Skift Take

Good morning from Skift. It's Tuesday, June 7, 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 five top hotel CEOs are bullish about the near future, how the Philippines created an engaging new tourism campaign, and JetBlue’s latest attempt to acquire Spirit Air.

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Episode Notes

Major hotel executives face challenges such as the ongoing pandemic, a labor shortage and a possible recession. But five CEOs speaking at a prominent hospitality conference on Monday expressed optimism about their industry, reports Andrea Doyle, the Senior Editor for Skift Meetings.

Doyle writes the mood among the executives at the 44th annual NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference was upbeat. One significant reason for their optimism is that hotel revenue per available room, the sector’s most important performance metric, is projected to exceed pre-Covid numbers by year’s end, according to industry data company STR. CEOs at the conference said they’re seeing unprecedented travel demand, which Hyatt chief Mark Hoplamazian attributed to the human urge to reconnect following two years of travel restrictions.

However, those five executives all acknowledged having to grapple with labor shortages. Accor CEO Sebastien Bazin admitted that many of its hotels don’t have the personnel to accommodate full occupancy while IHG Hotels & Resorts CEO Keith Barr said his company is down between 20 and 25 percent in staff compared to the start of the pandemic.

We shift now to JetBlue Airways’ ongoing efforts to buy Spirit Airlines. JetBlue upped its hostile takeover offer for Spirit on Monday to $3.4 billion, reports Airlines Reporter Edward Russell.

JetBlue’s third offer for the U.S.’ largest ultra-low cost carrier is its latest attempt to derail Spirit’s planned merger with Frontier Airlines. JetBlue’s improved pitch to Spirit also includes a $350 million reverse break-up fee, $100 million more than what Frontier added to its offer for Spirit four days prior. Spirit’s leadership and board have come out in favor of a merger with Frontier ahead of a shareholders vote on June 10.

JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes reiterated on Monday his belief that a JetBlue-Spirit merger is needed to create a national competitor to the four largest U.S. airlines. However, Spirit has turned down JetBlue’s previous offers due to JetBlue’s repeated refusal to drop its Northeast Alliance with American Airlines, the subject of a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice. The department argues that the alliance would decrease competition on the East Coast.

We wrap up today in the Philippines. The country’s new tourism campaign pays tribute to the workers in its travel industry who have made the archipelago a popular tourist destination, reports Contributor Mary Ann Ha.

The campaign, titled “The People Make the Destination,” features a video taking place entirely in a studio. The nearly two-minute advertisement showcases dancers using their painted limbs to depict the landscapes, animals and natural monuments in the Philippines that have served as popular tourist attractions for visitors.

Tourist organizations have often been guilty of creating campaigns that end up being harmful to the destination due to their portrayal of members of local communities as happy-go-lucky natives. But Ha writes the new Filipino campaign should go a long way in generating respect for workers who’ve made visitors’ trips possible.

Tags: frontier airlines, future of lodging, jetblue airways, skift podcast, spirit takeover