Today's edition of Skift's daily podcast looks closer at Hyatt's junk fees, AI at Six Flags, and India's hotel occupancy recovery.
Skift Daily Briefing Podcast
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Good morning from Skift. It’s Wednesday, August 30. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
Hyatt has joined MGM Resorts and Marriott in changing how they disclose resort fees on their websites and apps. However, those modifications still won’t quiet the growing uproar over so-called junk fees, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill.
In July, Hyatt began displaying nightly rates plus mandatory resort fees upfront on a traveler’s first search of its site and app. Hyatt’s move to more clearly disclose resort fees follows in the footsteps of Marriott and MGM Resorts. However, O’Neill notes the three companies still face unresolved grievances from some consumer advocates and government representatives. He adds one of the lingering issues is how hotel rates and fees are displayed on online travel agencies’ websites and apps.
The three hotel groups have also quoted prices without including resort fees in ad and marketing campaigns.
Next, amusement park corporation Six Flags has become the latest travel brand to hop on the artificial intelligence bandwagon. Six Flags is planning to release generative AI tools in partnership with Google Cloud, writes Travel Technology Reporter Justin Dawes.
Dawes reports Six Flags is looking to release AI chatbots on updated versions of its app and park websites later this year. Six Flags said the virtual assistants would provide personalized recommendations and answers for visitors planning their trips. Google CEO Thomas Kurian said generative AI would enable Six Flags to redefine guest experiences.
Finally, India’s hotel occupancy and room rates have finally recovered to pre-pandemic levels, writes Middle East and Asia Reporter Amrita Ghosh in the Skift India Newsletter.
Ghosh reports that soaring demand for next month’s G20 Summit is a major reason for India’s strong hotel performance. One travel executive said the roughly 200 G20 meetings already held throughout India have placed some lesser-known destinations on the global tourism map. Meanwhile, FCM Consulting’s latest Global Trends Report revealed that India had Asia’s highest hotel occupancy rates in the first half of this year.
Skift India Report
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Photo credit: A guest room at the Park Hyatt Shenzhen. Jonathan Leijonhufvud / Hyatt