Skift Take

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at Soutwest’s preventative prep, Oyo’s IPO shrinkage, and LGBTQ+ travel marketing over the years.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Episode Notes

Southwest Airlines took a major beating from a massive meltdown that resulted in it canceling more than 17,000 flights last holiday season. So it’s implementing substantial steps to prevent a repeat of that enormous fiasco, reports Edward Russell, editor of Airline Weekly, a Skift brand.

Southwest said in a new report it’s focused on major improvements in three areas, most notably beefing up its winter weather operations. Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Watterson acknowledged at a U.S. Senate hearing in February that the carrier had done a poor job of preparing for inclement weather. Southwest will also make $1.3 billion in technology-related investments in 2023. The company’s outdated tech was widely believed to be a cause for the epic meltdown. 

Next, India-based budget hotel operator Oyo revealed on Friday that it’s reducing its proposed $1.1 billion initial public offering nearly in half, reports Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia. 

Bhutia writes Oyo filed its latest initial public offering paperwork with the Indian stock exchange on Friday. The company is likely to go public in mid-November once it receives approval from Indian authorities. A source close to the company said it hopes to raise between $400 million and $600 million from selling new shares to the public. Bhutia adds the sales could help improve Oyo’s financial positions and credibility in the Indian stock market. 

Finally, the LGBTQ+ travelers have become one of the most powerful and lucrative segments in the travel industry in recent years, with travel brands increasingly looking to make inroads in the growing group. With its clout expected to increase even more in the future, Associate Editor Rashaad Jorden is taking a deep look at how Skift has covered issues pertaining to LGBTQ+ community throughout the years. 

Jorden reports Skift has frequently addressed marketing efforts toward LGBTQ+ travelers, including hits and misses. Skift highlighted Fort Lauderdale in July 2015 as one success story. The Florida city attracted more than 1.5 million LGBTQ+ visitors the previous year. However, some industry executives believe travel brands struggle at times to effectively market themselves to LGBTQ+ travelers. One travel advisor described marketing to the community as narrow in a June 2021 article.

Jorden also lists LGBTQ+-related travel advances and setbacks Skift has covered. Skift reported on the U.S. joining countries like Canada and Germany by issuing its first ever non-binary passport in October 2021. Issues specifically affecting transgender travelers have also been featured in Skift. One industry executive said it’s often difficult for transgender travelers to find suitable information from travel advisors.

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Tags: lgbt, LGBT travel, lgbtq, oyo, skift podcast, southwest, southwest airlines

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