Cookie-cutter uniformity is not what most travelers are seeking from hotels these days. Instead, discerning guests want local food, curated experiences, thoughtful design, and even a touch of quirkiness.
On this episode of the Skift Podcast, we’re hearing from some of the pros who make a living connecting travelers with standout hotel experiences. James Lohan and Tamara Heber-Percy are the founders of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, a travel club that started out as a guidebook featuring under-the-radar boutique hotels. We also have an interview with Claus Sendlinger, CEO and founder of Design Hotels.
They all spoke at Skift Forum Europe in London earlier this year and sat down with us behind the scenes in the Skift Take Studio.
Our talks touched on the evolution of hotel design and consumer demands, the beyond-the-spa experiences that travelers are craving, and the needs that hotels still aren’t quite meeting.
This is one of several conversations we’re bringing you from backstage at Skift Forum Europe.
Why search for travel on one site when you can search a bunch all at once? That’s the concept behind travel metasearch companies, which take your query for a hotel in Paris, for example, and give you the chance to book it across multiple sites.
We had the leaders of several metasearch companies speak recently at Skift Forum Europe in London. Those included Trivago managing director Johannes Thomas, Kayak co-founder and CEO Steve Hafner, Momondo Group CEO Hugo Burge, and Skyscanner co-founder and CEO Gareth Williams.
Each of those executives also sat down with News Editor and podcast host Hannah Sampson behind the scenes in the Skift Take Studio.
Our discussions were wide-ranging and touched on advertising strategies, competition in the metasearch space, evolving customer behavior, the emergence of natural language and voice search, and how to get users to love the product.
This mini-episode is one of several conversations we’re bringing you from backstage at Skift Forum Europe.
We at Skift are all about disruptors in the travel industry, and today we have an interview with an executive who has been shaking up the airline industry with his long-haul, low-cost strategy.
Norwegian Air has been making headlines over its inexpensive transatlantic flights, its strategy of using airports in smaller markets instead of large international hubs, and its plans to expand to Argentina.
Bjorn Kjos, the CEO of Norwegian Air, was a speaker recently at the first Skift Forum Europe. He also spoke to me, editor and podcast host Hannah Sampson, behind the scenes in the Skift Take Studio.
Volatility in the world — and the way the travel industry deals with it — was one of the big themes recently at the first Skift Forum Europe in London.
Terror attacks, political upheaval, isolationist policies and security crackdowns are all changing the way that travelers make decisions and move around the globe. As political leaders seek to reinforce borders, travel insiders are trying to convey a message of welcome to potential visitors — sentiments that frequently find themselves at odds.
On this episode of the Skift Podcast, we’re hearing from two experts who take a global view of tourism amid all that change. We spoke to them in separate conversations behind the scenes in the Skift Take Studio during the Forum in London.
First, we’ll hear from Olivier Jager, CEO and co-founder of ForwardKeys, which compiles tourism data based on reservations transactions. Jager, who was an attendee at the event, spoke to us about how global events impact tourism, the need for quick information on how travelers react to change, and the “Trump Slump” report that the company put out after the new administration’s first travel ban in January. That analysis showed a 6.5 percent drop in international bookings to the U.S. immediately following the ban.
We also have a conversation with Gerald Lawless, chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council, who was a speaker at the Forum. Lawless, who is also head of tourism and hospitality for Dubai Holding, spoke about the Open Skies fight, overtourism, the growth of the Chinese travel market, and the recent laptop ban on several airlines. WTTC held its 2017 Global Summit this week in Bangkok.
And all of these changes are taking place as online travel agencies continue to lure many travelers driven by price rather than points, and up-and-coming accommodations providers like Airbnb win fans without even offering a loyalty program.
On today’s episode of the Skift podcast, we’re talking hotel loyalty: who’s doing it right, who’s still trying, and how it is continuing to evolve.
Our guest is Gary Leff, founder of the View from the Wing blog and an expert on points programs. He joins podcast host Hannah Sampson and Skift hospitality editor Deanna Ting.
But what are travelers giving up when they opt for the lowest price? And are the overhead bins really off limits if you fly cheap?
On today’s episode of the Skift podcast, we’re talking about the true cost of cheap flights, why airlines are fighting to capture price-sensitive travelers, and what they’re charging for instead.
With us in the office is Brian Sumers, Skift’s airline business reporter, and joining us by Skype is editor-in-chief Jason Clampet. We’ve also got clips from interviews Brian and Jason did with British Airways CEO Alex Cruz, International Airlines Group CEO Willie Walsh, and Emirates Airline President Tim Clark.
More than 24 million people took a cruise in 2016, but the cruise industry is always looking for more — specifically passengers who are taking a cruise for the first time.
This new-to-cruise market is a focus for cruise operators, especially those with entry-level prices and fleets stationed all over the United States. Also important: Cultivating millennial customers who will — ideally — keep coming back as they start families and vacation more.
On this episode of the Skift podcast, we’re hearing from leaders of the world’s two largest cruise lines on attracting newcomers to cruising, appealing to millennials, and thinking about the needs of Generation Z.
Here at Skift in Manhattan, the sound of hotel construction is our daily soundtrack.
The city has seen the number of visitors increase 67 percent since 2000 — it topped 60 million last year — and Manhattan alone added 121 hotels since 2010. Brooklyn added 42. Another 15,000 hotel rooms are expected over the next five years, according to travel research firm STR.
Like we did last year for a massive story on Iceland overtourism, we decided to take a look at New York City’s growth in visitors and hotels, the role that gentrification plays, the new ways that visitors are experiencing the city, and what kind of growth is sustainable. Read the New York City story here.
On this episode of the Skift podcast, we’re talking about how New York City tourism is changing — and how tourism is changing the city itself. Our guest is Andrew Sheivachman, the Skift reporter who wrote both the Iceland and New York City stories.
Along with Andrew, we’re hearing from some of his interviews with the people who are in the middle of New York City’s tourism scene, including Kathy Duffy, New York market director of public relations for Marriott International; Chris Heywood, senior vice president of global communications at NYC & Company; Kristin Lamoureux, associate dean of the NYU School of Professional Studies Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism; Adele Gutman, vice president of sales, revenue, and marketing at the Library Hotel Collection; Andrew Mason, founder of Detour; and Nick Gray, founder of Museum Hack.
The disability travel market is often viewed through the perspective of legal compliance but overlooked as a real opportunity for airlines, hotels, destinations, and other travel companies.
Statistics are scarce, but according to a study commissioned in 2015 by the Open Doors Organization, adults with disabilities in the U.S. spend $17.3 billion a year on leisure and business travel. Over the two years before the study, 26 million adults with disabilities took 73 million trips.
On this episode of the Skift podcast, we’re talking about the legal and technological changes that have made travel more accessible, the opportunities that the industry has been missing, and what ground is still left to cover.
Also with us via Skype is Brett Heising, CEO of brettapproved.com, a travel and entertainment review site for users with physical disabilities or mobility impairment. Through a travel agency partnership, the site also provides bookings and trip coordination.
They join Skift podcast host Hannah Sampson and reporter Andrew Sheivachman.
Here at Skift, we talk a lot about travel trends. But once a year, we go even bigger with our Megatrends package. That’s our wide-ranging forecast for the coming year in travel, which you can find online here.
You can also hear some highlights on today’s episode of the Skift podcast. We’re bringing listeners the audio from our annual Megatrends event, held in January at a WeWork space in Manhattan.