Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at tourism incentives in Asia, Gol playing airline catchup, and Potato Head’s sustainability efforts.
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Good morning from Skift. It’s Tuesday, October 25. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
Despite significantly easing travel restrictions recently, popular Asian destinations such as Japan, Indonesia, and Hong Kong face an uphill climb in their recovery with Chinese visitors still largely barred from overseas travel. So they’re looking to fill that void by dangling incentives to international travelers, reports Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia.
Hong Kong is one of those destinations, and the territory announced it’s giving away 500,000 airline tickets once it lifts its remaining Covid restrictions. In addition, Japan, which resumed visa-free entry for independent travelers earlier this month, is launching a domestic travel initiative offering transportation and accommodation discounts.
Bhutia cites Indonesia as another Asian destination taking major steps to entice international travelers. Its government has introduced a flexible digital nomad visa, which allows remote workers to stay tax free in Bali for five years. Indonesian officials referenced a survey stating 95 percent of digital nomads were willing to travel to the country.
Next, Gol was Brazil’s largest airline prior to the pandemic, but a drop in the corporate travel it relied on caused rivals Azul and Latam Airlines Group to surpass it. So Gol is playing catchup in its quest to reclaim its spot as Brazil’s leading carrier, reports Edward Russell, editor of Airline Weekly, a Skift brand.
Speaking at a recent conference in Buenos Aires, Gol CEO Celso Ferrer said that a decline in business travel demand drove the company to operate fewer flights to corporate-heavy markets. Gol’s corporate demand is between 60 and 70 percent of 2019 levels. But Ferrer said Gol would restore pre-pandemic flight schedules to major business markets in Brazil, adding the company expects corporate demand to surge in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, Russell writes that executives at Azul, Gol, or Latam didn’t express many concerns at the conference about possible economic turbulence in the near future, unlike other Latin American airline leaders.
Finally, Ronald Akili, founder of Indonesian-based hospitality brand Potato Head, addressed his company’s sustainability efforts when he spoke at the recent Skift Global Forum. But as he only briefly touched on those initiatives at the forum, On Experience Columnist Colin Nagy takes an in-depth look at the sustainability practices Akili didn’t discuss on stage.
Nagy, who moderated the discussion with Akili at the forum, writes he wanted to explore why Akili’s work was meaningful amid the hospitality industry’s effort to reboot stalled sustainability efforts. Nagy highlights Potato Head practices such as creating candles from used cooking oil and developing hotel amenities out of ocean waste. In addition, Potato Head has launched the Sweet Potato Project, which provides locally grown food to Bali residents.
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