Skift Take

Today's podcast looks at the business of Indian weddings, United CEO's apology, and Egypt's tourism shortfalls.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Tuesday, March 19. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Indian weddings are a billion dollar business — and not just in India. Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia delves into the increasingly lucrative phenomenon

Bhutia writes Indian weddings aren’t just celebrations — they’re massive economic engines. The roughly 3.5 million couples that got married in India between November 23 and December 15 last year spent about $57 billion on wedding-related expenses. Meanwhile, the more than 900 weddings Marriott hosted in India last year generated close to 10% of its revenue in the country. 

Bhutia cites Thailand and the United Arab Emirates as destinations eager to attract wealthy Indians looking to get married. A Thai tourism official said the country hosts between 400 and 500 Indian weddings annually. 

Next, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby has sought to reassure travelers after a spate of recent mishaps aboard United flights, writes Airlines Reporter Meghna Maharishi. 

Kirby sent a memo to customers on Monday stating that United is working to improve safety. United has had five incidents during the past month, including one where a Boeing jet landed in Medford, Oregon with an external panel missing. Kirby said United is reviewing the details of each and plans to use information from those reviews to develop its safety procedures. 

Finally, Egypt’s tourism chief said the ongoing Israel-Hamas war has hurt the country’s growth, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam.

Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmed Issa said tourism grew 6% in the first two months of 2024 compared to last year. The government was expecting a 20% increase. Issa added Egypt has seen a decrease in the number of American tourists, with two tour operator executives stating bookings from the U.S. have yet to make a full recovery.   

Presenter/Producer: Jose Marmolejos


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Tags: egypt, india, indian weddings, skift podcast, united states

Photo credit: An Indian Wedding in Cancun, Mexico. VIP Vacations

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