Skift Take

Good morning from Skift. It's Monday, March 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 discusses the efforts some global hotel brands are making to attract global nomads, how travel leaders think the war in Ukraine is affecting the industry, and Cuba’s small steps towards being a more inclusive market.



Episode Notes

Hospitality companies are targeting the growing number of digital nomads and remote workers, but what methods are they focusing on? Corporate Travel Editor Matthew Parsons looks at a few different efforts by hotel brands.

U.K.-based accommodation provider Cheval Collection is one hospitality company remodeling itself in an attempt to appeal more to a younger audience. Cheval launched a new brand last month named My Locanda that has features such as a “Wall of Curiosity,” which helps guests learn about items they can borrow. My Locanda also has shared kitchens, co-working areas and meeting rooms. Changes like this are driven by what some in the hotel industry think this new breed of traveler wants in a space. One hospitality industry executive said digital nomads tend to prefer accommodation that makes opportunities for social interaction easier.

Next, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is complicating travel’s path to a full recovery this year and while January bookings recorded in France, Germany, and Italy still haven’t reached pre-Covid metrics, industry executives have reasons for optimism. That’s one takeaway from last week’s Skift Forum Europe, reports Senior Travel Tech Editor Sean O’Neill.

Executives speaking at the Forum said they’ve seen a strong demand for summer travel. Johannes Reck, co-founder and CEO of online travel agency GetYourGuide, said bookings for the tour and activities sector have surpassed 2019 levels. In addition, executives from Airbnb, Booking Holdings, and Expedia said early trends for advance bookings showed promising signs.

Another takeaway from the Forum is that business travel is still struggling in its recovery. Accor CEO Sébastien Bazin said he doesn’t expect international business travel to ever fully return to pre-Covid figures. But Bazin added that companies like his can promote to remote workers the opportunity to use their facilities as work spaces.

Finally, Cuba has never had the reputation of being the most friendly location for those in the LGBTQ community. But Cuban tourism officials believe its two new LGBTQ-friendly hotels will help the country attract more members of the lucrative tourism market, reports Contributor Paula Krizanovic.

Cuba’s first hotel geared toward the LGBTQ community — the Gran Muthu Rainbow Hotel in Cayo Guillermo — reopened last December after having been closed during the worst of the pandemic. Judith Alfonso, the Cuba sales manager for the MGM Muthu Hotels, said it has already welcomed repeat visitors. Alfonso added that the presence of the Rainbow Hotel — as well as the recently opened Telégrafo Axel Hotel La Habana — can send a message that Cuba is a friendly place for LGBTQ travelers.

The island’s push to attract more LGBTQ visitors comes while Cuba is debating whether to legalize same-sex marriage and permit same-sex couples to legally adopt children.


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