Skift Take

In Skift's top stories this week, Airbnb ups host penalties for unjustified cancellations, a travel agent describes this summer's chaos, and Uber launches a new travel service.

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.

Airbnb’s 10-Fold Increase in Host Cancellation Fees Could Benefit Guests: Increasing host penalties for unjustified cancellations isn’t necessarily a bad thing unless innocent hosts get caught up in the dragnet.

A Day in the Life of a Travel Agent During the Summer of Chaos: This summer of disruptions, delays and disorder has left travel agents frantically trying to serve their clients. Nothing tells that story quite like a typical day on the front lines for agent Dannielle Jasper.

Uber Travel Launches First in the UK With Trains and Buses From Omio: Uber is taking baby steps into travel. Booking.com: No need to sweat it yet.

Booking Holdings Boosts Discounting to Capture Bigger Share of Travel Budgets: Booking is placing a new emphasis on discounting versus its traditional reliance mostly on marketing. Expect more fintech and loyalty offerings.

Accor Predicts 20 Percent of Business Meetings Are Gone Forever: A European business leader group has spoken out during the hotel group’s latest Masters of Travel gathering. Their views cement several trends that have been picking up pace since the pandemic began.

Visa Wait Times Put Drag on U.S. International Travel Recovery: One more impact of the global labor shortage is the protracted wait time for visas that will continue to hurt the U.S.’s international tourism recovery if quick solutions aren’t found.

Marriott So Far Feeling Immune to a Downturn: Reading between the lines, Marriott International executives suggested that their company has so many strong fundamentals that it could shrug off choppy economic waters for the rest of the year.

More Hotels Opt for Fake Grass to Save Water for the Sake of Sustainability: Technical advances in synthetic grass — and practical considerations behind installing and maintaining it — deserve a second look.

A Brazil Proposal to Privatize Beaches for Hotels and Developers Roils Locals: Brazil is utilizing privatization to grow its tourism infrastructure. On privatizing sections of beachfront, it runs the risk of building a tourism industry that can’t sustain itself if it doesn’t take into account the input of local communities.

Yotel Unleashes New Ambitions With Eye on Empty Office Buildings: We hadn’t heard much from Yotel as a hotel chain for a while. Turns out it has recharged its ambitions for world domination. We’re intrigued by its pitch that its micro-hotel design matches well for conversions of decades-old office buildings. Boldness or bravado?

Tags: accor, airbnb, booking holdings, hotels, marriott, sustainability, top stories, travel advisors, travel agents, uber

Photo credit: Airbnb co-founders on stage