Skift Take

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at TikTok’s influence on destination marketing, Delta CEO’s optimism, and the appeal of wellness in corporate travel.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Friday, October 14. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian acknowledged on Thursday the travel industry is facing the prospect of economic turbulence. But he believes that possible recessions in both the U.S. and Europe later this year won’t hurt the industry’s recovery, reports Edward Russell, editor of Airline Weekly, a Skift brand.

In fact, Bastian said during the carrier’s third quarter earnings call that travel is experiencing a countercyclical recovery, adding Delta didn’t see travel demand being quenched during this summer surge. Although economic outlooks widely predict recessions in the U.S. and Europe, Delta President Glen Hauenstein said the company is continuing to see strong demand in both regions. Corporate bookings at Delta hit roughly 80 percent of 2019 levels at the end of September, and are expected to rise during the fourth quarter.

Delta reported a nearly $700 million net profit in the third quarter. The company’s revenues during the period were up 11 percent from 2019 levels.

Next, hotels are increasingly looking to attract corporate retreats, which have grown in popularity in recent years. But what steps are hotels taking to do so? They’re emphasizing opportunities for trendy wellness activities, reports Corporate Travel Editor Matthew Parsons in this week’s Future of Work briefing.

As more companies are turning to corporate retreats to create camaraderie among remote workforces, Parsons cites JW Marriott and Radisson as hotels ramping up their efforts to attract those events. Both of them announced updates this week to their Under One Meeting program at IMEX America, a conference for meeting planners. The program allows groups to participate in team-building activities such as yoga sessions.

However, Parsons notes that some experts question if wellness activities — such as sound healing and intravenous drops — are truly beneficial for hotel guests. Corporate wellness specialist Sahara Rose De Vore said the concept of wellness travel has gone off the rails. She added that if a hotel has wellness labeled in its services, it’s most likely a surface-level offering with the goal of one-upping competition.

We end today looking at TikTok’s growing influence in tourism marketing. Its rise as a resource for travel planning is forcing destinations to devote more resources to short-form video marketing, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtermariam.

As Habtermariam writes that short-term video marketing is becoming more important than ever, destinations — including Norway and New Zealand — are increasingly turning to TikTok to market themselves to prospective visitors. Roughly 40 percent of travelers over the age of 30 prefer TikTik to Google as a search tool in travel. Meanwhile, Clayton Reid, CEO of marketing firm MMGY, said he’s seen destinations spend significantly more on marketing on TikTok in the last year.

Reid also believes that there’s a demand to do creative and original content on TikTok. He added destinations won’t be able to run successful marketing campaigns on TikTok by just repurposing old content.

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Tags: coronavirus recovery, delta air lines, skift podcast, tiktok, wellness

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