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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Sunday Feb 06, 2022

“We’re moving away from a competitive house of brands,” Kern said when speaking at Skift Global Forum on Wednesday in New York City. He said he wanted “a simplifying universe of brands” that are “working toward a common goal.” Expedia Group Vice Chairman and CEO Peter Kern spoke with Skift Executive Editor Dennis Schaal at Skift Global Forum 2021. The two discussed the theme “Powering Travel Beyond the Booking to Boost Recovery.”  Listen now for the full interview. Read more coverage of the travel industry at

Sunday Jan 30, 2022

Trivago Managing Director and CEO Axel Hefer spoke with Skift Senior Travel Tech Editor Sean O’Neill at Skift Global Forum 2021. The two discussed the future of metasearch and its ability to inspire travelers. "Travel is absolutely fascinating right now," Hefer said. "So many things have actually happened the last one and a half years. And the discussions that we are having here all day — what will actually stay and what will not? And how will the competitive dynamic actually change in the future is fascinating. It offers a huge opportunity if you navigate that well." Listen to the full conversation with Skift's Sean O'Neill.  Read more coverage of Trivago and the travel industry at  

Sunday Jan 23, 2022

Each year, our Megatrends event brings together industry leaders -- the people creating and defining the future of travel -- to hear Skift’s deep reporting and research around the global travel industry. Through the thousands and thousands of hours spent by our journalists and analysts talking to you, analyzing and connecting the dots, these presentations provide attendees with a vision of what’s next and the tools they need to drive the industry forward. For our 2022 event we are joined by the CEO of Kayak, as well as leaders at Marriott, Hilton, Hopper, Cape Town Tourism, and Certares, as well as Skift editors and analysts.  This edition of the Skift Podcast highlights Hafner's discussion with Skift Senior Travel Tech Editor Sean O'Neill. The event was recorded at Ogilvy's headquarters in New York City on January 19, 2022. For more insight into the trends driving travel in 2022, visit

Sunday Jan 16, 2022

Google will put an eco-badge of sorts next to a listing if sustainability-minded firms like GreenKey or EarthCheck have highlighted a hotel for its positive impact with environmental practices. Potential guests can even find out property-specific sustainability practices through the new feature, which will also be on Google Travel. "There are a lot of aspects that go into a ranking,” Richard Holden, vice president of travel products at Google, said in September 2021 at Skift Global Forum, and “travel obviously has an outsized impact on the world in terms of carbon." Listen to the full conversation with Skift Research's Seth Borko.  Read more coverage of Google and the travel industry at  

Sunday Jan 09, 2022

Uber's CEO doesn't want to offer a super app for everything, but he believes his company is in the best position to bring consumers anything they need, from rides, to food, to medicine, and more. “Anything you want to be delivered to your home with a frequent use case, that’s what we’ll offer,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, at Skift Global Forum, in conversation with Skift executive editor Dennis Schaal. Listen now for the full interview. Read more coverage of the travel industry at

Thursday Jan 06, 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. — 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 model to other Caribbean locations. For more travel stories and deep dives into the latest trends, head to To find these stories and more insight into the business of travel, subscribe to Skift daily newsletter at

Tuesday Jan 04, 2022

Skift CEO Rafat Ali explains the underappreciated storylines from the last year that will continue to define the travel industry in 2022. The United States, Latin America, and Dubai will remain open by prioritizing keeping their economies open over everything else. Outdoor is now a permanent and premium part of the leisure and business travel industries.  Basing a strategy based on Chinese travelers even post pandemic is foolhardy, as a China turns inwards and isolationist. Tour operators remain the most devastated sector in travel and will remain so in 2022. As an asset class for investors this sector will remain troubled, unless most pivot to independent, customized tours versus group fixed-date tours. Booking windows may have permanently shortened and financial products that introduce flexibility will help players stand out. Exciting as a sector and lot more innovation and investment to come. Labor turmoil will continue in 2022, with higher wages all across the board and turnover of top ranks to continue. This will be a lot more than just transitory over next couple of years. For more insights into the business of travel, visit

Sunday Jan 02, 2022

New Southwest Airlines CEO Robert Jordan said that he sees 2022 as another “transition” year in the recovery. He is optimistic that business travelers will return — his predecessor has said this may take 5-10 years — but does not expect this to occur overnight. “I’m an optimistic guy,” said Jordan. “I’m very optimistic that we’re going to get the travel back," said Robert Jordan, incoming CEO of Southwest Airlines, at Skift Global Forum, in conversation with Airline Weekly editor Madhu Unnikrishnan. Listen now for the full interview. Read more coverage of the travel industry at

Monday Dec 27, 2021

Skift Research’s Online Travel Agency Factbook is your one-stop shop to understand the global universe of online booking sites. We collected data on and built individual profiles for the 11 largest publicly traded online travel agencies. We analyzed the scale, revenue, growth, profitability, historical performance, and customer acquisition ability of each OTA. Join Skift founding editor Dennis Schaal and Skift Research Senior Analyst Seth Borko as they discuss the report's findings and what they mean for companies including Airbnb, Booking, Expedia, and more in 2022. For more insights into the business of travel, visit

Sunday Dec 26, 2021

Clear's previous experience vetting travelers and moving them quickly through airport security put it in an excellent position to take on the challenges of identity, health, and vaccination in the (hopefully) coming post-Covid panic world. "Cyber and privacy and data security are in our roots, but also we have a brand that’s continually communicating about privacy, data security and what we’re doing," said CLEAR CEO Caryn Seidman Becker while speaking with Skift Senior Travel Tech Editor Sean O’Neill at Skift Global Forum 2021. Listen now for the full interview. Read more coverage of the travel industry at


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