Skift Take

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at booking site performance in June, Hawaii’s new tourism campaign, and the psychology behind paying hotels.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Tuesday, July 12 in New York City. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Online travel agencies have been looking to take advantage of a potential surge in travel demand this summer. But Airbnb and Expedia showed signs of a slump in June while Booking.com had a strong month, reports Executive Editor Dennis Schaal.

Visits to Airbnb.com globally dropped almost 1 percent in June from the previous month, according to data intelligence firm Similarweb. Meanwhile, Expedia.com recorded a nearly 2 percent month-over-month decrease last month in global visits. Although Similarweb recorded year-over-year increases in June to both companies’ websites, Schaal writes those figures were miniscule and hardly signs of robust momentum.

However, Booking.com made significant gains in June, including an almost 5 percent surge in global visitors compared to May. The company also saw a roughly 27 percent year-over-year increase in visits to its site last month. Schaal attributes Booking.com’s success to it taking advantage of Europe’s travel recovery this summer. Booking.com is stronger in Europe than both Airbnb and Expedia.com.

We head to Hawaii next. The state’s tourism authority has selected, as part of its strategy to give greater clout to the voices of local communities, a Hawaii-based nonprofit to market the islands around the U.S., writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority’s decision last month to award a multiyear contract to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement is significant, Habtemariam writes. The $34 million contract is set to expire in December 2024. The HTA chose the group over the hotel and airline industry-backed Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, which had marketed the state for more than a century.

The new partnership is a sign of host communities’ growing involvement in tourism, which Skift highlighted as one of travel’s biggest trends in 2022. HTA CEO John De Fries acknowledged that local communities have been demanding more from the state’s tourism industry over the past decade amidst growing concerns about overtourism.

Finally, hotel guests have often found paying for hotel stays stressful, in large part because they don’t know the total cost until check-out. A new study reveals how much negative payment experiences can damage hotels, reports Corporate Travel Editor Matthew Parsons.

Travel technology company Amadeus warned in the report, commissioned by behavioral insights agency Innovationbubble, that hotels risk losing entire markets — not just individual customers — because of poor payment experiences. Hotels still mainly process payments at the desk based on their own local payment system, leaving guests uncertain if their bank card will be accepted. Innovationbubble said 40 percent of respondents recently experienced difficulty paying for their hotel stay while more than a third said they couldn’t pay how they wanted to during a recent stay.

The study added consumers are unlikely to associate hotel payments with positive feelings like ease or convenience. As payments are often a guest’s final interaction with a hotel, Parsons writes a negative experience will cloud the perception of a hotel stay.

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Tags: airbnb, booking holdings, expedia, future of lodging, guest experience, hawaii, skift podcast