The Skift Podcast

Skift

Skift editors sit down with creatives, executives and entrepreneurs from across the travel industry to discuss their insights and perspectives on the how and why of travelers’ habits, industry patterns and the seismic changes happening to each. This podcast is brought to you by Skift.

Skift Daily Briefing: Wyndham’s New Budget Extended Stay Brand
Mar 23 2022
Skift Daily Briefing: Wyndham’s New Budget Extended Stay Brand
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 are taking steps to treat Covid as an endemic virus, tourism to the region is expected to make a significant rebound in 2022. But what will it look like? A new report provides three different scenarios for Asia’s travel recovery, writes Asia Editor Peden Doma Bhutia. The Pacific Asia Travel Association’s report, which examines the trends for foreign inbound visitors across the region between 2022 and 2024, envisions mild, medium and severe scenarios in its tourism recovery. The agency’s special advisor John Koldowksi said the parameters determining the scenarios include containing Covid, keeping borders open without a quarantine-on-arrival and reopening entertainment and hospitality venues. As for what the scenarios predict, interventional visitor arrivals to Asia are expected to surpass 2019 levels under the mild scenario by 2024 while almost equaling them under the medium scenario. However, the severe scenario predicts visitor numbers to Asia will hit 69 percent of 2019 figures. We turn now to a big move by Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. The U.S.-based hotel franchising giant is creating an extended-stay brand focused on the budget market, reports Senior Travel Editor Sean O’Neill. Wyndham said on Tuesday it has signed deals with two development partners to launch 50 hotels by 2027. The yet-to-be named brand is expected to open its first property next year, and a Wyndham executive said the company projects its average daily rate for those hotels to run between $50 and $55. Extended stay caters to travelers staying anywhere from a week to a few months, such as traveling nurses and construction workers. O’Neill writes developers favor the economy extended-stay segment because it generally performs well during periods of economic boom and bust. Finally, as the war in Ukraine continues, companies are looking to still evacuate workers from Ukraine, writes Corporate Travel Editor Matthew Parsons, noting that the humanitarian crisis is worsening throughout Eastern Europe as countries in the region grapple with a limited amount of corporate housing available for refugees. Parsons writes that corporate housing in countries such as Poland and Romania are buckling under pressure from the large numbers of Ukrainian refugees as well as Russians seeking shelter there. One travel executive said the crisis is the worst he’s seen during his career. But despite the urgent need to provide accommodation to those fleeing the war, the same executive said companies need to ensure their employees didn’t apply for refugee status, which he described as a time consuming process.
Bonus Episode: Skift Daily Briefing for Jan. 6, 2022
Jan 6 2022
Bonus Episode: Skift Daily Briefing for Jan. 6, 2022
Thanks for listening to the Skift Podcast. We have another podcast you can listen to every weekday morning. The Skift Daily Briefing podcast delivers the day's top headlines in under four minutes. Search for "Skift Daily Briefing" in your favorite podcast app to listen and subscribe. Here's the latest episode: Good morning from Skift. It’s Thursday, January 6, in New York City. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today. The travel industry faces numerous critical issues in the new year as many destinations grapple with the damage brought forth by Covid and its variants. Yet, six underappreciated storylines will define 2022 in travel, says Skift founder and CEO Rafat Ali in a special episode of the Skift Podcast. One of those underappreciated storylines, Ali says, is destinations such as the United States, Latin America and Dubai deciding to remain open to tourism despite the emergence of Omicron, developments that will have enormous implications for their economies. Ali adds another storyline to keep on is Chinese travelers, saying that visitors from the world’s most populous country will not be the economic force they were pre-pandemic as China becomes more isolationist. Next, corporate travel — a sector devastated by the pandemic — is still expected to struggle to reach to pre-Covid travel volumes in 2022 as video conferencing continues to replace large amounts of travel. However, some businesses operating in the sector are managing to attract investors, reports Corporate Travel Editor Matthew Parsons. One such company is the world’s largest corporate travel agency, American Express Global Business Travel, which estimated it may only see corporate travel levels reach 70 percent of pre-pandemic figures. Amex GBT could see its shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange in the first half of this year if a planned merger with blank check company Apollo Strategic Growth Capital goes ahead. A venture capital executive told Skift that more investment firms are focused on the travel recovery and possible investment returns, adding that despite the general belief that corporate travel won’t return to 2019 levels, a travel recovery above the 70 percent pre-pandemic figure projected by Amex GBT will be a boon for investors. We end today in Barbados. The Caribbean nation is home to a new online travel booking platform that’s working to create new revenue streams for its tourism businesses, writes Global Tourism Reporter Lebawait Lily Girma. It is unusual in that it was launched by a destination itself. BookBarbados.com — which was launched at the end of 2021 — is a privately funded and owned online travel booking platform that allows users to make reservations for hotel stays, Airbnb rentals, and local tours in one place. It also aims to solve a problem several Caribbean countries have faced during the pandemic — delayed payments from major international tour operators. Close to 70 percent of hotels in the region had reported being owed significant amounts of money by May 2020. The platform’s future goals include offering cruise booking for ships sailing out of Barbados as well as other services visitors to the country might seek, such as a personal trainer. Peter Harris, the website’s founder, said he aims to expand the BookBarbados.com model to other Caribbean locations. For more travel stories and deep dives into the latest trends, head to skift.com. To find these stories and more insight into the business of travel, subscribe to Skift daily newsletter at skift.com/daily.