Skift Take

In Skift's top stories this week, Skift founder and CEO Rafat Ali writes about the blending of work, travel, and personal lives, Ghana's decision to use celebrities to promote tourism emerges as problematic, and the labor shortage in hospitality enhances the need for robots in hotels.

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.

The Great Merging: How we live, work, socialize and travel have merged into each other, with profound implications for the global industry at the center of selling this dream. How will travel respond?

Miami’s Global Boom Takes Flight: Miami was the busiest U.S. airport for international traffic in 2021, new data reveals. It’s further evidence of rising tides for The Magic City, drawing first from short-haul global travelers, but expected soon to play host to returning long-haulers.

Ghana’s Return Tours Tap Celebrity African Americans – And Overlook a Reality: Ghana’s push to attract more African Americans to visit and invest makes sense, but using celebrities to drive the campaign is problematic. Not least, two years of pandemic means residents will increasingly scrutinize the tourism sector and demand a transparent, long-term plan to benefit host communities.

PlusGrade to Buy for $385 Million in Cash in Blockbuster Loyalty Deal: PlusGrade and deal with some of the same partners, and they can now approach them with a collaborative pitch.

Travelers Plan to Spend Big on International Travel This Summer: New Report: Pent-up demand for international travel seems unstoppable as tourists refuse to slow down regardless of the travel industry’s ongoing anxiety concerning rising prices.

Avianca and Gol Merger to Create Broad South American Airline Group: Never a dull day in Latin American airline circles. Two of the region’s largest, Avianca and Gol, plan to merge and create a pan-South American aviation group along with budget competitors Sky Airline and Viva Air.

Why European Investing Giant Kinnevik Is Betting on Travel Startups: Even though Kinnevik is Europe’s largest publicly listed startup investor, it has only recently begun to take stakes in travel startups. What it looks for in companies tells a broader story of how investors generally view the sector.

Prince Harry Pokes Fun at Himself in TV Skit Promoting Sustainable Tourism: Humor can go a long way in driving home an important point, and Prince Harry wasn’t above poking fun at himself to emphasize the importance of sustainability.

Expedia Group CEO Interview: Our Tech Was an Anchor Thwarting Innovation: In years past, Expedia has often talked about integrating its tech platforms or leveraging its massive data trove. Will it actually spur innovation this time around?

Robots and Automation Move From Novelty to Necessity in Hotels: Given the constraints of today’s labor market — and the speed to onboard new hospitality talent — it’s time to push the envelope when it comes to artificial intelligence, robotics, and automation.

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Tags: automation, avianca, celebrities, ceo interviews, climate change, expedia group, ghana, gol, hotels, international travel, mergers, miami, miami international airport, plusgrade,, robots, startups, sustainability, top stories, tourism, travel, travel recovery, travel trends, tv

Photo credit: The boundaries between work, travel and personal lives have blended since the start of the pandemic. Kristin Wilson / Unsplash

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