In Skift's top stories this week, money from Airbnb bookings meant to support Ukraine is often going to hosts outside of the country, several hotel giants freeze development plans in Russia, and United Airlines is worried about the prospect of higher oil prices.
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.
Ukraine Bookers on Airbnb Get Duped Despite Heartfelt Support: Airbnb bookings in Ukraine are very well-intentioned and much of it may be going to hard-hit individual hosts. However, Airbnb doesn’t expressly identify professional hosts so a chunk of the funds may be unwittingly going to big property managers that aren’t even based in Ukraine.
Hilton, Hyatt, and Accor Freeze Hotel Development in Russia: Western hotel companies are still making money in Russia, but this is a notable step for an industry that has been a holdout amid all the companies ditching their presence in the country following its invasion of Ukraine.
United Airlines Braces for High Oil Prices: Airlines have never faced the confluence of a global pandemic, war in Europe, and high oil prices. United Airlines’ finance chief Gerry Laderman said there’s no precedent for the concurrent crises, a phrase we’ve heard a lot of in the past few years.
U.S. Road Trips Still a Go With Higher Gas Prices But Here’s What Changes: Rural destinations that have benefitted from long-haul road trippers will want to prepare for the impact of higher gas prices on consumer behavior, on the cusp of busy spring and summer seasons.
Mandarin Oriental Launches a Luxury Vacation Rental Brand: Another hotel group enters the luxury home rental fray, but Mandarin Oriental is putting its properties through a rigorous brand standard ringer before guests have an opportunity to book.
Airbnb and Booking: 12 Takeaways From Their Annual Financial Reports: Airbnb went deep while Booking Holdings went wide in terms of product development in 2021. Airbnb assuredly will get back to broadening its product line, if not in 2022, then later.
OTA Insight Buys Transparent to Offer Both Hotel and Vacation Rental Data: Here’s yet another sign that alternative accommodations are becoming sophisticated businesses just like hotels.
Tours and Activities Go From Hardest Hit to In Hot Demand This Year: New Survey: Should operators of tours, activities, attractions, and experiences be raising their prices? Yes, says new data. What’s more, this sector may sparkle the most among travel verticals in the industry’s recovery.
IHG, Marriott, and Equinox Hotels Turn Up Sleep Soundtrack Strategies: For hotels, now is the time to think beyond the scope of traditional music programs to create experiences that resonate with guests.
Corporate Travel Agencies Scramble With 11th Hour Evacuations Over Ukraine War: Global travel management companies are navigating new travel restrictions that include combat zones and closed airports as they organize emergency evacuations in Ukraine and beyond.
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Photo credit: Demonstrators marching in support of Ukraine GoToVan / Flickr