Skift Take

Today's podcast examines Hilton's loyalty extension, Israel-Hamas War's impact on carriers and Saudi Arabia's latest ultra-luxury project.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Tuesday, October 17. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Hilton will simplify how small-and medium-sized businesses book and manage billings for its small-group meetings and events and has opened a waitlist for Hilton for Business, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neil.

To encourage sign ups, Hilton will run a loyalty program that rewards business owners with points that can go toward their businesses or their personal travel. Hilton will also offer bonus points based on the number of employee sign ups, stays and stays over time. Skift estimates the initiatives may be relevant to up to 70 million road warriors next year.

Next, the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas have disrupted the operations of Royal Jordanian and Wizz Air, reports Airline Weekly Editor Ned Russell from the Routes World conference in Istanbul. To avoid flying through Israeli airspace, Amman-based Royal Jordanian has to now route flights either north over Lebanon and Syria, or south over Saudi Arabia and Egypt, said Royal Jordanian CEO Samer Majali at the conference.

In addition, Wizz is canceling flights on a rolling four-day basis. 

Finally, Saudi Arabia’s futuristic NEOM super-city has unveiled a new region. Called Leyja, it’s a $500 billion sustainable and eco-tourism hub in the mountains, writes Middle East Reporter Josh Corder. 

The ultra-luxury project will include high-end stores, helipads and fine-dining restaurants. It will have at least three hotels, which will be called the Wellness Hotel, Oasis Hotel and Adventure Hotel. Each will have just 40 keys. An opening date for Leyja has not been announced yet.

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Tags: hilton, israel, middle east, royal jordanian, saudi arabia, skift podcast, wizz air

Photo credit: Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta spoke on-stage at Skift Global Forum on September 26, 2023. Skift

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