Episodes
"I’m really excited about the quality of the brand portfolio," IHG CEO Keith Barr said at Skift Global Forum. Barr goes on to describe the current realities of the hotel business: it's a real estate business at the end of the day, after all. But IHG has been hyper-focused on its brands and its franchise partners. "It’s been great because there’re such clearly defined brands that enable us to work with a number of opportunities," he told Skift's Sean O'Neill. Two weeks after this conversation,...
Published 11/22/22
For this bonus episode of The Skift Travel Podcast, we turn to Dallas where we held our first in-person Skift Aviation Forum earlier this week. To begin the event, we invited American Airlines CEO Robert Isom to have a conversation conversation with Airline Weekly's Ned Russell about post-pandemic pattern changes and how his airline is preparing for the holiday season ahead. "One of the things that we’re seeing though, is that demand is more spread out," Isom told the audience. "It’s just...
Published 11/18/22
Published 11/18/22
“I’m going to bring you behind the tent, tell you what we’re doing,” JetBlue Airways COO Joanna Geraghty said at Skift Global Forum earlier this fall.  In a conversation with Airline Weekly Editor Ned Russell, Geraghty laid out JetBlue’s current challenges with labor, sustainable aviation fuel, integrating Spirit Airlines, and competing in major U.S. markets. She also discussed the airline’s potential expansion in Europe, beyond it’s current London flights.  “We just have a very challenging...
Published 11/16/22
At at time when the travel industry is still grappling with a labor shortage, you have to think some companies in the sector are "labor hoarding," hanging on to workers that might have otherwise been downsized for costs savings or seasonality reasons, simply because of the fear of not being able to fill roles later. The continuing issue of delays and bottlenecks for the H1B visa program, which was a major feeder for tech talent in the U.S., must be giving some tech executives pause when...
Published 11/10/22
Google is one of the undisputed heavyweights in online travel. So when one of the key masterminds behind all of its travel platforms and products talks about where the search giant is heading, it's worth paying attention to. The search giant has been busy these past few months, updating its options for rail travel but also making the news for its controversial move to remove contrail emissions data. But speaking at Skift Global Forum, Richard Holden, vice president of product management at...
Published 11/09/22
Waze has 151 million monthly active users, and is more than an app to beat traffic jams, Waze CEO Neha Parikh told Skift senior research analyst Seth Borko, as they dissected the intersections between maps and community. “Why should anybody feel emotional about a navigation app? Yet people do, including me,” said Parikh. “It’s not just a one-way app that uses technology. It is a two-way ecosystem where people actually contribute to help each other.” The duo also looked at future mobility...
Published 10/30/22
In one year, the Walt Disney Company will be an astounding 100 years old. At Skift Global Forum, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro excitedly talked to Skift Senior Research Analyst Seth Borko about the company’s upcoming birthday and its dreams for the next 100 years.  In the on-stage conversation, D’Amaro spoke about how Walt Disney’s original business plans were far ahead of his time. Now, the company can further their founder’s vision with immersive...
Published 10/24/22
Skift founder and CEO Rafat Ali interviewed Chesky on stage at the Skift Global Forum in September 2022 in Manhattan, where the Airbnb CEO detailed his vision of the new era. Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said travel experts and analysts underestimate travel’s potential, and that the industry would soon witness a new “golden age of travel.” Fueling part of the trend, he argued, is that an estimated 50 percent of U.S. workers could potentially labor on their laptops from home, and...
Published 10/07/22
The world’s largest travel company Booking Holdings is using people’s anxieties about their trips as a lens through which it prioritizes the products and services it is refining and introducing, such as flight search and insurance or other paid guarantees to cover when things go wrong. The company wants to make booking all of the components of a trip as low-stress and seamless as Uber has made booking a rideshare, said Glenn Fogel, president and CEO, on Tuesday at Skift Global Forum in New...
Published 09/27/22
Today on the Skift Travel Podcast we feature a session entitled "The Business Advantage of Sustainability" that was recorded live during this year's Skift Sustainable Tourism Summit.  In this session, Skift Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O'Neill spoke with Inge Huijbrechts of Radisson Hotel Group and Michel Gelobter of Cooler about a couple of issues that are very hot right now. A number of decision makers in travel worry about climate change, but it often seems like a tomorrow...
Published 07/12/22
The chairman and co-founder of Intrepid Travel has said there was too much “rhetorical flourish” from travel companies when it comes to discussing sustainability. Speaking at the Skift Sustainable Tourism Summit, Darrell Wade bemoaned how organizations were touting a “build back better” ethos, while failing to take action. “It’s disappointing, embedded into marketing, or even worse the boardroom,” he said during the online event. “Half of the companies, probably more, will have done nothing....
Published 07/03/22
Marriott’s Homes & Villas unit is taking a different approach to the home-sharing business than many of its competitors, focusing its growth on the company’s vast pool of loyalty members. This resource — Marriott Bonvoy — members is not a cap to Homes & Villas growth as some have claimed, Vice President Jennifer Hsieh said at the Skift Future of Lodging Forum on Thursday. Instead, she said this is a differentiator that a source of strength. “The industry has not anchored itself around...
Published 06/15/22
As damaging as Covid was for tour operators, the inability to conduct trips provided companies in the sector a valuable opportunity to reevaluate their all aspects of their businesses. Ulla Heffer Böhler, chief operating officer for the Travel Corporation, and Travis Pittman, the CEO & co-founder of TourRadar, told Skift Senior Travel Tech Editor Sean O’Neill at Skift Forum Europe 2022 on March 24 what changes they realized they had to make. Böhler said Covid forced her company to take...
Published 06/08/22
While hospitality company Sonder has a complex digital strategy in place to fill its properties, what it really wants is for its mostly Gen Z and millennial guests to brag about their cool stays on social media. Sonder describes itself as a next-generation hospitality company, and its R&D budget is wide-ranging, with marketing a key focus, according to its senior vice president of revenue. “We have a very omnichannel approach to distribution, whether its sales or third-party distribution,...
Published 05/27/22
Blueground's Alex Chatzieleftheriou and Selina's Sam Khazary speak with Skift's Seth Borko at the Skift Future of Lodging Forum in New York City in May 2022.  The college gap year will become a “remote year” if Sam Khazary has anything to do with it. Now that virtual learning is more prevalent than ever before, Selina’s senior vice president of global corporate development sees new opportunities to redefine “studying abroad” with a 12-month “remote year” passport to hop among Selina’s...
Published 05/22/22
Vacation rentals have been around “forever,” but Skift's recent feature The Definitive Oral History of Short-Term Rentals tells the story of short-term rentals as they transitioned from classified ads in newspapers and Craigslist to rudimentary websites and the momentous Airbnb IPO of December 10, 2020 — and a full-blown industry that disrupted hotels and traditional hospitality models.  This is a primer in the evolution of an industry, as told through the reminisces, anecdotes and insights...
Published 05/18/22
What comes next for travel loyalty? As travel returns, brand loyalty and retaining trust with long-standing customers is more important than ever. With an increased focus on the customer experience and journey, companies are reimagining points programs and loyalty efforts in hopes of stealing customers and increasing market share. Delta Air Lines' VP of Loyalty Prashant Sharma sat down with Skift's Brian Sumers at Skift Travel Loyalty Summit on April 21, 2022 to discuss how his airline is...
Published 05/15/22
Hospitality is a sector that’s well placed to leverage loyalty in the coming years. Winning a bigger share of direct bookings has long been a goal of hotel companies, to ease their dependence on online travel agencies. Now IHG is using a revamped loyalty program in tandem with a new booking app to address this. The advantages will go beyond free nights and upgrades, according to its senior vice president, global loyalty and partnerships. “We’re proud of what we’ve brought to market. But...
Published 05/08/22
We’re looking ahead to a very exciting Future of Lodging Forum on May 11 and 12 in New York City. We will explore what we are calling “The Great Merging” between hotels and short-term rentals, driven by the merging in how we live and work and the ways this has changed what consumers need from their stays.  Listen to this mini-podcast for a synopsis of the themes and big ideas we’ll cover during this forum as we hear from CEOs and leaders of Standard International, Marriott Homes & Villas,...
Published 05/03/22
We’re looking ahead to a very exciting Future of Lodging Forum next week on May 11 and 12 in New York City. We will explore what we are calling “The Great Merging” between hotels and short-term rentals, driven by the merging in how we live and work and the ways this has changed what consumers need from their stays.  Listen to this mini-podcast for a synopsis of the themes and big ideas we’ll cover during this forum as we hear from CEOs and leaders of Standard International, Marriott Homes...
Published 05/03/22
CitizenM is renowned not only for its design-forward aesthetic and affordable luxury ethos, but also tools such as in-room MoodPad tablets that control the temperature and blinds and lights that serve as TV remote controls. But digitization will never replace human connection, CEO Klaas van Lookeren Campagne said on March 24, 2022 at Skift Forum Europe in a discussion with Skift Senior Travel Tech Editor Sean O’Neill.  “Digital is the salt and pepper on the table,” van Lookeren Campagne...
Published 03/30/22
Every weekday morning, New York City time, we publish the Skift Daily Briefing. Today we're sharing the latest Briefing on our Skift Podcast channel  Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast discusses Wyndham Hotel’s new brand, Asia’s tourism rebound, and the ongoing challenge of getting corporate travelers out of Ukraine. Search for "Skift Daily Briefing" in your favorite podcast app or click here to learn more.  Show Notes As Asian nations such as Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines...
Published 03/23/22
Earlier this week we published The Oral History of March 2020: The Month Global Travel Shut Down, a feature that looked at March 2020 from the perspective of two dozen travel leaders. These people shared their personal stories of pain, shock, and of resilience as borders closed, airplanes went empty, and hotel doors shuttered. To get a sense of what things were like from many angles we captured voices as varied as Expedia’s CEO and the manager of a Holiday Inn Express in Wuhan, China. This...
Published 03/20/22
Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta spoke with Skift CEO Rafat Ali at Skift Global Forum 2021. The two discussed what’s changed about the way people travel, work, and relax. “You’re going to be living in a world of greater mobility,” Nassetta said. “We’re going to be more efficient. We’ll do hoteling, we’ll do all sorts of things. What does that mean? It means more mobility. That means our people — they’re not going to work from home. It’s going to be work from anywhere. The more people move...
Published 03/06/22