Good morning from Skift. It's Tuesday, April 5, 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 explains why Hertz Rental Cars’ new CEO is placing faith in the electric car, why the luxury hotel experience is lacking, and what guests really want from hotel fitness, post-pandemic.
Hertz’s new CEO Stephen Scherr faces the challenge of steering a company that exited bankruptcy last June. But Scherr is bullish about its future as it continues to make inroads in the booming electric car rental market, reports Corporate Travel Editor Matthew Parsons.
Scherr, who took over as CEO in late February after serving as Goldman Sachs’ chief financial officer, said in an exclusive interview with Skift that he was attracted to Hertz because of its legacy and its opportunities for growth. He’s already hit the ground running as the company revealed on Monday it ordered up to 65,000 electric cars from Swedish car maker Polestar. Hertz had previously ordered 100,000 Tesla cars in late October as part of its effort to create a fleet of electric vehicles.
Parsons writes that Hertz will see an enormous demand for such vehicles from corporations looking to hit sustainability goals. Hertz will also offer the electric cars to ride-hailing firms such as Uber and Lyft.
Next, On Experience Columnist Colin Nagy delves into a problem facing the luxury hospitality industry. What is it? The sector, he writes, is losing its luster as brands are increasingly not living up to their storied reputations.
Nagy believes a major reason luxury hotels have lost their mystique is due to the absence of longtime hospitality workers whom he described as the backbone of such properties. The best of them, who Nagy writes were dedicated to the craft of hospitality, lost their jobs during the pandemic, and haven’t been brought back.
But Nagy adds, as high-end customers are re-evaluating where they spend their money, upstart luxury hotels and brands have a valuable opportunity to attract new clientele. He calls on those properties to find ways to distinguish themselves from storied rivals that aren’t pushing anything of value to prospective guests.
We end today looking at a favorite amenity many guests visit rely on during a hotel stay — the gym. Contributor Carley Thornell reports a shift in exercise habits is driving properties to reimagine the concept of a hotel gym.
Although Thornell writes that hotel gyms aren’t going away anytime soon, hotels are examining how much space to set aside for them as exercise habits change. Some companies are making it easier for guests to work out in more condensed spaces, such as Hilton’s Five Feet to Fitness program, which includes 11 pieces of fitness equipment and other gym accessories in a guest’s private space.
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