Skift Take

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at the plans for Ace Hotels, unrest in Peru, and the state of six (now mature) startups.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Tuesday, January 24. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Hospitality firm Sortis Holdings recently announced it would acquire Ace Group International, owner of Ace Hotels, for $85 million. So what are Sortis’ plans for Ace Hotels? Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill reveals them in an interview with Sortis executives in this week’s Early Check-In.

O’Neill writes that Ace Hotels, which includes 11 lifestyle properties across the U.S. in its portfolio, won’t change its business model and DNA much with Sortis as the new owner. O’Neill also notes that Ace Hotels could put money into developing hotels as a co-investor with other companies, helping guide it regarding where to open new properties. Sortis partner Kelly Sawdon said the company wants Ace Hotels to be a place where locals gather regularly. The hospitality firm aims to expand its portfolio to 30 properties, with the majority of them being Ace Hotels.

Next, political unrest continues to hit Peru’s travel industry hard. Ongoing violent protests, which started after the removal of President Pedro Castillo in December, have forced tour operators to evacuate travelers and pause trips to Machu Picchu, Peru’s most famous tourist destination, writes Travel Experiences Reporter Selene Brophy.

Both Intrepid Travel and G Adventures confirmed they would cancel trips to Machu Picchu until February 5 due to the political instability. Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail hike to the renowned site have been closed indefinitely. G Adventures said all of its itineraries for travelers in Peru were being re-routed while Gary Cohen, Intrepid’s Latin American managing director, said his company was planning to rebook or refund affected travelers.

Brophy reports it’s uncertain when tourism in Peru would return to normal as a state of emergency in the South American nation has been extended. Protesters have targeted tourist hotspots, including Machu Picchu, to seek international attention and undermine the government.

Finally, Associate Editor Rashaad Jorden delves into what happened to the six travel startups Skift featured in February 2015 in its first-ever weekly funding roundup, which listed startups receiving or announcing funding from investors.

Jorden reports vacation rental distributor BookingPal and hotel booking platform Triptease have gone on to thrive, in particular. BookingPal has expanded to 48 states in the U.S. and supplied properties to companies such as Airbnb and Marriott’s Homes and Villas. Triptease, which works with 12,000 hotels worldwide, has doubled employee numbers at its London and New York offices. However, Indian-based startups Stayzilla and iTraveller have both gone out of business since being featured in Skift’s first weekly funding roundup.

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Tags: ace hotel, intrepid travel, skift podcast, startups

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