Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at travel industry recovery in Asia, CitizenM’s sustainability investment, and successful innovations in travel.
Skift Daily Briefing Podcast
Listen to the day’s top travel stories in under four minutes every weekday.
Good morning from Skift. It’s Friday, March 17. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
The Asia-Pacific region’s travel rebound has gotten an enormous boost from China recently easing Covid-era restrictions. Skift Research’s newly released Travel Health Index for February reveals the region’s recovery has surpassed that of Europe.
Research Analyst Saniya Zanpure reports that travel across most regions is flourishing, including Asia-Pacific. The Index’s average global health score hit 93 percent of pre-Covid levels, a 4 percentage point jump from January. Skift Research attributes that growth to the Asia-Pacific region’s recovery. Zanpure writes the area had been considered the “black sheep” of the global travel industry due to its struggles to recover to pre-pandemic levels.
Skift Research also found that cancellations after February’s massive earthquake in Turkey drove the decline in Europe’s travel performance.
Next, Dutch-based hotel company CitizenM has obtained a $500 million loan based on its ability to hit sustainability targets, writes Contributor Sherry Sun.
Sun reports that CitizenM is one of the first European hospitality companies to adopt a financing structure tied to sustainability goals. CitizenM, which obtained funding from four banks, joins a list of hotel companies that have established emissions reduction goals.
Finally, Skift has covered dozens of innovations poised to significantly alter the travel industry upon their launch. So have they really been groundbreaking? Associate Editor Rashaad Jorden examines the impact of six tech advances Skift featured in a newsletter named the Corporate Travel Innovation Report.
Jorden reports that while virtual and augmented reality may not have lived up to expectations yet, both forms of technology are expected to become more prevalent in the travel industry. Dutch carrier KLM has already used them to help train employees coming out of the pandemic. In addition, some tourism boards have incorporated virtual and augmented reality into their marketing efforts.
Meanwhile, Jorden writes that artificial intelligence has had a massive impact on the travel industry. He adds its importance is poised to grow due to the emergence of generative AI, the technology that includes the creation of images, audio and video. A growing number of online travel agencies are exploring how to utilize generative AI to boost bookings.
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