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Good morning from Skift. It's Friday, March 18, 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 discusses what endemic Covid could mean for tourism in Asia, how rising fuel prices are hitting the meetings and event industry, and Oyo’s challenges as it looks to an IPO.

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Episode Notes

Several Asian nations — including Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore — are moving forward with plans to treat Covid as endemic, after two crushing years under a pandemic. So what does that mean for the travel industry throughout the continent? The large-scale move to an endemic phase could spark a tourism rebound, reports Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia.

Bhutia writes the shift to endemic will go a long way in simplifying travel to Asia, where travel regulations have frequently changed from country to country during the pandemic. She adds that destinations will have the opportunity to market themselves to prospective visitors without having to provide so many caveats for entry.

Next, budget hotel operator Oyo had big plans for its initial public offering. But it’s been far from smooth sailing for the India-based company. As Executive Editor Dennis Schaal writes, its IPO could be cut in half in scope — or even withdrawn.

Oyo had filed its IPO paperwork with India regulators in October 2021, proposing a $10 billion to $12 billion valuation. The company was also looking at a $9 billion valuation in January of last year, but its IPO has been in limbo pending approval by the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

But as Oyo faces numerous lawsuits as well as a market that has seen the collapse of IPOs, a published report on Thursday revealed the company could go public with a $6 billion valuation or withdraw its IPO. When asked the possibility of either outcome, an Oyo representative declined to comment about any changes in its IPO plans.

Finally, just as the in-person event industry was starting to make progress in its recovery, it now has to grapple with surging fuel prices. So where will the event industry feel the impact of the rising cost? Just about everywhere, reports Contributor Eileen Wennekers for EventMB, a Skift brand.

As Wennekers writes, the cost of fuel affects virtually every aspect of running an event. Brent Taylor, the president of Canada-based Timewise Events, predicts increasing fuel prices will spur more planners to focus on local events. Taylor cited his company as an example as it now operates on a much smaller geographic scale than previously.

While Wennekers writes the mid-term outlook is quite bleak for the events, another executive — Will Curran, the founder of Endless Events — believes the industry can overcome the challenges presented by higher fuel prices. Curran said planners can offset the increasing price of transportation by choosing less expensive locations for their events. In addition, rising truck costs could spur organizers to make their events smaller, thus reducing their carbon footprint.

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Tags: IPOs, malaysia, meetings, oyo, singapore, skift podcast, thailand

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