Creating a Better City With Bike Shares And Smart Payments

For this episode we’re focusing again on cities and talking to our friends at MasterCard about how technology companies are looking to urban areas to develop smarter, more seamless environments.

In the first part of this podcast, we tackled how to create the smarter city for tourists and locals alike. In this week’s followup, we discuss smarter and more efficient bike-share programs, how wise cities set aside politics for transportation progress, and the ways contactless payments make everything easier for tourists.

Joining us is Hany Fam, a 20-year veteran of MasterCard and its President of Enterprise Partnerships, and Seth Schultz, Director of Research, Measurement & Planning at C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. Skift co-founder Jason Clampet is back, too, sitting in for host Hannah Sampson alongside Senior Editor Greg Oates.

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Creating a Smarter City for Tourists and Locals, Part 1

For this episode we’re focusing on the urban environment and talking to our friends at MasterCard about how cities and technology companies are working together to make smarter, more seamless environments.

Today we’re discussing how to create the smarter city for tourists and locals alike. From digital payments to data-driven transportation solutions, to seamless travel, cities offer the ultimate platform for improving the quality of life for tens of millions of people. But connecting the available technology with a city’s infrastructure and its visitors and residents is easier said than done.

Joining us for the podcast is Hany Fam, a 20-year veteran of Mastercard and its President of Enterprise Partnerships. Along with Fam, we hear from Seth Schultz, Director of Research, Measurement & Planning at C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. C40 is a 10-year-old network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change.

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Where Family Travel Is Headed In 2016

Family travel is one of the fastest growing segments in tourism, accounting for a third of all leisure trips. And multigenerational travel is one of the buzziest phrases around. How is the travel industry responding to the interest in vacations that include parents, kids and sometimes even grandparents and cousins?

This week’s podcast looks at the family travel segment and what it has become as generations have aged, the economy has changed, and destinations and brands have responded with new products that cater to both.

Joining us for the podcast: Rainer Jenss, president and founder of the Family Travel Association and George Fleck, VP of global brand management for Le Meridien and Westin, both part of Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Both brands recently launched new family programs.

The guests are joined by Skift Podcast host Hannah Sampson, and Skift co-founder Jason Clampet.

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U.S. Workers and Their No-Vacation Nation

In this week’s episode of the Skift Podcast, we’re asking why the United States is not a vacation nation — and why it matters.

Headlines and surveys tell us that Americans are facing a leisure crisis by leaving millions of vacation days on the table. MasterCard built an entire campaign around the issue, urging Americans to take one more day of vacation.

For our discussion, we hear from Gary Oster, managing director of Project: Time Off, a coalition started as an initiative by the U.S. Travel Association to promote the benefits of taking vacation. We also welcome Dr. Ken Matos, senior director of research at the Families and Work Institute.

The guests join Skift Podcast host Hannah Sampson, and CEO and founder Rafat Ali.

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Selling Travel in Times of Crisis

Anyone who works in the travel industry knows that travel isn’t immune from tragedy. When the unexpected strikes, how do destinations respond? How are they hurt? When is it OK to urge people to return — and what’s the best way to do that?

In this podcast, we’re talking about the question of marketing and selling travel in a time of crisis, whether that means vacations to Paris after the recent terror attacks or cruises in the Caribbean in the midst of a Zika outbreak.

For insight, we’re joined by longtime travel agent Yaron Yarimi, who has reassured or redirected customers around trouble spots for more than two decades. Yarimi is joined by Cristyne Nicholas, who was president and CEO of NYC & Company – the tourism and marketing organization for New York City – between 1999 and 2006. She’s now co-founder and CEO of Nicholas & Lence Communications, a strategic communications firm. The guests are joined by Skift Podcast host Hannah Sampson, and reporter Dan Peltier.

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Reinventing Travel Brands Through Modern Storytelling

Travel brands no longer rely on pretty pictures and guest reviews alone to market their products. Some brands now take the lead themselves on telling stories and creating relevant content in order to engage potential customers.

Marriott International is a great future case study on whether large legacy travel brands can reinvent themselves through storytelling — and then of course follow through and deliver on the actual soft-promise that they make through these efforts. It has been a pioneer in content marketing, launching its own studio in late 2014 to create content for the company’s brands.

For this episode take a deep dive into how Marriott is reshaping how brands — both in travel and beyond — rethink their role in content production and distribution. We speak to David Beebe, Marriott International’s vice president of global creative and content marketing. He has more than 15 years of experience in the entertainment industry. David joins Skift senior editor Greg Oates and Skift Podcast host Hannah Sampson.

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The State of Travel Startups and Venture Capital in 2016

A report published by CB Insights showed 2015 as one of the greatest year for travel tech funding, with more than $5.2 billion invested across 348 deals.

What does this year hold for startups?

To help walk us through what’s happening on the venture capital front, we sat down with Marcelo Ballvé, Research Director at CB Insights, and Krish Jagirdar, associate at Brand New Matter, which has investments in Rocketrip and Yatra and consults with early-stage startups on transforming their businesses.

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The Past And Future of Local Discovery

Gone are the days of foldout maps and paperback guidebooks meant to help travelers navigate new terrain. Today’s it’s all about mobile apps, which in a highly-digitized environment are valuable tools not just for consumers to understand and explore new terrain but for businesses to better comprehend consumer habits and trends.

To help walk us through what’s happening with local discovery, we sat down with Dennis Crowley, co-founder and executive chairman of Foursquare, and his colleague Sarah Spagnolo, editor at large for the company and a veteran of travel publishing.

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The Changing Trends in Health and Wellness Travel

When many people think health and wellness travel, they think spas, meditation, and yoga, but over the last two decades it has evolved into so much more. Now the field encompasses women-only surf retreats, health-conscious hospitality brands, a new focus on men and families, high-energy escapes, healthy cruising, on-demand massages, amid more — all fueling a multi-billion dollar opportunity.

In this week’s episode of the Skift Podcast, we try to better understand what’s happening across the sector.

Guests for this episodeJason Moskal, VP of lifestyle brands for IHG (in charge of its EVEN hotels) and Susie Ellis, CEO at Global Wellness Institute and President of Spafinder Wellness.

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Discussing the Megatrends Affecting Travel in 2016

The Skift Podcast returns in 2016, with a special audio companion to our annual Megatrends report.

Over nine weeks this past summer with our podcast, we explored topics ranging from culinary tourism to smarter luggage to hotel technology, and then we took a break.

With our kickoff 2016 episode, Skift staffers Jason Clampet, Alexandra E. Petri, and Rafat Ali discuss highlights from the 15 big trends covered in the report. These trends are playing out across the global travel industry, from changing consumer habits, to the big marketing changes happening, to how consumer data are finally being used to understand the traveler.

Dive in with some lively insights into the business of travel in 2016.