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Good morning from Skift. It's Thursday, June 23 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 looks at compensation for airline executives in the United States, the Faroe Islands’ growing visitor numbers, and hotels using local art to build connections.

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Episode Notes

Skift has published the list of the highest-paid U.S. airline CEOs, and Delta Air Lines chief Ed Bastian came out on top for 2021, taking home $12.4 million in total compensation, writes Airlines Reporter Edward Russell.

Bastian received $2.5 million more than his closest peer, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby. Most of Bastian’s earnings were a result of stock awards, as roughly 94 percent of his 2021 pay was based on Delta hitting goals established by its board’s personnel and compensation committee. Kirby and American Airlines CEO Doug Parker, the third highest paid U.S. airline leader last year, also saw most of their 2021 compensation come from stock.

While nearly all U.S. airline leaders took a major pay cut or waived their pay altogether in 2020 due to the pandemic, most carriers reinstated pay to pre-Covid levels last year. The CEOs of the 11 publicly-traded large U.S. airlines — not including regional carriers — took home combined more than $53 million in pay.

We head next to the Faroe Islands. The once obscure North Atlantic archipelago’s tourism growth hasn’t been stunted by the pandemic — it’s recovering faster from the travel shutdown than many other destinations, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam.

The Faroe Islands is on track to welcome a record number of visitors this year, breaking the record it established in 2019. Justin Francis, the CEO of tour operator Responsible Travel, said his company is doing strong business there in large part because its tourism board has succeeded in creating awareness of the destination. Visit Faroe Islands’ “Closed for Maintenance” initiative, under which 100 applications are selected to do maintenance work for some of its popular tourist spots, is one successful effort Francis cited.

However, Habtemariam writes that the Faroe Islands’ tourism industry could take a hit due to negative publicity about the archipelago’s whaling culture — in particular, the slaughter of close to 1,500 dolphins in one day last year. Francis said such stories have been a reason why travelers are choosing not to visit the Faroe Islands.

We end today looking at a way hotels are connecting to local cultures. They’re increasingly showcasing work by diverse artists to better establish bonds with their communities, reports Contributor Carley Thornell.

Thornell highlights Jonathan Morris, the co-owner of the Hotel Dryce in Fort Worth, Texas, as one hotelier using art to draw attention to underrepresented communities. The lobby of the Dryce features images of Black and Hispanic cowboys, whom Morris said are rarely depicted in art. Morris said he wants his hotel to be a space for people — especially people of color — who have struggled to find welcoming places.

Ericka Nelson, the general manager of the Kimpton EPIC Hotel in Miami, also views art as a way to showcase her property’s diverse workforce and clientele. The hotel has launched an artist-in-residency program, in which each exhibitor must commit to a platform tied to diversity and inclusion. Nelson said a hotel often represents a visitor’s first glimpse into a neighborhood’s diversity.


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Tags: ceos, Faroe islands, hotels, labor, skift podcast, tourism

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