Skift Take

Good morning from Skift. It's Wednesday, June 1, 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 discusses why business travel is booming despite the financial hit, why Qatar will limit non-World Cup visitors in December, and how hotels are trying to alleviate arriving guests’ stress.

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Episode Notes

Inflation is a major issue for travelers planning their summer vacations, but companies are shoving aside any concerns about surging prices to send employees back on the road, writes Corporate Travel Editor Matthew Parsons.

Adam Knights, a regional managing director at corporate travel agency ATPI, believes clients aren’t worried about inflation because they need to get their companies back to normal, which includes sending staff back on business trips. While Knights said he’s seen the volume of corporate travel plateau at 80 percent of 2019 levels, the amount spent on business trips has already reached pre-Covid levels. He added that corporate travel expenses will continue to go through the roof.

However, representatives from the Global Business Travel Association and the UK-based Institute of Travel Management said they haven’t heard about any worries pertaining to inflation.

We head to Qatar next. The Gulf State, which will host soccer’s World Cup in November and December, may only allow visitors during the event with a valid match ticket due to a lack of hotel rooms, reports Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia.

Philip Dickinson, the vice president of international markets for Qatar Tourism, said the country hasn’t made a final decision about the issue. But he admitted that it’s unlikely that those without World Cup tickets will be able to enter the country during the tournament — unless they are residents or Qatari citizens. Dickinson said Qatar doesn’t have an abundance of hotel rooms for fans since they’re allocated first to teams, federations and sponsors.

Bhutia writes that Qatar has devised innovative solutions to accommodate the estimated 1.5 million World Cup visitors. The country will be housing travelers in floating hotels, which are essentially rooms aboard cruise ships. In addition, Qatar Airways announced last week that fellow Gulf State airlines would operate more than 160 daily shuttle flights during the event, enabling fans staying in major cities in the region to fly into and out of Doha on the same day.

Finally, a growing number of travelers are experiencing challenges such as delays and cancellations en route to their final destination. But hotels are taking steps to alleviate stress guests are feeling during their travels, reports Contributor Carley Thornell.

Thornell cites the Four Seasons Resorts Scottsdale as one hotel placing an increased emphasis on wellness measures. General Manager Kelley Moreton said the hotel offers guests a meal in their rooms if they have a delayed or late-night arrival, adding it wants visitors to focus on relaxing upon arriving at the property. The Four Seasons also provides guests the opportunity to participate in a series of Jet Lag Rescue routines, which include activities designed to restore customers’ circadian rhythms after long flights.

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Tags: guest experience, qatar airways, skift podcast, world cup