March 24, 2018 View in browser

Editor's Note

Pondering the week that transpired, when potential trade wars and the hawkish appointment of John Bolton as U.S. President Trump's national security adviser stoked fears from Washington to Seoul, we're reminded anew that the travel industry doesn't operate in a bubble. There haven't been any hints yet that Beijing might tell Chinese travelers that Disney World is off limits in retaliation for U.S.-imposed tariffs, but airline executives are candid that travel demand could be a casualty of the U.S.-China standoff.

Can the U.S. travel industry afford to play footsie with a White House that is working against its best interests? That's what the lobbying group, the U.S. Travel Association, did this week by praising and endorsing the confirmation of Kevin McAleenan as U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner. As our story notes, McAleenan has carried out policies that stifle inbound tourism and hurt business travel in the name of security and nativist policies. In these tumultuous times, the travel industry — and the world — deserve better.
Last Day to Save 15% on Tickets to Skift Forum Europe
Expires tonight! Today is the last day to use our code TRAVEL15 to save €225 on a ticket to Skift Forum Europe — That's 15% OFF! We are about a month away from our second Skift Forum Europe. That's two years running of focused insights and meaningful networking in an immersive European environment.
Register Now
Top Stories
Airlines Fear Tariffs Will Stoke a U.S.-China Trade War
President Trump probably didn't consult many airline executives before announcing his China tariff plan. Airlines could be losers if this spurs a trade war.

Luxury Hospitality Brands Play Catch-Up on Social Media
Social platforms are constantly evolving, mandating that luxury brands perpetually refine their approach and balance their agenda of pushing a lifestyle brand while providing real-time customer communications.

What It Means for United That CEO Munoz Doubles as Chief Apology Officer
Under Oscar Munoz, United Airlines has a knack for getting itself in the news with viral stories. But operationally and financially, the airline is doing OK, and sophisticated investors aren't calling for him to leave. He may get more time to fix what ails United.

Hilton Follows Marriott on Commission Cuts In New Challenge for Meeting Planners
The floodgates are now open for the larger hotel chains operating in North America to lower their commission rates for meetings alongside Marriott and Hilton. At a time when meeting space is limited and expensive, a wider shift will likely lead to a wave of consolidation for third-party meeting planners as they become less profitable.

Nobu Hotels CEO on a Restaurant-First Approach to Hospitality
It certainly helps to have your hotels named after a wildly successful global restaurant chain, but making sure people don't only think of your brand as a place to eat can be a challenge.

Skift Adds Senior Editorial and Research Leadership to Team
Skift has brought on two new team leaders to build the next phase of growth of our Editorial and Research teams.
Biggest U.S. Travel Lobby Praises Official Tasked to Build Trump’s Border Wall
In times of protectionism and nativism, it's important to stand up to the forces that want to close minds and borders alike. The travel industry should do more to make a case for itself, and that starts with opposing policies that create a divide with the rest of the world.

Puerto Rico’s New Tourism Push Faces Another Kind of Storm Six Months After Maria
Puerto Rico hasn't had the chance to grow up as a destination over the years, and its tourism industry finally thinks it has a shot to do that. But to become known for more than its beaches and golf, it'll have to overcome an intense political establishment that's been defined by its financial woes and disorganization.

Los Angeles Tourism Sees Travel as a Buffer Against Climate Change
The travel industry feels tourism can help rather than harm the environment. Los Angeles is a destination that's seriously thinking about its role at a time when climate change has already made itself felt in the region.
Carnival Sees a ‘Hurricane Hangover’ in Parts of the Caribbean
Travelers held off on booking cruises to the Caribbean in the aftermath of the 2017 hurricanes. One big question is how many of them will want to risk sailing during this year's hurricane season — and at what prices.

Royal Caribbean Ends Its Joint Venture With Ctrip in China
Cruise lines had a lot of big plans for China a few years ago, but as the market has cooled, those plans are changing. SkySea Cruises shows that winning Chinese travelers isn't as easy as taking an old ship and tailoring it to local preferences.

Expedition Cruise CEOs Expect Prices to Fall as Sector Booms
Expedition cruising doesn't get as much attention as mass-market operators that boast of multiple restaurants and flashy water slides. But the sector is growing, and that presents opportunities as well as challenges in catering to travelers who are seeking once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Eurostar Tech Update Signals Action in Once-Sleepy Rail Sector
There used to be only two ways for railways to make money: luck and state handouts. But that's changing, as countries look at privatization and as railways look to technology to streamline operations. Sqills and SilverRail are two tech vendors that smell an opportunity.

Skift Forum Europe Preview: What Travelers Want From Activities
Do locals spend more money on at-home activities than travelers spend on in-trip activities? The answer isn't as pressing as the fact that most of the world's activities are still up for grabs by booking platforms.

Alipay Steps Up Push to Cater to Chinese Travelers in the U.S.
The phrase "cash is king" is fast becoming outdated as Chinese travelers popularize mobile payment methods like Alipay and Weixin Pay.
How Lufthansa Group Tries to Beat Back Its Own Bureaucracy
The bureaucracy at a major legacy airline often rivals that of a government. So when Lufthansa Group decided it needed an innovation hub, it purposely built it in Berlin, far from the main headquarters. That was probably a good idea.

Mexico’s Volaris Sticks With Its U.S. Focus Despite Recent Stumbles
Yes, 2017 wasn't the best year for Volaris. But don't count out the airline. It has one of the lowest cost bases in the world. That's always a good thing — especially in a downturn.

Brazil Open Skies Deal Is Great But Incomplete Without a Visa Waiver Program
Do travelers care more about cheaper airfares or not having to schlep to a consulate, pay for a visa, and wait weeks or months for it to arrive? Many travel brands would say visa waivers are more important, and many travelers would agree. The U.S. doesn't seem to be in the business lately of making it easier for travelers to visit, visa waiver program aside.
Corporate Travel
United’s Premium Economy Domestic Expansion Should Learn From Polaris Mistakes
A premium economy cabin on United's domestic fleet could give it a leg up on competitors in terms of both product and revenue. But can it actually execute?
The Era of Personalization in Event Tech Is Finally Here
Tools are finally emerging that empower event professionals with the insights they need to better understand how attendees operate at events and the value created for sponsors. It's about time, and these tools will only become more useful over time as event planners learn more about what makes their gatherings successful.
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Linked In Send via Email

For Gmail users: If you are using the tabbed inbox, Skift emails may be pushed to the 'Promotions' tab. To get updates from Skift direct to your primary inbox, drag and drop this email to that tab.

You received this email because you are subscribed to Skift Daily Newsletter from Skift.

If you'd like to unsubscribe from this email, click here

If you'd like to receive fewer emails, click here

If someone shared this email with you and you would like to subscribe, visit our newsletters page on Skift