Today's podcast looks at Tommy Bahama's hotel move, faster in-flight wi-fi, and Universal's UK theme park plans.
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Good morning from Skift. It’s Thursday, December 21. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
Universal Studios is looking at England for its next theme park. The company has bought land near London to possibly build its next big project, writes Travel Experiences Reporter Selene Brophy.
Universal said it’s examining how viable a new theme park resort in the United Kingdom would be. Brophy notes the attractions operator expects to make its final decision about the project after several months of stakeholder and community engagement. If Universal decides to build the theme park, Brophy writes it would be its most significant foray into Europe.
A Universal representative told Theme Park Insider that roughly half of the UK population lives within two hours of the proposed site.
Next, the retailer Tommy Bahama is famous for producing Hawaiian-themed attire. The company is now taking its beach vibes to the hotel industry — it recently opened its first hotel, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill.
Tommy Bahama CEO Doug Wood said the retailer decided to enter the hotel business on the advice of focus groups it commissioned. Tommy Bahama then bought the Miramonte, a struggling resort in California’s Coachella Valley, with real-estate services firm Lowe. Tommy Bahama’s first hotel, which underwent a roughly $20 million renovation and redesign, includes a restaurant serving common beach offerings.
While O’Neill writes the jury is still out on the hotel’s success, Wood said he’s looking to open more resorts.
Finally, in-flight connectivity has gotten a major boost thanks to Starlink Aviation, writes Reporter Ajay Awtaney.
Awtaney notes a growing number of airlines have turned to Starlink in recent years to improve in-flight internet service. Hawaiian Airlines, Latvia carrier airBaltic and Qatar Airways are among the carriers that have reached agreements with Starlink. In addition, Starlink signed Air New Zealand to trial internet onboard its domestic aircraft.
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