Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Ideas

IDEAS: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Promotes Inclusivity with New Certification

5 months ago

In the United States, 1 in 6 people have sensory needs or sensitivities, and 1 in 36 children are diagnosed with autism, so the importance of accessible spaces has never been so important. With this in mind, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has become a Certified Autism Center™, thanks to a new partnership with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES).

Credit: Kennedy Space Center Complex

The new partnership aims to ensure that sensory-sensitive visitors can enjoy the complex with confidence, with the center now able to provide on-site sensory guidance, designated low sensory areas, a sensory guide, and newly trained team members to ensure an inclusive experience for all guests.

“This certification is just one way we are working to ensure that Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is accessible to each of our guests,” said Therrin Protze, COO, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. 

“The extensive autism sensitivity and awareness training our staff has undergone has already impacted the way we interact with all families and children of all abilities, but specifically those with autism and other sensory sensitivities.”


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Hotels

IDEAS: IHG Hotels & Resorts Launches Initiative to Support Under-Represented Groups in Hospitality Industry

6 months ago

IHG Hotels & Resorts (IHG) have launched a new program – known as IHG LIFT – which has been designed to create more hotel development support for historically under-represented groups within the hospitality industry.

Credit: IHG Hotels & Resorts

The program will include support, access to capital and guidance along the hotel lifecycle, and is open to owners who qualify in the U.S. and Canada. 

According to a release from IHG, the new program will ‘unlock common barriers to hotel ownership among these groups and empower diverse owner-entrepreneurs for success.’

As part of the program, IHG has partnered with two leading Historically Black Colleges and Universities – Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College – and will commit more than $30 million to the initiative over the next five years.

“As our industry grows, we need to keep our focus on enabling more success for our diverse ownership base. Barriers such as a lack of access to capital and the right networks put such owners at a disadvantage. The IHG LIFT program is specifically designed to help ease the path to ownership and ultimately support owners. Diversifying ownership is not only better for IHG, it also lifts up our entire industry,” said Julienne Smith, chief development officer, Americas at IHG Hotels & Resorts.

IHG LIFT forms part of IHG’s forms part of its broader Journey to Tomorrow 2030 responsible business plan.

Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Airlines

IDEAS: Aer Lingus’ Plan to Draft More Female Pilots

7 months ago

Aer Lingus has announced the reopening of its pilot recruitment program for the first time since 2019, with the recruitment drive set to remain open for the next five years.

The first round of the pilot training program, which is fully sponsored by the airline, will recruit 18 candidates and is open for applications from now until 16th August 2023. For this latest recruitment round, Aer Lingus has stated that it is looking to enhance and embrace diversity in its selection process, by ‘actively striving to increase the number of female applicants to the program’. In the last recruitment round, only 7% of applicants were female, a statistic it is determined to significantly improve upon.

Credit: Aer Lingus

Successful candidates will undergo a 24-month pilot training program beginning in early 2024, which will combine theory and practical studies, and will be conducted in collaboration with the Spanish flight training school FTE Jerez.

“The Aer Lingus Future Pilot Programme opens a world of opportunity for the next generation of pilots who will join our airline. We have a rich history at Aer Lingus of training pilots and our new Future Pilot Programme continues in that wonderful tradition, for which we are well known and respected. We encourage everyone interested to consider our fully funded future pilot programme and we particularly encourage females to apply as we continue our efforts to close the gender gap in aviation,” said Lynne Embleton, chief executive at Aer Lingus. 

You can find out more information on the program here.


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Ideas

IDEAS: SOTC Travel Introduces Three Regional Languages to Website

8 months ago

SOTC Travel has introduced three new regional languages to its website – Hindi, Gujarati and Tamil, in addition to English – in order to target the growing customer market within Regional India-Bharat and provide a more accessible guest experience.

In addition to the new language offering, SOTC has also curated a collection of holidays designed to cater to the diverse regional needs of customers. An example being the recently launched ‘Gurjar Vishwadarshan holidays’, that offer vegetarian and Gujarati meals across key destinations like Europe, South East Asia and other destinations.

“We are delighted to announce the launch of our website in Hindi, Gujarati and Tamil languages. Regional India is a critical market for us and making our website available to customers in a language of their choice, builds reassurance and deepens our customer connect. We aim to deliver exceptional experience customer experience and this starts right from research and booking on our regional language website,” said Daniel D’souza, president & country head – holidays, at SOTC Travel.


At Skift, we are looking to unearth the most creative and forward-thinking innovations in travel through our Skift Ideas Franchise, which includes the Skift IDEA Awards, Skift Editorial Hub and the Skift Ideas Podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Ideas

IDEAS: San Francisco International Airport Embraces Pride with Themed Experiences

8 months ago

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has revealed the itinerary for the latest instalment of its ‘SFO Celebrates‘ program, which aims to bring San Francisco’s neighborhoods and cultural events to airport guests.

Credit: San Francisco International Airport

The Pride Series will feature live entertainment in Harvey Milk Terminal 1 to showcase the talent and creativity of San Francisco’s LGBTQIA+ community. 

In addition to the live activations in Harvey Milk Terminal 1 – which includes a Drag Extravaganza – there will also be Pride-themed photo stations in Terminal 2 and Terminal 3, a performance by the world’s first LGBTQ-identified cheerleading team, Cheer San Francisco, and much more.

For more information about SFO Celebrates, please visit: www.flysfo.com/sfo-celebrates.


At the Skift IDEA Awards, we are celebrating the ideas that are redefining what it means to be truly innovative in the travel industry, including the organizations and projects leading to social change or benefiting communities.

If you have an exciting project to share, head to the Skift IDEA Awards today and start your submission. The final deadline for entries is June 20, 2023.

Listen to the Skift Ideas Podcast here.

Online Travel

Tripadvisor Begins Letting U.S. and Canadian Hotels and Restaurants Self-Identify as Woman- Or Black-Owned and More

1 year ago

Tripadvisor began letting some hotels in the U.S. and Canada self-identify in their business listings if they are woman-owned, Black-owned, or Asian-owned, for example.

Other categories include Disability-owned, Hispanic/Latinx-owned, Indigenous-owned, LGBTQIA+-owned, and Veteran-owned.

Tripadvisor doesn’t verify whether indeed the business is at least 51 percent owned — which is the criteria — by that group. That’s similar to its approach to user reviews.

Beach Hill Smokehouse in Toronto self-identifies as Black-owned. Source: Tripadvisor.

Businesses must have claimed their listing, can self-identify in more than one category, and then that self-identification would be noted under the listings details in both the Tripadvisor website and app, Tripadvisor said. Tripadvisor sees itself as a platform, which enables people to make judgments based on the “wisdom of the crowds,” so to speak.

The new woman-owned or veteran-owned designations, for example, specify that the restaurant or hotel identifies themselves in this manner.

Tripadvisor has been testing the new feature, and stated that “hundreds” of businesses already have taken advantage of it. It plans to roll out the feature more broadly.

The company said its intent was “to make its platform more inclusive of the diverse communities using its influential website and app.” The hope is that travelers may gravitate toward businesses that are woman-owned or Asian-owned if that is their inclination.