Skift Take

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at what Chinese travelers want now, how augmented reality can improve historical sites, and what American Airlines pilots expect from negotiations.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Wednesday, March 15. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Chinese tourists were a major force in the global travel industry before Beijing largely prevented them from traveling overseas during the pandemic. So now that they’re finally able to travel outside of China again, how is the industry adapting to changes in the enormously lucrative outbound market? Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia takes a deep look into how travel executives are preparing to serve a new kind of Chinese traveler

As one marketing director said, the Chinese outbound tourism market is not a monolith, Simeon Shi, an executive at China-based online travel platform Fliggy, urged companies to spend more time researching consumer behavior changes. Shi said Chinese consumers are emphasizing experiences more during their travels instead of specific destinations.  

In addition, Bhutia writes that many travel executives believe Chinese travelers won’t be deterred by inflation. One CEO said Chinese tourists would find ways to stay within their travel budget, often by cutting a trip short or saving money on food. Bhutia adds that Chinese travelers typically have a higher level of disposable income than their North American and European counterparts due to China’s lower cost of living. Chinese tourists spent $255 billion overseas in 2019, representing almost one-fifth of global tourism spending that year. 

Next, destinations worldwide are eager to boost visitor numbers at major historical attractions. Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam writes that augmented reality could help them accomplish their goal.

Travel executives and tech providers at the recent ITB tourism conference in Berlin discussed how destinations could use augmented reality to bring new life to their pasts. Singapore is one of those destinations, and Singapore Tourism Board CEO Keith Tan said it aims to use the technology to enhance its “wow factor.” Tan added it’s looking to use augmented reality to show travelers the World War II experience at one fort.  

Finally, American Airlines pilots recently expressed disbelief that their union hasn’t directly received an offer for a new contract similar to one Delta Air Lines pilots signed. However, Contributor Ted Reed writes that American is confident it will reach a deal with its pilots union soon with negotiations continuing.

Reed reports the Allied Pilots Association, American’s pilots union, was concerned when American CEO Robert Isom revealed contents of the proposal to officials in Congress instead of its negotiators. Isom said in a video that American would match Delta’s offer. Delta pilots signed a contract in early March promising a 34 percent pay raise among other benefits.  

Although a union spokesperson said it was surprised Isom seemed to bypass its negotiators, Allied Pilots Association President Ed Sicher asserted it was committed to reaching an agreement with American. Sicher added that American and the union had agreed to negotiate throughout March. Reed notes that American indicated it was close to proposing a new contract.


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Tags: american airlines, augmented reality, china, china outbound, Chinese tourists, itb, pilot pay, skift podcast

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