Skift Travel News Blog

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

Tour Operators

Former Thomas Cook CEO Peter Fankhauser Returns to Travel

3 weeks ago

Peter Fankauser is marking his official return to travel after a three-year absence, as he takes on the role of chairman at Germany’s itravel Group.

He has also previously been an investor and consultant at the Cologne-based tour operator.

Fankauser was CEO of Thomas Cook Group from 2014 up until its collapse in September 2019. The travel giant’s bankruptcy left 600,000 tourists stranded, 21,000 employees without jobs and a financial black hole $12 billion.

Fankhauser was grilled by UK politicians afterwards, alongside other execs, as the government tried to figure out what went wrong. At the time much was made of the millions former leaders made, through salaries and bonuses, despite the company collapsing.

According to reports, Fankhauser received almost $10 million in salary and bonuses between 2014 and 2018.

Another former CEO, Manny Fontenla-Novoa, last year became president of a new joint venture formed by the merger of Logitravel and Spanish agency group Viajes El Corte Ingles.

Travel Agents

Reposite Raises $7.5 Million to Simplify Group Travel Bookings

1 month ago

Reposite, a maker of software for travel agents and advisors, has raised $7.5 million.

The company wants to establish itself as “the definitive group travel tool that fuels discovery and simplifies coordination for travel planners.”

The New York-headquartered startup was founded to address the needs of the group travel market, and in particular it wants to simplify it by leveraging data to consolidate planning.

Its supplier marketplace aids planners in finding new suppliers and receive proposals for their active trips. As well as activity providers it connects to restaurants, hotels, venues and transportation, and can notify them of trips happening in their area, so they can proactively connect with planners to win new business.

Current customers include Virgin Holidays, TUI, Bloomingdales, Major League Baseball and Brazilian steakhouse chain Fogo de Chao.

“We believe that group travel planning is ready for a data-driven refresh,” said Reposite co-founder Alexa Berube.

The round was co-led by returning investors Liberty City Ventures and Greycroft, with participation from MATH Ventures and BDMI. In 2020 it raised $2.5 million in funding.

Business Travel

Flight Centre Has Profits in Sight, Thanks to Higher Airline Fares

2 months ago

Australia’s Flight Centre Travel Group has finally turned a corner, and on Monday updated its 2022 fiscal year market guidance after seeing a “solid rebound” in travel demand.

The Australian based travel giant now predicts it will report a “healthy” fourth-quarter profit, for the three months up to June 30, 2022, on an underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (or EBITDA) basis.

It also aims to break even in its second half, or the six months up to June 30, 2022.

The update comes ahead of its full-year results being published on August 25.

The group took drastic steps early on during the pandemic, closing some 800 retail stores in April 2020. Some 40 percent of those closures involved agencies based in Australia.

“The scale of our recovery exceeded our initial expectations and meant that we should now exceed our preliminary full-year 2022 result target, with early trading results pointing to a breakeven second-half result and a healthy fourth quarter profit,” said managing director Graham Turner in a statement on Monday.

However, it said it expects to report a full-year loss of between $125 million and $132 million for the 12 months to June 30, 2022.

Overall, this would represents an 11.9 percent improvement on its initial 2022 market guidance

In 2021, it made a loss of $234 million.

Total transaction value for the year topped nearly $7 billion, more than two-and-a-half times seen in 2021, the company added, fueled by an uplift in demand and higher than normal ticket prices linked to a lack of airline capacity, particularly on international routes.

Tourism

Europe Urgently Needs to Fill 1.2 Million Travel and Tourism Job Vacancies

2 months ago

The European Union’s travel and tourism sector recovery is at risk unless 1.2 million jobs are filled, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council and European Travel Commission.

Vacancies are likely to remain unfilled during the busy summer period, with travel agencies predicted to be the worst hit with a 30 percent shortfall of workers.

Airlines and hotels are likely to suffer one in five unfilled vacancies, representing 21 percent and 22 percent staff shortage respectively.

“Europe showed one of the strongest recoveries in 2021, ahead of the global average. However, current shortages of labor can delay this trend and put additional pressure on an already embattled sector,” said Julia Simpson, council president and CEO, in a statement.

In 2020, when the pandemic was at its peak, 1.7 million direct jobs were lost, they claimed. In 2021, when governments began to ease travel restrictions, the sector’s direct contribution to the European Union’s economy recovered by 30.4 percent and recovered 571,000 jobs.

This year, the council projects the sector’s recovery will continue to accelerate and almost reach pre-pandemic levels with an expected 32.9 percent increase in its direct contribution to the union’s economy.

The pair have identified six measures that governments and the private sector can implement to address the issue:

  1. Facilitate labour mobility within countries and across borders and strengthen collaboration at all levels, providing visas and work permits
  2. Enable flexible and remote working where feasible — particularly if travel restrictions still prevent workers from moving freely across borders
  3. Ensure decent work, provide social safety nets and highlight career growth opportunities — with work that is safe, fair, productive, and meaningful — to reinforce the attractiveness of the sector as a career choice and retain new talent
  4. Upskill and reskill talent and offer comprehensive training as well as create — to equip the workforce with new and improved skills
  5. Create and promote education and apprenticeships — with effective policies, and public-private collaboration, that support educational programs and apprentice-based training
  6. Adopt innovative technological and digital solutions to improve daily operations, as well as mobility and border security to ensure safe and seamless travel and an enhanced customer experience.

“Governments and the private sector need to come together to provide the best opportunities for people looking for the great career opportunities that the travel sector offers,” Simpson added.

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