Skift Take

Today's podcast looks at tourism CEO pay, Spirit Air's industry complaints, and Expedia's tech outage.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Tuesday, May 7. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Skift has unveiled its list of the U.S.’s highest-paid tourism marketing CEOs. Visit California CEO Caroline Beteta took the top spot, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam. 

Beteta collected more than $1.5 million in compensation during the 2022 fiscal year. Former San Francisco Travel Association CEO Joseph D’ Alessandro came in second at just under $965,000. Skift used the 2022 fiscal year because it contains the most recent comprehensive up-to-date records.  

Habtemariam notes Skift focused on CEOs from the top 20 cities and major tourism states with large, non-profit destination marketing organizations. Pay packages of CEOs of Brand USA and Destinations International were also included in Skift’s list. 

Next, Spirit Airlines CEO Ted Christie blasted the current state of the airline industry, describing it as a “rigged game,” writes Airlines Reporter Meghna Maharishi. 

Christie said during the company’s first-quarter earnings call that smaller non-legacy carriers like Spirit are struggling to return to profitability. He added that profits in the airline industry are concentrated around two companies. Maharishi notes the “Big 4” carriers — American, Delta, United and Southwest — have recorded record revenues since the pandemic. 

Spirit reported a $142 million first-quarter loss. 

Finally, Expedia Group has given a more complete explanation of the cause of a tech outage that took down several of its websites on Sunday, reports Executive Editor Dennis Schaal.

Expedia Group had first blamed maintenance issues for the widespread outage. But Schaal writes that Monday Expedia acknowledged it was a “backend software issue.” 

Schaal also confirmed that the affected Expedia sites had a common backend technology stack, and the problem went beyond just the consumer-facing websites and included some internal operations.

Producer/Presenter: Jose Marmolejos


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Tags: ceo pay, expedia group, skift podcast, spirit airlines

Photo credit: An advertisement for Washington, D.C. tourism in New York City's Times Square. Skift

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