Skift Travel News Blog

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


IDEAS: Egypt’s Green Destinations are Seizing on Ecotourism Opportunities

7 months ago

Egypt is making measurable progress in sustainable travel and tourism efforts, with two towns dedicated exclusively to sustainable travel. A recent report by Bain & Company highlights the small “eco-village” of El-Qula’an and the resort town of El Gouna as two locations within Egypt centered around environmental practices.

In Africa, El Gouna is at the forefront of travel sustainability.

El Gouna, which received a UN-sponsored Global Green Town award in 2014, utilizes measures such as water desalination, a local wastewater treatment plant, an on-site organic farm, and “phase change” temperature regulation materials in all of its properties.

Meanwhile, the small Red Sea town of El-Qula’an has transformed into an “eco-village,” utilizing its solar power plant and market selling goods from craftsmen to foster tourism to its beaches while safeguarding the location’s natural environment and protecting its mangrove preserve.

Bain & Company’s report says these measures are a strong start, but there is still more room to grow. Their survey indicated that two-thirds of leisure travelers to the Middle East and North Africa destinations believe sustainability is important or extremely important when traveling for leisure, and 66 percent are willing to pay more for those sustainable offerings.

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: Airbus Shares Its Vision for the Cabin of the Future

9 months ago

Aerospace designer and manufacturer Airbus has shared what they feel will be the next generation of passenger experience, with their sustainability and tech-driven Airspace Cabin Vision 2035+.

Environmental impact is a central focus, along with consumer comfort, in their product vision. Airbus will integrate “smart systems design” to optimize energy consumption and resources, while also using lightweight materials “enhanced by bionic principals and 3D-printing technologies,” as the company aims to focus on less carbon-intensive solutions in their manufacturing in the future.

Airbus states these innovations will contribute to the industry targets of Net-Zero by 2050.

At the Skift IDEA Awards, we are looking for the projects that are defining the future of guest experience, including aviation, hospitality, and tourism innovations.

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: A Blending of Contemporary Architecture and Tradition in Marrakech

9 months ago

Maison Brummell Majorelle – an 8-room design-driven boutique hotel located in Marrakech – balances contemporary sculptural design with a traditional Moroccan undertone to stand out to design-minded travelers coming to Morocco.

Courtesy of Emily Andrews

Located across from this historic city’s Majorelle Gardens and a short walk from the Yves Saint Laurent museum, the Maison was constructed from scratch for Austrian hotelier Christian Schallert by New Zealand architect Bergendy Cooke and Moroccan architect Amine Abouraoui.

With an estimated 1,500 Riads located throughout Marrakech, Maison Brummell aims to entice global wanderlusts with its rose-hued tadelakt (a traditional Moroccan lime plaster technique), bespoke interior finishes crafted by local artisans, and a sought after neighborhood in Marrakech. However, the Maison’s unconventional design, particularly its inverted arches, was also met with resistance from the local community until the Marrakech-based architect, Abouraoui, was able to win the approval of officials and neighbors.

Maison Brummell Majorelle opened in January 2023.

At the Skift IDEA Awards, we are looking for the projects that are defining the future of guest experience, including aviation, hospitality, and tourism innovations.

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.


Hilton Finance Chief Touts Software for Supporting Pricing Power

1 year ago

Hilton reported its third-quarter earnings on Wednesday. During a call with investment bank analysts, executives were asked what role the company’s software for setting rates may play in the company’s performance.

“I’d say we have a long history of being really good at revenue management, and it is part of our special sauce,” said Kevin Jacobs, chief financial officer.

The hotel giant’s CFO didn’t name a travel technology vendor but did refer to “a vendor we work with” while praising the software. Skift knows that for some years Hilton has relied on a vendor IDeaS to help build its revenue management system.

“We have a vendor that we work with. We co-created the algorithm with them. They’ve been an amazing partner…. We’ve created the concept of the consolidated center. We drive more of our owners that sign up to be in these consolidated centers where we help them. We don’t set pricing for the vast majority of our system, right, because 75 percent of it’s franchise, and it’s ultimately up to the franchisees to set the pricing. But we can advise them on how we do it, and we’re really good at it, and it’s part of our special sauce.

“In the old days, [you would build a new system and then you let it run for a long time. [Today’s] algorithms are being tweaked constantly to add incremental data fields that used to be in revenue management in our world. The world is awash in data that are contributing to the decision-making in these algorithms and just make it smarter.”

“During COVID and the aftermath of COVID, one of the big things has not been less about [pricing] floors and more about [pricing] ceilings. And so I think we’ve been very thoughtful about that as well. So yes, it’s part of our — one of the many things that we think we — our commercial teams are second to none in the industry, not just in revenue management. But in every other regard, this is one area that we think we do a really good job.”

Kevin Jacobs, chief financial officer of Hilton.

The executives cautioned that no one thing the company does uniquely drives its premiums. Even so, it is rare for a travel sector chief executive to talk about the importance of the technology under the hoods of their commercial engines. So this comment stood out.

CORRECTION: This post originally misattributed the executive speaking.