While it was a big week for hotel earnings, we also lead with coverage of online booking companies as well as developing news about smart uses of AI by travel brands.
It was a big week for hotel and short-term rental earnings, with a few record quarters from Marriott, Hyatt, Airbnb, Choice, and Wyndham. Overall, the outlook for 2023 is better now than the already positive forecasts from late last year.
Which is a good segue into mentioning our London event in late March. Skift Future of Lodging Forum takes place on March 29 at the Londoner Hotel (with a kick-off event the night before at a really great venue we’ll tell you about this week). This week we added leaders from Marriott, Starwood Capital, and Booking.com.
Michelle Russo has a broad perspective on the hotel sector from her position as CEO and founder of HotelAVE (Asset Value Enhancement), a hotel real estate asset manager and advisor.
For years, we at Skift have talked about messaging and voice search being two potential new interfaces that help change travel booking, but not much has happened. Conversational AI is very likely going to change that.
Cities are indeed coming back, which seemingly counter-intuitively could present an average daily rate challenge for Airbnb. These pressures, though, are manageable.
Bumpy roads are inevitable, as is discerning the hype from genuine application, but travel companies should be considering their role in a world powered by generative AI and how to get there. If they haven’t started, they are already behind.
Tripadvisor sees its future as providing differentiated trip-planning, in-destination tools and personalized recommendations for travelers. That isn’t wholly different from that of its prior regime, and would be tough to achieve.
Expedia Group’s brand strategy makes sense to the extent that these three core brands don’t detract from the company’s global ambitions.
The tourism industry still treats amenities catering to seniors as another customer preference, not as a necessity. A lot of tourism businesses likely won’t get serious until they see and hear about their failures to serve this lucrative demographic shift.
Affluent travelers, prepared to spend as much as $48,000 per person this year on travel, are ironically driving a competitive price surge unlikely to come down in the year ahead.
Evoking emotion and stimulating the senses is the key to attendee engagement and creating positive, lasting memories, yet most planners still neglect experience and stick with convention.
With ambitious tourism targets, destinations in the Middle East would do good to pay heed to actor Idris Elba’s suggestions to tap the creative sector.
New Skift Research
- How did the pandemic impact direct bookings and are these trends still in place?
- How has online travel agency market share shifted since 2020 in the U.S.?
- Did the pandemic change Americans’ trip planning process?
Click through for more insights into U.S. booking habits.
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Photo credit: Marriott International CEO Anthony Capuano is shown here talking at Skift Global Forum 2022 in New York.