Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at Ukraine’s domestic tourism, Radisson’s reimagining, and Google’s and Booking’s competitive edge.
Skift Daily Briefing Podcast
Listen to the day’s top travel stories in under four minutes every weekday.
Good morning from Skift. It’s Thursday, September 8. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today
The European Commission is considering designating companies such as Google and Booking.com as gatekeepers to ensure fair competition in hotel bookings. But Executive Editor Dennis Schaal writes in his five takeaways from a recent commission report that such a label for Booking.com could potentially have minimal impact on online travel.
Schaal reports in his Online Travel Briefing that Booking.com doesn’t have a monopoly on hotel bookings, citing a 2021 survey of nine hotel chain-affiliated properties. Only 24 percent of their sales came from online travel agencies. In addition, Schaal writes banning wide and narrow rate parity provisions, which prevents hotels from offering lower rates on their own websites than they give online travel agencies, has had little impact on competition over the past few years. The commission found that Austria and Belgium banning the two forms of hotel rate parity didn’t lead to major changes in how hotels distribute their rooms.
Next, the ongoing war in Ukraine has absolutely decimated tourism in the country, but Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia reports the country is slowly seeing a rebound in domestic tourism.
Mariana Oleskiv, chairperson at the State Agency for Tourism Development of Ukraine, said that travelers are gradually coming back to Ukrainian cities. Oleskiv, who will speak at the Skift Global Forum in New York this month, added that Ukrainians are visiting domestic destinations not considered to be under threat from Russian attacks. However, she urged foreign travelers to delay returning to the country, stating that Ukraine would welcome them when it could ensure their safety.
Finally, Radisson Hotel Group has undergone enormous change in the last five years in large part due to a major shift in strategy. And the company is not done retooling itself in its quest to double its portfolio by 2025, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill.
O’Neill writes that Radisson is seeking, among other targets, a mix of organic growth and mergers and acquisitions. Radisson, which currently has roughly 1,700 hotels open or in development, aims to sign 330 properties and open 15,000 rooms this year. CEO Federico González also views conversions, deals where the owner of an existing hotel assumes a new brand affiliation, as a key part of its strategy. Radisson has taken steps to simplify brand conversion for hotel owners, a trend likely to continue with rising interest rates and construction costs complicating hotel construction.
Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch