Skift Take

Today's podcast looks at the Bahamas safety issue, Expedia’s bad business travel deal, and flying taxis in Dubai.

Series: Skift Podcast

Skift Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Tuesday, February 13. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

The Bahamas saw a drop in short-term rental bookings and hotel reservations in January after a U.S. State Department safety alert to travelers, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam.

Habtemariam notes short-term rental bookings fell 7% in January from the same month in 2023. Meanwhile, hotels in the Bahamas also registered weekly occupancy declines from last year throughout the month. While higher average daily rates may have deterred bookings, those drops followed a U.S. Embassy alert warning Americans about crime in Nassau. 

A State Department spokesperson said the overall Travel Advisory for the Bahamas is at Level 2, which advises U.S. citizens to be cautious in the country due to crime. 

Next, Expedia Group’s equity stake in American Express Global Business Travel has taken a beating — to the tune of $326 million, reports Executive Editor Dennis Schaal. 

Expedia said on Monday the fair value of its equity stake in Amex GBT has dropped 40% since 2021. Expedia took a 19% stake in Amex GBT following its sale of corporate travel agency Egencia. However, Schaal notes Expedia may have benefited from the deal on several levels, including enabling it to offer hotel stays and vacation rentals to business travelers through Amex GBT.  

Finally, flying taxis could take to the skies in Dubai by 2026 after local officials signed a deal with electric aircraft maker Joby Aviation, writes Airlines Editor Gordon Smith. 

Joby’s contract with Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority gives the company exclusive rights to operate flying taxis in Dubai for six years. Smith notes Joby believes it could even operate air taxis next year, ahead of the planned 2026 launch. Joby has also signed a deal with infrastructure company Skysports, which will build and run take-off and landing areas for flying taxis in Dubai. Still, it’s no sure thing: As with all pioneering technologies, progress in the sector has been peppered with pitfalls. 

Presenter and Producer: Jose Marmolejos


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Tags: amex gbt, bahamas, dubai, expedia, expedia group, joby aviation, skift podcast, state department

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