Skift Take

In Skift's top stories this week, hotel real estate investor Highgate inks a deal to buy Viceroy Hotels, United Airlines orders more than $29 billion of Boeing jets and JetBlue Airways finally updates its loyalty program.

Highgate Signs Deal to Buy Viceroy Hotels: Viceroy may be able to accelerate its growth and brand awareness given Highgate’s scale and track record. Of course, that is if Highgate can execute well after the deal closes.

Hotel Tech Startup Mews Manages Hefty $185 Million Raise: Raising $185 million in hotel tech at all, especially in this economic climate, is an endorsement of the product Mews has built — but more importantly shows the potential investors see in modernizing the market at this precise time.

United Makes a $29 Billion Bet on International Travel: United Airlines is doubling down on its self-proclaimed status as the flag carrier of the U.S. with a deal to buy 200 Boeing aircraft.

Hilton CEO on Balancing the Luxury Push in the Middle East: Hilton’s brand development formula is working. Never say never on acquisitions, but Nassetta doesn’t want to be distracted by disadvantages inherited from rivals.

JetBlue Delivers Long-Overdue Loyalty Update But Is It Too Complex?: Although JetBlue is broadening the reach of its loyalty program, it won’t see the benefits it expects if the program becomes significantly more complicated, as some experts believe.

Airbnb Debuts Total Prices Before Taxes With Plan to Make It Default View: Airbnb’s pricing changes will likely have a ripple effect, prompting some hosts to reduce cleaning fees and property management websites to switch to showing total prices.

Black Mentorship Program Inspires Hoteliers to Try to Make Sector Inclusive: Telesa Via’s story at IHG’s Kimpton brand of hotels spotlights a broader surge of industry interest in making the hotel sector more welcoming for Black leaders in all roles.

IHG Sees Room to Take Kimpton Worldwide as Lifestyle Hotel Brand: Ah, the challenges of delivering quirkiness at scale.

Disability Rights Activist Calls on Travel Industry to End ‘Disability Tax’: Travelers with disabilities face far greater challenges than the travel industry allows for, with disability rights activist Tanzila Khan calling for more communication, empathy, and fairness in pricing for this one billion-strong travel segment.

Celebrity Cruises Enters the Metaverse With a Virtual Ship Tour: Celebrity Cruises is taking a risk by being the first cruise line to offer a ship tour in the metaverse. It’s brave to publicly adopt new technology and adapt based on customer feedback. Being a first mover already makes the company a leader in that category.

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Tags: airbnb, celebrity cruises, highgate, hilton, hotel tech, jetblue, jetblue airways, mews, top stories, viceroy

Photo credit: Hotel management company Highgate signed a deal to acquire Viceroy Hotels & Resorts Wally Gobetz / Flickr

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