Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at the travel industry’s latest innovators, Turkey and Greece’s Aegean squabble, and human trafficking in hotels.
Skift Daily Briefing Podcast
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Good morning from Skift. It’s Wednesday, July 13 in New York City. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
Travel’s resurgence this summer represents a timely occasion to look at companies that have provided outstanding service for travelers, but which ones have been exceptional? On Experience Columnist Colin Nagy highlights companies that stand out in the return of his biannual look at travel’s biggest innovators.
As Nagy writes, the distance between very good and superb is quite far, he lists brands, ideas and services that have caught his attention. He also delves into memorable experiences from his travels, such as the brightest hotel owners he’s met and the most enjoyable conversation he’s had. Nagy said discussing subjects like Japan and hospitality in general with prominent hotelier Philippe Roux-Dessarps during a visit to Greece was an indelible moment.
Next, Greece and Turkey have long sparred over sovereignty claims around the Aegean Sea. But Turkey’s newly released TurkAegean tourism campaign has exacerbated the tensions between the two nations, writes Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia.
Greece views the TurkAegean campaign as another Turkish attempt to legitimize the maritime zones and islands in the Aegean Sea as its territory, Bhutia reports. In addition, Greek officials have objected to the European Union intellectual property office permitting Turkey to trademark the term TurkAegean. However, Ufuk Secgin, chief marketing officer of travel booking site HalalBooking, acknowledged that travel companies have long used the term Turkish Aegean — as well as Greek Aegean.
Bhutia writes the tourism marketing dispute between Greece and Turkey has snowballed into a geopolitical affair ahead of 2023 elections in both countries, adding that each government’s ruling party could use the controversy to drum up support.
Finally, hotels have played a major role in the dark world of human trafficking, a subject Skift has reported on in the past. But three hotel companies are taking steps to support human trafficking survivors with a combined $1 million donation, reports Contributor Sonia Menken.
The American Hotel and Lodging Association announced this week that it received the donation from Motel 6 parent G6 Hospitality, Extended Stay America and Hyatt Hotels to launch the No Room for Trafficking Survivors Fund. The AHLA-run foundation is devoted to providing financial support to survivors and raising awareness about human trafficking. There are an estimated 25 million victims of human trafficking worldwide.
Rob Palleschi, the CEO of G6 Hospitality, said the donation would also go toward training hotel employees to better recognize signs of human trafficking. However, Skift has reported that there is little evidence that interventions like company-wide training and public awareness-raising result in lower rates of trafficking.
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