Rafat Ali

Latest Stories

Skift Originals

The Great Merging

How we live, work, socialize and travel have merged into each other, with profound implications for the global industry at the center of selling this dream. How will travel respond?

The Great Merging

Short-Term Rentals

Airbnb’s Next Big Change: Search

Airbnb is really good at hyping up its incremental product changes, this better be as game-changing as it's billed to be. Either way, better search, better for the user in a world of overwhelm.

Airbnb’s Next Big Change: Search

Business Travel

Positioning Business Travel as New Center of Company Culture

This is a smart way to think about this new hybrid world of work: approaching travel as less of a transactional function and more as a strategy for developing company culture. Worth a read.

Positioning Business Travel as New Center of Company Culture

Announcements

A Decade of Skift Megatrends in Travel

This is your PhD in travel, a fascinating read for those who want a deep dive into the most fascinating industry on this planet.

A Decade of Skift Megatrends in Travel

Short-Term Rentals

What Should Airbnb Launch in 2022?

Worth a read, not just to appreciate the transparency into the product-led thinking of a giant, now-iconic company but also to just get inspired by some of these suggestions, and who knows, more startups to come out of these ideas.

What Should Airbnb Launch in 2022?

Hotels

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky on the Future of Crypto and Metaverse in Travel

The intersections of identity and trust inherent in blockchain with travel and travel as a counter to the isolationism of metaverse makes for interesting applications in the coming future.

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky on the Future of Crypto and Metaverse in Travel

Coronavirus

Audio Essay: What Happens to Travel Now?

Skift CEO Rafat Ali shares an audio essay about the current state of the travel industry as it attempts to manage the challenges and fallout of the Omicron variant.

Audio Essay: What Happens to Travel Now?

Tourism

17 Things That Excite Me About the Travel Industry During Its Ferocious Comeback

The pandemic indeed has been a portal to change in so many ways, and the innovation is coming at the edges as it always does. Here are some of the reasons why I am excited about the travel industry today, almost a decade into running and building Skift.

17 Things That Excite Me About the Travel Industry During Its Ferocious Comeback

Mergers and Acquisitions

Sonder Lowers Valuation to $1.9 Billion as Market Conditions Change; Raises More Money

Sonder revenues are rising while its losses are widening, even as SPAC deals are coming under additional pressure. The new funding raised will help continue to focus on building the company and hopefully keep the economics in check enough to complete the deal.

Sonder Lowers Valuation to $1.9 Billion as Market Conditions Change; Raises More Money

Coronavirus

The Problem With Vaccinated Travel Lanes

It’s time for Singapore — and others taking a more step-by-step approach to reopening — to show a little more boldness on travel.  Stop "picking winners" and skewing the market.

The Problem With Vaccinated Travel Lanes