Skift Take

Today's edition of Skift's daily podcast looks closer at JetBlue's revamped loyalty program, Hawaii's tourism push, and the AI chatbot solving every travel news need.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Thursday, May 11. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

People who want knowledge about the travel industry on Wednesday got a valuable new resource to obtain critical information. Skift unveiled Ask Skift, an artificial intelligence chatbot that will answer your questions focused on the travel sector, says Skift founder and CEO Rafat Ali.

Ali writes that a user can ask questions on Skift’s website such as “How is Airbnb planning to leverage AI?” or “Who is IHG’s CEO?” Ask Skift has been trained on the entirety of Skift archives over the last 11 years, including daily stories and research reports. The chatbot will also provide other specialized travel industry content and data in weeks to come. Ali said the emergence of generative AI is enabling Skift to have a question and answer-based relationship with readers that wasn’t feasible before. 

Next, JetBlue Airways believes it’s taken a big step to boosting revenue. The company has made major updates effective Wednesday to its already lucrative loyalty program, reports Edward Russell, editor of Airline Weekly, a Skift publication. 

JetBlue’s updated loyalty program includes new elite Mosaic tiers and perks, including free business class upgrades and free helicopter transfers between JFK Airport and Manhattan. Russell writes that the driving force behind JetBlue’s loyalty updates is the opportunity to earn more revenue. The New York-based carrier generated $100 million in loyalty-related revenue in the first quarter. That’s a 14 percent year-over-year increase. 

Finally, the Hawaii Tourism Authority is continuing to market the Aloha State despite not being allocated funding from the state legislature for the next two years. The agency is planning to award a huge contract to market Hawaii to the U.S. mainland, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam. 

Habtemariam reports Hawaii Tourism Authority executives decided at a recent board meeting to award a marketing contract worth up to $51 million. The organization also plans to move forward with a $34 million contract for destination management as well as a nearly $3 million contract to market the state to Canadian travelers. Habtemariam adds the contact winners will be selected on May 22. 


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Tags: hawaii, hawaii tourism authority, jetblue airways, loyalty, skift podcast

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