Skift Take

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at travel’s recovery path, Twitter’s increasing irrelevance for tourism, and Banff’s overtourism battles.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. Somehow it’s already Friday, January 20. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

The end of 2022 saw the global travel industry fail to rebound completely from the pandemic. But Skift Research’s newly released Travel Health Index for December 2022 reveals reasons for optimism about its continued recovery despite the possibility of a worldwide recession.

Senior Research Analyst Wouter Geerts reports the Index’s average global health score hit 86 percent of pre-Covid levels. That figure is poised to receive a significant boost this year from China recently reopening its borders to international travel. Although the travel recovery’s recovery trails the broader economic recovery, Skift Research forecasts that international trips are set to grow 50 percent in 2023.

Next, tourism agencies worldwide largely viewed Twitter as a valuable marketing tool over much of the last decade. However, Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam explains that Twitter is increasingly seeing its relevance in destination marketing shrink.

Habtemariam notes Twitter has been reduced to a platform for issuing press releases and posting information because of its ineffectiveness at reaching new audiences, among other reasons. One Utah tourism official said Twitter provides minimal marketing impact. Meanwhile, Paula Port, Destination Toronto’s Vice President of Marketing, said Twitter’s focus on distributing news is helpful for locals but less so for visitors from a planning perspective.

Port acknowledged that Destination Toronto hasn’t seen growth on Twitter in recent years, noting Instagram and TikTok have provided more returns on engagement. New Orleans tourism chief Walter Leger III attributed the ease of telling stories on Instagram and TikTok as a reason why the city is emphasizing marketing on those platforms instead of Twitter.

Finally, the western Canadian resort town Banff, which has seen an enormous visitor boom in recent years, has unveiled a 10-year vision for tourism with community involvement to crack down on overtourism, reports Contributor Sherry Sun.

Sun writes a committee composed of local officials and Banff residents developed the plan as part of their strategy to improve tourism for visitors, members of the community and Banff National Park. The park welcomed close to 700,000 visitors last July, the most it had seen for the month since 2013. The town itself attracts roughly 4 million tourists.

Sun adds Banff is now prioritizing long-standing issues related to road congestion. The town now requires travelers planning to visit popular lakes in Banff National Park to reserve shuttles in advance.

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Tags: banff, coronavirus recovery, skift podcast, skift research, tourism, twitter

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