Skift Take

Today's edition of Skift's daily podcast looks closer at Wyndham’s earnings, Google’s travel priorities, and Royal Caribbean’s encouraging quarter.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Friday, July 28. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts reported a drop in profitability during the second quarter. That’s partly because the hot demand for its budget hotels is cooling, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill. 

Wydham saw its net income fall 18% in the second quarter from last year. O’Neill writes its portfolio skews toward affordable roadside hotels, which surged in popularity immediately after the pandemic eased. Now, Chief Financial Officer Michele Allen said things are returning to normal. The company has also seen travel to big cities and international destinations rebound significantly.

Meanwhile, Wyndham said it’s not worried about increased competition in the extended stay sector. The company launched its own extended stay brand last November in the U.S. and Canada. Extended stay has since emerged as one of the hottest categories in hotels, with Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt all addring brands. 

Next, Google executives had cited travel as a major source of revenue growth during the previous two quarters. However, the tech giant’s parent company Alphabet didn’t call out travel as a major priority this week, reports Executive Editor Dennis Schaal.

Alphabet’s Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler said that Google’s three main priority areas are artificial intelligence, retail and YouTube. Google had extensive layoffs at Google Flights earlier this year and recently replaced the head of Google Travel. Even so, Schaal writes Google surely still makes a lot of money from travel advertisers. And it announced in June that it had added some travel features to its AI-powered search experience. 

Finally, Royal Caribbean has raised its earning forecast this year by a third after a strong second quarter, writes Contributor Jess Wade.

In addition to the increased earnings per share, the company said during its conference  call on Thursday that consumer spending onboard is continuing to significantly surpass 2019 levels. A Royal Caribbean executive also pointed to “encouraging” bookings for its China cruises, which are expected to set sail in April 2024. 

Royal Caribbean recorded a net income of $459 million during the second quarter, in contrast to a loss the same period last year.

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Tags: alphabet, cruises, earnings, google, royal caribbean, skift podcast, wyndham

Photo credit: This photo is of Comwell Copenhagen Portside, Dolce by Wyndham. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

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