This new partnership with well-known freelancing platform Fiverr is yet another sign of the ongoing blending of travel and work.
Future of Work
As organizations start to embrace distributed work and virtual meetings, the corporate travel and meetings sectors are preparing for change. Read Skift’s ongoing coverage of this shift in business travel behavior through the lens of both brands and consumers.
Selina plans to coerce freelancers and side-hustlers out of their coffee shops and into its properties and co-working spaces, following its new partnership with Fiverr.
The millennial and Gen Z-focused hospitality brand now gains access to the freelancing platform’s substantial community of four million people.
Fiverr is a marketplace connects freelancers with buyers, who now get access to 15 percent off stays at Selina’s properties, as well as discounts on other services.
The tie-up reflects that accelerated blending of work and travel, and as far as marketing partnerships go this one has a lot of clout. But more importantly it marks a shift in how the travel industry recognizes what used to be a marginal group.
There’s a new form of collective buying power on the horizon, and the partnership comes as Selina delves deeper into the business-to-business space. “So many corporates get discounts at Marriotts or Hiltons,” said Elad Nir, Selina’s global chief marketing officer — so why not freelancers?
The partnership was fairly organic, Nir continued. “We met Fiverr at an event, and discussed partnering. We share the same target audience, communities of freelancers, and share the same vision,” he added. “People aren’t working from offices.”
The partnership with Selina, which will have more than 150 locations by the end of 2022, also includes the ability for these workers to connect through in-person events and meetups. Separately, Selina this week filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to move one step closer to going public through a SPAC.
The Tik Tok Generation
And here’s yet another definition for the travel industry to jump on: the Anywhere Worker.
That’s how Fiverr defines its freelancers, as they work remotely while traveling from at least two locations, domestic or international, throughout the year.
As a result, the pretext here is that both Selina and Fiverr want to combat the “loneliness” that remote workers can experience.
“While being an Anywhere Worker has numerous benefits including having autonomy and flexibility over one’s worklife, it still has its challenges such as lack of community and a sense of belonging,” said Gali Arnon, chief marketing officer at Fiverr.
The marketing tie-up also includes a “Work from Anywhere” contest, which calls on Fiverr freelancers to post videos on social media of their working lives, with the best 10 videos winning $4,000 worth of perks, including stays at Selina properties for three to four weeks.
The contest runs up until Sept. 1. The catch is that those 10 contest winners will then have to document and share their experiences during their stay.
Selina has also been working on a new “workcation” product behind the scenes, with two large enterprise clients already testing it out. More details will be announced soon.
Digital nomads wear many hats, but few can claim “resistance fighter” as one of them.
Long-time travel blogger Orest Zub is the exception, however. Hailing from Lviv, Ukraine, Zub is now on a mission to continue highlighting the atrocities that are playing out in his home country in a bid to fight “news fatigue.”
He aims to film at least two 30-minute videos per week, using the skills he learnt in former roles in media production. He used to access 100,000 people via Ukrainian channels, but recently developed English language channels.
He also speaks at events worldwide, is a frequent guest podcaster, and has special permission from the Ukraine Ministry of Defense to travel.
However, next year he plans to bring two digital nomad festivals to the west of Ukraine: Nomadbase, and he wants the country to host a series of five events for Nomadmania (a collective of hardcore travelers on a mission to visit every single country.)
“I’ll be very happy if we can organize a live event next year. This is absolutely doable, logistically and safety wise,” Zub said.
He’s well-placed to discuss the role tourism can have in helping heal Ukraine, having previously ran a tour operator, Ukraine Travel Secrets, before it shut down in 2014 due to fighting in the Donbas region.
“The presence of people is the most important thing,” he said. “The presence of foreigners in the country sends a positive signal to the world that it’s not all trenches. It’s still positive to live here, as 100 percent as normal as it can be.”
Yet technically speaking, “normal” tourism isn’t possible if a country is officially in a state of war, he added, with airports out of bounds for civilian flights.
Having visited more than 120 countries, he’s seen his share of conflict zones, and predicts Ukraine will recover.
After foreigners like aid workers, media representatives and embassy workers, the next wave involves so-called war tourists.
“They are guys who really like to see ruins and destruction, and are able to take some kind of risk. They’re usually well-established business people who’ve done everything in their lives; now they’re looking for risk,” Zub said.
They’re the type who will stay in the Radisson for $400 a night, and have a private security escort everywhere even though it’s not required, he added.
Then backpackers and adventure tourists will start to come, and later digital nomads. And then the tourists. “Once there is a ceasefire, Ukraine will become one of the top destinations in the world. Everyone understands Ukraine, where it is and what it stands for,” he said.
10-Second Corporate Travel Catch-Up
U.S. Airlines Enhance Corp Travel Platforms
United Airlines and Delta Air Lines are launching new platforms for their corporate customers. United for Business Blueprint is scheduled to launch in late 2022 and will allow clients to design travel programs to include offerings like United Corporate Preferred status and discounts on leisure travel for employees. It will also launch a new website later this year to make it easier for corporate customers who choose to book their business travel through united.com and the United app to enrol and manage travel.
Delta, meanwhile, is rebranding its portfolio of business travel tools, products and services under one new solution, called Delta Business. The move is designed to provide a “consolidated experience for Delta’s corporate and travel agency customers, reinforcing the value and benefits Delta provides across all aspects of its partnerships.”
AltoVita Lends a Hand to Startups
Corporate housing agency AltoVita has launched a special platform for startups. It said it wants to ensure businesses of all sizes can find affordable corporate extended-stay accommodation to meet their business objectives, and its new “AltoVita For Start-Ups” features discounted booking fees, no transaction fees, no security deposits, and consolidated billing statements and management. The offer is only available to companies under 10 years old, with below $5 million in annual revenue.
Skift Future of Briefing is taking a break next Friday, but will be back on Aug. 26.
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