Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at Delta’s earnings report, Wyndham’s efforts to support black hotel owners, and new research about travel loyalty.
Good morning from Skift. It’s Thursday, July 14 in New York City. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
Delta Air Lines is confident about a robust corporate travel recovery this fall, regardless of whether the United States sees an economic recession or not, reports Edward Russell, editor of Airline Weekly, a Skift brand.
CEO Ed Bastian expressed optimism, during its second quarter results call on Wednesday, that the company would see pent-up demand for travel continue beyond the busy summer season. Delta President Glen Hauenstein also shared Bastian’s confidence, citing a survey of its corporate customers that indicated they plan to increase business travel come September. Hauenstein added a recent Morgan Global Corporate Travel Survey found business travel could recover to 84 percent of pre-Covid levels in the second half of 2022. That figure would be a 20 percentage point jump over the one recorded for the second quarter.
Regarding a possible recession, Bastian said Delta has not yet seen any significant pullback in demand for either leisure or corporate travel. The Atlanta-based carrier posted a $735 million profit for the second quarter, its first pandemic-era net profit without the benefit of government aid.
We shift now to Wyndham Hotel & Resorts’ new plan to increase the number of Black hotel owners. The world’s largest hotel franchisor has unveiled a program that aims to help Black entrepreneurs overcome common barriers to hotel ownership, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill.
Wyndham announced the launch of its new program — Black Owners and Lodging Developers, or BOLD — Wednesday at the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators and Developers annual conference. BOLD will offer selected participants, among other benefits, introductions to lenders and brokers, mentorship and discounts with preferred suppliers. Andy Ingraham, the association’s president and CEO, said the program would address the hurdles prospective Black hoteliers face on a case-by-case basis instead of taking a cookie-cutter approach.
Ingraham added that Wyndham is the first major hotel group to take significant steps to boost Black hotel ownership. Less than 2 percent of U.S. hotel owners are Black, according to a survey by Ingraham’s group.
Finally, although the travel industry has enjoyed success in developing loyalty membership programs, it’s missed out on a lot of revenue by largely failing to convert them into paid subscriptions. So Research Analyst Seth Borko provides travel companies looking to build robust subscription models six lessons in Skift Research’s latest report.
The report, Subscriptions and Memberships in Travel 2022, explains why the large-scale merging of work, travel and personal lives presents travel companies an excellent opportunity to launch paid subscription models. Borko writes travel companies need to build more subscription models since they allow businesses to grow at an exponential rate, adding subscriptions are ubiquitous in nearly every industry other than travel.
The report also includes case studies of three travel corporations that have built subscription models: online travel agency eDreams Odigeo, hotel brand Selina and luxury vacation rental company Inspirato.