Skift Take

Good morning from Skift. It's Monday, April 22, 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

Listen to the day’s top travel stories in under four minutes every weekday.

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Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at hotel developers breaking ground in already popular markets, a new unionization push at startup airlines, and food tourism’s greener benefits.

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Episode Notes

In these days of trying to avoid masses of people, it almost seems counter-intuitive for a hotel developer to seek opportunities in dense urban areas. But that is precisely what is happening. Developers revealed plans in the last two weeks to open new properties in Honolulu, Hawaii, Chennai, India and Times Square in New York City. Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill reports developers have found innovative approaches to hotel development in this week’s Early Check-In.

One strategy O’Neill cites is building a hotel as part of a mixed-use district as he writes developers often gain traction in tourist hotspots when they can help create new neighborhoods. One such property is the Renaissance Honolulu Hotel, which will be part of a $500 million twin hotel and condominium development in Hawaii’s capital. Elsewhere, the Indian Hotels Company said it would build a luxury hotel in Chennai as part of a development that includes housing.

Next, the worldwide commemoration of Earth Day on Friday once again highlighted issues pertaining to sustainability worldwide. But as consumers across the globe are looking for greener ways to travel, what are travel companies doing to make the industry more sustainable? Contributor Mary Ann Ha reports that companies are turning to the popular sector of food tourism to make their businesses greener.

As Ha writes plant-based meals typically have a much smaller climate impact than that of animal products, travel companies intent on reducing the carbon footprint of their trips are working to give customers greener food options. Australian-based tour operator Intrepid Travel is one of them as it offers a series of trips called Vegan Real Adventures that’s tapping into the growing number of people interested in veganism.

Susanne Etti, the Intrepid’s global environmental impact manager, credits the emissions reduction target it set in 2020 for driving the company to decarbonize its trips. She added that some guests on those tours have been inspired to incorporate more vegan food into their diet upon their return home.

We finish today with a look at efforts to create unions at two startup U.S. airlines. Avelo Airlines and Breeze Airways — which both launched last year — are facing unionization efforts, reports Contributor Ted Reed.

Although Reed writes that startup carriers say they expect to avoid union organizing for a few years, prominent airline industry unions have already started unionization efforts at Breeze and Avelo. The Air Lines Pilots Association submitted a filing on April 7 to represent the 69 pilots at Breeze while the Association of Flight Attendants won an election earlier this month to represent cabin crew staff at Avelo.

Reed writes those two organizations are intent on ensuring commercial aviation remains one the most unionized industries in the U.S. Between 80 and 85 percent of the workforce at three of the largest U.S. airlines — American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines — is unionized.

Tags: breeze airways, climate change, food tourism, hotel development, labor, skift podcast