Skift Take

Today's podcast looks at emergent tourism destinations, Four Seasons' remote gamble, and an airport slot battle in Washington, D.C.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Wednesday, May 22. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

The World Economic Forum recently released its 2024 Travel & Tourism Index. Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam and Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill profiles five countries the organization named as among the most-improved economies for enabling travel and tourism development since 2019. 

Habtemariam and O’Neill highlight Albania, Indonesia, Egypt, Tanzania, and El Salvador. In particular, Albania has seen a 141% increase in daily flight traffic since 2019. Meanwhile, Indonesian authorities boosted domestic tourism last year by launching a program that gave financial support to more than 170 festivals and cultural events. 

Habtemariam and O’Neill note that the World Economic Forum has recommended that tourism leaders develop strategies to combat challenges such as labor shortages and climate change. 

Next, the Four Seasons is betting that luxury travelers will be willing to make a long journey to the remote Pacific island of Palau, writes Columnist Colin Nagy. 

The Four Seasons is planning to open a permanent hotel development in Palau in the next few years. Armando Kraenzlin, a longtime Four Seasons general manager, described Palau as “one of the last true remaining frontiers.” The Great Barrier Reef Foundation reported that Palau is the only country to have protected 80% of its offshore marine environment. 

In addition, Nagy notes the Four Seasons has relocated its liveaboard ship, the Explorer, from the Maldives to Palau, as well as moved some diving instructors and marine biologists. 

Finally, airlines are scrambling to acquire the five new slots for long-distance flights departing from Reagan National Airport, writes Airlines Reporter Meghna Maharishi. 

President Joe Biden recently signed a bill with a provision approving the new slots. Maharishi reports the slots have to be allocated within 60 days of the act becoming law. 

American Airlines had already announced a partnership with San Antonio International Airport to launch flights between the city and Reagan National. In addition, Alaska Airlines plans to apply for flights between San Diego and the airport. San Diego is currently the largest market without nonstop service to Reagan National.  

Presenter/Producer: Jose Marmolejos

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Tags: egypt, four seasons, indonesia, skift podcast

Photo credit: A cyclist ridging through Tirana, Albania. Alexandr Bormotin / Unsplash

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