Skift Travel News Blog

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


IDEAS: IHG Hotels & Resorts Launches Experiential Winter Chalet Campaign

8 months ago

IHG Hotels & Resorts is getting into the holiday spirit with the launch of a new experiential winter campaign at a selection of its American properties. 

The Winter Chalet at Hotel Indigo Williamsburg
Credit: Roger Davies / IHG Hotels & Resorts

Select InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Vignette Collection and Hotel Indigo properties will be transformed into ‘Winter Wonderlands’ for the holiday season by incorporating chalet-inspired installations and programming.

The 17 feet tall chalet structures, which will feature in the lobbies of select properties, have been designed and constructed by architect Tristan Al-Haddad and feature interiors curated by interior designer Corey Damen Jenkins.

Each installation features a bar that will serve seasonal beverages throughout the day and will include regular programming for the duration of the campaign.

Outside of the Winter Chalet installations, every hotel across IHG’s Luxury & Lifestyle Americas portfolio will provide guests with some form of winter inspired programming, including festive dining experiences and chalet inspired room activations.

The campaign will run from December 1, 2023 through February 29, 2024.

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.


Thailand’s ‘Meaningful Relationship’ Campaign Romanticizes Tourism

9 months ago

The Tourism Authority of Thailand unveiled a new marketing campaign “Meaningful Relationship” at the World Travel Market event in London on Monday.

The heart of the campaign is to encourage tourists to create more than just travel memories, it’s about fostering connections with the people, communities, nature and Thailand itself.

In tune with evolving travel trends, Thailand recognizes the modern traveler’s inclination towards prioritizing experiences over ticking off bucket-list destinations.

The “Meaningful Relationship” campaign seeks to tap into this shift, inspiring travelers to form connections that transcend the ordinary and ultimately foster a bond with oneself.

The Film

The advertising film features tourists from Korea, France, and Portugal, showcasing the attractions of Kanchanaburi, Chumphon, Nakhon Phanom, and the vibrant metropolis of Bangkok.

Thapanee Kiatphaibool, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, shared the campaign’s vision, stating, “The new ‘Meaningful Relationship’ marketing communication concept is designed to encourage travelers to engage in a meaningful connection, whether it is with themselves, the local people, the community, nature, or even with Thailand. When travelers form a relationship with the people they meet and the place they visit, they will have an opportunity to create lifelong friends, cherished recollections, and enjoyable moments.”

Moreover, December will also witness the launch of the “Thailand Always Cares” campaign, emphasizing Thailand’s commitment to ensuring a memorable experience for tourists.

Latest Tourism Figures from Thailand

Thailand’s ambitious goal is to attract 25-30 million tourists and generate THB 1.5 trillion ($43 billion) in revenue by the end of this year.

According to the latest available data, in the first 10 months of 2023 (January 1-October 31), Thailand recorded over 21.6 million arrivals and generated over THB 927 billion ($26 billion) in tourism revenue. The top five source markets being Malaysia, China, South Korea, India and Russia. 

The 2024 target is set at total revenue of THB 3 trillion ($84 billion) with THB 1.92 trillion ($54 billion) coming from the international market.

After granting visa free entry to Chinese tourists from September onwards, Thailand announced last week that it would grant visa-free entry to citizens from India and Taiwan from November 10 till May 2024.


IDEAS: Ocean Builders Looks to the Future with Floating SeaPods

11 months ago

Panama based Ocean Builders is building overwater floating pod homes with the mission to develop technology that makes oceans into an ‘eco-sustainable paradise.’

Credit: Ocean Builders

Each SeaPod Eco has 360° panoramic windows with ocean views and plenty of natural light. The structure is supported by an underwater network of air-filled steel tubes, and using the solar power it collects, the SeaPod generates a mild electrical current that works to attract calcium carbonate.

The calcium carbonate has a dual purpose, as it not only protects the structure from corrosion and rust, but also forms a building block for the production of coral. The company says that after several years coral growth can create a ‘thriving underwater ecosystem.’

Credit: Ocean Builders

Ocean Builders is also developing an incinerator that will turn toilet waste into non-toxic ash, with the heat generated used to make hot water. You can join the list to reserve – or purchase – a 73 square-meter SeaPod big enough for two people in Linton Bay Marina, Panama.

Credit: Ocean Builders

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: Iglucraft Glamping Pods Seamlessly Blend into Nature

1 year ago

Iglucraft, an Estonia-based company, creates a range of handcrafted timber cabins and saunas that seamlessly blend into their natural surroundings.

Credit: Iglucraft

The nomadic pods – which are fully customizable and come with a range of amenities – are created using natural materials and feature organic forms, helping users to find ‘a more natural way of being than the everyday life in perfectly linear cityscapes’.

With famous clients including David Beckham and Gordon Ramsey, the pods are available to order online.

Credit: Iglucraft

At the Skift IDEA Awards, we are looking for the innovative projects that are defining the future of guest experience.

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.


IDEAS: Adventure Awaits with Akun, The Latest Offering From Red Sea Global

1 year ago

Red Sea Global (RSG), the developer behind The Red Sea and Amaala in Saudi Arabia, has launched an adventure travel brand for guests aimed at offering unique sporting activities at its destinations.

Akun, which comes from the Arabic meaning of “to be”, will operate and manage various adventure experiences out of its destinations, including electric biking, trail running and hiking, all in line with the responsible ethos of the group. 

Credit: Read Sea Global/Akun

Having already signed two partnership deals with Bungy New Zealand and Air Sports Group, Akun is Red Sea Global’s third subsidiary business to be announced this year following the launch of its water sports and diving brands, WAMA and Galaxea, in February.

Credit: Read Sea Global/Akun

“At Red Sea Global, we believe the experiences available for our guests are just as important as the destination itself, and this new brand will provide them with world-class experiences in land and in connection with the sky above. Akun will offer a diverse range of ‘bucket-list’ adventures set in, over and throughout breath-taking sea and landscapes, and each builds on the exciting sense of exploration we nurture at our destinations,” said John Pagano, group CEO of red sea global. 

At the Skift IDEA Awards, we are looking for the projects defining the future of leisure tourism, destination marketing and the visitor experience, including those defining the future of day tours, activities, and experiences.

If you have an exciting initiative to share, head to the Skift IDEA Awards website and start your submission today.


IDEAS: Live Nation Enters Travel Industry With Music-Led Experiences

1 year ago

Live Nation is bringing to market Vibee, a music-led experience and travel offering.

Source: Live Nation/Vibee

Touted as a ‘music-led destination experience company’, Vibee aims to offer traveler’s and music fans alike the chance to immerse themselves in different musical genres while exploring some of the world’s most exciting destinations via three core areas: curated experiences, festival integrations, and Las Vegas residencies.

“Vibee was founded to build indelible memories between fans and their favorite artists in a new way,” said Harvey Cohen, president of Vibee. “We are poised to deliver a range of once-in-a-lifetime destination experiences for every type of fan in vibrant locations all over the world.“

Experiential travel continues to be a growing trend among tourists who seek unique and immersive experiences. Vibee aims to enhance the travel experience by providing exclusive access to popular artists and events, including EDSea, a cruise and electronic dance music festival, and VIP hotel properties experiences during festivals like Lollapalooza, ACL Festival, and others.

This post is a part of Skift Ideas, which highlights exciting new creative projects, campaigns, designs, and future-making ideas across the travel industry. Skift will also feature a number of leading projects across travel at our 5th annual Skift IDEA Awardswhich has become the travel industry’s most coveted achievement for excellence in innovation, design, experience, and now, automation.

Learn more at:


Aman Hotels Now Valued at $3 Billion After $900 Million Fresh Investment

2 years ago

Aman Group has received a $900 million investment from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Cain International, the London-based privately-held real estate investment firm.

The transaction now values the Swiss hospitality brand at $3 billion, said Cain in a press statement.

The investment will be used to enhance the existing portfolio, drive the construction pipeline of new Aman and Janu-branded properties, and support the acquisition and development of additional sites, a release from Cain stated.

Calling the investment in line with Public Investment Fund’s strategy to invest in promising sectors to achieve sustainable, attractive returns in Saudi Arabia and globally, Turqi Alnowaiser, deputy governor and head of international investments division, said in a tweet, “Our investment in Aman Group reflects our belief in the current potential of the hospitality and tourism industry, both internationally and in Saudi Arabia.”

Aman Group has 34 hotels in 20 countries, including 12 branded residences, and another nine properties under development, including in Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Earlier this month, Aman opened its New York hotel and private residences in Manhattan, touted to be the most expensive hotel in the city, according to Bloomberg. The hospitality brand is set to expand further in the U.S. with Aman Miami Beach set to open in 2024, followed by Aman Beverly Hills in 2026.

As the hospitality landscape continues to evolve, Cain expects to see a growing desire for travellers and investors alike to prioritize experiences supported by preeminent brands like Aman, said Jonathan Goldstein, CEO and co-founder of Cain International.

“This investment represents a unique opportunity to further enhance this portfolio of unrivalled destinations,” Goldstein said.

In June, Cain announced Aman as the flagship operator of One Beverly Hills, the 17.5-acre mixed-use urban resort it is developing in Beverly Hills.

“My long-term strategic vision has been to continue to grow the Aman brand in key markets, all with Aman Branded Residences, as well as creating an ultra-luxury ecosystem which offers the complete Aman lifestyle,” said Vlad Doronin, owner, chairman and CEO of Aman Group.