Skift Travel News Blog

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

Business Travel

Airbnb to Help Mexico City Lure Digital Nomads With Marketing Site

1 year ago

Mexico City’s mayor has signed a deal with Airbnb to help encourage more digital nomads — people working online remotely — to work in the capital city with the help of a new informational website.

Airbnb said on Wednesday it had created a site to “showcase unique cultural and creative destinations and experiences” in Mexico’s capital city. The so-called “remote working hub” shows examples of extended-stay rentals, entry requirements, and visa policies. It also highlights experiences led and sold by locals that remote workers could take part in to understand the city better.

Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum’s and Airbnb’s promotional effort is also supported by UNESCO, the United Nations’ cultural agency.

“Mexican entrepreneurs will participate in UNESCO-led training to develop authentic cultural experiences that represent Mexico City’s unique, cultural and creative traditions across many diverse neighborhoods,” according to an Airbnb statement.

Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said in a press conference that the impact on local renters should be minimal, Reuters reported.

“Most digital nomads choose to stay in expensive neighborhoods, where the rent is already higher than other areas of the capital, such as Condesa, Roma, and Polanco,” Sheinbaum said, according to Reuters.

For more on this topic, see Skift’s Future of Work Briefing.

Business Travel

3 Questions That Need Answering at This Year’s Global Business Travel Association Convention

2 years ago

This is the main event. Of course the Global Business Travel Association has held previous conferences in San Diego before at the city’s waterfront convention center — but never after such a drawn-out downturn.

The association did manage to squeeze its annual convention in last year, in Chicago, but mostly minus the European contingent who were barred from traveling to the U.S.

So it’s back at full pace, with an expected 4,500 delegates here over Aug. 14-17 (down on the usual pre-pandemic 7,000, but this year organizers claim 1,000 buyers.) The mood is mostly optimistic, with delegates surprised at just how little airline and airport disruption there was, and happy to be able to network again; it’s the first time for many people in years.

But again, unlike previous conventions, has there ever been so much uncertainty about what’s ahead? There’ll be some more clarity on Monday, with the association publishing its Annual Global Report & Forecast 2022-2026.

In the meantime, here’s a few questions.

Is This Still a $1.4 Trillion Industry? This was the amount spent globally on business in travel in 2019. That figure is still quoted by travel companies in presentations and still seen as a universally accepted benchmark. But it’s time to update that. The real answer is no one really knows, not just because the pandemic disrupted travel over the past couple of years, but because it’s yet to settle down into measurable patterns, thanks to that hard-to-define mix of business and leisure travel, remote working and “company retreats.” It may take years.

Spending was forecast to have halved to $694 billion in 2020, based on its 2021 release of the Outlook, with slow growth until recovering to above more than $1.4 trillion in 2025.

The fact is it could be way more than $1.4 trillion. We’ll have some more concrete figures when we get our hands on the 2022-2026 forecast, published Rockford Analytics, on Monday. In particular it will be interesting to see the methodology. Which links to the next question…

Is a Recession Coming or Not? This convention brings together suppliers and travel buyers. It’s the ideal setting to test the mood regarding future booking levels. In a recession, marketing and travel tend to get cut the deepest. So how are those forward bookings looking? Are the tech companies, who are already slowing or freezing hiring, cutting back further on travel spend? How are budgets shaping up? Airlines and hotels may be reluctant to share such information, but corporate buyers may have some clues. Of the 1,000 travel buyers in attendance, they’re representing 555 companies, of which 324 are new for this year’s convention.

Will Company Retreats Go Mainstream in 2023? With remote working and vacant offices a fast-growing trend in 2022, will offsites, onsites, retreats and the like make up for any shortfall in traditional business travel. Pampering retreats don’t come cheap for the more global organizations, so offer airlines a valuable source of revenue. The internet is rife with LinkedIn-style guidance on how they should run their retreats, and how often, but hopefully travel managers from the bigger firms like Cisco and PayPal who are gathering over the coming days in San Diego will offer some clarity.

Business Travel

Best Cities For Digital Nomads

2 years ago

Neat new research from Savills, those global property folks, on the best places for long term remote workers — also called digital nomads by the cooler peeps — to live. And work, of course. The “Savills Executive Nomad Index” ranks 15 destinations, all of these cities below have either have a digital nomad visa program, or equivalent, or in the case of the US and European countries, are already part of a large economic bloc that allows free movement of people for living or work. They offer favorable climates year-round, a high quality of life and have established prime residential markets, according to this index.

Lisbon tops the ranking thanks to the high quality of life that Portugal offers.

More here.