Skift Take

Today's podcast looks at Airbnb prices, summer travel in Scandinavia, and booking Southwest on Google Flights.

Series: Skift Daily Briefing

Skift Daily Briefing Podcast

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Good morning from Skift. It’s Thursday, May 23. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Airbnb recently said its average daily rates can be cheaper than those of hotels. But there are lot of factors to consider, reports Executive Editor Dennis Schaal.

The company said the average daily rate in March of a one-bedroom Airbnb worldwide was $114 while data firm CoStar reported the equivalent rate for a hotel room was $140. But Schaal notes there is a lot of nuance in those numbers, adding they don’t include Airbnb cleaning fees, hotel resort fees or taxes. 

In addition, Jan Freitag, a CoStar executive, said the issue of whether an Airbnb or a hotel room is cheaper depends on the market and time of the year, among other factors. 

Next, Scandinavia is seeing a surge in tour and activity bookings for this summer in part due to the region’s moderate climate, writes Travel Experiences Reporter Jesse Chase-Lubitz. 

Data from GetYourGuide, Viator and TourRadar all indicate a significant jump in bookings compared to last year. The spike may be connected to traditionally popular destinations like Italy, Spain and Greece increasingly experiencing summertime heat waves and wildfires. Viator says Norway is the fastest-growing country in its portfolio while TourRadar reports bookings in Denmark and Sweden are surpassing average growth rates. 

Finally, Southwest Airlines fares are now appearing on Google Flights, which had been considered unlikely, writes Airlines Reporter Megnha Maharishi. 

Southwest said in a statement that it was looking to extend its reach, with Maharishi noting the carrier hadn’t previously listed its fares on Google Flights or online travel agencies as a way to cut distribution costs. Southwest is also conducting an in-depth study into consumer preferences as it considers making more changes to its model. CEO Bob Jordan recently said that Southwest is weighing whether to implement assigned seating and add premium cabins to its fleet. 


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Tags: airbnb, costar, hotel pricing, scandinavia, skift podcast, southwest airlines

Photo credit: An Airbnb advert in London. Skift

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