Skift Take

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at Accor’s earnings, one year of war in Ukraine, and Dubai’s remote work pitch.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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

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Episode Notes

Paris-based hotel group Accor believes it knows to thrive in many global markets unlike its U.S.-based rivals. So the company believes its strong 2022 is a sign its focus on appealing to local residents and investors is succeeding, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill.

CEO Sebastien Bazin complimented the U.S. hotel market just before Accor released its full-year earnings on Thursday. But he said Accor’s years of learning to cope with regulations and cultural differences in dozens of countries give it an advantage over U.S. hotel brands. Accor has more than 40 brands in its portfolio, which Bazin said provides hotel owners and developers more choices than its rivals. He added that Accor aims to devise more ways to cater to local residents, noting that hotel owners want to be less dependent on international travel demand.

Accor posted a nearly $430 million net profit in 2022. The company also generated close to $4.5 billion of revenue during the whole year.

We turn next to the war in Ukraine’s impact on travel worldwide. Friday marks the one-year anniversary of the start of the Russian invasion, an act that has enormously disrupted all sectors of the travel industry. Associate Editor Rashaad Jorden takes a thorough look at significant ways the war has changed travel globally.

Jorden writes the aviation industry was perhaps the first travel sector to be impacted by the war. Airlines that hadn’t totally recovered from the pandemic were hit with surging fuel prices. One airline CEO predicted that the jump in oil prices would make business difficult for most carriers. The war also drove many major Western travel companies to pull out of Russia, including Airbnb, Booking Holdings, and Marriott.

In addition, Jorden notes that several destinations long reliant on Russian tourists took steps to restrict visitors from the country. Estonia banned entry to Russian citizens with previously issued tourist visas while Latvia stopped granting its own tourist visas to Russian travelers. Those measures were part of a collective strategy to pressure Moscow to end the invasion of Ukraine.

Finally, Dubai is ramping up its efforts to attract digital nomads. It’s entered into a partnership with Airbnb as part of its strategy to lure more members of the growing segment, reports Corporate Travel Editor Matthew Parsons in this week’s Future of Work briefing.

Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism recently established an online remote working hub with Airbnb. The city is one of 20 destinations in the company’s Live and Work Anywhere initiative, which one local official said would boost remote working in Dubai. Parsons writes the focus on digital nomads comes as the United Arab Emirates aims to attract 40 million hotel guests annually by 2031.

However, Parsons adds there are concerns that Dubai could be too expensive for digital nomads. Members of the online community Nomadlist reported spending on average more than $3,500 a month on accommodation.

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Tags: accor, dubai, remote work, skift podcast, ukraine

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