Skift Take

Today's podcast looks at the impact of Choice Hotels on Wyndham's fourth quarter, Expedia Group's controversial ad, and Bali's overtourism prevention tactics.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Friday, February 16. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel.

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Episode Notes

Wyndham executives say the company’s efforts to fend off Choice Hotels’ hostile bid weighted on its results in the fourth quarter, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill.

Wyndham CEO Geoff Ballotti said its fourth quarter could have been better without the distractions from Choice Hotels’ merger proposal. The company’s revenue and income in 2023 both fell from the previous year, which may have been a result of Wyndham devoting resources to prevent the hostile merger. 

Wyndham said it’s spent $75 million related to the deal so far, including answering antitrust queries from regulators. 

Next, Expedia Group has pulled a Vrbo ad in Canada because its use of a traditional folk song from Newfoundland and Labrador sparked an uproar, writes Executive Editor Dennis Schaal. 

The ad, which aired during both the Grammys and Super Bowl, used the folk song I’se the B’y as its theme. Schaal notes the ad was intended to take a dig at rival Airbnb. But the provincial government and local tourism executives demanded Expedia remove the ad because they believed using the folk song was disrespectful.

Finally, Bali has implemented a tourist tax as part of its efforts to combat overtourism, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam.

Visitors to the popular Indonesian destination have to pay about $10, which will go toward conservation efforts and improving the island’s infrastructure. Mark Howarth-Archer, an executive at tour operator G Adventures, said Bali’s infrastructure can’t handle the surge in tourists.

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Tags: bali, canada, expedia group, skift podcast, vrbo, wyndham, Wyndham hotels

Photo credit: A hotel room at the O Hotel by LuxUrban, part of the Trademark Collection by Wyndham. Wyndham Hotels and Resorts

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