Skift Take

Today's edition of Skift's daily podcast looks closer at why the U.S. needs Chinese tourists, how short-term rentals may perform this summer, and why the new U.S. tourism department can't do anything.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Thursday, June 15. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

The U.S. tourism industry has gotten a boost from the Biden administration lifting its vaccine requirement for inbound travelers in May. However, a prominent U.S. tourism official believes the industry won’t make a full recovery without the large-scale return of Chinese visitors, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam. 

Brand USA CEO Chris Thompson said at a U.S. Senate hearing this week that dropping the vaccine mandate has helped boost visitor numbers. But he acknowledged that the eased travel curbs won’t be enough to compensate for the lack of Chinese tourists. The U.S. welcomed over 540,000 Chinese travelers in April, a 81 percent drop from the same month in 2019. China reopened its borders earlier this year for international travel after more than two years of restrictions.

Next, the short-term rental industry is poised to benefit enormously from the boom in summer travel, writes Short-Term Rental Reporter Srividya Kalyanaraman

A study by short-term rental data company AirDNA found the sector should see growth this summer thanks to strong travel demand. Kalyanaraman reports that this year’s summer travel season is expected to be extended as travelers seek off-season rates. She adds that lower house prices and sustained high demand for rental properties have contributed to an increased housing supply. More homeowners are choosing to rent out their properties rather than sell in a market with low interest rates.

Finally, the U.S. Department of Commerce is looking for help in staffing the office for the newly-created assistant secretary for travel and tourism, a position Congress created last December. So what assistance is the department requesting? Roughly $3.5 million, writes Global Tourism Dawit Habtemariam. 

National Travel and Tourism Office Director Brian Beall said at a Senate hearing this week that the agency needs the money from Congress to be able to carry out its duties. The office’s responsibilities include developing strategies to help meet the U.S. tourism industry’s goals, including increasing visitor numbers. Congress hadn’t included funding for the office upon passing legislation to create it. Meanwhile, the assistant secretary position hasn’t been filled yet. 


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Tags: airdna, china outbound, congress, recovery, short-term rentals, skift podcast

Photo credit: Tourists by the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C. Jonathan Cutrer / Flickr

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