Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at a tourism debate in South Carolina, Airbus and Boeing delays, and North Dakota’s new marketing campaign.
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Good morning from Skift. It’s Monday, February 20. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
The Gullah Geechee, an African American community living along the Southeast coast of the U.S., is turning to tourism to help preserve their culture. They’re also in an enormous fight to keep control of their lands from outsiders eager to cash in on the region’s booming popularity, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam.
The Gullah Geechee, descendants of African slaves brought over to cultivate rice, cotton, and indigo, have been able to maintain a distinctive culture largely by living in remote locations since the Civil War. Habtemariam reports the Gullah Geechee Visitors Center on South Carolina’s Saint Helena Island is promoting heritage tourism to lure back younger people who left to find jobs in bigger cities. The center once conducted a report that found raising awareness of Gullah Geechee culture would increase the likelihood of visits. The report also revealed that heritage tourism could inject $34 billion into the economy of the Gullah Geechee Corridor.
However, Habtemariam writes some in the Gullah Geechee community are skeptical about truly profiting from tourism. Kenneth Hodges, owner of the center, acknowledged many locals believe tourism benefits major hotels more than members of the local community. Habtemariam notes the Gullah Geechee have gradually been losing their lands to outsiders over decades, with developers having built golf courses and resorts in many areas.
Next, the airline industry is facing another setback on its quest to a full recovery. Planemakers Airbus and Boeing are experiencing production delays that will stunt airline growth in 2023, reports Edward Russell, Editor of Airline Weekly, a Skift brand.
Air Lease Corporation Executive Chairman Steven Udvar-Hazy said during its recent fourth quarter earnings call that delays for Airbus and Boeing jets have gotten worse over the last three months. Alaska Airlines and Delta Air both said that Airbus and Boeing informed them about likely delays to their aircraft deliveries in 2023. While it’s unclear how much those delays will affect airline operations, Russell writes there’s widespread agreement among industry executives that the production issues will impact growth in 2023.
Finally, North Dakota recently launched a new tourism campaign named Hello that it believes will increase awareness of the state, reports Contributor Samantha Shankman.
Shankman writes that state authorities developed the campaign after a 2022 study revealed that U.S. travelers were largely unfamiliar with North Dakota. One North Dakota official said the state would be making a heavy investment in print guides despite its relatively limited tourism marketing budget. North Dakota’s tourism board cited research stating printed materials could help it build trust with prospective visitors.
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