The Skift Podcast

Better understand the business of travel through regular episodes for the Skift Podcast. Learn from Skift’s writers and editors as well as industry leaders and experts.

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Wednesday Mar 30, 2022

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 said. “It enables much better service and much more interaction with our guests.”  Join us for our next event focused on hotels and short-term rentals, the Future of Lodging Forum.

Wednesday Mar 23, 2022

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.

Sunday Mar 20, 2022

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 episode of the Skift Podcast is hosted by Skift Senior Multimedia Producer Jose Marmolejos who is joined by Skift CEO Rafat Ali, Editor-in-Chief Tom Lowry, Executive Editor Dennis Schaal, and Global Tourism Reporter Lebawit Lily Girma. Read more about how the travel industry is rebuilding at

Sunday Mar 06, 2022

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 around the world for various reasons, the more we grow our business.” Listen to the full conversation below. Read more coverage of Hilton and the travel industry at

Tuesday Mar 01, 2022

Earnings season is wrapping up, which means it's time to compare and contrast the performance of competing travel brands. Since Airbnb went public in 2020, it has given close watchers the opportunity to put up against other online booking giants, in particular Booking Holdings.  For this bonus episode of the weekly Skift Podcast, senior research analyst Seth Borko and executive editor Dennis Schaal look at the brands' fourth quarter margins and profits and talk about profit momentum and strategy differences. For more on Airbnb and Booking Holdings, follow news coverage at

Monday Feb 28, 2022

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine rages on with the potential to drag out, the ripple effects in the travel industry are unfolding fast as well. In my role as the dots-connector-in-chief for Skift, I run through the impact on the travel industry as we know it so far, chilling as it is coming out of the pandemic. I talk about the immediate impact on the airline, hotel and tour operator sectors and potential short and long-term effects on the tourism inflows and outflows from the region.    Be ready for a new caution in travel sentiment for the short term, and long term a return to some variation of the Cold War, which will likely have a bigger impact on travel than immediately apparent.   Follow more travel news at

Sunday Feb 27, 2022

Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel spoke with Skift Executive Editor Dennis Schaal at Skift Global Forum 2021. The two discussed Booking's connected trip strategy. "I believe [in] this connected trip," Fogel said. "I don’t think it’s just a bunch of words. I think it’s creating something that we all want and desperately need, and it will help make travel a much better experience. And that’s what I want to help achieve. Listen to the full conversation with Skift's Dennis Schaal.  Read more coverage of Booking and the travel industry at

Sunday Feb 20, 2022

There is still a long way to go to get to recovery, but even in midst of the rise of the Omicron variant, some travel leaders were looking forward to better times. "There is this huge pent-up demand for leisure travel and destinations where there was big business demand," said Air France-KLM CEO Benjamin Smith at Skift Global Forum late last year. "This is excellent, very good news for us and a very positive signal." Smith spoke with Airline Weekly Reporter Edward Russell about new tourism habits, business travel challenges, and more. Listen now for the full interview. Read more coverage of the travel industry at

Friday Feb 18, 2022

Earlier this week Tripadvisor revealed that the company was planning to spin off its tours and activity brand Viator. For this bonus episode of the Skift Podcast, senior research analyst Seth Borko and executive editor Dennis Schaal debate the merits of the spinoff.  For more coverage of Tripadvisor and its peers, follow news at

Sunday Feb 13, 2022

Accor’s CEO is steering the brand towards more luxury and lifestyle properties. Fortunately, hotel owners are more than obliging. “I’ve been at the helm of this company for the past eight years, and I’ve been trying to wake up a sleeping giant, which Accor has been for a number of years,” said Sebastien Bazin, CEO of Accor, at Skift Global Forum, in conversation with Skift’s hospitality reporter Cameron Sperance. Listen now for the full interview. Read more coverage of the travel industry at


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