Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks closer at hotels and wellness profits, Viator and GetYourGuide comps, and evolving in-flight entertainment.
Good morning from Skift. It’s Wednesday, July 5. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
Hotels are increasingly viewing wellness as a way to attract travelers placing a greater emphasis on their physical and mental well-being. So what strategies are hotel brands taking? Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill reports in this week’s Early Check-In column that a recently published report is providing some answers.
O’Neill writes a report by consultancy firm RLA Global is a rare effort to quantify wellness trends in hotels. That report analyzed data at more than 2,500 properties worldwide with some wellness, which include gyms, spas and yoga classes. O’Neill notes the report indicates hotels need to make significant investments in wellness activities for the sector to be profitable. He adds an extensive wellness offering typically translates into higher occupancy, higher average daily revenue gains and higher profit.
Next, Tripadvisor’s Viator brand and GetYourGuide are two of the biggest players in the tours and activities sector. So after GetYourGuide recently announced a nearly $195 million investment round, how does it match up against Viator? Executive Editor Dennis Schaal looks for answers.
Schaal acknowledges that it’s tough to say definitively if Viator is growing faster than GetYourGuide. While Tripadvisor is worth close to $2.5 billion, GetYourGuide is a private company that doesn’t publish its financial records. Although a source close to GetYourGuide argued that it’s larger than the standalone Viator brand, Schaal writes the edge in number of bookable tours and activities appears to go to Tripadvisor.
Meanwhile, a partner at Tourpreneur, a company that provides advice to tour operators, said he believes Tripadvisor is likely leading in the U.S. while GetYourGuide holds the top spot in Europe.
Finally, major airlines are getting a major boost from advances in the increasingly lucrative in-flight entertainment industry, reports Associate Editor Rashaad Jorden.
Jorden writes that carriers such as American Airlines and JetBlue Airways have teamed up with streaming services in recent years. American offers the use of an Apple Music subscription to stream inflight without the purchase of Wi-Fi. Meanwhile, JetBlue will provide passengers the opportunity to stream content from Peacock starting this summer. A JetBlue executive said travelers with a Peacock account will be able to stream all of the platform’s content from their own devices during flights.
Jorden adds that airlines’ efforts to enhance their in-flight entertainment options have gotten a helping hand from improved aircraft designs. Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines are introducing new in-flight entertainment systems on aircraft that will start flying in the next two years.