Skift Take

Today's podcast looks at Marriott and Hilton's top annual report takeaways, Airbnb's artificial intelligence pathway to new verticals, and American Express' new largest Centurion Lounge.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Thursday, February 15. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel.

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Episode Notes

Marriott and Hilton have both released their annual financial reports for 2023. Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill lists 12 noteworthy takeaways after comparing the companies’ 10-K filings. 

The two hotel giants have a rivalry in terms of loyalty program membership numbers. Marriott currently has roughly 16 million more loyalty program members than Hilton. But O’Neill notes Hilton could overtake Marriott in 2025 if the two companies maintain their most recent growth rates this year. 

O’Neill adds that both companies were considerably more profitable in 2023 than they were six years prior. 

Next, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky believes the company can create a new artificial intelligence interface that will help transform it into a cross-vertical company, writes Executive Editor Dennis Schaal.  

Chesky said the planned interface could be one of the most innovative ever created. He added that it would enable Airbnb to become a cross-vertical company: Think Amazon when it expanded beyond books and Apple when it launched the app store. Chesky also said Airbnb would make announcements later this year regarding new products and services.  

Finally, American Express has opened the world’s largest Centurion Lounge at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, writes Airlines Editor Gordon Smith.

The 26,000-square foot lounge, which includes indoor and outdoor areas, is American Express’ latest effort to target high-spending travelers. It also includes a whiskey bar serving cocktails designed by Centurion’s mixologist. American Express Travel President Audrey Hendley said a new Atlanta lounge was a major priority for the company.  

Accommodations Sector Stock Index Performance Year-to-Date

What am I looking at? The performance of hotels and short-term rental sector stocks within the ST200. The index includes companies publicly traded across global markets, including international and regional hotel brands, hotel REITs, hotel management companies, alternative accommodations, and timeshares.

The Skift Travel 200 (ST200) combines the financial performance of nearly 200 travel companies worth more than a trillion dollars into a single number. See more hotels and short-term rental financial sector performance.

Read the full methodology behind the Skift Travel 200.

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Tags: airbnb, american express, brian chesky, hilton, marriott, skift podcast

Photo credit: A triple branded Hilton property in mid-town Manhattan. Skift

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