Skift Take

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at Vacasa's new CEO, post-pandemic habits of Indian tourists, and a new batch of women-led tour operators.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Thursday, August 25 in New York City. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Tour operators were largely battered by the pandemic, but dozens of travel communities saw membership grow substantially while travel was paused. Contributor Tony Carne reports that women-led tour operators have grown from those booming communities.

Carne writes that desire among travelers to be among like-minded individuals — as well as safety concerns — are driving the growth of such communities. Those groups have evolved from settings where travelers can meet online to companies organizing tours. One noticeable feature about groups Carne discovered was the importance of community, which he believes sets them apart from traditional tour operators. Haley Woods, the creator of Girls LOVE Travel, said her group started running trips because that’s what her community wanted.

Next, inflation hasn’t slowed down Thomas Cook (India), with the travel company recording strong growth in the second quarter. And Managing Director Madhavan Menon strongly believes that surging travel demand isn’t dying down, reports Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia.

Menon said in an exclusive interview with Skift that Thomas Cook (India)’s rebound has been fueled mainly by domestic travelers, with both business and leisure travel recovering to nearly pre-Covid levels. The company registered a second quarter pre-tax profit of $740,000, which Menon attributed to the company successfully cutting costs.

However, Menon acknowledged that Thomas Cook (India) is struggling to secure visas for customers to locations such as the United States and United Kingdom. In addition, he believes the Indian government needs to increase its efforts to attract foreign visitors. Menon notes that it’s not extending electronic visas to travelers from the UK, a major source market for India.

We end today with big news from Vacasa. The vacation rental company announced on Wednesday that former Egencia President Rob Greyber will replace Matt Roberts as CEO, reports Executive Editor Dennis Schaal.

Roberts said he’s leaving Vacasa to spend more time with family and return to retirement. He had been retired before becoming Vacasa’s CEO in 2020. Meanwhile, Greyber, who will also take over Roberts’ slot on Vacasa’s board of directors, will assume his new CEO duties on September 6. Greyber served as Egencia’s president for 11 years, during which the company became a force in tech-enabled corporate travel, Schaal writes.

Vacasa, which went public through a blank check merger in December 2022, eliminated 25 sales positions last month, and Vacasa hinted further cuts could be on the horizon.


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Tags: india outbound, skift podcast, thomas cook, tour operators, vacasa

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