Skift Take

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at hotel hiring in the U.S. in December, complicated air traffic through China, and one lifestyle hotel company’s efforts to stand out.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Monday, January 9, and here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

The latest U.S. jobs report revealed hotels added 10,000 jobs last month, a disappointing figure amid the industry’s ongoing struggle to recover to pre-Covid employment levels, reports Associate Editor Rashaad Jorden.

Both hotels and the wider leisure and hospitality industry recorded decreases in job growth in December from the previous month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report released on Friday. Overall hotel employment is still roughly 15 percent below January 2020 levels. The jobs report also revealed a significant fall in the monthly average of new leisure and hospitality jobs added last year compared to 2021.

A recent survey by the American Hotel and Lodging Association found that 87 percent of hotels said they are experiencing a staffing shortage.

Next, international travel demand to China is expected to surge with Beijing dropping the quarantine requirement for inbound visitors effective Sunday. However, geopolitical issues are preventing airlines from quickly operating more nonstop service between the U.S. and China, reports Edward Russell, editor of Airline Weekly, a Skift brand.

Air China and American Airlines, among other carriers, have expressed interest in resuming some of their pre-Covid schedules between the U.S. and China. Russell writes that flight limits imposed by the two countries during the early days of the pandemic remain in place though. A United Airlines spokesperson said the airline is currently allowed only four weekly U.S.-China flights.

Both Air China and Hainan Airlines are seeking approval from U.S. authorities to increase flights to the U.S. But Russell writes the U.S. Department of Transportation is unlikely to grant their requests until Chinese officials allow U.S. airlines to similarly ramp up their flight schedules.

We end today looking at hotel management company Sage Hospitality Group’s strategy to stand out from its competition. Amid a surge in third-party hotel management consolidation, Sage believes remaining independent will make it more appealing to owners of lifestyle hotels, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill in this week’s Early Check-In.

As O’Neill writes that Sage is betting that having speciality expertise is better, its CEO Walter Isenberg asserts that it aims to be the most beloved lifestyle hospitality company. Forty-seven of the 85 properties in Sage’s portfolio are lifestyle hotels in major urban areas. Isenberg said Sage decided to become a specialist in lifestyle hotels since it viewed them as an area of growth.

Isenberg adds that Sage strives to innovate in the lifestyle hotel sector, with the company launching an affinity program later this year for 18 independent hotels it runs.

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Tags: air china, american airlines, china, labor, sage hospitality, skift podcast

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