Today's edition of Skift's daily podcast looks closer at business travel in the U.S., Marriott's new budget brand, and LGBTQ travelers in India.
Skift Daily Briefing Podcast
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Good morning from Skift. It’s Tuesday, June 6. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
Travel companies across the U.S. have seen an enormous boom in leisure travel demand coming out of the pandemic. However, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby believes the U.S. is in a “business recession,” reports Edward Russell, editor of Airline Weekly, a Skift publication.
Kirby said at a conference in Istanbul on Monday that while consumer spending is strong, the same can’t be said for businesses. Russell writes that the downturn has contributed to a slower business travel recovery than many had expected. United Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Nocella acknowledged that business travel demand at United has plateaued while declining to state how much it’s recovered.
Russell adds the state of corporate travel is a major concern for airlines, noting the business travelers represent a significant portion of revenue — especially during periods of slower leisure travel.
Next, Marriott is making another foray into the extended-stay sector. The company is launching a brand geared toward price-conscious travelers seeking stays between seven and 30 days, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill.
Marriott announced on Monday that it would expand into the “affordable midscale” hotel category with the yet-to-be named brand. O’Neill writes the new brand — Marriott’s 32nd — will be the company’s most affordable cost-per-room hotel brand in the U.S. and Canada. Marriott’s other brands with mostly long-stay guests are largely geared toward luxury travelers. O’Neill adds Marriott expects to open the brand in late 2024 or early 2025.
Finally, roughly 90 percent of LGBTQ+ travelers in India consider their personal safety as an important factor when booking travel, reports Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia and Middle East and Asia Reporter Amrita Ghosh.
A recent Booking.com survey found that the percentage of LGBTQ+ travelers in India prioritizing safety had jumped 20 percentage points from last year. Roughly 80 percent of respondents said destinations they perceived to be unfriendly to LGBTQ+ travelers were off their travel radar. Bhutia and Ghosh did note that India’s travel industry has made progress in becoming more inclusive for members of the country’s LGBTQ+ community. The survey also revealed 91 percent of respondents feel more comfortable while traveling.
Skift India Report
The Skift India Report is your go-to newsletter for all news related to travel, tourism, airlines, and hospitality in India.