Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at hotel hirings in the U.S., tourism adverts on streaming services, and Icelandair's quarterly earnings.
Skift Daily Briefing Podcast
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Good morning from Skift. It’s Monday, February 6. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
The U.S. hotel industry is making strides in its recovery from the pandemic. The latest U.S. jobs report announced hotels added 15,000 jobs in January, an increase from the previous month, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill.
O’Neill writes hotel job growth remains strong despite rising inflation and interest rates. The report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ on Friday also revealed a hiring surge in the wider labor and hospitality industry. That sector was responsible for roughly a quarter of the new jobs the U.S. added in January.
However, O’Neill notes the hotel industry still has a lot of work to do to reach pre-pandemic employment levels. The U.S. Travel Association estimates the leisure and hospitality sector has nearly 2 million job openings.
Next, tourism boards are running more ads on streaming services in part to reach the growing number of consumers opting to ditch cable TV, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam.
Habtemariam cites St. Louis and Puerto Rico as two destinations making heavy investments in advertising on streaming services. Explore St. Louis already devotes a quarter of its advertising budget to streaming, and Chief Marketing Officer Brian Hall said he expects that figure to grow as more people cancel cable subscriptions. Meanwhile, Discover Puerto Rico more than quadrupled its advertising spend on streaming services between 2020 and 2022.
Habtemariam adds that streaming enables tourism boards to target desired visitors more efficiently than broadcast TV. A Discover Puerto Rico official said it used streaming to reach markets with high vaccination rates as part of its strategy to protect the island during the pandemic.
Finally, Icelandair believes it will record higher profits this year than in 2022. The company will operate its largest schedule ever this summer in response to surging transatlantic demand, reports Edward Russell, editor of Airline Weekly, a Skift brand.
CEO Bogi Nils Bogasan said during its fourth quarter earnings call on Friday that Icelandair will serve 54 destinations from its Reykjavik hub this summer. That’s up from 42 during the summer of 2019. Bogasan noted Icelandair has seen strong demand in all of its markets, adding the carrier could generate its best profit margins since 2017.
Bogasan did acknowledge that Icelandair is grappling with high inflation and rising labor costs, among other challenges.
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