Planet DMC

News and tidbits from the travel industry

Month: August 2020

Global tourism lost £245bn in five months due to coronavirus, says UN chief

Sandra Carvao, the UN World Tourism Organisation’s chief of market intelligence and competitiveness, said the $320bn (£244.5bn) in lost exports from January through May is three times what was lost during the year 2009 at the height of the last global financial crisis.AP (The Independent)

What Would an IHG-Accor Merger Look Like Anyway?

The thing with the airline industry is profitability got quite low, and it needed to merge and consolidate. I don’t think we’re there in the hotel industry. It’s still possible for a good, small, single hotel to be profitable.Richard Clarke (Bernstein)

The travel industry will survive COVID-19, but with big changes

It’s clear that the lower-priced chains—the economy, budget, and midscale hotels—are doing better. Some of that is locational: A lot of those hotels are at airports, around airports, and on the interstates, so that means that they’re accommodating people who are moving around. But over the next six- to 12-month period, you’re going to see a bit of a barbell recovery, where lower-tier, lower-price hotels will be doing well, and then you will have luxury hotels doing well once air travel starts to free up a little bit.Mark Hoplamazian (Hyatt Hotels)

How a South Korean comfort food went global

For those quarantined in South Korea, ready-made budae-jjigae packages, as well as packaged kimchi, ramen and spam, have been common items in quarantine meal kits delivered by local government offices.Hahna Yoon (BBC)

Google Maps updates with a ‘more vibrant’ appearance

Google has used a new colour-mapping algorithmic technique to make the service, which launched 15 years ago, visually richer. Previously, the colour coding on Maps was largely limited to green and brown, with lightly shaded areas to denote urban centres. For the update, Google has used computer vision to identify natural features from satellite imagery, looking specifically at arid, icy, forested, and mountainous regions. It’s then analysed these features and assigned them a range of colours on the HSV (hue, saturation, value) colour model.Jonathan Chadwick (Daily Mail)

Airbnb, a ‘Sharing Economy’ Pioneer, Files to Go Public

Airbnb takes a cut of the stays and activities that its rental operators book. It has come closer to turning a profit than Uber or WeWork — until the coronavirus evaporated more than $1 billion of bookings almost overnight. In the spring, Airbnb projected its revenue for 2020 would drop to half of the $4.8 billion it brought in last year. The company quickly cut costs, raised emergency funding, laid off almost 2,000 employees and shelved its plans to go public.Erin Griffith (New York Times)

Virgin Atlantic airline files for U.S. bankruptcy protection, tries to survive pandemic losses

Virgin Atlantic’s court moves follow bankruptcy filings in the U.S. by Latin America’s two biggest airlines, Latam and Avianca, and by Mexico’s Aeromexico since the start of the pandemic. Virgin’s sister airline Virgin Australia filed for protection from creditors in its home country in April.Susan Haas (USA Today)

Alaska Airlines President Wants Competitors to Stop Dumping Cheap Seats

We’re in the midst of the biggest demand contraction in the history of our industry. As we all know, there are far too many seats flying today for the demand that currently exists. Adding capacity back in a disciplined manner is important for the health of the industry and is critical to our company’s cash break-even goals.Ben Minicucci (Alaska Airlines)

Hohe Tauern: Bis ans Ende der Welt

Kees heißen Gletscher in diesem Teil Österreichs, abgeleitet von chés, dem althochdeutschen Wort für Kälte und Frost. Die Eiszeiten haben die Hohen Tauern über die Jahrtausende hinweg geprägt und ihr heutiges Aussehen gestaltet. Das glaziale Geschiebe mit seinem mitgeschleiften Sand, den spitzen Steinen und dem Geröll modellierten Abhänge und Senken. Es vertiefte die Kerbtäler zu runderen Becken und schuf steile, von Wasserfällen durchzogene Felswände. Frost, Regen und Stürme setzten den aus dem Eisstrom ragenden Bergen zu und meißelten sie zu schroffen Zacken und Zinnen. Aus Mulden und Quelltrichtern wurden Kare, der Moränenschutt ließ Höcker und vertiefende Wannen entstehen. Die ehemals sanfte Urlandschaft veränderte sich zu einem zerklüfteten, schrundigen Höhenzug mit Gletschern, die den Zeiten trotzen.Susanne Schaber (FAZ)

Nakhchivan: The world’s most sustainable ‘nation’?

Nakhchivan may be synonymous with Noah, but in the 7,500 or so years since the prophet and his followers descended from Mount Ilandag (or nearby Mount Ararat, depending on whom you ask), their descendants have passed under Persian, Ottoman and Russian rule to form something of a majority Muslim melting pot. In recent decades, an ongoing land dispute with Armenia has remained one of post-Soviet Europe’s last “frozen conflicts”.David McArdle (BBC)

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