Skift Take

Today's podcast looks at Choice Hotels' new marketing push, United's and Alaska's Boeing losses, and the India-Maldives spat.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Tuesday, January 9. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Choice Hotels has long relied on traditional broadcast and outdoor billboard advertising to drum up brand awareness. But the company is turning to streaming platforms including Spotify and using a touch of celebrity in its new year-long marketing campaign, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill. 

Choice Hotels is experimenting with digital-video ads and podcast placements, which are cheaper than traditional TV sports, to better target demographic groups. The company will also feature Emmy winner Keegan-Michael Key in a set of six spots. Chief Marketing Officer Noha Abdalla said a celebrity like Key could help Choice Hotels grab consumers’ attention quickly on TikTok in particular. 

Next, we turn to the fallout from the recent accident aboard an Alaska Airlines aircraft that’s temporarily grounded certain Boeing 737 Max planes. Although Alaska and United Airlines both canceled hundreds of flights over the weekend, both airlines may not suffer a major financial hit from the grounding, reports Edward Russell, editor of Skift publication Airline Weekly. 

Raymond James analyst Savanthi Syth estimates that the financial hit from the grounding could be akin to that from a severe weather event. That’s based on the belief that the Federal Aviation Administration will explain what airlines need to inspect, which would allow them to begin returning to service. 

Boeing provided airlines information on Monday on how to inspect the planes, according to Reuters.  

Finally, Indian online travel agency EaseMyTrip has suspended all flights to the Maldives in what the company’s CEO called “solidarity with the nation,” reports Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia.  

Calls for boycotts of the Maldives have grown after many in India have accused Maldivian politicians of disparaging Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi sparked a social media controversy after urging Indian travelers to visit India’s Lakshadweep Islands, where he recently traveled to. Bhutia notes angry tweets called Modi’s Lakshadweep visit a suggestion to visit domestic destinations instead of the Maldives.

India was the Maldives’ largest tourism source market in 2023, with roughly 210,000 Indians visiting the archipelago. 

Episode Presenter and Producer: Jose Marmolejos


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Tags: alaska airlines, choice hotels, india outbound, maldives, skift podcast, united airlines

Photo credit: Actor Keegan-Michael Key in a Choice Hotels commercial. Choice Hotels

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