Skift Take

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at tourism growth around the World Cup, Hilton’s bleisure travel knowledge, and KLM’s climate concerns.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Wednesday, November 23. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Destinations throughout the Middle East are getting an enormous tourism boost from soccer’s World Cup in Qatar. Roughly 1.5 million travelers are expected to arrive at Abu Dhabi International Airport in the next six weeks, reports Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia in this week’s Middle East Travel Roundup newsletter.

Officials from Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, one of the United Arab Emirates’ two flag carriers, said they’re ready for the large numbers of travelers already in the region for the World Cup. Abu Dhabi is hosting a series of events, including the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Grand Prix, during the same time as the World Cup.

Next, Hilton has discovered new ways it can make inroads among the growing number of travelers combining leisure and business trips. What did it do? The hotel giant gathered its findings through an annual student competition organized by Adobe Analytics, software company Adobe’s analytics division, writes Corporate Travel Editor Matthew Parsons.

Hilton recently finished hosting an analytics challenge with Adobe Analytics, during which students analyzed data from the hotel company before pitching engagement strategies toward different travel segments. Hilton asked students to identify differences between business and leisure travelers as well as focus on trends apparent in those taking blended leisure and business trips. A Hilton executive said the pandemic drove the company to look for more ways to target customers, adding it’s seen new types of travelers emerge.

Three students from the University of Maryland took home the top prize of $35,000. Parsons writes they used data from Hilton’s 18 brands and 7,000 worldwide properties to examine how consumers make purchase decisions. An Adobe executive said students identified possible places Hilton executives can introduce its loyalty program, adding some of the strategies that they developed could be enormously lucrative for the hotel giant.

Finally, amid a large-scale push to reduce emissions from flying, the Netherlands has proposed a climate policy that includes further capping flights at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. But flag carrier KLM believes it could permanently stunt the company’s recovery, and new CEO Marjan Rintel is urging the government to adopt a balanced climate policy, reports Edward Russell, editor for Airline Weekly, a Skift brand.

Rintel said, in an exclusive interview with Airline Weekly, that the Dutch government could help the airline industry cut emissions without capping flights at Schiphol. She added that moving forward with an initiative to modernize air traffic control would cut emissions by shortening flight routes.

Russell writes that if the cap is implemented, KLM could be forced to cancel routes with its future growth prospects in jeopardy. The airline has already said flights to Boston, Osaka, and Tel Aviv, among other destinations, are in danger of being scrapped.

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Tags: hilton, klm, skift podcast, world cup

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