Today's edition of Skift's daily podcast looks closer at Champions League tourism, tourist spending habits, and hotels and fintech.
Skift Daily Briefing Podcast
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Good morning from Skift. It’s Monday, June 12. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
Saturday’s Champions League final, perhaps soccer’s most prestigious annual event, drew tens of thousands of visitors to Istanbul. But local officials believe the action on the field is secondary to the boost the game will give the city’s tourism industry, writes Travel Technology Reporter Justin Dawes.
While Dawes writes that visiting fans will surely inject a lot of money into Istanbul’s economy, he adds the event’s true value is the advertising power. Turkish Hotel Association President Muberra Eresin said this year’s Champions League final could enhance Istanbul’s reputation as a sought after destination for future events. The city has hosted several major sporting events in recent years, with Dawes noting that sports tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of tourism.
Next, spending by visitors to the U.S. in April surpassed that of Americans traveling abroad for the first time in seven months, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam.
The National Travel and Tourism Office revealed that international travelers spent more than $17.3 billion on travel-related activities to and within the U.S. in April. Habtemariam reports international visitor spending has gone up 25 consecutive months. Meanwhile, Americans traveling abroad spent roughly $17.2 billion.
Finally, Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill examines in this week’s Early Check-In column an issue that is causing sleepless nights for hotel executives. What is it? The rise of fintech.
O’Neill writes industry leaders at two major hotel conferences admitted that they’re worried about fintech’s growth. Marriott’s Chief Financial Officer Leeny Oberg said there’s a tremendous amount of capital in the sector, with O’Neill adding it’s difficult to determine the possible impact of fintech players selling travel. Alex Cosmas, a partner at financial firm McKinsey, said the hotel industry has never previously competed directly with tech giants.
However, O’Neill notes that some hotel executives believe the industry will rise to the occasion. Accor Deputy CEO Jean-Jacques Morin acknowledged that a lot of industry figures believed that online travel agencies and Airbnb would disrupt hotels. But he said hotels handled the increased competition very well.
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