Skift Take

In Skift's top stories this week, Choice Hotels buys Radisson Hotel Group Americas, India's most famous landmark faces a murky future, and rising prices drive U.S. consumers to alter their summer travel plans.

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.

Choice Hotels to Buy Radisson Hotel Group Americas for $675 Million: Choice wants to make its mark in the upscale segment. This is certainly one way.

The 10 Best Designed Tourism Websites in the World 2022: In a frantic attempt to avoid being left behind, official tourism organization websites are doing their best to catch up to the high expectations of the new traveler — tourists of the post-pandemic digital age.

Taj Mahal: A Wonder of the World in Peril: The Taj Mahal is many things to many people. However, some sectors in India are now keen to rewrite the monument’s history. Already beset by problems of overcrowding, pollution, apathy and infrastructure, the Taj can do with some rewriting of its present, not its past, to secure its future. Much of India’s tourism trade is riding on it.

Highgate’s New CEO Goes On the Hunt for Luxury and Lifestyle Hotels: Highgate’s name hasn’t been associated with luxury and lifestyle until now. But the company, which is the second-largest hotel manager in the U.S., is making some distinctive moves that will likely broaden its footprint among high-end, full-service properties.

The Larger Impact of American Airlines Giving Regional Pilots a Big Pay Raise: Pilots at two of American Airlines regional affiliates now earn more than some of their peers at discounters like Spirit. This could be the change needed to fix the pilot shortage but it could come with unintended consequences.

Higher Prices Now Changing Summer Travel Plans for Americans: New Skift Research Travel Tracker: Nearly 47 percent of Americans traveled in May 2022, 6 points higher than March, signaling a strong start as we get closer to the summer season. However, with the mounting anxiety about an economic downturn. the number of consumers who expect to cut down on travel spending rose sharply.

Analysis: Choice $675 Million Acquisition of Radisson Americas Would Spur Flurry of Brand Decisions: Despite all the pessimism on Wall Street these days, plenty of companies are still out there looking and moving forward on deals. The hotel sector will remain in the spotlight.

Corp Travel Giant CWT’s Secret to Managing the Labor Shortage: Travel management firms face challenges helping their customers deal with widespread travel disruption this year, the inevitable knock-on effect from the wider industry’s own struggles with labor shortages. CWT needs to staff up as quickly as possible.

Choice’s Grab for Radisson Americas Leaves These Unanswered Questions: Choice Hotels should be able to make good use of Radisson’s Country Inn brand. Odds favor this transaction’s long-term success. But the pact between frenemies Choice and Radisson is not without risk.

Global Hotel Group Signs up NH Hotels in Loyalty Pushback on Big Brands: Global Hotel Alliance notches up 21 million members after signing up Spain’s NH Group. It might now have an eclectic mix of global independent brands, but will need to watch its rivals’ next steps closely: if they’re not merging, they’re leveraging their considerably greater size and scale to secure new loyalty partnerships outside traditional hospitality channels.

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Tags: acquisitions, american airlines, choice hotels, india, nordic choice, radisson, skift research, summer, summer travel, top stories, tourism marketing, websites

Photo credit: Choice Hotels International is buying the Radisson Hotel Group Americas for $675 Million. Billy Hathorn / Wikimedia Commons