Skift Take

Today's podcast looks at Dubai's luxury promise, China's pent-up travel demand, and weaker tourism spending in the U.S.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Thursday, December 14. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Dubai is poised to become the next big name in luxury travel, and two of the city’s luxury hoteliers are looking to expand their properties globally, writes Middle East Reporter Josh Corder. 

Emaar Hospitality head Mark Kirby and Atlantis’ Global President Timothy Kelly spoke about their strategy in Dubai at the Skift Global Forum East conference on Wednesday. Kirby said Dubai has been a strong contributor to Emaar’s growth, and that the company wants to bring Dubai’s success overseas.

Kelly expressed his desire for Atlantis to be a global brand, adding the goal is to open properties on every continent. Corder notes that Atlantis is in discussion with national governments about expansion rather than investors due to the scale of its planned projects. 

Next, China’s outbound travel recovery is currently at just over half of 2019 levels. A executive believes cumbersome visa regulations are hurting outbound travel, reports Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia. Managing Director Boon Sian Chiai said at the Skift Global Forum East on Wednesday that once visa issues are resolved, Chinese travelers will be eager to go overseas. Chai said that destinations with simplified entry procedures have a clear advantage in attracting Chinese visitors. He also urged hotels and destinations to provide services tailored to Chinese travelers, such as language support and digital payment options.

Despite the struggles of Chinese outbound travel, Bhutia notes that domestic travel is 90% above 2019 levels. 

Finally, international travel spending in the U.S. still hasn’t recovered to pre-Covid levels, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam. 

International travelers spent $10.7 billion in October, roughly $1 billion less than the same month in 2019. Habtemariam notes one factor limiting travel to the U.S. has been affordability. Higher costs and the strong dollar have reduced the buying power of many international travelers who would come to the U.S. 

Habtemariam adds Americans traveling abroad have been spending more than prior to the pandemic. U.S. travelers spent $12.1 billion on travel and tourism-related goods and services in October. That’s up from $9.8 billion from October 2019. 

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Tags: china outbound, dubai, sgfe2023, skift podcast, travel spending,

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