Skift Take

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at Disney Parks’ innovation, Airbnb’s marketing, and a superapp for the Middle East.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Thursday, September 15. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Travel executives have largely believed that travel marketing funnel — the approach marketers take to address the different phases of trip planning — should be centered around flights. But Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky says his company’s rivals have travel marketing funnel all wrong, reports Executive Editor Dennis Schaal.

Although flights are often the first purchase consumers make, Chesky said at a recent Goldman Sachs conference that marketing should revolve around travelers’ first decision — where to travel. Chesky, one of the speakers at next week’s Skift Global Forum in New York, believes that Airbnb’s expanded list of accommodation categories enables it to inspire travelers able to work remotely.

Next, Disney has announced plans to upgrade the theme park experience, including possibly introducing Disney+ content to its parks, reports Contributor Allison Armijo.

Josh D’Amaro, chair of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, shared news of planned upgrades to Disney’s Animal Kingdom at the recent D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. He also announced that Disney will be expanding its Avengers Campus-themed area. D’Amaro will be a featured speaker at Skift Global Forum next week in New York.

As D’Amaro told the audience at the Expo that Disney is constantly reinventing itself, Armijo writes the company could look to incorporate more Disney+ features at its theme parks. It held a Disney+ Day during the Expo, during which subscribers of the streaming service were entitled to special access to cruises and parks. With the entertainment giant projecting a revenue jump from Disney+ by 2024, Armjio adds bringing more digital innovation to its theme parks could be a major financial boon for attractions still recovering from the pandemic.

We end today with a look at online travel company Musafir.com. Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia reports the United Arab Emirates-based company is developing a travel superapp for the Middle East.

Musafir.com CEO and co-founder Sachin Gadoya said in an interview with Skift his company aims to launch its superapp next year. Superapps, which are popular in Asia, enable users to accomplish a myriad of tasks under one platform instead of having to resort to dozens of apps. Gadoya said the travel superapp would be a one-stop shop for customers’ travel requirements, such as flights, visas for overseas trips and hotel check-in.

Gadoya added that Musafir.com expects to see a significant boom in business later this year from soccer’s World Cup in nearby Qatar. He believes the company is poised to benefit from travelers looking to the United Arab Emirates for accommodation during the tournament instead of the host country.

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Tags: airbnb, disney parks, skift podcast, superapps