Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at Airbnb’s expanded language tools, politics and hotel bookings, and the market for selling hotels.
Skift Daily Briefing Podcast
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Good morning from Skift. It’s Monday, September 12. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today
As more U.S. states have restricted abortion rights in recent months following the Supreme Court overturning Roe vs. Wade, female travelers are increasingly reconsidering where they spend their travel dollars. Contributor Carley Thornell reports that mindset is driving hotels to provide a more welcoming atmosphere for female guests.
Thornell cites the Hotel Zena in Washington, D.C. as one property that’s made celebrating women the focal point of its decisions. The hotel prominently displays 8,000 protest buttons documenting important events in women’s history, and it invited members of the public to interact with female leaders on Women’s Equality Day last month. The Hotel Zena also contains a portrait of late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in its lobby.
Meanwhile, Ace Hotel’s Los Angeles property believes running educational programs can help it appeal to female guests. It hosted a film festival in August showcasing works by female directors, with proceeds benefiting an organization that supports sex education.
Next, hotel sales have been lower than expected in recent years, with owners largely hesitating to sell at a discount. But Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill reports in this week’s Early Check-In that surging interest rates could force more hotel sales.
David Duncan, the CEO of Chicago-based hotel investor First Hospitality, predicts rising interest rates and the threat of recession will prompt some reluctant owners to sell. He added that banks and other lenders will want to get loans repaid quickly so they can issue fresh loans at today’s higher interest rates. Duncan believes that pressure would make hotel owners consider selling as a way to raise money to repay debts.
Finally, Airbnb is expanding its automatic translation service to enable users to see reviews in more than 60 languages, reports Contributor Allison Armijo.
Airbnb’s expanded Translation Engine will allow users to access the more than 550 million reviews on its platforms without first having to manually translate the text. The short-term rental giant introduced the service last year as part of its Winter Release, which included more than 50 upgrades on its platforms.