Skift Take

Today's edition of Skift's daily podcast looks closer at U.S. tourists in the UK, female business travelers, and hotels' profitability challenges.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Monday, June 5. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Tourists from the U.S. are boosting the UK’s tourism recovery, with more Americans traveling to the country in 2022 than prior to the pandemic, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam. 

A little more than 4.5 million Americans traveled to the UK last year, a 2 percent jump from 2019. In addition, American visitors were spending more and staying longer in the country. Americans spent a record $7.45 billion in the UK in 2022, according to national tourism board VisitBritain. That’s a 42 percent increase from 2019 levels. Tracy Halliwell, an executive at Visit London, said the UK saw a large number of American visitors immediately after the country lifted travel restrictions. 

However, Habtemariam notes tourism to the UK still hasn’t made a full recovery from the pandemic. Britain welcomed 31 million visitors last year, a 24 percent drop from 2019. 

Next, Associate Editor Rashaad Jorden takes a look at the challenges female business travelers face, nearly a decade after Skift Research reported travel companies were increasingly taking steps to meet their needs. 

Jorden reports safety is still a major concern for female business travelers. A survey by the Global Business Travel Association found 83 percent of women traveling for business had experienced safety-related issues in the previous 12 months. The organization also discovered that only 18 percent of corporate travel policies specifically addressed the security of female business travelers. One travel executive said women who experience issues on their business trips often don’t report them to their organizations. 

However, Jorden notes some advances that have significantly benefited female business travelers. All medium and large U.S. airports have been required since 2018 to provide private spaces in each terminal for lactating mothers, which another executive said was a godsend for women traveling on business after maternity leave. 

Finally, hotel industry expert Cindy Estis Green argues that too many hotel companies have yet to find the most profitable customers for their businesses, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill in this week’s Early Check-In column. 

Green, the CEO of data benchmarking service Kalibri Labs, believes hotel companies are too focused on boosting occupancy rates instead of maximizing total revenue. She also noted many hotel industry leaders have outdated approaches for running a business. Green said that their belief they’d automatically be better off with more guests just isn’t true.


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Tags: business travel, corporate travel, england, hotels, skift podcast, uk, united kingdom, women, women travelers

Photo credit: London's Trafalgar Square on a sunny day in March 2022. Lebawit Lily Girma / Skift

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