Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at the JetBlue-Spirit merger, inbound international visitation to the U.S., and an untraditional hotel in Verona, Italy.
Skift Daily Briefing Podcast
Listen to the day’s top travel stories in under four minutes every weekday.
Good morning from Skift. It’s Tuesday, February 14. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
The U.S. Justice Department will likely sue to block the proposed merger between JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines that it believes would reduce competition in the northeast U.S. So JetBlue may need to give up its Northeast Alliance with American Airlines to gain approval for the merger, reports Edward Russell, editor of Airline Weekly, a Skift brand.
Russell writes that the partnership, which enables JetBlue and American to sell tickets on each other’s flights, is a good trump card to sway the agency reviewing anti-trust in favor of the deal. JetBlue executives have argued the merger is critical to the airline’s future. One expert said the alliance is a more significant competition concern than the proposed JetBlue-Spirit merger, adding that American and JetBlue are dominating the northeast U.S.
Next, travel-related spending by overseas visitors to the U.S. rose significantly in 2022. International travelers spent nearly $163 billion in the U.S. last year, almost double the figure from 2021, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam.
Habtemariam reports that December 2022 also saw a substantial increase in international traveler spending. Overseas visitors spent roughly $16.5 billion, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office. That’s a nearly 50 percent jump from the same month in 2021 as well as the highest monthly figure since the start of the pandemic.
We end today in Verona, Italy, the setting of Romeo and Juliet. Contributor Leslie Barrie profiles a property overlooking Juliet’s balcony that’s part of the new genre of network hotels.
Veteran restaurant owner Michael Corteletti admitted that the Balcone di Giuletta he opened last year is not meant to be a traditional hotel. It lacks a lobby and a breakfast room among other features. But Corteletti said that so-called network hotels like the Balcone di Giuletta appeal to travelers eager to add local flavors to their trips. Barrie writes the idea of a network hotel is to offer travelers a bed while encouraging them to explore local culture outside. She adds that Cortelletti’s nearby restaurants organize events and services for hotel guests.
Corteletti also said he considers his restaurants to be an extension of the Balcone di Giuletta, noting that travelers have booked stays at the hotel after meals. He added he’s seen similar hybrid concepts gain popularity in the hotel industry.
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