Skift Take

Today's edition of Skift's daily podcast looks closer at Arlo's shift to bigger rooms sizes, Montana tourism TikTok, and hotels' cultural managers.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Tuesday, May 30. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Independent hotel brand Arlo Hotels had emphasized smaller rooms in its properties when it launched as part of its appeal. But the company is moving to larger rooms due to a shift in consumer demand, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill. 

Real estate development firm Quadrum Global recently announced it’s planning to bring Brookyln’s The Williamsburg Hotel under its Arlo Hotels brand by September. O’Neill writes rooms at The Williamsburg are considerably larger than the ones at the first Arlo properties. He adds Arlo has been shifting to properties with larger rooms after its first two hotels welcomed more affluent guests than projected. Arlo CEO Oleg Pavlov said the brand had originally focused on attracting millennials. 

Next, Montana recently passed a law banning all personal use of TikTok in the state in response to allegations China is using it to spy on Americans. However, while they wait for legal challenges to play out, Montana’s tourism boards are still active on the popular social media platform, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam. 

Destination Missoula and Glacier County Tourism are two tourism boards in the state still using TikTok. Glacier Country Tourism Racene Friede said the agency is taking a wait and see approach before making any firm decisions about its TikTok account. Habtemariam writes TikTok has grown in popularity in travel marketing in recent years, with tourism boards increasingly producing content on the platform. 

Montana is part of a wave of states that have enacted bans on government agencies using TikTok. But it’s the first to outright prohibit all personal use of it within state borders. The state had released a memo last December  banning agencies like the Montana Tourism Office from using TikTok. 

Finally, a growing number of hotels are hiring cultural managers, employees responsible for helping immerse staff and guests in local history and traditions, reports Contributor Carley Thornell. 

Thornell writes the rise in cultural managers is a response to surging consumer interest in cultural tourism. The United Nations World Tourism Organization found cultural tourism is a goal of roughly 40 percent of international tourist trips. Thornell cites Hawaii’s Four Seasons Resort Hualalai as one property that’s made heavy of cultural managers. The hotel has a different cultural manager for specialities such as hula dancing, music and weaving. Thornell adds many activities are free for guests.  

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Tags: arlo hotels, montana, skift podcast, tiktok

Photo credit: A guest room with a king bed and a balcony at the Arlo Wynwood in Miami.

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