Skift Take

Today's edition of Skift's daily podcast looks closer at Hilton's fee promise, U.S. tourism leaders' thoughts on outbound China travel, Morocco tourism returning.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Friday, September 22. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Hilton told hotel owners on Thursday it would move quickly to disclose mandatory fees upfront on all of its platforms, according to information Skift obtained, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill. 

O’Neill writes that Hilton’s support of fee transparency comes after it received legal pressure earlier this year. Texas’ Attorney General sued Hilton in May, alleging the company had a pattern of not disclosing the total price consumers would have to pay for a room upon booking. O’Neill adds a change in Hilton’s policy should help put an end to the lawsuit. 

Hilton follows in the footsteps of Marriott and Hilton, both of which now display mandatory resort fees upfront on their websites and apps. 

Next, U.S. tourism executives who recently visited China for the first time in four years said there’s growing demand there for travel to the U.S., writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam. 

Habtemariam reports that representatives from NYC Tourism + Conventions and Visit California have traveled to China in the past two months. Those trips came as the U.S. and China have taken steps to improve their tourism ties. China lifted in August its Covid-era restrictions on group tours to the U.S. In addition, both Beijing and Washington have agreed to double weekly flights between the two countries. 

NYC Tourism + Conventions CEO Fred Dixon said he’s seen inquiries about trips to the city increase since group tour restriction was lifted. Meanwhile, Visit California CEO Caroline Beteta noted that even China’s high youth unemployment rate hasn’t stunted pent-up demand for international travel. However, she added that Chinese looking to travel to the U.S. face long waits for visitor visas. 

Finally, Moroccan tourism managers said business is returning as the country recovers from an earthquake that decimated the country earlier this month. They expect a big boost from next month’s annual meeting of the World Bank Group, writes Middle East Reporter Josh Corder. 

While hotel bookings decreased immediately after the earthquake, Corder reports they’ve increased for October and beyond the country’s tourism hubs. Corder cites the Fairmont Royal Palm Marrakech as one hotel expecting a boom in business from the World Bank Group meeting. General Manager Jean-Francois Brun anticipates being fully booked for the event.  

Corder also cited the Mandarin Oriental as another Moroccan hotel optimistic about the future. Its general manager Alain-Thomas Briere said the World Bank Group meeting is sending a message to the world that tourism to Morocco is about to resume. 

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Tags: china, china outbound, hilton, junk fees, morocco, resort fees, skift podcast

Photo credit: A triple branded Hilton property in mid-town Manhattan. Skift

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