Today's edition of Skift's daily podcast looks closer at Accor’s tech strategy, India’s cruise moves, and U.S. hotel job growth.
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Good morning from Skift. It’s Monday, July 10. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
Accor executives have been hard at work to boost the Paris-based hotel company’s digital operations, but what does that entail exactly? Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill provides answers in this week’s Early Check-In column.
O’Neill delves into what he considers the most notable findings from presentations Accor recently held for investors. The company runs a “digital factory,” which brings together roughly 800 developers, product managers and others to tackle the problems of hotel guests and operators. Chief Digital Officer Alix Boulnois said the Accor has the only digital factory at scale in the hospitality industry.
And O’Neill writes that Accor wants to sell more than just rooms. The company has launched All Food, a platform for booking meals at its restaurants in select markets — including France.
Next, India has unveiled plans to substantially improve its cruise infrastructure. It’s part of the government’s plan to generate nearly $5 billion in revenue from the industry by 2041, writes Middle East and Asia Reporter Amrita Ghosh.
Ghosh reports that Indian authorities want to build three new international cruise ports by 2024 as well as attract 4 million cruise passengers annually by 2041. India is already home to 12 major and 200 minor ports. Ghosh notes that the country faces some noticeable hurdles in its quest to boost cruise tourism, such as its current tax policy and lack of coordination among government agencies.
In addition, one India-based travel executive acknowledged much of the country’s cruise infrastructure is outdated.
Finally, the U.S. hotels registered a modest increase in job growth last month. However, the hotel industry still has a way to go to reach pre-Covid employment levels, reports Associate Editor Rashaad Jorden.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed in its latest jobs report released on Friday that hotels added roughly 5,500 jobs in June. The sector had added only 1,300 jobs the previous month. American Hotel and Lodging Association CEO Chip Rogers expressed optimism that hotels would continue to attract job seekers. But he said a lot more has to be done to increase employment in the hotel industry.
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