Today's edition of Skift's daily podcast looks closer at travel's coronavirus recovery, Airbnb's optimism, and Hilton's extended-stay moves.
Skift Daily Briefing Podcast
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Good morning from Skift. It’s Wednesday, May 24. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
The travel industry has reached a significant milestone in its recovery from the pandemic. Skift Research’s Travel Health Index for April 2023 reveals the industry is performing better than it did prior to the pandemic.
Research Analyst Saniya Zanpure reports the Index’s average global score in April hit 101 percent of pre-Covid levels, 2 percentage points higher than the previous month. Skift Research uses data from 22 partners to track the travel industry’s performance. Latin America, the Middle East and Africa are among the regions that have seen their travel industries make a complete recovery from the pandemic.
However, Zanpure notes not all countries have fully recovered, citing Hong Kong and Russia as two destinations yet to hit even 80 percent of pre-Covid levels. Nine of the 22 countries Skift Research tracked haven’t surpassed 2019 levels as of April 2023.
Next, Airbnb executives recently expressed concerns amid falling stock prices about a slowdown in bookings compared to 2022. But Short-Term Rental Reporter Srividya Kalyanaraman writes the company shouldn’t be worried about such a drop, with summer travel demand surging.
Short-term rental data provider Key Data found the number of nights booked in the second quarter worldwide is up 16 percent from the same period last year. In addition, occupancy rates have risen nearly 16 percent globally. Kalyanaraman cites the United Kingdom and Europe as two destinations that have seen significant year-over-year increases in both average daily and occupancy rates in the second quarter.
Finally, Hilton Worldwide has become the latest hotel company to make a big move in the rapidly booming extended-stay sector. It announced on Tuesday it’s opening an extended-stay brand, reports Associate Editor Rashaad Jorden.
Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta expressed optimism that the yet-to-be named brand, assigned the working title Project H3, could efficiently serve the growing number of travelers seeking longer stays. Jorden notes Hilton joins a list of hotel giants unveiling extended-stay projects recently. Hyatt and Wyndham in particular have announced the names of new extended-stay brands during the last several months.
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Photo credit: Tourists taking photos on the roof of Milan’s cathedral. Skift