Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at outbound Chinese travel, the boom in hospitality hiring, and Travelport’s purchase of Deem.
Skift Daily Briefing Podcast
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Good morning from Skift. It’s Monday, March 13. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
China has been poised for an outbound travel boom after Beijing significantly eased its strict travel restrictions in January. But Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam writes that the global travel industry is largely unprepared for the return of Chinese tourists.
Executives speaking at the recent ITB Berlin tourism convention acknowledged that travel companies serving the Chinese market need to play catch up. One CEO said many tourism businesses are short on China-focused staff, noting that a lot of employees who worked with the Chinese market left their positions during the pandemic.
Habtemariam also writes the tastes of Chinese tourists changed during the pandemic. Simeon Shi, an executive at China-based online travel platform Fliggy, said Chinese travelers are increasingly looking to visit small local attractions instead of popular tourist sites. That’s a shift Skift examined in a 2023 Megatrend. Shi urged tourism businesses to study the changing needs of Chinese travelers.
Next, the U.S. hotel industry is showing signs of a steady recovery. The latest U.S. jobs report revealed hotels added 14,000 jobs in February, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill.
Although that figure is a slight decrease from the mark recorded for January, O’Neill writes that many U.S.-based hotel groups believe labor shortages are no longer a pressing issue. Employment in the broader leisure and hospitality sector is nearly 2.5 percent below February 2020 levels. O’Neill notes that’s a sign a full recovery could be on the horizon soon.
Finally, travel technology company Travelport has a corporate booking tool again, having bought Deem from car rental giant Enterprise Holdings, reports Corporate Travel Editor Matthew Parsons.
New Travelport CEO Greg Webb said Deem isn’t a replacement for the company’s previous corporate booking tool Locomote, which it sold in 2019. He stated that Travelport viewed Deem as the most modern and efficient online corporate booking tool. Webb added that Deem would enable Travelport to better address the needs of the corporate travel landscape.
Parsons writes Travelport’s purchase of Deem helps bring the tech company in line with rivals that have their own corporate booking tools. Travelport plans to implement Deem into its Travelport+ platform, which provides travel agents more options for booking hotels and car rentals. More than 80 percent of Travelport’s travel agent customers currently use Travelport+.
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