Skift Take

Today's edition of Skift's daily podcast looks closer at junk fees in Texas, price hikes at tourist landmarks, and increasing travel demand in Europe and Asia.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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

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Episode Notes

The Texas state government has filed a lawsuit against Booking Holdings, alleging the company violates state law by not including certain fees when it initially displays room prices, reports Executive Editor Dennis Schaal.

Schaal writes the Texas lawsuit comes as the Biden administration and Congress are increasingly taking aim at so-called junk fees, charges that aren’t disclosed to consumers upfront. The lawsuit includes Booking Holdings and its sub-brands, and Kayak, and refers to so-called resort fees and other extras.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said while announcing the lawsuit that the state had recently sued Hilton and Hyatt for allegedly deceptively displaying their fees. 

Next, experiences and major tourist attractions have become significantly more expensive in the past four years, writes Travel Experiences Reporter Selene Brophy. 

Analysis from marketplaces GetYourGuide and TicketLens revealed prices from tours and admissions tickets globally rose on average 18% between June  2019 and June 2023. Charmaine Chua, GetYourGuide’s head of optimization, attributed the jump to factors such as tourism’s rebound and a shift in consumer spending toward experiences. 

TicketLens found that Turkey recorded the largest price increase for experiences globally, with a 35% jump from 2019. Meanwhile, Miami registered the biggest price hike at 27% for local tourism attractions in the U.S. 

Finally, major hotels and online travel agencies have benefitted from an enormous surge in travel demand in Asia and Europe in the first half of this year, reports Senior Research Analyst Pranavi Agarwal.

Agarwal writes the strength in global demand has now shifted to Europe and Asia. She writes companies initially hurt by their exposure to Asia are now reaping the rewards as its rebound takes hold. 

Agarwal cites Accor as one example. The France-based hotel company, which derives about a third of its revenue from Asia and nearly half from Europe, saw its revenue jump 40% from last year. 


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Tags: accor, booking holdings, getyourguide, junk fees, lawsuit, recovery, skift podcast, texas

Photo credit: Passengers arriving at Copenhagen’s airport in August 2023. Skift

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