The Great Merging and Other Top Stories This Week

Skift grip

In Skift’s main stories this week, Skift Founder and CEO Rafat Ali writes about the mix of work, travel and personal life, Ghana’s decision to use celebrities to promote tourism comes across as problematic , and the shortage of labor in the hotel industry reinforces the need for robots in hotels.

Mary Ann Ha

Throughout the week, we publish original stories day and night covering travel news and trends, including the impact of coronavirus. Every weekend, we’ll give you a chance to re-read the most essential stories in case you missed them earlier.

The Great Merger: Our ways of living, working, socializing and traveling have merged, with profound implications for the global industry at the center of selling this dream. How will travel react?

Miami’s global boom takes off: Miami has revealed the busiest US airport for international traffic in 2021, according to new data. It’s further evidence of rising tides for The Magic City, attracting short-haul global travelers first, but should soon welcome returning long-haulers.

Ghana’s comeback tours exploit African American celebrities — and overlook a reality: Ghana’s efforts to attract more African Americans to visit and invest make sense, but using celebrities to drive the campaign is problematic. At least two years into the pandemic means residents, tourism will be scrutinizing the sector and demanding a transparent long-term plan to benefit host communities.

PlusGrade to Buy Points.com for $385 Million Cash in Blockbuster Loyalty Deal: PlusGrade and Points.com deal with some of the same partners, and they can now approach them with a collaborative pitch.

Travelers plan to spend big on international travel this summer: New report: Pent-up demand for international travel seems inescapable as tourists refuse to slow down, despite ongoing travel industry concerns over rising prices.

Avianca and Gol merge to create vast South American airline group: Never a dull day in Latin American airline circles. Two of the biggest in the region, Avianca and Gol, plan to merge and create a pan-South American group with budget competitors Sky aviation Airline and Viva Air.

Why European investment giant Kinnevik is betting on travel startups: Although Kinnevik is Europe’s largest listed investor, it has only recently started taking stakes in travel startups. What he looks for in companies tells a larger story of how investors generally view the industry.

Prince Harry pokes fun at himself in a TV skit about promoting sustainable tourism: Humor can go a long way in getting an important point across, and Prince Harry wasn’t above poking fun at himself- even to highlight the importance of sustainability.

Expedia Group CEO Interview: Our technology was an anchor thwarting innovation: in recent years, Expedia has often talked about integrating its technology platforms or leveraging its huge volume of data. Will it really drive innovation this time around?

Robots and automation are going from novelty to necessity in hotels: given the constraints of today’s job market – and the rapid onboarding of new talent into the hospitality industry – it’s time to push the boundaries when it comes to artificial intelligence, robotics and automation.