropped to 33 percent for residents of Canada’s Atlantic provinces.

However, the survey found that Canadians were generally eager to welcome travelers from nearby areas as well as other parts of the country. More than 70 percent of respondents were supportive of visitors coming from other locations in Canada.

Finally, airline ticket intermediary Amadeus has long dealt with carriers trying to kick it out of the distribution chain. But the Madrid-based company isn’t worried about the threat of direct distribution for the foreseeable future, reports Senior Travel Tech Editor Sean O’Neill.

President and CEO Luis Maroto said during an earnings call on Friday that increased efforts by airlines to connect directly online travel agencies and travel management companies wouldn’t hurt the company overall. Maroto added that while the practice of airlines forming direct connections with online travel agencies isn’t new, he believes companies like his and global distribution systems will still play a major role in the ticket distribution process.

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