Skift Take

Good morning from Skift. It's Friday, May 20, 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 explains how the travel industry is rapidly rebounding this summer, why Radisson thinks it has an edge on hotel rivals, and how WeWork is missing out on the remote worker boom.

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Episode Notes

The travel industry is continuing to make enormous strides in its recovery. Skift Research’s newly released Skift Travel Health Index for April 2022 reveals the industry has hit 77 percent of pre-pandemic metrics, reports Senior Research Analyst Wouter Geerts.

April 2022 registered the index’s highest score ever since the all-time low recorded the same month two years ago, and Geerts writes the general feeling in the travel industry is that this summer will be a strong season. That optimism is supported by travel metasearch site Skyscanner’s survey of consumers in four countries. Eighty-six percent of respondents plan to spend the same amount of money or more on international travel this year compared to 2019.

Hugh Aitken, Skyscanner’s vice president of flights, said high airfares aren’t slowing down the pent-up demand for travel. Aitken also said he’s seeing travel behavior return to a pre-pandemic normal, with more travelers booking trips at least 60 days prior to departure.

We turn now to Radisson Hotel Group’s expansion’s strategy in Europe. The company believes its push will succeed due to its properties’ distinctive styles, reports Corporate Travel Editor Matthew Parsons.

Radisson extended its partnership this week with hospitality real estate company PPHE Hotel Group, which will help it develop more high-end lifestyle hotels. Radisson will also expand its two-star lifestyle brand Prizeotel, with its sights set on adding 45 hotels to the brand’s portfolio. CEO Federico Gonzalez said he’s confident Radisson will attract visitors because rivals have been punishing guests with poorly designed hotels. The Radisson chief added that each Prizeotel property has its own style, unlike other companies that, he believes, replicate the same hotel model.

Meanwhile, Gonzalez downplayed concerns about any possible labor shortages at Radisson, citing a recruitment campaign that attracted 100,000 applicants. The company has filled 1,500 open positions.

We conclude today looking at co-working space provider WeWork. Its struggles during the pandemic, caused by overexpansion and bad management, are making it difficult for the company to fully take advantage of the remote working boom, Corporate Travel Editor Parsons writes in this week’s Future of Work Briefing.

WeWork posted a $500 million first quarter loss, which was actually a substantial improvement from the $2 billion loss reported for the same period last year. However, WeWork has lost ground to rivals in the co-working space sector, including Industrious, which made two major acquisitions earlier this month. Parsons adds that other companies targeting remote workers, in particular Airbnb, have considerably increased their marketing efforts.

While Parsons writes that hotels and airlines might be able to raise rates, WeWork may not have that luxury, believes Jade Tinsey, head of marketing at data company Coworkintel. She said that WeWork and its rivals are trying to make co-working more accessible, and upping prices could significantly impact occupancy levels. Tinsey added this year is a crucial year for WeWork, especially as it could finally post its first profits.

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Tags: skift podcast, skift research