Busting The Myths Of Bad Travel Advice

What is it about travel that encourages such bad advice from so-called experts? And what is it about the travel industry that makes it so susceptible to confusion?

Fortunately, there is common knowledge and then there is reality. On this episode of the Skift podcast, we welcome some travel experts to help us bust myths, check facts, and answer frequently asked questions about an industry that too often benefits from consumers’ confusion.

Our guests this week are George Hobica, the founder of Airfarewatchdog, who has written extensively about deals, loyalty, and industry trends, and Scott Mayerowitz, the Enterprise Airlines Reporter at Associated Press, where he reports on both airlines and the travel industry at large.

They join Skift podcast host Hannah Sampson and reporter Dan Peltier.



What Do The World’s Wealthiest Travelers Want?

On this episode of the Skift podcast, we’re talking about what it takes for travel companies to reach the 1 percent — and keep them happy.

Luxury travel is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the industry. From packages that offer round-the-world travel for brands such as Four Seasons, Abercrombie & Kent, National Geographic, and others, to a suite of luxury properties in New York, London, Dubai, and other destinations. But it’s not without its bumps, of course. Challenges in Russia have led to downturns in markets including London and Miami, and the price of oil has led to more restraint in the Gulf states, as well as destinations where oil money fueled expansion.

We are joined by Edie Rodriguez, president and CEO of Crystal Cruises, which is growing fast and venturing beyond ships. Also with us is Doug Gollan, co-founder of Elite Traveler magazine, who writes about ultra-high-net-worth individuals and consults with companies trying to get more business from the very rich.

They join Skift podcast host Hannah Sampson and senior editor Greg Oates.





When Everything Is An Adventure, What Happens to Adventure Travel?

More than a quarter of U.S. travelers are adventurers or adventure enthusiasts, according a survey from the Adventure Travel Trade Association. But that doesn’t mean they’re all rock climbing and cave diving.

On this episode of the Skift podcast, we’re talking about who can claim to be an adventure traveler, how the word is used (or overused, in our guest’s opinion), and how social media is a blessing and curse for operators.

We are joined by Bruce Poon Tip, founder and CEO of G Adventures. Also with us is Casey Hanisko, VP of marketing for the Adventure Travel Trade Association.

They join Skift podcast host Hannah Sampson and editor Andrew Sheivachman.





Do Tourism Slogans Matter In Modern Marketing?

The tourism marketing slogan presents challenges.

Like any other brand that tries to sell its benefits with a catchy phrase, destinations have to grab consumers’ attention and get an idea stuck in their brain so the next time they start planning a trip to someplace historic, Greece’s “All Time Classic” may be stuck in their head or when they want to hit the beach, they think Fort Lauderdale’s “Hello Sunny.”

But for every iconic slogan like “I Love New York” there are examples like Edinburgh’s “Incrediburgh” or Ohio’s new “Find It Here” that miss the mark.

Luckily that’s not a problem for this week’s Skift Podcast guests. We are joined by Virginia Tourism Corporation President & CEO Rita McClenny. Virginia lays claim to “Virginia Is for Lovers,” which has served the state well for 47 years and has become one of the more iconic taglines in all of advertising. We are also joined by Arnie DiGeorge, Executive Creative Director of R&R Partners‘ Las Vegas account, which was behind what is also becoming an iconic tagline, “What Happens Here, Stays Here.”

This week Skift co-founder Jason Clampet sits in for Hannah Sampson. He’s joined by Skift editor Andrew Sheivachman.





Are You Ready for the Next Wave of Chinese Travelers?

China had roughly 130 million outbound travelers last year — that’s more a third of the entire population of the U.S. — and the number is only expected to grow. Add growing domestic tourism and it’s no wonder major players in the travel industry are clamoring for a piece of the market.

On today’s episode of the Skift podcast, we’re discussing Chinese travelers, what they want, who is trying to deliver it and what it all means to the rest of the world.

Joining us are Adam Goldstein, president and chief operating officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises. The company is sending a brand new ship to Tianjin in June; it will be the fifth Royal Caribbean ship based in China. We also have Michael Zakkour, a consultant at Tompkins International here in New York who co-authored the book China’s Super Consumers: What 1 Billion Customers Want and How to Sell it to Them.

They’re here with Skift podcast host Hannah Sampson, alongside Skift editor Andrew Sheivachman.



How Business Travel Is Trying to Become More Traveler-Friendly

In 2016, business travel spending is expected to increase to $1.25 trillion. It’s a massive industry that’s going through big changes: Safety is a top concern because of world events, and even while companies want to control costs, surveys show they care more than ever about traveler satisfaction.

Helping us sort through what’s real, what’s hype and what’s important in business travel is Mike McCormick, Executive Director and COO of the Global Business Travel Association, and Evan Konwiser, VP Digital Traveler for American Express Global Business Travel.

The guests are joined by Skift Podcast host Hannah Sampson and news editor Dennis Schaal.



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.



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.



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.


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.