Skift Take

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at strong U.S. travel numbers in July, a Gen-Z appeal by a Chinese travel portal, and Flight Centre’s corporate travel poaching.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Friday, August 26. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Concerns about inflation and gas prices aren’t deterring Americans from traveling. Skift Research’s newly released U.S. Travel Tracker: July 2022 Highlights, reveals more than half of Americans traveled last month, the highest figure recorded since Skift started tracking Americans’ travel behavior in January 2020, reports Senior Vice President of Skift Research Haixia Wang.

Roughly 53 percent of Americans hit the road last month, a 5 percentage point jump from July 2021. Wang attributes the strong figure to the large number of remote workers in the U.S. As nearly half of U.S. workers are still working fully remote or in a hybrid mode, 26 percent of Americans said they had taken trips longer than 10 days because of the flexibility their work provided them.

Wang adds the summer could see a further travel boom. Sixty percent of Americans said they’re considering traveling between August 1 and mid-September, the end of the summer season.

We head to China next. Chinese online travel agency Tongcheng Travel has devoted much of its pandemic-induced downturn to launching marketing campaigns targeting younger users, reports Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia.

Tongcheng CEO and Executive Director Heping Ma said during the company’s second quarter earnings call this week that it aims to be a platform that understands and connects with younger users. Tongcheng,which unveiled a new brand name and logo as part of its effort to diversify its user base, is collaborating with the Jiangsu Province Tourist Bureau in marketing activities targeting college students. Despite recording a 38 percent year-over-year decrease in revenue, Tongcheng reported a $16 million net profit during the second quarter.

Finally, travel management company Flight Centre Travel Group has seen a significant surge in new business as it’s attracted notable corporate clients, reports Corporate Travel Editor Matthew Parsons.

Chris Galanty, the CEO of its corporate division, attributed much of its success to consolidation. The division, which includes the FCM and Corporate Traveller brands, has won a total of just over $4 billion in new business. Galanty said during its second quarter earnings call on Thursday that consolidation has presented corporations fewer options, which he believes has helped FCM. The division’s new clients include Shell and PwC.

Galanty managed to get in a dig at rivals, stating that some legacy travel management companies have struggled to adapt to the new needs of customers.

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Tags: coronavirus recovery, corporate travel, flight centre, skift podcast, skift research, tongcheng travel, usa

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