Skift Take

Today's edition of Skift's daily podcast examines Saudi Arabia's dry World Cup bid, short-term rentals in the EU, and VistiBritain's entertaining tourism ideas.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Friday, October 6. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Saudi Arabia has just announced it will bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2034. A big question is, if chosen as the host, will the kingdom stage the first entirely alcohol-free World Cup, writes Middle East Reporter Josh Corder.

Corder reports Saudi Arabia would have all the event spaces it needs as well as some of the world’s luxurious hotels by 2034. However, Saudi authorities would have to determine whether to ease the country’s long-standing ban on alcohol. Fellow Gulf State Qatar severely restricted the sale of alcohol when it hosted the World Cup last year after having initially announced that stadiums would serve booze.

John Pagano, CEO of the Saudi government-owned Red Sea Global, said earlier this year that serving alcohol was not on the agenda for the country’s tourism industry. 

Next, Europe’s short-term rental industry has been blamed for an array of problems affecting the continent, including overtourism. But sector representatives argue they shouldn’t be the scapegoat for bad policies, writes Short-Term Rental Reporter Srividya Kalyanaraman. 

Viktorija Molnar, the acting secretary general of the European Holiday Home Association, defended the short-term rental industry in an interview with Skift. Molnar cited poor management as the reason why cities such as Barcelona and Amsterdam have suffered from overtourism. She also said the short-term rental industry has been attacked by politicians eager to show they’re working to solve the continent’s issues. 

Finally, VisitBritain will develop a tourism campaign featuring locations appearing in movie and TV shows, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam. 

VisitBritain CEO Patricia Yates said at the recent Skift Global Forum that British officials will tap into pop culture as part of its strategy to boost tourism. Yates cited Bristol, where the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory prequel Wonka was filmed, as one destination the organization would heavily promote. VisitBritain had previously featured Harry Potter and James Bond in its marketing campaigns.  

Habtemariam writes VisitBritain is using film tourism to help spread tourism beyond London. The organization said roughly a third of potential tourists are interested in visiting locations used in filming and seen-on-screen. 


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Tags: england, europe, saudi arabia, short-term rentals, skift podcast, visit britain, world cup

Photo credit: Tourists outside of Hampton Court Palace outside London, England. The palace is a setting for the Netflix show Bridgerton. Skift

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