Skift Take

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at a new take on wellness travel, Thailand's tourism uptick, and Amadeus' new payments system.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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

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Episode Notes

Wellness travel has been booming in popularity since the start of the pandemic, but what is it exactly? Two Hilton Hotels-commissioned surveys released on Monday reveal what travelers want in trips geared toward improving their mental well-being, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill.

Half of all respondents in the surveys of travelers in seven countries said it was important that their travels address their mental or physical wellness. In addition, 26 percent of respondents said they would prioritize access to fitness amenities like gyms or activities such as yoga during their travels in 2023. Hilton announced that it would install at least one Peloton bike in every gym in all of its U.S. hotels by the end of the year.

Although O’Neill writes Hilton intended the surveys to promote its brands and strategy, he adds the results may provide useful information for hotel companies aiming to attract the growing number of consumers seeking healthier trips.

We head to Thailand next. Bangkok-based budget carrier Thai AirAsia is getting an enormous boost from a surge in tourist arrivals, but the strong U.S. dollar is putting a dent in its bottom line, reports Edward Russell, editor of Airline Weekly, a Skift brand.

Although far from fully recovered from the pandemic, Russell writes that Thai AirAsia’s flights were significantly more full in the third quarter than during the same period in 2019. He adds that Thai AirAsia has benefited from the government’s extensive promotion of domestic tourism and an increase in foreign tourists. Thailand attracted 3.6 million international visitors in the third quarter, a more than seven-fold jump from the first quarter.

However, Thai AirAsia lost roughly $113 million in the third quarter largely due to the pressure from the strong U.S. dollar. The carrier also saw an almost 50 percent drop in revenue compared to the same timeframe in 2019.

We wrap today with a look at the growing investment in financial technology. Travel technology company Amadeus is launching a new payment business named Outpayce, which aims to make travel payments easier, reports Corporate Travel Editor Matthew Parsons.

Parsons notes that Amadeus has applied to the Bank of Spain for an eMoney license, which will enable it to provide services in the European Economic Area, including issuing debit cards. Amadeus will also launch a program helping third-party payment and fintech companies connect to travel companies. Parsons adds that Amadeus predicts 80 percent of companies plan to either match or exceed 2019 levels of investment in fintech in the next year.

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Tags: airasia, amadeus, hilton, skift podcast, wellness

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